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Level: The Quest of Gold 18-21 - Martinique Levels back home search
Author(s): TC14
total rating:9.66 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
DJ Full 10 10 10 9
dmdibl 10 10 10 10
Gerty 10 10 10 9
Jay 10 10 10 10
Kitkat 10 10 9 10
Kristina 10 10 10 10
manarch2 8 9 10 9
MichaelP 9 9 10 10
mugs 10 9 9 10
Phil 9 10 10 8
Ravenwen 10 10 10 10
Raymond 10 10 10 10
Ruben 10 10 8 10
Samu 10 9 9 9
category averages
(14 reviews)
9.71 9.71 9.64 9.57

Reviewer's comments

"The Ship Graveyard (8-9-9-9) - 50 minutes: The episode gets nicely introduced with a quite unique cutscene and shortly after you arrive in a hub room with a fun quest for five batteries. Although a little predictable and with many levers to use, the gameplay turns out to be interesting from time to time and I liked the little touches like the battery dropped by the diver and also the timed runs. Here and there the levers are too much in abundance here - placing two levers in a row with no tasks in between is not much more than a time filler. On the other side, the atmosphere really picks up even from the Korean levels and all the caves and ship wrecks are very organically put into scene and the object design is great too - there are, as in most levels, a few objects with missing textures, so rather a general problem of this game. The texturing is quite good in here, as is the lighting, while there are still glimpses of the general problem of this levelset - the lighting tends to be a little flat in a few places. Still a very good introduction to the Martinique levels.
Voodoo Magic in Martinique (9-9-10-9) - 45 minutes: Another immediately highly atmospheric level and with a different colour scheme too that I liked very much. There's a nice enemy attack (seems like they drop from the pole) near the start and other quite good scenes like the flooding of the pool by changing the direction of the water flow and of course the boss fight. In between the gameplay is a little better than in the previous level with a series of fun tasks, a few timed runs and a lot of platforming and puzzles that all create a fairly well-rounded experience. Perhaps there are too many (yet nice-looking) demigods to shoot here and in the larger cave area the textures don't clash so well with their neighbors and there is a part of solid floor acting like a water surface, but despite these minor mistakes I really enjoyed this level, which also has good secrets to find.
The Flying Dutchman (8-9-10-9) - 35 minutes: This starts with a most nice way of a seeing-the-artifact-but-not-getting-it scene. In the passage afterwards is a passable ceiling you can jump through and see the end of the world but that's a minor thing, because the breaktile challenge that follows afterwards is quite a demanding one that took me a few tries - there are more creative trap usages in here, like the blade ladder jumps that follow the breaktile one. Sadly the game does lose a bit of steam afterwards and although there are still a few nice puzzles (the shatter and torch one to name a few) the game isn't that creative anymore and has a few rather ordinary jump sequences. The general puzzle to find and fill four water bowls is nice, but the last one is rather strange, with a fixed camera below a monkeyswing that made it near-impossible to spot the correct track unless you drop on the floor and look with binoculars. Anyway the atmosphere is just as impressive as in the previous levels, maybe even more mysterious, and the looks are very solid again.
Aboard the Damned Ship (8-9-9-8) - 30 minutes: The start of this level didn't really click with me with a very maze-like design and similar looking rooms. Just the other way round as in the previous level, this level grew on me while playing though and there are more and more interesting tasks like the magic labyrinth, the extremely clever way to proceed with the torch (combined with an already fun draining puzzle) and more fun timed runs. Still the layout is a bit confusing and there's a bit much of to and fro here. The ship itself is decently textured and lit, if not as impressive as the previous levels with many small and only few nice larger areas and a rather conventional choice of textures, yet the enemies are nicely used in here and the secrets are excellent. In the Gold version finding the last secret is strangely not needed to reach the bonus level (since it was near I tried that) ...
Summary: Certainly the most atmospheric part of the whole series, with many levels having quite sophisticated looks and they also don't tend to be flat in the lighting that much. It's not an utterly perfect levelset, with a few rather mediocre parts in the gameplay, but in all levels there is something that might enchant you, so of course it's another highly recommended part, if not one of the best ones, of the series. 2:40 hours, 12 secrets." - manarch2 (04-Oct-2015)

