Level: The Nightmare (Le Cauchemar) back home search
Author(s): TimJ
total rating:8.00 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Andzia9 9 9 9 9
Duncan 6 6 8 8
eTux 8 6 7 6
Gerty 8 8 8 7
Jenni 10 10 8 9
Jorge22 9 9 9 9
Jose 8 9 6 5
Kristina 7 6 6 6
MichaelP 8 9 8 7
mugs 8 8 8 7
Phil 9 8 9 8
QRS 9 8 10 8
Ryan 8 8 9 8
Sash 8 6 9 8
SlyRaider 9 9 9 9
category averages
(15 reviews)
8.27 7.93 8.20 7.60

Reviewer's comments

"My oh my, this is one seriously disturbing nightmare. God knows what Lara's been smoking. The first part of this two level set eases you in nicely with a couple of raising block puzzles, three Torso Guys (who seemed a hell of a lot easier to kill this time round) and a small church to explore. The "switches on the steps" puzzle seemed to be based entirely on trial and error, though. The main part of the game is set in an environment closely resembling the official TR1 Atlantis level. Breakable tile gauntlets, scions to pick up and switches to pull. I found the underwater maze an annoyance, I would have liked more ammo for the weapons I acquired and it is a bit dark overall (although the dreamlike, swirling textures were nice). If you are an experienced raider, this will be right up your alley." - Ryan (30-Oct-2016)

"Following the dream. More complicated and better achieved. It is very similar of Atlantis in TR1 and is quite difficult (underwater labyrinth)." - SlyRaider (23-Aug-2014)

"There probably is hardly a more nightmarish setting from the original games than TR1's Atlantis (though some may come close), so it's fitting that this nightmare revolves around those, possibly quite traumatic memories. The author uses the intrinsic creepiness of the settings quite well and thus creates a memorable hour+ long raid, that grows progressively more difficult the deeper you go into the game. It's more challenging than the average level, especially in the trap and collapsible tile sequences, and with the enemies closer to the end, but I wouldn't say there's anything here only experts could manage. Besides, any grievances I had over this double-level were seldom related to its difficulty. There's seldom anything complex about the looks, but they are effectively done, especially in the second part of the adventure - with coloured lighting, blood spraying from walls, the typical and some atypical Atlantean baddies, with the hellish atmosphere, crucified Lara objects and so on. The first part is basically just a big open field with awkward fixed camera angles, and can be gotten over with very fast if you know where to look. Despite the open-ended setting it's actually not that hard to navigate through - the real annoyances begin with the trial-and-error sudden-death switch puzzle where only 2 of a series of 12 or 14 open a door, while the rest set off a spike trap. Thankfully the author doesn't use these unmarked traps that much as you progress further into the game, but it has some new pitfalls all of its own - invisible shimmy cracks, walk-through/ swim-through walls, a fairly elaborate monotonous underwater maze and most annoyingly of all - the nanosecond-camera bug that essentially puts all author's efforts to guide you through this admittedly somewhat complex game in vain. The parts that are thrilling are indeed very good and worth one's time, but the experience is overall somewhat unbalanced. Found the 3 dragon secrets, and thought they were well placed." - eTux (27-Apr-2012)

"This is an outstanding level that's billed as a two-parter (and there are indeed two tr4 files in the download, along with a special title tr4), although only one file name ever showed up on my load screen. The walkthrough, however, is divided into two parts, the first segment provided by Yoav and the second by Jenni. The game gets awfully complicated and difficult near the end, so I depended heavily upon the walkthrough. The dream environment is much like the Atlantean levels in TR1, and there's a boss encounter at the very end that will have you saving and reloading frequently, even if you happen to be playing in god mode. The lighting is quite good despite the nightmare ambiance, and the gameplay presents numerous challenges. It took me a little more than two hours to play the entire adventure, and it was time well spent. High recommendations." - Phil (13-Mar-2012)

"Lara has a nightmare. She is in very spooky place with lot's of monsters, lavas and "lively" walls. Another Atlantis style. Playgame was a bit difficult. It was easy to get lost in underwater maze or felt from the sloping pillars. Church in spooky area was quite nice idea. Scary but nice too." - Andzia9 (12-Jul-2010)

