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Mantua's Squares by Traio

CC 10 10 10 10
Cuqui 9 9 10 10
eTux 7 10 8 5
G.Croft 8 10 9 10
Gerty 5 9 7 9
Ivan 10 10 10 10
Jay 9 10 9 9
Jez 9 9 8 9
Jorge22 10 9 9 9
Jose 2 8 7 4
Josi 8 9 9 10
Kristina 10 10 10 10
manarch2 7 9 7 5
MichaelP 9 10 9 8
Miguel 5 7 7 7
Navi 8 10 7 4
Phil 10 10 9 8
RaiderGirl 9 10 10 10
Ravenwen 6 7 7 7
Ryan 9 10 10 9
Sash 9 9 10 10
Tortoise3 9 8 9 9
Treeble 7 7 8 8
Whistle 6 9 9 7
release date: 23-Jan-2003
# of downloads: 116

average rating: 8.49
review count: 24
review this level

file size: 37.50 MB
file type: TR4
class: City

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"When this level first came out it was incredibly innovative and was, as far as I recall, the first time a builder had attempted to depict an actual place. I was so impressed then and here I am all these years later still finding it something of a tour de force. If you’ve never played it, please do try as I feel you cannot help but be entertained by such a unique level." - Jay (07-Dec-2020)
"I still remember when this levelset was first released, everyone used to talk about how confusing it was and I was always intrigued by the outfit choice for Lara Croft (we don't really see many levels featuring dresses, which is probably a good thing). As my current goal is to clear all levels released in 2003, I've finally decided to face this beast closely following Phil's walkthrough. Honestly, I doubt I'd have gotten anywhere on my own. The levels are very ambitious, featuring huge locations, and gameplay is as non-linear as it gets, having you go back and forth (and up and down) a million times. While I certainly appreciate the thought behind these levels, unfortunately I found the gameplay to be too unfriendly towards the player, with plenty of unmarked climbable and death tiles, moving through railings and gratings rather often and the worst offender might have been how several objects are triggered by collecting medipacks or shooting flower pots. It just didn't sit right with me and it took me nearly a whole week to see this through. Textures seem to be slightly lower resolution than we're used to, but I assume this was a choice the author made to double the texture set in size, as time goes by you get used to the visuals. Not sure whether I'd recommend this, but if you do decide to play it, it's in your best interest to keep the walkthrough open at all times. 4h20min, 24 secrets. 10/20" - Treeble (19-Oct-2020)
"What a unique levelset by Traio involving a lot of fancy new objects including an Alfa Romeo. I think this was an excellent game and certainly worth playing for something different. Lara's outfit was erm...unique:) Nice renamed health packs too!" - Ryan (31-Dec-2015)
"If I didn't know it I would have guessed this is definately a level by an Italian builder, as it contains most trademarks of all the Psiko's and Tara's (and other's) games out there - nothing but HUGE maps to cover, fully built from scratch with new objects and textures and confusing but intelligent gameplay. OK the latter one gets more than slightly too confusing at parts, with some tasks that are way too obscure to solve without a walkthrough. I can forgive most of the unmarked ladders, because there is mostly a texture hint nearby, but not really the unmarked trigger tiles, non-resettable puzzles (@Jose: I think you forgot to take the large medipack after picking up the secret item, but the door opens only afterwards) and near-impossible to spot shootable things. There are several efforts to lead the player through the map but it's too easy to miss or misunderstand the hints given by the builder, as a result this can indeed be a nightmarish raid. But keeping all those things in mind, I thought this was a rather fun adventure. After the first level which was a bit boring the last two levels provide a nice change to the better, and I thoroughly enjoyed some of the puzzles which are pretty unique even for today's standards, like the two-boulder puzzle, the areas where you can't use the weapons (the church scene has to be seen to be believed) and the fantastic use of the bike. All that is put into a nice storyline and the end is just fantasticly pulled off. The best aspect of this level are the multitude of various well built and placed enemies and objects in this level, which give this level its unique look and are very good-looking and clean for the most part (especially the strange garden is a feast for the eyes in that regard), well the same cannot be said about the textures. It's a testimonium to the texture set that the last category doesn't receive even lower grades, because the application of the textures is plainly poor and that literally. The first level is the worst in that regard, with horribly wallpapered textures which are highly disturbing the atmosphere, but the second and third levels aren't much better really. I think most capital sins of texturing have been committed in this game, and it's a wonder that some areas look halfway decent and believable - just because of the nice look of the textures itself. The lighting is often flat, but it's better in inside areas in which the builder has managed to create a certain charm (e.g. the area where the car is stolen). Despite of the partially rather amateurish looks, I found the atmosphere to be rather good, but also rather taken as an average - there are some great moments, like the large car built out of plain room geometry and the area high up in the sky, but also some fairly uninspired and boxy rooms which just serve for gameplay purposes. Everything is rather uneven, and at the end you might be rather happy it's finished finally, but this game also has some high moments and that's why I think this is one worth to play. Found 24 nice secrets in 3:15 hours." - manarch2 (04-Jan-2014)
