Level: Tomb Raider The Nightmare back home search
Author(s): JMN
total rating:8.34 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Andzia9 7 8 9 9
Ceamonks890 6 7 7 6
DJ Full 8 9 10 8
dya1403 8 9 8 6
eTux 7 8 10 8
Gerty 8 8 9 8
Jay 8 8 10 10
Jose 8 9 7 7
Kristina 8 7 7 7
MichaelP 8 9 9 8
Ray Croft 8 9 10 7
Relic Hunter 8 9 10 10
Ryan 8 8 10 9
Thorir 9 9 9 9
TRTheoP 9 8 10 10
Wolf7 7 8 10 9
category averages
(16 reviews)
7.81 8.31 9.06 8.19

Reviewer's comments

"Unfortunately this is one of those rare levelsets where I simply don't agree with the general consensus at large and was struggling to see why it received such high praise in the first place. The first level was your run-of-the-mill classic Croft Manor map to a tee for the most part(aside from a slight snapshot of a demonic human/scorpion hybrid in a reddened version of Lara's bathroom and some sudden level theme changes, as you explore new areas to find various items which are mandatory for progression). It was certainly different from the norm, but nothing extraordinary enough to keep my boredom from gradually building up over time. The second level set in a twisted version of Atlantis from TR1 titled 'Nowhere' didn't bode too well either, as I found myself just sitting in my chair listening to distorted archived audio from TR1-3 against a complete black screen for close to three minutes, being unnecessarily excessive when players like me just want to get moving! Creepy imagery such as the Torso boss enshrouded in shadow behind a meaty prison and human-like hands supporting the wall torches, alongside the sudden appearances of eldritch abominations which wouldn't feel out-of-place in a Silent Hill game, served as definite highlights. But I feel the increased combat encounters weren't exactly spaced out properly in this level and in my opinion, flies completely against the tone intended to be conveyed through the ambient music and eerie lighting utilization. Better than the first level, but not by a huge amount. The third and final level makes the builder's Silent Hill influence very much apparent here(if a few of the background music choices weren't enough of a tip-off), as you're moreorless in a version of the Otherworld from that series, where familiar elements of the Croft Manor map we had been in previously, have become distorted and unfamiliar with reddish lighting to match. And while the sight of a version of Winston in the freezer who's implied to have committed suicide at one point was chilling and the presence of several old-fashioned wall clocks hung up in a voided hallway surreal, you're still going through a large number of the same areas you already dealt with in the first level, so expect a fair bit of backtracking in-between dealing with a few more eldritch monstrosities who simply refuse to stay dead. Ending was anticlimactic to say the least, making my generally unenthused impressions all the more pronounced upon finally completing this three-parter. So in conclusion, some decent but sporadic voiceovers from Melonie Tomb Raider/Melonie Mac as Lara and successful moments of a creepy atmospheric tone in spite of other design areas faltering for the most part. Give it a go if you have the patience. But I've played better horror-themed gaming experiences elsewhere, including other custom levels." - Ceamonks890 (26-May-2019)

"And I thought this wasn't a scary and atmospheric game! I was WRONG. The level opens into a stormy afternoon in Lara's classic mansion. "Where's the SPOOKY stuff?" I asked as I guess lotsa' people did ask themselves. BOOOOOM! A Scorpion is shown as he walks into Lara's bathroom! I immediately checked out the bathroom and nothing? Whatever ... The first level, indeed, consists in the typical house-stuff Lara does within a day JUST for fun, but something unexpected quite happens and Lara is teleported into the real nightmare. After a long cut-scene completely set into darkness the second level begins and, well, here the game becomes quite spooky. The gameplay was still exploring based, but a great atmosphere was what told me to continue. I got jumpscared in this level, as the first time I had played it I was 14 and it was 2016 and it was night (Ahh, great combination, is it?). Above that the level might be excessively dark (and it is!), and kinda short. The best is yet to come, the third level, we are taken back to the reality, or is it? (DUN DUN DUUUUUN!) No, it ain't. The level is quite short too, but it is probably the most claustrophobic atmospheric level I had played. That sudden change to Lara's house, a place that we did know - just till before - it was as friendly as a Von_Croy and as buggy as Von_Croy_AI, it pierces the heart and sprouts fear as a familiar place has just become your gravestone. A short, yet enjoyable spooky adventure, not very known unfortunately but deserves a look. Wolfy Regards." - Wolf7 (07-Mar-2019)

