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Level: Surouth's Five Skulls back home search
Author(s): Lindet
total rating:6.50 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Akcy 0 3 4 5
alan 6 6 7 7
CC 4 4 7 7
eTux 7 6 6 5
Gerty 5 7 8 8
Jay 7 7 7 7
Jose 3 6 6 7
Kristina 4 7 8 8
Magnus 4 3 4 4
MichaelP 8 6 8 8
Necro 7 4 8 7
Orbit Dream 7 6 7 8
Phabius Phodes 10 8 7 8
Phil 6 7 7 8
RaiderGirl 8 7 8 8
Ryan 6 6 7 7
Sash 7 7 6 8
Scottie 7 7 7 9
The Aussie Adventurer 4 6 6 6
Tombaholic 9 8 8 8
Torry 2 6 9 9
Treeble 6 7 7 7
category averages
(22 reviews)
5.77 6.09 6.91 7.23

Reviewer's comments

"If you're fond of Young Lara levels, then this could be quite a worthy choice to go for. I myself am not the biggest fan, but putting aside my personal choices, this on isn't so bad. It mainly entails quite a large amount of exploration, but I did enjoy passing the trap sequences and the interesting jumping puzzles, plus the underwater setups were actually well done. It could be quite buggy in places, so you may want to have the walkthrough not too far away (and my post in the Walkthrough Forum might alleviate frustration with that final lever puzzle. The surroundings are rather plain, although they still manage to evoke some sort of jungle atmosphere and the badly marked ladders were a bad choice, but those aside it isn't a bad level." - Ryan (04-Nov-2018)

"Couldn't finish the level due to a bug I found in the room with the 4 mummies. After pushing the switch and running into the passage there was a dead end. I didn't know how to solve it. But the beginning area is quite well built and India textures from TR3 were used well. Climbable walls (ladders) aren't textured as such. Some varied lighting in some rooms was missing. The quest for the skulls is fun. I recommend it but be aware of the bugs." - alan (30-Aug-2017)

"I normally shy away from Young Lara levels, not because of the lack of weapons (god mode takes care of that) but because of the inability to use flares, which puts you at the mercy of the builder's light-providing decisions. Fortunately, in this case there's plenty of light, so that's not a problem. The reviews mention many bugs, as well as a readme that's not included with the level download for some reason. In any event, when I got to the water channel about 25 minutes into the level, where you push a floor lever and a spike ball rolls out into the water, I assume it's supposed to break through a lattice grate at the bottom of a shaft and drain the channel so you can push another floor lever down below. In my case, the spike ball didn't do that but would always come to rest on top of the grate after many tries, so I was unable to continue. Jose says the same thing in his review. Maybe a solution was addressed in the builder's readme (which we don't now have), but since it's not mentioned in any of the reviews I decided to quit the game. However, on impulse I went back later, fired up the level and restored from my last savegame, and this time it worked! I forged ahead and got another 25 minutes of gameplay, following Harry Laudie's walkthrough meticulously, and experienced only one other glitch until the end. In the room with the four mummies, the gate opened to a blank wall after all was said and done. I tried the same trick I'd tried earlier, and upon reload the gate passage was extended so that I could climb out and continue. All went smoothly from there until I got to the final room with the four floor switches. Pushing those switches did nothing, leaving me trapped in the room. But since the walkthrough indicates this is the end of the level anyway, I exited with somewhat of a sour taste in my mouth after having experienced a complex, moderately difficult and largely satisfying raid. But for the several potentially game-stopping moments, this would have been a level that I could have recommended unreservedly." - Phil (02-Nov-2016)

"When I started this level in a very huge area I thought: "Oh, my God! But it was not what I was thinking. If you explore an area there's not a reason to go back and do tasks in the same area. The trick in the UW tunnel to finally land onto the left or right ledges was very nasty, but doable. The worst was (I think this level has any serious bugs) that when I used the floor lever to dry the water channel, it never worked for me and (after read the walkthrough) I had to abandone. It's a pain, 'cause I really enjoyed what I was playing." - Jose (18-Apr-2015)

