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Losing your Marbles by MichaelP

Andi Croft 8 9 10 10
bERT 6 9 9 9
Bogey 9 9 8 9
CC 9 8 9 9
Dimpfelmoser 9 8 7 7
Dougsan 10 8 10 10
eTux 10 9 9 8
G.Croft 9 9 10 9
Gerty 5 9 8 8
Jay 10 9 10 10
Jez 8 8 9 9
Jorge22 8 9 10 9
Juan Carlos 9 10 10 8
Kristina 10 9 9 10
LePerk 7 8 10 6
Lorena 8 10 10 8
manarch2 9 8 9 7
Monika 7 8 8 7
Orbit Dream 5 7 8 9
Patson 10 9 10 10
Phil 10 9 9 10
RaiderGirl 10 9 9 10
rjb 10 9 9 9
Ryan 9 9 10 10
Sash 9 8 8 7
sonnyd83 10 9 9 7
Tombaholic 10 8 9 8
Treeble 9 7 7 7
Yoav 9 8 9 10
release date: 15-Jun-2003
# of downloads: 95

average rating: 8.73
review count: 29
review this level

file size: 31.10 MB
file type: TR4
class: Fantasy/Surreal

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"I've been postponing the final four pending releases I have from 2003 but I figure I'll eventually need to face them head on if I mean to wrap this raidlist up. In order of release, this one comes first. I wasn't sure what to expect, honestly, but it definitely wasn't this - I had always known the 'marbles' were some sort of reference to the rolling boulders, but in my mind Michael had simply taken his concept from the Community Level Uno and expanded. In a way, this particular level here feels a lot like those from Lawther, it's a very nondescript setting but the focus really is down to gameplay. Each area has a different challenge to it, some are simple (none of the timed runs felt difficult for instance), some are harder (the precise jumping across various slopes halfway through), and some are just downright annoying (time and time again a builder makes a vehicle track which is just one-block wide, which wouldn't be that bad if only the vehicle collision in this engine wasn't so dubious, so quicksave and quickload at every turn). So while not much of a looker, this still kept me engaged for the most part of an afternoon in a day off. Just a pity that the engine doesn't handle the world properly, it breaking in and out of existance constantly was indeed a a nuisance. 60 minutes, 5 secrets. 10/22" - Treeble (23-Oct-2022)
"A masterpiece from the boss himself, Michael Prager. This was an amazing game Clearly Richard Lawther inspired. There are really cool and cryptic puzzles to solve and a vehicle to drive! Beautiful final flyby." - Ryan (01-Jan-2016)
"The concept for this is very original and well thought out. The padded room for example which lies underwater, does this symbolise Lara's descent into madness? The flyby is good and music choice is Madonna's 'die another day' - I guess they're the very words Lara lives by! The action begins almost as soon as you enter the game, there are plenty of winged harpies to keep you on your feet, and gunmen. The atmosphere does remind you of certain aspects of dreaming, in that there's a few islands but they seem separate to begin with but are actually joined together if you look deep enough...Even the soundtrack is one used deep underground normally but is appropriate here since she's in a deep sleep. I think the texturing is used appropriately and brings the story to life, and the islands are all very colourful, although quality of texturing in a small number of areas is perhaps quite average, and lighting is in some places unchanging but mostly it's very nicely done. Back to the gameplay, and other than the enemies you have to eliminate, there's plenty of swimming under each island, and under each one you encounter a different part of gameplay, raising some blocks, collecting keys, crowbar and stars, driving a bizarre (and fun!) looking vehicle complete with nice soundtrack, use it to run down some dinos. Then some timed runs, each one harder than the proceeding one - quite enjoyed those, including tests of Lara's agility, then an intriguing rolling ball/door puzzle - it wasn't clear what to do though and what meant death or not. the goal of the game is to collect 3 dream crystals and place them. We then have another driving session but this is more surreal as it's almost like a floating race track - looks fun but is in reality incredibly challenging - just takes a lot of careful driving! Further on, we have a block puzzle which requires the blocks to be on the ground floor - not too difficult but I enjoyed this. then in another area we have a similar block puzzle but in a narrow corridor, this leads us to a very difficult jump sequence, I don't think it's good to have to save or reload that often, even though the jumps themselves are quite enjoyable - perhaps the flames underneath were a little too much, final dream crystal is collected and placed in the island area, then you end up in the area with planets which seems to appear fleetingly throughout the game. Once all planets are in their required places, the torch can be collected and taken away, the next area is very dark with several tracks leading to various places, you'll need to find a way to climb up and out of this area. It reminds me of the game 'Max Payne' in a sense, as he has to follow a path when he's dreaming and one false move and it's all over, it's similar here. This seems to be where all the paths come together, and you begin one of the highlights of the game - another ride on one of those fun marble jeeps, the 'race track' textures are pretty good here, and they animate too. Please note that in the place where you use the torch, you can drop it down a long shaft which leads to the vehicle area and can be used there - quite impressed by that puzzle. I think this vehicle ride could symbolise Lara's desire to escape from this dream world. Once you've thrown the torch down another hole, you can leave this level but only after a stunning flyby (and swim around) of all Lara's marbles, finally she's in control again! Nice trance soundtrack, bringing it to a perfect conclusion. If you've an expert (a category I've yet to obtain!) then you'll have all the secrets and you'll be treated to another fun marble jeep ride - love the colour used here, and it's perfectly safe to ride as fast as you like as it's a long tunnel, you end up back at the start once the track is complete so can repeat to your hearts content! I think all in all, this is a fantastic game full of symbolism and with plenty of challenges to offer, some of which may require a little more concentration in places, graphically, some bits are really good but others required a little attention, although texturing doesn't need to be 100% perfect as this is a dream after all. Customised Lara was unexpected in such an old level - good choice there. Net gameplay 2 hours 15 minutes (halve that if this is your second play)." - sonnyd83 (26-May-2012)
"The anniversary game that came out few days ago also had a room with pics from this level, and as this was on my to-play list for a long time, I gave it a go.