"I was really intrigued from the beginning by the level's title and small description. Although I am not a fan of spooky and horror things, I really wanted to give it a try and I can say that I am glad I did. The mansion was filled with a lot of activities to check and I loved that there were a lot of puzzles to solve simultaneously in order to progress. You can spend a lot of time wandering around, admiring the Croft mansion and checking the new rooms created for this level. The only flaw that I could find is the lack of some cameras to point out the differences made by pulling some levers, especially since some of them were timed events. The level ends with a big cut-scene, which is associated with a totally black screen and some sounds to make you wonder what's going on. The cut-scene was unique and interesting in the first few seconds but it became aimlessly long, which someone would find a bit boring. The second level was filled with a lot of Atlantis memories, which can really give you the chills (in a good way). The atmosphere and lightning really resembled a horror nightmare and I could even find myself scared of progressing further in the level sometimes which means that the level succeeded in having a scary atmosphere. The third level is quite a climax, since we visit a haunted croft manor with spooky red lights and atmosphere. However, I found the room with lava and the two "immortal" :P dogs, which prevent you the whole time from acquiring the two gemstone pieces, really frustrating. Conclusion: The whole atmosphere and lightning correctly captures a dark and scary side of Tomb raider and the player can really feel the swift from a peaceful croft mansion to a spooky Atlantic nightmare. Although I could go with a bit more easier enemies and less dogs, Tomb Raider The Nightmare is a non-miss for horror level lovers." - TRTheoP (15-Apr-2018)

"The manor seems casual but is packed with activities and I really like the puzzle layout except 1) the unclear number of switches for the secret passage making you revisit it numerous times, 2) the obligation to complete the assault course without any hint - someone who didn't play the original TR2-3 won't have an idea and even I figured it out almost in the last order. The basement transition is really curious with Roman vibes and custom dungeon track and the following cutscene is so Kubrick I loved it. The next level is too much Atlantis to be called otherwise, definitely lacking some unique content - maybe it's just a creepy flashback but some distinguishment from the original texture set would help anyway. Secrets are well hidden but while the first one is clever I have no idea what triggers the second one, then they both unlock an artifact prize as a bonus when we return to the "manor", changed a lot in a good evil way. Here I understand the point of the blood tint but it doesn't imply global flatness, some dispersion would fit fine as always. The bathroom is neatly solved after waiting for it since the beginning, however such a long build-up generates greater tension so something more could be hidden in that place - why not a bit of turning point, for instance the freezer key. The ending was great, way different than usually. SUMMARY: Miles ahead of the author's initial release. You might need the walkthru once or twice and be displeased by few underlit spots but most of the bulk is a well done, curious experience." - DJ Full (02-Mar-2017)

"One of the better levels in the "Home" Class for sure. It starts in Lara's Home with changes and exploring it was fun. The Green Powder is actually from the Resident Evil games and called "Green Herb" and they should heal you like they did there but here it just kills you lol. In the second level we are in a Atlantis environment and probably the most scary level in this levelpack. After that we end up in Lara's Home again and it has.. changed a lot. The very quick ticking clock made me nervous to be honest and that ending sure was unexpected. Overall: Brilliant Atmosphere with very good use of CD Tracks and cameras and it's recommendable even if you don't like Home Levels as this one is different." - Ray Croft (11-Jan-2017)

"If you're looking for a spooky and hair-raising raiding experience, then download this one immediately. There are three distinct parts to this levelset. The first level takes place in Lara's Mansion, but with a few twists. There is a timed run to perform within the assault course, a maze within a maze and a lengthy search for four tridents, to be placed in the catacombs beneath the mansion itself. Next up is "Nowhere" a spooky Atlantis style level, with a hub room to explore off to acquire four fogs to continue through. Atlantean mutants are out for your blood, but plenty of ammo is provided. Finally, we have a short interlude back at the manor. Things have changed a lot, however. The floor has collapsed, hellhounds have invaded and poor old Winston bit the dust, in a gruesome way. The use of audio and flybys were really well done throughout and immersed me from the get-go. An enjoyable and somewhat different experience." - Ryan (13-Sep-2016)

"This was very scary! Not always you can feel save in your own home. The atmosphere was great. Red rooms, playing piano, very quick ticking clock and gold horse statue, they make impression. And Winston in the fridge...You must play it if you want to feel in your own skin." - Andzia9 (29-Jan-2009)

