Level: Back to Basics - Pseudo Tomb back home search
Author(s): eTux
total rating:8.81 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Bene 9 8 9 9
Bigfoot 9 8 10 10
Bogey 9 8 9 8
CC 9 8 9 8
Deekman 8 8 9 9
Dimpfelmoser 9 9 9 8
Drakan 8 8 8 7
Dutchy 10 9 10 9
eRIC 9 8 10 9
EssGee 10 8 9 9
G.Croft 9 8 9 9
Gerty 9 8 9 9
Gill 9 8 9 9
Horus 9 8 8 9
Jay 9 8 9 9
Jenni 10 10 9 9
Jerrod 9 8 8 8
Jorge22 10 9 9 8
Jose 10 9 10 9
Kristina 9 9 9 9
manarch2 9 8 9 9
MichaelP 9 7 9 10
Mman 9 9 10 10
Moonpooka 9 8 9 9
mugs 9 9 9 9
Obig 10 9 9 9
Phil 9 8 9 8
QRS 9 9 9 9
Relic Hunter 9 9 10 8
rjb 9 7 9 9
Ryan 10 9 10 9
Sash 9 8 9 8
Staticon 8 8 9 9
Sutekh 8 8 8 8
Treeble 10 9 9 9
Whistle 7 8 9 9
category averages
(36 reviews)
9.06 8.33 9.08 8.78

Reviewer's comments

"When a level begins with scrolling titles, you know that you are in for a unique raid, and indeed, things are not what they seem. The wealth of tasks on offer is amazing: using a mobkeyswing to solve a puzzle, solving a pillar puzzle while evading a skeleton and ending with a few challenging sharpshooter sequences. The atmosphere in this "pseudo" tomb was also well done." - Ryan (29-Jun-2016)

"This is a level in the purest style of tomb raider . There is a huge room and the purpose of this level is to reach the top of this room and then fall after a few tracks in the final part and get rid of beetles explode after the bones . The beginning after a long slide dotted with peaks at each corner. The animation of the button is a bit odd for this type of switch. Lara disappears into the ceiling when she swings the rope that night a little realism. I struggled to get out of the clutches of the skeleton in the room with the poussable , he remained in the hole and can not continue , I had to reload a previous save to do things differently . Texturing is not perfect with some bent or stretched too but nothing bad textures. Apart from these annoyances this level is quite fun to play though sometimes a bit difficult (the part in the elevator with these vases was breaking for example), I love the large rooms and there are many in this level. The idea of ??filling the water main room is also very good ." - Drakan (29-Nov-2014)

"A very special catacomb level with very interesting challenge and a very nice gameplay. I'm maybe not very fan of the squeletons and pushables together. I have also a problem with the "bonus" twoblock platform challenge because Lara can't broke the shatter because the central pillar tower. Very nice use of the colours and lighting even is some textures are wrong rotated but I like the use of the "boxes" textures when rooms are flooden. Nice use of the camera, specialy when we see the text info about the level. I not really understand the end. I suppose Lara discovered the golden power discribed in the story. To conclude a good level maybe a bit hard but recommended for everyone." - Bigfoot (17-Sep-2014)

"I played the BtB levels in a mostly random order, but after playing the first or so minute with the fantastic introduction flyby I deliberately saved this one for last, half-expecting to have saved the best for last, and this is what I did indeed. This is certainly the most original and innovative level of the bunch, and a pleasure to play from start to finish. The gameplay contains lots of innovative puzzles – like the monkeyswing door puzzle, shooting vases while moving up an elevator and especially the one including the skeleton and a pushable pillar, which is most unique. There are also some more “classic” gameplay parts, like navigating around the main hall, an upside-down version of the sinkable floor puzzle and other quite demanding platforming parts (especially the banana jumps) which all are nicely integrated in the whole adventure. The three secrets are another challenge, although the setup (find the first to find the second to find the third) is at least questionable, especially since the first is quite strangely hidden (was there a clue?), but the extra tour is really most rewarding. I sometimes was a bit confused in the main hall as there are many different paths and the camera hints are sometimes a bit vague, but with the walkthrough this is no problem. Definately the BtB '05 level I enjoyed the most, as it's one of the few games which convinced me both in terms of gameplay and of looks. 35 minutes." - manarch2 (06-May-2014)

