Level: The Lost Land - Palace Gates back home search
Author(s): Raider X
total rating:8.43 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Engelchen Lara 10 10 10 10
eRIC 8 9 9 9
G.Croft 9 8 8 9
Gerty 7 8 8 8
Jose 1 6 7 8
Kristina 8 8 9 9
Magnus 8 8 9 9
MichaelP 8 8 9 9
Moonpooka 9 9 10 9
Phil 9 10 10 10
Ryan 8 8 9 9
Sash 9 9 9 9
Torry 6 8 8 7
vienna 8 8 8 9
category averages
(14 reviews)
7.71 8.36 8.79 8.86

Reviewer's comments

"Wow, finally that's over! Don't misinterpret this as being that I'm relieved to have finished it. I very much enjoyed it, but I did wonder if I was ever going to finish it, the amount of times I retraced my steps over previously explored territory. This is definitely one for those Raiders who feast on exploration as there are three beautifully made levels to explore with beautiful lighting and texturing and which you arrive back to more than once. You get some torch puzzles, pushable puzzles (maybe verges on the edge of tedium) and some enjoyable gymnastics and traps to negotiate. I did consider rating the third category an 8, due to the lack of camera hints, but decided to rate it a 9 due to the brilliant flybys and use of nostalgic audio. If you're up for it, brace yourself, and maybe have the walkthrough handy." - Ryan (07-May-2017)

"Game's levels are very huge. When you pull a switch and there is not a camera to show a clue you might walk around and around. First level's design is fantastic and I liked sunny athmosphere. The hardest level is catacombs ruins which has many levels. But I liked this quite lot." - vienna (04-Jul-2016)

"Architecture and textures were the only features I liked from this long and tedious set of levels. The gameplay is one of the worst I've played in all my life; really very very tedious, always finding dead ends and backtracking millions of times and runing around and around through very huge and huge and huge areas, only to pull a switch and return a very loooooong way to the places I've visited and so all the time. In the catacombs level there's a bug in the room where you pick up the first trident, so if you shoot the vases before picking up the item the door will stay closed and you'll be stucked there forever with all those nasty scarabs. Also in third level if you forget to take the torch with you you'll be stucked forever after a lot of tasks were done. It could be funny to shoot some skeletons with the shotgun, but not hundreds of skeletons anywhere you go (why not explosive ammo?). In third level, in the room with two moveables and fires over switches, it was really insane and maddening to move the pieces all around the room very long distances and a lot of times. Even following the walkthrough, sometimes you reach an area, pull a switch and there's not a camera to show you a lowering block some kilometers of distance. And I'm not going to waste more time talking about this. I think I said enough." - Jose (08-May-2012)

"What an ordeal ! Err I mean what an adventure ! 3 huge levels , one in a Karnak setting and two in Catacombs all three interconnected, with huge areas , some of them you will have to visit 2 or 3 times. What is the most impressive here are the maps themselves : how the areas interconnect together. The authors have designed the game in a way that you can see an artefact but can only grab it a couple of hours after. The architecture is great, and efforts have been made to design elegant or realistic texturing. Enemies are often well placed too. What is missing here is more camera work as it is possible to run around lost for quite some time before finding the right way to progress. When you do something and nothing seems to have changed in a huge area , it is quite disheartening ! A good set of levels nevertheless , but only recommanded for explorers." - eRIC (08-Jul-2007)

"This three level game will take you nearly five hours to circumvent and that is if you are helped by the excellent walkthrough written by Val. Without that walkthrough you are doomed to countless frustrating hours of exploring every nook cranny bolt hole ledge crack rope pole brick and rabbit hole throughout this tedious game. This is a miasma of confusion and even the simplest task is hindered by thoughtless design utilising chicanery and trickery such as invisible cracks urns that light (now where did that come from?) darkness concealing crawl spaces et al. You name it and it is in here. The over-riding consideration though is that the authors have congealed so many tasks into this three level set without sufficient hints and clues that you really will not have a clue where to go or what to do next. Even the Pharoh's pillar near the end whilst exhibiting a flyby showing the opening of the door I had absolutely no idea where that door was as it had not previously been seen and I actually blundered into it by pure luck after a few backtracks. Now talking of backtracking you will be doing that a lot in this level set. So much so that it became nauseating crossing and re-crossing old territory time and time again. Want total confusion mind bending frustration and hours alone at the computer terminal - then try this game." - Torry (22-Jun-2004)

"Another Egyptian level. But at least this one isn't your ordinary race through an ordinary tomb with ordinary jumps and traps. Instead you run around for hours trying to find out what that lever you spent an hour searching for actually did. But it's fun. Really - it is. Sure I spent hours running around aimlessly but I always felt good when I finally figured out what I was supposed to do without help. The downside with this approach is that the level is a little slow. There aren't a lot of traps. And if you're stuck you can run around for a long time without anything happening. I beta tested this level and I've heard that the ending is a little more exciting than it was in the version I played. But I can't comment on that. I don't feel like spending two more hours (plus of course the mandatory time running around like a headless chicken) playing through the level again. It was a lot of fun the first time though. Nice texturing and great atmosphere doesn't make the level worse either." - Magnus (29-Jan-2004)

