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Level: Harpy's House back home search
Author(s): Oxy
total rating:8.43 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Aims 9 9 9 9
Bene 8 9 10 9
CC 8 9 10 10
DJ Full 6 7 6 10
Dougsan 5 8 8 8
Duncan 8 8 10 10
eTux 7 6 7 9
G.Croft 6 7 9 10
Gerty 6 8 10 10
Jay 7 8 10 10
Jorge22 8 9 9 10
Jose 7 8 9 9
Josi 6 7 9 9
Kristina 6 8 10 10
manarch2 7 8 8 8
MichaelP 7 8 10 9
Navi 8 10 9 10
Obig 8 8 10 10
Phil 9 9 9 8
Ryan 8 8 9 9
Sash 7 6 8 9
Sherry 6 8 8 9
TombRaiderFan 9 9 10 10
Yoav 8 8 10 10
category averages
(24 reviews)
7.25 8.04 9.04 9.38

Reviewer's comments

"Here's another offbeat level from the weird and wonderful Oxy. The fantasy setting is very well executed and although there were a few too many dark corners and the textures were a bit much, I found that it was masterfully done. The gameplay is simple in terms of knowing what you have to do, it's knowing where to go that will allow you to do it that is the challenge. The mansion is quite sprawling and you could easily get turned round, so it might help to look at the walkthrough now and again. I also thought that one of the audio files was a bit overused and the second part was little more than a simple run around, but those aside it's an enjoyable level if you're in the mood. I also liked the ghost boulders that signified death if you stepped on a certain place." - Ryan (12-May-2018)

"About the gameplay, sometimes I missed a camera when picking up things which trigger something (ex: the lasersight near the beginning) so you don't get disoriented losing your time. Except the moveable blocks puzzle, rest of the game is based about finding keys and keyholes and avoiding that nasty falling balls traps, sometimes with serious backtracking. Environment is excellent with a creepy atmosphere and taking care with all details, but a bit dark for my taste. Second level could be linked with the first, but you don't need all the stuff you recolected before, only some items to pick up and a couple of keys to place. Very good and professional work, but not very entertaining for me." - Jose (23-Jun-2012)

"I found this part to be not as strong as Frosty Mansion. The gameplay is more confusing and the linearity that hold together the gameplay of the huge setting it isn't shown here - you can basically explore and explore without finding the crucial items as there were really nasty hidden ones, as a key that has the same colour as the floor, the firewood that can be accessed after picking up ammo (without a camera hint of course) or some doors opening after certain odd actions. The atmosphere also wasn't great as the outdoor areas were way too boxy, there were a few end-of-world moments and the sound also wasn't well chosen; there were the same camera issues as in the previous level with Lara being able to move during them. Also, the objects weren't that much creative as the only enemies I found were harpies, the "ghost boulders" were a nice touch but also a little odd and there were only a few new touches in the house inventar. The five secrets were, with the exception of one, way too easy to find. So the game stands out for a quite demanding and clever pushable puzzle, some creativity in objects and nice textures, even if the level was a little dark at some places and the exterior texturing was not so good. There also was a short second level provided that felt even more odd than the first lookwise and didn't include any creative gameplay else then picking up and placing a few items. Spend 46 minutes in the first and seven in the second level." - manarch2 (03-Apr-2012)

"I'm surprised there was still an Oxy level out there that I hadn't played. I'm glad I stumbled across this one, because it's a fun raid. And other than DJ Full's recent review, it's been more than seven years since anyone has reviewed it. The surroundings are spooky and artfully constructed, which accounted for much of my playing enjoyment. The builder has provided her own walkthrough in outline form, which guides the player without leading him by the hand every step of the way. There's a block puzzle about halfway through that's quite formidable, and the five secrets weren't that hard to find. Others have already noted the floating heads which marked the danger zones, and I thought that was a nice touch. The second level is something like dessert after the main course, taking less than five minutes to complete. Offbeat but fun. Recommended." - Phil (14-Jul-2011)