"SHIP GRAVEYARD: The final set of "Old Edition" (without a "G") begins with another prologue level which should naturally concern relaxing exploration more than whatever will follow - and the task is well matched, for the difficulty is lighter than Canada and Korea had (the builder learns clever enemy usage) and a bit more intense than Greece (he utilizes what his players learnt instead). We search for batteries... I like batteries. We avoid sharks... I don't like sharks. But hey, there aren't any sea hags :tmb: . Btw I've never seen anybody use a "sea" hag in a sea level but everybody push them into the lakes so either the name or usage is missed. Nothing is missed in this particular level. I think I like it the most of all so far... I said this many times in relation to this series, and I guess from these words repeated over and over that the progress is good, the flow is fine (also in literal form of watery level) and it seems we're both learning, the builder and the player. You can tell an unusual bond forms between a creator and a receiver everytime this happens. I just really feel the guy has cared - for me and for everyone. I'm no longer experiencing hard stuck points as long as searching carefully (and getting at least one reminder everytime the author hid something likely for me to forget). The only setup I won't agree with is the golden bar secret - who can differ an intended earlier access from a shortcut, if so many of the latter are left ingame? 10.10.10.9
VOODOO MAGIC: It's a kind of magic... Maaagiiiic.... (guitar plucking). We jumped into a rocky chimney, apparently a portal. I like portals... this one leads to a spiritual subworld - so all a parallel underworld and a sublevel - inhabited with real parrots, semi-real lizards and totally unreal demons... why transparent if they're so nice?!! I mean nicely evil. I opened the vaudou1.tr4 in WadMerger to take a closer look and I think at least one of these should have been thrown into DEMIGOD2 to show in clear, opaque way what has been done here. But of course the grandest part is the setting. The jungle cave first seemed overwhelming, but again, nothing is too frightening on closeup, so I took a run through and nothing, even these evil clashing doors powered with burners, couldn't disperse a peaceful isolation feeling, almost the same as Jungle Ruins levelset, how differing in goal, is filled with. The quest for voodoo keys magically appearing on pedestals like they should, the burners which couldn't harm underwater (so the knives did, gotcha!), the curse holding a raisingblock hidden as soon as its guardian lived - all was a real charmer and I was enchanted. Oh, and I will remember the lizard drop for long. 9.10.10.9.
FLYING DUTCHMAN: There's one point in the very beginning of this one which can get You stuck for good - don't try to slide into the pit for the second time. It's - I would risk a statement - the only gamestopper I've ever noticed in this whole series. As for 20+ levels included - not bad at all, so I'll just forget about it, and who would want to get down there once more anyway when the key is collected and the goal is clear: we're getting closer! The target is in sight, but now the topic is how to get in. Another part of magical ritual is needed, and if the "always refill" strategy of the waterskin usage isn't already burnt in Your mind, there is always some water close enough to the receptacle bowls we couldn't predict to meet. I see some people annoyed by the second secret, and in many cases I would agree - but not totally in this one. The author gave us at least two hints - first* at the Voodoo Key passage and second time at the first secret collectible in this level (won't say where). [*The first time the controversy occurs is in the Sisiphe level, but since that one IS unfair indeed, I can't demand from anybody to learn from it.] 9.9.9.9.
ABOARD THE DAMNED SHIP: We're finally there, following in the most desired order from the very bottom of the locker through the crew's cabins (wow the cursed sailor's name, I guess which of the ghosts killed was him) to the ballroom, finally through the bridge and into the captain's HQ - perfect! As well as the filling: while the maze stands out among the rest of a kind because of its unnaturally great use of opacity, then the torch puzzle is plainly the most creative one I've ever seen, or I did it the other way than I should - You never know. Assuming either of two, such things give me a devastating awareness of how much extra features the Core Design objects possess which were never applied in their original TR4 game and so are yet to discover. 10.9.10.10.
SUMMARY OF ALL: As this levelset was a conclusion of something far greater in bulk, it all deserves a bottomline here. I wrote a lot and still haven't said all I wanted but I think it's neither necessary nor interesting, especially the later when compared to the game. A weird one - I remember I was sometimes through pulling switches and finding another room, room, room - the author should have often made them more immersive. I gave four tens to no single level of this whole set and even to none of released multilevel batches, because among the great gameplay creativity there was always something I was missing on the graphic - but while it was hard to get in, it always appeared harder to get out, and doesn't it mark an epic adventure if that fascinating feeling appears like if I knew the builder for a very long time after experiencing what he wanted me to? I think this is what Sailor Brooymans (lately resurrected so possibly the voodoo magic still works) means by his last words spoken on our blue forum lagoon. The End." - DJ Full (15-Apr-2015)