"Three interconnected levels the first in a Karnak setting and the other two in catacomb locations. When I finished I was mentally exhausted. Firstly the architecturally brilliant environments mainly the catacomb ones are all huge and complex rooms with so many differing floors that it was hard to tell if you were going the right way and if you had completed what you should have wherever you were in the room secondly you can jump from level to level a few times at times for mere minutes without knowing if that was the correct thing to do and finally there is a crack you have to grab and shimmy on but there just wasn't any evidence to the eye of a crack and this was a slightly unfair inclusion. Now as I have moaned about these levels I am actually going to say that they are marvellous and really bloody smart. As I said earlier the architecture and design is just so cleverly made the way you move around is sheer fun with all the moves and although the puzzling was fairly much kept to some movable objects and torch lighting when you actually reached one of the many necessary pick ups it was really rewarding. Even the placement of skeletons and ninjas was well done. With 5 secrets nicely placed and almost 4 hours of game time it may have just stretched a little too long but was still a great game that should probably best be played over a couple of days in sections to keep the weariness factor down." - Sash (27-Jan-2004)

"This is a marvelous creation all the more so in light of the startling news that this is the authors' maiden voyage. Nearly everything that makes Tomb Raider such an addicting game to us "insiders" is included here including stunningly beautiful surroundings with open vistas that invite vertigo in places. This three-parter would have earned another Phil 4-10 review if not for the excessively tedious push block puzzle in the Inner Chamber level. Even with Val's life-saving walkthrough for reference (without which I would have been hopelessly lost) and even knowing exactly what it was I had to do it took the better part of a half hour to complete this section. Compounding the aggravation was the fact that the authors with apparent deliberation fixed the paths so that both pieces could not be placed on their nearest trigger squares. This inexcusably broke the flow of gameplay in my opinion and it therefore accounts for the lone blemish in my review. There's also an earthquake that goes on a mite too long near the end. But like the guy who's asked why he beats his head against the wall ('It feels so good when I stop.') Lara keeps plodding gamely forward until she reaches that drop-to-crack-and-shimmy place for the third or fourth time and the rumbles mercifully cease. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed playing a level so much (probably the last time I submitted a review with this same phrase) and I certainly hope this isn't a one-shot effort for the authors. More please and soon. And thank you from the bottom of my heart Val for that walkthrough." - Phil (22-Jan-2004)

"Palace Gates (8/8/9/10 60+30 min 1 secret): From a short and sweet starting flyby you are thrown into a Karnak style environment and soon find out that this is quite huge. Many areas to explore and many different levels to wander around on. You meet the enemies you would expect: a dozen or so red ninjas scorpions crocodiles and the ninjas following you on the monkey swings was very well set in scene and is rarely used in custom levels. Gameplay revolves around finding switches and levers and moving a few blocks so very very classic but fun nonetheless. Flybys are solid music is nicely added and the only really sneaky bit was that invisble wall crack. Maybe it feels a little too maze like and the monkey swings are a little overdone. You get a star here to lead you to the next level and come back at the end of this game for a guardian key and the second canopic jar and then eventually the vraeus that initiates the ending flyby after a nice final run with an earthquake dropping boulders more ninjas. Catacomb Ruins (9/9/9/9 60+20 min 3 secrets): Now you're going in and leave the outside areas for good in a classic catacomb environment. The architecture here is even more huge and complex than in the first level or so it seems. Good orientation and memory is required. Again you get what expect: pushable objects raising blocks ropes skeletons to be shot off ledges bats and smartly used wraith and beetles. The use of the torch is superbly clever and a lot of fun to figure out. The secrets are enjoyable and you actually find the one in the Inner Chamber level via a quick excourse from this level (well done) as you do with a star. Also two tridents to collect. When you get back later you are sent around on yet another quest for a pillar and admittedly I felt quite tired by then and really just wanted to get out of here. Inner Chamber (7/8/9/9 70 min 1 secret): Still set in catacomb style you get more of those huge rooms and areas with various ledges need to fill some water into the right places battle skeletons and escape from wraiths and beetles and find a knot a gem a trident and a canopic jar. Even though well thought out the movable statues puzzle was way too tedious and therefore entirely boring to accomplish but the torch course makes up for that quite a bit. All in all this set of levels is an architectural masterpiece. It must have taken a huge amount of thoughtful design to put all those rooms and connections together and then texture and light them in a way that makes them feel so real. And for a long time into the game this is very intriguing despite many moments of confusion. For my personal taste it maybe got a little too long - once approaching the third hour of net gaming I just wanted this to finish and get out of there and it still goes on and on with pretty much the same challenges of finding where you need to go next. But don't let that put you off - if you enjoy classic TR then this is your game." - Michael (08-Jan-2004)