"It notices a big effort to create new textures, objets and puzzles, but it's not enough to build a decent level. There are incontable bad features I remember, enough to wanna forget this levels forever, like a pesky nightmare: unmarked climbable walls, another times unmarked climbable walls with the same texture from the adjacent rows, unmarked deadly tiles, another safe tiles unmarked like deadly tiles in the same row, low quality textures repeated the same way in the floors, walls and ceilings, elongated textures, missed textures, pad trigger tiles without a camera or marked with a different texture so you can't know they are trigegr tiles or not, places where you can jump through the air to hit with an invisible wall which is the end of the world, in second and third levels even the transparent walls are the end of the world, iron and wooden fences you can trespass without break, rooms where you are forced to reload if you don't do what the author though, a target you must shoot impossible to see, key you use next to a door and the door doesn't open but another door in another place of the area (without a camera), paper walls, diving through the same path hundreds of times (shower trapdoor), Lara going through solid trapdoors, missed sounds for the horsemans, also one of the horsemans died over a flowerpot and I couldn't get the key he dropped (reload and kill them all again) what is the grey button in the TRLE editor for???, vertical poles with the top invisible where Lara can go up in middle air, a target you can shoot and no camera to show you that it's a timed secuence and you'll get totally stucked forever (aaaaarg! incredible!), too huge outside areas in second level and when you're over the roofs, buildings appear and disappear in the distance or turn black when you rotate Lara, forcing Lara to take a lot of damage unnecessarily, another times you forget a key or something and later you'll get totally stucked 'cause doors will be closed to go back, elevators you can miss and you can't see when triggering so you can turn fool to continue playing with nothing to do, bad placed fires out of the wall torches, etc. etc. etc. When I found myself into the hole with secret 21 in third level I realized that the exit door was closed, and there was an invisible block in front of the door; I looked for a way to escape but I didn't find it; the walkthrough said that I could go out through that closed door so It was more than what I could bear with, and I abandoned the levels." - Jose (26-Jan-2011)
"I discovered this level by chance when looking for 'City' levels in the search engine, and decided to give it a shot. As it turned out, it was an original-looking adventure with a rather peculiar setup; it took me a while to get accustomed to the whole style and feel. Dressed in an impressive fancy lace dress, cute hat and high heels, Lara is exploring a lovely italian city with interesting resort spots, pools with weird 'inhabitants', but also with several hidden traps and mysteries... and I'm sorry to say that's pretty much where all the originality ends, as gameplay-wise, I found things quite confusing and random: it all starts off being somehow incoherent at first, gets a bit interesting in the process but ends up rather repetitive. There are endless backtrackings to do, several times just to push a button and then go back again so as to do something else then repeat the same backtracking so as to move on a bit. Often you have no idea what you pulled that lever for or why you had to shoot that target, and looking for it may be interesting at first, but ends up rather boring and confusing after a while, although it never gets difficult enough to keep you hooked. Many times, the most impossible actions cause things to happen (ie, picking up a medipack opens an exit door or a trapdoor). The textures are good, but on many occasions they look too flat and stretched. I enjoyed the climbing and exploring on the rooftops (there's quite a lot of it) and the bike, but I wasted too much time going around in circles looking for ways to move on, which is why, although I like italian levels, I ended up feeling rather impatient with this one." - Ravenwen (12-Feb-2007)
"In this reviewer's opinion the effort put into this series of levels must have been phenomenal. Just about everything has been customised from the wall textures to the sunbathers and including nearly all the enemies. I took a while to get used to Lara's outfit though. It's not bad just different. The game itself (I call it a game because it is a mini game rather that a level) is based on the city of Mantua in Italy. I have never been there but it looks great with realistic textures and layout. The appearance of the enemies are also very original. Great to see Lara's team-mates again. The only thing that lets it down for me is the repetition. At some times I found myself saying 'not here again'. Maybe that is my fault for not doing the level in the right order. Also it is not for beginners. The puzzles are quite ingenious and sometimes tough but some of the secrets you just stumble across. All in all a very great development on the author's first level which was a commendable level in itself." - Jez (04-May-2004)
