Level: 1000 Feet Under back home search
Author(s): Patricia
total rating:9.13 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Bene 9 10 10 10
dmdibl 9 9 9 9
ersatz 10 10 10 10
eTux 8 10 10 9
Gerty 7 10 9 9
guss18 9 9 9 9
Jack& 7 10 10 9
Jay 10 9 10 10
JesseG 8 10 9 10
Jorge22 9 9 9 9
Jose 5 8 9 10
MichaelP 9 8 9 9
Phil 10 9 10 8
Ruben 10 9 10 9
Ryan 9 10 10 9
Samu 9 9 9 9
Scottie 9 8 8 9
Torry 8 9 10 9
category averages
(18 reviews)
8.61 9.22 9.44 9.22

Reviewer's comments

"Here we have another one of those levels with extremely tight timed runs and insufficient clues in game to allow the player to proceed without the aid of a walk through. The levers inside the skull were mastered by trial and error as I had no idea the clue to solving this was on the ceiling of the cave. If Lara had of looked at the ceiling upon entering the cave in the beginning this would have helped. Perhaps this action was somewhere else within the level but I never saw it. Textures were amazing and I did not find the level to be too dark. Sure there are dark areas but sufficient flares are provided to counteract this. The initial vista on entering the skull cave was glorious. Some tasks were simply too repetitious and could have been simplified in my opinion and there was too much back tracking for my liking. Another one of those great albeit frustrating level sets that without a walk through you will be tearing your hair out." - Torry (19-Mar-2018)

"My God, what a complex level! For a debut level this is an amazing achievement. Even the first flyby of a stone skull lighting up as you commence the game is worth the download. There is no way I would have made sufficient progress without Phil's helpful walkthrough. Brilliant texturing and atmospheric (if a bit dark) lighting. There's no denying it is ingeniously constructed with some good puzzles, torch work and combat sequences. If you have the walkthrough handy, this will be an enjoyable adventure. Do play it - it's too good to be missed." - Ryan (04-Oct-2016)

"I distinctly remember testing this excellent debut offering by Patricia years and years ago, and I was already very impressed by some of its elements even in the testing phase. In light of that I was all the more surprised about my total memory failure on trying to play its released version without added help. Sure, the areas and tasks themselves seemed familiar in their own right, but the correct sequences and connections between them must have been overwritten in my mind over time. But I think in this case it takes two to tango, and I don't want to take all the blame for being a bad follow. There's simply no denying that the first area the first level throws on you, namely the titular skull cave, is terrifyingly huge and absolutely overwhelming for a level's starting area. You can go on covering it from top to bottom for well over 20 minutes without actually achieving anything worthwhile gameplaywise. Depending on where you actually start to progress you might end up covering the entire cave up and down much more than you'd prefer, but I guess this could've simply been avoided by a more systematic approach from my end. As mentioned, since I was a beta-tester, I absolutely refused to reach out for the walkthrough and hoped that eventually my memory will be jogged into place as I start accomplishing something. In the end it worked well enough, and as you pick up the first, then the second turquoise gem, things start falling into place and you already begin getting a good grasp of the area. And when it does, you can truly appreciate the level's numerous clever moments in all its aspects - the clever set up for traps, a sneaky SAS stealing a gem right under Lara's nose and getting a painful payback not too much later, the ingenious use of torch (at times maybe a bit too clever for its own good), the nice, logical setup of the flooding and draining puzzle, the list goes on. The looks are maybe overall a bit too drab and with little colour variation besides the gray and brown tones not that exciting to ooh! and aah! over. However, they are technically very well done - and there's very great attention to detail, whether in the use of textures for the temple areas, or the use of objects to depict various levels of decay either of the ruins themselves or of the corpses of previous tomb raiders and the ways they met their doom, like a column having collapsed over a (now) skeleton, half-decayed zombie SAS roaming the pool areas or noticing that a SAS has recently been squashed by a boulder (I thought the latter was even more clever since it's essentially placed below a boulder-ramp Lara has to master herself in the level). All these little nuances add a great level of realism to the game and probably make it one of the most accomplished levels I've played to date in conveying its atmosphere this way. At least I was completely engrossed and had no trouble believing that a place like this might exist somewhere out there in the world. Overall - I think the authoress did a huge disservice to the level by either not simplifying the skull cave itself (maybe even making it completely linear) or not leaving it for much later in the game, but if you can master it, you're in for a great treat, that's not to be missed out on by any raider who appreciates quality. Found 2 secrets." - eTux (01-Nov-2011)

