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Level: Legend Of Ancient 1 - Unknown Undergrounds back home search
Author(s): Ader
total rating:7.93 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Akcy 8 8 8 8
dmdibl 8 9 9 8
eRIC 8 7 7 7
EssGee 8 8 9 9
eTux 8 7 9 9
Gerty 6 8 8 8
Jay 9 8 9 9
Jose 7 7 7 8
Kitkat 8 9 8 9
Kristina 8 8 8 8
manarch2 8 7 7 7
MichaelP 9 8 9 8
Phil 8 9 8 9
Ravenwen 9 8 9 9
Ryan 8 8 8 8
Samu 6 8 7 7
Treeble 7 7 9 7
Zhyttya 5 8 6 8
category averages
(18 reviews)
7.67 7.89 8.06 8.11

Reviewer's comments

"Wow, this was a real feat gameplay-wise. It starts off with some tricky jumping manoeuvres to get down a bit, but soon Lara must solve some block pushing tasks, lever sequences, fiendish traps and tight swimming exercises in this first part. I liked the classic TR1 setting that serves as the hub for every single one of these challenges. One downside - the burning Lara sequence mentioned by others, a bit unfair." - Ryan (10-Apr-2017)

"My mindset about these series it's a bit confused. While i enjoyed the challenge it self, sometimes it went a bit over the top. Altho the download file contains the three levels, i will only review the first one (due to it's own page). Besides finding the environment a little bit too dark and tight, there were some details that i truly didn't enjoy. I've played this level two times, the first time unfortunately i had an inconvenience that didn't allow me to progress the level, so i repeated a second time. Turns out that there's this particular puzzle where you are obligated to take a lot of free damage to progress in the level. Now if you are a person like me, who enjoys exploring and picking up as much secrets as possible, you'll probably be able to pass this section "easily". But for more rocky players, altho they prob wouldn't reach this far - but if they did with the help of the walkthrough or something - they wouldn't be able to get out alive. I had to use prob around 4 - 5 medipacks. That's not a good thing to be implemented. Which made me lower my score to 5 on the first topic. The rest seems just fine." - Zhyttya (17-Nov-2015)

"The first level of the series is perhaps a quite well-rounded, but not the most polished one. The gameplay is generally good with a lot of tasks to solve that are sometimes out of the ordinary and challenging, especially some of the good timed runs. It would have been even more decent if the builder had properly tested this game and then corrected some issues - there are some dead ends you cannot return if you haven't done things earlier and picking up more than one key of the same sort leads to a needed reload too, some puzzles are not well (if at all) hinted, also one secret does not register (both secrets have the same number). I also did not like the excessive forced health losses in here, especially setting Lara on fire is a pet hate of mine. That said, it's a rather nicely flowing game with a couple of fun and a couple of a bit less good moments, but overall quite achieved. The looks are decent as well - everything makes sense in here, the TR 1 textures are nicely used overall. But then there are too many avoidable texture mistakes, the lighting is also lacking contrast and overall the rooms are far too cramped together and not diverse enough to make a great impression. Some objects are used nicely, while others did not seem to fit to the Greek atmosphere. Overall rather good for a debut level; the game lasted 55 minutes for me." - manarch2 (10-Aug-2015)

"This had so much more to offer than I expected. The setting is rather classic but the action is thick and imaginative here, starting right from a few tricky jumps that get you down into the hole and the early clever block pushing puzzle that gets you the secret. It is not an easy level, as many of the actions require a bit of skill and experience, such as a pretty tight timed run, but progression is never difficult thanks to either an obvious flow or some solid help with cameras. Further into the level you enter sewer areas and get more and more traps to deal with (bouldes, burners, blades, spikes and more). Another puzzle with pushing and raising blocks, some use of the torch, some flooding to do and the occasional lizard or skeleton to deal with. The only thing I really did not like was the run where you have to set Lara on fire and sprint to a water hole - not fair and not fun this one. If you are up for an action packed 75 minute adventure you have come to the right place." - MichaelP (01-Aug-2008)

