"Masurao Unkaged by Aza: The first level of this
set has a rather surreal look to it, as well as
an appearance of a character other than Lara
(complete with forked tail and all). The main
objective is to locate the Waterskin and the
Bag of Sand to gain access to the main temple
and to do so, Lara will need to explore the
nearby waterfalls and caves while defeating a
few flying insects. Once inside, a few flame
traps, a shooting exercise and some gymnastics
await Lara to grab the first Stone. The Sun
Temple by Dhama: A classic Catacomb setting and
done very nicely. You get the usual suspects
associated with this setting: pushable pillars,
annoying skeletons, bones to shoot and a few
spirits. There's also a brief underwater maze,
although not too annoying, plus eight secrets.
Pacaritambo by Baslakor: A calm jungle setting,
but pretty soon tigers make an appearance as
well as yetis. You get to explore in and around
the rivers and waterfalls, as well as negotiate
a huge statue to to find the third Stone. The
Tree of Souls by GMac: Reminiscent of one of
the levels in the Imprisoned Spirits game, this
has Lara exploring a vast underwater cave,
avoiding boulders, receiving help from a guide,
avoiding deadly red water and finding a few
Gems. Bottom line, everyone should find
something to interest them in this set and the
difficulty should not exclude beginning
raiders. Recommended." - Ryan (15-Jul-2017)
"UNKAGED: One must be said about Aza, he surely creates interesting pushables so even though my initial reaction is always "oh no", it usually changes to "at least it made sense". The game feels like playing a BtB winner - with both resources coherently prepared and masterfully utilized so everything belongs. Architecture is something between eRIC and Nadine so the impression is of a mystic shrine but with a high dose of customization for a futuristic touch, maybe except from default plants I would swap from crude grass to something taller and thinner to match the magic and lightweightness of flames, bugs, winged enemies and transparent weapons. New music is used very rarely yet spot-on so every keyframe is correctly highlighted, the moment I hit the bell was one of the best starter signals for a breach sequence so it's a pity some longer build-up was definitely missing before the final fight so the whole thing appears too short. The ending was something I predicted from the readme but it still left me surprised. SUMMARY: Halfway thru Aza's works this is currently my favourite, short but sweet - I think no other project would fit better for the series beginning. 9/9/10/9
SUN TEMPLE: It's a fail to enter a skeletal world and miss a shotgun, masked better than all eight secrets, none including an alternate weapon. Another one can be the place just looks like asking for being flooded with fresh sparkling water, all the time I waited for those blues and greens to enrich sandy stones with life, but the main area stays thirsty dry until the end. There is one side waterfall but it doesn't connect as well as none of the side challenges - unfortunately again, the structure feels like separate rooms not a unified, cooperating entity. One technical mistake is missing sound of doors and spikes - someone should eventually contrapt a tool to repair such flaws in already compiled projects because it would improve a lot... That said, the classic catacomb feeling is close to perfect, it would be very hard to make this scenery more convincing, the task variety is outstanding, the music usage is brilliant - this time I even predicted what tune will play when the first skeleton wakes up - and in the end I grabbed another thistle to slide out satisfied. SUMMARY: Sometimes it's like if someone was bored or executed too many ideas instead of a "wow moment", but it's very classic and watchable anyway. 8/8/9/9
PACARITAMBO: The modelling, saturation, contrast and colors of the river cave all hit my definition of organic. It's cold and warm where supposed to, never too dark, never too bright, shaped like the water would do it, all pleasant to the eye and just the texturing could be a bit more varied because intense mirroring doesn't quite work for me - each time it occurs there could be an additional tile for the same resource price instead. The secrets finally look like additional bit of history - yes, I speak about ordinary skulls but still this is why they work, and the golden tint nicely breaks the green/blue pattern for additional dose of local warmth. As we progress into the infiltration fragment we're properly slowed down with some guarding yetis, proper firepower provided to deal with, and some not-too-hard, not-too-easy riddles must be done to reveal the epic finale - all just like supposed to develop except one boring rope room ascent which doesn't match quality of anything else and should be just destroyed in favor of something creative - why not to use C4 and have both. The final room of the divine brethren is another case with human figures modelled top-notch but the boundaries being a grand box - I can't understand how such quality mismatch doesn't bother the builder yet I've seen it so many times... just learn how to avoid it from Titia's Tower of Babel. In the end I found a gamestopper: the gate opening with the Golden Key is no pickup trigger so you actually can skip that item to get permastuck half an hour later. I know 99% of players won't even notice this problem but it's still risky to leave it so Baslakor, if you're still here you know what to do... SUMMARY: A solid Peruvian raid. but the wish for some open space remains. 8/9/8/9
IMPRISONED SPIRITS 4: I'm too late here to figure the part order. I don't even remember if I played Part 1 and how this Part 4 relates to Second Edition I know. But GMac's levels all bear common elements and mood so while it's hard to recall what I saw in which one, it may also be completely unimportant - anytime it's a "GMac experience", you only need proper time for it, and the other levels of SS1, played in default order, granted me just that - after sacred places of past and future, it all concludes mystic, nostalgic, outworld and out of time. The gameplay structure is a very good "sandwich" with opening/closing slices of spirit cutscenes, and a very clever boulder puzzle in between. If I need something more it's as always consistency: never give me a tile which kills and then is a trigger, or don't impale me on top of a ladder when it seems all the traps are elsewhere... or maybe never do it at all. Any secrets would make it better as well, but in this case their absence reflects the point: "there's nothing left". Oh and Gregory appears again, mysterious as always, possibly because there's nothing more to say either. SUMMARY: I know the script order is free too choose but if you go from top to bottom this level forms a fine conclusion, well resolving all tension gathered throughout the other bits. Does it happen if the order is different? 8/8/8/7" - DJ Full (05-Mar-2017)
"This game is really cool because its not stuck in the same
place, its also awesome how each level is individual and can
be played in any order. The first level is my personal
favorite with masurao because it is unique and i have not seen
any other TRLE that is similar to it, but all 4 levels are
fun to play. Great Job Guys." - JoeTheCrazyGamer (17-Jul-2016)
"I was very happy when this adventure was released and I have replay this adventure some day ago and it's always a real pleasure.
