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Level: Legend of Ancient 2/3 back home search
Author(s): Ader
total rating:7.46 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 8 8 8 8
dmdibl 8 9 8 7
eRIC 6 8 5 6
Gerty 7 8 8 9
guss18 8 8 8 8
Jay 9 8 8 9
Jose 5 6 7 8
Leeth 4 5 7 6
manarch2 8 8 8 8
MichaelP 10 8 9 9
Phil 8 8 8 9
Ryan 6 7 8 8
Zhyttya 4 5 6 8
category averages
(13 reviews)
7.00 7.38 7.54 7.92

Reviewer's comments

"About the gameplay, it seems that the author have released a new version of the game since the walkthrough was written, 'cause the timed runs were not so hard for me and I was able to finish without cheating; even so, I found some hard jumps in level 3, in the starting area with the deadly pool and also in the small room with deadly floor and low ceiling. I never understood the hint in the scroll about the birds for the 5 movable blocks puzzle. About the enemies; only the knights and big bugs (and two big knights in the final rooms) is a poor offer; where is the variety? Many rooms without enemies and too many enemies in the final rooms. Very few musics, sometimes the cameras try to guide the player but another times there are not hints (when you pick up the last scroll the player can't see the spikes stopping). A good work with the texturization, but the rooms are too dark for my taste, only to play by night. A couple of levels only for patient players." - Jose (02-Aug-2017)

"Hmm, I have mixed opinions about these next two sections, but I regret to say they lean towards the negative sides. First, the good points: some neat gameplay ideas including some enjoyable timed runs, pushable blocks, boss battles, nostalgic and solidly made settings, good choice of music and an ingenious method of killing a hammergod (I'll let you find out for yourselves). So why the reduced gameplay score? Well, there were too many frustrating parts: pixel precision jumps, an overlong swimming sequence, the incorrect block puzzle hints (I actually never found the corresponding scroll, so just used the handy walkthrough map) and the need to DOZY for one of the secrets. Not required but still a shame. Nevertheless, I will brave the final sections because I'm aiming to review the entire series." - Ryan (11-Apr-2017)

"A "very challenged" level. It has impossible puzzles by the solutions given in-game, it has broken .exe that you have to change even if given with the zip, there are secrets impossible to get without teaching Lara how to fly (DOZY) and some of the hit boxes are ridiculous and above all you can lose a box making it impossible to end the game. Gameplay wise seems like an unfinished level that didn't had everything tested and that's a big flaw if you want puzzle of this magnitude. And that's the reason for my 4. Enemies were buggy, objects were WAY TO LAZY (always the Zeus star.. really?) and secrets were impossible to get on the regular way. Atmosphere sound and cameras were ok.. sometimes the camera bugged out.. Seems like testing a game wasn't even something to think about. Lightning was good but the textures were nothing special.. Will recommend this level ONLY if you have a lot of patient and don't mind getting wrong solutions for puzzles, box disappearing and impossible timed runs.. This is not challenging, this is just annoying" - Leeth (23-Nov-2015)

"Compared to the previous level this next installment didn't made things any better. The difficulty surely rised a good amount but unfortunately,some parts are near impossible to make, that had to ignore my principles and use the dozy cheat (the author seemed to make it available). It also seems that is possbile to get through some time runs without using the cheat, but it requires a level of patience really high. Theres also a box that disappears if you solve the puzzle the wrong way. Besides the puzzles and gameplay the atmosphere didn't change a lot. While the main area it's "airy" it doesn't cover up the monotonous ambient through the whole levels. So in the end if you are up for a real challenge this is the level for you, but prepare for some pretty broken timers." - Zhyttya (23-Nov-2015)

"Hidden City (9-8-8-8) - 60 minutes: Certainly the best level of the series. The gameplay keeps you on your toes and there are so many fun tasks and puzzles to solve here that even a few slightly more boring and not so well set up things are forgiven. The overall difficulty is reasonable but gives you enough to be satisfied when you've got through and I also liked the map layout with a rather well designed hub area and many side quests to solve. The appearance and killing of the hammer god is really smartly done, in general the enemy placement is rather effective. The visuals also feel a bit more better than in the first level, the textures (while still not perfect) are placed with more care. The lighting wasn't really too dark for me, but lacks contrast in a few areas so they feel overly grey as a result. But there are areas where is isn't a problem and I really liked the look and feel here.
Palace of Guardian (8-8-8-8) - 30 minutes: You have to exchange the exe file to be able to play a crash-free version of this one - a rather odd thing, but once you get started this level is also rather enjoyable. The timed run at the start is not that hard (DOZY not needed here) if you don't jump onto the breaktile but grab its ledge and shimmy to the left. Unfortunately the secret is impossible to get without the cheat - why the builder didn't notice that is a mystery to me. Still, there are good tasks like the spike wall and the block puzzle (which IS possible to solve on your own if you use the compass correctly). On the other side, there are a few more boring parts (especially climbing the ladder to get to the various stages of the hub) and also avoidable things like one paperthin wall, the health loss, unintended shortcuts and a dead end if you didn't find the artifact in the first level and slide down the slope later in the second. The looks are mainly of the same quality, but a bit of diversity after the first level would've been even better. The boss fight here is quite intense and nicely designed.
Summary: There are admittedly a few things in this game that deter it from being quite a masterpiece, most of which would've been solved by more thorough beta (or even, like in the case of the secret, alpha) testing, but on the whole I found this to be a quite underestimated game that has received way too few reviews after so many years. The use of DOZY is not mandatory to finish it, and there are no frustratingly difficult tasks in it either, so this should have received more attention as it's a not perfect, but mostly entertaining and classic looking effort that took me 90 minutes to finish." - manarch2 (10-Aug-2015)