"There's a vague resemblance to Mourning Palace in this level, with a giant main room that you eventually flood and explore on various levels. There's more emphasis on the side areas than in that level, and the gameplay is stronger overall, although I think Mourning Palace has better visuals (this is still one of the best looking BTB Catacombs levels though). The only visual issue is that some of the switches you push in have the wrong animation, which especially sticks out in a level as polished as this.
This is one of the most challenging levels in the BTB, with some pretty tough jumps and sequences, there's also some nice use of lateral thinking on one obstacle that can be made infinitely easier if you take a look around rather than go for the obvious option. It also makes some clever use of rationing out weapons and making them integral to puzzle solving. The secrets are also implemented in an interesting way that provides a much harder route at one part but provides a big reward for surviving it. Finally there's some nice storytelling in this level, with a small starting "credits" and ending sequence. There could have been a clue after finding the shotgun, and one block puzzle seemed a little long (although the concept was clever) but those are the only real flaws I had with it. It's well-deserving of it's place in the top three." - Mman (26-Oct-2012)

"After finished the game, I read the walkthru because I had not understood the role of the second elevator and I discovered for the secrets (if you miss the first, you miss the next), not sure I like that, but it's a detail. The work with texture & light is good, but there are sometimes too many colors for my part. The pushable & skeleton is... poor Lara... The end is astounding if you don't have the life bar complete. :)" - Jerrod (24-Mar-2010)

"Yes, yes, I know. I am very late with this review, but I have finally fulfilled the promise I made to Elvis about half a decade ago - so I'll award myself a cyber cookie if you don't mind. I also realize I have many original BtB levels yet to review, but I'll get to them soon enough, I promise... Anyway, right from the get go you realize this is no ordinary level: you are presented with a TV-show like introduction, where after a quick boulder sequence a camera flyby shows the level title. The quests you make in this rather authentic tomb are varied and before you realize you'll have been playing it for over an hour. A nice touch, I thought, was that most areas shut off once you've done what you were supposed to do in them, as this avoided a lot of possible backtracking later in the level, as it revolves around a huge sun chamber. Other nice sequences were the fire elevator, that I believe Elvis intended the player to use the crossbow to disarm the fire emitters, but you can just keep your cool and stay in the very center to raise through the flames, and the final room when there's a pseudo level change. I also wonder what Lara wished for as she finally reached the mythical Triforce referred to in the storyline... 50 minutes. 04/09" - Treeble (23-Apr-2009)

"A superb catacomb level with a lot of cool features. I especially liked the end and the explanation of the pseudo tomb name. A tomb within a tomb! ;) The cinema like ending is also awesome! Elvis seems to stretch the boundaries whenever he builds. Ths is not an exception. As a matter of fact you forget that it is just the good old catacomb wad and textures you see here. It all feels new so to speak. Great stuff Elvis!" - QRS (02-Dec-2005)

"Drop into the first room and find the way to smash the floor. A sliding (very carefully) you will go, to find the large room and off you go to search for the effigy etc. There are many (too many perhaps) very tricky jumps to negotiate, which at times seem near impossible, but the only logical way forward. This for me spoiled the flow of the level. The graphics and textures are fine, (except for Lara’s “spike”) and along with the music and lighting set a good atmosphere. Puzzles are not very difficult and only one as far as I can remember-the sliding pillar puzzle. Enemies are restricted to skeletons and wraiths. Well worth a play for the more experienced jumper (cardie perhaps). Two endings!!!!" - Whistle (18-Nov-2005)

"Oh my! What a splendid level this turned out to be. Beautifully lit, thoughtfully textured and with some excellent camera work, this level was packed with adventure and some cunning puzzles. I will admit that I had to resort to the walkthrough on more than one occasion but, most of the time, I was able to figure things out for myself. I wasn't so fond of the flaming elevators but did manage to overcome them eventually. Neither did I enjoy the beetles at the end in the true tomb - they seemed a little more vicious than in previous levels. But what a thrill I got to actually overcome all these obstacles and to finish this well-made level. Thanks, Elvis, for a most memorable raiding experience." - Staticon (12-Nov-2005)

