"This four level set certainly presents some challenges the least of which is how to get where you want to go as the level set is so massive that by the time you get to the end and need to place the lizard thingies you have absolutely no idea any more where you saw the receptacles or how to get there. There are some tricky jumping sequences here which will have you reloading the level more times than not and do consult the walk through as it is ever so easy to get lost and wander about aimlessly forever. However this near four hour set is a joy to play and some of the sequences quite glorious as this is true raiding as it was meant to be. I won't go into the details of each level as that has all been done before but load this one up, it will not disappoint." - Torry (30-Nov-2018)
"Portal of the Great Spirit (7-7-8-8) - 45+1+1+3 minutes: The hub level of this level quartet is a very fast paced raid up and down several tower structures which works pretty well (even if it's too fast-moving at times). The traps are varied and interesting to overcome, the elaborate flooding task where you have to solve a puzzle each on every stage is a highlight. Perhaps there are too many switches to use and Indians to shoot and a little more could've been done to create immersion; also this level feels too much of a continuation from the previous level in its style and tasks. The atmosphere is rather well done with very nice use of camera flybys, interesting room design and clean, if a little bland texturing and lighting. Some objects are missing a few textures (mainly the arches) but the secrets are well hidden, one with a twist not seen before.
The Mineral City (9-8-9-8) - 50 minutes: The gameplaywise highlight of this pack with a very enjoyable quest for eight mystic stones scattered all around the level. There is first quite a lot of exploration to open the various doors and later the tasks to get the stones are all very well done and among the more challenging until now in this series. It's all there - timed runs, pushable puzzles, a mirror room, boulders, spikes - all put together very professionally and without much other things to worry about. Perhaps a bit of the needed backtracking could've been reduced by creating a few more shortcuts and a few cameras have the split-second bug, but the progression is smooth enough anyway. The only thing I really disliked was the platform where you had to set Lara on fire to use a lever, then drop into the water - this will never be a favourite of mine There aren't only few enemies but this time I had more weapons (played the Mine level before) which makes the fights more fun. The atmosphere is very well done with an apt blueish lighting, a bit of variety in the underground areas and nice use of textures. Sometimes the looks still tend to be a bit flat but it's a step upwards from before.
Depths of the Mine (8-8-9-8) - 45 minutes: Again a rather fun level with a good quest for three keys and four fuses. Like its"brother level" Gold Mine there is a central hub and many side passages branching off, but this time it feels less confusing than before and the tasks are also a bit better with particularly good use of pushables and also nice jumps to do. I didn't like the use of fences that lower Lara's health, though. The snowmobile is of course a very fun addition, with which you can also kill most of the (this time few but nicely placed) enemies. Improvements can also be seen in the atmosphere with rather good architecture, clean textures and decent lighting. A bit much of same from time to time but it's pleasant to look at anyway.
The Hidden Forest (7-7-8-7) - 35 minutes: Perhaps my least favourite level of the set because of a bit slow, if still professional gameplay design, a huge overdose of enemies (didn't have the shotgun already because I played this side level first) of all kinds - especially those on high ledges tend to be a bit enerving, but they are indeed a challenge -, the looks also tend to be a little less inspired in here with a bit boxy environments (which doesn't work well with the forest setting), although there are impressive areas like the temple courtyard and good room connections, and rather flat lighting. There's good use of music here and the cameras are also rather fine, though. The gameplay is mostly okay but as said had a few too many pedestrian parts (the long and not really challenging climbing parts). The objects are used nicely, with a few invisible walls in front of doors (found one such mistake in Portal too). The texturing is mainly clean, but not always - there are a few not so nicely textured rooms - the looks tends to be quite decent, yet not very impressive on the whole.