"This is one of the rarest level I have seen - you will note it if you see Lara's Outfit at first. And like opinions are different - there will be a lot of them. But one thing is sure: a lot of work a lot of hours. It is not so easy to find the way - some things happen and you will not know exactly where and why. Climbable walls are not textured like we knew before... 'Walkable water' surprised me at first and when I placed the Mincio Key I didn't know if something happened. There are a lot of action in relation but difficult to note them all - sometimes it was not easy to go on.. Textures maybe gave the builder a hard work - but in my opinion I found them no so good. Frustration was high and more than one time I wanted to stop that game. But then I got to Level 2 - Textures are finer there and better for me. What a work in object building. Here again I missed the line...Coming to part 3 now you will go on a little bit faster - knowing better what the builder wants - but even difficult. Surprise like Friends Dragons that sends Doves...Until the end a hard long way - and many things give no hint. After long 8 hours I could close my playing. Now my constructive critique: Make Tomb Raider to what it was not before is maybe good but maybe bad - climbable walls need some hints - without that players will lose interest in searching a long time...Textures are different - better in second part - strange garden (well everyone has her/his opinion) there are so many stretched textures...For me too many Dead- Ends - should not be. Second part - upper places - some holes you cannot go out again...Or if someone finds the short way to Strange Garden (yes there is one above...) but cannot come back! Level is not easy and because of this will find a limited count of fans - same with the artistic side (textures...) - one will like it or not. Obvious the Level was dedicated to a sportscar-professional - you will find it out at last and without much sense. Sounds not so much and known - well that had been a possibility to give ambience more value. Resume: I would not play it again - but I am not the rest of the players ;-)" - Miguel (03-Apr-2004)
"First you find it strange. Then it takes some time to get into it. And then you start to see how interesting it is... And hard among the hardest too! I must admit I had to check the walkthrough more times than I'd care to admit in order to be able to play the entire game. Not that it has flaws in its planning. It's simply hard. There are two main points where you really need the walkthrough: the first level because it's just different and you don't feel at ease; and the last part because it's so hard to really find a way of doing things or in that particular order. I did kill poor Lara too many times... And still the game is so good! You even get used to see Lara dressed in this particular form although I wouldn't like Core to do the same in future TR games. Meanwhile I didn't find the middle part where you have to jump from roof to roof and so on too complicated. The church where Lara can't draw weapons unless she wants to be fried is an ironic touch of genius! I managed to do all that part without the walkthrough and when I took a quick look at it it was only to find out I'd done everything upside down - but it worked! There were some things I didn't like in the game though... Mainly the part where you have to fight two knights in a square - why on earth does it have to take half an hour or so until one defeats them? I found it kind of boring. The block puzzle in the post office was also a little boring. As for the rest including the wild motorcycle ride it truly is a great and beautiful hommage to Mantua/Mantova and one definitely worth playing - with at least some quick looks at the walkthrough!" - Jorge22 (23-Mar-2003)
"The 'Most Memorable Level Award' goes to Traio for Mantua's Squares. (Actually it joins 3 other levels in this category to my thinking). Right from the start I thought this was going to be an original exciting experience. Lara in a dress now that's a first (for me). The work that has gone into this level is amazing. There is a great sense of place - the sunbathers in a holiday hotel atmosphere the town squares towers cafe tables and chairs phoneboxes rubbish bins and the roofs I really had a great time jumping around those rooftops. The psychadelic 'fish' in the large swimming pool at the beginning made me laugh but it is a 'hint' as to what is to come in other words the last level becomes really out of this world. As are the falling giant tyres are a hint but they're used very well as puzzles also. I got stuck coming into level 3 because I missed a key in level 2 but the walkthrough sorted that out - many many thanks to Kristina for all the help and Traio kept in touch to give a lot of help too thanks Traio. It isn't a straight forward shoot-em find objects and switches climb and swim level you also have to find and shoot targets and step into showers which are triggers. You also get 'friends' to help you deal with the baddies. This level is BIG first time round it seems too big but once you've figured out your moves it makes sense. In fact the way Traio textured the 'end' of streets to make it look like the street carries on down the hill or round the corner is brilliant. The only moan is beyond a certain distance everything disappeared into the background picture which made it difficult to target the bells on the towers. It's a while since I played the level but I can still remember it very well something I can't say for other levels. I thought the idea of not shooting in a church a great idea and there you're first friend teaches a couple of thugs that they can't run into a church shooting. You need to find two half-pieces of a photograph intriguing what is that photograph of? The mirror room baffled me for a while never occurred to me to 'jump' through the mirror excellent idea. And the red bike Lara rides is excellent even though you know the textures on one side are hidden to cover the original side-car style bike. Highly recommended level top marks." - CC (20-Mar-2003)