"At first this seems like a regular (very good) home level, but a quick flyby of a giant scorpion at the start gives you an unsetteling feeling that something will happen... Lara's home was pretty much like in TR3, and I loved the caves under her house and the underwater area connected to Lara's swimming pool. I very much enjoyed playing in her home. However, when you fall down a hole in the cave under her house, you enter an Atlantis/Silent Hill inspired enviorment... The LONG black screen between the levels were very odd and unique. Returning to her mansion was chilling. The atmosphere, music and sound effects were great, and the levels were truly scary. I don't normally play horror levels, so it was a new experience for me! JMN is a great builder, and I will definitely start playing his next level now! Highly reccomended level!" - Thorir (16-Mar-2007)

"Other titles that would've been perfect for this level: "Lara's Creepy House of Horror", "My Own Private Atlantis" and "Oh snap, not another Lara's home level!" but "Tomb Raider: The Nightmare" works too and is as descriptive as my suggestions are (not that I'm anyone to give advice on naming levels considering how I've 'baptized' my own *cough*shameless plug*cough*... yes, my future children better beware of my (lack of) name-giving skills!). The first part of the trio set of levels is pretty much your run of the mill Lara's home mansion with some new areas and the goal of the level resolves around finding keys, gems and switches and completing timed tasks. It's nicely done visually too, so if you're not immediately turned off by the thought of having to live through yet another variation of Lara's not so humble abode, it will soon pay off as the passover between the regular and the creepy becomes evident. After a tantalizingly (and pointlessly) long cutscene, throughout which you will see nothing, the next level begins. To linger on that thought a little more - I thought it was clever to leave the player in darkness with some occasional uneasy sound fading in and out during that part of the game, but it lost its effect with being too long - I figured the game had crashed and probably would've remained clueless as to what's going on, had I not decided that that was a good time for a coffee break. But moving on to the level - as you can guess from my suggestion and the author's final idea for the level title, that this is where the nightmare begins - and what more nightmarish area can you imagine than a gloomy Atlantis setting with wonderfully creepy sounds and enemies being around as you hunt for gears, keys and other artifacts past the winged demons, undying dogs, sea hags and more to literally get out of 'Nowhere'? There is the occasional visual glitch with the torch, but it doesn't detract from the level's overall appeal. But then Lara gets back home, and if you thought that sounds boring, and that that was probably it for the creepy atmosphere - think again! "What the hell?" will probably be your first impressions as you stroll through the blood red surroundings of a seemingly demolished home and see how everything's changed here! Nice touch with the zombie woman walking outside the kitchen windows, and poor Winston! I'll never be able to lock him up in the freezer with a clear conscience again! But there's relatively little to do on your revisit at the Croft manor and the level soon approaches a surprising ending. I do recommend reading what bonus material is provided there (the note on the desk in the last cutscene reveals the password), as I found it to be very interesting and can honestly say that I didn't pick up the connection between the 2 explosions and the author's explanations helped to put all the pieces together. In a nutshell - if you don't mind having to play a Lara's home level... or in fact if you DO mind playing them - play this one and see what it will do to your preconceptions as this one definitely delivers heavily on the atmosphere and creepiness factor - I very well enjoyed playing it, and while the end might make you think "what the hell did I bother for?" the idea and its execution are interesting to say the least, and pretty clever if you're more generous than that - and since there is a sequel, maybe it was not so set in stone after all? Recommended!" - eTux (01-Mar-2007)

"A level recomended to those who like very dark and creepy levels. Although myself I am not a big fan of these type of levels I decided to give it a go an I didn't stopped until I finished it. And here are my impressions: 1.The Croft Mansion- a very well proportionated level with smart puzzles wich I enjoyed. I didn't understand what was the deal with the green powder.Main objective: collect 4 tridents and 2 blue cristals.2.Nowere- Lara slides down to an unknown world full of enemies where the main object is to find a way back out and to collect 2 planet symbols: Mars and Saturn.3. The Crofy Mansion?- By far to me the most scary although there aren't so many enemies.The entire house is covered in blood and the electricity is out. The music you play in the music room is perfectly choosen for this atmosphere.I wonder what happened to Winston who is chopped off in the refrigerator.Thinking of the level per total I must say is a good one, from the story and the puzzles point of view, but unfortunally when I tried to open the bonus folder with the explanations of the author it said "file corrupt" so I didn't get the full story.In the last 2 parts I think the author used the darkness in abundance wich was begging to be really annoying and I almost quited playing it.And I didn't see literally nothing although in some areas I opened some flares." - dya1403 (20-Jan-2007)

