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Challenge of Ba by Raymond

CC 8 8 8 8
Gerty 5 7 8 7
Kristina 9 8 8 9
Magnus 9 8 9 8
manarch2 9 8 8 8
MichaelP 10 6 8 7
Navi 9 8 8 8
RaiderGirl 7 8 8 8
Sash 5 6 6 5
Tombaholic 10 7 8 8
Treeble 8 9 9 8
Yoav 8 8 8 8
release date: 20-Jun-2003
# of downloads: 70

average rating: 7.83
review count: 12
review this level

file size: 38.10 MB
file type: TR4
class: Egypt

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Could this be the ultimate tut1 experience? I'm not sure it's the very best using said assets out there, but the author has certainly broke the usual mold of standard beginner levels with fairly tricky jump sequences. None seemed particularly difficult having played through the dreadful CIL just a few days prior to this one, but the author has made an ingenious use of shatterable vases so often times your platforming sequence gets sprinkled with a vase you need to shoot through a narrow crack in the wall before proceeding to save Lara from dying. The second half has a very intriguing dual layered puzzle with lots of opening and closing gates which, I'm not going to lie, drove me insane as the walkthrough was giving me the right pointers but I was failing to follow them properly. Beyond that point it was fairly more streamlined, until the bonus level that is. I like how it's a demo version of an unfinished level the author has casually inserted at the end. The bonus level itself was rather tiresome, with too many levers and doors you need to open and close several times as the level design is ingenious as open doors will close off side paths. By the fourth lever I had completely lost track of which door and lever was which - and I actually called it quits when the walkthrough simply stated "now you have to close doors 2 and 4", as if I would remember whichever those were. I roamed around a little bit, not really making any progress on my own (some experienced raider, huh?) and figured I was one paragraph away from the actual finish trigger so I might as well just fake it. 105 minutes, 5 secrets. 11/22" - Treeble (20-Nov-2022)
"Ba 1 (10-8-9-8): An absolutely stunning level with especially great gameplay. What you get here are tons of unique tasks to do from start to finish, all rather on the difficult side but never getting frustrating: Starting with a clever platforming sequence in which you need to jump on several slopes to activate a door, a fun triggering-and- avoiding of several boulders, ... I could go on forever like this. Everything was sophisticated to the maximum here with doors that need to be closed to reveal new passages or vase shooting sequences of the extreme kind but managable with some thorough planning (it must have taken ages to build these rooms). There never was a dull moment as the action never stops and the builder never lets you wander around too much without presenting the next task. The classic Egyptian atmosphere was quite convincing and the texturing and lighting was mostly solid even if there were some smaller mistakes and not correctly applied lights. The enemies play a minor role in this level but when the builder placed enemies, then either introduced with nice sound or a small camera hint which I found very good. Every builder out there who wants to know what "love to detail" is, try out this level, which surprisingly manages to be great without a big texture set or any new tools. Also liked the water flow passage closer to the end and the hand that is visible in the first level but actually can be picked up in the second level, without any normal interconnection between the two. Found two secrets in this level, one of them I would call an "expert" one with a very hard to shoot vase. 45 minutes.
Ba 2 (8-7-7-7) - This level was mostly fun too, but hands down it cannot be compared to the first level. As ingenious the trigger maze might seem, it's fairly getting annoying after some time as it's way too dark in here, it's easy to get stuck and last but not least several triggers didn't have a camera hint, and the only timed one was pretty annoying as it's hard to let the camera return to Lara. Apart from the permanently present darkness, the more you explore this level, the better it gets, with again a few boulder dogdes, vase shootings and a really good timed run including being faster than an opening door. There still were several unnecessary things in here, as at one point it's necessary to catch fire to progress or at another there is a too easy to miss switch which leads to quite a bit of backtracking through some gas-filled tunnels, but some other gameplay elements such as the two-rope room mostly compensate these. The overall ambience is a little more functional as in the first level, with a rather blocky and uninspired appearance, but it still is solid enough to present the gameplay well, which obviously is the main purpose of this levelset. The two secrets were both reachable with curve jumps, I found that pretty fair as there were no other jumps of this sort but for the mentioned secrets, and when you find the last one you even get access to the bonus level after entering the final outside area. 35 minutes.
Bonus Level: Starts rather nicely with a nice outside area and you have to kill a ninja and his dog (is that one custom made? Not sure.) and a little stealth along with inventing a strategy to not get inflamed by some sentryguns, but the adjacent door maze was a little too confusing for my taste and there also were missing camera hints and all in all it was a little too large, even if there were some smaller features in it that seemed quite well done and would have been great if they were included partially in the other two levels, as doors that need to be opened and closes in order to reveal several passages, the trigger/antitrigger tiles for one door and finally a timed run for the objective of the level - the nitro. The sole secret in this level was very cleverly hidden (the best in the whole set) using some sort of elevator. However, the door for the motorcycle somehow opened way earlier than intended and thus it was possible to reach the end of the level even without the nitro, so that the final actions somehow seemed to be worthless. 20 minutes.