"Traio gets a double A for effort. I for one loved this little town. OK there is a horizon problem but that has to do with the limitation of the LE (I think). The overall detail that went into it is amazing. Although I did liked Lara's outfit it is so totally NOT for raiding. Nice was also the arrows and exclamation marks so you knew something is afoot. What I didn't like was the gameplay. Some puzzles were great even fantastic but some of them didn't make sense. There could be much more camera shots as these 3 levels are huge and I really got tired of running around so see what happened after shooting flowers of pushing a button etcetera. I couldn't find much logic (as stepping under the same shower twice or flipping a lever for a second time) and I don't mind being stuck and reading the solution (in the currently 5 threads) it only shows you what a hard levels this is. Also one shouldn't be allowed to go forwards if you missed a certain item as there is no way to get back and you need a saved game (there are only so many slots) or play it all over again. The bike ride was very difficult but after numerous tries I made it. I wonder if this level was more about how it looked than about the gameplay. No fun fun and fun in that department for me at all. It took me 7 days to complete this and that is way too long in my book. 16-03-2001" - Gerty (18-Mar-2003)
"What an absolutely HUGE set of levels. If you like lots of roof climbing and exploring then this is the one for you. Must admit that without the walkie I would never have got anywhere with it. I found it really confusing to say the least and after a while I could not tell one roof from another. I'm afraid that I did not like Lara's costume not that I am against anything different but I did find it hard to line up jumps with Lara wearing a long skirt. Was this the reason for the cage-like effect? Also I found I was losing the sides of the level at times this was particularly noticeable when I was trying to shoot a target in a steeple and as I turned to aim I lost all sight of it. Took a while to get the position right. Having said that I liked the bodies sunning themselves around the pool and the shower stalls were a nice touch. If you have the time it is well worth playing but be warned you may need the walkie." - Tortoise3 (15-Mar-2003)
"Traio has obviously spent a long time thinking this set of three levels through and devising new situations. However I found the game play particularly in the 1st and 3rd sections, and to some extent in the middle one, extremely frustrating. Far too many multiple switches, or sequences you have to go through with very few hints or directions to follow. Normally logical thought sees you through - forget it, at time nothing to me seemed logical, more trial and error. But for the help forum I would never, repeat never been able to get through. The textures at times were rather garish, and very bright. Enemies were fine with plenty of variations through each of the three sections. Get the lost car (again only at the end did I find the purpose of these levels) back to the museum and you finish. If you have lots of time give this level a go, but expect to be puzzled!!" - Whistle (12-Mar-2003)
"A huge effort from the author even though I mostly didn't understand his way of thinking and these levels sometimes left me somewhat confused. But let's start step by step: Part 1: I was already starting to doubt about the level's visual quality when the level started as the author's maniacal way of texturing didn't convince till the end too. I like either a traditional texturing or a totally abstract one I didn't find this one too good even if I understand why the textures were so stretched and looked badly (I think the author used an awful lot of textures so he had to compress them as much as he could). Anyway - the gameplay sometimes didn't make much sense to me either - why was the 4th grating on the fence not a burning one? Why wasn't there any clue on this? There was no logic in that in my opinion. Lara often bumped her head onto the sky and had to crawl over the roof because the roof was hindering her of standing straight. Of course I liked the way the sunbathers were made and that they didn't mind when Lara went shooting around them killing the wicked pool monsters dogs and ninjas hilarious! Lara had a very beautiful red dress which was see through at some parts and allowed the player to adore her knickers and pantyhose lol but jokes aside it was nice of the author to change Lara's outfit make it fit more to her adventure in this Italian town :-) (even if I think the shoe's weren't too comfortable). The second area is already the first Mantua's