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Level: Twin Crystals back home search
Author(s): Seifer Zero
total rating:8.17 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
CC 8 8 8 7
Claudia 9 9 9 9
Dutchy 10 10 9 8
EssGee 8 9 8 7
Gerty 10 10 9 8
Horus 6 5 6 5
Jay 9 9 9 8
Jose 5 8 7 7
Kristina 9 9 9 7
MichaelP 8 8 8 7
Phil 10 10 8 9
Ryan 8 9 8 8
category averages
(12 reviews)
8.33 8.67 8.17 7.50

Reviewer's comments

"This is one long and involving series that do have their fair share of frustrations and problems, but I actually thought overall, it was an exhilarating, involving and worthwhile raid. There are eight levels in this game, that contain a large amount of interesting puzzles, great retextured enemies and plenty of pickups and secrets to go for that will make your journey through easier. My niggles are mostly about these annoying darkness, texture problems, looping music, fixed cameras and backtracking, all of which could have been streamlined to make it even better. Having said those, I did enjoy many aspects of this including the aforementioned puzzles, flyby sequences, neat objects and enemies, plus some of the trap sequences (one level offers a choice of two routes, I chose the hardest so I could make ample use of my supplies). If you can put up with the negatives I mentioned, this should definitely be worth your while to try out, as it's enjoyable otherwise. I spent close to five hours getting through it." - Ryan (10-Nov-2017)

"As usual, not agree with the other reviewers 'cause the author seems to configure the gameplay only for players get often stucked. There are many original puzzles, but many of them are too obscure without appropriate hints to solve them; objects not obvious to shoot, too hidden in very dark corners, unmarked traps and no cameras to help the player so, I had to use Dutchy's walthrough often in all levels. The best were the numerous retextured objects and enemies, and some cool musics (sometimes annoying) and the big effort with the lighting (excessive darkness in many rooms), but it doesn't mean you'll enjoy this huge adventure." - Jose (28-Jun-2017)

