"Another fantastic levelset, which is no surprise anymore for me, as this series by Thibault turns out to be a masterpiece. After having her 'mystic experience' in the previous level, Lara now finds herself in a hi-tech environment somewhere in Korea - in the first two sections at least, as the rest of this five-part installment takes place in exotic-looking oriental mountains, gardens and palaces. A touch of VCI, a portion of the TR2 Rig atmosphere, spiced up with essences of Xian Temple, and the result is a totally charming mixture of challenging gameplay and eye-candy settings. "Nuclear Base": the first of the two hi-tech levels; although it may look mazy on first impression due to the winding ducts, huge shafts and backtrackings, in fact this section is actually rather straightforward and once you get the hang of the action, you won't lose your way. "General Contamination": the gameplay here is a bit too complicated and confusing, however I found the concept behind this level so imaginative and original, and its realisation so masterful and imaginative, that any frustrations were put aside soon. There's so much originality in this level, starting with the simplest, like Lara's unexpected look. The Contaminated Area is a brilliantly conceived and designed set of rooms, and the finale is a big highlight undoubtedly. "The Hidden Palace": a colourful yet trap-filled world, designed with wit, imagination and plenty of skill. The effects are gorgeous, there are many 'wow!' moments as well as tricky sequences, original use of known elements and a quite inventive use of the elements/scales puzzle. Only one thing - those spike traps, omg! There are so many of them, it's just insane, lol. Same goes for the remaining two sections of this levelset. But it's OK as they are all manageable, and they just make the gameplay more challenging, and they are well and cleverly placed. "Tears Of The Lost Dynasty": another fantastic, colourful and bright environment that however hides many traps and trials for Lara to pass. There are huge areas to explore, where the environments are used in a particularly creative way. "Wrath Of The Dragon": along the same lines of the previous level, a tad easier though it seemed to me despite the many tricky traps it involved. The finale where you aquire the artifact is very spectacular, but you have to be very careful and fast-moving so as to make it out of there alive. Too bad it's over already, but now on to the Folly levels (a personal favorite from the originals, so can't wait to play TC's version!); and from the little I've seen so far, I sense it's going to be something truly amazing." - Ravenwen (28-Sep-2007)
"In general this is one hell of a mini game. Like always be prepared to explore and I hope you like nasty jumps as Thibault knows how to built those. Every level of this mini game takes you away to a different environment and what stands out for me is the contaminated area. What a clever idea. There were still a few minor bugs but I couldn’t care less. I liked the end levels as a boss level and this one had the wow factor for me." - Gerty (28-Sep-2007)
"When it comes to gameplay, this level has it all. A very unique experience which takes you from lab levels all the way down in oriental tunnels and temples. These levels are also more complicated when it comes to puzzles and “new” things. I was amazed when I saw the water room with no water in it so to speak. (You will understand when you see it!) There were however, a few spots in these levels where you could get stuck forever. I always keep saves but it might be a problem for other players that don’t. The mail problem was a flipmap (I think) that did not always work when you reloaded a save game, thus making the player stuck. It is right after you have visited the very same water-without-water room ;) Other than that you can only praise the author for being so creative and inventive in his long and hard levels. As I said in my spirit review, the Korean levels are not as good as these but they come close! Highlights in this levels are the flybys ( I loved those!), the “water” room and the main reactor! I also loved Laras outfit hehe." - QRS (10-Feb-2007)
"The Nuclear Base (8/8/10/9, 70 min., 3 secrets): Not a very Korean start to this section of the series as you literally drop into a Base environment full of moving and static lasers, timed runs, burners, barbed wire and plenty of guards to kill. The rocket silos look very authentic though and the crate push puzzle was fun, as was the smart use of opening/closing a trapdoor and of course the impressive lift off scenario of one of the rockets. On the downside, there was a bit much crawling to do and too many buttons to press, but the intermittent scenes with the general walking ahead of Lara spiced things up nicely.
