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Level: LB Advent Calendar 2008 - Laras Magical Xmas Adventures 4 - Chapel in the Mountains back home search
Author(s): Sponge
total rating:8.50 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
afzalmiah 8 9 9 9
Andzia9 7 7 7 7
Bene 9 9 10 8
Czar 8 8 8 8
DJ Full 9 10 10 9
dmdibl 8 9 9 9
eRIC 8 9 9 8
Gerty 8 10 9 8
jawi 8 8 8 10
Jay 8 9 9 9
Jerry 7 10 9 8
Jose 8 8 8 9
Leeth 7 8 7 7
manarch2 7 9 9 9
MichaelP 8 10 9 8
Mman 8 10 10 9
Moonpooka 10 9 9 9
Mytly 7 8 8 8
OverRaider 6 6 9 9
Phil 8 8 8 8
reborn1995 9 9 10 10
Roli 8 8 9 9
Ruben 10 10 10 10
Ryan 9 9 9 8
Shady Croft 9 9 9 9
Shandroid 9 8 8 8
TrueRaider 7 8 9 8
Zhyttya 7 7 7 9
category averages
(28 reviews)
8.04 8.64 8.75 8.57

Reviewer's comments

"The final level in the series was very fun too. You get a few jumpswitches and keys to find and an element puzzle with an extra element. This section is shorter but still good." - Ryan (29-Mar-2016)

"This was the simplest level of the series. The textures were a bit dull (the icy water could be a lot better), the house was a bit to empty and a bit to boxy compared to the other levels, and that jump switch on the "chapel" was a great idea with a really bad execution. Gameplay and puzzles were simple and not that original, the secrets were not really secrets and the atmosphere was a bit out of place.. It was the first time in the series that didn't seem like Christmas. Had a lot to improve but was still a nice level to play, not the best or worse but you can really enjoy it even if you get frustrated search for where to go because it is so empty" - Leeth (10-Dec-2015)

"This was the "non best" part of the series (saying worse is forbidden on this adventure) but of course it's still enjoyable to play. The game play was pretty simple, with a few good challenging jumps and a lot to explore. The switches on the chapel area where miss leading: the first time i noticed them i ignored them completely (one is actually not centered, making it hard to visualize has a switch). The sound that Lara makes when walking on snow is way to intrusive and super annoying (had to lower the volume because of this) and the decoration was really blank compared to the other parts. But in the end, this part concludes the amazing experience of this adventure...and takes you to a wonderful cut scene. So in the end, i totally recommend to play this series, SUPER magical and SUPER enjoyable." - Zhyttya (10-Dec-2015)

"The last level of this adventure is in my opinion the least interesting. Why? because it`s very short, many tasks are boring or seen already or not creative, the element puzzle which by the way is impressive as you have four of them, not three like usually and that new one is really nice thumbs up for that, but the items which you must collect for it are just "thrown on the ground" and you will have NOT the true satisfied feeling that you recieved them because you get them just by entering an area, do some jumps, shatter boxes or pressing buttons, sorry but this is nothing creative!!! Also secrets are randomly thrown on the ground throughout the level, why? Why not to hide just one secret nicely instead of four uninspired, sorry but I wasn`t satisfied when I found all secrets lying on the ground!!! It is always better to hide one secret nicely if there is no inspiration for hiding more!!! well it doesn`t mean it`s a bad level. It`s still solid and atmospheric snowy mountain with a house and a chapel in which the way to go inside is nice. Well as I mentioned in my first review of this levelset this is very nice adventure as a whole. I thank very much to the creators (Clara, masha, Eva, Sponge), I had a great time playing it, definitely do not miss it! Chapel in the Mountains: 6/6/9/9" - OverRaider (11-Dec-2013)

