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Level: The Thing in the Cellar Revised back home search
Author(s): Blacksheep
total rating:8.66 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
eRIC 9 10 9 9
EssGee 7 8 8 8
eTux 9 9 9 8
Gerty 9 8 9 9
JesseG 9 10 9 8
Jose 9 9 9 8
Juno Jim 9 9 9 9
Kristina 8 8 8 8
manarch2 9 9 9 9
MichaelP 9 8 9 9
Minox 8 9 8 8
Ryan 8 9 9 9
Tcake 10 10 10 10
TrueRaider 5 8 8 8
category averages
(14 reviews)
8.43 8.86 8.79 8.57

Reviewer's comments

"Visually, I wasn't disappointed with this level. The TR3 Gold castle settings have been well rendered and the views to areas through gated openings are a nice touch. Nice camera flybys too. However, the gameplay did let things down. Not so much for the tricky Japanese style manoeuvres required, I knew that going in. But there were a few bugs that I personally encountered, although this may be due to my download. A ladder required for a secret didn't appear for me and the flipmap at the end didn't trigger. Everything else was otherwise rewarding and challenging, so if you wish to try it then go ahead, but beware of the bugs that could stop you in your path. P.S. I did glance at the walkthrough upon reaching this point and saw that I was only about five minutes away from the finish trigger, so if you encounter the same problem I did, then by that point you'll have pretty much experienced everything if you go by the walkthrough instructions. I've therefore upgraded my scores slightly in a fit of magnanimity as I found this to be an immensely satisfying and recommended raid." - Ryan (08-May-2017)

"As I played the first version many, many moons ago I can't recall a thing. But reading the reviews I take their word for it. All I did remember was that nasty timed run on the bike and I was glad that it was gone in this version. There is still a timed run against a guard but once you know where to shoot him it does make things a tad easier. Still it is no walk in the park but luckily nothing so hard that I got frustrated.Had great fun." - Gerty (10-Aug-2016)

"Interesting level with many extremely hard tasks - that's how a level should be! Luckily the hardest was only for a secret. The architecture of the castle was simply amazing, with many places you get to twice or three times, but things get easier by placing some blocks to get to an yet explored area directly from the water. Right from the first block puzzle, nearly unsolvable with a walkthrough, and luckily the original level was simile to this in this room, this level was a real challenge. Many hard jumps, one with stumbling(!) off a slope - never seen before in the main gameplay, made it into something unbelievable difficult - this level is absolutely not for beginners! The end was good too, somehow a lever trigger didn't work for me so I had to use a savegame from snork. Another minus point might be the walls of the castle as they were very thin and you could see the black nothing behind them - a thing reminding me on Oxy's "Laras World - Mistery Castle", but textures were still of a high standard. Enemies in this level were well placed and not getting shot at once was another difficult point in this level, which ended a bit abruptly for me, but a nice end cutscene closed a nice level." - manarch2 (05-Dec-2010)

"This is not a raid for those weak of heart. Rather, it is an hour long adventure speckled with difficult challenges that are, in the end, very satisfying to complete. This is not to say the level is necessarily "unfair" (and so it does not contend in my "most unfair levels" race). "Devious" might be a better term. Get ready for a timed run against a baddy running to activate an array of turrets, a crazy running jump in a cave that requires you to jump and "slide off" of the edge of a slope and barely grab the alcove on the other side, and a very tough-to-reach golden rose above that same cave area, which must be the most difficult secret I've experienced to date. And then there's the strategically placed baddies ready to snipe you, the evil dogs with glowing red eyes, a speedy jump on the motorbike, and the boss waiting for you near the end. I loved doing it all, though I have to admit a little frustration snuck up on me as well. I was very thankful for the camera cues in this elaborate castle setting, and the game looks pretty good save a number of stretched textures. Some more colorful lighting could have helped too, but that about covers my gripes this time around. Recommended for those who are willing to have their wits tested." - SSJ6Wolf (29-Dec-2008)