"The Croft Mansion (8/8/8/8, 60 min.): As many others I don't like mansion levels, but this one has a lot going for it. Generally a faithful replica there are a few extensive areas added as you need to find three gems, four tridents and many keys. The underwater and the hedge mazes are a bit tedious but you soon get the hang of them as you get to visit a few times. A few important cameras are missing, like one hint for the timed run. Speaking of which, doing the assault course as a timed run was great fun again. Nowhere (8/9/10/8, 30 min., 2 secrets): Nice idea with the pitch black flyby that only works via the audios, but it is a bit long and therefore misses out on being very effective. From there you are dropped into an Atlantis type setting with a nice spooky (though not too scary) atmosphere. The array of enemies really keeps you busy: wraiths, spiders, sea hag, ahmets, zombies and undead dogs and these huge winged creatures. Audios and sound effects work really well througout this part. The Croft Mansion? (7/9/9/8, 15 min., 1 secret): Coming back to the mansion, but it has changed, is set in red glowing atmosphere and the encounter with Winston in the freezer is a great moment (poor guy). Crocodiles, spiders and bats and a great room with the undead dogs, which works quite well as a 'boss ending'. All in all this is probably less scary than I expected but it is indeed very atmospheric and a great adventure to play. Not sure if the 50 MB Bonus file should really have been included though." - MichaelP (11-Nov-2006)

"First level was tedious for me (remember that players don't know where to go) because I had to explore a lot and return again and again to the same places. When you are underwater without air or when you catch fire, the red health bar descend very very fast. Where is the camera to the timed run for the piano door? Where's the camera for the timed run in the outside course? Second level have an ambience like TR1 atlantean levels; is too much dark, there are many places where the flares are useless but is playable. Last fight between the dogs and the big scorpions was great! All three levels are well builded and have good features, but they're not the kind of levels I like." - Jose (03-Aug-2006)

"This is a three part adventure with the two of the tree parts featuring Lara's Manor. As you can understand we have the classic house with some differences though like the maze which is just as bad but is divided in two parts. There are keys to find, a timed training course, four tridents to collect and gems. The underwater maze though was horrible so make sure you save often in different slots. The middle level, 'Nowhere' is what it says just a mixture of textures from old TR games with no particular place to be, flying creatures, spiders, mutants and traps like boulders and lava. We need to find, a pyramid key, a few wheels to make the mechanism work and proceed in the game. The spiders have a problem, most of the time they ignore Lara and we also have a nasty bug in the room with the symbols because if you save and reload after getting them then the elevator is inaccessible with an invisible block in front of it. The last level which takes Lara back in her Mansion but this time is partly destroyed, we are searching for keys plus it is a very short level. I hated the last area with the dogs and scorpions with the lava around that made it very difficult to pick up the pieces of the item and manage not to let Lara burn or die from the bites. It was overall too dark especially the last level and I believe more attention has to be paid in lighting and textures. The game ends with a cut scene and Lara lying down on the floor inside her bedroom with fires around. In that cut scene is the password, on a desk, to open the bonus zip which includes fonts, wallpaper and the game's project files." - Kristina (30-May-2006)

"Another level I didn't use the TR4 exe file that was included. So Mac players give it a go. It is a scary level and as it is rather dark, so playing in the dark is almost a must, that only adds to the creepiness. A shame that the fly by in the middle doesn't work and don't forget NOT to save (as said in the readme) after getting the Planet symbols or else the elevator won't work. All in all I had great fun but afterwards a headache of playing almost in the dark. I hate those dogs, as they can't be killed (but the last ones you meet, there is a solution near), those and all the other enemies just made me jump in my chair." - Gerty (28-May-2006)

