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Level: Baptism of Fire 2 - Forgotten Realm back home search
Author(s): Amber Light
total rating:8.64 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Akcy 9 8 9 10
Blue43 8 8 9 10
CC 7 8 9 9
DJ Full 7 7 7 8
EssGee 8 8 8 8
Gerty 8 8 9 9
Jay 9 8 9 10
Jose 9 10 9 10
Kristina 7 7 8 8
manarch2 8 8 8 8
MichaelP 9 9 9 9
Moonpooka 10 9 10 10
Orbit Dream 10 8 9 10
Phil 9 9 10 10
Relic Hunter 8 8 9 10
Ruben 8 9 8 9
Samu 9 9 8 8
TimJ 8 9 9 8
category averages
(18 reviews)
8.39 8.33 8.72 9.11

Reviewer's comments

"Overall the most well-rounded and coherent effort in the whole Baptism of Fire series, which actually shows the builder's skills continued in her Hall of Fame entry. Nothing in this level really stands out especially, but both the gameplay and the looks are professional. There is an interesting double-puzzle at the start with two paths opening up where you have to do extensive tasks in each. Most more or less "classic" elements of TR have been included in the game, like wraiths, torches, the guide, pushable puzzles... and apart of being not overly unique, the only critisism I have is that the game is definately too fast-paced, especially towards the end where you pick a good dozen or so pickups, one in a few minutes, and move on to find the next. Lookwise, the setting is certainly well made and texturing and lighting are more than solid, yet somewhat too greyish with only the lighting used to create colours, which does not work in each and every area, but it certainly is competently done. The enemies are what you'd expect from such a setting, and are rather well placed (save for an ahmet which appeared out of thin air) - the "boss" is actually easy to kill and I wonder how it's possible to finish this level without doing that - and the secrets are fun, if not very hard to find. A strong effort and certainly worth to play standalone even without considering the series it is placed in." - manarch2 (26-Mar-2014)

"2 h 51 mins in real time (including being stuck by missing crowbar), 55 mins in stats. Most of gameplay rather flows: after a short, but nice Von Croy prologue, we visit a quite challenging fire part, a more relaxing water episode and use keys collected in those chapters to access the final fortress. But then, ending part comes and everything gets ruined. I'll tell You how it looks like. I missed one blue star somewhere. Meanwhile, a boss was triggered and I wasted 782 bullets on that warrior before I realized a modified seth can't be killed in any game made before TREP was invented. When I gave up shooting the enemy, I returned to my search for the missed star, but still couldn't find it anywhere. Thankfully, I found out the level can be completed without using the item at all, and also without collecting the laser sight. I was glad there is an alternative route ingame, allowing players not to replay everything from a missing item, but decided not to treat this like a gameplay advantage - all in all, just like most of players, I wanted to follow the intended way, finding out where the missing key is. So I replayed the whole water episode and, once again, examined the ending part carefully. Nothing helped to find the star, so, finally, I desperately looked for a hint. And then, another 971 bullets was wasted to make sure the boss is immortal indeed. And he is indeed. The star... is supposed to be dropped by him when he dies. More about gameplay: there is one thing worth mentioning I liked the most - platforming zone in the end of the game, in a purpose of obtaining several items, solve a well-designed puzzle and get on the roof. In this place, I felt like in "Plain of Jars" or some other game of similar gameplay level, and that's why this category receives +1 extra point. Enemies: I won't lower my rating for the final boss, as it was already done in gameplay and I don't wanna do it twice. Have 3 points for: him, nicely placed bats and - most of all - wraiths requiring thrilling escape, one of them freezing the water surface. Objects: 2 points. I know it was Piega who made those statues, but I always rate a level, not an author, and those gargoyles seem to be too massive for places they stand in. And those dead trees are great (I don't know who made them). Secrets: this is another level where main gameplay thread and secrets have inverted difficulty - a crucial crowbar is the easiest to miss, and secrets are (almost) obvious. But still, golden skulls are something players like to collect. Atmosphere: a whole mysterious realm to explore is what many players demand to see in a level. Sound: not many samples, but well fitting. Cameras: some hints are helpful, some are not necessary at all, but there is no flaws in camera work. Graphics: this is another level with lighting making no sense - a bright spot here, a shade there, a colorful effect somewhere else... OK, these things look very fine, but why to put them in those places? The final rampart walls look like they were fragmented or curved - and they are flat in fact. Not good for me. On the other hand, architecture is creative and texturing is flawless except the only one stretched part being not enough to spoil the overall impression. I recognized some of tiles were latas those which were later used in "Complex Simplicity" package - and I wonder who the author is, as I didn't noticed her or him mentioned in credits. SUMMARY: A game recommended for hi-res tiles fanatics, but not only: there are lots of things to do and even if it's easy to solve puzzles, nice environment keeps us entertained. No chance to retrieve some lost items after passing a certain waterfall, but also a possibility to finish the game without those pickups. A rather good level, I think." - DJ Full (01-Feb-2011)

