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Level: LB Advent Calendar 2003 - December 21st back home search
Author(s): 6 of 9
total rating:7.65 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Akcy 9 9 10 10
CC 7 5 9 9
Duncan 7 7 9 9
Gerty 7 7 8 9
High Priestess 7 7 7 7
Jay 7 7 8 9
Jez 6 5 9 9
Jose 6 7 7 9
Josi 8 6 9 9
Kristina 8 8 9 9
manarch2 6 6 7 8
MichaelP 7 6 8 9
misho98 7 8 7 9
Mulf 5 6 7 8
Necro 7 6 9 9
Obig 8 7 9 9
Orbit Dream 7 7 8 9
Phil 8 7 8 8
Ryan 7 7 8 9
Sash 5 5 8 8
Treeble 8 8 8 8
category averages
(21 reviews)
7.00 6.71 8.19 8.71

Reviewer's comments

"A pleasant and very enjoyable Christmas level that presents a couple of challenges and a few exploration segments for all kinds of raiders. Although there are no enemies (and no secrets either, unless the medipack presents constituted the extra rewards) you tend not to notice as you'll be too busy taking in the impressive architecture, texturing and lighting. No room is blandly done and the simple yet enjoyable gameplay will ensure that you will get into the spirit of the season very quickly. My only negative would be the constant looped music track (these are annoyances more often than not), but this is definitely among the better 2003 Advent levels that I've played." - Ryan (01-Dec-2017)

"Some dodgy textures and fixed camera angles. Pleasant enough but the music did get a bit tiresome played on the loop. Unable to complete the last part so my scores have to reflect this. What glassy window? I had both of the artefacts but even with the walkthrough did not understand how to progress nor where the place was that I had to deposit them." - High Priestess (03-Jun-2017)

"Pleasant level with a lot of beautiful buildings and nice areas with no dangers or enemies, except the darts, the fire in the dragon of if you fall from a high place or in a water hole with the bike. Your goal here is to look for 4 hands to open the exit doors to get access to the final building, and meanwhile picking up a lot of gifts (medipacks) on your way. The background music is a bit annoying when you are playing more than 10 minutes, and no much more musics in all game. Except a fixed camera at the entrance of the main building, I think the author could place some flybys or camera shots to create a better atmosphere. Architecture and texturization are the best features. Recommended, but don't expect great puzzles; only a lot of exploration." - Jose (10-Nov-2016)

"So this is one of the first Christmas levels on trle. It's great, I really prefer the older looks in snowy level I don't know why. The gameplay was fun but a little confusing near the end with the snowboard. The textures were great, the rooms in the ending were very beautiful. Took me about half an hour and i though that I missed some stuff cuz some snow areas were huge. I finished though, I guess I collected everything. Recommended!" - misho98 (06-Dec-2014)

"This is definately a nice level and the very professionally and beautiful applied textures stick out most in this level, but there are also some particularly enjoyable tasks, like the block puzzle at the start, the exploration of the mansions and of course the snowmobile course which is set up nicely. I most confess that the gameplay at some parts is a bit dull and often about searching the next step, but I still found this level to be enjoyable because of the clever idea of letting the player search for a whole bunch (21) of Xmas presents of which I missed exactly one, which is a nice addition to the level (but not the only task in here, in contrast to Jungle Fever). Those climbable pillars were cute too and overall the atmosphere is really well done, though the background music really gets annoying after some time and I copied another audio file into the folder. Overall a very chilly and peaceful, yet not boring level and one of the better Advent '03 levels. 25 minutes." - manarch2 (19-Dec-2013)

"This is a pleasant little Advent level from the early years that I'd somehow missed. It's perfect for the season, although the looping Pachelbel, soothing though it was, got on my nerves after a while (too much of anything is rarely good). No enemies, of course, and only mild traps (a dart gaultlet you have to crawl under is all I recall). You do need your weapons, however, but only to shoot things, not adversaries. You also get a nice ride in the snowmobile, which is always a plus in my book, and the environs both indoors and out are pleasing to the eye. OBig's compact walkthrough was helpful, although I probably could have figured out much of the gameplay on my own with a little effort. Net gameplay was about 40 minutes. Recommended for a stress-free diversion." - Phil (08-Nov-2012)