General Contamination (7/9/9/9, 70 min., 3 secrets): Lara now in the general's outfit and with a card that gets you into many doors. While equally impressive in terms of architecture as all the other levels, this one had me most frustrated with plenty of seemingly pointless running around and then after a fairly obvious and linear start gets you totally confused with the swapping of green and red lasers, which turns this basically into a complex 3D maze. It is technically an impressive level though with the contaminated area where Lara runs around but loses 'air' as if she were swimming and the final meltdown of the reactor is well set in scene as well.
The Hidden Palace (9/9/10/9, 70 min., 3 secrets): Finally reaching the oriental section and I was really ready for some more friendly, less sterile textures after the Base levels. This is really nice environment with excellent use of the BtB06 textures and audio, warriors and wraiths to deal with, quite a few lava pools to jump across and around, a few neat push/raise puzzles and plenty of fun climb/jump sequences. Add to that the usual array of traps (spikes, burners), the use of the elements puzzle and also a bit of torch action and you have a truly fun adventure.
Tears of a Lost Dynasty (9/9/9/8, 60 min., 3 secrets): Save for the added cool piranhas this is the BtB06 competition level, so copying from my review from there: Your quest is the collection of four Dynasty Symbols and they are truly well hidden in this very complex environment. It all revolves around one very nicely designed central area that you explore in and around in various levels, including the tree branches and roofs, as well as several surrounding caves. It is all very clever and often you have a great rewarding feeling when you master a passage, but I felt at times it was almost overdone and particularly when spikes are involved things often are frustrating until you get it right. The cathedral type area looks nice too and the one room that you have circumvent and then make your way up had a great series of clever and diverse moves. Towards the end you also get a torch puzzle, which in comparison to the rest of the level is a piece of cake until you finally reach the end and can sit back and pat yourself on the back for making it through.
Wrath of the Dragon (9/9/10/9, 60 min., 3 secrets): Always nice when my favourite level is at the end of a series. This level is hot - lava and burners play a predominant role. I loved the dragon objects and also the boss ending with the big dragon is well designed and a suitable finale including the flyby. Before you get there you have to master a few tricky timed runs, plenty of tricky jumps and find a total of five dragon seals. Enemies are only a few ahmets and the small cute white guys and what really stood out for me in this level was the very good use of cameras which allowed for a steady progression. The huge lava room is awesome and great fun to roam around in.
Overall, a massive set of levels that demonstrates what an elaborate builder Thibault has become and nicely carries the Quest of Gold Story along." - MichaelP (27-Nov-2006)
"Lara is now in Korea, and we have five levels here to play through. I've
played this series from the start and kept a savegame at the end of the
Canadian levels. This should have transported me straight to level 9.
Instead, no matter what I did, I was transported directly to level 10.
Whether this had to do with not being able to use that tomb4.exe on the
mac I don't know. In the end I converted the wads, renaming the tr.4s, and
used the original script. So I played levels 9-13 as stand alone levels.
'The Nuclear Base': One of the best base levels I've played, with great
lighting, textures, design, atmosphere and gameplay. I love Lara's khaki
uniform. We have a very interesting and logical course here. Lots of timed
runs and actions in the form of monkeyswings (one interesting one takes
Lara outside the base high up in the sky), pole walking, climbing, slightly
enigmatic jumping at times, very well placed guards to deal with, plus
negotiating lasers, blades, barbed wire, fire emitters, steam, and the
usual stuff that happens in a base level. Throughout this series the
location of the secret golden roses are intriguing and challenging. Lara is
determined to blow this base up. The explosion sets fire to the rocket and
launches it into space. We trigger a number of flybys that show us we are
in fact chasing the General through this base. Lara finally catches up with
him, overpowers him, and takes his uniform...