"Funny though as I have played this level set a couple of times and the last time was just right now, testing and re-playing to check the walkthrough for the Gold edition and I forgot how charming I found this one. It is no walk in the park but still I had a good time. The hunt is on for batteries. I loved the ship you get to visit later on. There is so much to explore and do and some hair pulling timed runs thrown in for good measure some of them you have to be a bit creative to actually make them in time, nice. Well done." - Gerty (21-Aug-2008)

"Finally got around playing this masterpiece and therefore actually played it as part of the more recently released 'Gold Edition'.
The Ship Graveyard (9/9/10/10, 75 min., 3 secrets): Ship levels are scarce and getting a whole series built around the general theme is such a treat. Lara is off in her sexy wetsuit and explores the waters around this overturned wreck, avoiding sharks, fish and a few bad guys that roam the caves. Gameplay is initially centered around exploration to find five batteries with plenty of jumping and maybe a bit too much tightrope walking and at times finding that next elusive opening or switch in the water becomes a bit tedious. Squishing blocks are very cleverly used here and a few fun timed sequences to master. Later on you find another ship and another very well designed course to master around it.
Voodoo Magic in Martinique (10/9/10/10, 80 min., 3 secrets): I just loved the flow of things in this part. Gameplay is challenging but never frustrating and there are a few nice and original ideas built in, like the redirection of the waterfall. The camera guidance is good and in general you should always have a good idea where to go next. Lots of action throughout with jumps, burners, blades, teeth doors cobined with burners, break ledges and push/raise puzzles. The huge area at the end with the 'sorcerer' is simply awesome in its look and feel.
The Flying Dutchman (10/8/10/9, 55 min., 3 secrets): The next ship awaits and it is a spooky one this time. Yet again, plenty of clever jumping involved to find your course and the waterskin plays a key role. More push blocks, more blades and more break tiles keep you busy. The torch is being put to good use and just like the previous part the whole gameplay flow is just perfect.
Aboard the Damned Ship (8/9/10/9, 70 min., 3 secrets): And now a level that explores the inside of the ship and personally it was a bit of step back for me because I ran around rather confused for way too long in search of the right key and the right lock behind the many doors on this ship. Once you get into it, it's ok, but I still did not enjoy it as much as the other parts before. The small maze is very nicely done and one with a difference, the flood/drain room and the related torch puzzle is very clever and the cutscene that eventually leads to the bonus level is cool.
Overall, probably the most mature and best part of the whole Quest of Gold series and one that every seasoned raider simply must have played!" - MichaelP (17-Aug-2008)

"Thibault couldn't have chosen a better setting for the finale of his QoG saga, and so Lara is transported in mystical Martinique. There are four sections in this levelset, and they are all brilliant; once again the gameplay is top notch, the atmosphere is fantastic and everything is crafted with exceptional skill and wit. "The Ship Graveyard": in this pleasantly familiar setting (reminds a lot of The Deck from TR2), Lara wanders mostly underwater in caves with ship wrecks, looking for batteries, levers and tunnels. There are several tricky things you have to do here, including a crazy timed run (this made me pull my hair a bit :D). "Voodoo Magic In Martinique": beautiful tropical-looking level, with a title that puts you in the mood instantly; you begin in some caves with temples, and you end up in a gorgeous exterior with waterfalls, cascades, huge pillars to jump to, and other tricky things to do so as to find several voodoo keys. There are some pretty neat sequences, like cghanging the route of a stream so as to flood a room. There are the occasional tropical lizards and some lovely bright blue parrots which unfortunately you have to shoot as they are equally dangerous. "The Flying Dutchman": the scenery changes as you arrive at the banks of a blood river, looking for the way to enter the ghost ship. The atmosphere here justifies the voodoo feel that the previous section was preparing the ground for; also the gameplay is even more challenging and there are several tricky situations to deal with. "Aboard The Damned Ship": one of the prettiest and most atmospherical levels in the whole saga; the use of textures, objects and sounds contributes majorly to this. There are many spectacular things in this section, like the flooded ceiling where you get the artifact, the wicked maze, the ballroom or the fire-trapped library. There's also one of the most crazy timed runs I've ever encountered in a custom level. As a general note concerning the QoG series, it left me with the best impressions and memories: 17+ hours of fantastic gameplay in the most amazing and imaginative environments. Since I played all the levels in the saga in their release order, it was clear how the builder developed his skills from section to section, and how he every time elaborated more and became more and more creative with the moves, the environments and the puzzles. I read that Thibault is preparing a Gold version with a bonus level, so I'm looking forward to playing that one too. Nobody should miss this series, such games change your standard view about TR and make you a better raider! ;) Thank you Thibault for this magnificent series :)" - Ravenwen (02-Oct-2007)

