Level: BtB2005 - Palaces of Pharaoh Hepatitis back home search
Author(s): uvavoo
total rating:7.15 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Bene 8 8 8 8
Bogey 7 7 8 6
CC 7 7 8 6
Deekman 7 7 9 9
Dimpfelmoser 7 7 8 7
DJ Full 7 6 8 7
Drakan 8 8 8 7
Dutchy 7 8 8 5
EssGee 8 8 7 8
eTux 7 7 8 7
G.Croft 6 6 6 7
Gerty 6 7 7 6
Gill 8 7 8 8
Horus 7 6 7 5
Jay 7 7 8 8
Jenni 7 7 6 7
Jorge22 9 9 8 8
Jose 5 5 6 6
Josi 6 6 7 6
Kristina 6 6 7 6
manarch2 5 5 6 5
MichaelP 7 7 7 7
Mman 7 7 7 7
Moonpooka 7 7 8 7
Mrs rjb 7 8 7 6
mugs 7 7 8 7
Orbit Dream 8 7 8 8
Pam 7 8 8 8
Phil 8 8 8 8
QRS 8 8 8 9
rjb 7 7 7 7
Ruediger 8 8 8 7
Ryan 7 7 7 7
Sash 6 6 7 7
Staticon 7 8 7 7
Sutekh 6 8 7 6
Whistle 8 8 9 8
category averages
(37 reviews)
7.03 7.11 7.49 6.97

Reviewer's comments

"I had fun in this level not to explode the skeletons but in the end there was a swarm behind me lol. The only trouble I had was the little beetles that never disappeared completely, there were always 2 or 3 behind me. Otherwise it's nice to walk in this level with its very high room and the lighting was not too bad (although in some places it was dark). Recommended for its simplicity." - Drakan (16-Dec-2018)

"This conveys a very different atmosphere to most other Catacomb levels out there. The lighting is dark, quite patchy and psychedelic, maybe a little overdone in places, but it does set it apart from other levels out there of a similar nature. Textures are a bit repetitive too, but it improves later on. Apart from a couple of unintended shortcuts and long crawls which do drag it out a bit artificially, I found this level to flow very well with a nice series of not too taxing puzzles and challenges, linear progression (do remember to pick up the gems though within actual challenges, otherwise more backtracking will be imminent) and a nice sense of exploration. This was a shorter entry for me, at around the half hour mark, give or take." - Ryan (07-Apr-2018)

"At only a bit more than 20 minutes, this is one of the shortest levels of the contest, and for me it's also one of the least interesting. The gameplay is boring to say the least, with only the occasional highlight - most of the time you'll spend with uninspired platforming, pushing levers or crawling through endless passages (only two, but those were really way too long). The puzzles in here aren't quite imaginative, and the boulder puzzle can even be skipped, as well as those rope jumps - it seems this level was built in a hurry. The only real puzzling moment was trying to spot and shatter that wall panel, which still is a mystery to me. The atmosphere isn't quite sophisticated either, with a rather crude geometry and plain looking areas, in fact there was only one halfway nicely looking area (the one where you do a lot of platforming to finally get on top of the central pillar), the others rather disappointed, I think mainly because they are too large and the builder couldn't handle that aptly. Textures suffer from the usual, normally beginner, mistakes, like streched and even two or so missing textures, and the lighting is often rather psychedelic. Despite my rather harsh comments, this level isn't exactly a bad one, but I'd expect much more from a builder who has even built a HoF level before (!) this one..." - manarch2 (06-May-2014)