'General Contamination': is a difficult level, because there are a lot of
doors, crawlspaces and lasers to negotiate, runs back and forth
numerous times, and unless the player is confident they are on the right
track, they will spend a long time trying to figure out what exactly
happened, and where, despite the excellent flybys. The walkthrough is
definitly needed. There are also some serious bugs that need a little
trickery to get past. I've not seen anything like the Contamination area in a
level before. Lara must explore while being slowly gassed to death. So
she must sprint everywhere in the shortest time possible. Getting the
secret rose was a nightmare. We are looking for fuses to place in the
reactor. Lara looks a very commanding presence in that General's
uniform. So much so that the poor scientists are scared of her and drop to
the floor when she enters a room. Unfortunately she has to shoot one of
them to get what she's looking for. This level ends, and the next one
begins with Lara entering a faulty lift that drops with frightening speed to a
forest floor, where we soon find ourselves in a beautiful oriental village
'Hidden Palace': The player will get a strong feeling of de ja vu in this and
the next level We have some very good jumping about to do outside and
inside these pretty buildings. I loved that camera that looks up as Lara
pole walks across a high room. Plenty of traps to get through, clever push
puzzles, and Samurai guards to deal with. We are looking for dragon
stars, waterskin, sandbag and oil jug. Using these opens a hole in the
floor of the main building that takes us to...
'Tears of a Lost Dynasty' which is the BtoB06 competition entry, with minor
'Wrath of the Dragon':'We see straight away that we are in the Dragon’s
Lair. Brilliant looking fire breathing statues. Ugly monsters live here but
are easy enough to deal with. The route around this enormous cave
system was great fun. Lots more jumping and puzzles, including a great
dragon cube pushing one where we have to trigger a block to rise and get
each cube up on a ledge. Eventually we meet up with a very angry dragon.
This is tougher than previous similar encounters, and dodging this one is
hampered by more monsters as you try to reach the switches. But unlike
other levels we do eventually get to kill this dragon and grab it’s artifact.
A challenging and fitting end to this entire series. Highly reommended.
But I’d suggest players start at the very beginning and play right through to
get that great final feeling of achievement." - CC (01-Oct-2006)
"I've been nursing this segment of the QoG series for well over a month, playing other things and taking vacations in the meantime, so this will have to be a gestalt-type review. Of course, Level 12 will be familiar to many of us because it was an entry in this year's BtB competition. Nevertheless, I had a grand time playing it for a second time, along with the rest of these imaginative levels. It seems that the technical skills of this builder are growing with each release in the series, so I'm looking forward eagerly to the completion of the next segment. The level of difficulty seems to be growing as well; after 13 levels I've clocked a little less than 24 hours of net gaming time. That averages out to nearly two hours a level, which means that these aren't your standard beginner's fare. The lighting is good, the surroundings are scenic, and the gameplay is consistently excellent. Play it for a good raiding exercise." - Phil (26-Aug-2006)
"What a grand adventure this is! From the techno ambiances of the start to the Oriental atmosphere nearest to the end, loads of puzzles and action and a great atmosphere which doesn't deserve a ten for the sole fact that some builders, ocasional builders even at times, and even people who have built much shorter levels, have made true works of art that remain in my mind, making it difficult to rate anything else ten whenever there isn't sheer stunning beauty to stare at everywhere. But I must say, this game (I admit to only having played the first and second chapters) is perfectly worthy of being among the best. Its only severe handicap, at least from where I stand and that's pretty subjective, is the terrible degree of difficulty, namely in orientation, namely in the "radioactive levels", which truly forced me to follow parts of the walkthrough. Too non-linear, should I say, but let me stress it again, that is subjective, only any rating is so too. I'll be looking forward to the continuation. TC, please, don't forget the savegames because that will allow each and everyone to play these long and entertaining levels. Thumbs up hands down, despite my 8 for gameplay." - Jorge22 (06-Aug-2006)