"ABOUT SECOND LEVEL: This custom comprises of two parts. One of them is the main adventure. The second one is rather a bonus level which can be completed without thinking at all, so I decided not to rate it as a separate level, as it makes no sense. Instead, I treated it like a secret, improving score for EOS category. Oh, and of course I killed the butterfly. Both. And both cute fishes. For dolphins, I wasted several dozen bullets on them, but my efforts were hopeless - they even weren't bleeding. MAIN REVIEW: Graphics in the mansion are really great. Mostly 64x64 tiles applied in nearly flawless manner, and, despite of wide variety of surfaces, they all match each other. Some corners are too dark, but the overall lighting is generally of very high level. Objects: cobwebs, fireplaces, extinguished candles, old clocks, lamps turned on by no-one knows who, empty chairs, glasses of water left on tables and so on improve spooky atmosphere even more, what creates a perfect haunted mansion theme. Enemies are harpies and mostly wraiths. In the readme, Oxy tells us to beware of the latter ones. However, the more I was progressing, the less of them I was finding dangerous, simply because their collision box is too small to hurt Lara or they are triggered too early to be harmful. But the worst thing about them was the original, unchanged sound of rolling or falling ball, which made me not treat them like ghosts throughout the whole game. They were still balls to me. This is not the only sound issue: the level was supposed to be a scary one, and its good Oxy have applied a spooky sample - but, for heaven's sake, why only one?? I had so enough of hearing it that later ingame, everytime it started to play, I was saving/loading for not to hear it again... I'm sorry to say that, but for me this problem removed fun from the game. The remnants of entertainment were killed by unbalanced puzzle difficulty and confusing lack of camera hints. OK, I know there was a window I could look through to see a newly open door - but a player concentrated on climbing a ladder or doing something similar isn't so observant, especially in a situation when most of preceding puzzles are obvious. In such case, requiring looking through such window would be a good way to create a secret, but definitely not main gameplay thread - which should be easier than secrets. Sometimes this rule is totally inverted in this level: I had to backtrack from a place looking like a secret, but in fact being an intended way; also, I found a secret in a corner of the room containing one of the main puzzles. Everything seems to be so messed up that as a result, we may stay in this haunted mansion for hours and in the end realize in fact the whole thing could be completed 3 times faster than we did it. SUMMARY: If only puzzles were more "tidied up", this game would be a hit. But it is recommended anyway, for You to be able to admire great atmosphere of the abandoned mansion. So if You don't mind confusion, play it." - DJ Full (30-Jan-2011)

“Another original level from my fav level builder oxy. This time Lara is in an old creepy house where she must retrieve the 5 golden birds stolen from her whilst doing so she needs to defeat evil harpies (birds from tr4) and avoid deadly traps. She has once again placed original items and traps. All the boulders have been remade into ghost heads and wherever there is a trap you'll see a ghost head above it. It is nice and dark to make the creepy atmosphere but not too dark that you have to turn the brightness up on your monitor just to see better. One of the custom tune's played a fair bit and sounded a bit odd as it was tr5's old mill tune (if Lara gets caught by the demon when taking the coin underwater). But it didn't bother me too much. I did jump a bit when I saw a ghost head and thought I was going to be squashed and all the cobwebs and bones made the level really seem like a spooky place. Definitely recommended!” – Aims (30-Apr-2004)