"Now when I quitted my postman job and finally scheduled several days for brain reset period, I do nothing but play custom levels I wanted for months. This is one of them. Why? My girlfriend studies medicine and, inevitably, my head got so overfilled with bits of her knowledge that when I noticed "hepatitis", it became an immediate must-play to me. How is it? Dead, or rather undead. Loads of them, it's true what the storyline says. They emerge constantly, but never annoy and always are defeatable without health loss, yet in more or less challenging way. This keeps us rather busy and sometimes having enough of them throughout the subsequent locations, of which many feel very atmospheric. It's worth to patiently pass a bit blurred and too "overblued" prologue, to enter halls crafted better than it prepares us to. Nicely surprised, we watch wide variety of architecture and geometry, here and there highlighted with flybys (notabene one of them even makes the ordinary introducing corridor look awesome), and the large pillar hall is the best with its uneven roof, central part of which resembles a dome, even despite of cubical shape. Deep in the heart of those catacombs, we mostly do lots of multi-elevation platforming, climbing and switch-pressing, but the usage of basic elements isn't a disadvantage as long as pushing each face on the wall is rewarding after a bit of effort. The level lacks a bit of mystery - just one secret for a huge ancient palace is definitely not enough - and some object tinting should also be adjusted. SUMMARY: A level nothing stands out of the ordinary in, but its classic part is executed rather decently. I wouldn't replay it, but I also would recommend it for a rainy night, because the time of my first attempt wasn't wasted at all." - DJ Full (14-Mar-2013)

"The comedic storyline almost seems at odds with the design here, as Lara begins in a creepy dungeon full of the undead. Many would probably find it too dark but I like how gloomy it is. The lighting colours are a bit all over the place, with so many used that it takes away from the coherence. After the initial sections you move on to lighter palace rooms, and some quite large and impressive rooms are present, especially one room where you have to work your way up to the top. Outside of one incredibly obtuse shootable wall (there is a clue, but it's such a non-standard feature that it really needed more) the gameplay is enjoyable and has nice areas like the room you work your way up that I mentioned area. It's let down by a couple of odd flow stoppers like random over-long crawlspaces though (beetles are used for tension in one, but not in a clever enough way to make the traversal time worthwhile). It's also quite short, maybe even the shortest level in this BTB so far." - Mman (26-Oct-2012)

"This is as solid,enjoyable and dependable as the Catacomb wad gets.A 50 minute adventure loaded to the rafters with exploration,acrobatics,traps,enemies,excitement and a few (but not too many) head scratching moments (the explodable wall was a terrific idea!).It's one of those levels whose overall shape makes itself clear within about ten minutes (you need to locate three diamonds) and which flows very smoothly (and always entertainingly) from one not-too-difficult challenge to the next. The room architecture is pleasing and occasionaly fairly spectacular;the texturing is solid and generally very well applied;while lighting helps create the atmosphere and is occasionally colourful. The ubiquitous skeletons are a nuisance at first,but there's plenty of explosive ammo to be collected along the way and the subsequent enemy despatching becomes simple and provides a lot of enjoyment. It's doubtfull that anyone will need a Walkthough for this;but the builder has put together a classic little adventure which is reasonably challenging and constantly fun to play - and that makes it very recommendable indeed." - Orbit Dream (14-Apr-2010)

"A nice and solid btb level. I really enjoyed the fine lighting during the level. Overall an easy level but the shootable wall had me stuck for over 30 minutes! The atmosphere is good to perfect. The best part is the dungeons and the huge pit IMHO. Nice work!" - QRS (03-Nov-2005)

"This level seemed so short to me that I was quite shocked to see at the end that I spend about 40 minutes in it. Anyway - usually I like colourful levels but this one was kind of... too colourful for my taste. There were areas that were just blue and the textures looked oddly artificial and there were so dark areas that I kept bumping into walls. I noticed a lot of stretched textures and missing textures too. I liked the atmosphere in the first prison like part though. The gameplay consisted mainly of the task to find 3 bright blue gems to get back out. There were a lot of switches and doors and skeletons on the way but nothing exceptional." - Horus (07-Oct-2005)