Summary: This is not a totally homogeneous levelset concerning the quality, with a few quite good levels (mostly City but also Mine), a decent hub and one a bit less interesting level (Forest). Despite some inconsistencies, the level work nicely together as a whole and with the hub level and the main task they are built on a good foundation. Maybe there are a few avoidable mistakes (missing object textures, invisible blocks) that should've been ironed out at least in the Gold version I'm playing. The levels still have a professional appearance, also the gameplay is never boring so that the three hours I spent here were quite pleasant. Found 12 secrets." - manarch2 (29-Aug-2015)
"PORTAL OF THE GREAT SPIRIT: This looked easy in the beginning: go down and then up like the builder says, behind this words lie countless flood flipmaps, many burners and spikes to avoid, and a lot, lot of distance travelled, though not that much backtracking again. Of all four of the Quest until now, I think this is the least favourite of mine despite its technical advancement, primarily because of an almost neverending switch-to-switch chain. I'm not sure what to think about the second secret which touches the borders of cheating, so I'll favour the builder's creativity here (all in all it was quite clever). The third secret didn't register for me so I wondered if I'm supposed to dry the room first, but apparently I'm not. Guards fighting ahmets two levels ago are now replaced with Indians fighting hydras, however the tribals are equally eager to attack Lara if nothing else is in sight - so it's another twist in handling the enemy topic, though I think there are too many of them, especially when they're that tough. I didn't calculate all squares of descent since the first level, but it gets deeper and deeper each episode, like in TR2 Gold. I wonder if this was the author's intention to bring these memories back... SUMMARY: The author made this for practice so it's not that good as a standalone level, but definitely works like a solid link in the full quest. Yep, yep... recommended. 188.8.131.52.
HIDDEN FOREST: Mixed feelings all the way. It possibly has the flattest lighting of the whole series. All the level is search for idols while climbing and jumping for switches, except from four moments which really impressed me: solving the pushable to visualize a pedestal pickup, exploring the tight and comfy waterfall area, getting ambushed by the ahmet which broke through a door, and making the final ascent upwards the golden bars to reach the main goal item. This seems a lot, but I would just throw out everything else or at least reduced its size twice. Fortunately, the audio is good and the locations explored vary from boiling gold chambers and red-walled temples painted with Indian graffiti to stone corridors filled with traps and narrow areas tightly packed with trees - these settings also come mixed, and there's also one place where the level feels almost exactly like Kingdom thanks to it - so there's always something to hang an eye on and push a player forwards to see what's behind the next corner. I don't like the idea of burning the secret rose even though I found it on time (for there's no point in frustrating anybody who might have forgotten), but I like recapturing the Golden Mask secret (frankly I expected it to happen and was looking for it from the beginning). SUMMARY: A nice try, though a bit flat and oversized. I must admit I wouldn't be eager to play it if it was a single-unit release, though there are some things I will remember, and the final pick is quite rewarding.184.108.40.206
GOLD MINE II: I remember I hated the original TR3 mine and I didn't think a day will come when I'll enjoy mine levels the most of all included in a set, but that's how it looks so far for this game. Well we grow and things change. It seems the early TC14 was the best in producing the tech-industrial scheme, but what will I find close to the end? Will it still be electrified water, metal fences and chains, mechanical blades and stuff at work in sophisticated arrangement? What else a mine can include if one already made up for all static minecarts with a motorbike ride along the tracks and dropped the ahmets to cast in giant chickens so the feeling of evil gathering is even more intense? Possibly a lot more. But so far, everything needed for a mine at this stage of the game has its righteous place and acts properly. I like the builder followed the player suggestions and opened a completely different excavation area for exploration, but it's also nice he added a reminiscence fragment of the old instance (though I hoped I won't have to reverse that puzzle - heck!) . The only nitpick is You need to watch out where You park the bike or You may be stuck for good... Again some buzzing sounds at opening doors, but who cares... Next!220.127.116.11.
MINERAL CITY: There are some gameplay designs I plainly disagree with, the worst is surely the burning tile + water combo. Also, the shootable switch in the very beginning no ammo is given for was the reason why I skipped this level and went to the second mine first. Then there are three more switches yet to shoot, and the crucial ammo packs are often far, far away. I would add one more in some universal space, like in the eight slot room one cannot miss. The skeleton pit utilizes shooting in much more fun way, including a little surprising bonus one can discover. This is an extraordinary application and one may search for more. Unfortunately, the TR engine doesn't have an option to light a torch with a burning ahmet corpse, and the intended solution is a bit tricky - nonetheless I made it all, as well as other six challenges - whoah! Now THAT was a level! The blueish/brownish setting merged with some snow has that classic emptiness many raiders have nostalgia for (I don't have a special preference towards it, but here it's done well - the level has much in common with epic spaces of Egypt and Beyond, and I think it even utilizes identical gratings. While many locations seen until now were really fine, the crystal placeholder temple is finally a place I can use the word "beautiful" when referring to. SUMMARY: Isolation is the keyword for this level. Eventually after many units primarily filled with traps and enemies, here I felt a true raid for the first time in this series. Brilliant. Sh**, maybe Jorge is right about usage of emptiness indeed... 18.104.22.168.
