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Level: The forgotten Volcano back home search
Author(s): Raildex
total rating:6.30 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
eRIC 7 6 7 6
eTux 6 5 7 6
Gerty 6 8 7 6
Jack& 4 4 4 2
Jay 7 5 7 7
Jerry 7 5 6 5
Jose 7 7 6 7
MichaelP 9 8 8 7
misho98 6 6 8 5
Moonpooka 7 6 6 6
Phil 8 7 7 8
Ryan 8 7 7 7
totizedger 7 6 6 7
Treeble 6 7 8 7
Vaughnage 4 3 5 4
category averages
(15 reviews)
6.60 6.00 6.60 6.00

Reviewer's comments

"After reading a few of the reviews, I went into this one, not expecting a whole lot, but surprisingly I had a good time with this one. With the aid of the walkthrough I was able to avoid many of the stopping points and buggy exercises that others described. Frustration arose a couple of times, particularly with that pixel perfect jump and the scarcity of some of the ammo pickups, but I made it all the way through without having to resort to any outside methods. The first part is merely an introduction to the far more elaborate and engaging second part, set in and around an Atlantean pyramid. The AI of the enemies was somewhat dodgy, as sometimes they attacked and sometimes they just stood stock still. The fixed cameras were also an annoyance, but I grinned and bore it. Anyway, I feel that this is somewhat underrated at this point, hence my slightly raised scores. I had an enjoyable time here." - Ryan (24-May-2018)

"Here's another under-reviewed and under-appreciated gem from about 10 years ago. It's divided into two parts of greatly unequal lengths. All told I spent nearly two hours here, and the second segment in the Atlantean underworld is by far the longer and more elaborate of the two. Harry Laudie has provided his typically thorough walkthrough, and with effort I was able to make the one jump that he found impossible (stand at the point of the near platform, hop back, jump up once and take a running jump, keeping the jump key depressed, to land without grab on the corner of the far platform). However, there was an earlier timed run that took me a number of tries even with the flycheat. You pull down the timed switch and jump left to an upper ledge with the timed door. Sounds simple, but unless you're supposed to reach that ledge without grabbing and pulling up (I couldn't do it) you're simply given insufficient time. Anyway, I have to agree with Michael's review. This is a very "busy" raid with lots to do, and although the fixed cameras in the first level were more than annoying, the action-packed second level more than made up for this shortcoming. Lighting is fine throughout, so flares are never necessary. Recommended." - Phil (21-Feb-2018)

"Decided to try this one out as i haven't played any levels in this category yet and i must say that this one wasn't so bad. The gameplay is fast paced and enjoyable with lots of timed runs, almost too many to be honest. Lighting is decent in the second level but the first one is a little bit too dark and there were a bit too many fixed cameras which got annoying after a while. Enemies were mutants, bats and some guards where the flying mutants were really annoying and kept throwing me off ledges and the other kind was bugged as they sometimes wouldn't move at all and because of that were easy to kill, they also had a hard time hitting you because they kept shooting way above your head. Texturing was decent but i saw a missing texture here and there. The worst part of the adventure is without any doubt the lack of bullets which you need at the end of the level, make sure to get the shotgun which i sadly missed and you may have a much easier time than me. One funny moment i had was seeing a mutant getting killed by boulders. What makes me not rate the gameplay higher than a 7 is because of some frustrating moments where one is at the end after the boss where you need to get over the lava to the other side, putting a mutant right after the boss was not a good decision, it kept pushing me down into the lava and it wasn't easy to shoot it either so i encountered a bug where the lava is and that is the fact that i was able to stand on it and get to the other side easily. It all ends with a crash to the desktop but this level offers some quite nice gameplay and i enjoyed most of it. Recommended!!!" - totizedger (16-Aug-2017)

"In the beginning I thought that this is an epic underrated level. I didn't had a big problem with the fixed cameras, even if they were annoying at time because they didn't let you to see everything. Gameplay was good. Some entertaining tasks in the first level, which I think was way better than the second. Enemies acted weird. Some of them didn't attacked Lara at all and some of them were shooting at the celling. The last task in the first level was pretty good. The guards had missing sounds. Atmosphere is the "strong thing" in this level - gives you memories from TR1. Lighting and lighting weren't bad but it could've been so much better especially in those huge areas like the last room in the first level or in the main room in the second level. It took me about an hour to beat this. Also the earthquake was a little too long for me, I don't know if this is in the game or some bug that I've encountered." - misho98 (15-Aug-2012)