Clearly a progression can be seen in Michael's levels. This level starts with an intriguing cutscene of the islands and does not let you go until the very end. First, this reminded me on the Seven Islands level, but after the shooter style beginning with pterodactyls and Larsons that wasn't my favour, this level grew with its unique concept of puzzles and was fun throughout. Maybe the falling of the first three marbles was a bit too obscure, but after you got through the rather crudely looking water passages, there are plenty of fun and intelligent tasks, the timed runs through the corridors that get more and more tight, my favourite - the rolling marble puzzle, the block puzzle, ... The secrets mostly were combined with timed runs, and I found them a nice addition to the gameplay, especially the secret bike ride at the end. The locations are mostly obvious, but the task is to know how to get to them - clever. What I didn't like so much was the corridor block puzzle before the jump area and the backtracking to the two stars after getting the crowbar (I didn't see the one in the block puzzle room, so I was confused and had to replay this part), also I found the tunnels a little bit confusing with throwing the torch in the gaps - nice idea though - and I didn't even use one of the levers in this part. The visuals in this level were good, but in my opinion all about function for the great ideas. There was an interesting mix of classic and custom objects in this level, and everything worked together very well, and the rolling down of the marbles on the transparent ledges was simply ingenious. I found despite of some lacks in the texturing, the setting was quite convincing, and the sound choice was done wisely. The camera work was very good as they helped to understand what the marbles effect, but sometimes they also got a little annoying because the screen of the planet room appeared more than once. Also, the camera sequence while getting shot by the guard in the crowbar room was a little annoying, but all in all the space theme atmosphere was fantastic.
All in all a highly professional level, and not only the bikes - also the puzzles - were Richard Lawther reminiscent. The texturing could be better at parts though, but I recommend this fun level highly - for the more experienced raiders." - manarch2 (30-Oct-2011)
"According to the readme, this level represents one of Lara's nightmares. So it is not surprising that some tasks are a bit over the edge and that the level can be confusing at times. This is a rather hard level. There are gangs of fierce enemies (although not appearing very often), sophisticated puzzles, difficult jumps (one of which even requires a delicate trick move, fortunately described in the walkthrough), long complex timed runs (none is particularly tight per se, but one of them requires a lot of elaborate manoeuvres), and a lengthy and very slippery jeep ride on a narrow track. Luckily, you don't have to spend much time looking for hidden objects, but there is a maze like connection structure which may (read will) cause disorientation. Also, a switch that is needed for two of the secrets could perhaps be overlooked. The builder has prepared for some intense battles with enemies, but putting them on a jeep track is unfair - to the enemies. The setting is a rather artificial. There are structures floating in a vast black space, psychedelic blue water tunnels, and "task rooms" in strict designs that do not pretend to be anything but task rooms. Near the end, there is a very cute wrought-iron roller coaster, and the closing flyby is a feast for the eye. Expect to spend some with this level if you play it, but it will be well spent time." - Bogey (01-Jul-2007)
"Hmm finally I finished this level. It was a little hard for me and I used the walkthrough but it's excellent. The best of Michael's levels. This is a kind of level that we do not play much with new objects nice atmosphere and good gameplay. Well done Michael." - Yoav (12-Feb-2004)
"I read some of the posts in the forum and frankly was kind of scared that I wouldn't be able to complete this level. I have felt that way about quite a few of the levels I've played but each time I succeed it feels really great and I have a lot of fun testing myself. Another great level by Michael Prager proved to be one of the greatest challenges yet. The premise is that Lara has fallen asleep and she needs to complete some tasks before she can awaken. It begins with a set of 'islands' in the middle of nowhere? Each island has a hole Lara has to enter. Some holes are accessible immediately some later in gameplay providing Lara gets everything needed. Two Awakening Stars allow Lara access to two separate holes three Dream Crystals gets our heroine into one of the last holes. A few nicely placed baddies which include some raptors and a few human ones as well add a bit of excitement. I loved being able to ride another one of Dick Lawther's "rides" on an amazing track but there is another 'Marble Car' that awaits elsewhere. What I think I loved the most about this level is the variety of different puzzles push blocks timed runs(which I am not particularly fond of) car tracks mazes tight jumping sequence flybys and nicely built rooms. There is a particular timed run in which I was unable to get the 'secret' but it isn't necessary for the completion of the game (luckily whew!) I honestly don't know how anyone could get to that door before it closes! There is another track to ride the 'Marble Car' on but I don't believe it is necessary to complete the game since I did and then went back and rode the track. The ending sequence is great and the music is wonderful! I believe this is one of the best levels I've played. Although there are a few places where I'm sure Michael ears must have been burning. Thanks Michael." - Patson (24-Jan-2004)
