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Level: Search for the Monastery 1 - Monastery Ruins back home search
Author(s): Barry
total rating:7.49 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Anurag 7 6 7 7
Celli 6 7 6 6
Deekman 7 8 8 9
Duncan 7 7 7 8
eRIC 7 8 8 7
Gerty 6 6 7 7
Jay 7 7 8 8
Jose 7 8 6 8
Kristina 7 7 7 7
MichaelP 7 8 8 7
Moonpooka 10 10 10 10
mugs 8 8 7 7
Necro 7 7 7 6
Orbit Dream 7 7 7 9
Phil 7 7 8 8
Ryan 7 7 8 8
Sash 8 8 9 8
Staticon 9 8 8 8
suzieq51 7 8 8 7
VoodooChild97 8 8 7 7
category averages
(20 reviews)
7.30 7.50 7.55 7.60

Reviewer's comments

"A pleasant and entertaining enough level set in well-made snowy environments. There is a good variety of gameplay on offer, although they were more centered around traps and there aren't that many puzzles here apart from a neat mirror room sequence and using dynamite to create a hole in a lake to progress further. Not bad for a debut and is more recommended for those raiders who prefer "trappy" gameplay rather than thinking puzzles." - Ryan (09-Feb-2017)

"This short (30 minute) level has its moments, but it's a little too trap-oriented for my taste (breaktiles, deadly water, strong currents, etc.). Most of the action takes place in surroundings reminiscent of the old commercial games, and the gameplay centers around locating and placing two ice artifacts. There's also a detonator device that blows a hole in a frozen lake, something we don't see very often these days. As I recall, the enemies are exclusively SAS (who sometimes appear in droves) until you encounter a demigod near the end. Moonpooka has provided a thorough walkthrough for those who need it (people like me). A pleasant filler for a rainy day." - Phil (15-Apr-2014)

"This is not a bad level and was quite entertaining for the most part. There were various little side adventures to complete such as the acuiring of the two stone to progress furthur. I enjoyed it and the scenery was designed very well. An enjoyable way to spend an hour." - Necro (23-Apr-2008)

"Ahh 1st custom level for my country. Its a small sweet level set in a snowy enviroment the gameplay is not much but I must say that the author has worked out a lot & put in much effort to build this one, neatly textured & with matching objects. Though i could find waffer thin wall at one point & in the earlier version there was a bug in the 1st pool area at the starting Lara could walk underwater hope that is fixed now. Plus there is ammo available for Revolver & Grenade gun which werent available in the level, I think they will be available in the sequel Lastly I must say that we Indians allready have a pretty hectic schedule & most of us think that creating maps or levels using LEs for any game is a wastage of time. but the author has taken the initiative. I would be looking forward to the sequel of this level" - Anurag (23-Feb-2006)

"A nicely designed Tibetan level where Lara has to find a few objects in order to proceed. Some of the items take some careful looking. For me the level had a few bugs. This is the first time I've been able to get Lara to stand up when completely underwater, and there were some spots that seemed to have illegal triggers. There is a fair amount of swimming, but some of the water is deadly, but it does not appear deadly. I did like the outdoor settings and the way the ruins were handled. Fighting the demi- god at the end made for an abrupt ending, it would have more satisfying to allow Lara to run up that flight of stairs. Nonetheless, a promising and fun level, and I hope we see more from this author." - Duncan (14-Jan-2006)

"What a splendid first offering this is from Barry. He has, obviously, put a considerable amount of effort into the creation of this level and it has really paid off. The atmosphere is decidedly chilly as Lara sets out through the snow at the start of this adventure and I was quite pleased to get into the temple to warm up. :-) Having the poles and collapsible platforms made of ice was quite inspired but I felt that they were just a tad too see-through. I almost missed them at first but, once I knew of their existence, I was on the lookout for them. A little more camera work would have been appreciated but not essential. My appetite has now been whetted for part two - please make it soon. Thanks for a great little game." - Staticon (12-Nov-2005)

"There are some plants floating in the air at the beginning. When you go through the north passage past the first waterfall, in the room with two moveable statues, you can take your torch and burn the left tile and a fire appears high in midair (before moving the statues). The invisible pole left to the obelisk isn't a good detail, yes, you can look the tiles in the floor and ceiling but it's difficult imagine that there is a pole which you can grab! (I used the binocs and I couldn't see it). The same thing happens with the breakable tiles on the water in the south passage. In the final camp, the wooden floor of the hut has no colision, and Lara can walk through the wooden floor. Puzzles are well, as enemies and objects; secrets are easy to find; there are few cameras and good textures and geometry. Let's see what offers this author in "Search For The Monastery II", I think it'll be better." - Jose (04-Nov-2005)