"Professional work, only a little details to comment. In first level Lara refuses to grab the ladder under the first trapdoor, and later when I climb this ladder for a second time, Lara refuses to climb around the corner at the top of the ladder. When I dropped into the room with the barbed wire and kill the SASs, a second General trespass the timed door without open it (?). The crate which hide the ignition misil button was difficult to move. In second level, the areas with the red and green lasers are complex and perhaps you need to draw a map with the rooms and the actions of the buttons; the jumps when you have to go back over the slopes of the poisoned basement were very hard too. In the poisonous "water" area there's not a hint to show us where are the dangerous tiles which burns Lara. Third level was good for me, good gameplay and good puzzles not much difficult to solve, except a hard task: the jump to the ledge with the spikes and from here to the swinming pole. Fourth level was good too, but the very difficult jump in the room with the hammer, spikes and lava ruined all the level (too much reloads). Last level was the best for me, but some camera shots were very very short (miliseconds) and the jumps in the room with the smashing pillar and the ledge with the spikes were hard too, but not impossible. We'll see what this good builder will offer us in the next St Francis part of this saga." - José (24-Jul-2006)
"The next set of levels in the QoG series. Lara visits a Nuclear Base which she destroys in the next level and then finds a Hidden palace, bringing her into the BtB Lost Dynasty level, from which she travels to the Wrath of the Dragon level. Great levels to play, texturing and lighting were perfect in my eyes, there were some glitches in that contaminated area, due to the kind of underwater play which was cleverly done I think, running back to showers to get that Nuclear stuff of your back. Great adventure." - Dutchy (08-Jun-2006)
"The Nuclear Base - After the wonderful oddity of the last in the series you are plonked straight into a rocket silo base. TC has done something that has as of yet mostly failed to happen; he has made me really enjoy a base level. It isn't though close to being my favourite level in the series but diversity is an essential ingredient to keep intrigue flowing. There is some of the usual things to be expected in such a level but the progression, the environment, and the little nuances such as setting off an explosion that dominoes in effect to launch a rocket and a short detour monkeyswing over a huge unseen abyss added to making this a really enjoyable notch above the rest. 3 secrets, 80 minutes. General Contamination - Through the first level you are given glimpses of a General keeping one step ahead of Lara, well when you start this level Lara has finally caught up with him and although not seen has taken him out and is now donning his uniform. This however doesn't help her getting around as the guards in contaminated suits all know she isn't their General, it could be those girly bumps that give it away, and they are quite an unfriendly bunch of subordinates. In this level Lara has to collect four fuses to use on the giant towering reactor so that it will go into meltdown. This again takes the base level another step forward and includes a brilliant section where Lara enters a contaminated area where she has a limited oxygen supply, as though underwater, and a series of panicked runs ensue before you run out of air. 3 secrets, 90 minutes. The Hidden Palace - Once the meltdown has occurred you have opened a way to a beautiful underground asian world with temples and gardens built into the surrounds. On the hunt for the elemental mainstays, waterskin, oil pot, and bag of sand, you are greeted by some wonderfully tricky jumps and traps as well as some fun movable cube puzzles. There are also some warriors hidden around the place, all wearing a bull like mask over their heads, but I had the most trouble with the monkeys as before thinking I would shoot when the pistols targeted something and if it was a poor monkey I would then have to finish them off so they wouldn't go for my jugular, and if I am not mistaken another thankfully friendlier monkey would take the deceased place. 