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Level: Blue Spirit back home search
Author(s): Ernie
total rating:8.81 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
algebo 9 7 9 10
CC 9 8 8 8
Dutchy 9 10 10 10
Gerty 9 9 10 9
Jay 10 9 9 10
Jose 8 9 7 8
Kristina 7 7 7 8
MichaelP 9 9 9 8
Phil 9 8 8 8
Ryan 9 9 9 9
Sash 10 10 10 10
Scottie 10 8 9 9
category averages
(12 reviews)
9.00 8.58 8.75 8.92

Reviewer's comments

"This is an extraordinarily complex set of levels. There are three levels, each taking about 90 minutes to complete and you really need to be prepared to work on this one and possibly bring along a lot of patience (and possibly the walkthrough). The actual physical side of things is also very difficult, as there are many jumps that require thought and careful observation and you may have to carry out manoeuvres that you normally wouldn't attempt if this was a casual raiding experience. But it isn't. I did feel it got the better of me at times (the glass labyrinth, mazy corridors and quite a bit of backtracking across the different areas). But there's no doubt that a lot of ingenuity went into this creation. This is the work of a devious mind. The puzzles and tasks are quite creative in places with special mention going to the extensive uses of the torch and motorbike and the quest for the various artefacts. The surroundings are actually quite impressive in places, although there's no real distinction between them. Definitely a good bet for more experienced raiders. Total time 4:36 hours." - Ryan (09-Mar-2018)

"Lara is once more on the move and looks for a precious stone, the Blue Spirit.
After she has damaged her car, she finds (what a coincidence) just round the corner the passageway to a gigantic area. Cliff walls around, several waterfalls and a lake are to be marvelled at. The first thought: Looks great and seems to be relatively simple. Here a little bit climb, dive there a little. So a walk. How the appearances are deceiving. Already the time run at the beginning gives the degree of difficulty. And one notices fast that the difficulty is a little higher as in other Levels. Lara must here work to the max. It is a matter of finding two parts of a cartouche to come to the second part. Sounds easier than it is, however it makes really fun.
Then in the second level has Ernie laid the degree of difficulty once more higher. Adventurous climbing actions, motorcycle journeys, time runs, underwater distances and risky jumps accompany the player through the whole level. The whole one reminds already nearly of the level builder from Japan.
In the third part is the degree of difficulty even higher. Scantiest time runs, really precise and heavy jumps, climbing actions and swimming actions and still a lot more. What Ernie has unpacked there, is quite extremely demanding. Occasionally I would have bitten almost a few times into the edge of the table, but because the table does not taste so well, I rather have further played.
Result: A few frustration attacks are inevitable, but one also has extremely a lot of fun" - Scottie (02-Jun-2010)

"The fact that this is only the 10th review more than three years after this level set's release speaks to its complexity and difficulty. I tried it a year or so ago and got bogged down near the end of the first level because I had missed shooting a vase and didn't feel like going back and replaying the whole thing. This time I paid meticulous attention to the walkthrough and painstakingly made my way all the way through in about five net gaming hours. It felt too much more like work than play, and although I was impressed with the planning that was obviously invested in this creation, I couldn't recommend it to anyone who enjoys playing Tomb Raider for relaxation. I'm getting tired just thinking about the details of the three interconnected levels, so I'll bring this review to a premature close and move on to something a bit brighter, less claustrophobic and less taxing." - Phil (09-Apr-2009)

"Spirit I (10/9/9/8, 65 min., 3 secrets): Set in and around an impressive huge cave you start with a timed run and then get to find a tricky path with interesting jumps, hidden switches, many raising blocks opening up the way step by step, spikes, boulders and mine traps and more. The target shooting with the shotgun will have a few players stuck as it is not a very common move, the long drop was fun, the use of the torch clever. Secrets are very tough and I needed the walkthrough for those. Enemies don't play a major role and are more a diversion than a challenge. I really enjoyed the gameplay in this part, as it was challenging but a lot of fun, so a great sense of achievement when you make it through. Spirit II (9/9/9/8, 85 min., 4 secrets): Starting with a whole series of timed runs, this part was even tougher than the first. It also had a few more enemies (btas, dogs, eagles, ninjas, locusts, scorpions, skeletons) and I very much liked the way how you smartly had to make your way around with the bike. Well designed. What I did not like so much were the almost invisible ledges, the one-way walkthrough walls and a small underwater maze. Spirit III (8/8/8/8, 75 min., 1 secret): In this part my feeling increased that the level is a bit over the top in complexity and simple should have stopped with part 1. Running around the four connected areas, it is very confusing to find the next right thing to do, the mud maze with a bit of tedious wading was no fun, the torch puzzle is almost impossible to figure out without the walkthrough and the flimap effects near the end are a bit obscure and the looks of these room don't do the game justice. All in all, a level series of high complexity and a challenge for the most patient among the raiders. Try it if you dare." - MichaelP (20-Apr-2006)