"This time Lara is on the move on a volcanic island at the coast of Africa. Here in two coherent Levels between which one can change any time we must explore a gigantic cave plus a bigger number of next rooms. Moreover, we reach in three big rooms, where we must raise and fall the water level a few times to come to the desired object. The player is demanded here quite a lot, because he must climb a lot, search various levers and get over several tricky situations. Even a thief makes the life difficult to Lara. It would go too far if I enumerated now everything what I have liked, but so much would be said: You could not idle away one's time. And the time run is also not easy. After just 3 hours of playing time rich in change sees the inclined player the daylight. Actually, I am not necessarily a fan of such gigantic rooms. There the level builder can make much wrong and if then still lack of ideas rules, the result is not mostly just gratifying. Nevertheless, here it is something else. Patricia has really managed the central cave. The other rooms are built as very well. The riddles are rare in such a way which one could switch to autopilot. There one can already come brood in. There are only a few opponents, but they are well distributed. A few bats, gigantic scorpions, two undead and nasty little beetles for which Lara must be on the alert. Result: A really successful level. Absolutely recommendable" - Scottie (03-Jun-2010)

"I made a mistake with this one, because I started playing it for a while and then had to stop for a few days. Which meant I basically forgot where everything was and as you will need to get back to places a few times, this added quite an amount of headless running around to the equation for me. On the other hand I did not mind all that much, as this double level that plays as one big adventure features a few really huge but well designed areas that are fun to explore - especially the skull right at the very start is cool. As I am less of an explorer and prefer to have some puzzles or jumping to handle in custom levels, I warmed up a bit slowly, but later on you get a great gauntlet to master and the hole puzzle area where you place the four gems is well done, even though it could have used one or the other added camera hint. The torch is used very well a few times in both parts. I found only one secret and the beautiful gem, which I thought was a secret too, but did not register as such. As always, I did hate the beetles, even though it is not all that hard to work around them, but overall enemies do not play a big role in this game. It is all about immersing you in the big cave and the surrounding areas and it has been great fun to do so. Hoping to see more from this author in the future!" - MichaelP (06-Aug-2009)

"What can I say this is an impressive debut level of Patricia, no doubt about it. It is chock-a-block with everything that one should have in a level. Exploring is high on the list and because this adventure takes place in a huge cave area, there is plenty to explore. That means going back and fro a lot and that is not easy. Also you travel from one level back and fro as well. At a certain point I was so confused that I decided to wait for the walky as I had enough. Frustration ran pretty high as sometimes I had no idea what I should do and going through the stuck forum to look up was an ordeal as well, as many persons got stuck at various points so going from page to page was not my idea of having fun. That, in my humble opinion is the downside of this one. It is very clever made but by no means clear what path to follow and sometimes going back to a save as the way I choose was not the right one. But I got there in the end. There are some glitches still but they won't hinder gameplay too much as long as you keep several saved games handy." - Gerty (19-Jan-2009)

"A real challenge for everybody this adventure. Good architecture and textured, well builded with clever details and some good puzzles, but a bad gameplay. Sometimes is very difficult to figure out what to do or where to go; many times you have to return to the same places or explore huge areas looking for something to continue playing. Another times you simply get stucked and you have to reload an old savegame (if you keeped one) 'cause there is no way to continue. A good work but not for my taste." - Jose (10-Dec-2008)

"This is certainly one of the most impressive debut levels I've played thus far. Sceneries look very detailed and atmospheric containing many caves and underground temple areas to explore. I found gameplay to be also well tought out including many unsual tasks for a debut level. Good example is the flip map area where you have to drain and fill rooms with water many times. Traps are set up also very inventively and some of them really test agility skills of player. This game is definitely a great start for level building and I'm looking forward seeing more enjoyable levels from Patricia in future." - Samu (04-Dec-2008)