square but as mostly everything in this level it's not too beautiful may least favorite level of the 3. Part 2: A blizzard has started and is accompanied by a threatening thunder. You spend the most time on the roofs and unavoidably reach the end of the world all the time which for some reason didn't bother me too much this time. Though this level is nothing special and is familiar to its predecessor the texturing somehow improves or I just got used to the author's style. What bothered me the most about this level were the masochistic drops and jumps which usually left Lara without much health left and usually the pies which can be found on the roofs (lol) were eaten quite fast to get the energy needed to finish the level. I liked the sequence where you couldn't draw your weapons in the church and the ghost palace was a nice idea too the 2 small revisits to get a cool red bike a photo piece that is guarded by 3 magicians and to make sure the Alpha Romeo has returned to the museum with the kids ridding a carousel outside are quite enjoyable too. Part 3: Another strange thing is that from the blizzard and thunder you suddenly see a nice sunset outside and since you can travel back to level 2 the finish triggers function like time machines too I presume. Overall there'd be nothing remarkable to this level too - another square with all that comes with it but the strange park made this the best of the levels for me and was highly enjoyable with the nice quests like 4 dragon repressing the dangerous bike ride and the discovery of the Alpha Romeo that is captured by Gremlins. There are still a lot of pies on the roofs in this level too. The author has done a great job with this triple level the objects are the best I've seen to date Lara's outfit is great with all the small details as I already mentioned and despite the few inconsequences in the gameplay the levels are quite fun to play and you get used to the author's texturing style sooner or later too so don't let me hold you up from downloading playing and enjoying this 5+ hour adventure!" - eTux (10-Mar-2003)
"My attention was drawn to this three-level mini-game by Kristina's glowing review (the first one posted more than a week after the release date). Without first taking a look for myself I contacted Kristina and arranged a partnership whereby she would lead me by the hand through the game and I would put out a detailed walkthrough. When she sent me a ten-page single spaced outline I began to suspect I had bitten off more than I cared to chew. The sinking spell continued when I installed and began to play the levels as I was put off by the unusual graphics and the fact that the intricate backdrops would break up and disappear when Lara moved away from them. However my mood changed once I got hooked by the gameplay. Lara's Annie Oakley cowgirl outfit notwithstanding this is a finely crafted and extremely challenging creation and it was almost as much fun putting the moves to paper as was the case with Piega's Sanctuaries. (Apologies to any who deem the 25-page final edition a bit of overkill.) Here we have a well-balanced mix of outdoor roof-jumping tunnel-swimming and indoor gymnastics fraught with tricky moves and mind-bending puzzles enemy variations galore and a wild motorbike saga near the end. There's plenty of light here a refreshing change of pace from what seems to be a rash of too-dark levels out there but I had to take away points because of that unconventional look. Here's hoping the author will be motivated to use his considerable creative talents again soon." - Phil (07-Mar-2003)
"This is one of the most amazing and awesome set of levels I've ever played! Looking back over the many hours I spent getting to the end many exciting things come to mind. The new dress Lara is wearing the first time I saw the pool area with people sunbathing in lounge chairs and a high diving board all the new enemies the well done flybys the collapsible tile puzzles the secret garden the tricky jumps - some of which need to be repeated a few times as you visit areas over and over again the magic water tunnel that whisks you through a grate by the pool and the jumps where you magically jump through a grate to the roof the new textures and objects like the towels in the bathrooms the new furniture falling tires and the new puzzle pieces the allies that help you near the end the new motorcycle the thrilling and clever puzzles - I could go on but really recommend that you just play this for yourself so you can see how great it is. I found 23 secrets and had five hours on the clock at the end. It's obvious how much work Traio put into this so I want to thank him for building it and Kristina for writing the walkthrough because I couldn't have done it without her." - RaiderGirl (03-Mar-2003)
"I really enjoyed when played these 3 levels of huge area excellence flyby good secrets and amazing creatures which fly run and shot on you. In some area underground some like scarabs but now made like mouses:)) Good point of mirrors room - 'mirrors world'. Traio made excellence levels of Tomb Raider for a lot of hours running and jumping on streets and roofs of beautiful town with phone boxes gardens - cafe balconies and other what tourist place have. Now when there is a walktrough I will play again because I did not find all secrets. Yeah!!!" - Ivan (01-Mar-2003)
