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Level: Cold Crystals - Part 1 back home search
Author(s): austriawing
total rating:6.42 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Duncan 5 5 5 5
eRIC 6 6 7 6
eTux 5 5 6 7
Gerty 2 5 5 5
JesseG 7 6 7 6
Jose 7 7 7 7
Kristina 8 8 8 8
MichaelP 7 7 9 8
Necro 8 6 7 5
Phil 7 7 7 8
Ryan 7 6 7 7
Treeble 6 6 6 6
category averages
(12 reviews)
6.25 6.17 6.75 6.50

Reviewer's comments

"These levels are fun enough while they last, but unfortunately they are plagued by quite a few bugs which prevent them from being truly enjoyable. Actually, they are each playable right through to the end for the most part, but the main issue is that you lose all of your pickups due to the level jumps not functioning correctly. You need the revolver and LaserSight in the second level, so I just used a savegame editor to get past this problem. But I had no issues with the block puzzle at the end of the first level, and everything otherwise progressed as it should, short of getting inadvertently stuck in the raising block area. The environments aren't too badly made and the gameplay for the most part is adequately enjoyable, but the flaws make it hard to recommend it. I'll leave you to decide whether it will be worth your while." - Ryan (24-Aug-2018)

"When you fire up this level it appears you have four different selections. However, the first one is the opening flyby and the last one is the concluding flyby. The two "main" levels are not connected (nor are they in any way similar), so when you finish the first one you have to start the second one from scratch (thereby losing all your accumulated pickups). This renders the second level legally unplayable, as you need the revolver and laser sight to progress. The flycheat is disabled, so I just used a savegame editor to provide the needed items. The levels themselves are nothing outstanding, although I did find them somewhat fun to play. Of course, it would have been so much better if everything had flowed seamlessly as the builder no doubt intended. The City of Lonsdal centers around a coastal village with a number of buildings to explore. Notwithstanding the comment in Michael's walkthrough, the block puzzle at the end did work for me. The Hidden Monastery is in a Tinnos-like setting and to me was more visually appealing. Both segments, however, had plenty of light, and the gameplay is not particularly taxing in either one of them. There's a nice block puzzle at the end of the second level as well, but in both levels I recall having to take some unorthodox measures to make doors open or to make blocks lower as they were intended to do." - Phil (12-May-2017)

"Another level I think not properly beta tested. There are some missing sounds and textures, a room where you can't go out and have to reload, the game crashes when changing to the second level or when finishing, you have to use an editor to get the revolver and the sight at the beginning of the second level, etc. Even so it's entertaining and sometimes you find fresh puzzles here and there; few enemies to shoot, correct cameras and lights, it was a pain not to enjoy the cutscenes. Take a try." - Jose (25-Nov-2013)

"The adventure begins with a somewhat long cutscene, Lara reading a letter from Von Croy while sitting on her bed. It was a nice touch to see the front garden covered in snow though. There are some issues in the levels, namely you can't properly finish the first level as there is a rather obscure puzzle that just won't work, so when you get to it, use the level skip cheat (hold HELP keys while highlighting the Load icon in the inventory) to continue the adventure. The City of Londsal (50 minutes, 2 secrets): this level is somewhat confusing. It has a certain non linear feel to it as you run around in circles gathering keys and opening doors in this snowy village. In the end you release three push blocks which should be placed in random plates scattered on the floor, according to hints left in a notepad item you picked earlier on, however, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. As stated earlier, you can only progress with the levelskip cheat as you will need the lasersight+desert eagle in the next level. The Hidden Monastery (30 minutes, 2 secrets): inside the secret location Von Croy was trying to reach, things were a little simpler although not really better. There was a rolling spiked log that refused to sit so you have to crawl under it after it's stopped (midair, yes), some objects had wrong sound effects and towards the end there were overlapping rooms and missing textures. The ending cutscene is only accessible from the level selection menu, and it's quite a curious one too. Perhaps that's the reason there never was a continuation? 80 minutes, 4 secrets. 06/09" - Treeble (07-Jun-2009)