"The Croft Mansion: No, come back, it's all right, really it is - it's a GOOD mansion level, honestly. It's a very well constructed, faithful representation of the original mansion and there are some fun things to achieve in your quest for four tridents. I'm not generally fond of mansion levels, but I enjoyed this one so please don't be put off. Nowhere: After a long dark pause you find yourself in an Atlantis/Natla's Mine type environment and after the total lack of enemies in the mansion, suddenly you find yourself with an over-abundance of ahmets to deal with. The atmosphere is suitably eerie and let me just say that without a doubt a dark room full of giant spiders is EXACTLY my idea of a nightmare. The Croft Mansion: This is a mega-creepy section. The mansion has changed beyond recognition and is lit by a really visceral red light and whilst I own up to locking Winston in the freezer earlier on, I absolutely deny that I was the one who decapitated him and stuck his head on the shelf. Ewwww. The part where you have to pick up and place a two part key whilst being attacked by hell hounds nearly defeated me and boy was I glad to get some help from the giant scorpions. This is a very effective, atmospheric, genuinely nightmarish level, very dark in parts but deliberately so and the music/sounds are extremely well chosen to aid the mood. If you like spooky levels, this is a definite must-play." - Jay (24-May-2006)

"The Croft Mansion - 8/9/9/9 - It's a stormy day (with tweeting birds?) at Ms. Croft's premises, right when she woke up from a nap. She comes to investigate her desk, where a threatening note awaits her. Who wrote it? Why? As she heads out to the foyer, there's a boom! She sees her bathroom, covered in blood, and there's something moving inside! Freaky perhaps, but then it all goes away, so off we go to resuming the day as normal... or so you'd think. I can say that Lara's humble abode is nicely recreated here, and includes a variety of puzzles and sequences. We search for four tridents and a couple of keys, where we'll eventually find ourselves in some kind of temple, but under her house? The things I liked in here included the small but fun burner sequence, and I also liked running the assault course, that's always fun. This level however, is not as strange as the following two... Nowhere - 9/9/10/10 - Using our tridents, we found a cavern and a couple of blue crystals to fall down a hole where we heard some monstrous roaring. Lara screams! Then, we hear a variety of sounds. Water dripping in a cavern, mechanism noises, and some brief lines by our heroine herself, so it's good she survived the fall. Now the camera snaps back to Lara, and we find ourselves in some strange cavern... It looked very familiar to Atlanis from the first game in the series, and judging from the level description on the website, could this place be "the past" that tries to kill Lara? Here, things change quite a lot as the atmosphere changes from the calmness of the first level to a much more riveting feeling. Among the things we see here would be a big Atlantis mutant confined behind a wall, plus some puzzles to acquire cogwheels for a mechanism. Though a plethora of baddies, namely large spiders, demons, and an immortal hellhound can make your life miserable here. The Croft Mansion? - 8/9/10/10 - Phew, out of those miserable caves and back to home sweet home, right? Wrong. Every room is blood red, there's a huge hole in the foyer, and Winston's missing, but you'll find him laying around somewhere. Also, if you'd go into Lara's home, you'll see that scorpion that was moving around in the vision our lady had earlier. Well, since everything is red here, and the clock is ticking unusually fast, something is definitely wrong. There are some spiders (of the small variety) running around the no-longer-pleasant mansion, and some strange figure makes his presence known outside the kitchen windows. Also, there's Lara's diary, where you can find one of the 'clues' that the author mentioned in his readme. Other points of interest would include the small clock puzzle, where the hint from the diary helps solve it. How does this venture in the Croft mansion from hell end though? Well, after stealing two gempieces from a couple of hellhounds, a group of those scorpions comes, but not for your surprisingly, but for the doggies. If I were you, I'd rather make a run for it before they come to an alliance to kill you. But well, death is inevitable in this nightmarish adventure, as you see the end sequence of Lara laying on the floor surrounded by flames. Keep a careful lookout at Lara's desk there, you might find something that can be of interest. ;) The bottomline: It turns out that everything Lara experienced was part of a nightmare, and that first explosion knocked her unconscious and set her in an alternate reality. This could probably be one of the best home levels out there, and I loved how the author used sound effects and lights, combined with the audio to accentuate the atmosphere. There objects, though not necessarily new, are well placed. Same thing with the enemies. The secrets are also really cleverly hidden, as through my venture in Lara's nightmare I could not find any, lol. However (you saw that coming, didn't you?), in the end you might be confused by some things that you've seen here, like some gates and doors remaining closed, though all that might have something to do with the secrets I never found. Shame the author doesn't plan on making any more adventures, as I had a great time here. Reccomended for those in the mood for a scare." - Relic Hunter (13-May-2006)
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