"Well – this one was my favorite from the Baptism of Fire 2 series. Pretty much after the initial flyby the player realizes that this is going to be a treat. I liked everything about this level. The game play was fluent, straightforward and it is always easy to figure out where to go next. Exploration is not the main aspect of this level. Lara’s tasks are interesting and the layout is pretty nice with water and fire areas. Some nice ledge jumping, rope swinging, timed burners, ladder and pole climbing and all the classic stuff one expects to be encountered in a well-balanced raid. Nothing is overly hard or challenging. All jumps and runs are more than fair for even the less experienced player, but it never feels boring. Progress is mainly made by finding stars and gems to open new areas. There were not a lot of traps and the ones I ran into seemed quite easy to avoid. The enemies consist of a big black knight, some werewolves, bats and wasps. Some fire wraiths along the way are also encountered but there always water nearby. Secrets were almost a little too easy to find. Atmosphere was pleasant because of good choice of sound track. Great camera work and professionally looking flybys complete the gaming experience. The architecture of the rooms was a joy to look at and this beautiful level has a polished look with perfectly applied texturing and flawless lighting. I would say this is one of those levels that one should have on their “must play” list. A spectacular debut level that took me a bit more than one hour to complete and I sure did enjoy every minute of it." - Blue43 (26-Nov-2010)

"A very good debut level from Amber Light set in a castle environment. Lighting is good and textures are cleanly applied. A couple of good flybys and a variety of enemies that suited the setting. Really everything is done as it should be, with sounds, effects and audio ticking all the boxes. Perhaps one area the author could look to improve is the element of surprise, as things mostly seemed to happen fairly predictably. The final tower area has the best construction in the level, and there's a clever twist at the end. I did encounter one problem that required returning to an earlier save. This was in the large cave, where I dropped down to the cave floor after using the monkey swing the first time, as a result I couldn't find a way to get back up to reach it for the second usage to reach the rope. There is nothing mentioned in the walkthrough, so maybe I missed an alternate way back up. There's a couple of sharp timed runs to master, but overall I would classify it as playable by all. Good work." - EssGee (09-Jul-2009)

"Fantastic level, I couldn't tell it's the author's first. Very good areas, nicely applied textures and great lighting. The varied tasks offer highly enjoyable gameplay all the way through. There are some shortcuts, for exapmle most part of the final area, and the secret on the loading screen was a giveaway, apart from these I can't say anything negative about it. We have to find and use many items till the end we get the Isis, great jumps and torch puzzles, inventive solutions, I liked the pushable statues. Indeed many authors don't make such a good levels for the umpteenth time, as this first one." - Akcy (24-Sep-2007)

"Here we have a nice adventure, not too strenuous but interesting enough for me to keep me behind the computer till the end. Nice use of the Ice wraith at a certain point although first time around Lara got stuck in the ice and couldn’t move one iota. There are more wraiths but at least it was no bother to get rid of them, as I have in other levels where they wouldn’t get into a cross so I am pleased with this result. You are in hunt of Golden Stars, Gems and even more artefacts and apart from those giant mosquito’s there is one nasty knight but if you found the revolver first, he poses no thread." - Gerty (17-Sep-2007)

"This level is the best one of the four BoF2 levels! After you found the crowbar and Von Croy opened a door for you, you'll have to chose between two paths, but finally you'll come back and try the other one anyway. The first part of the level is so a bit linear. You'll have to find a lot of objects to reach a big castle but there are some traps and timed runs on your way. But they are rather easy. In the castle area, you'll have to find more objects like stars, gems and key to reach the upper part where is your goal : the iris. There is even a big boss but it is easy to kill once you found the revolver. I found a shortcut and I managed to finish the level whereas I hadn't done everything in this castle. I reloaded to finish completely this beautiful level. The secrets weren't too hard to find and I liked that there was only a few enemies. The atmosphere was nice with good flyby cams and audio. I think that texturing could have been a bit more better and more variety wouldn't have been too much. I recommend this level to everyone." - TimJ (21-Jul-2007)