PORTAL OF THE GREAT SPIRIT: The return to the hub portal marks the end of this segment - and it's an identical situation and pity as in case of Titia's Mystic Stones, when the destination trip into a parallel world is also cut off. On one hand it's very nicely concluded to return all three items and place them in the gate, but back then in the time when the level was first released, hopping into the blinking light after all the effort taken only to get thrown into the main title must have been painful. Anyway, the whole bulk is very strong as a whole, and if I was a player of these classic times, I would be sitting impatiently and trying to guess what's behind that light. SUMMARY: The levelset has its minuses but one can't deny it's something extraordinary, mostly for its TR2 Gold resemblance and lots of effort taken. I was impressed as frequently as I was tired, hence just 8 points for gameplay which may appear low - but remember this is just one segment of something much, much more behind." - DJ Full (15-Apr-2015)
"This four level set was a continuation from his previous level indian sanctuary. This levelset was one of the best levels I ever played! Very talented builder! All the levels I've enjoyed. One of the levels which are in this pack is depth of the mine. When I first came to this level I was thinking "Oh great! Another mine level where I'm going to be running around all over the place like a headless chicken!". But I was wrong. This level was a lot more clearer and a lot more fun. The other levels were portal of the great spirit which is like a hub level, mineral city and hidden forest. All these levels make a great level package which will keep you entertained for days. Try it out." - afzalmiah (29-Mar-2011)
"WOW!!! What a fantastic set of levels that was! GSL, the fourth part of the QoG series by TC14, consists of four sections, one better than the other. "Portal of the Great Spirit": the level where you begin, and you have to pass through a series of tasks so as to eventually gain access to the final area, where you find the doors to three sub-sections that you apparently can visit in any order you like. The environments are colourful, bright and decorated with detail, and even the rooms where nothing happens, are thoroughly designed so as to please the eye. Action is smart and varied and the gameplay is well-organized and effective. "Mineral City": the first of the three sub-sections (which I think was the longest) - here we have a huge village of sorts, with several huts in different levels that you have to visit one by one, solve puzzles, pass through traps until you reach your goal which is the aquisition of an artifact. Blue and white accentuate the atmosphere of the cold mine, yet again the decoration is warm and artful. Look carefully around you for hidden jumpswitches or crawlspaces, as many times the exit from one room is not very obvious. "Depths of the Mine": this level looks mazey as a first impression, but in the essence is a brilliantly designed network of passages, rooms and railway tunnels; you also get to ride a snowmobile and cover long distances with it. The atmosphere here is a tad darker, so as to justify the title of the section. Your mission here is to find yet another artifact. "The Hidden Forest": a paradise of greenery! Beautiful level; you have a lot of climbing to do here and justly so as Lara is exploring a forest and her aim is to get a third artifact. Each section of this levelset has its own unique style and feel, yet all of them create a charming and fascinating adventure. The only "negative" (so to speak, as you can't talk of anything negative concerning such a fantastic work) of this game, which is also why I didn't give it a 10 for gameplay, is that several of the tasks, although apparently designed so as to be accomplished with a specific series of actions, you can however work-around them in a shortcut kind of way, avoiding most of the actions and the dangers that those involve, therefore lowering the level of difficulty, and it's obvious that, in most cases at least, those workarounds weren't included intentionally. Because the gameplay of all the series is high-quality stuff anyway, it's a pity that such requiring tasks can be passed through 'the easy way'. But even so, those levels are genial, definitely among the best ever made." - Ravenwen (22-Sep-2007)
"First of all I think these levels are much underrated in the trle reviews. I find them much more interesting and atmospheric than the Korea levels. I guess the taste is different hehe. I just loved the textures and lighting, especially in the first hub level and the city level. Maybe a few more cameras would have been nice as it was easy to get lost in the complex map layout LOL! Other than that, there is nothing at all to complain about. No bugs, no dull moments. All the puzzle rooms where fantastic and very well composed. The secrets were sometimes extremely hard to get (the timed run in the first level comes to mind!) This levelset has everything a raider needs. Lava, water, puzzles and great gameplay spiced up with great atmosphere and fine texturing and lighting. A fantastic spot in the hub levels where when the water rose in sequence after doing some tasks in that tall room. Hard to describe but it looked really great! A real classic!" - QRS (10-Feb-2007)
"Portal of the Great Spirit (10/8/9/9, 60 min., 3 secrets): A great setting with some intense use of colours and I just loved the gameplay. It is very fluent, as it is always rather clear where to go next as you make your way down and around a deep shaft and then back up, but the tasks are fun, not too hard and quite diverse. Many traps (spikes, burners, blades), some target shooting, a torch, some flooding to do and more. At the end you reach a room that gives you access to the next three levels. Enemies are a dozen Indians, some cool poisonous snakes and a few fish.