"This was the shortest level of the series, and it somehow felt solely in comparison to the others because of different inventory items, different outfit, the custom out-of- crawlspace move and few other things like the atmosphere that somehow felt different to the other ones', still it was quite fun even there were no puzzles until the very end in it. The main task is to find four (in fact, three) elements that have to be placed in the final area. Actually, this level was the most dangerous of the whole pack (well, unless we don't count the climbing in Golden Castle) because of the boulder trap (yes, the only trap in the whole pack!). Even if the rooms looked quite bare, I liked the different objects like the trees, some parts in the chapel to make it more non-squaric, almost like a ruin, and the ones in the final room like the smaller than usual box. Gameplay was never too hard and only the room with the jumps and shimmying was a bit harder to solve, but not that a relative beginner could not solve it. Only things I have to mention are way too easy to find secrets and the jumplevers in the chapel that were not obvious as they had different look (but still nice to see new custom move with them). The ending was really interesting with Lara breathing into the shell and finally getting the cross. A never painful half-hour raid with not as many highlights than in the previous ones, but it's still a more than solid work." - manarch2 (20-Apr-2011)

"This was the worst level in the series but it is still very, very fun! This level has got good textures and lighting and hardly any flaws. There are good rooms and I think it has good atmophere. Recommended." - afzalmiah (04-Mar-2011)

"NOTE: Splitting this project up into four parts is misleading - many players won't notice it's a whole serious levelset. THIS REVIEW EXISTS IN 4 COPIES, AS IT DESCRIBES THE WHOLE PROJECT. ALSO, ALL 4 LEVELS SHARE THE SAME RATING, BECAUSE RATING THEM SEPARATELY HAS ALREADY MADE THE WHOLE ADVENTURE SERIOUSLY UNDERRATED.
The Village
A hub level. From here, we take on main adventures, one by one. Also, here we watch a great ending cutscene. Some puzzles are like never before - seems they were designed especially for this Advent. Solving them, You have to be as creative as their author constructing them. When I entered the forge and I realized how I am supposed to get the key, I was shocked by masha's creativity. Of course, the initial pushable is very misleading. Honestly, I found it the most efficient gameplay killer. How one is supposed to know where to place those cubes? I was so desperated I found it... but anyone not desperated enough may bin the game in the very beginning, losing the opportunity to watch all the following marvels. And lighting... Another level where it looks pretty, but often makes no sense.
The Golden Castle
The dragon is called Herman. HERMAN, but for some reason I still call him Raymond. Great work with that voice - that dialogue brought this part to life, and the impression remains till we finally feed Ray... I mean Herman and watch him fly away. In that moment, I don't know if I wanted to smile or cry. But I know it was beautiful. Palace roof is stunning, with a written date of erection and making use of it. Also, the golden cat, modified Winston, the cake, the ghost... everything matches everything, creating perfect unity and I'm sure there is no other palace similar to this one in the whole custom level world.
Magic Forest
Feels like a grandpa of Mystica. I can see no better comparison. Same atmosphere. Less polygons, so it isn't lagging. Also, the most challenging secret is placed in this part. Not a very challenging one, but You need to be observant. The only flaw is unmarked ladders... Why, oh, why?
Chapel in the Mountains
I like the landscape, giving an illusion of open space - it remains even if one gets to the end of graphics. I always like that feeling I can go everywhere, and that's why I was annoyed I couldn't get to the top of the frozen waterfall... Anyway, nearly every peak is accessible. Unfortunately, they all look flat and empty. Also, the house looks like it was made of plastic, not wood, killing atmosphere. Also, sounds are too "sharp" (it's good to rip old SFX from TR2, but in this version some samples hurt ears). All these issues made me take several breaks from the game, what didn't happen in any other level of this project. The new jumpswitches and their animation is great, also the camera sequence showing spikes emerging faster and faster. But the most thrilling, simply perfect trap is the boulder. With music warning a player just a split second before the ball falls, Spongebob couldn't synchronize them better (clap, clap).
SUMMARY: Here, authors of really relaxing Silent Snowy Place - Clara and masha - join their building power with another two creators - Eva and Spongebob - and together bring us something really challenging. And remarkable. What can help feel true ADVENT atmosphere more than making villagers WAIT for their relics to be returned to their church? This is not a raid (which is a robbery), but rather an anti-raid (which is a retrieval) - an inverted kind of such mission. Still, usual raiding feelings are present (just in case of "+" and "-", the opposite signs sharing the same absolute value). Explore various mystical places - a forest, a village, a mystic palace and some ruins, each of them of different atmosphere - but watch out! The artifacts are well hidden there, so completing this quest will require lots of thinking, with opening mind in every possible direction (unless You wanna get stuck) - thus, if You're a beginner, don't bother today, but remember this game and return to it when You are an experienced raider. Or anti-raider. That day, LMXA will burn lots of Your neurons, but will also leave lots of satisfaction when You make it to the very end. The best Xmas project I've played so far. It prompted me to play all remaining Advent levels soon, to make sure if I am right or not." - DJ Full (13-Feb-2011)