"I did enjoy this level. It started a little darkly - so dark, in fact, that I had to use a few flares, even on my bright monitor. Apart from the shootable wall, clever if a little difficult to spot, progression through this level was quite well paced. Never did it get too difficult, which made it a joy for this eternal beginner to play. Loved the boulder ramps but wasn't so fond of the beetles in a crawlspace. The use of debris items gave this whole level a nicely designed feel. But the biggest surprise of all - I finished it just short of an hour after starting. Nice one. Well done Richard." - Staticon (01-Oct-2005)

"Run around various areas trying to find your route through and pick up the three gems. Finding your route is the only real puzzle, but this is enough. The game play is sound, but I suffered through having to play only a little at a time. Enemies are skeletons, mummies and the dreaded beetles. (But only for a short time as they disappear). The graphics were good but for me the lighting a little dark to play in the day time. Cameras etc gave you good views and viewing Lara. Well worth playing." - Whistle (15-Aug-2005)

"Another interesting idea, and title, for a B2B game using ... yes ... you know ... the Catacombs wad. I found the start of the game rather too dark to be a pleasure to play but this situation improved when, eventually, you enter the main rooms of the palace itself. Before this happens, however, I got completely stuck as I missed the shootable wall in the depths (of despair?) in the palace. Becoming a well-trained raider I saved the game just before the crucial moment and this, apparently, meant I couldn't shoot the wall. It took a lot of help and encouragement, reloading save games and perseverance to get through. Oh well, it will help another time, no doubt. Being that type of person, I also managed to get Lara stuck on the first rope swing ... she became Wonderlara. She managed to slide up and down the rope whilst no keys were being pressed and slid through walls and the ledge. Wonderlara indeed! Having said that the actual exit from the rope was fairly easy (when the bug didn't bite.) Speaking of bugs .. sorry beetles .. the ones you encounter in the game can be outrun/crawled quite easily and are quite cute laranibblers. The other main baddies, the skellies can be satisfyingly dispatched by use of the explosive crossbow bolts ... the crossbow being a sensible secret ... you can do without it but life much easier with it. The game, overall, had some interesting jumps, swings and climbs. The flybys when buttons were pushed were helpful in route planning. Again, a game worth a go, so try not to put off by the very dark scenery at the beginning." - Mrs rjb (03-Mar-2005)

"With a hilarious storyline and title that actually would've been a dead giveaway of the author, if players would've bothered to look for clues in the storylines as well (hint, hint) this level almost immediately made me want to play it to see what the master of the Sci-Fi adventures has come up with in more conventional terms. Well, it starts out pretty differently from what you've seen in the other levels - with Lara being captured in some dark and murky dungeons of the Pharaoh and skeletons guarding them. As I said the start is rather dark, but stick to it, as it's worth it! Overall it feels as conventional as you would expect from a standard catacomb level, but that doesn't mean it's the same as the other levels and I had my fun here, though the wall you have to shoot open (nice!) had me stumbled for a while. I wasn't particularly keen on the scarabs hunting you through crawlspaces, but it's not that bad if you keep moving. And don't worry about being powerless against the hordes of undead - even if you don't find the crossbow secret at the start by the impressive abyss, you still can find it later, and will be able to get your revenge on the pesky skeletons. Great effort from the author - try it!" - eTux (01-Mar-2005)

"This starts very, very dark and flares are in rather short supply. But it gets better along the way. The deep pit where you get the crowbar is interesting, then you open all the cells and collect the first of three gems. The flow is quite linear and straightforward from then on, but you get a lot of jumps around platforms - always fun - and plenty of skeletons to deal with, either via the shotgun or later with explosives. Once you have your three gems you get outside to find your fourth and end the level after about 40 minutes. There are a few small technical mistakes like a missing texture or wrong OCB settings for the button, but nothing that really interferes with the solid fun the level offers - except that it does feel too dark in places." - Michael (01-Mar-2005)

"This was spooky right off the bat! Very cool lighting effects. Very believable subterranean dungeons. A couple missing textures here and there, but no matter, it didn't detract. Use of the 3rd Horseman's gem was an interesting touch. Nice ending. Short and sweet." - Deekman (01-Mar-2005)