"At first sight, this looks terrific, good atmosphere and music but the first few minutes did not endear me to the game. I tripped over so many flaws, paper thin walls, ends of the world, undulating water textures where they weren't supposed to be, and so on. By accident I found an invisible small medpack on a ledge, and when I swam through a small space I got hopelessly stuck in sharp illegal slopes. I was not amused. Further in I became so involved in this huge series that these hiccups didn't matter so much. I would seriously recommend the walkthrough as it is very hard to figure out what to do or where to go. There are deviously hidden or camouflaged items to shoot and use, and impossible to know about invisible ledges (throughout the game). And the player has to get through a lot of this without camera hints. Some tasks are in the 'only the author knows' category. Part 1: Sapphire Island: We certainly are dealing with crystals - objects, enemies, weapons and architecture. All lovely to look at in that beautiful blue light. We must find a lot of gems to open a series of crystal doors, and bit by bit, change a room of flowing lava into water, with the ultimate goal of acquiring the Sapphire key. There are a lot of object pushing exercises, some with only the subtlest of hints. Part 2: The Four Sapphire Keys: Indoors now, in a lovely room with hanging plants and more gorgeous blue colours. But it's a darker level, which makes searching difficult. It's nigh on impossible to find those invisible platforms. This level had a cleopal feel to it, but that might have a lot to do with the greenery, the Egyptian demigods and the striking pharaoh statue puzzle. Lots of lofty heights to scale. Secrets are eyeglasses. More things to shoot, and swimming through unusual blades in an underwater maze. The sliding ice blocks room was clever. All this to find five gems. But the star of the show was that statue pushing puzzle. Part 3: Kzaon's Hall: The opening flyby shows us we must search for artifacts to place on that impressive looking platform. We get our first glimpse of Samantha and her henchmen, always one step ahead of us, causing trouble. The decor is fairly unimaginative until we slide into a beautiful water room. Making our way up high in this room was good fun, and at the top we have to negotiate a very colourful and very deadly pole/tile/jumping sequence. More shootables and moveables, gems and jumpswitches, demigods, knights and skellies, and some swimming. Also some really nasty spike traps. We finish on top of a structure with a lot of enemies to deal with, including one of those enormous legless atlantean mutants. After each battle we collect their gems and go underneath the platform to place them. Part 4: We Are Late: City of Balamb. I had to turn the new music down here, it really got to me. And the texturing is just not funny any more. The camera angles wouldn't be quite so annoying if we could at least use the look button. Ironic when there are very few camera hints when we really need guidance. The previous levels have been so surreal. Here an attempt has been made at a reasonably realistic town/harbour setting. We are late, for the ferry. Good flyby shows Samantha has abandoned her bike and runs on board. We are also late for the train that's just leaving the station. Seems to me all Lara had to do was wait a minute for the next one, or the next, as crossing the tracks is a fatal undertaking. Crocodiles roam the streets and the place is infested with gunmen. Another underwater maze, a monkeyswing over lava, sneaky vraeus trap, more shooting and moving of objects, and who is that yellow haired female statue and poster? Lara finally commandeers a boat and leaves this island. Part 5: Samantha's Revenge: We start inside a building with mansion textures and trigger a flyby showing Samantha stealing Lara's hard won jar. There are a lot of odd, bland looking rooms and more texturing hiccups. This is a short connecting level, but with some interesting stuff going on. Tasks look more difficult than they really are. Realistic enemies here are tigers!? We soon find a bike and leave. Part 6: Ruby Island: Thankfully we are back to the haunting music we heard at the start. Coloured lights, objects and enemies are now Ruby, giving a warmer and brighter look to this part of the game. Too warm in fact. Lots of fire, steam, lava and toxic water. Some rooms are very beautiful to look at. The opening scene shows Lara has caught up with Samantha, who turns and stuns Lara unconscious. So when she wakes... off we go again. We enter a large central room, with a number of rooms off this where we must search for yellow gems in red caskets, guarded by red demons. These rooms contain various traps and puzzles. The hardest task is making our way along a walkway of fire emitters to jump into different openings, but the walkthrough explains a neat trick to get past this. Lara can swim in lava, but dies in water! Strange! Part 7: Lara vs. Samantha: We are given a choice... Life or Death?... A hard or easy route. A huge red room, walkways high above, spikes on a central platform with water underneath, and a welcoming committee off gunmen. Later we deal with demigods, knights and large mutants. Kill them for their yellow keys that open another series of doors. Miscellaneous traps and rolling red balls abound. One room has descending corkscrews. We are searching for a scroll and pharos knot that allows us to finally catch up with Samantha, who tries to kill Lara while performing some magic with the jar. Samantha is extinguished, but... Part 8: Genesis of Rebirth - Zakon's Dimensions: By the power of the crystals Lara is now part crystal herself, with crystal eyes and crystals embedded in her body. Her weapons have turned part crystal too! Although this looks really cool it doesn't give her any super human powers. She still has to fight her way through even bigger enemies. We are now in the realm of the god Malvagio (aka Seth), and things are reversed, east is west, and safe is deadly. We follow an excellent route around an enormous room, up and up via jumps, climbs, monkeyswings, crawls, shimmys, avoiding or shooting balls and swinging blade, meet an extraordinary mummy lever and finally, at the top, face Malvagio himself. Great cut scene of his demise. Towards the end we see a map and watch a final flyby of the islands. This is a very different Tomb Raiding experience. Even after this length of time it still has a very new and refreshing feel to it. Unfortunately there are serious problems that could have been avoided with thorough beta testing. A long and involved level that is highly recommended." - CC (20-Mar-2007)

"Well if you don't give up in despair in the first room you will be in for a great 8 level adventure (plus other title flybys and special scenes). On one hand this has a great storyline which really gives you a sense of achievement once to get through the whole game. On the other hand, getting through the game has many frustrations. Intentional or not, there are many unfair unmarked climbable walls and traps, doors that open without camera clues, trial and error puzzles, that will provide much frustration. Theses are mixed with some otherwise very good puzzles and challenges. The general atmosphere is unusual to say the least (sometimes very surreal). There is a certain appeal to this in terms of the lighting, but texture application is at best, poor. I found this incredibly frustrating because I felt these levels could have been anything if more time and care had been taken and some cheap shots had not been used in puzzles and traps. To the author's credit though, with all its shortcomings I still found this to be a memorable but difficult raid. The final Boss battle room makes the trek through this long adventure well worthwhile. There is an abundance of well done custom textured or meshed enemies, and some of the combinations you have to face make a good challenge to battle against. The music tracks used for background were really well suited and also helped to keep the vibe in the game up. Allow yourself plenty of time to get through this one and you'll be rewarded with some good adventuring." - EssGee (10-Mar-2007)