"The first thing I thought on seeing this level is that it's not as pretty or atmospheric as the other three in this levelset. The textures are a bit bland and colourless; there are hardly any objects (in comparison to the other levels, that is); indoor rooms look big and empty; and outdoor areas are pretty enough, though nothing special. The chapel itself looks good, but it could have been so much better with more colour and decorations. And more than anything, the level lacks the festive atmosphere that the other three levels have - and that too, in spite of the builder's obvious effort to make everything Christmassy by gift-wrapping all the pickups.
Gameplay is quite dull, and even quite unintuitive at times. For example, upon reaching the chapel, I spent ages trying to figure out what to do, and finally found out via the walkthrough that the candle sconces on the walls are actually jump switches! I liked the element puzzle at the end, but found how to work the 'air' part of the puzzle purely by accident. The illegal slopes in the outdoor areas discourage any exploration - I got stuck in them on three separate occasions and had to reload a savegame to continue. Even the secrets present no challenge, as they are mostly lying out there in plain sight.
Overall: This level suffers rather badly in comparison to the rest in this levelset. If I had played it on its own, I would probably have liked it a bit more. As it is, I can only say that it is nice, though not extraordinary." - Mytly (05-May-2010)

"The last new level of the pack, and also the biggest departure. For some reason the footstep sounds are new, inventory items are different (and your guns are gone again), and there's a new stumble animation; coming completely out of nowhere it feels a bit pointless. The main area of the level is massive and I quite liked how open it was; it really gave me the feel of being in a mountainous snowy area. The majority of the action takes place in some outlying caves leading to some chapel ruins, and they also exhibit the only non-environment based dangers in the pack (namely a rolling ball trap), and the gameplay flows well beyond a somewhat obscure shootable window (which I pretty much found by accident). The only problem here is that it's quite easy to get to the end of the world if you look around too much. Things go a little downhill at the chapel; I liked the location (beyond the various illegal slopes at the back) but the entire end of the level involves one extremely unintuitive action after another; the fact the game hands you a secret after finding a near-invisible block (that is part of the main progression) almost seems to be acknowledging the progression flaws here. I liked this final level quite a lot, but you'll probably need a walkthrough for the ending areas, and the texturing isn't quite a good as the earlier levels (the cabin in particular looks very stretched)." - Mman (23-Apr-2010)

"This level was quite fine but I felt a little want. Level was short and nothing to do. Just search few things for puzzle scale and that's all. We can visit small house, cave and chapel, but they are poorly equipped. Anyway, textures wasn't bad." - Andzia9 (13-Dec-2009)

"This was the shortest of the four levels but it made up when I saw the Chapel, as that was great. Here you need to find the four pieces for the element puzzle and get the final altarpiece. A pity that you cannot play them in one go, as I had to overwrite the script files for the last level, but it well worth it." - Gerty (21-Apr-2009)