"This level gets two plus points from me right away. One for letting me find the crowbar in the first few minutes, the second is for the crossbow, which is a secret almost right in the beginning. There is this blue green cave with a deep pit where you have to push a couple buttons first before you get to go into the dungeons. Unfortunately I have to deduct those two points now, because I never in my live would have found that shootable wall if it had not been for the stuck forum. Nonetheless, I found this a really good raid. Three gems need to be collected to open the final door. You get them from three different areas which have rolling boulders, rope swings, nice jumps etc. in an overall fluent and fun gameplay. Lots of skeletons of course breathing down Lara's neck but they pose no real threat and were a blast to blast with the crossbow. I thought the lighting was very well done in all areas, making everything look very realistic. I liked it a lot!" - Pam (01-Mar-2005)

"The beginning is certainly intriguing: the prison cells containing goodies and skeletons and the large blue pit with green spots that act as beacons to light Lara's way (and show how to get down to the crowbar) to arrive in a large room with wraiths and skeletons chasing you - then things become a bit dull from there: after crawling through a scarab-infested crawlspace (one of my pet hates is not being able to flee enemies easily so this didn't go down too well with me as you have to endure them not once, but twice) in to a rather uninteresting room where you make your way to the top to push buttons to open a door on the ground to obtain a gem. The last gem room was slightly more interesting with spiked balls and skeletons, but ultimately that was all it was, to finally place the gems and finish the level - seemed a bit short and rushed, that I have to wonder if the builder ran out of time as the beginning seemed so promising yet the level didn't finish on a high note." - Jenni (24-Feb-2005)

"Oh the poor Pharaoh, don't tell me he slept with Tommy Lee and caught it off him like that dear sweet innocent Pammy Anderson, Tommy should really think about spending just a couple of the bucks he made in Motley Crue on buying some prophylactics so the next unknowing bottle blonde stripper/hooker/porn star he happens to place his extremely well endowed member (yes, who hasn't seen the video) into doesn't have to strip, hook, or make one extra porn movie just to buy in the future a new black market liver from an unsuspecting drugged Swedish backpacker who thought it would be fun to spend a little extra time in the seedy part of the Philippines but instead woke up 3 pounds lighter and with a ragged scar trailing down his abdomen to let him never forget of his youthful halcyon days of seeing the world. To the level itself, it seems that someone has stolen the gems out of Liz Taylor's engagement rings, well at least four of them (she had sold both of Richard Burton's rings years earlier to keep him in booze, Eddie Fisher couldn't afford a real gem as the alimony he was paying Debbie Reynolds almost broke him so it was cubic zirconias all the way, and you don't really think Larry Fortensky bought her one, she bought him one) and she has asked Lara for some help in retrieving them. Of course while breaking in to the palace (temple) Lara has been caught and imprisoned but with a bit of ingenuity and a crossbow full of explosives she finds her way out and deals with her skeletal wardens. Some of the rooms were wonderfully grand looking, the pit area at the start and the monolith room near the end but apart from some jumping around and killing of the skellies the puzzling was pretty non existent. This level took me 40 minutes to play with one secret, the crossbow, found. If you do happen to miss the secret though you get a further 2 crossbows throughout." - Sash (18-Feb-2005)

"The title of this level made me chuckle and I was looking forward to it, well the rest is history as I could have strangled the builder coming upon that shootable door. Don't get me wrong as the idea was great (I take it that it was OK as I can't remember shootable doors in the Catacomb wad, but who am I). I finally managed to shatter it after a new download and a new installment of the LE and I am glad that I wasn't the only one with that problem, heh heh. The beginning is pretty dark and climbing over the skeleton that had a lie down was putting me in the right mood. In the pit area is a piece of texture missing, sloppy, also pretty sloppy was the rope swing. Had also a hard time with the wraith, they just wouldn't die, so the only way to get some rest is shooting them, although the fire wraith do response better to that trick than the icy ones. Found one secret and forgot to take the time for this one. 11-01-2005" - Gerty (11-Feb-2005)