Masurao ... Uncaged ...: Very nice level with an original new character.
This Masurao start near a dark castel in a crater small lake and the objectif is to enter in the castel.
I really enjoying the news objects and the amazings news textures.
There are also not really enemies and the gameplay is easy, not really hard.
I have really enjoying the last scene when he found the Stone and the last flyby ... just GREAT.
The Sun Temple: I've always loved catacombs levels and this one is absolutely amazing specially the center aera of the temple.
There are also many secrets to found and a very good gameplay and of course a very nice use of the catacombs textures.
Not to hard and not to dark, it's a perfect level playable by everyone.
Pacaritambo: This time Lara is in peru (again^^,but why not ...)near a very wonderfull waterfall.
This level is absolutily wonderfull and the author makes good use of some legend textures for a spectacular result.
For me, this level is the hardest of the fours and the longest.
I really enjoying the two big statues in the giant room ... just GIANT.
A perfect level and I really hope ply another levels of this author.
The Imprisoned Spirits 4: “The Tree of Souls”: The final level of this skribblers stones.
This level take place in the underground of a big castel (I suppose). More gloomy than the 3 others, there are also a very good use of the textures and the enemies.
Like the others, it is not really hard but some objects are very well hidden.
I really enjoying the last sequence with the tree of soul and the author use vary good sound.
To conclude, a perfect adventure to play and replay just for the nostalgy of the anciens levels without GNLE and TRNG and for the pleasure to play four beautiful levels.
A big thanks to the authors." - BigFoot (20-Jan-2012)
"Each level of this four part adventure will of course be rated as a standalone level by me, there are four builders who did all a good job I think.
Masurao... Unkaged by Aza (9-8-9-8), despite of the interesting character, begins rather slowly, with a rather uniformly looking cave area and the player not knowing what to do, but after few items to find you get absorped in this level, many brilliantly tasks only in the first rooms and all gets even better inside the temple, with an ingenious block/fire puzzle to solve and also interesiting enemies, like for example the "demonesses", as they were called. Texturing was good and correct, but it never was great - however better atmosphere here, exspecially in the temple. Great varied gameplay here, very fun to play through.
The Sun Temple by Dhama (7-8-9-9) was very well textured, even if it mainly was built with basic textures. Lighting was fantastic, it was just great to just look at this level. The gameplay was good, but a bit too boring. mostly enemies were skeletons and mummies, which you could avoid or shoot in nearby holes. The progression through the main hall was great, getting higher and higher, and the room where you had to find many different bones was also fun to explore, with all the little tasks. There were many secrets to find in this level, some very cleverly hidden, with some shatterable objects for example and some objects you didn't know what to do with until the near end of this level.
Paracitambo by Baskalor (8-8-9-9) had a great architecture, just look at the stunning big room near the end, but gameplay was not as good, it was a bit too much exploring and a bit too easy for this project, even the waterfall room was not very hard to solve. Texturing was rather jungle this time, I liked the big rooms in this level much with this texturing. At the end it was even better, as the faces room was great fun to work through.
The Imprisoned Spirits 4: The Tree of Souls by GMac (8-8-9-9) This one has indeed very fluent gameplay, reminding me much on the recent works of Daffy, with the perfect mixture of exploration, traps and puzzles. This one was my favourite level in the whole project, just because it looked good and also had great gameplay, for example the way of the boulders, they first had to be made falling in front of a door, then - much later in the level - the doors are opened and the boulders land on the trigger tiles. The guide at the end was also great, a bit slow in my opinion, so just as the guide in the original "Tomb of Seth", where I got enerved because of the guide because he took much longer than me. The final room reminded me on the final rooms in two or even all other parts, they for sure had overall the same architecture, nothing bad of course. The finding different crystals was good, as you always could see the receptacles before going on the search. The both soul trees also were well worked out.
All in all a series by four very professional builders, I enjoyed every minute of it very much. No single part of a level had any bigger flaws, maybe just sometimes things that I (personally) would change. All four levels are well done and thus this compilation gets my strong recommendations." - manarch2 (24-Feb-2011)
"This 4-pack level set made by four different builders starts with a beautiful flyby for the menu screen. Levels can be chosen in any order since they are not connected, but I stuck with the suggested order.
1- Masuro uncaged: The player controls an interesting character with a long tail that behaves just like Lara but has a few different sounds. There is a large cave area with a bit of jumping and climbing, some interesting puzzles, cool looking enemies and relatively easy game play. I did check with the walkthrough and it seemed that the compass was off many times and showed the complete opposite of what it should have, but I am not sure why and maybe it was a problem with my installation. Same thing happened in the other three levels. Texturing and lighting looked nice and there was a good overall atmosphere. Very enjoyable!