"This game starts in a rocky outdoor area where you have to access ancient underground places. Surroundings are mainly textured with TR1 textures and they look rather appealing but not perfect. The thing which bothered me a little was that the level consists of many usual and similar kind of small areas that you won't remember long. Anyway the environment is good even if it's not particularly unique. Gameplay is thought out well too but it would be better if few things were tested more properly. For example there's a place where's two key holes and when Lara comes there she has already one key. In the same area you can find another key. The problem is that if you haven't used the first key earlier it will be replaced with the other key and you're not able to proceed because you have only one key in your inventory. The other problem is that if you complete a slide before finding a one key you won't be able to come back to get a key and can't proceed either in this case. Without this kind of things gameplay would be certainly better. However, this game is very good work for a first level and it's definitely worth playing." - Samu (29-Apr-2008)

"A very decent debut from the author that is bound to be remembered for the well made TR1 Greco-Roman settings and the devilish tasks the author has incorporated in them. Already the start of the level is not very lenient on Lara, and that ought to make one wary that this will be far from a walk in a park, and tasks like setting Lara intentionally on fire and consequently making a run for a small, distant pool, dropping in a deep pit that's filled with hazardous gas and some particularly nasty timed runs make this a slightly above average difficulty experience, but bar a somewhat questionable system hinting on the author's trap placement, I did not mind the difficulty as such, as the level was refreshingly creative and flowed well for most part for the hour or so I spent here. It isn't without its faults though - the solution to the block puzzle in the sewers seemed random at best, and there is a nasty bug where no matter how many of the unnamed (well - called 'load' in inventory) keys you pick up, you'll still have 1 ultimately. You could also argue that the sadistic ways where you have to pump Lara with medipacks to survive the task might seem like the wrong way to approach things, but that might be a matter of perspective, with me needing to step back from the dogmatic approach the bulk of the levels out there require. Overall - it's a very well conceived debut from the author - with some unorthodox ideas along the way and worth the try, especially if you like a fresh view on the well known TR1 settings." - eTux (27-Apr-2008)

"There are many things to like in this level, but what appealed to me the most is the nostalgic TR1-like atmosphere built up with TR1 textures and ambience sounds. But, on the other hand, there are also several small issues that the author could have corrected, such as a number of unmarked death tiles, some obscure puzzles (like the push block in the sewer, or the room with many many levers), unmarked monkeyswings and I also came across the door bug once. Some of the objects and textures -- namely the Egyptian stuff -- feel slightly out of place, but overall it works pretty well. With that being said, this level can be frustrating at times, but it's a nice level overall. 65 minutes, 1 secret. 04/08 LHRP" - Treeble (26-Apr-2008)

"A very convincing debut level. Huge, and thoughtfully designed, nicely applied textures, few but well placed enemies. We need to operate levers and run from room to room while a skeleton chasing, I liked it. Just a few simple puzzles, this level is rather about to test your skills, difficult jumps and timed tasks, lot of traps. There are a few beginners errors, some traps had hints, some didn't, a few streched textures, invisible blocks in front of some doors, and we can't have more than one Gold Key at the same time. There are many unavoidable injuries, some falls, the poisonous gas room, the burning Lara - that one wasn't very nice - I had to use three large medis till the end. All in all, the author is clearly on the right track, if he keeps on building, I'm sure we will see great things from him in the future." - Akcy (17-Aug-2007)

"A good and long level with the TR1 texturing. Sometimes challenging , sometimes fun and sometimes irritating. There are not many enemies but there are some good puzzles, and many traps , falling ceilings, giant teeths, blades and others. I particularly like the timed tasks and the jump over the boulder in the corridor. There is also one of the worst puzzles I've seen in a level, the one where you have to set Lara on fire. There is nothing spectacular in the setting and in some places the textures could be better applied but the environment is quite solidly built nevertheless and the atmosphere is convincing. For a first level, well done anyway. Keep up the good work and the creativity." - eRIC (22-Jul-2007)