"A level with ups and downs, divided in two different halves. First, you go through dark catacombs, very atmospheric, with mummies and skeletons lurking in the corners. Make sure you find the crossbow, or you'll be in serious trouble with the skellies later on. I know what I'm talking about, because I didn't spot it in the pit. In the second half, you get to a brighter, fairly standard temple area with switches and buttons, but this part has its moments too, for example when a camera shows you a cross above, two wraiths are unleashed, and then you run and wonder: how do I get up there to the cross in time? Really good fun playing, fast and furious, until Lara spends 3 jewels to get 1 identical jewel in the end, whatever reasons she may have for that bad deal ;-). I noted several missing or stretched textures, the nightly 'outdoors' area in the end looked wallpapered. A serious bug in between, when a shatterable wall wasn't shatterable at all until the tenth or eleventh reload, was rather nerve racking, but I don't count that in my 'gameplay + puzzles' rating here." - Rüdiger (06-Feb-2005)

"This is a very nice and easy level of game-play, just how I like my games after some very difficult ones. Your start this adventure in some burial grounds and your mission is in search of a star, crowbar and the 3 missing gems, which are hidden all around this level for you to explore and find. During your adventure you will have a lot of climbing and jumping to do, avoiding some spiked boulders, pushing some buttons and pulling some floor levers to help you in retrieving these important items, that you have come here in search of, and just to make your mission that little bit harder in achieving your goal, you will be coming across enemies like skeletons, beetles, mummies and fire wraiths. In the first part of this adventure you really have to dodge those enemies, as I had no suitable weapon to dispose of them with, and if it was there, it certainly was well hidden, as I could not find it, but fortunately during the second part of this adventure your able to retrieve the crossbow, and collect some explosive arrows, which will help you in disposing the rest of these enemies you will encounter, by blasting them into oblivion and they will be long forgotten to rest in peace and never to be heard of again. On the whole, this level is a very well laid out, textures was very nicely done, which made these rooms you visited most enjoyable to see, the lighting was good, but you do encounter some very dark corridors and rooms, but this does give it a nice spooky atmosphere to the game. Most raiders should enjoy this type of game-play, it's a lovely level, and well worth a visit, so d/load it now and see for yourself." - Gill (06-Feb-2005)

"Well this is definitely different. Lara is locked in a cell with an unconscious skeleton(!), and another one trying to get through the door, which she can't open yet. So she finds a route through an extremely dark cave with an horrendously deep pit - and yes, you have to down there. Find the star, the crowbar, and the crossbow and open the prison cell door from here. This part of the level is very dark and impressive, lighted only by torches. Even though flares are provided I'd recommend lighting a flare, having a look around and reloading savegames just to save flares. I would never have found, never mind thought of, a shootable wall. I wasn't even sure when I read about it that that is supposed to be in a catacomb level. But howsomeever, look for it in the cells to move on. There are plenty of skeletons in this level, but very well placed. Some interesting architecture too. The goal is to get three gems. The route to each one is well done, leading to different large rooms. The funny thing is each time I got a gem I forgot how I came in and spent a lot of time looking for the exit. It was really simple when I found them, but I've never experienced this before. So it was either a clever trick by the author, or my brain ain't working so well today. Either way I enjoyed this level very much. It had what I thought was a great fun element, and that is as important to a player's enjoyment as gorgeous surroundings and mind boggling tasks." - CC (04-Feb-2005)

"Easy gameplay (just don't save before the shootable wall in the beginning or there may be some real ghosts here preventing you from going on). Lara starts off in the dungeons where experiments seeking for eternal life was made. Of course the place is crawling of undead souls as a result of the unsuccessful trials. Lara has to find the crystal of the great horseman Nevertitties (! lol ) to be able to escape and of course she does!" - G.Croft (25-Jan-2005)