"This adventure had great potential, it really did. However some basic faults prevent it from being an appealing raiding experience. This includes a room where if you fall in at the wrong time you get stuck for good (the "block elevator" room) , crashing level jumps that force you to use DOZY to get the required weapons back, messed up sounds (gunshots for doors? really?) glitchy rollingball traps that may float in the air at the end of their run, missing textures, and something was wrong with how the rooms were connected in the first level that made many rooms appear black at some angles. The gameplay in the first level is okay, but nothing too exciting. You find many keys and find where to use them (I found a fifth extra bronze key) and do some tedious moving block puzzles with some easy secrets to find. The second level is more interesting with its trap sequences, spikes, lava pits, and some frozen-type ahmets to deal with. Second level had decent atmosphere and texturing, but the first level was bland in both areas. The beginning cutscene is too long and shows many random rooms of Lara's house for some reason, and the beginning flyby in the first level is also way too long. Still the cutscenes were produced well overall, and the story was ready to get interesting when the last cutscene ended. Fingers crossed that it might live another day. Anyway, I would recommend you gives this a look if you're willing to put up with the sum of the issues I have mentioned. And if you can stand looking at dozens of bathrooms." - SSJ6Wolf (16-Oct-2008)

"Unfortunately it's not hard to guess why this level hasn't gotten much reviewer attention even over 3 years after its initial release. Though it has some qualities, the obvious faults such as crashes when finishing level 2 or not being able to manage the passover between the two levels probably tests most player's patience. As opposed to the downloadable script - I just suggest using the level skip cheat when you've reached the impasse at the end of the first level. As an added bonus of avoiding the above script mess, you get to keep your guns and ammo - thus already giving you an advantage with the numerous panel shooting puzzles the second level offers. The gameplay itself doesn't offer much - the first level mostly consists of just collecting some keys in a city environment, and the second level offers a bit more with the already mentioned panel puzzles, pushable blocks, jumps and a simple timed sequence with some sneaky switches. The flipmap with the lava river melting the ice was nice - and I actually loved the colourful lighting of the level, though the setting had little to do with a monastery. If not for the obvious issues, it's a fun enjoyable adventure, that's worth playing if you enjoy snowy/Tinnos settings, though probably with walkthrough at hand or a good memory to know when's the point when you're not just stuck, but stuck for good and have to move on to the next level. All that put behind - I can't really understand the author's motives for not even looking out to solve the obvious issues prior to the release, less even that he didn't care enough about the final product to fix the problems even to this date, even if it would've taken an update or two? That leads to the impression that this was a fairly rushed effort, despite the good points it had, and thus I had to reduce the rating from what it had been in a problem-free environment. This is a pretty decent level with an intriguing story (which's conclusion I did not see - as the cutscene crashed no matter if I tried to initiate it from the script or end of level 2) that could take up to an hour to get through (found 3 secrets total), but not really worth the trouble you have to get through to see what it's about, IMO. If you're persistent or merely a fan of the setting or type of gameplay, you can still give it a go, though!" - eTux (23-Jan-2008)

"This was an interesting level with the start of what seems to be a pretty good story. Some of these puzzles are challenging in that you have to use your brain. I like these type of puzzles. I especially liked the one in which you have to use the information written in the notebook. Both levels kept with the story and I enjoyed running through the environment. I'm looking forward to playing the next part of this story (If there is one judging from the ending of the final cutscene)." - Necro (14-Jan-2008)