"The title flyby looks promising and the audio is impressive, so let's dive right into a huge adventure which even has a solid storyline that it follows along... Zephyr Island (7/8/7/6, 60 min., 3 secrets): Starting out on a darkish beach you soon find out that gameplay is a bit on the unfair side: target shooting of almost not visible objects, well camouflaged shootable walls, very subtle hints whether walls are climbable, invisible ledges and virtually no camera hints whatsoever. Not quite my kind of fun. You collect a series of gems solving a few interesting puzzles and the music and flyby of the lava room were nice. The push block puzzle in the mirror room was clever, though a bit tedious and you get to deal with blade traps, tinmen and skeletons. The Four Sapphire Keys (6/8/7/6, 50 min., 3 secrets): Again great audio (until it begins to get on your nerves) and plenty of pickups. The darkness here is even more overwhelming and you will have to use binoculars a lot in order to progress. Same unfair gameplay as in part 1 here in your quest for five gems. The underwater maze with blades was a pain, the lava jumps fun, except for the 'fake' monkeyswing and again helpful cameras are totally absent. Tinmen, demigods and a lonely skeleton to deal with. Kzaon's Hall (7/9/8/8, 40 min., 4 secrets): Again very subtle hints only about the spike tiles, another underwater maze and a first well done flyby of Samantha. Plenty of gems to pick up and use as you repeat your trip up to the battle ground. This was fun and the TR1 mutant enemy is always a great sight. Many enemies in this part (demigods, tinmen, guards and skeletons). We are late... (7/7/7/7, 40 min., 1 secret): Well, for the first time in this game you actually get a few camera hints, which is good, but then it is spoiled by rather annoying fixed camera angles. Many guards and a few crocodiles to meet in this City setting. The lava room with burners, darts and bladed was a nice challenge. And you miss the train, but finally catch your boat. Samantha's Revenge (8/8/8/7, 30 min., 3 secrets): Suddenly back home, well, kind of. Nice little scene again of Samantha stealing the artefact and then you take a tough roundtrip under the house in dark, reddish lighting initially, dealing with lava, burners, jumps, boulders, slicer dicers, spikes, collapsible tiles and blades until you finally reach the bike and your way out. Ruby Island (9/8/8/7, 60 min., 3 secrets): Maybe the most engaging part of the series. Another darkish place with many tinmen, guards, skeletons, fire wraith and a hammergod roaming around. A lot of objects in fitting (ruby) red transparent design, and Lara can swim ok in lava but dies in clear blue water here. There are quite a few thin walls and sometimes even textures missing. The cental burner room looks nice and there is plenty to do around it and some of the jumps were fun. Make sure you do not miss the elevator up or you are stuck. Lara vs Samantha (9/8/8/7, 25(+15) min., 1 secret): On the one hand I liked the idea to offer an easier and a more difficult path. On the other hand it means you end up playing both ways and then reload savegames. The gauntlet through the Death Part is actually quite fun with jumps, burners, boulders, blades, spikes, some globe pushing, a tough corcscrew room and a few collapsible tiles and your reward is a secret room with a huge amount of supplies. From there you reach a battleground area with poisonous mutants that you can kill from a safe distance and at the end a nice animation scene with Lara and Samantha. Genesis of Rebirth - Zakon's Dimension (9/8/8/8, 40 min., 1 secret): Very interestingly done. Lara dies and is reborn but sort of like a zombie with blue eyes and all weapons look different. Samantha gets killed and so are many guards, tinmen and harpies and a few wraiths. The trip around the huge room getting up higher was great fun despite some more tedious elements in between and the encounter with Seth, his killing and the original idea with the sword is very nicely set in scene. Had a great laugh at the mummy lever. And then it all ends with a nice flyby of the surrounding islands that you just explored. Overall a huge amount of work obviously went into building this game and it becomes more playable towards the later part of it. Still I thought that maybe a little more care with the textures and lighting and avoiding some of those unfair and tedious elements may have been beneficial and would have allowed for a more fun gaming experience overall." - MichaelP (20-Oct-2005)