"Picking up three packs of flares at the very beginning I just thought "uhoh, this is going to be a pretty dark one" but I did not need a single one of them. The environment is mostly well designed and nicely textured and lighted, maybe a bit too bright though. After a short rollingball run (I hate those) there is a great introduction. The gameplay is very good and fair, though I had to run around a lot to finally find the right items. I found the curvejumps high up in the main hall a bit frustrating, one would have been enough (for me). The enemies were well placed, it was quite fun blasting them into a pit with the shotgun :) I'm not sure about the atmosphere - it never "felt" like a tomb or anything, for me it looked like a very odd place, it's hard to describe. Cameras and audios were well used, though I might have needed camera-hints that show more that just a door in a tunnel that opens. I found the first secret but at the end I took the "normal" elevator because the other one looked too stressy for me." - Horus (07-Oct-2005)

"Not an average level this is either. There's everything on it that is needed for a good adventure: tricky jumps, rope-swinging, scarabs, and secrets hardly to get. This level was also built around a main room, that you have to get to the top of. The crossbow has a major role here, combined with the lasersight, you have to fire aimed rounds at vases and bones. We can find very interesting and original ideas during the play, for example we can raise a tile only if we "toss" a skeleton into a hole. Concerning secrets, the most important thing is to explore the first one, otherwise you'll miss the other two, and if you can't find the second one, you can't access to the third secret. At the last, third secret, we can pick up exploding ammo, that makes easier to shoot bones when the scarabs are on track. Partially hard, but fantastic level this is. You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version), savegames and pictures here: " - Obig (22-Mar-2005)

"This Catacomb level is out of category in the Back to Basics challenge, not because it requires the original Catacomb Wad (and not the revised ones), but because of the complex and subtle gameplay, and originality. You forget that it is built with the catacomb wad only. Puzzles that need a great knowledge of the Editor possibilities to make them work. Some unusual things to do: why flooding an area just to be able to pick up the shotgun, well the shotgun is a capital puzzle item you will need later on. The architecture is evidence that the author masters the shaping of the blocks like a professional, and some special effects, challenging tasks, and a great atmosphere to spice up things. Great stuff!" - eRIC (01-Mar-2005)

"It's amazing what a little creativity can do to the standard trle toolset. Very cool intro offered here and also a nice interlude near the end. The many flare pickups at the start made me wary that it could be a dark level, but it isn't - it's very nicely lit and textured and a great mix of rooms and caves to explore in. The big water flip map is nicely done and changes the place significantly to give you access to places you could not get to before. The use of the skeleton in the area with the pushable is nicely done, but the puzzle as such a bit tedious. The kind of inverse use of the elevator to give access to a crawlspace was a good idea, as was the elevator up with the burners. And what an ending - that was a bit too touch to avoid the beetles while target shooting the coloured bones, but I made it eventually. Very original level that feels very fresh - definitely a must play." - Michael (01-Mar-2005)

"Nice touch with the opening credits. I kept playing this level with the anticipation of eventually walking on the ceiling somehow because it seemed like half the level was upside down. Lot’s of fun here. I also kept thinking that there were going to be flames coming from the giant heads, but it never happened. Very intriguing and original. Tied with Mourning Palace as my favorite level of B2B." - Deekman (01-Mar-2005)