"Young writers of fiction have some misconceptions, among them the premise that withholding information from the reader is a neat idea. They'll tell you about a planned story in which the last sentence reveals that the protagonist is in a wheelchair. They just don't get it. The power of a story results from revealed information. And whatever you think of L. Ron Hubbard as a writer, he has a nice essay in which he dismisses surprises, and rates suspense as everything (perhaps the only area where he coincides with Shakespeare). I happen to agree. Often one can apply the criteria of fiction writing to Tomb Raider levels. So I have a profound difference of opinion with the author of these levels. I think that having Lara on top of a giant Sphinx, as in TR1, with an illuminated room where we can see, leads to apprehension and fear that Lara may fall. But putting Lara into a dimly lit towering hall not only loses the grandeur of the setting, but leads to a complete lack of interest. These levels mostly use TR1 textures, but TR1 had magical lighting, while here the lighting is so unrelievedly bad that it is impossible to appreciate the architecture or scenery. Some reviews have said these are difficult levels. I'm not sure that they are difficult; I just didn't have the patience to repeatedly try timed runs in such dreary surroundings. In these two levels I see lots of surprise: Lara runs to an innocent-looking floor lever and--wham!--spikes. But where is the suspense and apprehension, elements that are so often present in TR1? You need to be able to see, to have information, to have these crucial elements. These levels have good design and texturing (if one uses the binoculars), there are multistep puzzles with numerous push blocks and switches, and difficult jumps. One high point was that Lara set a spike field for the Hammer God--who is normally indestructible--and he eventually ran into the spikes and expired. Good. I did spot some defects. Near the end, after slope jumps over a flaming floor, there was an obvious paper-thin rock wall. At one point Lara pushed a block to the end of a hall, jumped on it to light a wall torch, and a door failed to open as expected. It turned out the push block had to be directly under the wall torch, even though there weren't any marked tiles. But the main point is that a clearly talented author made deliberate choices to obscure and confuse, and I think his decisions greatly detract from the impact of these two levels. Perhaps the scores should have been higher, but they reflect my experience while playing." - dmdibl (15-Jun-2009)

"I played this two-level release on something of a whim, expecting something CIL-like on the order of difficulty (judging from the reviews and comments in the walkthrough). But I was pleasantly surprised during the nearly four hours that I spent here. When the normally stalwart Harry is obliged to use the flycheat, you know that you're letting yourself in for a tough raid, but aside from the two or three problem areas that he mentioned I had no problem making my way through the rest of this complicated adventure. Be aware, however, that the map for the pushblock puzzle in the walkthrough is backwards, so just turn it upside down and you'll be fine. Since I have no philosophical aversion to using the flycheat, as is widely known, and since the builder presumably left DOZY enabled for a reason, my enjoyment of the 99% that can be played without undue burden was unalloyed. The lighting, the surroundings, the puzzles, the enemies, and the overall pace of the gameplay combine to make this release a diamond in the rough that should really be played and reviewed more than it has been to date. High recommendations." - Phil (07-Jan-2009)

"This certainly was a challenging raid I would not have made it through without the walkthrough...but anytime you may or may not have to use a cheat really takes away from the overall gameplay. The puzzles were interesting even though the solution at times was somewhat confusing. Hard to locate switches and items and really tight timed run as well as very tricky jumps. A few more cameras would have made the experience much more enjoyable. Very few enemies and I thought the way you killed the hammer god was rather unique. My thanks to Gerty in her review for the solution of the block puzzle without out it I probably would have been stuck and given up. I can only recommend this for someone that is looking for a challenge." - guss18 (29-Oct-2008)

"Initially confusing, the use of sometimes obscure puzzle solutions; wrong clues and reversed compass directions makes this two level set a hard one to complete. Fortunately, there is a walkthrough and the author has enabled DOZY. A use of the 2 step/jump seems necessary in a few places and I think this would have rated higher if it were shortened. Too much of the same atmosphere was....too much. On the plus side, the solution to the hammer god was fun with some intense moments and gameplay was sometimes fluid. The rooms are well built, making this a good download for the expert Raider who is looking for a challenge with, at times, some intense gameplay." - Bene (25-Oct-2008)

