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Level: Passage to Mu 1/2 back home search
Author(s): Tony Tomb
total rating:7.90 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bigfoot 8 9 10 10
CC 8 8 8 8
DJ Full 9 9 10 9
Duncan 7 7 9 8
Engelchen Lara 8 9 9 8
eTux 6 7 9 7
Gerty 8 8 8 8
Jay 7 7 8 8
Jerrod 7 8 8 7
Jose 5 7 6 9
Kristina 8 8 8 8
MichaelP 7 7 9 8
Mman 7 8 9 9
Obig 8 8 8 8
Phil 9 8 9 7
QRS 9 8 10 10
Ryan 7 7 8 8
Samu 6 7 8 7
Sash 7 8 7 8
Sutekh 8 7 8 7
Xxenofex 7 7 7 8
category averages
(21 reviews)
7.43 7.71 8.38 8.10

Reviewer's comments

"An enjoyable two-level game, but definitely not up to the standard set by the third and fourth parts of this series. The gameplay is fun for what it is, but nothing spectacular occurs except maybe a few surprise skeleton attacks and boulder traps, and it did get a tad dull running around looking for the next switch. The fire trap maze might also have been a nice idea on paper and there is a clue, but the textures blend in too well with the surrounding tiles, making it more tedious. The lighting tended to be far too dark on occasion as well. That said, I did like the overall atmosphere and architecture, and I loved the textures that would later become a staple of the later parts of the Mu series. A good enough set of levels, but a bit underwhelming." - Ryan (20-Aug-2018)

"Believable scenery with unexpected scale changes enforces mostly exploration-based gaming to make each step count and every goal serious. Both presence and lack of enemies craft a mystery - the final combatless halls with only pillar figures staring at a new visitor engulfed with outworld sounds are incredibly thrilling - you can't know what awaits you beyond that portal, is it danger or hospitality? The music choice room was another thing different. SUMMARY: A great prologue I appreciated even more as a debut - some authors don't reach this atmosphere even with their final levels. A tad simple in some ways, but still a MUst play." - DJ Full (05-Apr-2017)

"As Tony Tomb's first release the quality difference between this and the later Mu sets is very evident, it does show aspects of the author's emerging talent though, such as interesting lighting (if a little dark at times), A good use of space and scale, good use of new textures and creative use of old ones (I especially like the foliage at the top of the tower in map 1) and surreal music that adds a lot to the atmosphere. Some areas feel a little plain for their size, but it also works in certain areas and gives map 2 in particular a creepy sense of abandoned decay. The gameplay is mostly pretty smooth and enjoyable, but it loses a lot of momentum at the end, where missing one hidden jumpswitch forces you to backtrack through a maze (that is annoying enough the first time), and a general shift toward hunting hidden things over the more interesting and varied challenges earlier, it ends up leaving a bad taste after the mostly enjoyable (if pretty straightforward) earlier sections. For about 80% of it's duration this is a fun set though, and while not close to the masterpieces that are Mu 3 and 4, this is worth playing." - Mman (11-Jul-2015)

"I can't understand why this levels are so highly rated in the gameplay section. In first level, when you pull the timed switches there's not a camera to show what is triggered and the players have to discover it from themselves. Even so the first level is not very bad itself. The second level was worst, finding often dead ends and many times there's not a camera to show what the players are triggering; example: in the room with three hanging balls a very distant door opens when you shoot the middle one, but how the hell the player knows what is happening? The door is very very far! Also I can't understand the craze from some authors about pull a switch, run a long distance to find the triggered object, pull another switch there and run again a long distance to the room where the first switch was, pull a third switch and go back a long distance to the previous room and so like a dizzy duck. Evenmore, I couldn't see a single puzzle to solve, only pull switches or place gems; that's all. On the other hand, the architecture is excellent, and the environment is very well textured and lightened. So it's your choice to play or not this levels." - Jose (10-Oct-2013)