"A good level with a TR1 style, I recommend play it in one shot, 'cause you'll have to go back several times to closed doors you left behind sometimes with no cameras help. I couldn't stop a fire under a switch and had to burn Lara to continue playing. In the corridor with the two keylocks I had pick up the two keys, but only one appears in my inventory so I had to reload and use one of the keys before pick up the second. No much enemies, some tricky tasks, few cameras and few musics; good architecture and textures." - Jose (10-Jul-2007)

"Another one I couldn't play on the Mac (as it is made with TREP), which in a way is a pity though. This is a first by this builder and I see a lot of potential in here. There are however still some issues that could have gone better. Like stretched textures, keep an eye on those. Also rather sloppy to call the Keys you find"Load" and better have a good look at the two Keys puzzle, as that is NOT done, loosing key # 1 from your inventory when you pick up key # 2. The same goes for if you already used key # 1, please be sure you put it in the other lock as I didn't and I was up the verbal creek without a key. I would urge the builder to look for beta testers because they can show him what might need improving and then of course it is up to him to do so or not. But anyway there is some nice exploring to do with some back and fro; traps and finding ways to circumvent them in here, is nicely done. I do however hate spikes (yes plural as I don't mind one or two) popping up with no indication whatsoever. There is however a clever idea used in here that Lara will loose health when she travels through a room with thick fog, the burning of Lara however, because she needed a key, is uncalled for." - Gerty (09-Jul-2007)

"The reviews thus far have been remarkably consistent, and I don't intend to break the mold. I agree with just about everything that's already been said. What we have is a single level with enough gameplay packed into it to last nearly two hours. There are surprises along the way, including the unmarked spike traps, but since I rarely play a level these days without a walkthrough, I knew what was coming and was able to deal with it. There are no complicated and confusing tasks, or routine jumps made unnecessarily difficult with obstacles or vegetation placed in the way, such as I encountered in my last gaming experience with the latest Quest of Gold installments. No, it's just a refreshingly linear, old-school type raid that I enjoyed a great deal. The sequence near the end was my favorite, where you first have to negotiate a pair of timed raising blocks (took me considerably more than my allotted 10 tries, but I stuck with it until I found a technique that works and can be repeated). You then need to take two separate paths along the upper pillars, repeating the timed run in the process, before you can make your escape. Good stuff. Recommended." - Phil (26-Jun-2007)

"This is a great TR1 style level. You start with a mini gauntlet of traps (looong drop and falling blocks) only to be rewarded by a skeleton! Dull this level isn't. The pace doesn't slow down either. There is plenty to challenge you: tricky jumps, timed runs, flames traps, spikes, and boulders. Did I mention the falling blocks? Because there is alot of them, it is wise to watch where you are going in this level. The textures are lovely, and the lighting is really good too - Not too bright, not too dark. This is a satisfying raid. As this level is called "Legend Of Ancient 1" I assume there is a "Legend Of Ancient 2" in the pipeline? Because I am looking forward to it." - Kitkat (19-Jun-2007)

"Ader has created a challenging raid very much in the TR1 tradition, but significantly harder in terms of gameplay. There are some rip-snorter traps and timed runs in this adventure that will have you pulling your hair out, but feeling well satisfied when you beat the challenge. Good use has been made of Trep to enhance the gameplay. There's a good hour and a half of net gaming, but you could spend some time mastering several of the tricky manoeuvres. There is good continuity of texturing and architectural design throughout the level. You must however take note of many similar doors and their various locations as there is quite a deal of backtracking to be done. Lighting was mostly well done without being spectacular, but less care was given to object lighting with many things appearing in stark contrast to the environmental lighting. There are a few technical faults that could bring the player undone, where keys may be placed in already completed key holes, an essentially unmarked monkey swing during a hard trap encounter and a firey lever run that I thought was a tad unfair. Enemies were mostly well placed, but I was thankful that the first skeleton encountered got stuck in the wall, which kept him out of harm's way. All in all, a very good workout to keep our Lara fit and her raiding skills sharp, which climaxes with a dual combination timed run from hell. Since Miss Croft walks away empty handed from this outing, I can only assume there is more unfinished business beyond this underground catacomb...let's hope so." - EssGee (10-Jun-2007)