"A trio of levels named Spirit I, II and III. The emphasis is mainly on exploration... over decor, atmosphere, enemies and objects. Each area is huge with lots to do in interconnecting corridors, openings, ledges, and the player crosses these areas numerous times completing tasks, opening doors and gates, and lowering a lot of blocks that lead to new areas or switches, via climbing, ziprides, monkeyswings, and deviously hidden crawlspaces and moveable blocks. Looks-wise... picture a base in the Nevada desert. So there are a lot of red rocky canyon type areas. Some tasks seem to be almost impossible to accomplish, and it's not immediately obvious exactly what we should do. If the player is not the 'explorer' type, then this is another level where I'd seriously recommend the walkthrough. I tried to do as much as I could but got totally lost, or stuck forever in dead ends or illegal slopes, doing crazy jumps to odd places, not sure where I was going. I'd also recommend saving... a lot. We need to bring certain items with us through the first two levels into the third. Excellent location of secrets, and very hard to find them. We use the torch in many interesting ways. Loved all the jumps, slides, climbs, shimmys, and general hopping about. Enemies are eagles, locusts and ninjas. Having made our way to the very top of the first canyon we pull a switch, that drops a trapdoor, and Lara has the longest fall I've ever seen in a level, down to the water below. Oh, and shoot every single vase you see, otherwise you may not get what you are here for. The second level has some excellent timed runs and swims. It starts with Lara swimming under a large bridge, and trying to make her way up onto it. She soon finds herself in yet more huge rocky areas. This time though we become aware that there is something other-worldly going on, with those transporters, and glass chambers. Here too we find the bike which we can bring with us from here on, and into the final level. With the great advantage of being able to kill ninjas and dogs with it. Lots more sneaky moveable blocks, hidden switches and routes through these rocks. The 'alien' aspect is more prominent now, with stuff like the run through textures, the tease with the pistols, glass tunnels, and invisible ledges. We find ourselves in a kind of fortress too, where we have to manoeuvre that bike along a precarious route through it - brilliant. There's a most memorable jumping sequence for Lara in a dark cave. And we find ourselves underwater a few times. And all this brings us to a very unique setup (and the third level) of four connected areas with pyramids and central tower. Once we've opened up the entrances in these four areas, we find ourselves involved in some very intriguing underground areas. For example, wading through knee high mud, skellies running around, and trying to light sconces without wetting the torch. Again, great use of the torch here, moveable blocks, extremely high climbs, boulders to dodge, and a VERY confusing glass maze on two levels. It all becomes very surreal when we open up a route inside the tower and venture down to claim the Blue Spirit. And finally an excellent ending, if we're lucky, and a drive off into the sunset. I spent the last half hour here hanging on desperately to my last bit of health, so conserve medpacks if at all possible. This level is not for the faint hearted. Certain jumps have to be explained, the same for those hidden areas, doing things in the right order, and just generally being pointed in the right direction. The levels are vast and if it wasn't for the walkthrough I don't know if I could have finished it entirely on my own. Special mention goes to that super tight timed run to a raised block that's just about to fall. A big eeeYES! moment when I finally made it." - CC (18-Apr-2006)

"The gameplay of this level confused me several times. Mostly the setting is sandy outdoor areas and the player is called to visit a lot of indoor areas to complete puzzles in order to continue. The secrets are not easy to get but not impossible either so there’s good measure there. The bike is necessary for your progress so make sure you know where you left it. The room with the transparent barriers was a pain for me as it took me a while to figure it out. I encountered two bugs with invisible blocks and the main bug which keeps you from progressing in the area with the canister. Make sure you shoot the vase first and not after you’re done with the jumps because the canister was inaccessible for me. On the good side the watery areas and the timed swim were nicely done. I found three secrets and I wouldn’t recommend this game to newbies or those that get irritated easily." - Kristina (25-Feb-2006)