"A simply superb level, it starts with small rooms off to the side containing goodies (rather than placed haphazardly about the level) which has a nice organised feel to it. I especially like pick-ups placed on pedestals, this is often only reserved for important items which is a shame, glad to see it used in this level. This level has a very cinematic quality with the opening credits ‘Pseudo Tomb’ and the closing credits of ‘True Tomb’, though the credits placed near the end after releasing the golden orb could be confusing: when I first played this a month ago, I didn’t have full health when Lara fell and assumed that was the end of the level, Lara dies – what a dramatic ending! To find out that there was more to come……oh. The builder went to great lengths to make normally menial tasks interesting: from flooding the room to raise a block in order to get the shotgun (many would have the shotgun lying around the place); gaining access to subsequent secrets through means of previous ones; and even allowing access to the second secret (assuming you flicked the lever in the first) in case you went up the middle elevator instead of the secret one. This level had so much going for it: the grenade launcher visible at the beginning of the level but unattainable (pity you never do get it though, I assumed access to it was via a secret); pick-ups on pedestals too high to reach gives a hint that the area will be flooded; the skeleton and the movable block puzzle; two skeletons jump out in front of Lara as she runs through them to a ledge (rather than coming out of the ground and ambling around the place), sequential secrets that not only contain pick-ups, but also items needed to access the next secret – I could go on but that would be telling the whole story! In a nutshell, there is never a dull moment. The whole level, moves at a steady action-based pace, gradually increasing in intensity as you near the end – the author keeps you on your toes the whole time and keeps things moving along nicely. Excellent replay value too, as the author deliberately placed the first secret (and access to it) by making the player backtrack, rather than just stumbling across it on your way through as is generally the rule (and if the first secret is missed, then so are the subsequent two, ensuring the player will play it again to find them all) – very clever! What’s more, getting the first two secrets to access the third is certainly worth it as you receive explosive arrows which make the last task of shooting 5 sets of coloured bones that much easier (not to mention the stunning room the arrows are in of secret 3) Thoroughly enjoyable level with excellent puzzles and traps, great use of weaponry and items and the perfect amount of enemies to overcome." - Jenni (27-Feb-2005)

"An intriguing level set in and around a giant cavern. Some manouvres are quite difficult, but the level is mostly about finding your way and figuring out what to do. It has also a couple of special visual features, conveying messages from the builder. There are a some clever puzzles including an original use of a skeleton. The traps on the way to the final secret are quite tough, but getting it helps in the final task." - Bogey (21-Feb-2005)

"I’m pretty glad I chose this level to play after the wonderful ‘The Red and Blue’ level as many other levels may have paled in said level’s shadow but this one had a strong enough feel to stand up to the challenge. Things I love in a level; settings that are authentic and immersive (how odd, I always thought this was a real word but just found out through the magic of spellcheck it’s not, and there’s me thincun eye cood spall), a challenge be it moves or in puzzles, and a spark of uniqueness. Well this has all of the above. The main hub of this level is a huge underground room that early on is partially flooded, this room also has a boulder suspended inside a hovering water filled ball (oddly others have mentioned this ball is fiery but for me it was purely water) above it that looked awesome but threatening. There are also some nicely challenging areas, such as the horribly tense elevator ride where you have to shoot targets to extinguish oncoming flames and a movable object puzzle where you sometimes have no choice but to let a skeleton hack away at you, to give the player some always welcome thrills in between some exploring moments. But for me the best touches were the simple text screens that heralded firstly the main area, Pseudo Tomb, and then the short and funnily more unreal looking Real Tomb right at the end. The only problem I had with this level was that I have no idea who built it so it looks like the old pull a name out of a hat system will be enforced on this one. Really a hint wouldn’t go astray! Anyone, please!" - Sash (18-Feb-2005)

"The game was great but the hunt for the secrets wasn't so great in my book. So the second time around, my hunt for the secrets, all three of them, took quite a while, over 3 hours in fact. I ditched this level, first time around as I couldn't get the block puzzle and that skeletons got on my nerves. Maybe if I played this one as a first as I was getting sick of the skeletons by now, then it would be a different story altogether. And I didn't understand the hints given in the stuck thread. Playing it further a couple of days later (Dutchy came to the rescue) I got that part right so I was on my way again. Found some texture missing but they weren't really obvious. The last room might give some persons a thrill, it didn't do it for me. I get too nervous and then I can't aim properly. Overall the ideas are great and original and I had a much nicer time the second time around. 16-01-2005" - Gerty (11-Feb-2005)

"Well this was the only Back to Basics level, I didn’t quite finish right to the very end, as it was only after reading the walkie, that I realized that you could actually get out of that last room with all those beetles, I thought that I was doomed in that room forever. But saying this, I did try shooting all those bones, but my health was against me, and I did not have the crossbow either, so this made it extremely difficult for me in completing the game, but seeing as I did get this far, I do feel I did manage to complete 99% of this level anyway. I can honestly say there were some very interesting things to do in this level and some puzzles to solve in helping you to complete this adventure, like solving and pushing a block into another room while, a skellie was hot on your tail and the timed floor piece, but if you manage to get the skellie into the other room this made this task a lot easier to get by. The other interesting part for me during this level was the elevator rides, if you took one particular elevator and managed to survive you will be able to retrieve the gem, but unfortunately for me, I could not make it, so I took the other elevator ride instead, which eventually took me into that last room with the beetles. In general there were quite a few difficult tasks to master here, some tricky jumps to tackle, but I did find this level most challenging. The layouts of each room was very well thought-out, lighting was extremely good, which gave you an excellent feel and a nice atmosphere as you were making your way around this tomb, while completing your mission. This was an interesting and fun level in game-play, which I do intend playing again, as I really want to see the ending." - Gill (10-Feb-2005)