"If the opening flyby doesn't do it for you, then the second one definitely will. And the intrigue starts almost immediately when we search high and low, only to find the crowbar in the most logical place, and in plain sight. Von Croy is here and opens the temple for us. A kind act... or is it? It is a huge level that is almost all about exploration, of the jumping and leaping around kind, in caves and an enormous castle courtyard and buildings. There are many 'leaps of faith' that lift this level out of the norm. Of course there is more to it than that, not least the griffon pushing puzzles, traps of various kinds, lovely items and wheel to find, enemies to deal with, zipline ride, timed switch, wraiths and wasps, and so on. Lara's aim is to grab the iris on the roof of the central castle structure. I was able to get onto that roof long before I should have by chancing some tricky jumps and landing in front of the blue ball to shoot it with pistols. This done I was able to finish the level at that point. This caused confusion until I realised what I was actually supposed to do. In other words, find all the hands and gems, fall into Von Croy's trap, or meet the surprising black gladiator. Another hiccup in one particular cave with wooden bridge might prove a problem. There is a trigger tile a couple of squares inside the door. If Lara steps on it, and hasn't got the torch with her, she's trapped there forever. But if she runs around the rocks, to avoid this trigger, she can manage a few tasks and leave, find the torch, and return to finish the job. These things didn't take away from the level. They were more of a confusing nuisance. It is possible to do everything and leave with a great sense of satisfaction. Well done Amber Light. And if this is anything to go by, then I can't wait to see what you create in future." - CC (07-Jul-2007)

"Wow - what a debut level! Really fabulous texturing and lighting throughout, nice flybys supported by excellent audio, beautiful caves and an extensive Castle area. Initially you get to deal with a lot of burners and need to use torches a few times, there are plenty artifacts to find and actually relatively few enemies which never pose a great threat, not even the big boss type enemy. After about 75 minutes you pick up your prize - the Iris - at the very top and leave the adventure (almost) meeting up with Von Croy. Hoping for a sequel soon..." - MichaelP (20-Jun-2007)

"This is, for me, the best of the four baptism of fire levels, with a professional aspect and design, excellent geometry and a great atmosphere. A bit dark for my taste, the only pack of flares was not enough of me (as usual). There are not many enemies and the only extra weapon I found was the revolver which I could use only to shoot one enemy, the boss. In the fire section I didn't need to use the breakable tiles over the lava lake and neither the rope (?). There are a lot of objects/pieces to find and place, but gameplay is really good with no hard tasks. To be a debut it's a surprising level. Very good job!" - José (08-Jun-2007)

"Good atmosphere, lovely lighting and Von Croy (ah well, you can’t win ‘em all). This is a most professional looking level with well thought out gameplay. The only downside is that it is possible to get stuck at one point if you do things in the wrong order. Luckily, it’s not too far into the game if you do need to begin again so it’s not as much of a problem as it might have been. Most of the action takes place in beautifully lit cave areas, filled with lava or water, with a final impressive castle like structure. There are timed runs, collapsing tile runs, push puzzles, ahmets, wraiths – a nice balance of things to gladden a raider’s heart. Yet another fine debut level and most definitely a builder to look out for in future." - Jay (24-May-2007)

"Even though Dutchy's level was thoroughly enjoyable, I must say that this fourth installment in BoF2 was my favorite. Rumor has it that the builder is but 15, and for a first effort from someone of any age, this level is truly remarkable. The lighting and surroundings are quite pleasing on the eye, the flybys near the end bear the mark of a seasoned pro, and the gameplay is crisp and engaging for all of the 80 minutes it took for me to get through. There may have been a mite too much ledge jumping near the end, but that's the only negative thing I can think of to say about this amazing maiden voyage on the part of a builder who surely will be heard from again soon. Highly recommended for players of all skill levels." - Phil (16-May-2007)

"This level is great if considering it's built by author who hasn't released levels before. Gameplay is variative including a lot of jumping and traps and also some puzzles like the push block puzzle in the beginning. I like also the dark environment and the atmosphere which is quite spooky. Maybe author could have used more different kind of textures to make more different looking areas but textures are still really good. This is truly good stuff and I recommend this level for every TR fans." - Samu (03-May-2007)

"Great game , very unusual for a first time builder to use advanced techniques in TRLE to complete an issue with hardly any faults. The entire game cannot yet rival any of the recent Top Ranks because it is too short . If the builder continues her work at this high level by creating a real true story plus adding some more music I do believe there is high hope for all of us TRLE players for a new star to rise ! Thanks to Dutchy for introducing these new talented builders to the TRLE Community !" - Ruben (03-May-2007)