"Love the title appeals to my sense of humour. Starting from a dark and glowing dig site we explore some burial rooms and then blast our way into a more impressive temple with several areas to explore. Personally I wouldn't have gone for the outside area at the end which looked a bit slapped together. The smashable wall which has given some players grief gets a nod of approval from me since there are no shatter walls in the catacombs wad - a clever little piece of trickery to get around the restrictions of a preset wad format. The multi-decked hall is well constructed and there is some heavy duty battling to be done in the rollingball room. Find three gems to get outta this temple and take one more home for your troubles. The author has gone a little heavy on the enemies in this one but nothing that can't be dealt with by a bit of forward planning and attention to flybys. However corpse munching beetles in a crawlspace is hitting a bit below the belt. Generally texturing is well applied and architectural objects were used effectively. A bit more care at the front and back end of this level may have improved its overall appeal. Just under an hour of gameplay here and I didn't get any secrets." - EssGee (25-Jan-2005)

"A very dark beginning (and I found only one batch of flares throughout so we must be careful). After many dark rooms that we need to visit where a cut scene at one point shows several doors being opened (an interesting scene in itself) and the renowned 'breakable wall' we come to a dalliance with a couple of sprites in a much more brightly lit pool room that is larger than it seems at first. At this point the game appears to step up a gear (2 gears in fact?) and we have two different intriguing puzzle rooms to solve. One room has slopes levers a spiked ball (actually two but you cannot see the 2nd immediately which is there for ambush purposes) many blocks - both static and raiseable - and further skeletor encounters that you can begin (and end). The other main puzzle room (with a beetle surprise that cannot be avoided both there and back) will have you jumping about trying to find the next (correct) place to land though this is not as difficult as you might think when you first enter the room. The objective is to find 3 gems - 3 gem receptors side-by-side - and it is a nice touch that you will already have found one of them in the darker section of the game (where there is also a secret to find) when you first reach these receptors. There are sufficient explosive crossbow bolts for the skeletors and there is a nice little fly-by to finish." - rjb (23-Jan-2005)

"The setup is quite intriguing: a dark cave with a pitch-black pit a dungeon and an eerie palace. Some parts are lit by strange coloured lights. This level has some good ideas but there are several design misses and on the whole it is a bit uniform and tedious with not that much to do. Still I like this level. A minor glitch is that there is a completely invisible pickup (not a secret though) which you may find if you press action a bit before climbing a certain block. There are plenty of skeletons to knock down or blast to pieces depending on your patience but they are never very bothersome." - Bogey (23-Jan-2005)

"This entry in the Back to Basics contest may be the shortest and easiest. In a hunt for three gems leading to a game ending fourth you'll encounter beetles that disappear only to come back more determined in a second journey back through a crawl space. There is a bug with a shootable wall which I was happy not to have and if you pay attention to a flyby you'll see where to dispose of those pesky wraiths. As I was obviously thinking of something else at the time lol it took a bit of running around before I spotted the ladder leading to the cross. A very nice beginning in a darkish area with good use of color especially in the gem rooms. Straight forward tomb raiding and if you find the crossbow in the beginning all is easier." - Bene (19-Jan-2005)

"This is a pleasant fairly easy and straightforward level that took me a little less than an hour to complete. Many players myself included encountered a serious glitch fairly early on when a cell wall that's supposed to shatter with a single pistol shot refuses to cooperate. The first of three gems essential for completing the level lies behind this wall (although come to think of it lacking that third gem only prevents you from opening the final door so it's possible to continue playing the level without missing a whole lot). Anyway it was a big deal to me until I calmed down a bit later and replayed the level without this time experiencing the problem. I suspect that using explosive ammo in the vicinity of the shootable wall is the culprit; and the crossbow together with explosive arrows are made available early. So I suggest that players refrain from using explosive ammo until after that wall is shattered. From that time until the end of the level I blasted away freely and had no problems at all. No offense to the author by the way who was surely unaware of the situation until the panicked posts started appearing in the stuck thread. A lot of fun in the vein of Quest for the Golden Beetle. Recommended." - Phil (18-Jan-2005)