"It is an excellent level, that one could play very well, with an excellent detail of textures and development of the action." - algebo (30-Dec-2005)

"This is a very good level, it played nice but it's not a level for everyone as there are quite a few hard jumps that maybe not all of the players can manage. The storyline is good, you visait several places with pyramids that are connected to the last pyramid valley where you have to activate 4 pyramids to open up a central trower that will give access to the Blue Spirit and that's what the level is about. There are some very hard to find places with only a vase for instance, but if you don't shoot thopse vases, you'll never be able to get the 2 Keys needed to obtain the Blue Spirit in the end. I liked the atmosphere, valleys and dark caves and wide areas to explore, a very nasty Timed run to a raising pillar and a very hard Glass labyrinth that was a crime to figure out. Certainly looking forward to another one of Ernies levels..." - Dutchy (18-Nov-2005)

"Cracking good gameplay in this level. From the start it’s sophisticated and sneaky, just how I like it. If you’ve played this builder’s first level, you’ll already be aware that he is something of an original talent and this is even better than ‘The Torch’, but be warned – it is certainly no level for the inexperienced raider. Some of the action (including extensive use of the motorcycle) is really rather challenging, and I got badly confused in the glass maze in level three, but it was all well worth the effort and I had a wonderful time. If you feel up for a challenge, I can highly recommend this one." - Jay (14-Nov-2005)

"It seems that this author knows very well all the extreme limits of the TR game. A tricky level with tasks only for expert players: shoot a vase high up only with the shotgun, running jumps with roll in mid air and grab, backflips with rolls and curves, throw the torch through a very narrow gap, standjump/dive (Alt+Shift+forward+roll) underneath the glass panel... There are some places where you can go and get trapped (can't go back and not die): once you take the sight and up the ramp, you can go through the cascade and can't go back; in the water room next to the nitro canister if you jump into the water and don't pull the jumpswitch... Invisible ledges in the outside area with the bidge are very very difficult to see. The crystal labyrinth was very tedious for me. Definitively, not a level for beginners. At the end, if you haven't the two keys, you can't get the Spirit Stone (your goal in this game) and this is always frustrating. Moreover, if you missed some star, you have to take the motorbike and look for it through two entire levels!!! This isn't good for a player who have play many hours to get the end of the level. I had never get finish this incredible level without the help of the D&G's walkthrough. Thanks!" - José (14-Nov-2005)

"If you are the jumping kind, well you picked the right level. This levels has it and more. There are two fiendish timed things to do, and one is getting up a climbable rock and the next is getting that Crowbar. The first level is situated around a waterfall and there must be the longest fall into some water I have ever encountered. My heart was in my throat, no kidding here. There is so much happening that it is hard to put down into words but the use of the torch was great fun to do. The spoilsport was that glass maze of sorts. I plainly hated that as I never could my bearings right. I spent hours in there. That for sure spoiled it for me. Even if I had to ride that bike (a pet hate of mine) in that second level, I had a great time. Overall it isn’t a game for beginners and at times I found it rather confusing, so be aware that it is no walk in the park, on the other hand for a debut it is indeed a great level. 02-11-2005" - Gerty (13-Nov-2005)

"What a Humdinger this game is! I had an immense amount of fun and I would have to rate this up into my top 5 favourite custom levels. Not only are there three of the most interesting environments, different sandy rocky canyons and deserts, but the way the author set these levels up made for so much adventuring and exploring that I was like a pig in sh…..short shorts!!! These levels will never be given justice by trying to explain their ins and outs but just take my word for it they are fabulous. Just quickly, there are some really smart timed moves, one very short one to a crowbar that uses jumps in a very cool way, and one to a raising block that is so tightly timed and has so many obstacles that you will be cursing out loud. Even the old standard torch puzzle gets a fresh kick in the butt here with its transportation to areas that seem out of reach. And secrets are placed in this level at, in my opinion, the best positions they could be and I can’t remember a level that I felt more achievement at when finding them. There is however one spot in these levels that absolutely nearly broke my spirit, and yes my poor spirit was very blue, get it, blue spirit, the name of the levels, oh alright forget it then…and that was this tiered glass maze like structure that almost made me give up, but the funny thing is when you know what you are doing after finally making it through you can almost do it blindfolded, but at the time it was just evil, well at least for me it was. But in the combined 5 hours these levels lasted this is but a mere hiccup along the way and I absolutely loved them. A perfect score from me on this one!" - Sash (01-Nov-2005)
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