"I had the honour of helping to beta rest this set of levels and I am not ashamed to say it stretched my raiding skills to the limit: from the inventive gameplay to the difficult puzzles. I am proud to say I did finish it without cheating but it wasn't a walk in the park. It was however a very satisfying raid. What you have to remember is that this is the final instalment in a long series and as such you should expect it to be harder than it predecessors. This certainly isn't a level set for the faint hearted. But every level is very atmospheric, TC really knows how to set the scene well. I'm eagerly awaiting the Quest Of Gold - Gold Edition." - Kitkat (02-Jul-2007)

"These levels were too dark, dismal and difficult for my taste. Having said that, they consumed more than a week of my allotted gaming time, and I was spellbound each step of the way. The gameplay was so complex that I would not have dared to attempt navigating this mini-series without the D&G Team's excellent walkthrough close at hand. The builder was gracious enough to leave the flycheat enabled, and I made liberal use of it throughout, out of sheer self-defense. (Even knowing what to do ahead of time, some of the moves required more than I had the time or patience to conquer.) Nevertheless, I stood in awe of the builder's creative talents (both conceptually and architecturally) while enduring the gloomy and pervasive darkness, not to mention the maddening looping music. (I quickly found and zapped 111.wav in the middle levels, while the other selections I was able to tolerate. Barely. Builders, looping music is not an enhancement to your levels, particularly when the gamer is subjected to it constantly in a four-level series that takes five hours or more of net gaming time to complete. Please refrain.) The Quest of Gold series is one where the steady improvement in the builder's skills as you work your way through the levels is impossible not to notice and appreciate. It will rank right up there with the top five or six bundled releases of all time, and deservedly so. Highly recommended for advanced players." - Phil (25-Jun-2007)

"The last installment of Quest of Gold series is as enjoyable as it could be. This time we don't have to search ancient ruins, deal with Greek Gods' areas, no Indians 'playing' around but most of the game is taking place underwater or with a lot of water around. I liked this different setting because as much as I enjoyed playing all the previous games, I became bored at some point seeing more or less the same settings. The timed runs are present so are the challenging jumps with swinging bars. The enemies aren't many, sharks and pirates, but well placed but I missed the cut scenes in this last game. I guess Thibault is keeping the good stuff for the bonus release and the whole game. The scene changes and you enter the big ship but now the confusion begins. There are so many areas to visit and so many doors so there is no way you won't get confused at some point. It is well done no doubt, with a ball room and bedrooms. You will need to find a few keys to proceed as well as flood and lower or raise the water's level in some rooms. I found all the secrets but one of them I found it was unfairly hidden behind inside a waterfall with no hint. We simply can't go around a big level searching every inch of it to find a secret. They are supposed to be fun not annoyingly hidden. There must be a hint or at least a see through part, if it's behind waterfalls, to give us an indication. Players that love long series and want some good raiding must install this last game but it is not the closure yet. Hopefully we will have the final release with the bonus very soon." - Kristina (24-Jun-2007)

"This level set is a perfect end for this remarkable series! Lara explores caves in the Carribean with mysterious sailing boats and a sunken submarine and it's certainly not a walk in the park, as the author indicated in the readme. It's an entertaining and challenging gameplay mix, with typical trademarks of tc like tough trap puzzles and timed sequences mixed with some new, creative ideas, like the torch puzzle and the mystic labyrinth in the last level. This level, which is set inside a spooky ship wreck, is also my favourite of the four levels, because of it's gripping atmosphere and excellent gameplay. So this is a must for more expierenced raiders! Great work, tc!" - Raymond (05-Jun-2007)

"Ship Graveyard: Be warned, the denizens of the deep are also denizens of the shallows - I've seldom seen such determined sharks. There are also some extremely well hidden switches so prepare for a fair old bit of exploration - and a lot of swimming. Voodoo Magic in Martinique: Great title. No Baron Samedi unfortunately, but getting attacked by parrots was pretty stylish, as was the stream diversion (yes, I know we've diverted streams before, but this one was particularly effective). The Flying Dutchman: There's a collapsing tile run with a difference at the start of this section - it's really rather challenging, definitely confusing and great fun. I must say the ship looked in pretty good condition considering its been lying around in lava for centuries. Aboard the Damned Ship: Ah, ghost pirates - wonderful. This ship is definitely far bigger on the insider than the outside - more like the Tardis than the Flying Dutchman really. Also, a ballroom on the Flying Dutchman? I think not. However, I just love ship levels, so who cares. This was enormous fun and there are some truly wonderful spooky effects. When the author says in his readme that these last few levels of the series will not be a walk in the park, you should certainly take note if you are not an experienced raider as some of the timed stuff is definitely challenging. However, for those who have been with the series from the start there shouldn't be too many problems and for those who haven't I can only say go away and play the entire series from scratch - you won't regret it." - Jay (04-Jun-2007)