Summary: Such a level without a review for such a long time? I think it is one of the better classic old levels I have played by now and at least the first level was quite a gem, so I hope the next review won't take another eight years to come - recommended for all raiders out there but the very beginners." - manarch2 (20-Mar-2012)
"Compared to this Eye of Eve and Meganebashi were a walk in the park smelling the flowers. I was writing the walkthrough while playing it which meant I had to redo stuff to make sure it wasn't just pure luck. Apart from that I had to reload hundreds of time just to do a single action. This is a very hard level and I wouldn't recommend it to beginners or even to experienced people who aren't nifty with their fingers. But like all the tough levels when you finish you get such a feeling of accomplishment that's hard to beat. If you finish this you can consider yourself one of the best players out there. Consequently it's very hard to score this level it is a great challenge no doubt but because it's not for everybody I can't give it a high gameplay score and giving the wrong impression. There were places I was willing to abandon the level; one was a difficult swim through a sink where you have to pick up a medpack that opens a door; another was a timed run with slope trigger ladder backflip/twist jump crawlspace drop and run. There are a few of those hang twist shoot holster and grab actions. It's not a sprawling level you see the different areas through windows as you go you see items that you can't get at one way but get later on from another direction and you travel across the same areas a number of times. Even the outside is not large. The first two Ba1 and Ba2 are Egyptian (tut wad) and the Bonus level is Newcity/Coastal. This bonus level is intriguing with trying to open doors in tunnels and later closing them to reveal other tunnels and a peculiar rising block to get your goal - armour. The author has obviously put a lot of time into designing this level. And after all that hard work the ending is so frustratingly disappointing. If you do decide to play it may the force be with you." - CC (07-Mar-2004)
"I loved 'Jump Like an Egyptian' and was really eager to play this level when I realised that it existed. It kind of sneaked up on me and I just stumbled across it when I was looking for short levels to play. Needless to say I installed this level almost immediately. I'm always up for a challenge when it comes to tomb raiding and this level (well there are actually three levels) is filled with challenges. Fun challenges no less. I've played 'Eye of Eve' and I've played 'Meganebashi' but although those two levels were challenging they weren't much fun. The reason to that? The simple fact that ninety percent of the challenge comes from you not knowing where to go. In 'Challenge of Ba' however you know where to go most of the time and the challenge lies in actually getting there. There are a lot of tricky jumps and if you've played the author's previous level you'll recognise a few rooms. The jump for the last secret (not counting the one in the bonus level) was the same as in 'Jump Like an Egyptian' for example. The bonus level was a great addition since it really makes you use your brain. Although there were a few times when I was running around pushing levers at random the level often gave me the feeling of being one step ahead of the builder. I finished the main quest in one hour and the bonus level in just under twenty minutes but that's just because I loaded a lot of times. I've played much longer than that and was only really frustrated a few times which I think is really impressive in a level like this. The texturing is good most of the time and it looks just like in those other five hundred Egyptian levels. The enemies are what you would expect - a few ninjas some mummies a scorpion or two... Nothing challenging. This level isn't about enemies though - it's about gameplay. And it has a lot of that." - Magnus (29-Jan-2004)
"Where is that fine line between 'challengingly fun' and 'irritatingly frustrating'? A question oft debated in reviews and forum posts. I'm not quite sure myself and I suppose it depends upon a lot of factors not least of which might be the player's mood when starting such a level. Well I guess I started this one at the right time because I was totally engrossed. This is to be sure a 'F6 Fiesta' of a level and while that can become tiresome in this case the overall gameplay is so sharp that I didn't mind reloading - oh maybe 300 times! As noted there are lots of tricky jumps challenging timed runs and other skill moves required to get through this and yet they are all really quite achievable and give a great sense of satisfaction when you succeed. The setting is very much Egyptian tomb (except for the bonus level) but it's cleverly mapped out and the texturing and lighting are as good as can be using the Tut1 texture set. Enemies and objects are nothing special but the secrets are hard to get (not just hard to find). The only major complaint I have is that Lara can climb out of the water illegally at one point which will end up in a great deal of confusion for the player. Otherwise if you enjoy a good test of your keyboard dexterity you'll definitely want to take the Challenge of Ba." - Tombaholic (14-Jan-2004)
"Finally these three levels are behind me. I played them about four days and had a lot of difficulty to play the Egypt level. OK well it's not easy levels; many gates to open; hard jumps when around you there is deadly water. The rooms are like mazes with crawlspaces and traps. The Bonus Level is a maze too but looks like the city. There are many doors to open and to find the nitrous oxide feeder to the motorbike but what a disappointment: the level ends before we can drive." - Yoav (06-Jan-2004)
