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Level: LB Advent Calendar 2004 - Lara in the Mountains back home search
Author(s): Steve
total rating:7.49 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Akcy 6 9 8 9
EssGee 6 7 7 7
Gerty 8 8 8 8
High Priestess 5 5 5 6
Jay 8 8 10 8
Jez 9 8 9 9
Jose 6 8 6 8
Kristina 7 8 8 8
manarch2 5 7 7 6
MichaelP 7 9 10 9
misho98 6 7 5 6
Obig 9 8 10 9
Orbit Dream 5 5 5 6
Phil 7 7 8 8
reborn1995 8 8 8 8
Relic Hunter 8 9 9 9
Sash 6 6 8 8
Treeble 6 9 9 9
category averages
(18 reviews)
6.78 7.56 7.78 7.83

Reviewer's comments

"Nice level where you get to ride a bicycle, save an ill man and free a Unicorn plus feed a hungry bear although frankly, that's prolonging the agony since he's stuck in a deep cave for evermore :P" - High Priestess (18-May-2017)

"A few creative ideas we have here - feeding a bear with honey, curing an old man and an interesting pushblock puzzle but all these things could've been executed way better. The gameplay features lots of backtracking that can get kinda tedious. I also think that even if the surroundings looked pretty good, the atmosphere was lacking and I think the fault was in the ambient sound - it just wasn't the right one to use. Other than that the textures are colorful and the lighting is okay, architecture could use more work but overall it looks okay. The house was fun to explore at first although you won't find nothing really interesting. The bike was a nice addition. Didn't find any secrets, finished in 40 minutes. Not a bad level but kinda messy." - misho98 (24-Dec-2015)

"A level that stands out most for the excellent cutscenes which make this one stand out from most if not all other 2004 advent levels. The dialogues are very sweet and create a touching storyline, apt for the seasonal spirit - although it's not the classical Xmas level in the truest sense, I very much liked how Lara had to achieve several tasks to help the inhabitants of the landscape. The custom objects are also very nicely done, maybe a few secrets would have been even better here to spice things up even more given there are (naturally) no enemies or traps. The gameplay mainly lives from the task-based character and there are a few lengthy backtracks that can be only ignored because of this (the first return to an area visited in the first level was particularly obscure), yet the puzzle with the rolling ball and the blocks was actually quite clever, although it's a bit tedious. Some of the other tasks, though, are fairly dull (like getting the honey). The visuals are colourful and quite apt for a fantasy level, yet the architecture feels a bit too wildly put together mostly and isn't quite seamlessly done, as well as the often eclectic texturing, and the lighting is too flat mostly - a bit more effort really should have been done in those regards. Still, the use of music and cameras is mostly good and despite several gripes it were rather enjoyable, because quite different, 20 minutes I spent in here." - manarch2 (18-Dec-2014)

"Charming enough, I suppose, although I didn't take the time to load the sound files, and I relied on Dutchy's walkthrough for the story line. The gameplay and surroundings are rather engaging, although nothing to shout about. The boulder puzzle in the first part was interesting, where you have to drag a block onto special tiles in succession to release boulders poised overhead. Didn't really strike me as a Christmas level, but at least it's peaceful and low-stress." - Phil (20-Jul-2012)

"Fantasy Xmas levels such as this are an aquired taste,no doubt about that. Give a Bear some honey;cure a sick old man;revive a Unicorn. All well and good,but did it need to happen in such a buggy environment (illegal slopes all over the place)and with such plodding gameplay progression (you know immediately that the all-important medicine bottle is inevitably to be located at the physical point of the level furthest from where you happen to be,and that backtracking will be the order of the day from there onward)..? Although the use of objects was well handled and showed considerable aptitude,the incorrect placement of doors and a comically extraneous sound effect for a sheet of ice rather undid all the builders good intentions.Texturing and lighting were nowhere better than adequate,and overall the magic of the season was sadly lost on me. Probably best played on Xmas Eve after a particularly heavy drinking session." - Orbit Dream (25-Oct-2011)

"Lara must help free a unicorn with help from a hungry bear and an ailing farmer. The gameplay was very linear--you are not able to go to certain areas unless you do things in the exact order prescribed. i think the effort to include a real plot in a game was commendable, but this particular story seemed slightly disjointed. i didn't understand lara's outfit selection for her environment. and the lush environment was somewhat over done and mismatched. Further, it wasn't really an xmas level so much as just a friendly/winter level with a fun (but ad hoc) bike ride. All in all it was worth one play through." - reborn1995 (17-Jun-2009)