Depths of the Mine (9/8/10/9, 70 min., 3 secrets): Back to the mines again - this feels vey authentic with the railtracks and machinery around, the drills, the burners and nice use of electricity. The workers are quite tough as opponents and you go back and forth quite a bit from a central room, later on also using a snow mobile to reach places you could not get to before. You have to find fuses and plugs, solve a few nice puzzles with pushable objects and eventually acquire the Animal Keystone.
The Mineral City (8/8/8/9, 100 min., 3 secrets): Alright - that one was a bit over the top. There are many houses to explore here and while in hindsight the flow of this level is quite obvious (finding 8 gems, and making your way deep into the city and then back out) it is not at all when you play and becomes quite frustrating when you search that next door that may have opened without a camera hint. Also, some of the passages were quite tedious to play through. On the other hand there is a lot of fun gameplay here too: a push/raising block puzzle, a series of timed runs, a clever room with three snowballs, a mirror room with some squish blocks to name a few. At the end you leave with your very well earned Mineral Keystone.
The Hidden Forest (10/8/8/8, 60 min., 3 secrets): Another level with great gameplay for me as I always enjoy the hopping around ledges very much and you get quite some of this on the trees here, searching for four idols and at the end the Vegetal Keystone. Enemies are dogs, ahmets and eagles. Many of the rooms were rather boxy, so the setting does not come across as believable as in the other levels, but the huge room is great and very functional.
Overall a great set of four levels and a huge leap forward in quality vs the first three of the series. Onwards to level 8..." - MichaelP (19-Nov-2006)
"There are four levels to this part of the series, all interconnected, and can
be played in any order. The last room of the first level is the hub area we
come back to each time, and appropriately called....
'Portal of the Great Spirit'. We're still below ground, but it's looking more
and more interesting. This series is developing so well. Gameplay in this
part has become more sophisticated. Layout, design, textures (gorgeous
russet coloured walls beautifully complimented by the blue objects and
textures), lighting still a bit on the dark side but very good, and we meet
more of those native Indians. Other enemies are dangerous fish (are they
pike?), and, Wow!, Gargoyles! I thought I was seeing things when I first
saw their movement in a dark cave. They are poisonous and can stretch
their necks out very far, so it's not a good idea to go too close even if you
are winning the battle. Here we have a very deep and wide shaft, crossed
by bridges and zipline. Our aim is to get way down there to the molten
gold, flood another very high shaft and swim back up that one. At the top
we find we have a choice of routes to the other three levels. So this is the
portal. Terrific gameplay includes good block pushing puzzles, a lot of
spike traps, huge hammers that will crush Lara if she's in the wrong
place, swinging blades in a number of rooms, a lot of fire emitters,
interesting monkeyswings, lots of great shimmys climbing and backflips
off ladders, lots of good swim routes and underwater levers, and of
course those zip rides. We shoot swinging blue balls, good torch actions,
lighting skins and statues, and find skulls to open doors. Even though I've
read about that torch jump (getting it up on a ledge with a jump) this is the
first time I've tried it. Excellent! Another first was throwing the torch against
a gate, then picking it up later on the other side. Now about those
run-through textures: I would normally consider them very sneaky and
unfair to the player. But here, a lot of textures actually 'mean something',
so during this series I had gotten used to checking each one. The flyby at
the start shows a giant bell. When we reach the portal place we see this
bell hanging high up on the ceiling. I'm very curious to see what that does.
I just have to make a decision now which one of those three portals to run
'Mineral City'. I love the old TR2 sounds in this pretty place. We have here
an underground Indian village with lots of small houses. It can be a little
frustrating, running everywhere, searching, trying to figure out what
opened, and where, as there are few cameras. There's a very cleverly
hidden jumpswitch in one house that raises a block in front of a statue so
we can light the torch. I'd seriously recommended saving, a LOT, in this
level as it's possible to become irretrievably stuck in certain places. One
was when I lured three skellies to the ledges above a pit so I could shoot
them off. I didn't realise the third one had a key. So you need to find the
crossbow 'before' shooting this third one, in a more suitable place.