"What stood out for me in this level is the lighting and textures. Some areas are really beautiful. Then there were the unusual ‘stops’ to read titles. One of the first things you have to do is push a switch and outrun the boulder it releases, to allow you to go lower into a huge room. We find out straight away this room has to be flooded. I found myself travelling back and forth into the side entrances a number of times to figure out what to do. This was frustrating rather than tedious. There is a good long lava room to ropeswing across, this later turns to water and becomes safe to run through; a long slide where you hop from pillar to pillar and finally to the opposite side; levers and switches along the way to find, plus the Hathor head and stand. Great rising floors (elevators) - which one to use? Also a timed run, a great object pushing exercise, and high above the flooded room you need to jump around columns and find the stand. Well placed enemies are the eponymous skeletons and wraiths. All this brings you to the very top overlooking everything, releasing a boulder trapped in a forcefield, and allows Lara to fall for what seems forever into the ‘Pseudo’ tomb. Then the nightmare begins, being chased by beetles in a relatively small area and trying to shoot bones floating at different heights. This level would get a high score if there was an originality section. As per usual I did this the hard way, trying to shoot the bones with the shotgun, feeding Lara medpacks and running around like a lunatic. There is an easier way ‘if’ you find the crawlspace before that tremendous fall ;-). Another brilliant entry in this Back to Basics competition." - CC (04-Feb-2005)

“This one is original too starting namely by the titles that appear at the start and at the end of the level. No need to tell the story since I'm sure (am I?) everybody read it before playing but it's good to play a level with a storyline at least I could understand the meaning of ‘one touch to change it all’. I only didn't really understand whether the pharaoh was alive or not and whether he had found the source of power he was looking for. Some parts of the game are just regular but others make up for it - I for instance liked the elevator with the rings of fire and the entire final part amongst others. Unfortunately I didn't get any gem (it seems you have to get the first in order to get the second and the second to get the third or so I read some place). Unfortunately too I found a problem in the room with a skeleton and a pushable object where I had to reload a few times because the pushable kept disappearing or reappearing but being immaterial- hence the 8 for textures. Apart from that this is good varied TR fun and I dare you to play it. (January 29 2005)” – Jorge22 (29-Jan-2005)

“Fantastic but mean level. Difficult jumps hard rope swings a timed block-push chased by a skeleton - always in the way (since I didn't get the grenade gun at the start..) target shooting while being chased by hundreds of scarabs and timed target shooting. Phew! Finally I got the crossbow and was able to blow at least one skeleton into pieces. Yay! The surroundings looks great the adventure takes place mainly around a big hall which you fall through aaaaall the way down and below in the end.” – G.Croft (25-Jan-2005)

“Definition: Pseudo Tomb - a fake or false tomb. Well this is certainly not that (but I know what the author was implying by his poser). This is one helluva good tomb. Vivid lighting adds a special charm to this architecturally fabulous level. Clever use of cameras provides some pleasant interludes and smart pseudo cut scenes (sorry excuse the pun). Texturing is also ingeniously used to give a mossy feel to the old caves that house this tomb. There's a neat pushblock puzzle but be careful - Lara may need help with this one. Take a hot trip on the elevator and get to the bottom of the glowing face riddle that has been taunting you since you entered this mysterious place. At times the path you must travel is not always clear but this is a minor hindrance. Secret areas are teasingly placed in full view but are not easily accessed. Be sure to keep Lara in good health or else you never know what might become of our heroine and remember.... for every bad ending there is always a good ending ;) It took me 1:15 of net gaming to get through the level but I'd happily have stayed to play longer in this one as the atmosphere is compelling. Sadly I didn't succeed in acquiring any of those tantalising secrets. What more can I say - just play it and enjoy - there's never a dull moment in this one.” – EssGee (25-Jan-2005)