"The first level of Michael Bender built with coastal and library wad. This level is also the first episode of a trilogie. Lara start in a big cave near a big canyon with some strange ruins around. The gaol is to enter in this ruins. Because it's the coastal wad, the level is poor in object, no switch (because no swith in coastal wad). But the textures are very well done and the lighting is ok. Not many enemies too. The second level is more interresting and absolutly amazing. The gameplay is more difficult and the use of the library wad is wery well. Lara discover a big temple with amazing new textures and a perfect lighting. I really like the many big rooms with the big stranges creatures, we have an small idea of this Mu civilisation before jump to the strange portal at the end. So a beautiful first adventure whis very original news ideas. Very recommended ..." - BigFoot (11-Jan-2012)

"Coastal Ruins: The game begin very well, the sun, the beach, the birds and a nice villa... But quickly the "nice villa" prove to be a abominable fortress sheltering skeletons, boulders & firetraps. Good ambiance & gameplay for a first level, sometimes a little bit too dark and a few minor bugs with the textures, but nothing bad. The Lost Library: This level require a lot of search, patience and.. the night vision. If you miss the switch for the latest raised block, the best way is the reload, the alternative is cross again the maze with burners. In the last big dark room, 1 hidden jumpswitch, over 50 pillars.. Not really fun once again. That bad because without these hidden jumpswitch, the game could be good. The Passage to Mu is not easy." - Jerrod (30-Mar-2010)

"I would recommend players start at the very beginning to see how this huge series progresses and also to see how the author has developed and improved along the way. Level 1-Coastal ruins. This is where it all begins. The first of many levels in this huge series. And as this was a debut there are a few bugs. But great potential is shown even this early, in this lovely rocky coastal/fortress environment. Finding the crowbar is the biggy at the start. Isn't it always! Then three gems. These open the fortress gates for us to explore it's dark interior. But not before dealing with the crocs in the water and the warthogs roaming among the rocks. Inside we have to dodge boulders, spikes and firetraps, target something in the dark, master a timed run, eliminate skellies, and that's about it. A nice easy introduction to what will be a long playing experience. Level 2-Lost Library. This part is way too dark. It's possible to get into areas we shouldn't and get stuck, and other areas we should but still get stuck. The door after the underwater swim didn't open for me, I had to cheat jump through it. Big empty rooms, and even with the odd ladder to break the monotony, it wasn't easy to figure out where to go, or what just happened. More camera shots would have been helpful. I actually liked the intriguinig maze here. I spotted the 'clues' immediately, about which tiles were safe, and made it through this in a very short space of time. Apart from that we have wraiths, knights, horsemen, gems, stars and lasersight to find, shoot a lot of brass balls, and use chains and jumpswitches. So all told, this was a very good introduction, and I believe the author has now fixed a lot of the problems. Most of the rooms looked great if Lara lit a flare. Unfortunately, a lot of flares will have to be lit in this very dark environment. We definitely get the impression that we are moving closer to an alternative world." - CC (07-Jul-2007)

"I liked quite much these two levels and the way they are designed. Large outdoor areas in the beginning were especially good but I liked also indoor areas that include nice custom textures which is always a positive thing if the textures are created well. Atmosphere is also pretty nice and among the custom textures this game has also custom audio tracks. Actually there's nothing bad in these two levels but just few things that could have been done better. Firstly the second level has too many battles against horsemen which ruins the gameplay a little. To my taste shadow light effects are too dark in most of the areas which lowers the score also. The labyrint was a bit frustrating for me because I didn't figure out which of the tiles are deadly and which are not. However, this is a good adventure and worth playing." - Samu (20-Mar-2007)

"I had not played part 1 and 2 yet, so had to go back there. Comparing Part1 with Part 4 the differences are very evident and show how Michael has developed as a level builder over the years :) You need to find four stars here, meet skeletons, tinmen and a few fire wraiths. There are also crystals to find. Puzzles are great, many traps and also a few timed runs which are not too hard. Textures were not so well done at the start but it became better in the course of the game. Sound and atmosphere came across really well. There were enough flares but it was rather dark in places. Some really well hidden levers to find. Good start for the series :)" - Engelchen Lara (12-Jul-2006)