Gameplay is becoming progressively tougher. There are some really
nasty traps in this level, fire, spikes, swinging blades and boulders, lots of
ahmets, and the Indians attack in the most awkward places. Here too is a
really good looking, and intriquing mirror room, an excellent timed run with
trigger floor tiles, and a long torch puzzle. I also loved getting that block up
three tiers by raising and lowering other blocks, and finally pushing it
between two huge hammers. I found an extra golden rose secret that's
not mentioned in the walkthrough. It's above the rolling ball in the room
where we place the eight gems. There are some excellent puzzles and
actions here, but saving is essential.
'Depths of the Mine'. We're back in familiar terrirtory. It's another part of the
mine system, but looks similar to the previous level 'The Gold Mine'. The
red coated guards are still here, and help deal with big stomping birds
that have made a home in this part of the mine. On the other hand the
miners are still annoyed and need to be dealt with. Gameplay becomes
even more tricky. Dangerous cables prevent us from accessing certain
areas, so our main aim here is to turn off the electricity. To do this we
shoot fuses on walls, find other fuses and plugs, and push batteries to
specific points. We can still push minecarts and crates around (in one
room Lara can push two crates at the same time! You'll see). Turning off
the electricity allows us to open underwater doors and levers, pick up
what we need in the water, and drive the snowmobile through puddles.
Other obstacles to pass are drills, fires, large moving drum machines and
propellors; and finally opening a room with a temple type structure
guarded by more big birds. These guys are easy enough to deal with
before we grab their artifact and high-tail it back to the portal.
And finally we visit 'The Hidden Forrest'. The initial square/boxy look is
soon replaced by the terrific atmosphere and background sounds of this
thick jungle with extremely tall trees, waterfall, and temple buildings. It's
infested with ahmets that show up in some awkward places, and two red
eyed dogs. It's great fun making our way up and around the branches of
one very tall tree, occasionally attacked by vultures. Lara must find
statues, used like keys, to open doors. We must make our way through a
lot of areas with molten gold, by monkeyswinging above it and passing
swinging axes, climbing more trees and ladders, past steam and fire, and
those notorious horizontal blades. There are well hidden jumpswitches
and levers and plenty of blocks to move around. One has to be moved
onto an unmarked part of a floor which I had to read about. This, to me, is
totally unrealistic and unfair to the player. I ran out of medpacks, not
realising that there were none to be had in this part of the series... at least
I didn't find any. So save often and be careful of your health.
We now return to the portal and place all our artifacts on a platform. A
shaft of light appears and jumping into it transports us onto the next
brilliant part of this series. There's quite a lot to do here, and it took a long
time to get through it. It's incredible to think that one person, TC14, has
created all this. As of now I know there is much more to come, and I'm
looking forward to that. Highly recommended." - CC (23-Sep-2006)
"This is one of those rare level sets where you can see how the author's skills progress already from level to level as you go on in the 4 this set offers. While the hub level, in which you start in, resembles more to the previous levels of Thibault's series, each of the 3 satellite levels shows a potential of its own and tangible progress can be seen without trying too hard. The forest level really has near perfect atmosphere with wonderful, lush, creative and complex setup and architecture, well chosen audio tracks and enemies, and probably is the aesthetical highlight of this level set, with the forest temple/courtyard area being my favourite in this series so far. And while the mines and ancient city levels don't look bad too, their strong points lie in the gameplay. The search for whooping 8 gems in the mineral city didn't turn out to be as tedious as I initially expected it to be with each of the huts in which the gems are hidden offering a wide range of (mostly sadistic ;)) tasks ranging from timing your jumps in a sequence of rotating blades and timed spikes shooting out of ground, jumping on ledges while being chased by skeletons to a mirror room where concentration and timing are required to hit the right spot on the ground without being hit by the moving walls. It's never made too convenient for Lara, in fact, most of the times it can be as inconvenient as it gets - shimmying past walls, from which spikes shoot out much to your dismay, enemies appearing when you're on a ledge in the middle of one of the countless rivers of molten gold you'll encounter in these levels, and so on. From one point of view this keeps you going, but over time, it seemed to me like the author was trying too hard to put things in around every corner and thus the enemies and traps were overkill for me. While I don't mind challenge, what really suffers from this is the realism and plausibility of it all. It seemed like they (traps n' goons) were thrown in to suit the need for challenge, as opposed to the environments being built around the puzzle or task to supplement and support its purpose and logic (or alternatively the puzzle being logically 'implanted' in the desired environment). But then again - the thing with the little bit of realism that the game can afford is, that if it's there - it adds to the overall feel, but if it's not - it doesn't subtract anything either as you can just write things down on the TR logic. With having said that - this offering definitely increases in difficulty from the previous episodes of the series to raise the suspense for the finale of this chapter in Lara's quest of gold, so be aware that no easy task is waiting for you when starting this level set, but it's worth it through all the sweat and blood, so if you haven't started playing the quest of Gold series, it's highly recommended that you consider and do that right now!" - eTux (04-Jul-2006)