"I pondered for quite a long time before scoring this,for two reasons. 1) The technical quality of this level is so good for a first attempt that I actually doubted it was all the builders own work. I am assured,however,that that is indeed the case. 2) The Gameplay contained very little in the way of mind-bending puzzles,and yet I decided to give it the highest score possible.What caused me to do this? Basically because this adventure is the apotheosis of the 'platform' style of Gameplay.When in doubt,run and jump. Why is this to be praised so highly? For the simple reason that no other level of this type has absorbed me so much when taking into account that basically all you do is leap around from one place (or platform) to another.The enjoyment is in the working out of where (or how) to leap. The display of invention in this hugely physical course is superb and the players interest is maintained constantly,usually by working out how to achieve the (occasionally)apparently impossible A-to-B progression. There's very little of anything else here;a simple Object-pushing sequence;a few enemies (none difficult to despatch);generally easy to solve puzzles.However,these only serve to highlight the inventiveness of the physical gameplay. Technically,this is of a high standard. The lighting is constantly varied and creatively colourful,without ever being too ostentatious. The textures are superb and well-chosen.Music and sounds are worked well.The atmosphere thus created is gripping and absorbing. This level may not be to everyones taste of course,but for me it accurately reflects exactly what it is that I enjoy when playing a Lara Croft adventure." - Orbit Dream (02-May-2007)

"This was a treat I must say. Lara is searching for another Iris up in the mountains and Von Croy will show her the way to the entrance to the vast Realm beyond. Inside the temple the rooms are fascinating, and beautifully decorated with stunning textures and coloured lights. Lara will have to perform a relatively simple object move to enter the various areas on the level, and then she will be rooting out the fire and water crystals. Traps will hinder Lara’s way such as collapsible tiles, poles with burners, pillar burners and a whole other menagerie of horrors by way of enemies in the form of Ahmets and wraiths. In the final stages, Lara will place the cog wheel to open the way to the fabulous final room, and then you will have a ball with wraiths and tinnos wasps as you search for golden stars, gems and a hand; which you need to steal from a rather ferocious gladiator. The torch will also come into play, and then when you have all your items you can visit the highest areas of the room by making your way over semi transparent tiles to the roof top. On the roof you will be treated to a stunning cut scene when Lara takes the Iris from its resting place. And then there’s the ending, but that’s for you to find out. This is a stunning level crammed adventure, so don't miss it. Thank you, Amber Light." - Moonpooka (01-May-2007)

"It’s another nice level from the BoF2 project. The atmosphere is nice with few enemies though and many items to get especially at the last part. You will find hands, gems, stars and other artifacts to use in order to access more areas. I enjoyed an hour of raiding with this level by running through cave like areas, getting through lava and extinguishing spirits in a large outside area with floating blocks. The four golden skulls were nicely placed, not too hard to find. I believe we have potential good builders and the entire project is a good way to get to know them." - Kristina (01-May-2007)

"The author has put a lot of effort into her first level to make it very enjoyable, and I indeed had a blast in here. You start exploring in some mysterious valley where you get a little assistance from Von Croy so he can open the temple doors for you, and from there awaits a perilous yet entertaining journey. From a spiffy push puzzle to open two side passages on the quest for a Fire Crystal and a Water Crystal, I went to the fire area first. The red lightning throughout and the nice lava caverns made this place a wonder to explore through. In that passage, there's some fun with flames, collapsible floors, pole sliding/climbing with wall burners (the lion-head burners look very nice), and a little boulder run thrown in there too as you quest for the crystal, and pick up some stars on the way. In the water passage, there's some nice looking caverns with waterfalls dominated mainly by blue lighting. Also there's a few slicer-dicer passages to maneuver through, and the freezing of the pool was neat too. Though I thought the wraiths weren't placed all that well, since you were almost always very close to a body of water to get rid of them. After getting the two crystals, there's a zipslide down into another nice water cavern with a timed run, and from there you are brought into a large, atmospheric courtyard where the finale of the level takes place. After doing some exploration in there, you'll release a dark gladiator that you'll somehow have to get rid of, all while you have to search for blue gems and golden stars with more wraiths to contend with. I loved climbing to the top of the area and jumping around all the floating platforms. At the very top, there's the Iris prize to be claimed, and from there on you're in for quite a surprise ending. The only things that I didn't like so much in this level were the wraiths that were too easy to get rid of, and the trial-and-error switch puzzle at the end didn't click with me either. Overall though, it's a fantastic debut level and if the builder decides to continue down her path, I'm sure there'll be more great adventures on the way. Bravo!" - Relic Hunter (29-Apr-2007)
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