"Two levels that I played separately , the first one with the author's script, the second one with the editor original scripts after renaming the level "kloster" into "tut1", and adding revolver and lasersight with savegame_editor as you are supposed to have collected them in the 1st level. All that because the last puzzle in the first level does not work. These levels are not bad at all , and there are even 2 cutscenes , the 2nd one that I also renamed in order to watch it. City of Lonsdal (6/7/7/7) 45 minutes : In a cold city with some textures both from Catacombs of Talion and Lara's home , some gunmen to shoot and many puzzles to solve in order to find 6 keys. It is easy to miss one of the buttons or bookshelves switches , nevertheless this was an interesting search. A good level if it was not for the bug at the end. The looks of the level are okay, even if there is an overlapping of rooms in the main area. Hidden monastery (5/6/7/6) 30 minutes : Not really a monastery, more underground rooms in a Tinnos fashion , this level is shorter than the first, the panels you have to shoot are obvious , the simple movable blocks puzzles are fairly easy, and the ice monsters are few. There is also a couple of traps, and a last puzzle with movable and rising blocks. Too bad there is a possibility of being stuck there if you don't do things in the right order and like in the 1st level there is also an overlapping of rooms. Not an interesting level, it was pleasant the time it lasted , but the first one was better imo. I like the part where Lara has to flip two switches , one to deactivate spikes underwater and the other for a timed door beyond these spikes." - eRIC (27-Aug-2007)

"Yes, yes, it has a huge bug alright, meaning you cannot actually finish part 1 of this double level, but with a modified script you can easily play both levels and both are really good levels indeed that provide a lot of fun. If you do not know how to modify scripts yourself, then check the walkthrough for this level which has a download link for them. Now to the levels themselves: It starts with a nice intro that gives you the storyline and then you explore... The City of Lonsdal (6/7/9/8, 45 min., 1 secret): Set in snow this city has you explore buildings for a series of keys and a disc. Cameras are rather helpful and make progression smooth and enjoyable. There are only very few enemies (guards and a dog) and then you get a nice little hint for the block puzzle but unfortunately whichever way you try it, it does not seem to work. The Hidden Monastry (7/7/8/8, 40 min., 2 secrets): An inside level using Tinnos textures. Many walls to shoot but all of them are fairly obvious and not very sneakily hidden. There are also many blocks to move to their right tiles and two keys to find. The push/raising block puzzle near the end was fun to solve. Main enemies are a few ice ahmets. Overall, this is actually a really nice level without much difficulty but still some fun raiding. Of course, spoiled by the issue of not being able to get from level 1 to level 2. Still worth a try with the modified scripts." - MichaelP (22-Oct-2005)

"A very buggy level that was released unfinished. It has a great start, and then bogs down in problems. It's a pity, as this should have been a lot of fun." - Duncan (20-Mar-2005)

"I was dubbing if I should write a review as I never got to play any further than the block puzzle in the first level. Despite the patch and saved game I couldn't get any further. As you can read the decision has been made. It is a shame as the start is very promising and I would advice the builder to have his level tested thoroughly as this isn't the first time I came across bugs in his levels. For now I cannot give it any higher points as I only could play a small part. I will replay if there is a proper download. 27-12-2004" - Gerty (04-Jan-2005)

"This game could have been a great one if it weren't for all the serious bugs it has. The areas are well made with interesting puzzles although one timed door at the first level needed some fixing as it 'behaves' strangely and sometimes does not open which results to trapping Lara. The setting throughout the game reminded me of older TR games which makes it a pleasure to explore. The parts aren't hard at all but are interesting enough to keep the player pint in the chair until the game ends. One of the bugs that I encountered was in a room with the moving blocks the author was kind enough to release a patch for that level and luckily it worked for me but unfortunately not for others; still patches aren't the answer to the problem. The other bug is at the end of all parts as some players were hearing a dialogue with Von Croy but for me the game crashed when Lara approached Von Croy's body. I am guessing we should watch the second cut scene at that point but it doesn't work. It is a pity to see a game such as this one so enjoyable and well done with bugs that can make it frustrating instead. The author has come a long way since his first level but the testing is still very poor so my advice is that he has to change his ways as this isn't the first time that we encounter such serious bugs in his levels. I found four secrets." - Kristina (04-Jan-2005)
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