"Sorry didn't like this one whatsoever and I've got a feeling the real name of this level was 'Challenge of Bloody Annoyance'! There are three levels the third a bonus one and each of them is laid out very maze like so that I was just disoriented a lot of the time the first two also seem to be remakes with added areas of 'Jump like an Egyptian' but amped us so that the difficulty factor is right up there. Sure there are some really nice moments and moves but I was reloading so often the ink on my F6 button was all but worn off well that's an exaggeration but you get my drift. This is one for the masochists who love to be tortured I am not one of these and sure I desire a level of high challenge but not of debilitating challenge. Play it but you've been warned!" - Sash (18-Sep-2003)
"It's my own person theory that this author is really Japanese and only pretends to be from Germany. Does that give you any idea what the level is like? Usually I can sit down and play through most levels fairly quickly this one I spent days on though with its many maze like areas and underwater tunnels hidden vases to shoot and areas that were extremely difficult to get to. I spent a lot of time looking through grates at places I needed to be and wondering how to get there drowning and reloading in the underwater tunnels and just plain wondering what I needed to do next. This is perfect if you're looking for a good challenge as the name implies but lately I prefer a level that is more fun than challenging." - RaiderGirl (18-Sep-2003)
"Although I do love tricky jumping this one had me going for a long while. This level will make you put on your thinking cap as everything is not so clear cut as it may seem. And after finishing it I have to admit that I didn't like it that much. It has not so much to do with the jumping but what really pissed me off was those underwater areas and the tight corners and everything looked so much the same that most of the time I was hopelessly lost For me it felt like I was trapped in the most difficult maze there is and I hate mazes. As for the jumping you really have to try the most outrageous jumps and if you think that you can't do it do it anyway with or without a twist. And if that is not enough there are some traps as well to avoid. And if you finally think that you are finished and enter a nice bonus level...... well think again. 10-08-2003" - Gerty (15-Aug-2003)
"Those two levels plus bonus level were not easy. The design is very diverse the puzzles smartly built. You really had to get the idea first and watch for special texturing. Lara needs to dive a lot maneuvre water mazes and master some nice jumps. There were levers to pull some timed and some traps added (boulders). Not easy at all. You need some persistence to master it - a nice mix. There are several puzzle pieces to find. Unfortunately some areas were rather dark and that made it even more difficult ;) as the builder provided flares very scarcely. Enemies were SAS crocodiles and skeletons. Cameras and sound were ok. Graphically it was solid too (except for a few places). At the end Lara finds the nitro and the bike - maybe there will be a sequel. I found 5 secrets. All in all a good level you should try it ;)" - Navi (07-Aug-2003)
"Many of the players will find this very difficult. They are right - I did too. Being in an Egyptian setting which is not my favourite Lara has to explore each area very carefully as hints are scattered around and perform some very tricky jumps. A few of them are about climbing a ladder jump-draw guns shoot a vase then holster and grab the ladder again. No no don't go - not all of the level is like that. The rest has an underwater maze with a current all the items in the level must be shattered or picked up as they are triggers for doors. I know it might sound painful but although I was often frustrated I enjoyed it a lot. Every hand you need to collect is a small adventure the two pieces of the eyes were easier to get so was one of the four if I am not mistaken cartouches. That one is for a bonus level and if you think because it's in the end it will be easier think again. It's even more challenging with SAS a dog and sentry guns. There are levers trigger tiles and many doors down there which will eventually lead you to the nitro oxide feeder and that will open the big double doors outside for your escape. I admit it's one hell of a level but I do recommend it I am sure many of us are tired from the easy ones so let's test our raiding skills shall we?!" - Kristina (01-Jul-2003)
"Ba1+2 (10/6/8/7 80+50 min. 2+2 secrets): In one word: Intriguing! This is set in standard Tut1/Egypt environment. Do I hear you yawn!? Well think again. This will provide the hardened raider with the need for a number of utterly brilliant acrobatic moves in order to jump from A to B or to shoot a vase here or there or to find the right switches to turn a deadly pool into a healthy one and so on. The whole location is nicely interconnected (even between Part 1 and 2) and often brings you back to places you have been to before. Maybe I did not like the underwater areas so much because I drowned a few times too often and sometimes the maze like feeling is a bit overwhelming but the quest for the hand and then four cartouche pieces in part one and two more hands and two eyepieces in Part 2 was highly entertaining for me. Only a few ninjas scorpions and mummies as enemies and three not very rewarding secrets (shotgun ammo and crossbow) although the moves to shoot the vase to open the entrance to one of them are great (think: jump draw weapons shoot jump put weapons away grab - phew!). The fourth secret (cartouche) allows you access to the bonus level. This double level does require quite a bit of skill as most of the times it is pretty clear WHAT to do but the HOW will keep you busy. In that sense it really could also be called 'Jump Like an Egyptian 2'. A few more cameras would be helpful especially on some of the more enigmatic trigger tiles. Bonus Level (not rated 15 min. 1 secret): Not so sure with this add-on. It is a very confusing maze of trigger tiles jump switches timed sequences swinging ball shooting trap doors and many doors opening and closing. Not sure I even did this the intended way but somehow I guess I was just lucky to find the armor secret the nitro and then my way back out to the bike where this ends. Edit: Since I played it the author has provided a revised version and fixed a few things in Ba2 and in the Bonus Level so you should not encounter the confusion I had in the bonus level." - Michael (23-Jun-2003)