"As you progress through these fine set of Quest of Gold levels, they just seemed to me, to be getting that little bit more difficult and more challenging to complete, but not impossible to solve or to succeed in. And I have to admit, during this quest, I did need to peak at the walkthrough several times to finally complete this outstanding adventure, which was set out ahead of me. But saying that, I nether-the-less thoroughly enjoyed myself, as I just needed the right boot, in the right direction and I was off again, in completing and dealing with all my tasks at hand to finally collect all the appropriate treasures in completing this fine adventurous game. I can honestly say, I can't find fault with anything about this level series, it was superb, it has some nice puzzles to solve, enemies were well placed and with the right chosen weaponry, they were easily disposed off. As you reached each room, I found the traps were extremely challenging and the game-play was just excellent and most enjoyable to be in. Each room that you entered was nicely designed and thought out by this author, with the appropriate textures and lighting chosen and with the right objects placed, which in turn, gave you the utmost best raiding experience, to reach the required standard you might expect from a great Lara adventure as this, as in game-play and in atmosphere. My favourite levels being Mineral City and The Hidden Forest. The Mine level I left to last, but I enjoyed that too, as I was whizzing around on my snow-mobile running over all those baddies, which crossed my path. These levels are a must to see and I recommend you download it and play it for yourself, you won't be disappointed." - Gill (02-Jul-2006)
"This is a continuation of a series that seems to be getting better and better, while at the same time the level of difficulty is inching upward. Each of the four levels released in this batch is worthy of review in its own right, even though Level 4 (Portal of the Great Spirit) serves as a hub from which the other three are launched. The gameplay is exciting and engrossing, the scenery is quite varied in the four levels, and it will take you the better part of five hours to complete them even with the help of Dutchy's excellent walkthrough. The only complaint I would have is that the overall ambiance is a little on the dark side, but that could be because I've played these levels during my spare time at the office in broad daylight. This series seems to be never-ending, with another batch of five or so on the way, but that's fine with me. A most enjoyable raid, and highly recommended." - Phil (23-Jun-2006)
"This is wonderful set of four levels and every levels are very different sort of levels, so you don't get bored
very easily. Puzzles are very challenging and there are many jumping task to complete in the game. There
are also some very big and good looking areas in the game like a huge vertical forest area which is
absolute my favorite area. This game contains only few little things which could have been done better.
One of them is where to put objects and especially enemies. Textures could have also been chosen better
in some areas but they are very good in most of the areas. However, every main things are done very well
and I recommend this highly for everyone." - Samu (28-May-2006)
"TC hasn?t let us down with this instalment of the ever growing and ever expanding Quest series. I?ve said it before, each subsequent level from 1 to 7 has seemed to have gotten better in most all aspects, but that should happen as a builder matures with their skills and it is great to see that happening here. Portal of the Great Spirit ? This level really set a great tone with a wonderful adventure set in a beautifully golden temple, where you have to at first make your way down a tall pit level by level and then later on to fill another tall pit level by level with water to get to the top. Once at the top you find that this is to be the hub for the next 3 expeditions. 3 secrets, 85 minutes. Mineral City ? I really enjoyed myself in this level as even though underground there was never a sense of confinement as you come across a huge Indian village with stone huts all over. Here you have to hunt down 8 gems, all with their own exciting puzzles while battling those poor Indians who you have disturbed by trespassing on their sacred ground. 4 secrets, 100 minutes. Depths of the Mine ? As the name states, this one is played in a mine and if you have played the earlier mine level in this series you should feel right at home. Again there is a hunt for a certain amount of items, here it is 4 fuses and 3 of those plug like keys. For the first half of this level you make your way around on foot until you can open the garage and commandeer a snowmobile to reach once inaccessible tunnels. Even though there are a lot of tunnels branching off in this mine you shouldn?t have any trouble navigating your way around as it is basically quite a small environment. Just watch out when you meet the enemies, men with shovels and giant bird monsters, as every time I met especially the shovel guys it was usually in a confined space and they put up quite a fight. 3 secrets, 90 minutes. The Hidden Forest ? This was probably the most straightforward of all the levels and apart from some of the tricky traps I didn?t have much problem getting through. In this intriguingly designed forest you find yourself doing a lot of tree climbing, particularly in one massively high room, and again the enemies, dogs, werewolves, and eagles, all seemed to come out just when you least needed them too and they were also quite amply supplied. 3 secrets, 65 minutes. Once you have collected stone artefacts from the latter 3 levels you have to go back to the first and use them to open up level 8 in the series.