"The 4th and final part of Lara's Magical Xmas adventures (:'-( ) and this one is just as great and beautiful as the previous parts. The level takes place in the mountains, and the setting is quite bigger than the previous parts. There's a considerable amount of non-linearity and exploration to the gameplay which I really loved. The tasks were not hard, but appropriate for a Christmas level. The Texturing is really well applied, and the atmosphere is there, giving off this cold and isolated feeling. You'll have to scan the mountains (and believe me when I say its a wonderful trip on foot) to find a number of essential items, then you'll have to make your way with them to an abandoned chapel deep in the mountains where a puzzle makes a welcoming return as the final puzzle to get the alter piece before watching with great sadness the mark of the end of the level (and series) as the loading bar rolls on...but wait ! There's still the finale which will surely plant a smile of your face ! An excellent level, Spongebob, and a series overall. Absolutely recommended ! and Happy (belated) Christmas to MECS." - Shady Croft (26-Jan-2009)

"A very nice view for this level with those snowy mountains, the trees, the hut, the ruins of the monastery... No-lineal gameplay, pehaps you have to go back to look for missed items so, explore carefully and begin by sliding down the icy ramp at the bottom of the valley before going to the ruins. It would be better that the place with water to fill the waterskin was nearby to the monastery. At the end, if you don't place all the items in one shot, you can miss them in the scales if you go back for anyone and reload the game. When I finally take the cross, in my computer the game crashed, I don't know why, I had all the necessary archives in its respective folders. So I had to copy and overwrite the scripts from the final level in the game folder to can see the final animation of this fantastic adventure." - Jose (23-Jan-2009)

"This is the shortest level out of the set with about 30 minutes of playing time and not so much to do. A wide snowy mountainous area and 2 buildings are awaiting you. Besides some shimmying you have to find 3 pieces for the elemental puzzle to finally get the cross which is the last missing altar piece. Making Lara blow was a new experience and a nice little touch. I did not really like the snowy footsteps sound, which was a bit extreme and sounded rather unrealistic. There are not that many objects used in this level, but in the advent calendar it was said that many of those nice objects for this 4 part level set were built by this author, so 2 extra points go to the object category to award the builder for that effort." - Jerry (10-Jan-2009)

"This level was fun to play , and was a welcome change from the other levels of this Christmas adventure, as here the progression was fast paced , when the other levels are more about exploration and use of the objects. There are good objects in this one too like the gargoyles hiding switches , and the use of the elements ; there is also fun gameplay in the first part when you find the small waterskin and the angel key. It would have been good that all windows inside the house be shaterrable for I don't know in the name of what logic one window is shaterrable and the other is not ? Not that it stopped me in my progression though just an observation. The setting is well made and the atmosphere convenient." - eRIC (04-Jan-2009)

"Chapel in the Mountains, the fourth and final segment of the Magical Christmas Adventures, ranks a cut below the other three levels, but only because it's in such select company. I wasn't as enamored with the visual effects of Chapel in the Mountains, although I certainly enjoyed myself here. You get noticeably less gameplay in this level, too, as I finished it in much less time than I did the other three segments. Your main task is to locate a variety of pickups to use in an elements room, and when you've successfully placed everything you're taken back for a final trip to the church, where Lara is all decked out for the occasion and even the dragon has been invited to participate in the service. If I were rating this series as a whole in one review, the gestalt approach would compel me to award it 10s across the board. That's really my preference, as this enchanting series is not to be missed." - Phil (29-Dec-2008)

"This level was fantastically huge and open--a huge plus in my book. i'm a little surprised to find a trap in a Christmas level, but the ball rolled so slowly you could nearly crawl out of its way in plenty of time. i never found my way into the cabin however; if this is intended then i think it's a shame to waste such space. The ending cut scene is great and by itself makes the level worth playing--i love how everyone from all the levels join in the singing. This is the best of the level series (though the golden castle is a very close second)." - reborn1995 (25-Dec-2008)