"Builders with a deathwish: there's a lot of work for psychologists here at Michael's forum... Well after they have a go with me of course. Michael Michael Michael somewhere in here there's yet again another perfect level hiding. At least perfect in my eyes: timed runs (two not so difficult ones but the third one for the secret is mighty tight and done with a lot of imagination) puzzles (one of my favourite aspects of TR-gaming) one of the best stories so far and with eye candy (the ending) and thumping music thrown in perfect for the occasion a vehicle by my favourite builder (Richard Lawther) textures by the inevitable other Germans and a 'light-the-pedestal' extravaganza to lick your fingers. But why oh why the totally 'off' shoot out right at the beginning the puzzle with the lifting blocks that basically sucks only because of the buggy program itself reason the more to leave it out... (readme files are there for excuses - sorry to be so harsh but you know me by now) and the absolute gamestopper the backflip-and-grab in the sliding ledges room. The latter one though again a potential great challenging room a complete put off for me. I've checked it twice there is simply no perfect button-sequence to do it: it's just a pixel precise jump and I just had my dose of that with Hidden Castle though this one has a bigger success rating reason for a 6 in gameplay instead of 4. All in all a must play level without a doubt but in all honesty I chunked this one three times into the recycle bin when it was released and for the reasons mentioned. Why you certainly have to play this level and persist till the end: secret 5 takes you back to innocent childhood with a rollercoaster run that was great fun." - bERT (02-Jan-2004)
"This is primarily a cerebral adventure with puzzles that tax the gamer's intelligence to the limits. Fortunately Michael has graciously provided a walkthrough to ease the burden on this poor reviewer's synapses. But secondarily the visual experience is stunning as well with an other-worldly feel that's reminiscent of Justin's earlier levels in the Dark Skies series. There's a wild ride on a modified jeep near the end a jeep that seems to glide along like a sled on snow accompanied by some neat music that's a welcome relief from the familiar jeep tune we're used to. The enemies are few and far between but that's to be expected in a level such as this where the thinking cap takes center stage. There are three timed runs at the beginning that make progressing in the level a real challenge but it's worth it. The scenery is highly surrealistic especially when Lara's adventure leads her out into the blackness of space. Perhaps the neatest touch of all is the end scene when Lara takes a planetary tour while an ending theme song that's sung by an unknown female vocalist makes the gamer feel like he's watching the finale of some action film. I had a great time playing this level and recommend it highly." - Phil (23-Nov-2003)
"This must have been the most (amongst the logical ones) mind boggling level I've played and I have to admit I ended up not only using the walkthrough but also Michael's hints at the forum (thank you two times to Michael!). As you start you're immediately attacked by a herd of pteronadons plus some easy baddies but that's the piece of cake part. Then you'll have to solve several difficult (well at least I thought they were) puzzles as you move along the different places you have to swim to. This I thought was one problem (but then again maybe not): there are a couple of places you can go to before due time and you just become more puzzled. Anyway you'll have to go through very hard timed runs (in the last one most fortunately not obligatory I never got the secret) very hard jumps before you find out how to do them a terrible marble jeep ride (now who but Lara would think of driving such a thing?) a marble puzzle which I had to solve by myself - burning up several times - since I didn't really understand the numbers in the walkthrough as related to the levers and so forth and so forth. This is thus not an undoable or nearly undoable level but it really made me lose my marbles more than once. A good thing: Michael taught me a couple of moves I didn't know about and which were necessary for the level. Another good thing: this is a great alien level if that's what it is whose main virtue resides in its enormous originality. Not my favorite kind of level usually but I did enjoy this one since you (kind of) know where you're standing. In the end before flying among the planets/marbles my Lara caught fire and stood there burning for a while. It must have been the fire of the mind...(November 21 2003)" - Jorge22 (22-Nov-2003)
"A magnificent set of puzzles to exercise the little grey cells but some of them are really quite tough so I wouldn't recommend this excellent game to the complete novice. I especially liked the 'marble jeep' courses (how could one not?) and spent much time perfecting the movements necessary to stay on the outside course! (including one place where I leapt across a hairpin rather than steered round it!); also the '9 marbles' room where I took ages to work out first what I had to do then how to do it; the flybys that informed and tantalised; the cut-scenes of just what some of those 'marbles' were doing (yes I too was squashed when I dived down one of the vertical shafts rather than over it! and couldn't work out why); the amazingly difficult jump bounce flip & 'curve in the air' sequence that gave such a sense of satisfaction when you'd done it; the intricacies of the 'moving blocks' puzzle; and many of the understated yet bright tones of some of the below-ground decor; and (perversely?) I liked the timed runs that