2- The Sun Temple: Here we have a classic catacomb raid with fairly fast paced game play, skeleton enemies, several puzzles and a few spike and boulder traps to evade. There are plenty of secrets and pickups. Everything here is nicely designed and laid out. Good texturing and lighting and nice a background loop rounded up this nice and fun level.
3- Pacaritambo: A green and lush cave and jungle level with lots of waterfalls and monkeys roaming around in the first part and later a gloomy cage area full of aggressive yetis and a huge room with some giant statues to climb toward the end. The level has a nice atmosphere and the game-play was fairly easy. Everything was nice to look at and it was properly lit and well textured. Another fun raid that lasted about one hour.
4- IS4 The Tree of Souls: This was a nicely designed adventure in an underground cave area with relatively easy game play and a rather gloomy atmosphere, which works pretty well for me in Tomb raider levels. The level was rather short but fun while it lasted. The enemies here were only a few little gremlins but there were some good boulder traps and puzzles. I liked the sounds and the lighting and texturing looked great, specially the lava rooms had a nice look to them.
All in all, this set of four levels was a pleasure to play and I enjoyed every minute of it. I don’t really know which one was my favorite and really doesn’t matter since they share a common rating and I try to give a score from my overall impression with this set. Highly recommended if you haven’t already played it. The difficulty was moderate to easy so this would be also a good choice for a less experienced player." - Blue43 (27-Dec-2010)
"So I'm an idiot and thought the levels in The Sxribb1erz Ztönez were listed separately, but it turns out they're not, so you're going to get four reviews and four ratings for the price of one. Not a bad deal! Though I suppose you could argue that that's how one should review a level set like this, but then it doesn't seem like such a great deal anymore, so let's not do that.
Masurao... Unkaged by Aza (6/7/6/7): When I played Jutmundus 1 by this author, one of my biggest gripes was how short the level was. Imagine my surprise when I finished this level after just over fifteen minutes. Surely I must have missed something? Turns out I had - there's this whole thing where you need to find the laser sight (note to builders: you can shoot things on ledges above Lara if you use the look button while equipped with a shotgun or a crossbow (I guess the grenade launcher would work too, but it's harder to aim with and isn't found as often in custom levels)). Still, that only adds five minutes to the level, so you're still faced with the fact that it ends before it even has a chance to really get started. There are some tasks that need to be finished to get through the level - first you need to find sand and water to get into the castle the rest of the level takes place in, then there's a pretty clever puzzle involving blocks that need to be pushed, then you're supposed to find the laser sight, then there's an area with a few enemies and some fire emitters... and that's pretty much it. There's a bit more to all of it, of course, but overall, it's a decidedly small level in every way. Doors close behind you when you reach new areas, trapping you in whatever room has the next puzzle you need to solve. And it's a shame, because there are some pretty decent puzzles and traps to be found here - they just feel like they should be part of a larger level. There's a lot of potential, too - I enjoy the world the author has attempted to build, with a new main character and strange enemies and a twist ending of sorts. I just wish he'd done more with it - the castle is pretty standard and I can't help but feel like it would have been much more interesting if it had been just a bit more twisted. It looks pretty good, though there are some texture mistakes here and there and a lot of cracks. Overall, the level doesn't quite live up to its potential, but it's a pretty fun ride for the short time it lasts.
The Sun Temple by Dhama (6/6/7/7): While playing this thirty-minute level, I got the distinct feeling that the author started out with building the central area just for fun, then somewhere down the line decided to expand it into a full level and release it. I got this feeling because there's just not much to the level. You make your way to the central area within a few minutes. And it looks great and is cleverly built with its three floors, and you think, "this is going to be a great level". Once you make it to the second floor of the central area, you're faced with four doors - one of which can be opened with a gem you found minutes earlier. This first door leads to a side room where you solve a small task to open the door to the next side room. This is how the rest of the level plays out. It's all very unspectacular. The side rooms vary in quality and length, and while some are better than others, there are no surprises to be had in any of them. I ended up going through them in zombie-like state, and now, a couple of hours later, I'd have a hard time telling you much about the level past the central area. On the plus side, said central area is pretty memorable, even if you end up not doing much in it. The rest of the level also looks pretty good, though not spectacular. There are quite a few cracks and some long, empty hallways, but there are also some really nice-looking rooms. Had the rest of the level lived up to the promise of the central area when you first see it, it could have been great. Now, unfortunately, it has to settle for being an okay way to spend half an hour.
Pacaritambo by Baslakor (6/7/6/7): Sliding down a long waterfall and seeing - but being forced to go another way first before getting there - a large room with two giant statues was a great moment about fifteen minutes into this twenty-five-minute level. The rest of it isn't quite as impressive, but solid nevertheless. There's a pretty-cool-and-really-tall room that you need to make your way up at one point, but overall, it's a pretty standard adventure. The torch isn't really used for much, as there's never any skill required in lighting anything with it - the author may as well have used switches. A lot of rooms are also a bit on the large side, making them look empty and barren. On the other hand, there are some areas that look really nice, like the first few rooms with the waterfalls. The room with the aforementioned statues is also very large and empty and perhaps more could have been done with it, though the statues themselves are a lot of fun to scale. The lighting is a bit dark. Not impossible-to-see-what-you're-doing dark, but dark in a way that makes the level look a bit depressing, which I'm not sure was the author's intention. At just over twenty-five minutes, the level is a bit on the short side, but it's pretty fun while it lasts, and is an easy raid if you're in the mood for one.