"Lara Croft has had mansions all across the globe; of course most would last only for the duration of one particular level before being demolished and re-erected in a different style elsewhere on the globe. This one uses TR5 Rome textures and objects along with some from TR4, a few textures from TR2 Venice, and East-Asian themed textures partly from TR2, partly custom—and somehow it succeeds in making it all fit together, which is no minor achievement. One reason for its success is that the author refrains from pretending to give us a monastery or a temple or, indeed, yet another mansion; instead the setting is something that might be termed 'Lara Croft's folly', some kind of pleasuredome if you like, built in some remote spot in the Himalayas. The initial area is a confined space where you perform a number of tasks involving switches, ledges, and a pushable—all good and well, but somewhat out of touch with the greater part of the level, which takes places in the spacious folly and its surroundings. The contrast between the colourful architecture and its icey blue environment works quite well, and indeed this level is the most colourful of the 2003 'advent calendar' levels. Similarly, I would venture so far as to say that this is the only level of the 2003 batch whose builder recognized the importance of lighting, which adds a lot to its visual appeal and goes a long way toward creating an evocative atmosphere. It is also competently constructed (at one point I believed myself stuck for good, erroneously, as it turned out; I didn't encounter the bug mentioned in other reviews). The architecture is somewhat too easy to negotiate, so you will spend most of the time in ice caves and valleys, mainly looking for the last of the four 'Hands' that you need to enter the final area. Which brings me to the downside. The level is, admittedly, not very strong on gameplay; after the initial area it turns into a simple fetch quest for said four 'Hands', which, by the way, retain their old tut1 names even in this ill-fitting setting, and I'd be hard pressed to venture a guess as to why the script wasn't properly edited (the legend string 'The year 2000, somewhere in Egypt...' appears at the beginning, and it's also, oddly, the ostensible title of the level). Toward the end I found the level was dragging somewhat; the final area gives us the usual rooms with christmas decoration, but since the level has been so nice and pretty all the time anyway, this change of scene isn't nearly as effective as in, say, Agnes's"Arctic Xmas". Also, the room with the dragon larva—come on, it's not a real dragon, now is it?—falls short of its TR2 prototype (I think this is the only occasion where the builder had himself inspired by a classic TR level in an obvious manner, though), even if placing a pickup inside its mouth is a neat idea. A few design flaws remain, most obviously the rooms that keep disappearing in one particular area; some objects overlap, causing the textures to flicker; one of the doors really should make a noise as it's used throughout the level, but it doesn't. Finally, a word on the only custom audio file that is included with the download. As other reviewers have mentioned, it's Pachelbel's ever so popular 'Canon'. Now, I'm not going to criticize its quality (I believe it's the 1979 Philips recording by the ensemble I Musici, which is just a tad on the slow side...alright, I'll cut it), but the fact that it's being used here as a background loop. ANY piece of music that loops for the duration of an entire level is bound to become annoying sooner rather than later. NEVER use a piece of music for a background loop! Alright, that was it. Thank you for your attention." - Mulf (17-Dec-2009)

"I enjoy listening to Pachelbel's Canon as much as the next man,but it does become a little tiresome when played in a continuous loop for the entire duration of a level.Other than that,this is a charming,beautifully constructed and completely peaceful snowy adventure.You don't miss not having enemies to shoot at,as it's pleasent once in a while to just relax and explore without the possibility of being attacked or eaten.In this case,you pick up a brace of objects,ride a snowmobile,perform one push-block puzzle and perform a few straightforward jumps;but the size of the explorable area is rather large and you'll be occupied for quite some time in investigating every little nook and cranny.Pride of place,as far as visual spectacle is concerned,is the large Dragons mouth;while the snow caves and assorted temples are all crafted with great care. If you fancy getting in the mood for the peaceful winter season,this should do the trick very nicely." - Orbit Dream (08-Nov-2009)

"Great level with wonderful music, unlike others, I enjoyed listening it, time and again, it just made the atmosphere perfect. Icy caves, nicely textured buildings, very good looking level. Riding with the snowbike was fun, as always. There are no secrets, but the large medpacks are Christmas gifts obviously, because we don't need 21 on this level. In one hidden area I found a sign, said USS Croft coming soon, is it the author's next project? I hope he will finish it someday." - Akcy (28-Dec-2006)

"Quite an enjoyable level. I managed to find about 18 parcels (anymore?) in this fairly large level. Some areas I found it difficult to find a linear path. There were a few open areas and a lot of choice for where to take lara and thus difficult to decide which was the best way to go first. But the level was nicely designed and I loved the house at the end. A nice touch with the xmas tree and presents. The audio in the background became annoying after a while and I even took a few shots at the hi-fi in the house, hoping to shut it off (hehe), but I did enjoy this level and you certainly felt you were in the middle of winter. Recommended." - Necro (04-May-2006)

"Starts out like a Catacomb level and later features a temple and snow. Lots of snow. I particularly enjoyed this one and the background music was great, although the third time it begins looping I had to turn the volume down because it was getting me mad lol. There was a giant snake blowing fire in one part of the level, I managed to squeeze through into its mouth without catching fire, recovered the Hand, only to find out that shooting the vase above would put out the fire (duh). I completely overlooked the area behind the door nearby, and in the end most doors opened only with the Hands Of Orion. But one didn't. Had to backtrack (and check the walkthrough), and surprisingly when I got back to use the Hands Of Sirius, someone had sneaked there and placed one, so I only had to use on the last receptacle (one remains in your inventory). The large medipacks were replaced by gifts, when I got to the Christmas tree, in the end of the level, I had 22 Xmas gifts. (Bad Lara, didn't save not even one for me...). 40 minutes. 03/05" - Treeble (13-Mar-2005)

"This lelev is set in a Christmas scene where Lara is trying to find her way home. The gameplay is straightforward but fun and there are no enemies so difficult to score for this. The atmosphere sound lighting and textures are superb. I really enjoyed this level." - Jez (08-Aug-2004)

