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Level: Serpent City back home search
Author(s): Beck
total rating:7.27 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
alan 7 7 8 7
Ceamonks890 5 7 7 6
dmdibl 4 5 6 6
eTux 9 8 8 7
Jay 8 8 7 7
JesseG 9 7 7 6
Jose 6 7 8 7
manarch2 6 7 8 6
MichaelP 9 8 7 7
Obig 8 8 8 7
Ryan 8 7 7 7
Torry 10 9 9 9
category averages
(12 reviews)
7.42 7.33 7.50 6.83

Reviewer's comments

"What a wonderful TR3 level. Here you have everything that makes a good raid and nearly two full hours of fun. I vaguely remember playing this some 17 years ago but as it was so long ago I could not remember hardly any of this magnificent romp. You will not find any near impossible jumping sequences here but there is plenty of jumping to be had as you negotiate the nasty mud slides all over the start of this level. Secrets are well placed and rewarding for those who take the time to find them and the only enemies of note are the blessed snakes that seem to inhabit every nook and cranny. Marvelous what can be done with a bit of imagination and an unofficial level editor. Thanks Beck." - Torry (12-May-2018)

"This TR3 level is set in a city at night with Lara wearing her catsuit. The gameplay is challenging, offering some timed runs, jumps in platforms, puzzles with electric floor. The final part consists in going through lots of passages in a tower or something like that, finding switches and opening doors in order to get the pink stone. There are guards, eagles and cobras as enemies. Play it, and use the walkthrough if you get stuck!" - alan (21-Apr-2018)

"This was quite a challenging TR3 level and certainly kept me going for over an hour. The setting is rather plain and crude, mainly consisting of a few mudslides and stark stone buildings, so you don't want to play this for the scenery. The gameplay fares better, as you have a challenging timed trapdoor run, some fun slope jumping exercises, a hunt for some Serpent Stones and an electrified floor to be wary of. One of the better TR3 levels out there." - Ryan (29-May-2017)

"This level is very long and complex, with many areas to explore. The gameplay is often confused; how to know what alcoves were electrified? or the final area with the deep pit and all that doors, trapdoors and hidden switches. I missed part of the gameplay, 'cause I was not able to open the three doors in the deep pit (sure a secret). The architecture is good, but the texturization in small surfaces is not so good. Well balanced enemies but only soldiers; the secrets are well hidden (I only found two). Correct cameras and well placed musics, the best of the game for me. If you don't like the backtracking, take a look at the walkthrough." - Jose (19-Nov-2015)

"Taking place straight after 'Station in the Dark', this romp through a sort of post-apocalyptic city unfortunately suffers from some unfairly tedious gameplay moments, that can be incredibly frustrating to resolve with the overall texturing and enemy/object choices being about as good as before, amongst some improved lighting effects and passable attempts at level design. So in conclusion though, its better than the builder's debut release in some regards(with some quite cool moments in-between), but I have to agree with manarch2 that the general experience lasted just a tad too long for its own good. Worth a look if you're a fan of city levels at the very least, but do not play this without having a walkthrough available to easily look over, or you will regret it. Trust me." - Ceamonks890 (26-Jul-2015)

"I cannot quite share most of the other reviewer's opinions about this level. There are some neat touches in here, such as a few nice usages of boulders, trapdoors and the blowing up of the building at the end, but after finishing the level I asked myself if this was a fun level, and came to the conclusion that it certainly wasn't. At the start that soundly was the end of the previous level you get to explore a huge map in a destroyed-town setting with wallpapered textures (even if this works somehow) and probably need a long time to eventually figure out how to even start, the confusion comes much more often in this level as some levers or passages are just too well hidden without any hint and when you think you found a way to progress you eventually notice everything was just for a secret. Speaking of the secret system, it's fairly complex. There are five secrets to find, one of the first is required to find another, and the latter and two others are required to get the extra gem at the end; I pretty much liked that and it added much to the gameplay. But now coming back to the other aspects of this level - the builder not only confused with the complex setting, but also with a way too well hidden block in the snake room, letting most of the players (me too) performing a near-impossible and for some people hardly frustrating and thus unnecessary jump sequence. And as if this wouldn't be enough, you easily can get stuck for good in the later part of the level, the building you need to blow up later on, as there are a whole lot of levers to find and if you miss one, you can progress quite a lot sometimes and get stuck much, much later and then don't know what you have missed. I for myself have missed the key card one soldier dropped and thus had to climb this painfully long ladder twice - why don't block the way when the player misses a vital item? Also, for some people it can be impossible to know what to do after the building is blown up, so players, if you still want to play this level after my harsh words, it's best to print the walkthrough and use it close by to be able to play this level. The ambience of this level are pretty immature in my opinion with the mentioned wallpaper areas, some missing textures getting closer to the end and absolutely unfitting sound usage in the first half of the level, but the science-fiction atmopshere of this level still was very cool and some fixed cameras (e.g. when entering the town for the very first time) were quite worth admiring. Resumingly, this level lasted for way too long in my opinion (70 minutes) and could be so much better if the builder would have focussed more on some of his ideas and didn't create such a confusing environment around them. I was happy when it finished." - manarch2 (24-Mar-2012)