"At the beginning I have to notice that there isn't any ambient track here, despite of sound of thunderballs and I personally don't like levels without background music. I didn't like gameplay in this level either. We weren't in chapel so long as we should be. I think the best thing in this level are textures. It's difficult to put them on so big space." - jawi (22-Dec-2008)

"Fourth part of the wonderful XMas Series compiled by Masha , Clara , Eva and Spongebob. I will not go into details as every part is a marvellous adventure of its own. Thank You Spongebob for this Christmas Present , Frohe Weihnachten!" - Ruben (18-Dec-2008)

"Chapel In The Mountains is not just what this is all about. Lara will of course visit the chapel but it's going to take more than a few steps in the snow to get to her final tasks there. Once arriving in the snow filled valley, she sets out to find the missing Cross, and in order to proceed she must find the sandbag, fire, water and a very neat idea, air from her own lungs; which I thought was a fabulous touch. Exploring isn't so simple and I got lost quite a few times, but who said anything should be simple? The mountain areas were lovely, and the atmosphere was good. The chapel looks a tad tacky from the outside but inside it was warming and pretty. I also liked the little house at the start, but we didn't see much of the inside; just one room, and I would have liked to have opened a few more doors to other rooms. All in all though this was a delightful final level for Lara's Magical Christmas Adventure. Thank you to all concerned for this 4th advent adventure." - Moonpooka (13-Dec-2008)

"This level was the last level before the Finale. This level was fun to play, although it didn't appear that Christmas was being celebrated here in the mountains. I was really disappointed that the cabin was not open to visitors. That was where I was hoping to see some nifty decorations. Alas, it wasn't to be. Lara's primary goal was to find the secret passageway to the cross. I thought the hidden jumpswitches were just brilliant and how they fell away was great! I wish more builders would think of this. It is a brilliant way to hide the switch to a secret passage. I also thought the way Lara provides the element of air was super. I didn't think it was very good that there was a boulder, since Christmas levels should be peaceful. I was ok with the spikes, though, because this was only a cutscene and Lara was never in any danger. Although more could have been done here to make the level superb, it was dang good and held it's own pretty well among this superior set of levels." - Shandroid (13-Dec-2008)

"I think this is the one of the best atmosheric level on this month :-) Very enjoyable gameplay, and hard to see the items. You will search a "bit" :-D You havent pistols, just a revolver, with limited ammos. No enemies, the objects are beatutifuls, and I like the new anims. The atmosphere is amazing, but the cave is too empty fo me. Sounds from the other TR games. The lighting is well builded, the textures too! Very enjoyable level, dont miss it!" - Roli (12-Dec-2008)

"This is a somewhat shorter section than the others in this wonderful game and perhaps a little simpler to achieve, but still marvellous entertainment. As with the other areas, there are some excellent objects and animations and when you finally find the cross to take back to the village and complete the game, you will feel a real sense of achievement and sadness that the adventure has come to an end." - Jay (11-Dec-2008)

"I really wish that there could have been a bit more continuity between this level and the others. Everything is different. The inventory items like load and save are now santa hats and Lara herself now makes different and lower quality sounds. She has also decided to stand up differently after falling but a lot less smoother than she used to. I had to turn the sound effects volume down and when she crosses the snow her footsteps are at a disturbingly different volume. It was still a fun level though but quite short and I couldn't tell the difference between the areas as the texturing was the same. The ruined chapel was great though although I didn't quite understand what was happening with the animations for the jump switches." - TrueRaider (11-Dec-2008)

"This is an attractive and fun level, the game play not too taxing as Lara gathers elements for a last puzzle. The chapel itself is quite well done, providing a fitting setting for the end tasks. The main problem I found was by comparison: the other levels are so stunning and rich in design, indeed magical, that any level that does not meet those extraordinary standards is going to look a little pedestrian. On its own terms, quite an enjoyable play. For the element puzzle, I don't remember Lara using that solution for air before, so that was a pleasant surprise. I found it a relief to have a somewhat easier level concluding with Lara finally taking the cross." - dmdibl (11-Dec-2008)