"It really is a shame that the builder didn't had any good beta testers because as game-play goes, this could have been a great level set. Now it does fall short on bugs, and some of them are nasty. For me personally I didn't liked the fixed camera's at the first level, they always make me feel queasy especially if you can't break out of them as is the case here. Found some invisible blocks in front of doors and there are some hard jumps to make as well as nasty timed runs. You will be reloading quite a lot. In the second level there is a trapdoor that opens the wrong way and also a nasty underwater tunnel you will be drowning there for sure. A pity that those huge swords were hanging not properly but disappeared into the ceiling, so all you saw were the tips of them. What really spoiled it was the nasty earthquake. Texture wise they could use a lot of TLC. As said before, game-play wise this is well thought of. I spend about 5 hours on this two level set, so that should say something." - Gerty (09-Mar-2010)

"It is amazing how a few key builder choices can drive such a low average score for what I would call a very engaging and entertaining level. Much has been mentioned about bugs and game stopping moments, none of which actually proved true when I was playing this now. You do NOT need to use DOZY - but yes, there is one very tight corner-to-corner pixelperfect jump to master. You do NOT need to use the shotgun aiming feature to hit a target, as there is always a way to do it with pistols only. That said, here are my comments for the two levels:
Volcano (8/7/8/7, 30 mins, 2 secrets): This turns out to be an 'opener' with easy, yet interesting progression through the caves. It would have worked better with less fixed cameras, but they really do not get into the way much. I ended up repeating the round trip a few too many times, but you need to go at least three times if you want the secret up there. Enemies are only a few bats and rats. I liked the drop into the lava room and the lava balls to watch out for. You then run into your first centaurs and indeed they are easy victims due to their rather stupid behaviour. It is a pity that there are sound issues with most enemies (as in no sounds), but not too much of a problem. At the end you get to hop to the top of the pyramid and a timed run to the open doors.
Pyramid (9/8/8/7, 75 mins, 1 secret): A simple, yet effective concept: Work your way up a long way through and around a huge central tower room. The tasks to manage along the way are mostly quite diverse, even though you get to run a few too many empty connecting hallways at times. The enemies are a challenge more by their count than their strength and I really liked being back in such an Atlantis setting, as it has been a while for me. There is quite a number of timed tasks, none of which are too tight, but they still keep you on your toes and some clever use of push and raising blocks. Once you figure out that you need to shoot those targets, the gameplay is always fluent without being too boring. There is a glitch near the end in how to pick up the blue gem prior to the boss fight, as I ended up picking it up out of thin air in front of the square NEXT to the one it actually sits on (?).
All in all, I found this an ambitious and engaging debut level, with its faults and glitches, but really nothing that would warrant some of the very low scores posted by some of my fellow reviewers. Give it a try and see for yourself!" - MichaelP (15-Feb-2010)

"A two part level that reminds to the Natla's mines and Atlantis levels from TR1, but with a somewhat different level design and gameplay. Level architecture is not bad, not so well textured, but with a fairly good atmosphere. What really bothered me though was the overuse of fixed cams in the first level with Lara often being out of sight, not knowing where to go, or doing jumps blindly without having a look around first.Those fixed cams are a pest and that's all they are. On the other hand there could have been some more fixed cams (camera hints) showing what happened after pulling a switch or shooting a target. Apart from that the first level is quite easy with pulling switches, avoiding some bolders and killing a couple of bats and guards. The second level is much longer and harder, it's making your way up a maze-like pyramid with many timed runs (too many for my taste), some of whom are very tight. Also there are many flying and poisonous mutants, and far too little medipacks and too little ammo spread throughout the level. I'd recommend this two-parter only to advanced players." - Jerry (19-Feb-2009)

