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Level: The Thing in the Cellar back home search
Author(s): Blacksheep
total rating:8.77 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
CC 9 9 9 9
Damon 10 10 10 10
eTux 8 9 9 8
Gerty 8 8 9 9
Jay 10 9 9 10
Jose 8 9 9 8
Kitkat 8 9 9 9
Kristina 8 8 8 8
MichaelP 8 8 9 9
Phil 8 9 9 9
Raymond 10 10 10 10
Ruben 7 8 9 9
Ryan 8 8 9 9
Samu 8 8 9 8
Shady Croft 8 8 9 9
category averages
(15 reviews)
8.40 8.67 9.07 8.93

Reviewer's comments

"I did play the revised version a couple of years ago and encountered a flipmap bug that prevented me from properly completing the level. It turned out that I was only a minute or so away from finishing anyway, so I didn't score gameplay down too much for that. But I surprisingly had no problems whatsoever with this one, even though I saved in the trouble spot (near that tricky jump to the rope after activating the lever) and was able to reach the final flyby. Anyhow, you get quite a lot of challenge in the gameplay here. Nothing is really impossible, but there's a veritable beast of a timed bike ride and a jump to a rope near the end that may have you frustrated slightly. Luckily I never had to resort to any savegames, so I ended the level with the feeling that this was a satisfying and well crafted raid in a very good looking setting. Recommended for more experienced players." - Ryan (26-Mar-2019)

"Having played the revised version prior to this one, I'm not going to go in great detail as far as the general description of the level goes, and direct you to my review of the revised version if you're interested in my interpretation particularly, but what I will do is list some main differences and how I fared here in comparison to the other level. And this definitely is the meaner of the siblings from the twin levels. While the differences are actually no more than a handful and usually in the shape of several key items having swapped places or a more elaborate bike track, it's generally a more unforgiving experience than my other exploration of the level. The sentry gun gantlet is (optionally) present in the other version as well, so I didn't mind the run as such, but forcing you as the player to do it twice and having you pump Lara with medkits during one of those runs as you attempt to activate a jumpswitch whilst playing the role of the bullet magnet seemed a bit extreme, even in comparison to the ridiculous jump over the slopes in the cave and the timed bike ride, which I actually managed to do on my first try... well, first try when I got over the pit anyway! Those 2 sentry gauntlets basically made me spend most of the level without any spare medipacks at hand, so it was more exciting than I expected it to be, but actually not that bad, and overall very doable - but probably not recommended for those who consider themselves inexperienced. This by no means is the most difficult level out there - but it will definitely put the self-proclaimed experts to the test! Given the choice between the 2 versions I'd prefer the revised one, mainly because it's more polished up than this in places, but those who like their levels tough won't want to miss this version out as well!" - eTux (18-Apr-2008)

"This is a castle type level which lasts about an hour. Texturing and objects aren't anything we haven't already seen but everything is done with care and skills. Atmosphere is good and surroundings look detailed and nice despite not very original. Gameplay is mainly very good including many unique ideas but at times it is a way too hard. The timed bike ride is absolutely too challenging and I guess that even the most experienced raiders will get frustrated completing it. This level has also other extremely challenging tasks but fortunately they are less challenging than the bike ride. I don't recommend this level for not so experienced raiders but I'm rather sure it will make a lot of fun if you truly are an experienced raider." - Samu (19-Dec-2007)

"Probably one of the best Highland Castle levels in terms of layout, design, textures, and definitely gameplay. There are the usual suspects to deal with like red-eyed dogs and black guards, bats and something horrible in the dungeon. The player will find themselves becoming very familiar with the masonry, ladders, and waterways, as they try to find everything they need. One particular item is so well placed, in plain sight, yet the player will think nothing of it. So look everywhere, and if in doubt, shoot. As we search for two thistles, and some keys, we will experience some hair raising moments, like the manic dash past three machines guns, and the tough timed bike ride that won't be possible if we haven't found the nitrous oxide. Add to that the explosive material spilling out of crates we must make our way around, the rather tough jumping to be done in caves, the long search for the crowbar, and we have a very exciting level that lifts the Castle genre to a whole new level. Love the way we see all areas through fences or windows, but only get to each one by different arduous routes. And all this in a wonderfully created castle, full of atmosphere. I particularly love the 'mist' over water. And all this to find and steal the Hand of Rathmore, tantalisingly placed where we can see it, but can't get to it, just yet. Excellent work. Highly recommended." - CC (12-Nov-2007)

"This is an action packed level and do remember what you see while you make it through this castle as I completely forgot a crowbar lever for quite a while. Never got that Rose behind one fence though and I did try, but then again I also never found the way how to get pass the sentry guns without getting shot at until I read in the stuck forum how to do that LOL. The box puzzle had me going for a bit as that wasn't easy but I can only applaud at the way it was done. You need to get your hands on the Valve and the Oxidant Feeder so you can jump that chasm with the bike and that one was rather nasty to do. Luckily I have on standby a nephew who will always help me out and I needed that in this level for sure. Get the two Thistles and Bob is your uncle as then you can see what is hidden in that cellar." - Gerty (10-Sep-2007)

"Before I start my review I tell you, if you hate timed runs on bikes DO NOT PLAY THIS ONE! The timed run in this level is pretty hard, the hardest I've ever encountered. Moving on, this level is great...am probably saying this cause I expected something wacky when I read the title of the level...seemd funny. However, this level is not easy. The author clearly knows the abilities of Lara so well cause there are so many jumps that are hard and accurate. The level is well constructed, set in a scottish castle. The texturing is very well applied and the lighting and atmosphere were very good....I thought the level was as good as the TR3 gold level, even better I think. SAS guards, dogs, vultures and crazy bike rides and an undefeatable spider which I think is THE THING are your enemies along with afew sentry guns! Gameplay was excellent with some inventive and difficult puzzles (like the running guard and sentry guns or the pushables puzzle). The only thing I didnt really like was the background music, I dont like the TR4 city music and I thought it didnt suit this level at all, other than that I recommend this level for hardcore players. Way to go,Blacksheep!" - Shady Croft (15-Aug-2007)