"I have rather mixed feelings about this level. On one hand it provides a rather beautiful stormy mountain atmosphere, but falls short in its delivery due to many illegal slope traps that caused me to have to reload many times. This really does spoil the fluency of the game. I had great trouble locating the pit in a crater (I must be snowblind), but all the twisted ankles Lara had suffered from the those nasty slopes was slowing me down a bit LOL. I felt sorry for our heroine too as the poor girl was running around barefoot in a snow clad world. No wonder there was a lot of coughing and sneezing going on during the dialogue. Getting over this initial hurdle I was then taken on an interesting fantasy tale to meet a talking Bear, a sick old man, a search for a cure for the old guy and finally on to get a sighting of a rare white unicorn. Camera clues are sadly lacking so you have to scurry around the mountainside to figure out what new paths have been revealed. The author has made some good efforts with the cutscenes, and fortunately provides some translations for the German dialogue. The only problem here is that the camera views are not held during the scene. So Lara can very rudely walk off during mid conversation. Tch, Tch, manners my girl. The mountain environment has some nice appeal but there are too many opportunities to get to the end of the world and see mountain slopes that end in paper thin walls - which kind of spoils the illusion. There's a fun ride on a new bicycle (now where have I seen that idea before), which includes some new pedalling animations (nice touch) but the poor old bicycle has no pedalling sounds. There's also some other nice novelty objects and puzzles. There are some suitably adapted ambient music tracks, but regardless of language, voiceovers should be spoken slower for the first time listener to absorb. So my overall assessment is that this shortish twin level set has some really nice concepts but is poorly executed, and could have been a lot better with a greater attention to detail." - EssGee (10-Mar-2007)

"Beautiful valley, and objects, especially liked the Unicorn, whom Lara has to free. The cute hungry bear and the bicycle ride, helping Mr Farmer, all were really great. The downside was the lack of cameras, when accomplishing some task, we can look for previously closed doors, but when an unsuspicious mountainside or underwater wall opens mysteriously at the far end of the level without any hint, is quite unfair. Otherwise the atmosphere was superb. Don't miss this level, because the plot is very touching. Thanks for the translations of the conversations, in the readme." - Akcy (04-Jan-2007)

"There was so much potential here, the imaginative idea of having Lara interact verbally with a starving bear, going for a pedal, sometimes frantically, on a push bike with some fun jumps if the desire takes you, and meeting up with a unicorn at the end. But the game had me at a lot of times frustrated, there were just not enough cameras to aid the player and parts of the scenery change without any hint so where there once was a rocky mountain wall there is no wall anymore, there are also a lot of illegal slopes and I seemed to find myself jigging away like a crazy Irishwoman stuck inside one every minute. The look of the level though is real nice and pedaling merrily around in the sick man’s bedroom while he is slumped unconscious in his seat gave me a very sick thrill, thrills come so infrequently to me these days that I have to take ‘em where I can get ‘em, but these weren’t enough to make me fully enjoy this 50 minute level. So if you realise that you have to roam looking for changes in the environment, and that there are two parts to the medicine for the sick old man, do men ever look after their health, then this level may be a little less obtuse." - Sash (26-May-2005)

"Certainly a different and special level! So many things make this level unique: the intro FMV, which has Lara running insanely to the mountains, she didn't even care to put on her boots and to buckle up her holsters with her trusty pistols; the side quests for the bear the speaker and to an ill farmer and the many dialogues in between (pity they were in German only) and the bike. The ending sequence was beautiful (by the way, I loved the new horizon on this level), and well, though it is rather simple in terms of gameplay, it does have one great atmosphere. I know March ain't Christmas time, but I really needed to play something and I decided to have a go at these levels, heard wonders of them and now I know why. 40 minutes. 03/05" - Treeble (13-Mar-2005)

"A nice level. Objects are excellent, a good history and good textures. Gameplay is not good. Sometimes you do something and there is not a camera which shows you the next place you can go, and have to explore all the scenery again. It's boring. In the boulders room the moveable block raised when the rocks approach it and stay suspended in the air. There had some missed textures in small face tiles. I haven't found flares for the dark areas. I didn't like very much the level." - José (04-Feb-2005)