ended up with the Grenade Gun as again it was a frustrating puzzle that you knew could be solved if you persevered and were 'subtle' enough; (and you could even grow to appreciate if not exactly love[!] those 'pterras' that dived down upon you right from the word go). I had the privilege of seeing this game just before it was published (when the jeep [by Richard Lawther of 'Astrodelica' fame] was still a 'hover-jeep') and I felt then that there was nothing I disliked about the game at all. Perhaps minor quibbles now would be the darkness of all the external areas and the underwater tunnels (despite the 'scintillations' of the latter); and in the somewhat cramped 'moving blocks' room where you couldn't move about exactly as you felt you ought to be able because you couldn't stand on or run over the moveable blocks - plus a certain amount of 'jumping about' was necessary to cause some of the blocks to shift position. But these are minor quibbles and though I haven't played some of the other 'great' levels yet this is still # 2 for me (after 'Crusade'). [And I still prefer the so-descriptive title 'hover-jeep' for the little cutie!]" - rjb (24-Oct-2003)
"'Losing Your Marbles' is an appropriate name for this level. I nearly lost mine ;-). Thank you Michael for posting a walkthrough. I referred to it a few times. This does not mean that I did not like the level. I like all things that are original and Losing Your Marbles certainly is. I eventually noticed Richard Lawther credited. It did remind me of Richard's Astrodelica levels. I did like the non linear aspect of the gameplay and I found the puzzles are not for novices. The enemies I thought were a little surreal. This does not mean bad but raptors in an alien environment? Different. The atmosphere was superb especially during the marble jeep rides. The special background music gave the ride a fairground feel. These rides were great fun. All this capped off with an ending which finished the level off beautifully gave a very enjoyable experience throughout. Once again Michael shows us that he is up there among the truly great level builders." - Jez (06-Oct-2003)
"Well this is today (Sep 23 2003) the last level from Michael Prager of course has his style but in many ways more professional than the others. This is a well balanced level between enemies action and thinking puzzles. There are three parts that I enjoyed specially. First the rolling balls because you have to think a little in a creative puzzle I liked but I must say that it was much easier than the one at the Blue Sphere. Second the part where you have to run against time very hard very limited the time to get the secret was very hard. Third the part with the torch it was beautiful and imaginative congratulations. Now the bad things in gameplay: some bugs and many parts where Lara can go in and there are no way to go out! Especially with the umbrella car. In other way level is terribly hard and tricky Lara must do movements in the limit of what you use to do in normal Tombraider games and what you never do that was a little tired obviously this level is not for newbies just for advanced tombraider players. But the part I didn't enjoy was trying to drive that umbrella fortunately I fell in a corner going in reverse and discovered a way to save almost the 80% of the road. Now lets try enemies and objects a very good work with new objects and enemies but the best part are secrets some very hard and others very beautiful as the final track for the umbrella. Atmosphere and sound are also beautiful but the camera work really impressed me in an excellent way. Now textures and lights beautiful textures but not always put in the correct size or triangle section rotated in wrong way (this means one point less). There are many areas without lights so Lara looks plane (this means another point less). I recommend to play this level it is very imaginative but really very hard and not for beginners. Congratulations Michael." - Juan Carlos (24-Sep-2003)
"I don't mean this level as a high difficulty game but many of the jumps must be done in the last extreme and many of the solutions for going from one place to another are not too clear you need to walk around a lot to find the answer. The more hard parts of the game are those against time (specially the secret that I couldn't get) and the jumps at slopes. In the puzzles I prefer those from the Blue Sphere. I liked very much the atmosphere the sound and cameras (for cameras I should rate 11). There are many new objects and textures that I really liked a lot. Enemies produce a strong psychological impression but are not too hard to kill (well four pterodactils at the same time are hard to kill). It is a pain that level needs lights because Lara and objects cannot be enjoyed as they should be. But there is a reward: after too many jumps and race against clock a russian mountain and a walk trough the stars. This level is a good one to be played." - Lorena (24-Sep-2003)
"I was not only losing my marbles but also my patience in this game. But because I was curios how this game would develop I just had to cheat. I cheated with the 2. and 3. timed run and also at the endless drive with the marble jeep. Mind you I really had lots of tries each time before I used the cheat. The atmosphere in this level appeared to me cold and sterile. I suppose that it was meant that way. There are some interesting parts in this game e.g. the puzzles. I liked the marble jeep till I had to use it. Driving it is really a challenge. Lara met pterodactyls guys looking like Larson and raptors and she had to eliminate them. She collected 2 Stars 3 Gems 2 Scrolls and in the end had 5 secrets in her knapsack. If you like outer space environment and are not scared to try the almost impossible in between then you should attempt this level." - Monika (22-Sep-2003)