"This one is interesting with sewer type areas and a lot of underground exploring. At some point I got confused because there is no camera anywhere to show you where to place the keys, and they are plenty, you found so that was a downside for the level. In general the gameplay is quite pleasant with levers and switches to operate, traps with boulders and spikes plus skeletons and beetles as enemies. The moveable blocks have been used a lot but to my surprise you can stand on them. I guess the custom exe has its advantages as well but we knew that already. I found one secret and for me it lasted about an hour and a half." - Kristina (04-Jun-2007)

"This starts off at a good old pace - from the first fraught seconds, trying to get down a deep hole with minimum damage and being chased all over the place by a skeleton whilst trying to achieve a timed run amongst other things, you definitely get the feeling that you're in for some fun. I really liked this debut level - it's extremely well made and the gameplay is well paced and nicely balanced. I always like to see the Rome textures and they have been effectively used here. I am certainly looking forward to the next instalment in what I hope turns out to be a long series." - Jay (31-May-2007)

"A very good TR1-like level, well-designed and laid out, with some enjoyable game play. But I must confess to irritation in parts. Lara jumps to a ledge: wham! spikes. Jumps to next square on ledge: spikes! Finally gets across, tries to jump to next ledge: spikes! No warning here, no skull texture in the ceiling or anything. Or there is a series of eight levers; some of the levers deal instant spike death, some don't, and no clues provided. Or Lara steps into a room and the ceiling falls on her head. Don't want to repeat that, so when she swims into a room the ceiling falls on her head. And soon Lara crawls into a room and the ceiling falls on her head. One of the first things the level editor manual mentions is how tiresome and uninteresting instant death can be. What it does for me is take me out of the game; I lose any immersive feeling I had and am back sitting at my desktop. Or there was the switch that was on fire, after using the first gold key. I searched for more than half an hour but never found a solution. Turns out you have to set Lara on fire, then have her run down the passageway and jump into the tiny water pool. The same thing happens in real life. A man sprayed barbecue lighter fluid on a fire, the flame was sucked into the can which exploded, and doused him in burning fluid. He too ran down the hill and dove into the river. He did not survive. Making Lara a human torch just doesn't appeal to me. Or there was the ground which drained Lara of health. All this did for me was make me think the author was using the TREP flip editor feature with DEC_HP 3 or whatever. In TR1 there are lava textures that Lara can stand on, even though a corner is glowing. This always made me nervous. So why not use a texture like that, instead of having a regular stone floor, which makes the health drain implausible? Or there was the burning sands room, in TR1 Unfinished Business. Why not take the distinctive textures from that room, and have a floor of burning sands? Using appropriate textures for harmful surfaces makes us think we are in this world, and makes the game seem real. For that matter there was a monkey swing over spikes; I never saw any texturing that would indicate it was indeed a monkey swing. I fear I am being far too critical here, so I have tried to be generous with the scoring." - dmdibl (27-May-2007)

"I enjoyed this level immensly, mainly thanks to the very challenging and at times quite inventive gameplay which never lets you feel bored, always keeping the player alert. Some of the puzzles are rather easy to figure out, but the overall level of adventuring is so high and so impressively organized, that you can hardly consider the predictability factor as something negative. What stands out is the existence of several tough trap sequences that involve spikes, flames and lethal blade doors; and there are also a few nice additions (ie, there is a timer whenever you light a flare, so you know for how long you will have it lit; and the grabs have a limited time as well). There is a relative variety of enemies (including giant bugs, skeletons, lizards), but most of them pose no particular threat; only the skeletons may get annoying at points. The environments are atmospherical and pleasant, decorated with familiar textures but in a rather tasteful way. Since this is the only level in the author's profile, I assume it is his first one, and for such it's more than promising." - Ravenwen (25-May-2007)
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