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The Seal of Astaroth by Ruediger

Cory 7 8 7 6
Daffy 6 6 7 7
eTux 6 6 6 6
Gerty 7 6 7 7
Jay 6 5 6 6
Jose 6 6 6 7
Kristina 4 5 7 7
MichaelP 6 7 7 6
Orbit Dream 7 6 8 7
Phil 7 7 8 7
RaiderGirl 7 6 7 7
Ryan 6 6 7 7
Sakusha 8 7 7 7
Sash 5 5 6 6
Treeble 6 6 7 7
Yoav 6 6 7 7
release date: 23-Mar-2003
# of downloads: 82

average rating: 6.48
review count: 16
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file size: 16.30 MB
file type: TR4
class: nc

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Reviewer's comments
"A neat little level that also showcases a neat idea. You begin at the top of an immensely tall rocky tower at twilight and have to descend all the way to the bottom without making Lara plummet hundreds of feet to her death. It becomes more of a traditional Catacomb raid from there on, but no less entertaining, with quite a few tense attacks from ahmets, wraiths, ninjas and knights and a negotiation of a well thought out multiple boulder trap. I thought it was a bit of an odd idea to trigger a timed run using a floor lever (especially since if you fail, you need to switch it twice), but this is overall a nice diversion from normality." - Ryan (07-Feb-2019)
"This is a solid middle-of-the-road level, as the consistency of the scores to date would indicate. The beginning is especially creative, where you have make your way down a tall spindle-like structure at night before you can even start your adventure. From there things start looking a bit more familiar. The hardest tasks for me were (1) dealing with two ahmets in a deadly water room criss-crossed with narrow ledges where a single misstep (or shove) would send you plummeting to your doom and (2) getting through a crawl space to a pool just ahead of two pursuing fire wraiths. Furthermore, there was no hint that the single timed run in the level, and triggered by a floor lever at that, was a timed run. My playing time was right at 30 minutes, and I found this to be a decent raid." - Phil (28-Nov-2016)
"Good design, first a huge outside area with a dangerous descent from the top of a big mountain and a second part underground exploring a temple. The outside area is too dark, and if the players miss the lever in the mountain to open the temple doors I think there's not a way to go back up. Inside the temple I didn't found enough ammo for the uzis to deal with the ahmets, and a floor lever for a timed run is never appropriate: if you don't get it the first time, you'll need to pull the lever twice and the last time the camera doesn't work. Except for this, the level is entertaining enough, always keeping the attention from the player and never boring 'cause there's always something to do or where to go. The best was the texturization. Enjoyable." - Jose (09-Sep-2016)
"This level begins in an original way with an amusing descent in the valley, then visit of a temple for Lara. The decoration of some room, that of knights and that of three monsters to be notably killed, is very successful. The internal gameplay seemed to me a bit confused but the whole works nevertheless well and this level is very advisable to cross a right time." - Daffy (28-Aug-2009)
"A lovely level by ruediger, 30 mins and jammed with gameplay. Once you got down from the big rock it becomes easier but getting down is hard, a series of slides and grabs makes it hard to see where you are going. A nice timed run which i didn't realise was times when i first did it. The spirits were mean but made the level hard and the dogs or whatever they were made it a ruediger level, it was absolutely marvellous. He didn't give many medis (Gives me a taste of my oun medicine :D) and i finished the level with no health at all which was why i was glad to reach the end. Splended work Ruediger." - Cory (16-Aug-2006)
This level is quite evil. Astaroth is a king of Hell, being Lucifer the Emperor and Satan a seducer of women. Astaroth is depicted as a nude man with dragon-like wings, hands and feet, a second pair of feathered wings after the main, wearing a crown, holding a serpent in one hand, and riding a wolf or dog. According to Sebastian Michaelis he is a demon of the First Hierarchy, who seduces by means of laziness and vanity, and his adversary is St. Bartholomew, who can protect against him for he has resisted Astaroth's temptations. To others, he teaches mathematical sciences and handicrafts, can make men invisible and lead them to hidden treasures, and answers every question formulated to him. I haven't found Astaroth in this level, but I have found several elements that are linked to him. Enemies are mainly fire wraiths (summoned from the depths of Hell?), ninjas (possessed by Astaroth?), scorpions and Templar Knights that have a link to Astaroth (hint: when Lara steps on the seal of Astaroth, they would wake up). In the toxic pool area, Lara would encounter three ahmets, which are Astaroth's assistants (Aamon, Pruslas and Barbatos). I have appreciated the timed run, the pushable block puzzle, the descent from the rocky hill and some of the traps have surprised me (eg. the spike trap). I have found two secrets (a small medipack and some flares). Concerning the spike trap, one can interpret it as an obligation to face two kinds of wickedness: one that is always present (ie the spikes are always up) and one that disappears and reappears (ie the other set of spikes disappears briefly). So the player would need to choose the right ladder in order to reach the switch. - Sakusha (07-Jul-2005)
"The beginning of the level is good - I liked this; Lara stands on the very high rock and she need to get down to the ground and get in to the structure inside not much to do pull lever to open gate on time and pull more lever to open other gates to the end of the level." - Yoav (06-Jan-2004)