There was some really good puzzling through all the levels keeping the interest steady but I found a few shortcuts to a couple of them, nothing too substantial however. And some parts felt a tiny bit repetitive at times but that may have been because I played all 4 levels in one continuous go and a break between levels may have been the smart thing to do. All in all this was a fantastic set of levels and I am anxious to see how the preceding levels play out." - Sash (27-May-2006)
"The quest of gold continues in these four wonderful levels that pick up from where you left off at the Indian Sanctuary. These levels revolve around the portal of the great spirit, which needs three stones in order to power it. It starts off in the portal level itself, which will have you exploring your way through rooms contained within a huge, vertical shaft that will at one point lead you to the portal and the gateways to the other three levels, but this isn't a very easy task. Expect a multitude of traps, sequences, and enemies in your way. When I got to the point where you have to pick your path through the three upcoming levels to continue, I decided to start with The Mineral City. Quite a nice and atmospheric level set in an indian village in an icy environment. In order to find our first stone, there are a variety of tasks that will have you find eight other stones, which their function will reveal the location of the first stone. Here though, I did encounter a possible scenario where you might be stuck forever. In the pushblock puzzle room, where you need to raise a pushblock to a platform where the block is smashed to get the first of eight stones, if you pull the switch at the very top and head back down, the raised block will prevent you from climbing up to the higher parts of the room, thus having to resort to the position editor in order to continue. Besides that, this was quite a fun level. Then, I decided to go visit Depths of the Mine. After the first mine level, I thought this one would be just as non-linear, but the trip here is significantly less confusing and quite fun. The task here to get your next stone is to look for four fuses scattered in the mine complex. I liked the eagle giants and the snowmobile in these caves, and I rarely got stuck here. There was also a moment that you could get stuck forever too though - In one of the paths accessible via the snowmobile, if you parked your snowmobile before sliding down the shaft to the crate puzzle room, there was no way to get back without the use of the position editor. Still though, this level was quite fun. Now to The Hidden Forest - I loved the atmosphere here. The woods gave the impression that you're visiting just after a huge rainstorm occured here, but your excursion here won't be easy at all. More linear than the previous two levels, you'll be traveling through indian grounds and temples ala TR2 - Golden Mask style, solving increasingly difficult tasks throughout to get your third and final stone. Despite the bugs in two of these levels, this set in the series was quite enjoyable. The traps in these ones are quite hard though, so I'd recommend this to the advanced players." - Relic Hunter (05-May-2006)
"Although you only play level 3 till 7 I felt like I have been playing forever. As for game play goes, take it from me, you never get a rest. It is jump after jump, avoiding spikes, poisonous water, molten gold, in short: avoiding many death. All in all adventure is high on the list. I could have used a bit of a breather though because almost around every corner there is some action. There was one jump I just couldn't make, so thanks Andre. There is so much happening that my head still reels, but what I do remember is that while pushing a crate and another crate moves with it as well. I had to try that one again as I though my eyes played a trick on me LOL." - Gerty (17-Apr-2006)
"The new levels of this sequel are interesting, well done but quite confusing. I loved the challenge and liked the traps very much but unfortunately there is a repetition which made the game a bit tedious at some point. You have the ability to visit new areas and play the next level in any order you like, although some secrets are unavailable after a certain action which I don't like, and come back to eventually place all the artefacts you've gathered to exit the game. The areas you'll be visiting vary so there is a forest like level with many jumps on tall trees. Then the familiar mines level with many areas copied from the 'original', meaning the builder's mine level and last but not least the level with the village and huts. You'll need a few hours to play this because it's very long and complex. The enemies are skeletons, creatures of the forest and sharks. I found only eight secrets and enjoyed playing it but I prefer less backtracking." - Kristina (15-Apr-2006)