"I had as much fun with this interlocking two-parter as I've had in many a moon, owing primarily to the imagination and planning that went into their compilation. I used scottchu's thorough notes to play the levels and write a more comprehensive walkthrough, and without his help I doubt that I would have gotten very far. I'll first get my only negative thoughts out of the way. I opened to a screen that was literally pitch black. I could hear Lara sliding down a slope, and I kept waiting for the inevitable scream and cruching death. When that didn't come, I boosted the gamma on my my monitor nearly to the maximum, and it was only then I gained a measure of visual comfort. The builder seems almost to apologize in advance for the darkness in her readme, going so far as to say that she "made it as bright as possible." I find that difficult to swallow, given the many levels I've played in underground settings that provided ample lighting, but suffice it to say that when I became engrossed in the gameplay I scarcely noticed the washed-out colors on my screen. Even though I avoided false starts and needless backtracking because of scottchu's guidance, I nonetheless squeezed more than three and a half hours out of these delightful levels. The atmosphere is most lifelike, and the way the builder has mapped out the player's painstaking progression, requiring one obstacle after another to be solved, is nothing short of ingenious. There are no game-stopping moments along the way, although I had my doubts when I encountered that infernal rope swing. I learned a new technique here from the builder that I'd never tried before. When you find yourself bumping against the ceiling when launching Lara from the peak of your jump, simply wait a split second until Lara starts swinging back in the other direction, and then make your jump. When I tried this, I made it from the first rope to the second rope on my very first try (after having made more than 50 futile attempts the other way). There are enemies here, but not many. Your main activity is using your noggin, and there are plenty of opportunities for that along the way. Highly recommended." - Phil (23-Nov-2008)

"A very well done, yet very confusing at times set of two interconnected levels with clearly a lot of back tracking along the way. The graphics and settings seem very nicely done but let's keep in mind that they're probably easierly done that more organic settings. Very nice and convincing atmosphere all the way, albeit not full of wow moments, except maybe for the start when the flames all light up inside the big skull in the main cave. Even though it has been tested by a lot of betatesters something may always escape, and I did find a couple of glitches in the ingenuous three pools area, mostly due to the fact that it isn't very clear that you should push and pull a block all the way to the closed entrance to the first pool - yes, I know there's a somewhat cryptic different texture there. Still, the main con in this game may really be knowing where and how to start. Huge and interesting, but unfortunately I can't give it maximum rates... yet. The author seems to have potential and I'm looking forward to fine improvements in the nearby future." - Jorge22 (25-Oct-2008)

"WOW! What a story , what a game ! I love it without any daubtess it is really great ! At the first moment i thought caves .. again .. but after few minutes i changed my mind and enjoyed it very much. I didn't have problems in playing , of course sometimes i didn't know what to do but i always could find the right solution, so for me it is very logical game and of course very interestig. Like already the game could be longer :-D I am waiting for the next part. My opinion 40/40 Congratulations Patricia - great job!" - ersatz (23-Oct-2008)

"well i have mixed feelings about this one ... i like it and hate it at same time .... i like it for the nice builded areas and the clever puzzles and i hateit for some weird ideeas especialy at pool cave level..... (i forget to say is 2 level game inter-linked ) what was a serious drawback at albeit a excelent game is the pool flooding lever wich u need to activate several times to flood one or other pit from 3 wich u need to progress in the game ... well iff u dont choose the right path for gems placing .... -is 4 off them - u can stuck easy like i doo cos iff u activate more than 8 times the flood lever at 9 time when u need to drain 1 st pit to bring the torch at a wall torcs place simply the lever dont work .... also are some balconyes in front off some openings wich is shootabe ... i was not know ... and when get up at the opening i cannot get through cos that fake balcony - wich i should shot to brake it ..... i like insteed very much the skull cave wich was gorgeous ,,,, only enemyes issome wraiths some fire ones and water ones ... wich was a nightmare at least at very end off the game when needed to climb 2 long laders with that pesky wraiths lowered my life almoust at till i dye . and hardly can use medipacks when u climbing ... well i made it somehow ... this could be 10 in the line..... but from the above considerents i cannot give more than 7 at gameplay ..... also graphics are not 10 mark one but was ok .." - Jack& (19-Oct-2008)

"Too good to be true as a beginner`s work ,Patricia has designed a wonderfully worked out little adventure . 1000 feet below the earth Lara encounters a most beautiful and well designed location called "The Skulls`Cave" . And , believe me , there`s a lot of work to be done for our heroine down there. Be honest all you players out here , where would we all end up without all the help from the experts in all the forums in a brain-twister such as this game surely is ? As many other players I was still hypnotised by the overmastering majesty of Trixis ATO when I started this game but I really loved it from the beginning to the end . Merci bien , Patricia . Au revoir...?" - Ruben (16-Oct-2008)