"Starting this level I was mighty surprised to find the Egyptian theme oozing throughout this 3 level game. As I am still a big fan I just went for it. Well as one can read in the 'Stuck thread' I found it a very confusing game. Confusing as in finding every time I started again I found a new passage although I was so sure I looked there before or a new opening I missed completely first time around. Finding receptacles and no artifacts to use getting into the Catacombs and still having no artifacts for the receptacles in the first level. Confusing. Don't get me wrong it is a very clever huge puzzle/maze in my opinion. Very great jumping to do and thinking how to reach that monkey climb as a for instance. There are some levers very well hidden as are the artifacts. You really have to give yourself time to explore every nook and cranny as there are many floors you have to get to and if you think you found them all think again. Enemies are rather well placed and I was so glad to find that shotgun as those skeletons were a pest later on. This is a very non-linear game so be aware and finding that crowbar is a must as there are stars that need prying loose. There are some red herrings thrown in for good measure and a few traps annoying at time but afterwards very clever done. What I didn't like is that you have to leave the first level before completely finishing it makes it a bit hard as you never know if you got all the things you needed for level two. As you only have so many saved games slots I found it annoying to reserve quite a lot of slots for that just in case.... Also the cracks were not what I would call fair play as there was no indication whatsoever. I only can say that as a first level it is a fiendish but cleverly done game although not my personal taste 05-12-2003" - Gerty (23-Dec-2003)

"This must be one of the most confusing levels I've ever played but if I with my sense for locations and bad memory can come through it so can anyone! There is a lot going back and fro (also between game-levels) and don't worry if you haven't found an item for a receptor you will come back later. There are also a lot of different levels (heights) in HUGE rooms. Skeletons comes chasing you and you have to blast them off the edges with the shotgun. The torch can be taken in the wrong direction and therefore lost so be sure to have some backup saves if that should happen (when the torch turns into Lara's leg you know you're on the wrong track;-) ). In some places you can see items you need but you can't get to them yet they have to be retrieved from another direction and when you find them it makes you go - aha! A challenging and fun set of levels in my opinion!" - G.Croft (08-Dec-2003)

"I have to admit that this game consisted of three levels connected with each other is quite good. The game play though is complex and personally I don't like this kind of levels which you leave unfinished business and proceed to the next one. Apart from that sometimes you are left standing in the middle of a room thinking 'Now what!' The enemies are skeletons bats crocodiles scorpions. The first level is based on the karnak wad in which you will need two canopic jars a vraeus and a guardian key. In my opinion the invisible crack is unfair for the players since there is no mark to make you suspicious nor are you able to notice the crawlspace under the door easily. The second level is a catacombs one quite dark with sufficient flares but I could have use some more of them and a few more cameras. The ones that are present are very helpful but in other areas there is no indication what a certain action has triggered therefore it is necessary to help the players. You will start to find items such as a knot a pillar the ones you will bring back to the first level and a respectable amount of moving objects. Personally I couldn't wait to finish it because of its darkness much climbing and jumping. It's rather long and has at least two or three occasions the player will encounter the torch puzzle. The third level not far from the second's theme helps to connect the game and was shorter than the second which you need to pass in order to arrive at the first again and finish the game. I would say that the game is perfect for a medium raider but it will look rather difficult for a beginner. Nevertheless everyone has to try it because it's pure Tomb Raider and very enjoyable. For a first try it certainly is remarkable and the author deserves a 'Well done'. I hope we will see more of his work in the future since it's clear to me that he has talent and potential to create a game which can compete with the best out there." - Kristina (05-Dec-2003)

"One of the most huge catacomb levels I ever played J I especially liked the architecture. In order to get to the golden vraeus there is a lot of running around to do and quite some backtracking to previously visited places...not easy. Puzzles were well thought out as you can see items earlier but only get there much later after mastering lots of traps. Levers to pull running jumping shimmying climbing and keep your eyes open to not miss anything. You need to think and be patient and always remember to bring the torch along :-). I need to thank Alex and Perry48 for their help in desperate situations. ;-). Enemies were well placed among them ninjas skeletons mummies and bats. Textures were cleanly applied lighting was not too dark and sound was nicely added. The overall atmosphere was quite ingenious - everything fit together well :-) For TR professionals a must-play....:-)" - Engelchen Lara (05-Dec-2003)

"Well this was one thrilling adventure for me. I stayed up late every night playing it and even went to bed thinking about where I was stuck lol. Stuck indeed because you will be many times no doubt. Having to make your way through various levels to collect items and use switches you then do a lot of back tracking so a good memory is essential here. Set in the Egyptian temples you will also visit the catacombs and some very spectacular rooms with high ledges to negotiate also creepy dark caves with an assortment of enemies such as crocs ninjas bats wraiths mummies and skellies. The torch is used quite a bit which I love to do and with ropes and ladders all over the place it never gets dull. I couldn't believe this was the authors first level it is truly amazing and a must to play I was sad when it was all over and what a lovely ending to it. This is definitely my sort of level and I only have a few niggles with it which are not worth mentioning because they didn't spoil anything for me. So all in all I can't find anything bad to say about it. Wonderful stuff I highly recommend it. Well done and thank you to Todd and Dan." - Moonpooka (05-Dec-2003)
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