"Another snowy xmas level don't people realise it isn't always snowy for everyone at Christmas we sweat like pigs down here in Oz. Anyway I'm glad it was snowy because it added to the beautiful Tibetan setting where you come across a large gloriously golden temple a town's plaza some ice caves to zoom through on the snowmobile and finally Lara's Tibetan digs where you end at the Christmas tree surrounded by presents. The game is one of collecting 4 Hands and unlike others I had to use all four to access the end on this journey you also find 20 presents medipacks that are unnecessary in this enemy barren level but still a really nice touch. Just like most other advent levels this is a nice peaceful 40 minute diversion and is a welcome relief after playing a hard tiring level. Don't miss the promo ad for 6of9's upcoming level well at least its name." - Sash (24-Jan-2004)

"This is a nice and great Christmas level again. At the beginning you have to push blocks then get on the snowmobile collect 2 Hand of Orion and 2 Hand of Sirius. Before you must find the snowmobile's keys on the top of the building. Well I didn't realise the keys in a flower for the first time and I got behind the right-hand ice-wall because of a bug. It's true Lara couldn't get back from here later. :) I managed to find a save bug at the end of the level. I saved the game by standing next to the first receptacle. Having loaded it later the Hand has remained both in the receptacle and the Inventory. You can check my savegames: I still have a Hand as a Christmas present. :) The story takes place in buildings and on snowy area. There are no enemies but quite enough puzzles. Although they are not too difficult: the point is always shooting the vases as they hide something or extinguish flames. The textures are nice the added sounds are beautiful. I didn't find any Secrets on the level. Possibly are there no Secrets? Find walkthrough pics and saves to the level here: http://www.treditor.hu/english/december_21st_eng.htm " - Obig (18-Jan-2004)

"A lovely and beautiful level. Great ice-caves and beautiful buildings a pleasure to walk around. Make sure you find the key to the snowmobile and don't climb in the ice-cave on your right you will not be able to go back and will have to start over (although that is not exactly a bad thing with this level). No enemies or vicious traps but a wonderful trip through a winter-wonderland." - Josi (13-Jan-2004)

"Lara is stuck trying to get back to her spacious digs in of all places Tibet. An impressively handsome level that was a real pleasure to play. Gameplay is easy and quite benign. Tons of medipacks dressed up as Xmas presents - a nice touch and a fun romp with the snowmobile (in this case the TR equivalent of a sleigh ride). I thoroughly enjoyed this one." - Duncan (04-Jan-2004)

"This offering from the Levelbase Advent Calendar seems more of a winter than a Christmas level initially. Starting in an oriental style building with some really beautiful textures you soon find yourself in a snow covered courtyard where you find a snowmobile to assist in exploring the nearby caves. There are several buildings to explore and four 'hands' to find along the way and in the final scene there is a lovely Christmas tree surrounded by presents. " - Jay (03-Jan-2004)

"Also playing this for a second time it still is a treat. Due to a bug involving those ice windows I just had to do that part with the snowmobile over again as I was still running around with the Hands of Orion and Sirius and no way I could place them. Second time around I got the snowmobile and did things as they should be done and I found out I missed some more Xmas presents and the all important Xmas tree. 29-12-2003" - Gerty (01-Jan-2004)

"What a lovely looking level. We're in either China or Japan. We've seen oriental levels before but this one is really beautiful. A hint straight away go into the temple to get the key for the snowmobile first that way everything will run more smoothly or you could get stuck behind an ice wall. Your task is straight forward to get four stars and you go to different temple areas one is a cave with a female ice statue. Another is a room with a long dragon (or snake!) texture corridor floor that ends on the dragon's head excellent. The underwater tunnels near the end are horribly dark but with a flare it's easy enough to get through. This was one of the Christmas levels I ran around with pistols constantly drawn I had the feeling all the time something was going to jump out at me but nothing ever did. The last rooms are suitably Christmassy and I loved that fountain area. I'd love to see this level expanded in future." - CC (01-Jan-2004)

"This Christmas level for the 21st is quite different from the others. The textures remind more a temple and there is a long fake of course snake. There are three hands to find although I saw one more receptacles but since the doors opened I didn't bother looking for a fourth if there was one. Basically you wander around the icy setting and explore open a few doors move a block and find one key that will give you access to the main outside area. No enemies are present therefore it's a peaceful festive level. The snowmobile was used only to break the ice at one point but pity there was no further use in the level. I enjoyed the level which ended as usual inside a house near the Christmas tree with the presents around." - Kristina (29-Dec-2003)

"Quite a vast level which starts out as kind of a mix between Catacombs Cleopal and Barkhang Monastery and is remarkable due to a really colourful and impressive set of textures used. You also get a snowy caves area to roam through with the snowmobile and need to find four hands (of which I had to use only three as one was already placed for me). The Pachelbel ambience was nice for the first few minutes but for the remaining 30+ I had to switch it off as it gets on your nerves. There is one bug as you can climb through one of the ice walls and then not come back. The snake is brilliant - you have to go see it and also make sure you do collect those Xmas Presents - I had a total of 21 in my inventory at the end and I am still unwrapping them as I type this ;-)" - Michael (28-Dec-2003)
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