"The Volcano (30 minutes, 2 secrets): this level is very reminiscent of Natla's Mines, and most of the areas make use of fixed cameras (only one actually could hinder progression, but you can break it by holding the Look button down). Towards the end, when the centaurs attack in packs, more often than not they just freeze. The last double doors opened the wrong way as far as I can tell, but it was ok. Gameplay was rather linear and not taxing at all. The Pyramid (45 minutes): while it starts out great, in a mix of design and gameplay similar to The Great Pyramid of the original Tomb Raider and Anniversary, soon it becomes evident the lack of a beta test. Some of the jumps in the shaft are pixel precise, and after two dozen failed tries, I tried dozying and to my surprise it was enabled. In what was the last room to me, I also had to dozy since the horizontal pistons simply froze and would not allow Lara to reach the lever -- not that it changed anything since there still was an invisible wall blocking my way to the crystal room. There was also no background audio playing throughout the level, a few untextured spots and fall through trapdoors in one of the side rooms. Gameplay is quite varied, but unfortunately the flaws are quite evident. If you want some good nostalgia, play these levels, but be aware of its problems. 75 minutes, 2 secrets. 10/08" - Treeble (17-Oct-2008)

"This was a bit of a strange game for me to review because I loved the first part, which is based around Natla's Mines, but the second part is based around the Atlantis levels and I didn't like it too much. Firstly, I do wish the builder had got some good testers in as the tacky texturing rather spoilt things, but even so, the trek through the caves was fun, traps, bats and a gunman keep Lara busy, and nicely placed secrets and some interesting game play made up for the odd missing texture. The latter half of this game was not my cup of tea at all. Firstly I had a lot of issues with the Atlantean demons not animating, and they were easy pickings for Lara. You will basically be making your way up to the top of an inner chamber, and there are some odd objects to shoot on the walls to trigger doors and hatches, but this all became rather tiresome for me, and I nearly went nuts when the earth quake appeared because it went on, and on, and on, and all this while trying to tackle tricky jumps and timed doors left me quite exhausted, not to mention frustrated. All in all though, I did enjoy the first half of this game so my credits are really aimed at that, and I am also bearing in mind this is a first level from this author. The only advice I would like to give to Jean is, please get your levels tested because they show great potential, and all that hard work could have gotten a higher rating. But also a huge thanks to Jean because we just don't see enough Natla's Mines type levels and I love them, so I had a lot of fun in the first half of this game." - Moonpooka (01-Oct-2008)

"Here we can remember two levels of the last ones from TR1. Although they are two levels from scratch, the first can remember you Natla's mines and the second the Atlantean levels. Levels are good but the second one is very hard: very tricky jumps, very hard enemies and few ammo to shoot it. If you don't discover the shotgun in a secret place near the beginning sure that you'll have problems. Don't waste medipacks, the winging creatures are poisonous and many times you'll have to use them. There are a lot of timed runs too, sometimes difficult, but possible. The second level is very very long, and there is a very high pit made with a lot of stacked rooms and many other ones around to can go up. At the end you expect to find the scion in the gyratory artifact, but... Good work but sometimes can be frustrating." - Jose (16-Sep-2008)

"I'll just cut to the chase, it's not the greatest level ever made, but it shows the the author has potential to do better in the next project he/she is working on. Nothing is really spectacular about it, it's just a pretty easy raid, so if you're a beginning raider, choose a small level like this" - Vaughnage (14-Sep-2008)

"Here's a debut level I would tag under 'Where's the rush?' as it seems the author has released it without having it tested at all, as the existence of an updated release proves as well. And that's a pity, as underneath all the ugly issues it actually is a very good level, especially for a debut. Based on the original Atlantis levels from the first game, due to the author's original ideas it is more a homage to them rather than a remake, which is always a good thing. The gameplay usually relies on you fighting the atlantean baddies, variations of the original puzzles plus some interesting timed runs and jumps. Sometimes I felt that there were too many timed runs there, the collision on some of the traps and enemies seem to be made for the sole purpose of irritating the player (as are the fixed camera angles at the start of the game) and I was not sure how I was supposed to figure out that the crystal can be picked up from its adjacent tile? There are a few other nasty issues - closer to the final room, if you do things in the wrong order (or save & reload during the process) you will have an invisible wall blocking you from entering the final rooms, and of course there are the sound issues. The sad thing of course is that with some decent beta testing all of this could've been ironed out before the release - so while the drive and the skills to build excellent levels is there - the author should take the necessary measures for his follow up projects to release them with minimum problems. If you can overlook or avoid the issues - this is by far not a bad level, but of course that doesn't change the fact that they should not be there in the first place." - eTux (01-Sep-2008)