"This really is a lovely looking level with its mix of oriental and snowy climes. As the name states the whole adventure here is to finally reach the Monastery, and to get there you come across some really enjoyable, but sometimes too sneakily tricky, puzzles. The one I found most tricky was the mirror room as you need to find an object that is not even visible in the mirror and I would never have passed this without the help of the forum. It is though hard to really describe what you'll find here, especially visually in the outdoor areas with my favourite spot being the place you have to detonate a crate of explosives to open an underwater passage in a lake, so I'd say definitely give this 40 minute level a play...and if you do make sure you get at least the first of the four secrets as some of the others later on will not attainable if you don't." - Sash (01-Nov-2005)

"A good level in a Tibetan setting with big outside snowy areas and temples. The author has placed well some of the gunmen , and has put a lot of work to retexture objects, and innovation to create interesting puzzles. In spite of a few minor mistakes in the design (you can reach areas you are not supposed to, or a thin wall) and a rather flat lighting , there are definitely good ideas here." - eRIC (26-Sep-2005)

"Phew, just finished playing this level and I'm freezing! LOL all that ice and snow and the moaning of the wind made me feel quite shivery. Poor Lara certainly has her work cut out for her here - enemies seemingly round every corner, strong undercurrents, toxic pools, and a demigod to top it all off. There were some lovely gushing waterfalls, some stark caverns and several lovely rooms - I particlarly enjoyed the 'oriental' rooms with their lush, rich colours. The puzzles weren't too challenging for me - the mirror room was fun and I actually found the torch (more good luck than good management though). There are a couple of ice artifacts, a stone of fire, a key and 4 secrets to collect and lots of goodies to pick up too. I was very impressed with "Search for the Monastery" and congratulate Barry on his custom building debut. I look forward to playing more of his levels." - suzieq51 (24-Sep-2005)

"I had fun with this, and relished some of the narrow passages, waxing nostalgic to some of the old TR games. The textures and atmosphere were well done, really giving the feeling of being where I was supposed to be. I liked Barry's take on the mirror room, giving us two different ones as well. It did seem to go quick, and wasn't too awfully difficult, and as for the way it ended, well, I do love a good cliff hanger. Looking forward to his next installment. Good job for a first level." - Deekman (24-Sep-2005)

"A solid debut level of about 40 minutes gameplay in snow and ice. It is actually fairly linear but has a few sneaky moments and some good ideas throughout. The mirror room is nicely done, you get to do quite a bit of swimming and some of the secrets are not easy to get to. Enemies are a few guards only. You can get to the end of the world in places and there is the occasional thin wall, but overall this is very well put together and I am looking forward to more levels from Barry." - MichaelP (15-Sep-2005)

"This is a nice arctic style setting with some fun jumping around on rocks and through waterfalls initially to reach a cave area where there are two different ways to go in search of two ice stones. Among other things there's a fun collapsing tile run and a torch puzzle to achieve and a few guards to kill along the way before returning to the great outdoors for a battle with a whole bunch of guards at once, setting off an explosion and a final fight with a demigod. Not at all bad for a first time build." - Jay (06-Sep-2005)

"Search for the Monastery is a short but interesting level. For awhile, you are left wandering aimlessly around a frigid river and its waterfalls, before finally discovering a very tight underwater passage to the next section. From here you have to tread on thin ice and make your way through mirror room in search of two stars. It's only a short distance to the end after that, but not before you have a gunfight with poor Lara being unfairly outnumbered (but she's a strong woman and can hold her own ;-) ). I found that the level ended a bit abruptly, and took me a few times before I realized that killing the last enemy ended the level (it had always been off-screen when it died, so I had no clue what happened lol). The last enemy also explains why there were so many bodies scattered around the level. Not a challenging level, but still fun nonetheless. Looking forward to seeing if there will be a second part of the search." - Celli (31-Aug-2005)

"For a first it is a good one although a good beta test wouldn't go amiss. I found some of 'the end of the world' places Lara could jump to and in my game at least there were some bugs as I never saw the Torch and the invisible block appeared way to early that made the rope redundant. Overall there could be a tiny bit more camera work as it is still not clear what that first button does. The two rooms where to get the Stones are nicely done. I liked the detonation one has to do to proceed. The ending was rather abrupt almost like the builder ran out of ideas. But keep on building as there is potential. 25-08-2005" - Gerty (25-Aug-2005)