“First of all my feelings regarding this game now that I've just finished playing are quite contradictory. On one hand I'm absolutely amazed at the sheer beauty of the entire settings and at how solid the graphics are. I say Oxy should have been an architect. On the other hand I'm still tense and irritated as a result of all the times I became completely stuck throughout the game. The most visible example of that is that having found three keys before diving into the aquarium I must have visited each room in the mansion each palm of earth in the gardens at least a hundred times until I started feeling like smashing the computer and simply giving it all up for good. I know Oxy has added a walkthrough - which I didn't want to look at to the download but saying something like ‘use the three keys and enter the rooftops’ doesn't really mean much. Especially when you can use the keys in the locks you've already used! I was really really frustrated. I don't remember having been that stuck with something so simple ever. Or maybe it's just my memory that serves me wrong... But away with that. If I still remember Oxy's last game well enough this represents a step forward in ingenuity and in beauty even though it lacks the touch of pure originality of something like the nice snowmen turning into baddies. But her last game kept flowing no matter what you did there was really no way of getting stuck for long. In that sense and in my humble opinion Oxy's ingenuity went too far this time. She made things too complicated. Or maybe that was just me... Finally I'd love to see Oxy creating less dark environments for a change - they can become depressing. There's something in the surrounding beauty that's dark and heavy. Again maybe that's just me... Harpy's House ends with that which Oxy names a ‘flyby level’. You'll easily see why. As the short level unfolds despite the wondrous beauty of it all as the initial flyby rolls on and on you start wondering if it makes much sense building an entire level as a flyby. Fortunately there's more to it than that... You will still find three roses a diamond and a couple of keys and get to swim a bit before you find a golden bird and the game comes to a halt. True there's something here like a thin wall that you can cross over. But the detail doesn't kill the level and all the remnant details. The snowy mountains the fish in the pool the big butterflies it's all worth it all amazing. Well Oxy seems to love castles and mansions. I sincerely wish she could own one someday...” – Jorge22 (31-Mar-2004)

“Another beautiful level made by Oxy. This is a 2-parts level. In the first part Lara is venturing in a mystical abandoned but beautifully furnished house and its premises. The enemies are harpies and traps. Your objective is finding Keys Yellow Roses and finally 4 Golden Birds. At many places you must shoot swinging spheres and push blocks. I found 5 Secrets in the level: 1 Golden Pistol and 4 Golden Ammo. The textures are beautiful and the added sounds add plus to the mystery of the level. I think the 2nd episode is a demo for the time being but it’s interesting. Your objective here is finding 3 Red Roses a Diamond and 2 Keys finally the Goldfish in the water. I love the dolphins and the butterflies. You don’t need to use any weapons although the ammo is very strange – looks like if Lara’s underwear would have been loaded into the Pistol. :) Don’t miss these levels! You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don’t have English version) savegames and pictures here: http://www.freeweb.hu/treditor/12/harpy_s_house.htm ” – Obig (02-Mar-2004)

“After the very successful previous mansion releases of Oxy I doubted she could pull off something surprising once again and I was right and wrong at the same time. The magical worlds beautiful mansions she creates are amazing and I think there are no other mansion/castle levels that could compare to that also I was surprised that yet another mansion level could captivate me as much as the previous two did and that must tell you something - Oxy really is a talented 'good look' maker for the levels but the gameplay doesn't really offer anything new. The same sometimes tied in a strange logic puzzles we've seen before - mostly searching for keys and roses and then trying to find where to place/use them. Not that this is anything bad - I did enjoy the time I spent here but I would've appreciated some new innovative tasks much more. What was lacking very much though were the cameras - as sometimes doing one thing enigmatically opened a door/area at the other flank of the house and a camera would've avoided lots of confusion and mindless running around. The fly-bys in both of the levels are good but the length and ability to still run around with Lara made them look a bit amateurish in my eyes but maybe that's just me. Like the wraith-balls they seemed very innovative to me. The 2nd level was quite short with a handful of flybys also a diamond and keys and lots of new non-hurtful enemies like the butterflies dolphins catfish and eagles - not really sure if that was worth adding (would've made a good title fly-by level so maybe the author should try that in the near future?) but since download size is no issue for me I didn't mind exploring this what seemed to be a castle in the Alps. A good level worth a try for the explorers players who search for beauty not extremely mind-boggling tasks.” – eTux (22-Feb-2004)