"If you like messing about in caves, you'll be in your element with this one. It's (all together now)"another debut level" and falls into the 'has its faults, but it's still worth playing' category. The Atlantean baddies have a tendency to fire over Lara's head or get stuck so they're a bit ineffectual, having to use dozy to be able to finish the game is offputting to say the least (although I was glad of the flares) and, aaaaargh, an earthquake - these are not a few of my favourite things. Still, despite its flaws, the level has much to enjoy and this new builder shows obvious potential. With a little more care and attention, I feel he could bring us some very fine levels indeed." - Jay (29-Aug-2008)

"A bit difficult to rate this couple of levels inspired by the TR1 Natla's caves and Atlantis levels. An adventure with a good concept and good potential to entertain, and with some interesting bits, but which is a bit spoiled for several reasons.
GAMEPLAY/PUZZLES
In the first level [30 minutes], interesting gameplay in general with no great puzzles but a few interesting moves to perform, a few traps and timed doors, and cracks to spot in the walls of the caves. There is also the challenge with the climbing of the pyramid with flat spots while avoiding rollingballs. Only a detail but in the final cave, the upper rocks can be reached but I wonder if it was intended by the author, as there was nothing there, except an illegal slope and no No_Collision applied for the triangular squares. Some advanced skills are displayed such as the use of sinks and flipmaps and the use of No_Collision/Transparency in general. This level is rather easy. Don't miss the secret Shotgun.
The second level [1 hour 20] is more challenging and the difficulty goes crescendo as you go upper around the big shaft. In fact the concept of this level is inspired by the great Atlantean level in TR1 but with different gameplay and different adjacent rooms. It is always straightforward and there are good puzzles here, like a puzzle with doors, the use of movable blocks where Lara can stand upon, a Damocles room, and a great puzzle with shooting, movable blocks and trapdoors. There are also challenging timed doors and traps and jumps. No laser-sight nor the appropriate weapons to shoot the targets. You have to do it in some cases with the pistols in other cases with the shotgun. The author managed to mix some gameplay elements together to increase a bit the challenge, for example a jumpswitch that opens a timed door itself protected by a teeth door, or when Lara lands on a narrow platform with two flying mutants on her back and a rollingball is coming. It is at the top near the end of the level that a major annoyance occurred, as Lara has to jump over non functioning big horizontal hammers and because of the collision of these objects, it is almost impossible to pass them. What a tricky and I must say bad idea of gameplay!
OBJECTS/ENEMIES/SECRETS
Rats, bats, a few SAS, and Centaurs in the first level. Centaurs, flying Atlantean mutants, and the big Natla monster in the 2nd level. The Centaurs are very 'dumb' enemies: either they stay there without doing nothing (you can nevertheless kill them as the ones in the 1st level hold keys) or they are shooting at Lara but automatically miss her each time :] On the opposite the flying mutants were tough enemies as they are poisonous and they generally show up when you don't have too much place to manoeuvre. A major annoyance to the level is the lack of ammos. I quite like the emplacement of the 2 secrets I've found, out of the 3 to disposition. There are some good and new objects used in the 2nd level, like the double-size trapdoor, some static object for the architecture, the shooting targets or the new Damocles swords.
ATMOSPHERE/SOUNDS/CAMERAS
There are a few missing sounds, and I am not sure that all fixed cameras were necessary. On the upside, appropriate background atmosphere in the first level, and the flybys are okay. As no particular background audio loop was provided in the download for the 2d level, I found myself playing with the Coastal ruins audio in the Atlantean pyramid :], so I replaced the Audio track 105 with a more appropriate one.
TEXTURING/LIGHTING
The 1st level was rather dark and texturing average, better in the second level as the shaping of the blocks is a fortiori less complicated than in caves. Still I found a few missing textures here also." - eRIC (28-Aug-2008)

"this is a perfect example of a begginer builder wich want to make a good level have ideas for it but but cannot build it to pe playable ........ beside very bad wallpapered textures alot off silly 3rd person views and lack off medipacks he try to pump it up with some timed runs .....but execution is very bad alot off buggs in the one .......... well to make it stright ........... THIS GAME SUCKS .......... worthles to download it and waste ur time play it cheers ......" - Jack& (26-Aug-2008)
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