"I don't pretend to offend somebody but the truth is that the level is middling enough it seems made for people without experience. But I have to be thankful to this person the effort and the work he/she has made and value some way all the time he/she has lost building this level but recognizing that making levels is not a task for him/her. Geometry is quite deficient but correct textures and lights can pass sounds scarcely exists ... definitively a middling level in all ways. In one of the rooms place various switches buttons spikeballs a rope ... to get access finally to the upper part of the room; all those things aren't necessary; simply you only have to climb the blocks in the corner left of the entrance and do an angled running jump to grab the edge of the top ledges and so access to the last switch to open the door which lets you retrieve the horseman's gem. In another room the author place two ropes to can access two buttons when it was sufficient running jumps to access those buttons. I'm sorry if I offend the author and again I value the effort and all the work the author have passed making the level but the rating has to be necessarily low." - Jose (18-Jan-2005)

"Well this was a right nice little level nothing too strenuous and some really interesting Raiding to be had. Lara arrives underground and makes her way to a large area where she has to collect and place a star. You can then go further into the catacombs where many skellies mummies beetles and a couple of wraiths lurk. Off of one large area you'll need to explore the smaller rooms to collect three gems then place them nearby to leave so this was a rather short level where you'll be searching for most of the time and apart from a few long jumps round some rooms there's nothing much else to do by way of exercise. I found one secret which was nicely placed the crowbar and shotgun were easily found and I only hit one problem which was the shatter wall for some reason the wall may not shatter and you may have to load a previous save and try again but I found if I went directly to the wall without doing anything else the wall shattered so maybe just a small bug. The rooms were nice; I particularly liked the cells with the wall torches which made it quite a spooky place to be. The inner rooms were of basic texturing and well lit. There was a nice central structure to climb but I found no use for the two ropes up top maybe they were to get to two buttons but the ledges were reached by a simple run and jump. Cute level and easy to play I just wish it had been a bit longer with more areas to explore." - Moonpooka (18-Jan-2005)

"The purpose of this raid is to find 3 gemstones. It begins in a very dark and dank place with the promise of troubling skellies. Once you have found your trusty crowbar and have pushed the required buttons you are on your way. You must first sort through prison cells full of skellies. Be mindful of differently textured walls...they may have some use. When in doubt shoot! The next large room greets you with more skellies two blasted sprites (can never remember what they are called) and those nasty beetles. This was a fun level! There were some objects that could have been re-worked like the ropes that really weren't needed and the harmless spiked balls but that's the way you learn and our great builders I'm sure can vouch for that. My money's riding on Nicolas for this one!" - Mugs (18-Jan-2005)

"Well a mediocre level but not bad. It's rather dark especially at the beginning but it will get brighter as you progress. I found that it lacked something from the atmosphere and the textures were a bit dull some were missing as well and in obvious places. The enemies are mostly skeletons wraiths and annoying beetles that don't leave Lara alone but if you pass from the same crawlspace again a new 'team' of them comes down to nibble. In general there are some jumps to perform buttons to push and that sums it up. Just don't try to break a wall at the start with explosive ammo because it doesn't work better use the pistols. I found one secret the crossbow." - Kristina (17-Jan-2005)