"This was a spooky level.. seriously, I really got scared a few times! The first level felt hmm dirty so to speak..filthy with fear :) The second level was really cool and I loved the small parts from my favorite level 'Atlantis'! I think the author has done a really good job to put together such a strange and scary 2 level adventure! 2005-06-01" - QRS (03-Jun-2005)

"Oh hell, it sure was a nightmare! Actually I absolutely loved the first 30 minute level set in an arid landscape with a church and assortment of odd things and enemies, and the second level had me sucked in as well with the fun underground Atlantean looking environment, I didn't even mind the mind boggling maze, which frankly after a while was easy to get around in as you spent so much time in it, but what just made the whole thing a total drag and had me begging for the end was the last 15 or so minutes where I had unstoppable enemies on my tail constantly, flying skeletons, and wraiths, and only occasionally did they leave me be for a little while if I shot my pistols off, but then I came to the small room with levers, movable blocks and another Seth like skeleton that had some serious bone to pick with Lara and I barely made it out alive, my frustration level however didn't as I got sick to death of having to reload every couple of seconds as I was either losing too much health and didn't have much in reserve in the backpack or just plain got set alight by the electrified bolts of lightning. It's a real shame as up until that point I was ready to give this level a really great score but a few points will have to be deducted as the ending was just not fun. I finished in 100 minutes with 3 of the 4 secrets." - Sash (26-May-2005)

"A level too much dark for me to like, and with way too few flares to light. Is there some hint in the game to know what switches in the stairs can be pulled, or the puzzle is only die many times till you find that switches? If you kill a fire dragon into a narrow tunnel, you can't pass to the other side. Very few cameras. Two sharks were trapped and quiet in the entrance of the pool waiting for you to be shot without danger. In the place where you must shoot the bell, must be some revolver ammo because could be that you've waste all that you have fighting enemies. A curious situation happened to me with the last rolling ball in the ramp with the spikes: the flyby starts before the ball smash me, and when it ends Lara was down the floor and could shoot, but couldn't move herself. (Reload) But puzzles are not bad, enemies are good and objects well implemented. Not a bad level finally." - Jose (01-Apr-2005)

"A superb follow-up to The Dream. The builder has outdone himself this time and a lot more effort has clearly gone in to this level. The first level has Lara running around all over the place and the fixed camera angles only helps to confuse the situation as it's hard to get your bearings when looking down on Lara, which is a shame. Cutscenes to show what buttons and switches do would have been beneficial, considering the size of the level. The switch/spike puzzle was nothing more than a random 'try this switch' and finding it's wrong with Lara dying instantly so the player has to reload over and over until it's right. Puzzles should never be trial and error, there should always be some clue or hint as to the procedure. Very good atmosphere though and the 3 huge mutants from Atlantis were fab, as was the church! The second level offered more with some nasty traps and difficult obstacles to overcome. At times it was the exact replica of Atlantis, which is the point, as Lara is reliving a place she has been to before (or at least having a nightmare about it) so was very fitting. Naturally, the centaurs of that level featured greatly in the level, as well as fire dragons, flying skeleton birds and even sharks, not to mention one immortal skeleton demon who was the ultimate baddie at the end. I thoroughly enjoyed this, it's difficult, but do-able, as it's not about trial and error to solve your way through but finding out the right formula to overcome an obstacle, which is something I enjoy doing immensely. Secrets comprised of the three dragons that featured in Tomb Raider 2 game, one is even tantalisingly on display in a display case but accessing it is a small adventure in itself. The set-up and atmosphere portrayed a nightmare environment perfectly and colourful tiles around the place always reminded you that this was a dream...well done Tim, an excellent follow up to The Dream and I look forward to your next level." - Jenni (22-Mar-2005)

"Myself I am not overly fond of the Atlantean level, but that doesn't mean that one can have a great time playing them. And this one, one almost could. The major lack here was camera work. So think about it TimJ, putting camera work in it doesn't mean that the gameplay will be easy, you took care of that. It only mean that players won't get frustrated looking here, there and everywhere to figure out whatever it was they triggered. The fixed camera work sometimes works and some times it is irritating as hell, so a nice balance wouldn't go amiss. The first level has a huge outside area and there was a horizon problem. The next one was very tricky indeed with lots of traps. It isn't a level for the faint hearted, but have a go at it and take your time as you will be reloading quite a bit. 21-02-2005" - Gerty (13-Mar-2005)