"Wow! The end sequences but I'll get to that. The added sounds for this level are great the music is great and fits perfectly with the level. The weapon sounds are good too. The texturing is very plain and simple. Lighting is a little odd but it's meant to be so I guess that's ok. You can see the look and feel Michael is going for but I just don't think he achieved it he came close. So what about gameplay well the timed runs were annoying after awhile. I hate timed runs they just don't fit into the way I like to raid if you're like me don't be put off by this. A lot has been said about the timed runs in this level so I was hesitant about playing but they are a minor part to the level and not that hard. The gate puzzle with the marbles just play around with the levers to work out what's what and then think. Now this was my type of raiding it was great. And then there's the jeep looks great makes good sounds when you hit things (so I ran into a lot of wall on purpose). But that bloody thin little track if the secret track wasn't there to have fun on then the jeep would be a minus to gameplay. And then there's the end sequences this is the best TR cut scene ever and I don't think it will be topped this is the real reason to play this level. You have to see it for yourself so download this level." - LePerk (16-Aug-2003)
"If 'Losing Your Marbles' does reflect Lara's dreams she needs the number of my psychiatrist (he's that good - just ask the voices). If the game reflects Michael's dreams - well he is an academic and we know about them don't we! Quite an interesting level this. It certainly isn't for those of us who are looking to play classic Tomb Raider. The game has little to do with TR on the surface but scrape away the 'oddness' and the nightmare is open for observation (maybe interpretation at some level). The cowboy dude from TR 1 is multiplied. The all too challenging jeep rides are multiplied in the motorized half sphere. The ever pain in axx torch challenges are present in a truly brilliant torch puzzle. The block puzzles that seem to never make any sense are represented by a block puzzle that seems not to be a block puzzle. I could go on. The comparisons for a nightmare evaluation are imho terrific and Michael deserves a 10 for insight. The game stands on its own if you recognize it is not TR. I believe expert and above average players will enjoy it but average and below average players will simply survive it living in the Forum trying to learn how to get from stuck position to stuck position. Play is not linear AT ALL. At least I never knew where I was going OR WHY. Logic suggested the falling balls were positive. But I must admit I did little more than swim from hole to hole until the game was over. I did not know which hole to go to next EVER. Puzzles were wonderful! Getting the 'floating ball' to fall by moving a block to an obvious square was frustrating as hell. I knew immediately what I had to do but accomplishing it was nice and hard. Well done Mr. Prager. The Torch puzzle was also fantastic from start to finish. I did nothing but sit and think for 10 minutes before I had Lara embark on the first leg of the torch's trip. Great puzzle! The block puzzles had me completely stumped. I did not know it was a puzzle until I was stuck - nothing to do. I revisited the area among other places and discovered the puzzle by accident! Brilliant. The opening three timed runs almost had me quit the game. The first two were much too easy and the third I was convinced couldn't be done. I still have my doubts. (Has anyone save for Michael done the third run?) The runs can be challenging but the challenges are mechanical in nature and are based on little more than saving at the right time if you can't put all the moves together in one smooth run. (Hint if you need it save when Lara is in mid jump or fall so that the save doesn't cost any time.) Enemies all died too easily. I would expect Lara's nightmares to include enemies that put up a good fight! Atmosphere was what Michael imagines Lara's nightmares might look like. I can't argue the point. The atmosphere worked for me but understand how some might find the settings too bleak. The ending which has Lara burning as she is whisked through the universe of her imagination is very interesting on at least two levels. The most obvious is that Lara appears to be burning to death. Did the player! No says the singing. But she's burning! Fire always means death in Tomb Raider. Always! Then Lara is floating in space waiting for the player to propel her as though she is swimming. So Lara's nightmare ends with her finding safety in that which is always fatal? And the fire leaves Lara floating in a strange universe? Has her dream shown her to be lost lacking direction? Michael's game leaves me with a lot to think about and it gave me hours of playing fun. To wrap this up well done Michael. The game is thought provoking on many levels and frustrating enough in play to be a very good challenge. Bravo." - Dougsan (05-Aug-2003)