"As usual Thibault takes us to the very limits of our skills , no single step forward without a challenging run or almost undoable trick to perform in order to continue this very hard and tricky game ! Taking a good look at Atmosphere in Richards UB4 , Sounds in Christophs JE or cameras in Nadines NG an 8 is more than enough this time ! Why not more french style custom music in your levels ? After a tight run through this most fantastic and beautiful set of levels I need a long night to recover !" - Ruben (04-Jun-2007)

"GAMEPLAY & PUZZLES: Gameplay is definitely the best thing in this set of levels. It is well balanced including a lot of jumping, traps, things to find and many different kind of puzzles. Thibault has even created some gameplay ideas I have never seen before in custom levels. One of them is the way to carry a torch in water and you also have to perfom swan dive in one area to procceed. Only thing I can critizice is that first level has too much exploring and switches that are hidden a bit too well. Sometimes it can be a little frustrating because you have no idea where to go next. ENEMIES, OBJECTS & SECRETS: Enemies are chosen pretty well and they are sharks, parrots, human baddies, demigods, green lizards, skeleton harpies and ghost pirates. There are not many new objects in this game but it's not important because objects are used very well to spice up the environment. ATMOSPHERE, SOUND & CAMERAS: Atmosphere is very good including audio tracks that fit well in the setting. Author has also used enough camera hints after activating switches which is good. Fly by cameras are done with care and I don't have much else to add. LIGHTING & TEXTURES: Textures are mainly from old TR games and TR7-ghana level and they are applied well. Texturing could be even better if author had used more custom textures but it's not particularly important because textures are used very well. Lighting is good too and I recommend this game very higly for every experienced raiders." - Samu (03-Jun-2007)

"I never met a Thibault game I didn't like. This one's no exception. TC demands that we rise to the occasion when entering his games and I have to muster every ounce of playing-skill I have to make it through. But that's the part I love. These games are so challenging and fun to play. TC has created a wonderful venue for the Martinique Levels - great looking ships and subs (makes me want to run off and build some more ships !)and underwater caves. The puzzles are excellent - thank heavens for the Stuck Forum - and the timed runs are wicked. Thank you Tim for teaching me a new maneuver. See, you're never too old to learn ! Had it not been for some object/camera problems I would have scored this game a perfect 10. This is just part of a really great adventure. We demand more from you TC ! Outstanding." - Mugs (27-May-2007)

"Since April, I have played the entire Quest of Gold series from level 4 through the Martinique set (I played the earliest levels ages ago). This is a truly impressive series, so I suppose the score also reflects my overall impressions. Once one starts playing it is hard to stop; more than anything else it is the play that the author concentrates on. The design and creative work is aimed at creating devious jumps and puzzles, some of which are totally original. In the final level note the book on the ceiling, or the use of the torch. (At least the way I solved this was something I'd never done before, and surely this must be what the author intended.) Like watching a fine movie thriller, there can be a certain anxiety in playing TC14's levels. There are the mounting obstacles, one after another, the feeling the heroine won't make it, that all is lost. One thinks, "It's impossible. I mean, Lara has done everything except for--" And then realization dawns. The author says these are challenge levels: as the conclusion of a series expect hard puzzles and game play. Don't be put off by this, it isn't so. A couple of the timed runs are tight. Maybe one was too tight. Sometimes a blind jump through squishing blocks or by sweeping blades is a matter of luck rather than skill, but a few attempts will make it. By far the worst jump in this whole series was in level 17, the Midas level in the St. Francis series. (The St. Francis series also had the worst room, after the Sisyphean task of lugging a ball to higher level, there followed a room from hell.) There are a number of challenges here, but they are doable. The first level goes swimmingly. Just remember to check for underwater doors. The last level has some clever spooky stuff, and seemed to play very quickly, and then it ends. What, that's it? That's the finish? But there are bonus levels to come. This is a unique series that is not to be missed." - dmdibl (24-May-2007)
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