“What can I say Oxy's done it again two stunningly beautiful levels. I loved the way Lara looked her hair her hands her outfit everything. Secrets are golden pistols. The first thing to pick up is a golden rose. All around gate towers are rising to trap me in so I have to climb up on the roofs and from here we're standing on the glass top 'conservatory' entrance to the house. Huge improvement in the flybys two of which were really unnecessary but lovely to look at. The first encounter with the ghost boulder was a shock very unusual and giving off the creepy music and sounds of the demon babies from the original young Lara levels. And of course once inside the house a visual treat again of a huge mansion beautifully textured lighted and decorated. I absolutely loved that aquarium the butterflys and dolphins. And yet again it's a pleasant relief from always fightin' and fumin' to wander through Oxy's house levels. It's not that easy though Lara did die a few times with boulders and fire tiles and picking up ammo too soon lit a fire so I couldn't get a key. One little moan is the difficulty picking up things especially under the ghost boulders the only way I could get them was to crawl under and pick them up in the crawl position. Because of lack of cameras it wasn't immediately obvious what you did after an action but that was part of the 'tease' of the level. And there is a very good block pushing puzzle that yields more than one pickup. The second level Harpy2 is a very short level but very very beautifully done. Take your time Oxy and don't be too worried about gameplay that will come in time. For now it's a pleasure to play your levels and I'm looking forward to the next one.” – CC (12-Feb-2004)

“Once again we are treated to an Oxy mansion level. As beautiful as anticipated; some of the best ceilings I have ever seen. The level is filled with atmosphere.......very spooky. I had a unique experience while on the roof at the beginning. Lara was running when the flyby started and it felt like Lara had indeed acquired wings. There are boulders retextured as ghost heads that most of the time are (happily) easy to evade. And of course harpies as enemies. I found it necessary to crouch at times for pick ups. I did need the walkthrough (provided by Oxy). There were a few times I wasn't sure where to proceed. In the second level there are not to be missed butterflies and dolphins. What a wonderful way to end a memorable level. Thanks again Oxy!” – Bene (10-Feb-2004)

“Lara’s has a new look in ‘Harpy’s House’ and I like it very much (she has had positive new looks in most of the last games I’ve played and I failed to mention this sorry guys). There is a very tricky jump I thought necessary near the beginning of this level (from the peak of the first roof to the second roof) which had me a bit excited for what I expected was coming next. The level is not about tricky jumps. It is about exploring a very imaginatively conceived and well designed mansion in search of ‘Gold Birds’ ‘Gold Flowers’ and ‘Gold Ammunition’ for ‘Gold Revolvers’; the latter to be used to kill ‘Gold Harpies’. The story is cute and the gameplay is fun. The only challenge is a block puzzle that took me 15 minutes (3 tries). I recommend ‘Harpy’s House’ to all who are looking for an hour or so of fun. Be warned it is DARK for absolutely no reason in the oddest of places.” – Dougsan (07-Feb-2004)

“Another one of Oxy's beautiful levels. The first part is a search for four golden birds through a big and gorgeous (and kinda spooky) house. It was sometimes hard to find what to do next so I was very happy with the included walkthrough without it I might have given up because no matter how beautiful the surroundings are it gets very frustrating to run around without having a clue what to do. The second part is wonderful with butterflies and even a dolphin but very short just find two keys and a diamond and then you can go swim with the dolphin.” – Josi (06-Feb-2004)