Imprisoned Spirits 4 – The Tree of Souls by GMac (7/7/7/7): Having never played any of the Imprisoned Spirits levels, I was hoping to be able to start my review in one of two ways: a) "I have never played any of the earlier Imprisoned Spirits levels, but now I'm thinking that I really need to", or b) "I have never played any of the earlier Imprisoned Spirits levels, and now I'm really glad I haven't haha this author sucks". But things don't always turn out the way you'd hope. The truth is that this is a good and capable level, but not great and it doesn't make me want to run out and play the rest of the series. The gameplay is fairly varied and there are some great moments. There's a room where your only goal is to pull a lever to make a bunch of rolling balls roll down some slopes, and I thought it seemed completely pointless. But then, a while later, you end up using those same rolling balls to solve a puzzle in another room, and suddenly the whole thing made sense. There are also some annoying things, like the author's tendency to make you search for switches, which is never a good time. I also thought the guide was pretty pointless. He looks cool, but all he does is walk slowly up to a door and open it for you, and then he lights a tree for you so you can light your torch. The guide is hard to use and as such doesn't appear in a lot of levels, but just throwing him in there for the sake of having him in the level is disappointing. The author has a lot of experience with level editing, so it's not surprising that the architecture is very competently built. There are very few cracks or stretched textures, but the whole level still feels a bit drab and uninspired for the most part. There are also some really long hallways that only seem to exist to connect different areas with each other, which always makes me think that the level was planned out badly. At twenty-five minutes, this level is a bit on the short side, but if you liked it, the author has released a gazillion other levels for you to play. And if they're anything like this one, they should at least be competently made." - Magnus (01-Dec-2010)
"This a great 4 level set, each one tieing together with the very last room. Looking foward to seeing more levels from these builders." - dantheraider (12-Oct-2007)
"Though this comes in a package, it's presented as a set of 4 generally independent levels, so that's how I'll review them:
Masurao ...Unkaged. And now - for something completely different! So far the best example of using a non-Lara playable character I've seen out there, not only because it's put into a decent level, but because it's put in a level substantive enough to offer a completely different context for the player, be it the unreal atmosphere and setting, the cool enemies, the engaging (and funny!) storyline and a few wonderfully constructed twists, the most notable being the one in the final fly-by, but I won't go as far as to spoil it for you. As far as customization goes, I think the author could've went even further to make it more distinctive for this new character, but that's not big deal, as you'll probably be absorbed by the gameplay anyway! Among the more memorable moments are some jump-sequences and a rather clever movable block puzzle but there's enough to keep you hooked through the approximately 40 minute run through the level as it is. Well done!
The Sun Temple. The catacombs setting has been around for what seems like forever in the level editing scene, and it's getting harder and harder for me to find any novelties in the levels I play, and though I didn't find any in the Sun Temple too, the attention given to minute details in dhama's levels assures this will be technically more or less a flawless experience! While the settings and especially architecture are impressive, some fairly minor flaws have managed to slip in. For one - though it seems clear that the author has decided to base this purely on the original catacombs wad, with resolving to minor changes like a (well chosen) custom outfit and weapons, I think it would've been smart to take care of the obvious faults the original wad already has had since its first days of existence (namely some missing sounds for spikes, rollingballs, etc.). This doesn't really doesn't detract a gram from your enjoyment, so not really a fault as such - but the level might have come across even more professional if that would have been taken care of. While speaking of weapons - having found 7 out of 8 secrets I never found a shotgun, so the few ammo sets I did find seemed a bit redundant (but then again - the problem here might be entirely on my side for not finding the shotgun!). Also, placing the grenade launcher just seconds before you reach the finish trigger seemed like an odd choice from the author's part. But that's just nitpicking too, and the only real problem I encountered were the split-second camera bugs closer to the end of the level. But since there are very few doors left that could've opened by that time, even that is not much of a problem anymore. And while that seems like a big list of issues from my side - the positives far outweigh them, and you should have a blast playing this in either way!
Pacaritambo. As said by the other reviewers - a very welcome addition to the set indeed, as it supports it with the jungle's green color scheme, while all the brown and gloom in the other levels of the set - as well achieved as it was, was getting somewhat depressing at this point. Probably because of that it also was my favourite level from the set here. It does take a trip underground as soon as you're done collecting gems in the well made initial jungle settings, but even it offers a number of highlights, be it the fun tasks, the huge waterfall or the awesome room with the 2 statues. On the downside, it does get a bit repetitive towards the end, but all in all - that can be overlooked, as it's better parts justify a few minor details more than enough!
Imprisoned Spirits 4 - The Tree of Souls. I hate to play series out of sequence, but I figured I would've long forgotten what the other 3 levels in this package have been about, if I'd decided to go for the author's previous releases in the Imprisoned Spirits series before going for this one. So while I have no clue if I'm losing out on any storyline context by playing this before attempting the other levels, it did seem independent enough to stand on its own from what I did see. The highlight for me here was the multi-layered boulder puzzle, where I really liked how solving it required a number of steps and other tasks in between till you could completely finalize it. The effects with the wraiths you encounter a number of times are neat as well! The settings are relatively simple in geometry and architecture, but solidly done and a pleasure to look at through all times.