"Zephir Island: My first thought was that this level seemed to have a rather nice atmosphere with a matching soundtrack. At least, the starting area had a mystic touch to it. Some flares would have been a rather nice gesture of the author, but it's soon clear that one needs to consult the binoculars every 30 seconds in order to see at least something. The textures are pretty messy, stretched, forming cracks and sometimes even missing. I easily encountered an "End of the World" right at the start. A little plus in this level were the enemies, they seemed to be a challenge most of the time for me. Later the gameplay gets very repetitious, you travel back and forth, solving little quests in order to turn a lava room into a water room and pick up a Sapphire Key in it. I didn't count how many times I had to do it but at least 5 times I guess. The Four Sapphire Keys: Again, most of the objects are transparent and the rooms pitch black with some lights randomly thrown in, thus you won't see switches or even enemies unless you'll light a flare, use binoculars or shoot all the time. But still, switches were at least visible with the binoculars, because just a few rooms later there are entirely invisible platforms that you will only notice by accident or by the way the camera moves around them. It should be mentioned too, that some walls are climbable though they look like any other walls in the level (which are not climbable). Summary: just shoot at everything and jump everywhere, sometime you'll hit the right thing. The author seems to call that "gameplay". Kzaon's Hall: I was pretty impressed that the author could stretch textures even more. Well, seriously - textures can look very nice when applied correctly and they can look most disgusting when stretched like that. Though, I liked the way Lara encounters the enemy-team around Samantha. Some items were called "Load", don't ask me why, the others always had such imaginative names. We are Late: Yes, that's the most fitting description of this level. After missing the ferry there's a lot of running around in the streets of Balamb City or whatever it's name was. My top tip for this level: turn Vol FX off - there's thick black fog that'll make you entirely blind and even flares won't help you. The cameras are equally disadvantageous, you'll hardly see the doors at the sides of the streets and you can't turn the cameras off, since they are fixed cameras. You guessed it - only the binoculars let you see the doors properly. I seriously thanked Eidos and Core for being so utterly kind and put binoculars into TR4. Well, the trains leaves just as you enter the station (I wonder how a train could have brought her off that island anyway? Underwater tunnels?) and the only chance to leave that island is a cute little boat that forms an end to this short level. Samantha's Revenge: A level at Lara's home, though you won't encounter the original home, just the textures. Being robbed of your newest treasure Lara has to get through an escape tunnel to get out of her own house. I still wonder why there were tigers in her basement. The traps sometimes made very annoying sounds and the music was very pesky after just a few minutes. Also, there are skeletons in her house, a bit strange but anyway. After a very short bike ride the level ends and Lara travels to Ruby Island. Ruby Island: I liked the ruby red sky in contrast to the blue sky on Zephir Island. What I didn't like was a switch that was attached to a crate. How is that supposed to trigger something?? I liked the cut of Lara chasing Samantha, very well done! Another nice effect here was the spinning Lara that was surrounded by flames or something like that, you never know. What I REALLY missed in this level were cameras hints, I can not remember a single camera showing me where to go or what to do and there were a lot of doors. Some of them were not visible or only faintly visible due to the dark lighting (some of them won't even get visible when shooting of using a flare). In my opinion it was a bit....strange to swim in lava and die in usual water, but you'll get used to that. I saw some overlapping rooms in this level, sometimes you could see bits of other rooms or the "water effect" in dry rooms because there are other room in the map which were at the same spot. I was forced to use the position editor to continue in the room with the hammer god because there was a rising platform triggered and if you miss it you're stuck forever. Lara vs. Samantha: I still don't like to see Lara running on lava. And I still don't like traps making annoying noised like lots of traps in this level did (drillers and slicer dicer). Most of the other traps used here (which for God's sake made normal noises!) moved into walls (mostly blades). Some weren't always visible at all (transparency problem in dark rooms). Notable too is the fact that sometimes textures are deadly for Lara and sometimes not, which makes you save all the time. Yes, this level consists of traps, traps and more traps. Oh, and a few enemies. Genesis of Rebirth - Zakon's Dimension: Lara gets halfway killed by Samantha (nice cutscene again) and looks now pretty demonic. Yet again, the background music soon gets a pain in the ass, and the textures still aren't applied any better, especially in the huge hall (wallpaper effect). Textures that were always absolutely harmless are now deadly (spikes), and textures with skulls on them trigger something, I would have preferred it the other way round, as it seemed "a bit" odd to me. Summary/Annotations: I really liked the idea with the map at the end, though I'm not sure what it is supposed to tell me. I did not like the fact that only TR textures were used, apart from a very few self-made textures and a LOT of textures that were taken from my FotC. I don't mind if people take one or two texture from my levels, but SeiferZero didn't even ask me and he also took Qanyuntha and the bolts without permission. But that does not influence the rating." - Horus (14-Oct-2005)