"What a dangerous castle! A level full of traps and enemies with some interesting puzzles to solve, as the moveable crates puzzle in the small room. There are some tricky tasks but not impossible, although sometimes you can get frustrating; the worst for me was the tigh timed run with the bike 'cause the final jump over the water was very hard. The design is excellent, but level is complex and you can get stuck easily if you don't remember very well the places you've visited. A good level but not for beginners." - Jose (17-Jul-2007)

"This is a great raid through a very well protected Scottish castle. It is guarded by soldiers, dogs and sentry guns. But they aren't trying to keep Lara out - They are trying to keep the "Thing" in! Lara however fights her way through the castle solving the puzzles until she reaches her goal and her escape route. There is a great moveable block puzzle, some tricky jumps and a not much fun timed bike ride among other things. The textures are nothing new but they are applied well, sound is used to good effect and the atmosphere is good. I am looking forward to Blacksheeps next level, this is a great debut." - Kitkat (02-Jul-2007)

"After reading the reviews I braced myself for a rip-snorting Japanese-style level, but what I found was relatively serene and enjoyable gameplay in a castle setting. The parts that caused problems for almost everyone aren't encountered until near the very end, and by that time you've enjoyed a nice romp of nearly an hour and a half. So, if you're a purist who hates to cheat, you've played about 95% of the level by the time you get to that timed motorbike maneuver. I tried it by the book a number of times and never even got close. I then enabled the flycheat and found that I couldn't make it even by flying along the designated route. (And that's convincing evidence that the allotted time is unfairly short. I'm not sure that adding five whole seconds would have enabled me to do it legally.) I was about to give up and move on to something else when I discovered that Lara could simply fly over the closed gate (builders usually make it so you can't do that), drop down on the other side and resume normal gameplay from that point. And, of course, that final encounter with The Thing is a piece of cake if you elect to eschew the rope and fly back across the deadly floor to end the level. Life's too short, so that's what I did, anyway. A very nice level other than those two frustrating parts." - Phil (28-Jun-2007)

"Amazing how just by using all the classic elements from the good old days of custom level building you can still come up with a level this entertaining. I was tempted to score gameplay even higher, as it is quite ingenious how you always get a glimpse of the next areas ahead of you and then reach them only a bit later, but unfortunately the timed bike ride and the jump to the rope in the cellar are rather frustratingly difficult to master and spoil the real fun of the level quite a bit. Enemies are only a few guards, dogs and vultures but that suits the level just fine as it is more about finding the next area to get to. Try it out for some classic raiding with a few extra challenges." - MichaelP (26-Jun-2007)

"In a Scottish castle type of setting, Lara is searching for keys and two thistle stones. The textures are old but well placed and the gameplay is confusing sometimes but not bad. There is a tight and challenging timed run with the bike, a moveable blocks puzzle, SAS, a big spider creature you can't kill and I think is the"Thing" as well as some condors. Don't expect to see any innovations in this level it is a good classic TR game with a good structure. The two golden roses I found were nicely placed and counted as secrets. Give it a try for a pleasant hour or so." - Kristina (24-Jun-2007)

"I was looking forward to playing this simply because of the great title. It certainly is good, but it's no walk in the park. There's a challenging and unusual run past three sentry guns that I defy anyone to achieve first time (although doubtless some clever bugger out there will manage it), soon followed by a block puzzle that takes quite a bit of working out and I'm still not quite certain how I did it. There's also a bit of a beast of a timed bike ride that may have you cursing (my husband did it - he's much better at that sort of thing than I am). The thing in the cellar is mega creepy and invulnerable, and you need to be quick to avoid it. This is a cracking level if you're feeling fit." - Jay (20-Jun-2007)

"Another japanese type of a level only recomended for the hard core players. I do believe without Raymonds helpful hints in the forum not one single player would have been able to get past the sentry guns unharmed plus climbing a ladder to pull a JS when even 0 and 9 keys don`t seem to work while in action ? I don`t want to be a spoiler but a total 10 rating for this one level wonder is far too much because I have given a 10 for Richard Lawthers UB4 which I is a real huge wonderful game with a full story ." - Ruben (20-Jun-2007)

"Nice level, really enjoyed everything in this level. Textures, Enemies & Music everythings great. The only thing that i didnt like is short gameplay, Level lasted for about 1 Hour, I really like the theme and storyline and hope that Blacksheep comes back with a bigger level next time." - Damon (19-Jun-2007)

"In this level Lara explores a scottish fortress. If you would take each review category for itself, you could, it's nothing outstanding, but how all things are fit together here it's just brilliant. So with very classic textures and objects in a very classic setting you can create still something excellent. Most impressive for me is the intricate, compact level architecture. And you get all what you need for good gameplay, at least for the more expierenced raiders. You have nice action with very well placed enemies (SAS, dogs, eagles), a tough scene with a set of machine guns (You can avoid their fire!), a cleverly devised pushable puzzle, some nice jumps (even a "japanese" one), a well hidden target to shoot and a wild timed bike ride ... . Finally Lara has gotten the two thistle stones, meets the Thing in the cellar and makes her escape with the helicopter. So this level is tough at certain points and so it's nothing for the faint-hearted. But it's certainly a must for the expierenced player." - Raymond (13-Jun-2007)
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