“A ‘Back to Basics’ level using the catacomb wad so I won’t go into detail about enemies and objects - you know the score. There’s a rather stylish beginning to this level with its own opening titles I really enjoyed this level - there are excellent puzzles and agility challenges. Flooding the large chamber with water made for a lovely setting and the end section with the ‘real’ tomb was certainly challenging - trying to shoot several sets of bones whilst being eaten alive by beetles. It was certainly enough excitement for me for one day.” – Jay (23-Jan-2005)

“After a very brief exploration - including the tantalising sight of a grenade gun that is never accessible (in fact one much later puzzle would actually be unsolvable if we could collect it) - we begin to descend to the depths trying to elude various traps en route. The first of several doors slides down behind us and we are reminded of the kind of trap with which we understand the Egyptians littered their tombs. A huge empty cavern greets us that is impressive because of its sheer height and the massive nature of many of the structures we can see. There is a simple but clever monkey swing puzzle soon after this and in fact writing this bit before I go further there is a sense of anticipation about what might be ahead of us. After the monkey swing - and some ropes - to cross some 'hot' water (oil covered toxic?) a lever makes safe the water we have just traversed. This might suggest that we shall want to return across it. But when we discover (by trial and error or by the fortuitous whim of the explorer) that we *have* to backtrack here (to enable all secrets to be found later) - but only *after* we have gone ahead first to pull *another* lever - then the excellent 'coherence' of our journey thus far starts to unravel a touch unfortunately. (A needed crawlspace is only opened by the later lever.) Before too long we are reminded of the grand scale of our surroundings when we are able to flood the great cavern. Several areas that were unreachable suddenly become accessible. One of a number of nice touches is that blocks (admittedly looking rather granite-like!?) start to float in the water and are raised up and this enables us to reach at least 3 places that we couldn't before. We then come to the infamous moveable pillar puzzle involving a skeletor for an unusual purpose which you'll either think remarkably innovative or a bit 'unfair'. (If you are one of those who likes to avoid skeletors and just jump around them you'll be stuck here for a while!) At last we reach the highest level of the cavern. After some banana-jumps (a name now passed into antiquity courtesy of Vimmers!) around some (static) pillars we soon encounter our first(?) white sprite. We haven't yet seen the needed bird statuette so as in 'Golden Beetle' that I played immediately before this we must move forward 'in faith' believing logically that one will not be too far away. Here there is quite an involved struggle to eliminate said sprite however. (It is difficult to achieve this w/o needing a medipack but it can be done.) Not long after this we come to the extremely difficult 2nd secret. Remember that ‘Shoot 10 targets in ultra rapid time’ secret in TR5? (The most difficult secret in all of TR1-5?) This isn't that bad but if you don't know what you're doing it can take a very long time to get it right. Yes you only have 3 targets here but if you don't spot where they are and shoot them quickly enough your Lara will be toastifying. Many 'uggh's will be the heard! One reviewer missed all 3 secrets (because of missing the first) and so only had all the good bits of this level (of which there are many) to experience. Had they tried to reach secret 2 never mind secret 1 they might have scored differently. (Note to the designer: I appreciate that one could use the main lift first to see the kind of challenge that the 2nd secret presents then return down to the bottom via the pole but I still think that the actual puzzle for a person coming to it *cold* is to repeat extremely difficult. [It didn't help either that I would finally solve the first part of the lift puzzle only to reload and find my Lara aflame - not how I'd left her before saving!] The reason for my relatively low second category score is entirely because of these 2 secrets.) The third secret is very straightforward by comparison and it is possible to almost finish the game and then go back for all 3 secrets in order which is a definite plus point but ..... Despite this considerable disappointment I did enjoy this game a lot (up until then) - nor am I a great beetles fan (Beatles yes!) so it didn't improve my perspective so soon after the complex 2nd secret to find that further problem. It was much easier of course to shoot the final bones if you'd found the explosive crossbow bolts in the third secret area (and it helped enormously that I had only TWO beetles in one of my numerous attempts in the end scene!). I managed to finish the game only having had to use 2 small medipacks believe it or not but the plentiful large medipacks at the end didn't make up for the immense difficulty of the final 5 minutes I'm afraid. Having said all that I really did like the rest a great deal! My 3rd favourite of the 9 BtB I have played.” - rjb (23-Jan-2005)