"Well this would be just another ordinary level if it was not for it's beginning. I must say I am impressed as I talked to Geckokid just the other day I once wanted to something like this - you start atop a rocky hill if I may call it like this and you have to work your way down. But from there ahead it was just the 'usual' game. Push levers kill baddies and so on. The level lasted only 25 minutes to me but I can say one can finish it under 20 knowing about the tricky water passage near the end. The seal itself is EVIL or it's good and Lara actually is evil... whatever the story around it wasn't explained at all though." - Treeble (25-Dec-2003)
"A small short level which at first seems like a fun adventure in the middle of the dessert at the top of a rock (how on earth did she get up there?) but as you get down turns out to be a solid catacomb adventure. Getting down the high rock was fun and something I hadn't seen before but apart from an easy timed run and escape from some rolling balls the inside has not a lot to offer. Sure the ahmet shootout with jumping from one platform to the other watching how the helpless ahmets try to get Lara was hilarious but can't be considered as a puzzle. And of course the level ended when I had just warmed up for more. Nice work but there could've been more work put into it to make it better. Don't let me hold you up from getting this little gem anyway it's worth a try!" - eTux (27-May-2003)
"Quick and painless. Well probably not too painless if you fall off the enormous monolith of rock you start upon and go tumbling to the ground way below. This just over 20 minute level did start well with the aforementioned climb down from a huge pointed peak but then turns into a tomb environment that just seemed quite wasted. There is a fun battle with a few ahmets on some thin walkways but the rest is fairly standard and shouldn't tax the most novice of players. With 3 secrets found I could only wish more was made of the start and even more made of the end." - Sash (18-May-2003)
"I'm not sure how she got there in the first place but Lara starts this level atop a huge rock structure in the desert and her first goal is to get down to first a lever which will open the doors to the Egyptian tomb and then to get down to the desert floor to explore that tomb. Once inside all that's left to do is open a couple of doors to the exit and the location of Lara's jeep. I saw a few movable planets but never touched them so they must be only for looks. There's also a good boulder trap and a timed door that you first see while being chased by fire elementals. The ahmet room is also fun with the exit very well hidden even though it's in a place you might suspect. A short level but a fun little diversion from everyday life." - RaiderGirl (07-Apr-2003)
"The first half of this level is quite special as Lara in a cute red outfit needs to make her way down from the structure in a darkish environment. Once on the ground it turns into a fairly linear catacomb style adventure and is quickly over after about 25 minutes. There is a timed door (quite easy and hint to OrbitDream: it is of course resettable by pulling it twice again) some spikes and boulders and I found three secrets. Enemies are ninjas scorpions a bat fire wraiths knights and ahmets." - Michael (05-Apr-2003)
"A fast paced level and it was over before I knew it although I got stuck in a major way and thank you Ian as I overlooked a hole Lara had to use. Funny that as I figured that timed run out with the second try and I couldn't spot the escape route Lara had to take later. The enemies are a strange mixture ninjas knights ahmets and scorpions. The best part was the climb down right at the start and as luck was with me that went so smoothly. Finding levers here and there and then you get through a double door and start exploring. 31-03-2003" - Gerty (03-Apr-2003)
"Well it was fine as far as it went it just didn't go very far. Approximately 30 minutes of fairly standard raiding. I was just settling into my stride when I found myself back outside and the level ended. Not much in the way of enemies: wraiths a couple of sons of the desert some easily avoidable crumbly crusaders and oh yes the bit with the ahmets was nice I enjoyed that. All in all not too bad a way to spend a wet afternoon but I couldn't help but feel that I'd missed vast areas of gameplay (perhaps I did). Not a great level but not dreadful either. Try it." - Jay (02-Apr-2003)
"If it weren't for an apparently non-resettable timed lever (which is naughty naughty naughty) this would be top of the league of excellent little levels. It begins on the summit of a twisted rock column surrounded by a starry sky; proceeds cunningly downwards to the valley floor (rather darkly lit but none the worse for that as there's nothing of importance there); moves into a well-textured Tomb and then transforms itself into a neat (although fairly regulation) little quest. The 'safe water' puzzle and the transparent glass platform were cunning and clever devices but the level ended perhaps a little prematurely. However this is one of those adventures that I could quite happily play again. It's soundly constructed and really quite imaginative and the battle with the monsters is hilarious if you jump from side to side over the water. (Erm where exactly was the seal by the way?)" - Orbit Dream (31-Mar-2003)
"Although the level began nicely with Lara having to climb all the way down from a big red mountain the rest of it wasn't so good. Down from the mountain or huge rock there is a desert with palm trees and a small pool. Soon you will come to the double doors you opened earlier and start to explore. More ninjas here knights and scorpions plus a few mutants near the end. From that point after there isn't much to do you step on the seal in the middle of the room and you open a couple of doors one is timed and gets you to a lava room and the other is to exit the level. Pity it could have been better judging from the start." - Kristina (31-Mar-2003)