"Definitely an adventure for the more experienced raiders out there, but if you like a challenge and don't mind gloomy and spooky atmosphere, then this can be for you. The first part (30 minutes, 1 secret) is more of a warm up and introduces you to the dense atmosphere of the level, the Atlantean textures and has you run around quite a bit with little to do. You find one scrion, a nice secret and the Church looks great from outside and inside. Part 2 is longer (60 minutes, 3 secrets) and much more involved. I hated the water maze area (as I always do) but got through it reasonably ok. Enemies are ghostly and tough (dogs, sharks, centaurs, ahmets, flying skeletons and an unkilleable boss skeleton near the end). More scions to acquire here and a key. I really enjoyed the tricky bits involving collapsible tiles, boulders, swinging bags, blades, lava and more. What I didn't like was a severe lack of camera guidance and the darkness in many places with rather few flares around. But all in all, a very enjoyable and different kind of adventure." - Michael (05-Mar-2005)

"In the readme the author says this is a hard level, and it certainly is. This is one of those levels where the aim seems to kill Lara as many times as possible - which is my least favorite type. Nonetheless, it is often well made, and has clever ideas and genuine challenges. To quote the author from the Forum: 'I like it when you die.' I think if the author can overcome that attitude, we might see some great work. There is certainly talent here." - Duncan (03-Mar-2005)

"The fans of older official games will enjoy this as the setting gives a feeling of the Atlantean levels. Of course most of the places are different, so is most of the gameplay, the textures though and two particular areas are an exact copy from the official level. Lara in her pajamas wanders around a big outdoor area with a church and cemetery finding switches and enemies like starved dogs, a skeleton, plus flying skeleton-wraiths. The second level is more complicated and better than the first, with challenging jumps, areas with deadly water, centaurs and sharks everywhere. Although the game is interesting the textures are not well placed and the outside area in the level has a few problems. It's a good try and at the end the player will see that Lara was actually dreaming which justifies the outfit. I found three secrets. I am not a fan of the Atlantean levels though, they are too old now but I did have some fun playing this." - Kristina (15-Feb-2005)

"This is the first of TimJ's games that I have played (hope I haven't missed any). Lara's adventure begins in surreal terrain - that fleshy, bloody stuff that makes Lara feel slimy (that's what she tells me anyway). After wandering the plains, taking in the scenery, you're soon involved in a battle to the death with three mutant torsos. Fortunately, you can keep a pretty good distance from the guys and knacker them, one by one, from the alley. Next, it's off to spike/lever heaven. I don't know about you, but being spiked five million times loses its appeal pretty fast. Once you make it into the church, the real fun in this game begins. The puzzles are tough, as is the game play. And if hard water mazes are not your cup of tea, this game may not be for you. It took me hundreds of reloads to finally get going and I still missed the secrets down there. While I succeeded in finding the three scions, I ended up with a fourth object that left me quite bewildered - it registers as a scion in your inventory, but there's no place to put it. Perhaps TimJ has plans for a sequel that will put this piece to good use. I enjoyed this game and look forward to more of what Tim has to offer!" - Mugs (10-Feb-2005)

"Fabulous surrealistic level in two parts, of which I much preferred the second. In the first part, located in weird scenery with too many fixed cameras, Lara must find a way to open a trapdoor inside a church, so she may then proceed. The process is somewhat confusing, namely because when she uses a lever in the belfry we get the image of the trapdoor but it will still be closed unless we've already used another lever on the outside. So, it's fairly easy to become puzzled... Is the lever timed? Is this some glitch? Nope, she just has to use the lever on top of a block with a skeleton. The second part is much longer, has a lot of momentum and is mainly based on Atlantean TR1 textures. It's tough too, at times, not an easy game at all. Lara must fight mutants, skeleton-wraiths for which there aren't any crosses anywhere and an immortal skeleton near the end. In the meantime, there are traps and some hard to figure out places, namely a huge pool of lava where one may find it impossible to proceed (even though it's not, naturally). There's even an earthquake in this part, not too long, thank God. Unfortunately, many flybys which could be useful are missing here. The secrets are jade dragons of which I only found one. Very good. Very original. Very tough. (February, 8 2005)" - Jorge22 (08-Feb-2005)
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