"I'm not the biggest fan of young Lara levels, but I actually found myself quite enjoying this jungle set adventure from the early days of level building. It's far from perfect and has too many annoying features such as unmarked climbing textures/monkey swings, but for all that it's a fast paced romp through some quite atmospheric jungle settings. The few enemies that crop up (mainly crocodiles) are easily avoidable so the lack of weapons isn't a problem. Boulders and spike traps to negotiate and some swimming, plus throwing a lot of levers, adds up to an undemanding level, the main challenge coming from exploring what is rather a large area, with not a great many hints as to what to do next." - Jay (04-Mar-2015)

"Actually I do not like Young Lara-Levels. Because even if she is traveling without arms, still those opponents are in it such as bats, wild boars and crocodiles. There I ask myself always what's all this good for. Lara is absolutely defenceless, so why is there still opponents?
Well, here it is a little bit different. Though there are a few crocodiles and a few mummies, but they will not really annoying Lara. Lara must find in this Jungle level which plays in India five golden skulls. Sometimes they are easy to be get and sometimes one must exert himself a little. She must solve here lever riddle, dive several distances and climb a little. Two rope swing actions are also present.
The level is well built and textured. A problem are bugs in Flybys. It happens there several times which one puts down a lever which should release then, actually, a flyby. Though this also happens, but only for the fraction of one second. This is irritating of course. Equally annoying is when Flipmaps not work correctly One can open, e.g., where one finds the Secret, with a lever a door. Then behind it one can climb in a shaft upwards. Or not. Though Lara jumps upwards, but is hindered by a ceiling. There helps only an earlier Save to try it once more. There is a similar bug in the sewer system. Also annoying are the missing hints at lever riddles. It is not funny if one must play after the "Try and Error"-System. The same applies if as a lever puzzle for some reason does not work, but the door opens then suddenly because you're probably stepping on some Square.
Result: Who can live with such nuisances, finds here otherwise a well playable Young Lara-Level." - Scottie (09-May-2011)

"In my latest quest to play all of the earliest levels which have so far evaded my attention,I came to this one with some degree of trepidation.The other reviews all mention horrendous game-stopping bugs,which explains why I decided to proceed only by following the Walkthrough step by step (usually a practice I avoid wherever possible).In this way,I reached the end of the level after 55 enjoyable minutes and experienced absolutely no problems whatsoever.This,however,is a testament to the quality of the Walkthrough (Harry Laudie,take a bow!)rather than the level itself.I can confidently state that if I'd tried to go it alone it would have taken me all day,so large and completely non-linear is the playing area;and so unfair are many of the sequences (unmarked monkey-swings;booby-trapped levers).I can also appreciate the complaint that performing some tasks in the wrong order leads to complete impasses - although (due to the aforementioned Walkthrough) I had a completely smooth and bug-free journey.The gameplay,for all it's vagueness,contained many good ideas and ranged across a huge playing area;while texturing,although wallpaper'd on occasion,wasn't too bad; and lighting was often imaginative. As Jungle levels go,this wasn't as atmospheric as many;but it was one of the first and therefore deserves credit. Essentially,then,this is a fun and interesting explore; but probably only for those who don't mind cribbing." - Orbit Dream (02-Jul-2010)

"I had one problem with this level. I couldn't finish it. I got as far as the chamber with 4 mummies, I monkey swung along the roof and pulled the switch which opened the gate to an empty corridor. I understand that you are suppost to climb up a climbable wall but the ceiling is in the way. It's as if the two rooms were not joined at the right heights. If I'm playing a duff version then please point me in the direction of a working version. I think I downloaded this level about 18 months ago. Anyway, on with the review - what I played of it was refreshing to say the least. I haven't played many levels set in the jungle and this took me back to tr3. However, there are a few parts of gameplay that are confusing. I can get into the tree to get one of the skull pickups but theres no indication of how to get back down. the railing is in the way. Luckily I jumped in between and had enough health left to survive the long drop. Not sure if that is what the author intended though. It was enjoyable but I was a little gutted not to be able to finish it. I even tried loading it in the level editor to try and fix it but tr2prj crashed with it :(" - Necro (17-Oct-2007)