"I'll cut to the chase with this one. Difficulty - hard. I can see this being a level that expert players will embrace as it has some challenging moments. If you're in the mood to be challenged and are very patient, then you'll enjoy the level without doubt. My gameplay preference is a bit more middle-of-the-road, so the level presented some hard times for me. Even with the presence of help from a group raiding thread, I still really struggled with this level. There's some interesting diversions such as one secret that requires a higher dificulty of the normal gameplay task to be done which was rather clever. There's an alternate ending, although I only saw one of these. In three situations you are presented with performing a move that requires considerable precision. The trouble is that these type of moves require a degree of luck, which for some can be 'fluked' very quickly but for others it may cause a lot of frustration as you take so many attempts to do the move. One gameplay element seemed particularly unfair with a vital Thistle Stone concealed in a reach-in-hole hidden behind a lever slider texture. The result being that the player can miss this and go off to do one of the hardest moves in the game only to find that they have to do it again, if they missed this pickup. A shortcut involving a shatter vase that bypasses a large part of the level could also play havoc with the player's experience. There's also some unmarked spikes, but at least you get a look at where these are triggered before they impale you. The pity of all this, is that this is otherwise a very good level. The architecture is good, drawing heavily from Willard's TR3Gold castle. Portal connections are used effectively to preview unvisited areas, or present tasks to be performed later on. The lighting and texturing is convincing (except for the visible paper-thin battlement tops of the buildings) and there's suitable audio cues and cameras. As mentioned already, one secret is very clever, but the other is too easy, which is kinda funny considering the difficulty of other parts of the main game. I believe there is a third secret, but I didn't locate that. Inventory is just enough, but watch your health - if you end up taking the harder route. Enemies are pretty standard Core items, and the 'Thing' provides a tough challenge. Other objects are used somewhat sparingly but are used effectively. My guess is that with this release the builder attempted to make the level a little more accessible for players generally than the original release, which I understand was even harder. To me, the builder didn't go far enough to make it more player-friendly. The level walks the line between being brilliantly clever and infuriatingly frustrating. Visually you certainly won't be disappointed playing this level, but be warned - Patience is your friend." - EssGee (19-Apr-2008)

"The level looks great and has a very complicated layout. It's one of those levels where it takes a while to learn the layout but when you do it becomes quite rewarding when you can remember where to go and how to get there. However, it was all ruined by a few infuriating game killing moments. First of all, there is a seemingly impossible jump over some water and sliding slopes. Being 4 squares across you think you cannot do it, but, using some kind of in-game bug, you can! How dare I not know of this bug before I attempted hundreds of times to jump across. Secondly, there is a point where you have to jump to get a rope but it is completely pixel perfect and I could not do it at all, I had to borrow a savegame. The motorbike jump took me about 10 tries, but I know that others had much worse problems with this. If this level was meant to be easier than the original, I think I might give that one a miss. I did like the fact that there were several routes you could take, and the castle itself is very aesthetically pleasing, but for me it was all ruined by those expert moments. Maybe use something like that for a secret and not actual gameplay?" - TrueRaider (19-Apr-2008)

"I have not played the original version (but might, just to see the differences) so all my impressions and ratings are purely based on this experience solely. And what an experience it is! I'm very fond of Tomb Raider 3 Gold, so if builders base their levels around any of those settings, it's the right start to win me over on their side. Of course it has to be done somewhat decently and have other aspects to make it a worthwhile raid, but being a level of Blacksheep, I had no doubts it will add up to that when all is said and done. The castle setting is convincing and done very well - I loved how you could see other areas way before you actually got to them, thus giving you a feeling about the shape of things to come. The areas as such are very nice looking, though don't stand out for anything in particular and the overall structure of the level impressed me more than any single area in the level. I also thought that on the whole the lighting was a bit flat and could've used a sun-bulb in every other room, but on the whole it did not spoil the experience. The tasks as you could expect from the author are creative, though easily approaching the 'very difficult' end of the difficulty spectrum. While the path is fairly linear (though offering an alternative take on the first 10 or so minutes of the total 40, and the option to choose an alternative ending if you find the first 2 (of the total 3) secrets) it doesn't appear to be so due to the complex setup of the whole castle and some of the tasks will constantly keep you guessing whether you're on the right track or not - with some nasty jumps, a bike ride, a plethora of SAS enemies among other things (not forgetting about the thing in the cellar of course!) will be the most likely causes of excitement during this raid here. And while I enjoyed the tasks offered overall, I wouldn't really recommend this level to beginners, who could get frustrated easily, as I did not enjoy every moment here myself. I always think it's faulty design if finding a secret is a simpler task than the actual challenge offered, and that was the case for me in the underground cave area where finding the 3rd rose of the level was complicated enough of its own - but the jump you really needed to perform to progress was not necessarily harder to execute, but definitely harder to figure out, and while I don't really mind unorthodox approaches to the well known, I thought this was a bit too far-fetched even for me, as I don't think I would've figured it out without the aid of other players giving away the solution to me. There were also a couple of other tricky moments, but they were more about figuring the 'how to do it?' rather than 'what to do exactly?' so I did not mind. There is also a bit of an unintentional shortcut - where if you manage to get the first SAS soldier you encounter to launch grenades, he will destroy a vase holding a crucial puzzle item early on, thus making your whole trip for the lasersight, and your bike ride utterly unnecessary to finish the game. For good or bad I noticed this only when I had already accomplished the above tasks, so I did not miss out on any of the tasks. In a nutshell - while it's definitely not an easy level to raid, it can be enjoyed by more experienced raiders for its trickier parts, and it's nice to look at all the way through, so if you enjoy a Scottish castle setting - I can give this my highest recommendations. Found 3 secrets." - eTux (18-Apr-2008)