"I cannot quite follow the scores of the other reviewers so far. But first I need to emphasize that the author deserves a lot of recognition for the objects he created. But as for the levels themselves I found the graphics and the textures in the first two parts rather disappointing. They seem to be listlessly and patchily applied and may gaming fun really suffered from this. The rooms were often totally empty but absolutely huge. The outfit was unrealistic for me. Also the modified crocodiles. Just not meeting my taste. Puzzles and secrets were well thought out though. Sometimes very difficult not only because some more cameras would have been needed. Also timed doors were there to be mastered. The third part was a little better with the texturing and there was also more sound and cameras. A pity that the graphics did not harmonise well with all the objects. If you like to solve tough puzzles and don't mind the graphics you should play it." - Navi (21-Feb-2003)
"What a complex and confusing level(s) but great! First you have to find five targets which is not an easy task believe me. The puzzles are very hard and I needed a lot of help in the first part. But I was not the only one so thanks to the author and the people of the forum I got through. I mean who would think of stepping under showers to trigger something? Not me. The second and third part were better I didn't need that much help there and it's really great to explore the squares and gardens and the roofs (I love to explore roofs). And it's great to play a daytime level no flares needed! It's easy to get in the 'strange garden' too soon I did the whole garden twice because I missed a lever so it's best to make sure you pulled two 'picture levers' and have the photo piece (and the bike) before you go in there. The help you get is great and very much needed at some places so don't shoot everyone in site. Anyway this level(s) kept me busy for many many hours and I loved almost every minute of it. So enjoy yourself!" - Josi (20-Feb-2003)
"What a massive and maybe a little over-ambitious set of levels indeed. Traio must have invested hours and hours and hours to get all those textures worked out those objects and enemies created and of course there is also the very unique outfit (Lara's feet must hurt badly after all the running in those shoes - LOL). Before getting into details I would like to point out that these levels do have a few general downsides in my humble opinion that made them much less of an enjoyment to play than they could have. While the texturing is original and mostly well done I never quite got accustomed to it and did personally not like it so much. Sound is overall very very little used climbable walls are rather subtly indicated (if at all) and most annoying is that the limitation of the editor makes the horizon disappear around those huge squares. But enough about the bad things let's look at the goodies you are treated to when you dive into this adventure. Part 1 (9/9/9/8 1:45 hours 6/8 secrets): Basically you need to find five targets to shoot in an area around a nicely designed swimming pool and this is not a straightforward process. Two keys several well hidden jump switches and buttons blocks to raise and move around vases to shoot and quite a bit of to-and-fro to reach your goal. Traio really offers a few things in such a different way which makes this a unique experience but I am not sure I like all of them. For example the swimming through grates from one side (and not back) and some of the puzzles are clearly more on the enigmatic side despite the texture hints given (arrows and exclamation marks when you need to save as you are facing a non-resetable puzzle). There are a few unmarked death tiles you can climb into nothingness in one place and while the re-meshed enemies are cool they are not an important factor (crocs ninjas dogs and horsemen without sound). After a few tricky jumps you then reach the first square of Mantua introduced by a long flyby where three more keys are to be found and a fun (if a little tedious) puzzle with pushables to solve in the post office before you advance to the next part. Part 2 (9/10/8/8 1:15+0:10 hours 8/8 secrets): Another level another square with another tower and another long flyby. You explore a lot on the roofs here up in and around a nice church and I liked the elevator effect and the use of a 'friend'. Two halves of a cross and five Oglio Keys are required here and I thought most of the secrets were more fun to get here than they were in part one. There are more traps here (spikes collapsible tiles ropes) a pushable fountain and the invisible enemies in the Ghost Palace were a good idea. Speaking of enemies there were also guards dogs bats rats and pesky mosquitoes to deal with. If you think you are stuck consider shooting something: phone booths dumpsters windows ...The falling tires (wheels) are also kind of cool. You will be coming back into this part later again to collect the very cool red bike from the museum and a photo piece. Part 3 (9/10/9/8 1:30 hours 8/8 secrets): At first this is more of the same with another square another tower another flyby etc etc. This time around five levers need to be found and pulled. But the overall diversity of gameplay increases and the objects (for example raising staircases) and enemies (remeshed ahmets demigods wild geese dragons mosquitoes dogs guards) are really impressive. Especially how Lara's 'friends' manage to calm down the dragons is cool. Some of the secrets are brilliant little quests as well. And once you drive your bike into the strange garden you are really in for a treat with some very unique architecture and brilliant effects. The huge car the plane the carousel .....and more...go there and see for yourself. " - Michael (15-Feb-2003)