Overall - an inventive project idea to offer a number of independent projects to be played from one script. Maybe due to the sequence I played the games, but they did seem overall a bit too gloomy and not diverse enough for a joint project. I didn't let that affect my overall impression though and saw the games as independent levels rather than a joint venture, despite that the ratings have to be assigned for the joint effort. Well worth to play" - eTux (28-Sep-2007)
"What can I say; this team effort was great to play. It starts with the main character “Masuro” instead of our trusted Lara but very entertaining nevertheless. Seeing this character made me laugh. The next level “The Sun Temple” brings back memories of the old trusted catacomb level and I never get tired of the classic textures, as for me it is all in how it is used. Nice exploring in search for necessary item one need to get out of this Temple. The third one “Pacaritambo” is also a nice surprise. Travelling through caves and a wow moment when seeing those statues. The last level “Tree of Souls” was icing on the cake. I loved the boulder puzzle and as always there is a lot to feast your eyes on. All in all this is a mini game one should try it and if this is what this team can come up with, I can’t wait for a next effort." - Gerty (10-Sep-2007)
"Four excellent levels , each with an average duration of one hour.
Masurao uncaged by Aza (10 10 10 10)
This one is simply one the most enjoyable level I’ve played since 2001. It has everything you can expect in a level and everything is coherent, be it the enemies , the objects , the new textures or the atmosphere. Especially the gameplay and the puzzles are excellent. In the first area where our guy Masurao must find the waterskin and the bag of sand , I’ve spent 30 minutes exploring and wondering how I could reach this place or that place. This kind of gameplay is to my liking and I enjoyed myself a lot here. Once inside the castle , a great movable blocks puzzle which gives to the term puzzle its true sense as you have to observe and think , yet it is not difficult but fun to solve and the player has the feeling to be “intelligent” after that , lol. Then we have more subtle puzzles and moves to perform , and female warriors or insects to defeat before finding the stone. Great stuff. There was never a moment of irritation or frustration here, the balance of the tasks is absolutely perfect, and the enjoyment factor is maximum. Top marks !
Temple of the sun by Dhama (9 8 10 10)
A stunning and beautiful Catacombs environment with only a few new or modified textures that give to the level a very special touch. This is the work of a clever craftsman , the architecture is great, texturing and lighting excellent , and what is amazing is that despite the beauty of the place , it is still a believable ruined Catacombs environment. The flyby with the appearance of the main hall with the yellow pillars out of the dark accompanied with this good new music is a great moment. I also really like the huge underwater passage later on. Actually there are plenty of good moments here as all the rooms , small or big are interesting to raid. I like the way you have to circumnavigate around the main area without backtracking or just a bit, and the way that the puzzles and tasks in the adjacent rooms are never frustrating , so this is another level one can manage on his own without any help. There are plenty of secrets to find and only a few enemies that serve their own purpose , but the main strengths of this unforgettable and enjoyable level are the fluent gameplay and the beautiful setting. This level was a pure delight to play for me.
Pacaritambo by Baslakor (8 9 8 10)
Another good and different level with excellent texturing and shaping of the blocks. You first have to explore a main and smaller caves in a non straightforward way. Although quite different, the setting and the way you can explore freely reminded me a bit of what the official levels proposed (I mean this as a compliment). There are clever and very user friendly fixed cameras at times, some others are a bit annoying but nothing really bad. I also noticed no sfx sound for the switches.
While the first part was rather peaceful with only a few tigers and a sticky skeleton as enemies , in the second half the setting and atmosphere becomes a bit more threatening with yetis lurking. The torch is put to good use and you have to make a long detour in places filled with waterfalls in order to deactivate a trap so that Lara can raid the final area. That was clever. The final area itself is rather impressive with two big statues that you have the leisure and the obligation to raid from diverse angles in order to grab the stone. Good stuff.
IS4 the tree of souls by George Maciver (9 8 10 9)
This one also starts peacefully as you are searching for two water gems , and things really began to be immersive once you reach the heart of the level which consists of different adjacent or stacked rooms where the same boulders will play a major role. The way these different areas interact as a whole thing is quite ingenious and that is the main reason that this level stands out and will sticks in the memory of the player. There are also two good torches puzzles , the first with some interesting jumps , and the second one with the use of the prehistoric guy to help Lara. There is nothing really difficult in this level, even the short underwater timed door near the end is easily manageable at the second attempt. A fluent level I enjoyed playing." - eRIC (16-Aug-2007)
"Four different levels, by four different authors, and we have to find four
stones... ahem, stonez! All are very different and finished to a high
standard. The player can choose whichever one they like as each is complete
in itself. The opening flyby is worth watching, showing the islands and
characters we will meet. The levels themselves are not very long, but they
are certainly packed with intrigue.
Masurao...Unkaged by Aza. "Many years ago after we are all long dead".
Really! And who is this? What a great looking character! Colourful to say
the least, with claws and a long tail, and carrying cool weapons. We play as
this character in an almost surreal mountainous environment with deadly
plants, unusual flying insects, great looking waterfalls, rock bridges, and
castle type buildings. We need to explore every nook and cranny, that
includes some terrific climbing, shimmying and jumping around those
waterfalls, to find a sandbag and waterskin to open the castle. Inside we
meet the first of many amazing looking female guardians and solve a unique
'jigsaw' puzzle. Gameplay extremes include an invisible ledge that's
impossible to see, to a key hiding behind a column in plain sight. Having
jumped, climbed, dodged, swam and shot everything we discover the idol of
these female guardians is non other than Lara Croft herself.
The Tree of Souls by George. We are underground in a large cave with lots
of water rooms, impressive bridge, many gates to open, resident demons, and
gems to find. But we also visit lava rooms, and many large multi-task rooms.