"Playing this level of Michael's gives me the sense that it has an underlying mathematical feel and knowing his penchant for numbers I'm not surprised. Set in an ultra weird outer space environment (in Lara's dream) you start in an area with 9 floating islands with confusing dark water tunnels that connect them in ways beneath the surface and your aim in this weird land is to drop 17 marbles by sometimes complex to work out puzzles sometimes physically hard to complete puzzles. Some of these puzzles include a 9 boulder/lever/gate one that was just plain tricky three timed identical runs where each one got harder with extra obstacles and tighter times a couple of movable block puzzles both combining raising blocks and other puzzles but the rollercoaster rides that you take on a new vehicle if you can call it that as it is so small were not my favourite thing as the vehicle was not easy to manoeuvre and you are on thin tight bending tracks hovering in space. You may feel baffled when playing this and wonder if it is worth going on this is how I felt but if you persevere it all unfolds before you and is a really rewarding experience. If I had to pick a real low point in this 70 minute level then it would have to be the onslaught at the start where you are just pummelled by pterodactyls and Larson lookalikes very unfair Mikey but once you get past that the enemies aren't much of a factor except for some raptors here and there. All I can say is that if these are the types of dreams our poor Lara is having then I think there is a psychologist's couch with her name on it!" - Sash (10-Jul-2003)
"Although I have been beta-testing other levels this one had me going for quite a while almost 3 weeks. You could say I did loose my marbles a bit. 'There are some pet-hates of you in this level' wrote Michael yeah right. The game starts with nine floating island (how I hate that) and after overcoming my initial fear I could jump from one to the other. Finding that scroll and reading it it will become clearer what your goal is. The fight with those pterodactyls is THE adrenaline rush you'll ever have. Not even mentioning those baddies who will try to make it even more complicated. To be honest I only played the demo as I was not planning to do those three timed runs again (get into the rhythm I kept saying at the TR meeting LOL). The puzzles Michael thought up are very clever and very very tough. Then I came to the roller coaster I just couldn't make it even in that cute little car. Not because it was too difficult as that it was but because of my fear of heights. People with a vertigo problem know exactly what I mean you feel drawn into the abyss no matter what. So I cheated here with the consent of Michael. Getting a crowbar two stars and three gems as that is what you need. Later you'll get the torch and there is a novel way to jump with the torch higher than you think. The ending is mind blowing just beautiful. All in all I am not a big fan of the Astrodelica type levels and I just couldn't get into the game like I give a wide berth to the Japanese levels and I probably would have with this level if I wasn't asked to beta test it. Found 4 secrets. 04-07-2003" - Gerty (10-Jul-2003)
"It took me a long time just to get going. As soon as the flyby stops you must get moving quickly to deal with I don't know how many pteranadons attacking you. When I finally got rid of them the Larson quadruplets started. Lara's outfit is great. I also liked the sound of the weapons. The scene is 'islands' in space with waterholes and underwater tunnel system (shades of Seven Islands here). The first waterhole I jumped into led to a corridor with three timed runs. Saving as you go along the timed runs is a good idea. No rest for the wicked though as there are raptors about. The third run is very difficult at the end. Onto the room where you release 9 marbles by using 6 switches the aim is to get the three on the right into those holes. There's supposed to be a theory here but I did it only by trial and error. Each time you complete a puzzle you get a view of the marbles you've just released rolling along a track in outer space brilliant. Swimming on again to more puzzle rooms like the puzzle of pushing blocks and trying to get one up two layers of ledges to drop a marble hanging from the centre of the room. I had great fun riding that little spacemobile on the long spacetrack. It's a little difficult to maneuver but I laughed so much every time Lara fell off. I jumped into the centre island hole to find another spacemobile and a good looking indoor spaceship setting. Got totally confused as there didn't seem to be anything to do there except pull switches to alter the slopes nothing to do that is until near the end. The one great thing about this level is if you have missed something you can always go back and get it. The globe room puzzle was very easy in the end where you get the torch and from there you go out on the spacetrack yourself that you saw the boulders run along in the flybys. Bring the torch with you after lighting the three pedestals because you'll be doing some more stuff with it later on. It's very obvious the amount of thought that's gone into this level and Mr.P is the master puzzleman. But this time he has created a great environment around the puzzles. I'm not sure about the look of the first area with the islands or the textures in the tunnels but all the other areas were brilliant. The level is non-linear and you can get confused about where you've been where you're going and what exactly you need to do. I did and I was hovering between 9 and 10 for gameplay for a long while. The other odd thing I thought was in this space/ship environment enemies were dinosaurs and the Larson gang but then again this is supposed to be Lara's dream/nightmare! After the initial pandemonium enemies are placed well and not too many of them. This is one of those levels that I will remember for a long time to come. Very well done Mr.Prager." - CC (07-Jul-2003)