“An excellent level but have to be a professional player to finish it because there are some places in the level quite hard to pass like the ropes over the poison water near the first secret or the angled jumps between the pillars in the place where you have to put the ‘Portal Guardian’. For me it's no good to have to find a secret to can get the next. If you lose the first you lose all. In the third secret you arrive to a great cave great arcade great light and (great?) pedestal; all that atmosphere to find... some arrows! In the final room part of the floor and the wall has a fail in the textures (animated like water). Even so nothing of this steams what it was in my opinion a great level.” – José (18-Jan-2005)

“Another great level and another good example of what one can make with just the original catacomb wad. This game has all the elements a player wants in order to have fun. Good puzzles not so easy but not so hard gameplay and is capable of keeping ones interest at all times. I only got stuck once and that was because of a blinding yellow light and a camera breaking which I dislike. The funny thing is though that instead of missing the crawlspace high up I missed the obvious route so go figure. Anyway I liked not only the way this level is built with something different to do in each area and enough cameras to help when necessary but also the secrets. You have to find the first to get the second and so on. That is challenging and I am all for challenge if it doesn’t have frustrating points that is. There was one more area I had some trouble in the one with the moving block and a bloody skeleton. I had to make the skeleton drop inside the hole to leave Lara alone to push the object but when the tile raised the skeleton resurfaced he didn’t die you see. Then I had to shoot him again to be able to keep pushing but then he was pestering Lara and so on. The timed tile didn’t make things easier either. I liked the atmosphere the rooms but I have to say that I noticed some textures missing and at the end the floor was animating which was a bad sight. In fact that last small part almost fooled me so while Lara is dropping you’ll know when you get there use a medipack. I found the idea of the messages/titles during the level nice and that has been used before in ‘Armageddon’s Temple 2’ but there were full scripts in that one. I found three secrets and liked this level very much.” – Kristina (17-Jan-2005)

“I was mildly annoyed at having to download and install the original Catacomb files for this single level (not to mention having the reverse the process to play the remaining BTB levels). I wonder if the builder didn't receive the memo or simply failed to read it. Anyway I've decided not to take off any points for this lapse because I had such a fun time playing this level that all is forgiven. There are a number of neat touches here including an area that you revisit after having flooded it and the fact that acquiring the first secret is a prerequisite to getting the other two. There's over an hour of solid raiding that will challenge even the more seasoned among us and the scenery in some of the larger rooms is sometimes spectacular. Definitely in the top half of this series.” – Phil (17-Jan-2005)

“Another outstanding adventure in the Catacomb competition and one that you are bound to remember for various reasons. Be it the use of titles the inventive gameplay the very special secrets or the little final that you get when you think the game is already over (shame about the undulating floor). Well for me the last minutes of the game were a bit nerve racking cause I couldn't get rid of the wraith. I found some place where I could use the gem but the crawlspace to reach it was rather unhealthy so I reloaded an earlier savegame and made a beeline for the wall button that would get me into the true tomb. Another level where I didn't get stuck although at various stages I thought I must have overlooked something and indeed I had. But you can go back and forth as you please and though the whole area might seem a bit confusing in the beginning it's actually not that big. The atmosphere was fairly convincing with nice light effects and some very impressive rooms but on the whole I thought the gameplay was altogether more memorable than the setting.” – Dimpfelmoser (13-Jan-2005)

“A fine level with lots of very good ideas and an eerie almost tangible atmosphere. Creativity is where it shines be it for the starting/ending credits the fire roof the skeleton puzzle or the fire elevator (which is my favorite moment). Secrets are ‘chained’ (meaning you got to get the first to get the second and the second to get the third) which one may like or dislike. But since the first one is rather easy to spot I had no problem with that. The second one is a bitch to get but you'll be glad you made the effort once you put your hands on the third one which will make your life a lot easier during the ending part (beetles gnawing and bones to shoot oh my!). This said this is the first level of the series where I encountered the dreaded ‘this jump is impossible to perform now let's try for the eighty-sixth time’ frustration. A pity because the disruption almost ruined it for me. And yes this one may prove a bit unfair for the average player since apart from the aforementioned jump there are a couple other expert moves which may discourage non-expert gamers.” – Sutekh (13-Jan-2005)