One has skull textures on slopes that are trigger tiles. It took a while to
figure out how to do this and avoid instant death. There's an even bigger
architectural setup on many levels where we have to release balls through
gates and down to ground level. A sad looking figure , our guide, who shows
us the way through more rooms and opens yet another large room with what
might be called a 'tree of death' surrounded by floating corpses. Loved the
cut scenes of spirits released from this tree. Nice torch and block raising
exercises here. Also a good timed run to grab a gem.
Pascaritambo by Baslakor. Impressive dense jungle/cave environment
inhabited by monkeys and tigers, and we are searching for skulls and gems by
exploring the greenery and waterfall areas using appropriate skills, i.e.
swinging on a rope and surfing a fast flowing waterfall. We discover a
hidden temple, still rigged with traps and guarded by long dead warriors.
This is pure exploration, as a jungle level should be, and even when we
discover the enormous temple interior with monumental statues it is still a
case of finding ways to open up these vast areas. Good use of the torches,
and surprise at the yeti enemies. I loved the jumping, climbs, and general
'real' actions and looks of this level.
The Sun Temple by Dhama. We are now in very familiar territory. A classic
Catacombs level with the usual suspects, the hunt for the crowbar, lots of
levers, skellies, gems, beetles, pharos knots, shooting bones, face tiles,
spiky boulders, pushing columns... but this time with a lot of 'new' ideas.
I did have one major problem in the water room where we shoot piles of
bones. This was supposed to open a way up to the top of the room. Nothing
happened. Reloading a previous savegame before entering this room I spotted
a 'new' pile of bones in a corner. So, some advice, especially for mac
players... save often in different slots. The 'central' room is a columned
multi-tiered affair with many doors to open, and unless the player knows
exactly what they'e doing, they will be hopping around these columns many
times trying to find what opened, or didn't, as the case may be. The final
gymnastics around a structure with fires, buttons, and spikes was a fun
challenge, as was the timed run over platforms. This has been a delightful
raiding experience, and I did like the idea of choosing each level and
finishing it in one go. Thanks again to all our builders for continuing to
create and entertain us with their skill and imagination." - CC (07-Jul-2007)
"Masurao...Unkaged by Aza (8/9/9/8, 45 min., 2 secrets): A level with some cool and novel features, like the main character you play with and a few custom objects and enemies, and a very solid setting that takes you from climbing around an impressive cave to inside areas with a nice push block puzzle and then back to outside for some more exploration before you reach the final room with your Stone. A fun little adventure.
The Sun Temple by dhama (8/8/8/10, 45 min., 8 secrets): Terry just likes his Catacombs it seems and while you get mainly the good old classic textures here, this is so well designed and lit that it is great fun to play through. Granted, you do not get a lot of innovative gameplay as you flip lever after lever, push button after button and shoot a few bones, while you make your way around a central room, shooting the usual skeletons off ledges and evading the occasional wraith, but it is still entertaining while it lasts and you get the bonus of eight not so hard to find beetle secrets to collect.
Pacaritambo by Baslakor (9/8/9/9, 50 min., 5 secrets): Great to see some greenery and waterfalls after all the brown of the previous level. This raid through caves and dungeons is very enjoyable and while never being too difficult has a great balance in having you perform a variety of actions along the way. Enemies play a smaller role - only a few tigers, skeletons, gorilla guys. The two statue room at the end is impressive and a few fixed cameras are used to great effect. My favourite level of this set.
The Tree of Souls by GMac (8/7/9/8, 30 min.): The final part of the set was the shortest for me and is a fairly straightforward raid for many gems and a dragonhead through the familiar GMac setting of an underground lake and caves. It stands out for its very nice flyby and a nice construct of a boulder puzzle, as well as the repeated use of the torch, a short scene with the guide and a timed swim.
Overall, the four levels work together very well in their diversity and make for a great project which provides you with a few hours of fun, so don't miss out on it." - MichaelP (21-Apr-2007)
"This one is a team project like many we’ve seen lately and fortunately as good. Let me start with 'Masurao….Unkaged' were we are playing with a strange creature but quite interesting. There is good atmosphere, colourful surroundings and you’re searching for a key and have to solve, among others, the puzzles using the sand bag and the water skin. There is fire around and target shooting but I managed to find only one secret. I really liked this one. Moving on to 'The Sun Temple' we have to find beetles, a pillar and shoot bones around the areas we will be visiting. If I am not mistaken that must be one of the longest levels in this game. The style catacombs and well done so I could say this one is one of the best in its category. I found six secrets in it. Now 'Pacaritambo' is a jungle type of level with a nice flow and many secrets from which I found four. There are tigers and mutants to fight along with puzzles like the torch plus find keys and gems. The last but not least is 'The Tree of Souls' which has the atmosphere all 'Imprisoned Spirits' levels have something that is good by the way. I don’t think I have to say much about this one, it’s very good and I am sure most TR payers already know George’s style. Well this one is no different but with pleasant additions. Overall I found this project to be very good and in my opinion, definitely an idea that came through as it should. It’s highly recommended." - Kristina (19-Mar-2007)
"A very good pack of levels. It's a pain that they're not linked to conserve weapons, ammo, items,... The first level (Aza) was the best for me (10 in all aspects), excellent architecture, clever gameplay, new features, not very difficult tasks, great ambience,... I only missed some flares for the dark areas. The other levels are very good too, but one point less than the first in some fields. A set created for proffesional builders you must play anyway; you'll never lament playing it (at least I had a very good time doing it). Thank you very much everyone for this good work." - José (19-Mar-2007)