"Passage to Mu 1. Coastal Ruins: This level is not bad. The textures are all from Coastal Ruins. We are adventuring in caves, small pools and buildings. The enemies are crocodiles, some wild-boars and skeletons that can be even avoided. I didn't hurt any of them because of sparing ammo, but it is not necessary and you can shoot them into the pits. I could only hardly notice the crack on the wall in the pillar room and the cover of the Horseman's Gem behind the green plants at the end of the level. It is a pity that we can only get to the next level from the menu. Passage to Mu 2. The Lost Library: This is already an amazing level. It is not linear at all and if we don't pick up something then we have to walk through the whole level again. The enemies are knights who sometimes also ride horses. If we let them to... But if we overrun them before they take their horses they won't be hard to defeat. Look round carefully to not miss the crowbar in the fiery pit while running away from the wraith or else you have to walk through the whole level again, including nerve-racking fiery labyrinth. My other problem was that I couldn't climb out of the water after the steam-blowers. Well, it is not even necessary, you only have to find the way down in the water. For me, the locations were very dark, but it was a great adventure that can be completed also without using medipacks. I can only suggest these two brilliant levels to everyone. It is a pity that they can only be chosen from the menu. :) You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version), savegames and pictures here: http://treditor.hu/16/passage_to_mu1_2.htm" - Obig (18-Mar-2006)

"Anyone remotely familiar with my other reviews will know that this double level set is, to put it mildly, much darker than I prefer. However, since this is my first exposure to this builder's work product, I'll reserve judgment until I've played the other levels in this series (both of which are much more highly rated). That having been said, this is a highly engrossing raid that took me nearly two hours to complete wven with Gerty's walkthrough to help me through. There are several nice touches that are indicative of a master's hand, including a nerve-wracking segment through a maze of burner tiles in the second level. The puzzles are not at all obvious, and the fiendish placement of several jump switches and brass balls would have left me floundering hopelessly if not for the walkthrough. I would classify the level of difficulty as medium to high, but my appetite has definitely been whetted for Part 3. Recommended." - Phil (17-Feb-2006)

"A very nice two-parts level with a solid gameplay and a good atmosphere, especially toward the end of the second part, as we get closer to the passage. There are very good ideas in there, including (but not limited to) the trapped maze or the swinging chains room. Enemies are well-chosen and generally well staged, even though I could have used a bit less tin-men (those on horses are so loooooong to kill). Visually speaking, it ranges from classic and average in the beginning to a couple of stunning rooms toward the end, where the choice of music is indeed perfect. You really have the impression you're getting closer to an alien world and definitely farther from Kansas ;) Alas, that second part is way too dark, having you lighting flares more than often. A reproach I also have is that one of the items you find in a secret is in fact mandatory to make your way through the game - which in my book is a big no-no. Secrets and content thereof should always be "extra" things which can be missed without consequences. All in all, a very good level. Good enough at least to make you forget about its couple of flaws." - Sutekh (02-Feb-2006)

"What a great first level from Tony! From the first minute with the huge coastal environment to the last golden star placed, I was hooked! I think it was 2 very easy levels but they were very enjoyable. It took me 3 hour to finish this adventure, but it would have taken half that time If I had not been stuck, missing one well hidden jumpswitch :) Great atmosphere, sound and the textures were great! I'm on my way to start the sequels now. Something tells me that I will not be disappointed. Way to go Tony! 2005-07-29" - QRS (30-Jul-2005)