3 secrets, 80 minutes. Tears of a Lost Dynasty - The elemental dishes have been filled and lo and behold the floor opens up and it's all downhill from there. Dropping into an even deeper cave system filled with asian buildings you may realise that you have been here before, and you have, it is one of the Back to Basics levels. I will not re-review this level as you can go read my original if you like, but there has been a little finetuning that may be hard to tell by the mere player, it is obvious though that the sharks that greeted you after your drop in the original are now no longer, instead seahags and piranhas have been given the jobs of welcoming committee. 3 secrets, 70 minutes. Wrath of the Dragon - And you better believe this dragon is pissed! It is no surprise that you will again be in an Asian style adventure even further into the bowels of the earth, and as you are closer to the centre of the world there is this whole magma lava deal happening. With a few puzzles completed you reach a wonderful huge lava room with tiered pagodas and a fabulous path winding in and out of the rock walls. Once you have mastered that area and gotten through it is onto your meeting with big mama Serpent and she ain't a happy hisser. In this room you have to grit your teeth, put your head down and run around finding some buttons to press, just to make things a little more treacherous a couple of skinless looking ahmets also decide to drop by to make life a little harder. Don't worry though as you will eventually get your own back with the help of a snake boulder to the serpent's cranium and between you and me it was about bloody time. 3 secrets, 65 minutes. TC has done it again with a totally all round wonderful adventure." - Sash (30-May-2006)
"I have to say that this is my favourite sequel from 'The Quest of Gold' series. There are five levels included in this game and all of them are challenging and interesting. The 'Nuclear Base' level has the appropriate setting and even though I don't like base levels, this one made an impression on me. There is one problem though, you have to be careful with the Fire keys because if you pick both of them only one is showing in your inventory so use the first before getting the second one. Also the tightrope was annoying in all the levels it appeared because Lara would stop after one step on it and that was really irritating and I am not very font of the tightrope anyway. In 'General Contamination' Lara is dressed up like a guard and has to perform a few jumps around the central area and also be very careful with the contaminated area which she has to explore. We are in need of fuels here and the idea with the contamination area was great, I liked it very much. Unfortunately we have a problem here as well. Do NOT save after opening the door near crane because there is an invisible block in front of it and you can't enter or get out if you reload. The only way to 'escape' this bug is to place Lara half inside the door, after passing it though, and half of her foot exactly at the entrance at an angle. I experienced in crash in this level after getting all fuels when I tried to get back down. There is a timer at the end but I am not sure what its purpose was as I had plenty of time to get out without hurrying up. The 'Hidden Palace' will remind you something of the latest 'Back to Basics' levels because it has been created with the same elements and textures. The search is for a waterskin, gems and the areas to explore are all around the waterfall but you also have to do some jumping. The next level 'Tears of a Lost Dynasty' is the one the builder released for the 'Back to Basics' challenge but it has been updated. As far as I am concerned the new version is much better than the one for the challenge. The last level 'Wrath of the Dragon' is my favourite of all the levels in this game. You will be climbing and jumping to reach the higher levels and find the Dragon Seals we need to exit the level. Of course I hated the dragon but as there is a way to kill him after a certain task, I am not complaining. The secret roses are not hard or very easy to get, they are just right and I am happy I found all fifteen of them. Don't miss this installment." - Kristina (30-May-2006)
"This is almost fantastic set of five levels. First and second level take place
in North-Korean nuclear facilities and other three levels you play
underneath the nuclear facilities. There are just so many wonderful things
to tell about this game that I will mention only some of them. There are
two nice moves from TR5 in the game. You can walk on a tightrope and
use poles to swing. There are also many nice Korean kind of objects like
dragon statues, nice lamps and many others. It was also very impressive
to see that there's a final boss fight against a big dragon in the fifth level.
That was pretty hard but very fun. There are also many other nice enemies
in the game and I like especially the yellow flamethrower guys from TR2.