"This is a group project led by George M. over at the Skribblerz site, and it appears to be the first of what's intended to be annual releases along similar lines. We have four fairly distinctive levels, capped with the fourth installment in George's Imprisoned Spirits series. I remember learning something in my school days about the whole being greater than the sum of the parts, and that principle is certainly applicable here. If I were rating the levels separately, they probably wouldn't receive the marks I've assigned to the project as a unit. (George didn't want individual reviews, explaining quite reasonably that he preferred that the levels be judged as a package to minimize the atmosphere of competition among the contributing builders.) The gamer is given a wide variety of playing environments, with the only unifying theme being the acquisition of a Skribblerz Stone at the end of each level. The levels are roughly equal in length, requiring slightly less than an hour each to complete. This was my first exposure to Aza, and I must say that I was quite impressed. The "Lara" figure is a Samurai-like, long-tailed critter unlike anything I've seen in a custom level. If Aza has received his training under George, he's learned his lessons well, as the environs are very well conceived. Dhama's level is of the catacombs variety, which is among my favorites, so needless to say I enjoyed this one a great deal. The only real problem I encountered was in Baslakor's level. I found that when I saved and quit the game for a spell, it wasn't possible to come back and resume by using a savegame (I would experience a crash every time). This forced me to replay the level from scratch and complete it in one "sitting." Annoying, perhaps, but the level itself was creative and fun to play. The grand finale was a typical Georgian level: innovative, fun and dark. I suppose I'm paying tribute to the other three builders when I say that George's contribution, while a worthy addition to the Imprisoned Spirits archives, by no means overshadowed the other levels. For whatever it's worth, I hope that George will stop tacking new numbers on previous releases and give us something entirely new and fresh next time. Maybe even, dare I say it, something bright and well-lit. Play this series if you haven't already done so; it's a gem." - Phil (20-Feb-2007)
"Please do read the readme, even if you don’t usually bother (bad, bad person) because it’s funny.
Masurao – Unkaged by Aza: This is a futuristic setting with a brilliantly well re-textured hero (no it’s not Lara) and some impressive scenery. Initially, there’s some ‘find the correct route’ jumping about, which I always enjoy, followed by an elegant block puzzle, some fun exploring, fierce enemies and a most fitting meeting with the local ‘god’ at the end. Highly enjoyable.
The Sun Temple by Dhama: Aptly named this level actually, it has a very sunny feel to it even though it is indoors. It’s a pleasant, catacomb style level centred round a large imposing pillared hall and some really well put together rooms. There’s plenty of pots to shoot and I for one always enjoy a spot of ming mangling; it’s so theraputic. The secrets are scarabs (novel idea) and the gameplay is straightforward but engaging. I think it takes a talented builder to present gameplay that is simple without being the slightest bit boring and here you have an excellent example of just that.
Pacaritambo by Baslakor: Lush jungle setting, huge impressive temple areas and some interesting climbing and exploring. Not too many enemies – the odd tiger, skellie and yeti – and reasonably gentle gameplay, although it’s easy to overlook some well hidden things from time to time. I especially liked the room with the two giant statues, that was really nicely thought out.
The Tree of Souls – Gmac: Well, it’s another Imprisoned Spirits level so you know you’re in for a good time. If you’ve played the previous levels, I certainly don’t need to sell this one to you and if you haven’t then I strongly advise you to go away and play them first. Anyway, you won’t be disappointed with this offering in the series. In fact, I think it might just be my favourite." - Jay (10-Feb-2007)
"Set of four levels, each unique with different builders and settings but with one goal: to retrieve one of four Stonez. Each endgame room remarkably similar which effectively ties them all together.
Masurao Unkaged by Aza is a revelation of stunning graphics set in the future with a male complete with a tail in the classic Lara role. Good puzzles and environment with a new enemy; a band of flying women who worship, who else but our Lara? Great moving block puzzle with a classic solution for a TR puzzle: open one's eyes and really look....at the walls and not the floor. A bit of misdirection there. Got 1 out of two secrets.
The Sun Temple by dhama is a delight as any dhama level is sure to be. This is classic TR, going back to our roots. Complete with skellies, the undead and Pharao's Knot and consists, partly, of a series of doors to be opened around a beautifully rendered Gold Temple. Another bit of misdirection had me trying for the precise timing to get beyond a spike trap to a higher edge. The solution was, of course, not to even try and to look around for a much easier(and correct) way. Six out of eight secrets.
Pacaritambo by baslakor is set in a cave/jungle area. If this is, as I think, baslakor's first level, it's indeed a major achievement and I hope to see much more from this builder. The memorable part, for me, is not so much the well - built opening rooms but more so, the waterways leading to the massive statue/buildings - the first sight of which is a stunner.
IS 4 - The tree of Souls by George. This is one of my favorite series and I thought I knew what to expect but this time, no familiar hub. This time to a new environment, still spooky, tightly built with the new areas easily seen but not too easy to get into. Good puzzles and atmosphere and with the re-appearance of the Guide is a funny moment when after lighting a tree for Lara to use for her torch, he gives her a 'look' as if to way: 'Well, what are you waiting for?' No secrets to be found in this level. The ending animation of released souls is a good ending to this project and the opening flyby is well -done with music composed and performed by Bluedhama. Recommended for all Raiders." - Bene (29-Jan-2007)
"Wonderful four levels for about 5 hours of play.