“There's a cinematic touch to the beginning and end with the titles. And just when you think it's ended it becomes True Tomb with a very real need for explosive arrows and medipacks. Thankfully the author supplies both at that point. There's a skeleton who helps but then proceeds to hinder. Took awhile to get beyond that point. I had the bug with the disappearing object but this is I believe a LE problem - not the author's doing and the explanation for the fix (run around the next room and then come back) worked. Having to find the first secret was fine as I found that one but not the others. Bit of a let down. I'll have to replay. Innovative and imaginative and well thought out. Do play this one!” – Bene (12-Jan-2005)

“This kind of game is what I ‘fondly’ call the ‘thinking man's game’! Just getting off square one can be a mind-boggling experience. Nevertheless the effort to kick yourself into gear and get with the game is well worth it. This is a very good game with a good measure of difficulty thrown in - especially getting that gem at the end of the game. I truly congratulate myself for making it through that horrible elevator sequence - twice! I can't tell you how many tries it took. At least that should be heartening to those of you yet to try. My advice keep at it. And step lively - those damned beetles are afoot. Which builder you ask? eTux!” – Mugs (12-Jan-2005)

“Very interesting level. Lara first drops through into a room where she collects a few pickups before triggering a boulder which will reveal the entrance to the Pseudo Tomb. The level takes place in rooms around a large central room with a glowing orange crystal on the top and you would have to find the two pieces of the portal guardian and ride a dangerous fire elevator to try and release the rock inside the crystal. The first thing I found interesting was the cinematic texts at the beginning and in the end. There is also a variety of puzzles to solve here such as the lava room where the lava is later turned into water and I also found the fire elevator quite fun. Also there's a clever pushing puzzle that requires the assistance of a skeleton to accomplish it and that would be one of the few times where I see enemies put to unique use. I have also found some running around with a wraith in small rooms a bit challenging but fun nonetheless and the short timed run also. So once you've been everywhere and got the rock from the crystal to drop you drop down to the final but short showdown. The showdown was about shooting a series of bones while you were being chased by scarabs. The level ends once the bones have been shot and you drop down through another hole where the end shows you a golden pyramid shape with a black center which is supposedly the golden power Lara was searching for. This level had very unique touches and puzzles and definitely shouldn't be missed out on.” – Relic Hunter (07-Jan-2005)

“Great level a thrill to play and it looks absolutely wonderful the puzzles were not too hard but put together pretty good. Backtracking through the whole level to get a Secret and throw a lever otherwise you couldn’t get to the rest of the Secrets was a bit of a down point for me. The Atmosphere was an overall 10 so were music and camera’s. It took me quite a while to get through this one the Titles could have been a bit faster but they added to the level too. Thinking you reached the end and then you have to get out of that room with the horrible beetles every time looking where that next set of bones is. Down point on texturing was here with those moving textures. Best so far for me but then again I have to do 11 more levels so…” – Dutchy (07-Jan-2005)

“Wow! What a stunning level in the back to basics challenge. Your quest is to get the hathor head and handle and what a fabulous adventure along the way. Of course the skeletons are here but they don’t really pose much of a threat as you get the shot gun nice and early. There’s an object move to make whilst using a skeleton to help you do that plus a whole menagerie of wonderful rooms to visit and tasks to perform. I think everything was perfect for me in this level music game play and the use of building materials all came together nicely but this was a relaxing level without too much shooting and danger I’d say more of a search than anything else but with a few shocks here and there. There's some flooding of rooms to do and also turning lava to water some tricky jumps and you'll get lost a few times but all in all I loved this level which also had one of the best endings great endings I’ve seen in the challenge levels so far. I missed all three secrets and I now understand why as you have to get the first to get the second and then the third I’m never too clever at sussing that out but its a clever way to make secret hunting worth while! I found no bad points about this level I loved every bit of the beautiful rooms and fun game play so I intend to add this to my favourites list and return for the secrets at a later date.” – Moonpooka (04-Jan-2005)
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