"Well, I tell you what - I am not surprised that this adventure sequel is not getting more reviews because yes, it is not a walk in the park and a few elements are so tough that many players may have given up and not finished at all. On the other hand I would like to encourage every raider with a bit more experience who likes a challenge to try this one and you will not regret it. I only had to revert to DOZY to get the one secret as there is technically no other way to get it, which I guess is simply a miss on behalf of the builder but everything else can be perfectly managed with a bit of patience and is not as "Japanese" in difficulty as some people might expect.
Hidden City (10/8/8/8, 90 min.): There is simply too much packed into this level to mention it all. Some highlights are the area with the hammergod (which you can kill with the use of spikes), a few original timed sequences and a few clever area with push/raising blocks and switches. Contrary to the prequel, this level is a bit short on cameras, so at times you may search quite a bit for that next open door. Enemies are not a big factor - just a few knights (tinmen), skeletons and wasps. It really is essentially a hunt for keys (often hard to see) and switches, but the diversity in getting to them is great and it is pure fun to get from one stage to the next. Make sure you do have the Mystical Guardian with you before moving into the next part.
Palace of Guardian (9/8/9/9, 45 min., 1 secret): Another wow room that this level is centered around with its three levels and the central ledge structure. Impressive and it does not let you in easy with quite a challenging timed run at the start and one or two pixel perfect jumps to master along the way. The confused compass does not really help with the 5 block puzzle room (stick to North as per the needle and then move the blocks per real directions and not per compass) and that the secret can only be reached using DOZY is really a bummer. I also did not manage to pull the four underwater levels quick enough, so needed a big medi to survive there, which was probably designed this way by the author but I found it unfair, just like the fire run in the previous part. At the end you get a big battle area with many knights including two of the big guys,although you can of course kill them all fairly quickly and then the looping drama music gets a bit on your nerves while you collect all the needed items and master a double timed run.
All in all, a highly entertaining challenging action packed adventure. Try it if you dare!" - MichaelP (01-Aug-2008)

"What a waste ! This long double feature has very good puzzles and ideas along the way , but is not enjoyable for several reasons : firstly the levels are dark the lighting average and the atmosphere rather poor, secondly there are some technical issues with missing sounds, doors which are placed the wrong way and Lara can even be trapped in the invisible blocks when the doors close, without speaking of the scroll that has wrong hints for a pushable block puzzle. And last but not least , if it was not for Harry's walkthrough I would have given up the game given the trickiness of some of the actions and puzzles , plus a confusing gameplay for lack of camera work. One example to illustrate this is the timed door where you don't have a clue about where the timed run begins. On the upside , the author has taken great advantage of the patch(es) (why two patches ?) to create good puzzles with pushable blocks where you can stand upon them , and some good work too for the enemies in general (The hammerguy for example). I also missed some more medipacks. All in all, there are too many issues and trickiness to have a good time playing." - eRIC (15-Jun-2008)

"I have two minds about this level. This builder for sure knows how to build. There are however some major gameplay stoppers. First you can leave level 1 without the two pieces that make up the Mystical Guardian and after the slide into the last part of level 2 you never can get back. Then there is the false information you get on the Ancient note how to solve the block puzzle. Here is the right solution: Block I goes NW, II goes NE and III goes SE, IV goes SW and the unmarked one in the middle. A pity that you had to get the TOMB4 exe from the builder's first level as you need to or else you cannot climb blocks. The second level however crashes if you don't use the TOMB4 exe that is included in the download. In my opinion this level hasn't been tested by beta testers or else it would have come to the attention of the builders that parts of level 1 you can miss and parts aren't working properly as the way the builder had intended (the dying of the Hammergod doesn't work through the spikes, comes to mind). Also that block puzzle in level 2 could have been detected. There is also a lack of camera work, so figuring out what a certain action does, especially when doing a timed run is a pain in the neck. There are also fun things to do throughout and nothing is that frustrating hard, but exploring is a must. Also a must is that one shouldn't be able to leave a level without the necessary things unless one can go back and retrieve it" - Gerty (14-May-2008)

"I loved the first part of this series and so was more than ready to resume playing. Initially, I was really confused by the game, but when I returned to it the next day it seemed far more logical and playable (and the moral of the story is don't raid if you're having an especially blonde day). It is in fact a most enjoyable and well crafted (in every sense) two part level, that provides an excellent mix of gameplay (puzzles, agility tests all good, not too many enemies) with just enough challenge to intrigue and entertain without ever reaching hair-tearing-out territory. Plus, it's those St Francis' Folly TR1 style textures that I like so much, so I found the surroundings entirely agreeable." - Jay (08-Apr-2008)
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