“This Christmas level isn’t an ordinary festive one. Lara in a white outfit is having a conversation with a bear (in German) finds honey to feed him and probably saves an old man by giving him his medicine. Every time there’s an action something changes in the first part but I have encountered a bug. After placing the honey I didn’t see the second cut scene for some reason so a block didn’t lower and I wasn’t unable to proceed. The second part includes a house a bicycle and a unicorn in a cut scene at the end. It’s a different level but nicely done.” – Kristina (22-Dec-2004)

“Don’t neglect the readme for this level. Not only is there a short introductory video but the author has also very kindly included dialogue translations for those of us that don’t understand German and you will need to know what’s going on. This Christmas level is a real fairytale complete with talking bear and a unicorn. Everybody is ill and it’s up to Lara to find the various cures required. The mountain scenery is beautiful and the atmosphere quirky and charming.” – Jay (18-Dec-2004)

“This has to be my favourite level of this year’s Advent Calendar to date. It has a wonderfully charming storyline embedded in those two 20 minute long levels which unfolds through Lara’s ‘conversations’ with the bear that needs some honey and with the old man who needs some medicine. Those mountains look positively stunning and the ambient music makes for a great and dramatic atmosphere. Lara’s outfit is cool too although I pitied her running around the snow barefoot. There is also a cool bike a boulder/block puzzle and some torch action before Lara accomplishes her mission. I guess the only downside was the long backtrack for the pyrola which was not really hinted at very well but that is a minor gripe with this truly enchanting adventure.” – Michael (17-Dec-2004)

“Probably I'm always overrating Christmas levels a little bit. But I can't help it somehow these mean more to me than any of the levels during the year. This is the beauty feast of the year the feast of donation and the creators present us with these levels. Many thanks for them! :) I know many players who play other games during the year since we have to wait for the next Tomb Raider episode awhile. But in these days they return and they are curious to see the Christmas levels. Wonderful is this Christmas level too. Well it made me crane at some points. :) We have to bring to light the source of the light. :) For this we need the help of a bear and a farmer. We can make to speak the former with honey and the latter with medicine... For the first time this was difficult for me because the cave of the honey in the small valley haven't opened. I had to realize that in any case at first I have to take a look at the dish of the bear because the floor tile in front of it makes it opened. There are no enemies on the level. We don't have weapons either. The textures are beautiful and the added sounds create a festive mood during playing the level. There are also added dialogs but only in German. I advice everybody to try this level out. :) You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version) savegames and pictures here: http://treditor.hu/15/lara_in_the_mountains.htm ” – Obig (14-Dec-2004)

“Another nice level of the Advent Calendar. The story which has been made with the movie maker of The Sims 2 shows that Lara has been at her home in bed when she decided to look out at the balcony. She noticed that a strange light was coming from a mountain so without dressing she just ran there to investigate. The mountainous setting of the level wit the river is very beautiful and there are some nice cut scenes too. Here we have to search for some honey to give to the bear a key to the farmer's house and two plant mixtures to form some medicine to keep the farmer awake so he can tell you more about the light. The end is very majestic with the nice unicorn but I really don't understand the purpose of the unicorn that presides in the mountain as I can't understand German so I didn't understand the last cut scene. Anyways this level is very nice and it is rather easy and it's worth taking some time to finish this nice level.” – Relic Hunter (14-Dec-2004)

“What an enchanting story. Your goal is to investigate the strange lights in the mountain. Starting of near a river there is some climbing to do first to meet up with a bear which can help you further. Luckily I do understand German so it was rather easy for me to follow all the instructions one gets on paper in a book and with the spoken word (could it be possible for all the non German speaking players to have an English translation in the readme it makes playing more nicer then). Although I did have a hard time finding the second potion as you have to swim back all the way to the first level (which isn't a first level anymore). Beautiful Unicorn I have to say and I saw also some handy work of Miss Kroft always nice to see. 13-12-2004” – Gerty (13-Dec-2004)

“What a brilliant and original level. For a little while I did not realise that Lara had no guns or back pack. There are no enemies or secrets well I didn't find any so this is another one that would be ideal for kids. The level follows a story where the landscape changes after interaction with characters within the game which provides a nice flow. The interactions are in German (I think). Fortunately the author provides translations. For me the highlight was Lara riding her pushbike which is really a retextured motorbike. To see her legs pumping up and down as she leant in to a corner had me in stitches for ages. Not a very difficult level but fantastic fun with a lovely scene at the end. A must download.” – Jez (13-Dec-2004)
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