"And here begins serious business... With four levels of average to quite high difficulty, each with an atmosphere of its own and its own gameplay as well, but all of high quality. Enemies become tougher and overall placed with surgical accuracy - which is always appreciated. You'll have to solve clever puzzles, perform some tricky jumps and find your way through four different settings. "Portal of the Great Spirit" is a gorgeous place with dominant colors of blue and gold. The local fauna consists of ferocious fishes and giant snakes and you'll have some really interesting research to perform here as well as a good loads of tricky moves. "The Mineral City" is a two-part village inhabited by the now familiar and always handsome Indians warriors, among other foes. Great settings but I regretted having to backtrack a bit too much and have to pass the very same traps a couple of time. In the "Depths of The Mine", you'll see those friendly guards again (although they won't last long) and will have the privilege of driving a snow-bike (which is always fun). Last but not least, the "Hidden Forest" manages to render the forest/jungle atmosphere without the dreaded confusing landscape that sometimes comes with this kind of settings. Regarding all four levels and on the downside, there are some design flaws that will allow you to skip some tasks or will have you irremediably stuck, and the camera angles are sometimes incredibly unfriendly (of the "makes you swear a lot" unfriendly type). But generally speaking this is a great set of levels, with attention to details, inventiveness, originality and lots of fun. Oh, and the ambient music in the Portal is great!" - Sutekh (18-Mar-2006)
"Portal of the Great Spirit: There's a lot of spikes about, the snakes are ferocious (and new, at least as far as I'm aware) and the natives are definitely restless, added to which there are plenty of opportunities to get crushed, sliced in half, burnt to death or drowned in what looks, appropriately enough, like molten gold. I know Lara's upper class, but does she really need to be gold plated? I think not. The gameplay is more linear than some of the entries in this highly enjoyable series (remember the mines?) but there are plenty of challenges, both physical and mental, without anything being beyond the skills of the reasonably experienced raider. At the end of this section you get a choice of three routes to take and I chose in the following order:
The Hidden Forest: The forest is dark and dank and full of dangerous creatures. The atmosphere is quite creepy, partly due to those wonderful sound files from the original Black Isle levels, and I really love the way the trees are dripping as though there has recently been a really heavy rainstorm. There's plenty of tree climbing and lots more sharp things to avoid especially getting out of this area - that route back is an absolute beast.
Depths of the Mine: What was I saying about linear levels and do you remember the mines? Yeah, right, just ignore me. Actually, they don't seem quite as confusing this time around, although there's still lot of routes to explore and homicidal miners/dangerous mine equipment to avoid. You do get a snowmobile to enable you to access more passages and it certainly lets you get around faster than on foot. There's a really well devised block puzzle that takes a bit of thinking through - I enjoyed that. You also get to meet some of those noisy great giant birds.
The Mineral City: The gameplay just reverted to comparatively linear, but the natives aren't getting any friendlier and they really do sneak up on you. I suppose running around a village, barging into people's homes and trampling about on the rooftops probably would tend to make you a bit unpopular with the inhabitants. There are eight gems to find and you really will have to strut your stuff to get them. I certainly enjoyed some of the clever agility tests in this part (in particular the wonderful mirror room), some of which were really challenging. In fact this series has definitely become harder as it's progressed. Perhaps I should be anticipating the next episode with a certain amount of trepidation." - Jay (09-Feb-2006)
"An enjoyable level well builded with good puzzles like TR1 old style, but there are some details to comment. In first level it's difficult to place the first golden skull over the pedestal. There's a room with swinging blades and a blue button where you don't have to go to to continue playing (?). In Mineral City level there's no revolver ammo to shoot the balls so, if you waste all your revolver ammo before, you can't continue playing. Sometimes when you do certain actions there is no camera to show you where to go (picking up the gems open the golden doors and others), and you have to explore again a big area to find the way. In Dephts of the Mine it happened something I've never seen: two crates move separately and moments later the same two crates moving together! In the level "The Hidden Forest" after I got the "Vegetal Stone", I had to jump into an opening in a wall and slide down a ramp but I couldn't roll to slide backwards and grab the edge below (too much low ceiling), so after I got the three stones the game ends for me; it was a pain that I couldn't go back to the main level to place the stones 'cause the levels were very good till this moment." - Jose (31-Jan-2006)
"These levels are part of a series and these are set around one main level, the portal. The atmosphere in these levels was good and the variation of traps very nice, On your quest you'll visit an underground city, where you'll have to find 8 Sacred stones and some of them required quite a lot of skill to get them, once back in the Portal with the artefact (Keystone) you got afterwards you had to visit another part of this underground world (the Mines) to find the fuses that would lead to the next Keystone and then came a jungle level to find the last Keystone you had to use in order to activate the Portal in the main level. This level had me going for quite q while and I enjoyed it a lot" - Dutchy (30-Jan-2006)