"It has a snowy setting and nice challenges with collapsing tiles over water and almost invisible objects that might give you a hard time. Starting outside and encountering the 'end of the world' bug by climbing onto the icy rocks, you progress through a tight underwater passage. Then the fun begins with a mirror room and star objects to find by exploring two different areas, one of which has a small maze type of room. Some icy objects, like the pole, aren't so visible which can make you wonder how to progress. The next problem I encountered it was in the room with the secret skull and deadly water. There is a switch that if you forget to use it and swing with the rope to the other side, you can't go back. The next part has many masked men and a puzzle item to find so you can finish the game after fighting an eagle-like demigod. I found three secrets and I thought this was a nice level but a bit on the shot side." - Kristina (25-Aug-2005)

"This is the 1st of a series. Lara has travelled to the mountains of Tibet and there she waits for you to join her in finding a hidden monastery. Fortunately, there is group of dangerous men also looking for the monastery, and they will be shooting at you throughout the level. I like the storyline, for it's non-ambiguous and gives reason to your raiding (equals good progression). Now, when I began this level, the first things I noticed were the plants taken from Piega's Sanctuaries and the sky that looks like the one from Dick's Recruiting Demon Smalls, the latter of which I'm unsure about. Gave me a strange feeling that this might be another beginner level simply built and looking good only by the use of others' hard work. It's not quite that way. In fact, I enjoyed playing Part 1 of this series and look foward to the next level. You begin in the mountains where you can see many floating plants and objects (this leads me to believe that the place might actually hold some magical energies that create these phenomena, or perhaps they are just a mirage; a malfunction of Lara's mind which could have been induced by said energies). There are a few waterfalls too, nicely done. I love mountain exploring and I love Tibet, so this is a good start. Notice the Natla Technologies logo on the dead man's body; might our lady nemesis of TR1 be involved here? You proceed from mountains to going into some caves and solving a few oriental-like puzzle rooms (be on the look out for some objects made of ice as they're hard to see sometimes). I liked the run across the icy ledges and the rest was not overly unique technically, but it still came as a new experience to explore around. Eventually you'll get back outside and have a big shoot-out with a bunch of guys around a funny looking hut, and explore some little ruins of the monastery there, even getting to blow up a small hole with a box of TNT the guards have already installed. The end is where the height of atmoshpere is, entering into a gloomy cave where you are now close to your goal (see the monastery walls), and some dead guys in the clearing before the monastery steps forewarn of something more than just a few bats in this cave. Meet the new boss, a mixture of some old bosses. The level ends when the guardian of the monastery gate is dead. I think it's a great ending and, Barry, I love bosses and don't think it's at all out of place guarding the entrance to the monastery. Can't wait to see what Lara encounters next in level 2. Gameplay and puzzles aren't anything completely new but are well done and fun to experience in this level, enemies were well placed and the secrets were great fun to find. Textures were of an akward mix but well applied (most of the time) to the well built map, and make the level unique in its own way. I found 4/4 secrets and a few weapons along the way, and used 0 health packs." - VoodooChild97 (25-Aug-2005)

"This is an excellent level, and you can see just how much work and effort went into it as soon as you start. Set in the snowy hills of Tibet with guards lurking in every corner, Lara faces some pretty tough challenges. You will be collecting four secrets along the way as you search for two ice stones, keys and a gem to take you to your final destination and demi god enemy. The torch is used, and there are a few sneaky tricks to suss out. The mirror room was great fun; I don't know how many times I died trying to cross the lake, and the rest of the rooms were beautifully decorated throughout. The oriental feel to this place was warming, with its red and gold textured rooms mingling with the cold grey cave walls, quite lovely! This really is a must to play, fabulous scenery and never dull game play, I'm praying for a part two." - Moonpooka (22-Aug-2005)

"This has the distinct feel of a Demo (albeit a rather large one) as, despite a good range of gameplay ideas, you find and destroy the Baddie a little too quickly for it to feel like a complete adventure. The torch sequence was well-handled, as were the invisible poles and tight swim sequences; while the water effects were top-notch. The snowy atmosphere was also well conveyed, and the adventure zipped along at a good speed (even the maze seemed to have relevance); but this sort of Himalayan story really needs a more epic scale in order to work properly. This was essentially a very good and entertaining little (debut) level. Just don't expect anything too ambitious." - Orbit Dream (22-Aug-2005)

"Welcome to this illustrious home of level builders, Barry! We're happy to have you here! Your first game was very good, indeed! This game begins in the frozen Tibetan mountains where you must find access to the Monastery. Once in, Lara will have to sharpen her mirror-reflection skills to secure possession of the Stone of Ice. Barry uses his object skills to create an icicle that will help Lara in the process - I loved this - very clever! Lara also will have to deal with an assortment of thugs and finally use their equipment to detonate the dynamite they've planted. The ending is a bit strange...the appearance of a customized bird-demigod (is that what they're called? You'd think I'd know by now, having played a zillion of these games)...anyway I look forward to your next level, Barry. Well done!" - Mugs (22-Aug-2005)
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