"Even if a pretty old level - with at least a little more effort from the author this could've been very good. The looks are a bit bland and the big area at times feels underused and pumped up in size just for the sake of it, but it never was so unappealing I considered giving up on the level as it has some pretty clever puzzle setups even for a level this age - at least I enjoyed the numerous traps and interesting setups. What ruins the level - for me to the point that I couldn't get the final skull (finding out that I should've got this as the first one from the walkthrough) and finish it legally was the presence of no less than 2 flipmap bugs, camera bugs, unmarked climbable walls, fall-through floors and booby traps. Some beta-testing could've done wonders here. That said - I really tried to overlook most of the things for the good things it offered and rated accordingly. Lots of problems, but it also had a lot of potential, and breaks the stereotype that there's nothing to do in Young Lara levels, so worth a look." - eTux (11-Oct-2007)

"Lot of things wouldn't happen the way they were supposed to, so had to go back to an earlier savegame, and go to the problematic spot without saving. Apart from the things mentioned in the readme, the lever in the sewers didn't lower the water, only if exited the game, and then started anew worked always once. After the room with mummies the opening at the ladder remained closed. Also the gate at the end in the room with four levers. Otherwise the layout is okay, the huge area with pyramid would be impressive, only the too repetitive textures made it dull. The tasks wouldn't have been bad, if it were tested properly and everything worked. Finally I got peevish, started all over again and went through the whole level without saving at all, as a challenge it was fine but this is not what makes a level exciting. Then everything worked well, except the four levers again, no matter what lever I pushed the gate didn't open, so I couldn't finish the level. This should not have been released like this. A pile of bugs! Avoid it as far as you can." - Akcy (08-Oct-2007)

"This level can only be described as painful. If you play this level, be prepared for no saving, alot of glitches and alot of restarting the level. If it hadn't been for all the glitches, this level might have been ok, however, that's not the case. The textures are ok, same with the camera and lighting. The level layout and design was average at best and the gameplay proved nothing overly exciting. If I had to give this level a grade, I would give it a D+, a fail mark." - The Aussie Adventurer (15-Feb-2005)

"I'm playing this almost three years after its release and reading the other reviews and comments in the forum I had the very same problems. Added to that I got a lot of butts and no enemies. And I was completely stuck in most of the areas. I started three times and went through it not saving as suggested. The look of the level is good albeit the size makes distant objects disappear. I liked the trees and the way the lake looked but it was strange to see a 'night-time' lake in a 'daytime' level. Allowing for its age I agree with everything Kristina says on this one." - CC (02-Feb-2004)

"I know that this is a very old level, but I still can't rate it any higher. Why? Well, there are so many things I didn't like about it, so I can't even remember all of them. The first thing that strikes you when you start the level is how ugly it looks. Yes, I know that it's not possible to make anything else than square trees, but there are other things that annoy me here. First of all, the whole area you start in is very flat. Sure, there is a pyramid, and even a couple of trees, but it still seems too flat to me. Also, the texturing isn't more than average, the lighting is bad and you can reach and see the end of the world numerous times. Enough about the look of the levels - now it's time to talk about the horrible bugs. First of all - the bug in the room with the mummies. How are you supposed to understand that you have to go back to a certain room to be able to get up from after the door (the lever that opens it can be reached the way Sash mentioned)? I would never have got past that place if it hadn't been for David's review. Second of all - the bug in the 'sewer'. The author was kind enough to mention this bug in the readme-file, but it was still very annoying since you can't save until you've pushed the lever that's underwater. The trip to the lever starts out innocent enough, with some climbing, crawling monkey-swinging and such. After a while tough, you have to get out of water fast enough, before it catches fire. Still, that's not very hard, but after you've pushed the lever you also have to figure out where to go next. I stood there for minutes trying to find a way back, before I finally got the courage to try to jump and grab a wall. Fortunately, there was an invisible crack there, so Lara didn't die. Third of all - the most annoying bug of them all (at least I think so). When you start the level you see a lever up in a tree. When you push that lever you can't save until you've picked up a skull that previously was behind some sort of glass. I had no idea what the lever did and therefore saved and reloaded numerous times and couldn't find a way to make the glass disappear. Finally I renamed 'jungle.tr4' into 'angkor.tr4' and played the level with the original script-files, which meant that I could use DOZY. That way I could play through the whole level without saving or loading, since I didn't have to be afraid of dying. Okay, enough about the bugs, let's talk about some other bad things in the level. There are a lot of climbing-surfaces that are hard to spot, and sometimes spikes shoot out where they really shouldn't shoot out. My advice is that you look closely on the textures that are a little different and don't exactly look like the rest of the textures in the area. On the bright side the level is non-linear and there aren't a lot of enemies, which some people will appreciate. The level takes about 30 to 35 minutes to finish if you are careful and don't get stuck because of a bug. If you decide to play this level I wish you good luck." - Magnus (29-Jan-2004)