1. Level very nice and not too long. Find two peaces for solving big doors and enter inside, with nice mountains and jumping, water, mosquitos enemies. Isnide waiting for you few girl-warriors :) and one nice puzzle for solving. Flover at the end for Lara.
2. Level at beggining maybe simple, but. One big but! Nice too and in some broken big stones castle of lost time before our modern ages. Solcing puzzles and found there i thought 6 secrets. Two miss probably one on the end of level and one behind metal doors.
3. with Yeties (animal-enemies) which attacked Lara on every corner and part of game, but with tricky jumpes they disapiered. Very nice level and amazing colors and atmoshpere. Textures are very sensitive pickup when build this level and maybe one of best, between all 4! Great giant monuments have seen during Tomb Raider 1 with sphinx!
4. last level with nice graphics too and some crazy little animals. Peace of cake for our Lara. Few thorches puzzles and one very nice continuing puzzle with boulders for solve. And a lot of gems( water crystals...)
-All four levels are very nice made and bring one whole peace for playing in the winter time." - Ivan (29-Jan-2007)
"Four independent levels by four different artists (better to call them that than "builders") and it's quite difficult to say which one's best since they're all so unique and at the same time so perfect. The main character in the first level isn't Lara, but instead some japanese-ish creature with a tail, plus female enemies with tails as well and a lot of retextured, interesting objects to pick up and use. The second level is very classic in its catacomb-ish settings but amazingly well done. The third level, set in the jungle, is probably the hardest and simultaneously the easiest (depending on which part of the game we place ourselves), but probably also the most majestic, namely in the last to final room with the huge sphynxes and in the great waterfall sliding we have before that. Finally, by George Mciver, one more installment in the Imprisioned Spirits saga - nothing particularly new, but always a pleasure, with some interesting puzzles along the way and nice lighting too. In the end of each level, we are rewarded with one skribblerz stone. Very good stuff altogether." - Jorge22 (27-Jan-2007)
"Masurao...Unkaged by Aza (9/8/8/9): When playing this level it doesn't feel
like playing Tomb Raider because you're not playing with Lara and added
to this the environment differs a lot from real locations. I think that
gameplay and puzzles are both very good because you have to solve
many different kind of tasks during the game. This level offers jumping
tasks to clear, items and switches to find, pushable block puzzle to solve
and a lot more. Acctually the pushable block puzzle was a bit frustrating for
me but it was still pretty nice. Visually this level is also good and variation
between the rooms makes this level interesting because you never know
what's coming next. I really think this is very good level but I still prefer
playing levels based on archeological events and places like tombs,
temples etc. The Sun Temple by Dhama (9/9/9/9): This is very good work
if considering this level is built by using mainly objects and textures of the
original catacomb wad. The environment looks really good and the central
temple area including yellow pilars is absolutely stunning. The gameplay
is not the best thing in this level but it's not bad at all. Acctually I couldn't
find any proper minus sides because everything is done pretty well but I
can't give higher points for this level because the environment is too
comon. This was a good level but there are loads of other catacomb
levels like this in Internet. Pacaritambo by Baslakor (7/10/9/10): Firstly I
must tell this is visually gorgeus level. Textures are laid very carefully,
lighting is also good and every single rooms is full of eyecandy. The huge
area where you can see two massive inca statues is amazing and I think
that it was wonderful moment to stand in front of them because everything
is just so massive and breathtaking. In contrast to good look of the rooms
gameplay and puzzles are quite average. You spend most of your time
completing easy jumping tasks and finding items and switches that are
pretty easy to find. I think that one or few proper puzzles would have done
this level much more enjoyable but it's still very good without them.
IS4-The Tree of Souls by Gmac (8/8/9/9): In fact I expected this level to be
just like the previous Imprisoned Spirits and I was not wrong. There's
nothing wrong in Imprisoned Spirits released this far but I would just like
to see something different because they are all very same kind of games.
However, I liked this level pretty much because you have to solve various
tasks which means there are no boring moments in this level. The
environment looks good containing nice textures and colourful lighting in
some parts of the level and the atmosphere is very magical including well
chosen audio tracks." - Samu (23-Jan-2007)
"Four amazing level by four great builders. I must say that I often prefer a levelset to be linked but in this case it did not matter at all. All the "chapters" where equally well done and with their own touch so to speak. Another thing that was really great is that you can't really say what level that was best as they are very different and extremely enjoyable. Hats off to the builders for the skill involved to build these levels. The atmosphere and, sound and cameras are perfect. Lots of flybys and lovely settings. Same goes for the lighting and the textures. I loved the soul reaver textures and how well they fit in. Same goes for the legend textures, IS and of course the classic catacomb. I really like those ;);) As far as gameplay is concerned these levels has it all! I loved the block puzzle in the first level. Same goes for the boulders in IE4. Highlights in Aza's level: The block puzzle, the first large area and how well the soulreaver textures fit the level! In Dhama's level: The overall architecture!! The whole idea with the main "hub" room and the doors etc. Baslakor's level: It is hard to say a few things here...as the whole level was one of the best I have ever played. The large rooms in the end with the statues and the ride down on the waterfalls etc. An amazing experience! Gmac's level: The constant movement of the boulders, the "soul trees" Classic IS style as always. Great gameplay. Overall these four levels are not to missed and I really recommend them. None of them are hard but they are filled with beautiful settings and tons of things to do! Way to go guys!" - QRS (23-Jan-2007)
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