"A commendable effort for a debut and as the title indicates a start to an interesting new series. The start at the cliffs lakes and ruins is picturesque and generally a fitting intro before the beginning of the real action where the setting in the second level changes between the ruins a (way too dark) cave with a lake and finally starts at the structures of the Mu culture. The enemies are everything the 2 base wads offer though in the second part at some points despite the many tinmen felt deserted and gloomy. I liked that along with the beautiful music it made quite an enhancing atmosphere and though the use of standard wads already gives away pretty much what to expect in a level I had an uneasy feeling when exploring that something unexpected might happen - like the mysterious race who built this returning back to their long lost continent... who knows might happen in the sequels? As for the tasks - I'm not too fussy about the 'find-the-brass-ball-or-well-hidden-switch-or-jumpswitch' type of gameplay also the walkthrough leaves for the gem in part 1 were not so obvious. Also - mazes aren't really my thing and due to my un-observance I had to pass it multiple times - my only advice - don't leave a room till you're sure you haven't left a lever or jump switch behind. As said gameplay wasn't exactly what kept me going this time but it was fun all the same with a jump sequence thrown in for good measure and such and I found the course you take rather clever. Despite the minor issues it still is a good double level and will keep you entertained for an hour or so surely. Looking forward to other parts of the series am already interested how this will turn out to be..." - eTux (18-Jan-2005)

"This is a review of the initial version of these levels. Likes: The environments are wonderful the first level based around and in a watery temple given a coastal flavour and the second level in a very dark atmospheric temple set in an underground cave. The tinmen fights in the second level always give me a thrill especially when they climb on their trusty steeds. A fantastic maze built on a few levels with seemingly unmarked death tiles though they are marked if you have a good look that wasn't too big but could be a little confusing if you don't keep your bearings. Dislikes: Definitely the main complaint for me was the darkness of the second level as at some points it was just repressively dark and then the flare bug kicked in. Near the end the gaming seemed to fizzle off and just ended in being a hunt for a bunch of stars that were not too hard to come by. Did I happen to mention it is way too dark! When you go to collect one of the secrets in the second level you can find yourself stuck if you go the exit way first which is the direction you will most likely come to it initially and if you find it the right way you have to contend with two wraiths at separate times so if you extinguish one and think it's safe to collect the secret another one pops it's ugly fiery head out to cause you grief very mean on Michael's part. And finally if this hasn't come up yet I'd just like to point out IT IS TOO DARK! The newer version may have countered some of these dislikes and if so then that is great but as I played this version this is what I found. All in all though I enjoyed the combined 90 minutes and look forward to the next installments just lighten them a little please Michael I beg you!" - Sash (04-Jan-2005)

"Both Level are good to play. There are no big difficulties except with a jump switch which is hard to be find. In the beginning the textures are not processed so well however become in the other course of the play better. It is real tomb raiding not too difficult and not too easy." - Xxenofex (05-Nov-2004)

"Overall this is a great level of should I say a two level game. There are however quite a few problems with it like having no sound whatsoever in part two. Scratching noises at awkward moments and last but no least a flare bug. And as the level is gloomy is it not nice to find hardly any flares in the first place and in the second running around with flares all the time is not my past time of playing levels. Although I am not a builder I wonder why the levels aren't joined. So Michael I would sure fix this right away (and I will replay it) or at least be sure that with the next level those things work. There is a nasty maze in the second level took me the whole night to figure it out and I found it rather annoying. The fight with the tin men and the horses were thrilling. The overall game could use a bit more camera work as I completely missed the lever in the room with the blowers. Rooms at the end were rather bare and there was place enough for more secret passages and/or puzzles. 23-08-2004. This is the revised version and one should play it again as Michael made some changes. First change is the sounds they are OK now secondly there is no reloading between levels and thirdly he closed some doors and the last change he made is the flare bug that is gone. In general he made it a bit brighter but not too bright. Michael never knew that the blue doors could be opened by pushing them so this time around some of them are closed and now you play it the way it was intended and all I can say is that the gameplay made sense now. I had a great time making the walkthrough first for the old version and later with the changes. The story however doesn't change so one needs to find artifacts and find that all important secret in the first half as that is the shotgun as there are skeletons on the loose. The second half is all about the Mu building and that nasty maze. Luckily Michael put in a bit more camera work so this time around I wasn't running around like a headless chicken for that one lever in the cog and steam room. For those who already gave this a go I would say download it again as it is worth it. All in all there are 3 secrets now to find (and not 4 as in the old version) 05-10-2004" - Gerty (10-Oct-2004)