"What a wonderful debut level. I was hooked from the initial flyby when I saw those ominous giant skulls. Couldn't wait to explore them. Consist of two levels that are connected, you will go back and forth between them. Very interesting puzzles and enjoyable gameplay, however it is a game where you have to think things through. A few more cameras would have been nice but it certainly did not take away from the overall enjoyment. Highly recommended." - guss18 (15-Oct-2008)

"If I'm not mistaken this is a debut level set and the author took the time needed to get all the elements correct. From the opening secret to the ending volcanic tremblers and run to escape, it's what tomb raiding is all about: lots of exploring and great puzzles. The Skull Cave is aptly named and the skull, itself, is worth the download. Having one of the gems stolen at the exact moment Lara is ready to grab it was a surprise and the solution to getting it back was interesting and care-free. The oft used lever in the Pool Caves was maybe a bit overdone but a great puzzler. Recommended for all who are looking for a good, sometimes challenging Raid of the thinking variety. If you're stuck, there's a handy video to check out - it helped me. Congratulations, Patricia. Felicitations!" - Bene (14-Oct-2008)

"This would seem to be the absolute antithesis of most debut levels in that it was begun four years ago instead of rushed out in about five minutes. If you are someone who raids in the evening, I should save this game for that time of day, as it's pretty dark. I only raid during the day and we've been having unexpectedly bright weather lately so I spent a lot of time squinting, but I didn't mind - this is very good and well worth a few more lines round the eyes. It alternates between two areas, there's a lot of exploring to do and you really will need to keep your wits about you. I especially enjoyed the wonderful sequence of traps etc at the start of the second foray into area two - it was extremely well done and most exhilarating. I found it occasionally a confusing level as it is huge and I'm not very good at remembering where I've been and what I've seen (yes, I absolutely should make notes as I go along, but I never have and I'm unlikely to change now). I felt a real sense of achievement when I finally finished it however and it was a lot of fun to play. Highly recommended. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go and give my poor little brain a rest." - Jay (14-Oct-2008)

"Once you trigger a flyby that shows a stone skull's eyes and mouth light up at the edge of a wonderfully deep cave, you know this is going to be one atmospheric game - and the rest of this split-level adventure does not disappoint in that respect. Texturing and lighting are applied in an eye-catching manner. The author provided plenty of flares, so don't worry about those dark abysses. These caves are fun to search, including two well placed secrets, and many puzzle items needed to progress. There are also quite a few puzzles which are nice but not too hard, and a few action moments (including a large trap sequence) to liven things up. While the existing cameras are great, a few more cameras could have been used to show what the player accomplished by shooting a target or where you want to move the blocks embedded in a wall. Unfortunately these blocks can get stuck in the wall because Lara will not pull them back to the front row since the floor behind is jagged. Another mishap I had was blocking an underwater door with a rock before flooding a pit and getting stuck in said pit later - though that was really a "brain fart" on my end! Either way it might a good idea to keep making separate savegame files for this game just in case you have one too. Nevertheless, these potential stuck moments did not detract from the positive aspects much at all and I still highly recommend players to check this out - you will be immersed immediately." - SSJ6Wolf (14-Oct-2008)

"Two levels filled with intriguing puzzles and enjoyable game play. And also some moments with Lara dashing for her life; the monkey swing entrance to level 2 will boost the adrenalin. The Skull Cave is indeed impressive with its huge rock skull with flaming eyes, which we see lit in the first sweeping fly-by. A lot of thought and design work have been put into creating an environment to challenge the player. Most of the time this is an author who plays fair (except maybe with a fake underwater door that is really a switch). When there are frustrating moments it is important to remember to trust the author, that the solution really is at hand, and you may have just overlooked something obvious. The most intricate puzzle sequence is in the Pool Cave where changing water levels and seemingly locked doors are almost certain to cause initial confusion. Most of this will turn out to be logical. Though there were moments where this world's illusion was broken. There is a timed underwater run where Lara snags on an overhead balcony mesh, so in game it seems she is running into invisible barriers. This is a defect inherent in the editor, but it would have been simple for the author to omit that balcony. Dark caves may be the easiest design for a debut author, but dark caves have a certain sameness of atmosphere and texturing (no matter how impressive these may be in places). And it did seem Lara had to climb to the top of the cave an awful lot of times. I'd love to see what the author could do with more variety and more light. Recommended." - dmdibl (14-Oct-2008)
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