"My impression of this level is that it is more in the Japanese vein of level-building. It's not ridiculously difficult a la 'Eye of Eve' but puzzles difficult timed runs and hard skill sequences are definitely the centerpiece of this work. I did resort to something that I'm usually too lazy to do. In the case of one puzzle involving many marbles doors pressure pads and levers I actually had to resort to an elaborate chart on paper to get through it. Still it only made the satisfaction of solving it that much greater. I also learned a new move to get through one jump sequence (thanks Richard). The timed runs are also deftly designed and not more of the usual. Add to that the completely non-linear yet logical gameplay and this level earns the top mark in that category in my opinion. Enemies really don't factor in too much although it's fun to squash a couple raptors with the brilliantly rendered 'marble jeep' (credit given to Richard Lawther on the load screen). All this is set in the rather other-wordly atmosphere of 'floating islands' connected by water tunnels (remember 'Seven Islands'?) leading to various rooms where the real business takes place. Atmosphere and texturing are fine and technically competent but some aspects especially the underwater tunnels were rather bland. Contrast this with a really spectacular fly-by ending and rip-roaring roller coaster ride on the marble jeep (make sure you get the crossbow so you don't miss this last) and you have a level which definitely falls into the 'must-play' category. It's been a while since Michael has released a level but it's obvious from this one that 'an old dog' can indeed learn some new tricks." - Tombaholic (02-Jul-2003)
"This is one of those reviews I had studiously avoided writing as I genuinely don't believe I am qualified to pen it; in much the same way that a Football fan wouldn't know how to subjectively review a Tennis match (or any other pastime he had no interest in). However the Designer himself has asked me for my opinion so here it is in all its honesty. This is a well-made level no doubt about that with a devastatingly clever succession of logic puzzles and a fantastically challenging series of timed-runs. Yet it possesses everything I dislike about a TR level (and here comes that familiar roll-call!); zany futuristic textures; a space-age theme; gameplay which involves standing around feeling like a lemon for very long periods of time; a severely harsh difficulty level which would completely deter the casual gamer and a sameness in some of the subterranean surroundings which engenders that feeling that you're not absolutely certain whether or not you've been to that particular area before. The funny little hover vehicle was cute but was irrefutably the final straw for me; it was murderously difficult to maneuver which after such a hard puzzle based gameplay prior to its appearance should have provided the level with a few harmless thrills but instead actually had me wishing for a return to the 'standing around like a lemon' scenario. Make no mistake. Those who love this sort of gameplay approach will adore this (and justifiably so). Those who prefer running exploring and mindless shooting should give this the very wide berth they no doubt also give to all other levels of this particular genre." - Orbit Dream (01-Jul-2003)
"I've never seen such an appropriate title for a Tomb Raider level! Some of the puzzles were so tough I thought I'd never solve them but at the same time were so clever and enjoyable that I couldn't quit until I had solved them - the kind of puzzles I wish I could come up with myself. It's nice to see things like boulders used in a way that is different than the usual or in other words it's great to see a boulder used in a way other than having it rolling down a slope towards Lara. The atmosphere reminded me a bit of the Seven Islands level with nine small islands floating in space most of them connected by underwater tunnels with hidden areas in these tunnels containing the puzzles. There are three gems two golden stars and a crowbar to collect along the way and apparently five secrets though I only found two. I'd love to tell all the cool things about this level like the great new vehicle that looks like a work of art the six lever nine boulder puzzle that I just LOVED Lara's cool new outfit and the roller coaster track but you'll just have to see all these things for yourself cause you have to play this level! It's great to see an author really concentrate on making great puzzles and you'll really need to use your brain here. Please make us more puzzles like these Mike!" - RaiderGirl (27-Jun-2003)
"Well well what do we have here another level from the boss himself lol. Let me say that this time he has done it this is a very good level and very challenging. It has timed runs one came from hell underwater tunnels that reminded me of 'Seven Islands' and the grenade gun secret it is definitely his favourite item to hide. I remember that as well from Seven Islands. Starting somewhere in space who knows Lara faces several floating islands and a guy that looked like Larson shooting at her. Pterodactyls and dinos are after her as well. The game begins after a nice flyby and soon enough the player finds out this level is above medium in difficulty and with quite a variety of puzzles. Be prepared for some serious moving block puzzles a nine ball-six switches puzzle which isn't easy and much more. The secrets aren't very well hidden except one with a raising block but you need to complete hard tasks to get them. I laughed at first with that small vehicle but when I got to use it I found out it's not easy to control it. Nevertheless I enjoyed riding it and running on the tracks for a scroll. Gems stars are other items to collect. The end comes with a great view of the planets in the outer space. This is a superb game for the hard core players out there but for medium players as well. Definitely a level that can compete with all the new high standard levels recently released. Don't miss it." - Kristina (26-Jun-2003)