"Just because I couldn't get this level to work I had to play it. Thanks to probably Michael for a better download so I was on my way. The author tells you that there are some bugs and yes there are bugs. And it is a shame that Andreas didn't fix them. The level itself is a young Lara and it is one of the nice ones as young Lara goes. Finding the skulls but that is much easier said than done. The level felt huge and finally finding the first lever way up in a tree gave me a great feeling. DO NOT save after flipping that lever as the skull is behind glass and when you save you undo the levers work. There are more spots and one of them has traps which are a pain in the neck as I died many times before I could conquer those. The brightness of this level is great but also a hindrance as it is sometimes hard to spot a crack or a hole you need to climb through. There are luckily not that many enemies but the one that are there were not that much of a threat (that was great) as Lara has no weapons. 21-03-2003" - Gerty (23-Mar-2003)

"Well this level is definitely overrated with so many serious bugs I can't possibly imagine how those marks passed. The atmosphere is nice Lara is in a jungle and has to find five skulls to finish the level plus push a lot of levers. I don't like levels with young Lara especially when there are areas very dark and obviously you have no flares or binoculars. The level is one big problem you can't save in many areas and not after you pushed a lever that means you go through traps with spike balls fire spikes with the fear of doing something wrong and having to start all over again. I started this four times and I was bound to finish it to be able to write a review and warn others as many reviewers think that it's ok if the author mentions the bugs in the readme excuse me but either way it's unacceptable to release a level like this even if it was two years ago and it's still not fixed. The gameplay is good with underwater areas currents a room with mummies with burning water and trees to climb. There can't be any fun though due to the bugs on the contrary it's highly frustrating to have to play for five or more minutes without saving. Crocodiles wild boars are enemies to be found with one crocodile getting stuck on the waterfall. I found one secret and I have no idea how long it lasted as the time I got thirty minutes is false because starting it four times means you know most of the puzzles by heart by then. My advise is to stay away from this level until there is an updated version." - Kristina (20-Mar-2003)

"What can I say about a level that is plagued with bugs? Even after waiting a year and downloading it again the author has not seen fit to rectify this. Well obviously he has little pride in his work. All I wish to say is that without all the flipmap problems that preclude you from progressing in various spots throughout the level this was a charming & colourful level. From the areas that I actually got to I had the most fun with young Lara that you can get and seeing as how young Lara levels are mostly so bland it is a double pity that this one could not be fixed." - Torry (26-Jan-2003)

"I don't usually like young Lara levels but this one is very well done and quite enjoyable. The setting is a large outdoor area with a lake waterfall a few trees scattered around and the main feature is a large Incan pyramid - unfortunately it's just for looks but is fun to climb around. The whole area offers a lot of exploring as you solve puzzles for the five skulls that involve rope swings swimming monkey swings spike traps boulders crocs flooding areas pulling switches and lots of jumping and climbing. I spent a lot of time just trying to climb to areas that I couldn't reach like into the trees and onto the mountain areas and had one problem - I saved after pulling a switch in a tree which apparently causes you not to be able to get the skull behind the transparent wall." - RaiderGirl (23-Jan-2003)