"Wow what a level! Original great and difficult with an amazing end. Lara's new outfit is cool and she looks sexy. The puzzles are ingenious and there are a lot of secrets (I found 24). It's really a new experience and an exciting adventure. Don't miss it." - Cuqui (10-Feb-2003)
"Wow what a challenge! Lara is out to retrieve the stolen racecar of Tazio Nuvolari. She moves around the city of Mantua its squares (as the title indicates) upon the rooftops the balconies and other indoor places such as palazzo and museum and not to forget the public outdoor pool area where it all starts. The surroundings look great the enemies are unique and there are new objects all over. Lara has a new red outfit - I can't say that I like the looks of it but you can tell that a lot of work has been put into it as into the whole level. There is one big flaw though and that is in the gameplay. The puzzling and the traps are all great BUT they are not resetable and I missed a key along the way there was no way of getting back and I could not have finished if I had not kindly been provided with a savegame. I think that there must be some kind of obstacle that prevents you from moving on if you haven't made the necessary pickup. Anyway the ending of the level is spectacular and is something you should not miss!" - G.Croft (07-Feb-2003)
"This mammoth excursion into the mind of Traio is without doubt one of the most wonderful experiences I have had so far. There are beautiful places to play in inspired by real life Italian cities where roof jumping is as much a part of the gameplay as walking along the streets there is also one very odd but just as fabulous dream like area at the end where you will find yourself staring up at the most enormous racing car you will have ever seen making Lara seem the size of a Barbie doll. Each of these areas seems a little daunting once you enter them but you easily acclimatise to your surroundings and become very comfortable in moving around them soon after. What you may not acclimatise to is the way Traio has set up the actual gaming. Multiple triggers are used to enact just one action such as having to find 5 targets to shoot in the first level finding 5 keys and then their respective keyholes in the second or sometimes needing 2 keys to open one door. Some puzzles are also very enigmatic and leave you scratching your head which is very evident by the amount of help asked for in the forum but thankfully with all those questions asked in the forum you will probably find solutions to all your problems. This however is one that is just an essential to play as it is just so extraordinary in so many ways be it the 8 secrets in each level the enemies of which all are unseen before or just the sheer beauty of it all whatever it is just play it." - Sash (04-Feb-2003)
"An incredible set of three levels that will make you squeeze your head so hard to find the solutions of the puzzles. Yes it is one of the most difficult levels I have ever played but trust me it's worth all the blood and sweat lol until you make it to the end. I gave a perfect score and if I could I would have given a hundred all the puzzles are tricky of course but also original and never boring. The scenes and areas are giving a nice view of squares in Italy I can't tell you how close they are to reality as I have never visited that country but I want to very much but they are so convincing that makes you enjoy the game to the fullest. I have to confess that Lara's outfit is a bit shocking personally I laughed my heart out when I saw her in red with a hat and a string lol. Maybe some players though don't like to see Lara's butt in the entire levels and I am sure those will be women and not men ;) .Anyway back to the puzzles oglio keys mineio and mincio keys and a photo near the end are some of the items needed for progression. The puzzle with the moving blocks had me going though because of the two brown like squares they are facsimiles and very hard to find each block's match. The enemies are retextured and look like demons there are also friendly and non friendly soldiers be careful not to shoot them as you're on for a cool surprise near the end with the dragons. I am so impressed no wonder the author was working for two years in these levels. The motorbike is also essential to the game so do get it with you to the next level. I found 23 out of 24 secrets I missed one at the first level and I am almost tempted to play it again and find it I just loved all of them. The author willingly gave his help in those times and they were many that I got stuck so did the members of this forum. Therefore don't give up on this and ask for help because I can tell you that so far these are the levels of the year. No I am not exaggerating and I know many will say this is impossible to play but I like puzzles that you don't just run to the solution but you have to use your brain. I could go on for hours writing about puzzles and the locations but unless you see it for yourself you have seen nothing and know nothing about this game. It's the best TR custom level I have played so far and I really hope the author will give us more of his work in the future. My compliments to Antonio great work." - Kristina (03-Feb-2003)