"I'm surprised that more people have not played and reviewed by now (2/05) this epic series. I realize that it's a formidable download, but much of the heft is in the music files (some of which I found extremely annoying during gameplay, so I simply deleted a number of the more obtrusive looping sound files after installing the levels). What we have here is a slightly surreal (but not to the extent of, say, Mantua's Squares) environment with challenging gameplay and some extremely clever flourishes. Some of you have already noted the floor lever in the last level that comes to life mounted on a mummy's back. The enemies and standard pickups have been restructured as well, making for a refreshingly new look. Dutchy's complete and very understandable walkthrough made it possible for me to survive some of the trickier moves and solve some of the many intricate puzzles. I won't go as far as to say this is one of the all-time bests, but it certainly deserves its high rating and more people should download and play it. Highly recommended." - Phil (13-Feb-2005)

“A beautiful and great level. Thanks SeiferZero!” – Claudia (10-Jan-2005)

“Twin Crystals grabbed me from the start the read-me should have been in English too as it took me a while to get that Italian translated (and the story really adds to the atmosphere). The gameplay is great surprising at several points but the only thing that bothered me was the lack of cameras. It was to make the level a bit harder but in my opinion it was a bit too hard... The story was well done I liked the points where you saw Lara was just too late again the ship sailing in the distance when you ran out on the pier trying to reach it in time to leave the Island and then later the train leaves just before you're there and while jumping to get to a lever to open a gate the next train just leaves below. Some enemies were new and looked great to me. Some of the trickiest parts were the fight with all the enemies to get the Stones and the puzzle with the trigger tiles high high up in a room and the sword the ‘Ultima’ in the wall was a nice trick too. The transparent objects were not always very visible but I liked that feature too. Had the hardest time ever finding the Secrets as they were hidden very well. Some times you had to backtrack for quite a bit. Only too many doors that didn't open (were for the new level I heard) and maybe could have been added later in my opinion. The one thing that really baffled me was that walking lever! The music was a bit too persistent and I put the volume down in most of the levels. BUT... a great level series all in all.” – Dutchy (22-Dec-2004)