"The initial setting for this level is coastal which I always like. I love the associated sounds - the swell of the waves the cries of the seagulls the chomping of crocodile jaws. There are loads of nooks and crannies to explore and it took me a surprisingly long time to find the crowbar. Still given my blind spot towards all things crowbarish I was quite happy to find it at all. There are gems to find boulders to dodge and of course skeletons to run away from. Luckily the shotgun turned up fairly early on so I had fun blasting them off ledges. The second part is based on the library wad and has to be played separately so you'll need to find stuff again - YES I found the crowbar quite quickly which put me in a really good mood. It's a huge area and takes some exploring. It's also liberally inhabited by tinmen and horsemen so you won't have too much time to relax. I believe there were initial problems with the audio files but I played the revised game and found everything in good working order - in fact some of the music was really lovely and certainly added to my enjoyment of the level. The only part I really didn't much care for was the horrendous maze - confusing enough in itself without the addition of unmarked fire tiles which made negotiation a completely irritating experience. Otherwise I enjoyed it very much and certainly rate it as an extremely good first level. Well done Michael more please." - Jay (30-Sep-2004)

"Coastal Ruins (7/7/9/8 25 min.): A rather convincing opening level in coastal style with the usual suspects around (crocodiles warthogs skeletons) and three gems to find along the way plus boulders fires and spikes to avoid. In the end there is actually very little to do here but due to the nice environment that's not a problem at all and makes you want more from this series. The Lost Library (7/7/9/7 55 min. 3 secrets): This could have been just a truly brilliant level as the architecture is quite impressive the way the rooms interconnect is smartly designed and the 'Mu' textures are cool. Also I found three secrets which were all rather well placed. A bit of steam a few swinging chains very impressive caves four stars and two gems to find. So where does it go wrong? First and foremost it is way too dark and especially with the flare bug kicking in towards the end that becomes very annoying. Then there is a bit of an overabundance of tinmen to battle. And of course the 3D maze with unmarked death tiles is not fun at all. The lever placement and what they caused was clever but maybe a bit too enigmatic and with too few camera hints and last but not least it seemed to rooms became more and more bare and empty as the game progressed. Now - don't get me wrong. This is an absolutely impressive debut and as the author learns more in his building efforts a few of those smaller gripes will disappear and I am already looking very much forward to play Passage to Mu 3 4 5 6...... " - Michael (04-Sep-2004)

"What we have here is a two part game with the first level being quite short. In a coastal setting Lara is searching for a gem has to face wild boars and crocodiles plus master a timed run and that is all you'll be doing. It's nicely done though with rocks all around. The second level is bigger and very dark. Normally a dark room or playing at night would solve the darkness problem but unfortunately in this situation it doesn't. Some places are just black and with the flare bug kicking in things really get difficult. The gameplay is very interesting and complex or it seemed like it. The maze with the burning tiles was a pleasure to master having to explore underwater passages and not only fight a lot of horsemen and avoid a fire wraith to get a secret was challenging. There is a problem in the room with the chains and the shotgun secret if you access it from the side the lowering block is and drop there is no escape. That is a big problem since the player can't finish the level some testing or better testing if you like is in order. In general I liked the level and there are some nice music tracks but I would appreciate some more cameras most of the time I had to back track a lot to find what happened and in that gloomy atmosphere it isn't easy. I found three secrets and for a first try I'd say it's a pretty nice level and would definitely encourage the author to continue building expecting the next level to be thoroughly tested though. I am sure he can give us an even greater game." - Kristina (04-Sep-2004)

"A large highly playable and picturesque pair of levels from what I believe is a new author. Alas there are new author problems - no transition between the two levels the flare bug camera non-existent or sticking and the second part is too dark. In the second level the place were the shotgun is acquired can trap the player - also having two wraiths in this same spot is questionable. Other than that the gameplay has challenges and the levels are very well made and textured. I loved the funny cow-like dieties in the second level. In spite of my griping I did enjoy playing it. I see real talent here and I hope the author has testers to help for the next effort. Congratulations." - Duncan (01-Sep-2004)
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