"After several attempts in the early days and always giving up because I did not seem to be able to get around the bugs this level has I got my act together and finally brought this to an end - and a good end it is because if you work your way around the issues (and you can - see Fabio's comments in David's review above) then this is a great jungle adventure with Young Lara that does not become boring and considering that this is now almost two years old it was way ahead of its time - too bad Andreas never bothered to release an overhauled version. Basically you need to get those 5 skulls collected some really easy some requiring a bit of thinking and the occasional smart move. The sewer puzzle was rather clever. I did not like the occasional booby trap (never do) and the fall through floor. And the final four lever puzzle I could have done without. The room with the four mummies was also rather clever and contrary to David's assumption you can happily monkey swing up to that lever. The crawl area was a bit of a nuisance. Found 2 secrets (bid medipacks)." - Michael (28-Nov-2002)

"A nice jungle level that lasted for one hour and brought young Lara to another adventure. Lara has to as the name suggests find 5 skulls in this big jungle. They're hidden and Lara will have to solve some puzzles before getting them. Texturization was quite repetitive but I simply hated to see the frozen waterfall and water (the author explains it in the readme) that took away a bit of the realism that could be here. As an old level you can expect to see in this level boars and crocodiles not many of them though." - Treeble (26-Jul-2002)

"I had a lot of fun with this level more fun than my rating might say. In this vast open environment complete with lakes caves and Incan/Mayan temple you have to go on 5 adventures some quite short and some much more detailed searching for 5 golden skulls that will lead you to a lever puzzle and then the end. As David pointed out though there are some quite serious bugs that affect some triggers so when you come across a lever don't reload your game until you have passed through what it opened or what it triggered and you shouldn't have any trouble. I must point out though that the bug David wrote about concerning the room the zombies are in is not a bug but instead there is a not obvious monkey swing to the ledge and here you will find the lever that opens the gate and the tree that he couldn't shimmy around on wasn't supposed to be shimmied around but instead backflipped off to a higher ledge on the encircling building and from here you use a different section of the tree to reach the skull. Because this is a young Lara level you don't find any real enemies here apart from a handful of mummies and some crocs so for lovers of fighting action this won't be found here but for my tastes this was 45 minutes of pure fun that I could replay happily." - Sash (21-Jun-2002)

"One of the very first custom levels this one has been sorely under-rated. First off it does (or did) have a major bug which is noted in the readme file. I don't know if it's been fixed in the ensuing year but if you follow the author's direction of not saving your game before a flipmap in a certain room you should have no problem. Otherwise this is just a wonderful level with great atmosphere well-conceived puzzles and traps and a few tricky moves thrown in for good measure (I don't recall seeing the one coming out of the waterfall anywhere else). It's still one of the best jungle levels even after all the hundreds of custom levels that have followed. Playing as young Lara you must find 5 golden skulls to reach the end of the level each found in 5 areas off the great main outdoor "room." The setting is rendered beautifully with a pyramid trees and lakes and the textures are quite good. The major shortcoming is with the lighting which could be improved through much of the level. Otherwise you'll be surprised that this one was one of the earliest custom levels - so give it a try!" - Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)

"Surouth's Five Skulls is a wonderful and vast level featuring young Lara in a jungle environment. Texturing is great, based mostly on the first levels of TRIII. Unfortunately the 20 square limitation keeps making textures disappear and steals some of the magic of the huge outside main area, which includes a realistic pyramid, lakes, and the connections to most parts of this very non-linear level. I have enjoyed the amount of exploration available, as you can explore the whole place, even the top of the pyramid and back lines. And congratulations to Andreas for the excellent modeling work, many places are just beautiful. But I wish the lightning could be fine-tuned, as the lack of shadows in some outside places makes it difficult to identify ledges, holes, and such things. Gameplay is perfect, and this is a level of tricky moves. Good rope jumps on trees, smart climbing surfaces, cracks in walls, great traps and puzzles including sinks, spikes, boulders, well everything. The real only downsides are the bugs, described by the author in the read-me file. Some fixed cameras and flipmaps do not trigger properly and you cannot save your game in some areas. Be aware of this and you will have a great time! Download it!" - Phabius Phodes (21-Jun-2002)
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