“Zephyr Island: What a weird and wonderful setting. You get a revolver and laser sight early on in the proceedings which is a good indication that you need to look for things to shoot - some of them are really quite well concealed too. There are some really rather inventive block puzzles to solve lots of tinmen to shoot and gems to find and some sneaky trigger tiles. The Four Sapphire Keys: Four gems to find and a variety of rooms to explore along the way. Another very good puzzle involving pushing statues on to fire and water tiles and you get the crossbow in nice time to take care of the skellies. There are some very invisible platforms in this section so if you’re wondering how the hell to get somewhere try leaping about like a mad thing and you may just find yourself standing on a solid bit of air. Kzaon’s Hall: Aaaaaargh. This builder must have latched on to the fact that demigods are easy to deal with if you kneel right in front of them and let them fire over your head. Just try it in the spike room - it’s not easy. I was a bit mystified to find a second laser sight since it would have been impossible to reach this point without the first one. There’s battle royal going on in this part as you fight a series of massed enemies (including the big boss baddie from Atlantis) on what seems like a very small platform with fire emitters at each corner to gain five serpent stones. It may just leave you breathless. We Are Late: Presumably as in ‘the late Lara Croft’ since the place is full of men with guns and stern views on tourism. There are a lot of crocodiles roaming the streets as well not to mention the floor knives in the passages. It’s lucky pickups aren’t skimped. I loved the look of the trains passing through the station and my only moan would be about the irritating fixed camera angles in some of the outside areas. I really dislike those. Samantha’s Revenge: I was prepared for more gunmen and the poison darts were all in a day’s work but the tiger really took me by surprise. Samantha must be feeling very vengeful indeed - slicer dicers with flame emitters with spikes and an ahmet thrown in for good measure. Oh and lots and lots of boulders. There’s a teeny tiny bike ride at the end but you do get to run over a few guards. Ruby Island: This looks like an outpost of hell. There certainly are a lot of red textures and the place is full of demons (splendidly re-textured tinmen). There’s also a very definite flame motif going on so it’s crispy fried Lara time if you’re not very careful. Lara vs Samantha: Intriguing start - faced with two doors one marked ‘life’ and one marked ‘death’ which one would you go through. Yes you’re a tomb raider so of course you’re going to pick ‘death’. There are plenty of opportunities I must say what with all the lava slicing blades boulders and spikes. In fact Samantha’s provided a real assault course that just doesn’t give up. Be prepared to use a few medipacks. Genesis of Rebirth - Zakon’s Dimensions: Just when you thought you’d seen off that bloodthirsty Samantha back she comes worse than ever (but not for long he he). Pickups in this section are positively lavish and rather interestingly re-textured and Lara’s pistols fire with a lovely green light. There’s a really good sequence getting to the top of a huge room that I found most enjoyable with an excellent ending involving defeating Seth. This one gets better and better as you go along and I can really recommend it most highly. Extremely good gameplay.” – Jay (16-Dec-2004)

“This mini game has 8 levels and kept me at my computer for a couple of days the stats however tell me 13 hours but who is counting. I have to say I had great fun. There is everything in here that oozes Tomb Raiding. It isn't linear as such and the only thing you should remember is that some of the secrets are hidden pretty well so you sometimes had to backtrack. It is a bit of a blur for me what went on in which level though even after playing it for a third time. The levels are from pretty dark to overly bright specially the statues one had to push over fires or smoke. That was pretty hard to see and swimming underneath did help me quite a lot. Enemies are from soldiers to the end-boss Seth and seeing him dying was great to watch. I just loved the lever that turned into a mummy that was THE WOW moment for me. There are two gripes I have one is the music. Although overall it did fit great it got a bit on my nerve at a certain point as there seems to be an endless loop. The second were the nasty fixed camera angles. They always make me feel queasy. The last level was nerve racking for me jumping in a huge (and I mean huge) underground cave as my fear of heights kicked in. There are many puzzles and if you pay close attention the solution isn't far away. Also if in doubt shoot I was stuck for hours and frustrated I shot everything in sight and hey presto a door was shot to smithereens. Great game great gameplay great textures and great re-textured enemies. 27-11-2004” – Gerty (13-Dec-2004)

“This game is surprisingly different in a good way from all the other levels the author has released lately. It consists of many levels all with good puzzles and many areas to explore. I liked all them because of their originality and challenge they had. There are a lot of sneaky tricks here so the players have to keep their eyes open for switches crawlspaces and unusual things to break. The enemies are nicely placed but I am never too happy to see that Hammer god on the contrary I thought the retextured horsemen were funny. I had some trouble with a couple of places; one was in the area with the four rolling balls as the third one was invisible for me and neither the binoculars nor the flares helped me see it. Even though I got close it still eluded me but thanks to Dutchy’s walkthrough I was able to continue. The other problem was similar for some reason the platform in the room with Hammer god was invisible too so I got stuck for good with no way to end the game because without realizing it I let the elevator go. Again thanks to Dutchy’s savegame I was able to proceed and finish the game. I still don’t know what caused these two bugs to appear because they are bugs seeing how those two objects appear on other people’s screen but I am glad there are helpful raiders out there. As much as I liked this game I have to say that the textures were problematic something that took a lot of feeling from the atmosphere. They weren’t well placed so you can see them patched in places and in many areas some of them were missing. I hope the author will pay more attention to that part of his games so the next level will be great in all aspects. I found twelve secrets but they weren’t hard to find most of them anyway so I guess I wasn’t paying much attention. Be prepared for a long and enjoyable adventure.” – Kristina (09-Dec-2004)
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