"Coming from the many delights of the levels which precede this, the fourth part of this years advent calendar level set, was a bit of a shock. From the very beginning it seemed to me that despite a supposed team effort, this builder was determined to do their own thing, something which completely sets this level apart from the others, and not in a good way. From the first footsteps of Lara, one is jarred by the ramped up volume and disturbing sound which is produced by her movement in this regard. In comparison to the others, this level appears stark and naked, devoid as it is of any real colourful delight or mood enhancing lighting. Everything is plain, glaring and flat (which is quite some achievement for a mountainous venue). There is little variation in gameplay and quite simply there is just no grace here. Secrets were very easy to find, with there seeming to be no effort to hide them, or give any kind of challenge to the player to find them. Moving underground for brief periods is a little unpleasant for the dull, grey, blocky atmosphere of TR1 that it consists of. The menu system is completely different to that of the other, accompanying levels, and again we have no pistols. Indeed, there is no weapon at all, and so we have to hunt for it in this mercilessly bland landscape, to which even the trees don't seem to belong. When we do eventually find the gun, we have the bizarre situation when Lara runs out of ammunition of her putting it away and pulling out some none existent pistols, which of course we can't use. Whilst the walk down to the church in this level was a nice touch, the destination of that walk was another disappointment, for having retrieved most of the very easily found puzzle items, we pull on two admittedly well hidden jump switches to gain entrance to the basement of this dull and dilapidated church, to find but a couple of rooms which were equally as uninspired as the rest of the level. I am sorry to appear to be slating the efforts of this builder and perhaps it is unfair as I am completely comparing it to the other levels in this set. Setting it totally apart, then, in and of itself this level is reasonable enough in its construction and a simple enough mini adventure. Nothing inspired, but nothing seriously bad. My rating here reflects a view of the level then in complete isolation from the set. *The set is spoiled slightly by the lack of uniformity in the menu items as was having pistols taken away between levels." - Czar (10-Dec-2008)

"Despite this last level in the series being a bit different - the enchantment seems to give way to a more practical playing field - there is much to recommend it. Once the initial 'what am I doing here passes' you'll find the slide that brings Lara to a snowy cave and the adventure begins. Once at the chapel, there are some sneaky, tricky jump switches(really well done) bringing you to an area where you are sure you don't have enough ingredients for the pots and no way back to look for more. Never fear, what Lara needs is deceptively close by, including the air in her lungs. Lighting the torch was again, deceptively easy and made me smile. At last, finding the cross brings Lara back to the charming village, now with a beautifully lit Christmas tree. Dressed in black evening wear, surrounded by her friends, the butler and of course, Herman the Dragon, Lara is a sight to see. Now in one download or very soon to be, this is a must play - a perfect gift of the Season." - Bene (10-Dec-2008)

"It is actually not easy to describe the beauty of this four level Christmas set, which consists of four individually just wonderful levels that in their entirty work together even better. These levels have it all - generally interesting gameplay that is not too hard and not too easy, beautiful and original custom objects and animations, a simple but effective storyline and they just ooze the Christmas mood from beginning to end.
Part 4, Chapel in the Mountains, was the shortest part for me at about 30 minutes, with 4 very easy secrets found that were essentially in plain sight. But I was very impressed with the nice use of custom objects, especially to stage the actual chapel, which looked simply awesome. Once you find where to get started in this expansive landscape the gameplay actually flows quite quickly in your hunt for the needed pieces for the element puzzle. Smart use of the revolver and an interesting 'jumpswitch' animation spice things up further. Very creative level to round up this set, followed by a truly beautiful ending sequence in the Village Church. Do not miss out on this adventure - it is great for the season, but it is also great to play just for the sake of being played!" - MichaelP (09-Dec-2008)
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