“Lara starts this one looking very Afrikaner like in her garb and even if I’m so far from the mark on the location Oxy intended the outfit had me feeling like I was in Africa on some rich white man’s estate and that really set the mood for me. Now if you’ve played either of the previous levels you’ll pretty much know the setting and feel very comfortable straight away also if you’ve played the one just prior then the gameplay will come also naturally to you as it is very similar these things though take nothing from it and although mansion style gaming is to be found it nonetheless is just so intriguing when placed in such a wonderfully put together environment. Your objective is to hunt down 4 golden birds to place and finish the level with only a handful of harpies to get in your way surprisingly I expected many more by the name and some brilliantly retextured boulders that now look just like floating ghostly faces there are also 5 golden weaponry secrets to find and all up this should take you a good hour to complete. There’s a second level included that you play separately which lasts about 10 minutes. Again as there are no indications where it is set I let the environment tell me that it felt like a Romanian estate situated on the rise of a hill here all there is to do is collect 2 keys the last unnecessary but for starting a flyby 3 roses and a diamond that looked much larger placed in the receptacle than when picked up in fact I searched high and low for a crowbar to pry it back off the wall so I could set it into a lovely band of gold but then I thought that would be too Zsa Zsa for my taste so gave up on the crowbar hunt. I ended this time picking up a golden bird in an underwater tunnel wondering if this little extra was really worth it but then after meeting the 2 butterflies that slowly hover around Lara’s head and taking a dip with the friendly dolphins I thought yeah it was worth it.” – Sash (24-Jan-2004)

“Oxy's Mansions are one of a kind and this one is no different. Wonderful and at times rather spooky setting and Lara in a very cool outfit. This hour long run does not quite have the brilliance of Frosty Mansion in terms of gameplay but it is entertaining nonetheless. Yellow roses 8 Keys 5 birds and 5 secrets to find and one marvelous room after another to stare at. Enemies as you may have guessed are half a dozen or so harpies and the very original 'boulder ghosts'. Gameplay highlight is probably the little movable blocks puzzle and the occasional target shooting with the crossbow. Part 2 seems utterly unfinished and would probably have better served just as a title flby. Instead you get a few minutes of play with two keys and a diamond until you reach another bird and the end. The dolphins were cool though. Definitely not to be missed.” – Michael (24-Jan-2004)

“Like with Oxy's other levels she sure knows how to build beautiful levels although I did spot a part that wasn't textured and that has nothing to do with the points I am giving this game. This level although it starts outside is about a house and it sure is a great looking house. The outside is also very well built. Oxy has an eye for detail. There are some enemies harpies and you hear the rustling their wings from afar so be warned. Finding keys and yellow roses to get the golden birds you need to hit the finishing trigger. The ghost sort of boulders are not that hard to avoid but if you can't get the artifact that is laying under them use the ‘crouch’ key. The first level is rather big as there are many rooms to search through. Placing the birds ends the level and I had to reload to the next level as that doesn't happen automatically. The second level is rather short and as Oxy already mentions in the readme: ‘Don’t shoot’ and of course I did LOL butts flying everywhere. Anyway your goal is getting two keys and I even picked up three red roses. There are no enemies in here although the butterflies did nibble at Lara the fish however did not and then there is a WOW Oxy made a dolphin so sweet. The level ends there as well. Hope Oxy will one day make a ‘proper’ level. Found 5 secrets ammo and pistols. 14-01-2004” – Gerty (24-Jan-2004)

“Oxy is undoubtedly an excellent builder of charming levels however without the clues she provided in the ‘walkthrough’ I know I would have given up in frustration. It needed some camera shots to give a clue where next to venture. For example after picking up the bird and shooting the harpy in the room with the dino head over the doorway why would anyone think to go to the basement for the next move. This obviously was a big undertaking and I congratulate her on a fine effort and look forward to more.” – Sherry (23-Jan-2004)

“Another stunningly beautiful mansion level from this talented builder. There's something quite magical (and spooky) about the setting. Boulders have been cunningly re-textured as ghost heads and the five secrets are golden guns and ammo. You need to find keys to access more gorgeous areas of the mansion and I was so busy admiring the aquarium I nearly missed the first key. Collecting golden birds is the order of the day and exploring the house grounds and rooftops to search for them is great fun. If you don't normally enjoy mansion levels I urge you to try this one - it just might change your mind.” – Jay (22-Jan-2004)