"I really do not like the fact that we have been seeing so many revisions of levels recently when instead builders could have used the time to design more wonderful new levels, but I am sure the trend will pass. This adventure here, starts out much the same like the original level and then takes a few turns by switching piickups around, although the overall flow remains very similar. Thankfully the timed bike ride is no longer timed and thus the level does not have the frustration level of the original which is a plus. It was also short for me at 45 minutes, as it was quite clear where to go each time. It is possible to shoort the vase in the water with the shotgun and manual targeting, but all it does is confuse the sequence of events, so I would advise against it. All in all, a little easier than the original but otherwise if have played one you know the other." - MichaelP (17-Apr-2008)

"Very good with pieces of very closely spaced from one another. Textures are well known and well placed, and the game play is quite difficult, I had not played in the first version, and I was blocked by machine guns a time ! I really liked the end with the helicopter! to reserve for experts." - Minox (13-Dec-2007)

"A good old TR game !!! I got confused, and lost the first time thru, and started over with the walkthru. I found the locations for the garage key and the crowbar were reversed in the walkthru, so I started winging it again. The Nitrous Oxide (LOL gas) didn't seem to work. Anyway, I finally made it thru, but where was the Thing ??? I guess that spider was it - at least for me, cause I hate spiders... That last part was a real challenge - maybe I was nervous. Good game, Blacksheep !!!" - Juno Jim (21-Nov-2007)

"This new version is a bit better than the previous, 'cause I had not suffer the very tight timed run with the bike, but the game has not changed so much, only the placement for some objects and few more, basically architecture and another features are the same so, if you want more detailed comments you can read my first comments for the first version. A good work with a TR3 touch." - Jose (01-Nov-2007)

"First of all, please make sure your version is 'Revised'. Time trial by motorcycle is not the Revised one. Though the first version is pretty nice level of course, particularly it has extra funs to find shortcuts, the Revised version contains gorgeous new-added secret and a very mysterious story. Through the level, subduded colored texture well express a desolate old castle with some 'stoty'. Lighting is also a bit gloomy, but it's not the level that impede your game playing. Moreover lightings are very effectively disposed and it makes quite a scene everywhere. Enter the structure, save your game before pick up the Trapdoor Key. When you pick it up, the first drama starts! There are two choices. Pushable block puzzle-route is so nice! (puzzle is hard ... I couldn't solve it by myself), but sentry guns course is ... just marvelous. As eRIC also says, it's worth enough getting big damage. Pass through the sentry guns with difficulty, you'll find how well the map is made! and also you'll meet an unexpected person there. At next rocky area (after short swimming underwater tunnel), you have to clear a little bit technique-need jump (Qunai-like jump). But everyone who try this point, get the next route, I think. I feel very happy when I did it. At this rocky area, you have the chance to get the second Golden Rose. I do hope you get it especially when you play in the first version to get nice scene ... When pick up the Garage Key, you get the considerate cut scene of the place. This is a small thing, but it's a indispensable factor for a good level. I am thankful that the time trial by motorcycle is cut on this version. But even in this easy situation, I still had a hard time to jump over the water, due to my bad technique. When you have exhausted yourself jumping, do get off the bike and take a short rest for beautiful scene that reminds of TR3-GOLD and walk about to see the clever map. I really like this place. Set two Thistle Stones to open the door, and enter the last area where has another big change from the first version. If you chose 'sentry guns course, you could get the extra item which leads you to another new-added nice room where you would find again the smart scheme. Now the battle with the big spider. While the spider being stunning, place the last Thistle Stone and ... umm ... that's the story. 'The Thing in the Cellar' is so important. That's why the extraordinary trick ... you know. Thanks to the author, blacksheep to make such wonderful level filled with the essence of old TR. I had a really gorgeous time. Last of all, I want to speak about fantastic shortcuts in the first version. If you have the first one, I do recommend you to find them. After clear the level, finding shortcuts is a great fun, isn't it? You can get one of them from You Tube and I still can't clear that point ... very frustrating ... but I made a success of another cool one! So I'm satisfied. Try them after enjoying normal playing!" - Teacake (29-Oct-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-Oct-2007)

"As I have not played the former version of the level, I can not say if this revised one is very different, but according to the walkthrough of the former, yes it seems that the gameplay and some puzzles are completely changed. For example , key pickups are not at all at the same place, there is now two different endings depending on the fact you get all secrets or not, and the challenge with the motorcycle seems to be easier now. I won't complain as I found this level challenging enough without that, with a couple of difficult moves. There is also a challenge with sentry guns but it was not so hard and gave great satisfaction when eventually suceeded. Watch for your health though , as after this point there are more than one enemy waiting for Lara without counting those sentry guns. This is quite a well built level in a compact and clever map where the areas connect well together, avoiding then too much backtracking. Extremly well placed enemies and a progression that is not confusing , are also big upsides to the level, despite the fact I was stuck a couple of times. All in all, a complete level in each of the categories. It is a pity I could not grab one of the secrets I could see , so to experience the other ending." - eRIC (19-Oct-2007)
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