Only difference is that they don't have flamethrowers. You will also have to
solve many puzzles like couple of pushblock puzzles and some switch
puzzles. There are also some timed runs and many wonderful and
surprising things to experience in this game, so don't miss this." - Samu (30-May-2006)
"Lara?s quest is finally over in Canada and she?s moved to Korea. This starts off as a base level. Cue the laser traps, ducts, shootable grates, toxic waste and really deadly swinging hooks. Loved the cut scene with the rocket launch and the idea of Lara stealing a guard?s uniform was just inspired. There?s also a contaminated air scenario that I haven?t seen for a very long time. Firing up the reactor and doing a timed dash to safety was fun. I don?t know how long you actually get to find your way off the base, but if you get down to ground level by sliding down the slopes at the corner of the reactor you can do it in just over 2 minutes. The action moves on to lovely oriental areas and if you?ve played the excellent Back to Basics oriental levels then you will recognise one section ?Tears of a Lost Dynasty?, slightly modified from the original. The final section is dragon orientated and you actually get to kill off the boss dragon, which is both rare and satisfying. Another really excellent, highly enjoyable entry in the series ? long may it continue." - Jay (24-May-2006)
"The next installment of The Quest of Gold takes us away from the icy environments into a more tropical location, in Korea. We start out at a nuclear base, where you make your way through a complex filled with guards as you play with burners, do some timed runs here and there, and near the end you have to avoid getting caught by cameras and burned as you track down a military official in the base. This level was more 'routine' and not all that overly exciting, but it does have a highlight, in which you launch a nuclear missle. Back to the guard - when you do track him down, you give him a stealthy beatdown and change into his clothes to try and blend in the contaminated areas of the base, but that doesn't really work as the guards could tell it was Lara wearing that suit. The second level was one of the more fun base levels that I've played, and it reminded me of Half-Life a lot. It's just a shame that there weren't any mutated baddies to kill. I figured since it was a contaminated section of the nuclear base, we might see some barnacles or those zombie scientists, hehe. Alas, we don't. Some highlights here would include the contaminated area, and the final sequence as you run to the elevator before the nuclear waste eventually floods the entire complex. Now we go underground to the ancient Korean palaces, where we resume the classic role of Tomb Raider - The Hidden Palace, Tears of a Lost Dynasty, and Wrath of the Dragon await us here. They were indeed fun levels with a more tropical and oriental atmosphere, with some fun sequences involving spikes, burners, jumping, all that jazz. Though you could get stuck in The Hidden Palace in the room with the pawns, since the hint above the door I had to open wasn't that clear, so I was stuck there for a few days. Tears of a Lost Dynasty is the author's Back to Basics level, only that the lighting was made brighter which made for a less frustrating experience. Then we move on to the climactic ending in Wrath of the Dragon, and what a great level that was! I enjoyed every minute of it, from the first few dragon-burner sequences, to exploring the enormous lava cavern, and the boss fight was also quite fun, though I had to reload a lot since I was always trying to snatch those medipacks in the arena, and got myself burned in the process. This installment is really great and provided me with several hours of great fun, and I can see the builder developing a unique style to his levels, which is always great! Looking forward to St. Francis!" - Relic Hunter (13-May-2006)
"This new massive level set of the QoG-series can be splitted in two parts. The first part takes place in a base/lab-setting, the first one in a base with nuclear rockets and the second one around a reactor. I´m not so much a friend of this setting, but this time I really liked to play it, especially the second level (not to mention the extremely nice outfit for Lara there!). Of course, you have to press a lot of buttons here, but by far not only that, you have to do a lot more varying tasks. You have to avoid observation cameras, master tricky traps with burners, contaminated fluids ..., solve a laser- and special number puzzle, be quick in a contaminated area and so on and this in a excellent, intriguing mix. After a breathtaking escape and a deeep fall with a elevator Lara surprisingly arrives in traditional Korea with temple/cave-settings for the other three levels. The first of the three is all about getting the things for the water-oil-sand-puzzle, the second is tc´s complex BtB06-Level, but polished with better fitting enemies and better lighting, and in the third you will meet a lot of dragons, some smaller ones in a huge lava cave and the big one, we all know so well, as the "boss fight" in the end.
The gameplay in these levels is also very entertaining and varying.
TC has developed his unique, professional style of level building, I like very much. Very much recommended for all, except for pure beginners perhaps." - Raymond (01-May-2006)
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