"Michael states in the readme that this is Lara's nightmare but he has made it ours! The nightmare of tricky jumps timed runs moving puzzles and a fabulous nightmare rollercoaster ride in the ever so cool marble jeep. Even though it is hard it is also fun and make sure your brain is wide awake for the mind-boggling puzzles tricks and traps. Also make sure you use the crossbow and the laser sight near the end to get one of the most spectacular surrealistic nightmare endings ever!" - G.Croft (23-Jun-2003)
"Wow this level has the best atmosphere from outer space that I've ever seen. Some objects were new and great. I liked the drive with the marble-jets through the galaxy. The space-car was very great. The end of the level is a masterpiece. The best level-ending I've ever seen. The enemies were flying dinosaurs and soldiers. You must find all 17 rolling balls and you must trigger them. The puzzles in this level were too hard. I only found the way for one puzzle out of four. I had to ask for the way and look in the walkthrough. And many thanks Michael and XXenofex for the help in this level. The textures are very fine and the new objects looks very great. This level is not for beginners. You must have a big brain to absolve the puzzles. I had a lot of fun to play this level but I was frustrated often. When you like hard puzzles this is the right level for you. The atmosphere and textures you must see." - Andi Croft (22-Jun-2003)
"Don't know on what drugs Michael was if he claims he could finish this in 2 months but the result is quite good. Lara is wearing an outfit which she could've worn in the Matrix if she had a role in it as of my understanding. The level starts with a massacre of many Larsons and pterodactyls and soon after finding the scroll you get to know what your quest here is. The quest for losing all of your marbles to get Lara back to reality is not the easiest but I don't think it was rather difficult either - 3 timed runs in a row a racetrack for a wicked vehicle movable block puzzle and a marble + door puzzle is what you can expect when you start it up in your level editor. The end came rather unexpectedly for me (you could feel that you're near the end in the final area but imagined that it would end a bit differently) but the final flyby was great and made very well. The level has a surreal feel to it - a bit like the Astrodelica levels so if you don't like those (the surreal levels) am not sure if you'll like this one too even if I always recommend people to try something else - definitely worth a try." - eTux (18-Jun-2003)
"It's an intriguing premise this - Lara's world of nightmares. The level does not ease you in gently. Barely have you registered your surroundings than several pteradons attack. Once you have seen them off you have time to notice that you are surrounded by baddies with guns. No I suppose after all her adventures she probably wouldn't be dreaming about fluffy bunnies. The setting is psychedelic and surreal - think Seven Islands on acid. Your ultimate aim is to release marbles to enable you to wake up from the nightmare. To achieve this you have to swim down tunnels from the 'islands' to find various rooms in which to accomplish a variety of tasks. Among these are a clever 3d block puzzle a hair-raising roller coaster ride on a super Richard Lawther vehicle a nine marble/six lever combination puzzle that will keep you quiet for a while and three timed runs each one more fiendish than the last. I liked the fact that the third and infinitely most difficult timed run wasn't essential for progression which gives the less able amongst us the opportunity to wimp out. Thank you for that much mercy Michael. There really is something for everyone here and as a puzzle lover I was delighted with the ingenuity shown in that aspect of the level. There are five secrets to be found and the last one is really sneaky! This is certainly no level for beginners but anyone with experience should download it right now. The audio files are nicely chosen and the ending is absolutely spectacular. Oh did I forget to mention the dinosaurs? Perhaps I'll let you find out about them for yourselves. 18.06.2003" - Jay (18-Jun-2003)
"Prepare for some frustration along the way. You get some mind bending puzzles (involving multi-lever set ups and moving blocks) a tricky rollercoaster ride three timed runs (the last and tightest one is optional though) along with some serious jumping. You start out on some floating islands and after a violent shoot-out you explore a dark underwater system that will eventually bring you to all the tasks in hand. I liked the way this adventure opens up in a seemingly non-linear fashion and there is no denying that it features one of the most diverse gameplays I have encountered for a long while. However the setting is a bit bleak in places and bearing in mind that it will take you quite some time to reach then end I think it would have been a good idea to add a bit more atmosphere. I'm not so sure about the choice of enemies either. The secrets are great but I wouldn't have found all of them without some external help (well maybe that is the point of secrets but make sure you get the crossbow so that you can experience the timed drive near the end). Quite clearly this is the work of someone who has played 900+ levels and is trying to come up with something new and the great achievement in my view is that Michael has succeeded to some degree. Take the very complex torch puzzle for instance. And still at times you have the feeling that the author thought it more important to show off with his cleverness than provide the player with enjoyable gameplay or a believable storyline. If you look for some proper challenges in a slightly surreal space-station this is the level to play; but if you prefer to amble through more traditional settings with only the occasional death along the way you might want to try something else. The nice end makes up for some of the frustration though." - Dimpfelmoser (17-Jun-2003)