“What can I say about Sophia’s house levels that hasn’t already been said they are simply marvelous and this one is no exception either. In a night setting with beautiful gardens a spooky forest Lara has to search for items that will help her to enter the house. You will need roses keys and complete a few tasks one of which is a puzzle with quite a few moving blocks. Be careful of your steps because inside the house there are fire traps with weird wraith heads falling on the tiles. I failed in understanding the concept of this; some were sounding as boulders falling but wouldn’t hurt Lara unless they are acting as triggers but to what! I found a couple of missing textures close to some double doors at the highest level of the house. Also I noticed that Lara’s fingers were not bending contrary to what we have been used to see with the TR4 model of Lara. Unfortunately although the overall atmosphere is wonderful the gameplay is again poor and repetitive. There is no challenge in these levels and I know that Sophia’s talent is creating awesome sceneries but in my opinion it is such a waste to build something as beautiful as this and not take the time to entail some puzzles. The golden birds you will gather in this level will help you to jump on the second level. This one is quite sort with a very nice flyby nice pictures around that depict mountains but looking rather fake. There is a walkthrough wall in this level behind the fountain which I believe it to be a mistake since it serves no purpose. I found five secrets and had fun playing it. I urge you to play it as all of Sophia’s levels.” – Kristina (19-Jan-2004)

“This is my dream level! A really spooky and scary mansion to enter in here. The thing that got me is the atmosphere. I loved the whole atmosphere of the level. The first 10 rooms you approach are really really well designed indeed! The Gardens and the type of woods behind the mansion is really cool! There was a moment right at the start that scared me to death! :D All I did was pick up some flares and spooky music comes on and I made Lara run away! :D Overall this is definitely worth the download! If you like spooky type house/mansion levels then this is the level for you!” – TombRaiderFan (19-Jan-2004)

“Two differing levels. The puzzles are not hard and I am actually a little disappointed. (Could not play the levels together and the second level did not make sense to me.). Level 1 however was wonderfully designed. Graphics at their best. Lara needs to find four birds and a few keys. The Castle is huge and you need to solve a few puzzles to proceed. Enemies were harpies and there are 5 secrets to find in the first level. Sound was ok and most suitably added when dangerous moments were ahead. I did not like Level 2. No tension and action here only 3 red roses to find and a bird but no use for them – or have I been blind? Graphics again were very nice though and you should play this set because of this alone. Recommended.” – Navi (19-Jan-2004)

“Oxy has again delivered a masterfully realized Mansion environment. It is as beautiful as this game engine can deliver and filled with witty eccentric bits as well. The gameplay alas is not as inventive and there simply isn't enough to do for a level this size. The wraiths have been recycled as ghosts and sometimes these ghosts act like boulders which I found funny and I hope it was intended that way. There is a second level which is lovely and benign where Lara gets to play with dolphins and butterflies. I presume it's a teaser. Oxy needs a bit more spark and challenge to her gameplay so I can give her the perfect 10s I feel she is capable of.” – Duncan (18-Jan-2004)

“A very atmospheric level and a gorgeous house just as Sophia has spoilt us with. The gameplay is less though find keys or flowers to open doors. Beware of the death skulls wile searching for birds that has been trapped by the harpies. The enemies are just that - harpies. The second level is a short outdoor level with no enemies and a couple of keys to find. The attraction here was the absolutely beautiful butterflies! One thing is I think the flybys are a bit too long I prefer to discover the surroundings as I move along.” – G.Croft (16-Jan-2004)

“Again an amazing house level from the master of the textures - Oxy! Wow this is the second time she built a house level and you’ve got to love this. After Lara climbs to the roof a long flyby shows all the rooms in the house and the gardens around – wonderful. New traps ghosts pace they fall on Lara like bouler Hmm and in the house some of tiles are burn and all the rooms and the aquarium looks nice. The gameplay is good. Need to find keys roses and golden bird. The second level is short - starts with a long flyby not much to do but it's worth to see the textures.” – Yoav (16-Jan-2004)
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