"We start in a dark locked room. A skeleton is taking a nap on a stony bed while another looking rather angry and probably delusional desperately tries to go through a closed door. What could have led Lara in such a vaudevillesque situation I have no idea and I'd rather not investigate if only for good taste sake. We soon find our way out of this predicament and here begins the level. The first part is very dark but has a very tense atmosphere. The second is brighter with large rooms and high ceilings giving an impression of 'grandeur'. There are a couple of misplaced/missing textures but it's no big deal since we're busy enough getting rid of skellies (without difficulty since you're given the appropriate weapons early enough). At this point I really started enjoying the level despite a beetle-infested crawlspace and a bit tedious jumping sequence. I especially liked the colored lights. And then I met... the rope. Swinging into wall and floor is one thing but getting stuck IN a wall because of a misplaced rope is another. In eight years of tomb raiding this is the first time it ever happens to me and being walled up alive is not exactly the future I expect for my Lara. This said once this fixed by swinging at the proper angle I was able to end the level without anymore problem and was rewarded by a nice little end flyby." - Sutekh (17-Jan-2005)

"Here's a good example of an action packed level that you can finish in a row without ever looking back or feeling stuck. That was fun. The textures look good even if not in any way amazing. In this level Lara must find three horseman's gems before she can finally get out of the palace and find one last gem - nice final flyby by the way simple but effective. Meanwhile she's continuously chased after by entire hordes of skeletons as well as beetles - oh but what a blast from the moment she finds the crossbow and explosive arrows on (available at two different places)! The game starts perhaps in the palace's dungeons and the beginning is way too dark but since it doesn't take too long before Lara gets to better lighted rooms that's alright. There isn't much more to say except for the fact that if the builder of this level isn't somewhat experienced at least I can say he/she knows how to keep the action going and how not to meaninglessly frustrate the player. Good thing! (January 16 2005)" - Jorge22 (16-Jan-2005)

"To be honest I did not like the first part of this level. Very dark a wall that needed a lot of ammo to break it was frustrating. And I wasn't too thrilled about some wraiths who ignored the statue either. But then I loaded a save from just after that stupid wall and then the wraiths went to the statue without doing much harm to Lara. After that when I finally found the crawlspaces (was looking too high lol) it was much nicer to play and I enjoyed myself that last part. The room with the spike balls can be very quickly done without using the levers and buttons (ok just one) and so avoiding a lot of skeletons although you do have the crossbow I was very happy about having that. There were some textures missing and some misplaced but nothing too bad. 6-1-2005" - Josi (10-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. The crowbar turns up right at the start which always puts me in a good mood and explosive crossbow ammo is provided in nice time to deal with the massed ranks of skeletons - just make sure you don't miss the secret i.e. the crossbow. There is another one later on but you'll be glad of it long before that I assure you. Quite a straightforward level nothing difficult to achieve just a good classic raid." - Jay (10-Jan-2005)

"First the downsides: Missing textures an illegal slope and a completely inexcusable rope swing through a wall and floor but this aside I thought it had also some good moments and some originality as far as the setting is concerned. Twice you trigger some beetles that will nibble at Lara's heels and while the first bunch vanished just like that the second was rather tricky to get rid of. I just turned around corners till them beetles all got stuck in walls. Safe one that is. And this little fellow followed Lara loyally through most of the remaining adventure. She even had a pet name for it. Fritz she christened him. Or was it a her. It's rather hard to tell with beetles isn't it?! But I digress. The level starts annoyingly dark but it improves as you progress. Near the start there is a wall you have to shoot to access the room behind it and from what the stuck forum told me Lara actually glances at this part of the wall to give you a clue. Only thing is that it is so damn dark in there that I never noticed and got stuck right away. But that was the only time. From then on it's a fairly easy linear and fast paced rush through huge square rooms that have a certain kind of order that I found strangely pleasing. I liked the funky lighting in the first gloomy area where you find the crowbar and though the heaps of jumps you get some time later aren't tricky at all they were still fun to do. Skeletons and mummies pose no big threat as you get the crossbow twice and the author was kind enough to let a flyby show you the way to the cross right before the ice wraith attacks. I can't put my finger on it but something in here struck me as rather unique. Definitely worth a look at." - Dimpfelmoser (09-Jan-2005)

"Nice enough level to play; not much puzzles though the lighting was OK in my opinion; found several missing or wrong textures. Found one secret or were there more?" - Dutchy (06-Jan-2005)
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