"What a fun TR3 level. I'll get the looks over with first because there were many problems. Super wallpapered areas with textures squished and stretched all over the place. Near the end there are some missing textures in the castle building. The atmosphere gets broken because of this and because of the confusing level layout near the end that can have you running in circles. It doesn't help that some very needed camera cues were missing (including a trapdoor under pure opaque water). The secret cues were placed in places that you must visit, misleading the player into thinking there is another route. Now the gameplay was where the good stuff is. A tricky timed sequence with a trapdoor over water comes to mind, as well as an electrified room where you must keep your wits about you. On top of this throw on a dash of rolling boulders. Overall could use work on the environment, but entertaining. You might want to keep the walkthrough handy though." - SSJ6Wolf (28-Feb-2012)

"This is quite a long level for a TR3 and definitely a bit more sophisticated than most in terms of gameplay. The surroundings mainly consist of mud and rock, with a few base like areas here and there, so, although very solidly made, it's not the prettiest level you'll ever see, but there are some nice challenges in the way of route finding and an interesting timed run, lots of snakes to shoot, plus you get to blow up a building at the end, which is always acceptable. I did find it helpful to dip into the walkthrough from time to time to avoid becoming too confused and you may wish to do the same, but apart from that you should be able to achieve everything thrown at you without too much trouble. At this point however, I really ought to thank eTux for pointing out the movable block. I was trying and trying that almost impossible jump mentioned in the walkthrough and failing miserably. In desperation, I decided to see what other reviewers had said about it (I don't normally like to read other reviews before writing my own for fear of being influenced) and 'bingo' - thanks Elvis. So, basically, if you like TR3 levels, this is definitely one of the better ones." - Jay (11-Feb-2012)

"I was playing the 'fixed version', so other than this being the first level where I had to start the tomb3.exe in compatibility mode (using Win7), I did not run into any issues at all. This 90 minute adventure is quite the ride. It is not an easy trip by any means and will have you think about your next step often and then also about how to accomplish it. The seeting has Base and Nevada desert elements and many switches to pull (and some without a lot of hinting at what they did). There is a nice area around an electrified room and I thought the complex building at the end with switches, trapdoors and crawlspaces was smartly designed, including the effect of bombing the roof of it to get across to the final gem. There are a few climbs that are rather long and tedious, but overall this quest really draws you in - especially if you do include the search for the secrets which gives an extra spin on top of everything else (only got the 5 that are also mentioned in the walkthrough). If you are looking for a challenging and interesting TR3 level, look no further - this will test your skills quite a bit." - MichaelP (16-Jul-2010)

"Due to some initial crash problems (that are fixed now) and a somewhat unfairly camouflaged movable block that even eluded the walkthrough writer (thus presuming him to think there's a hard jump-sequence involved instead) this seems to have evaded the 'to play' lists of the players out there. Somewhat undeservedly so, in my humble opinion, because, apart from that too-sneaky-for-its-own-good movable block, I found this to be a rather enjoyable experience with some challenging (but not overpowering) and genuinely clever moments, including a timed sequence with a trapdoor, a most creative way to survive 2 consecutive boulders dashing towards you, brief but nice use of electricity, an interconnected fortress area near the end and its destruction via a detonator and explosives so you can get your prize. The secret system seems well thought through, with switches in each secret area you find opening doors closer to the end of the level, but having found only 2 I couldn't reap the rewards to the fullest. The biggest drawback in the entire game is that the looks are not up there with the gameplay, and whilst there are some very interesting ideas explored with the post-apocalyptic city, the fortress and the canyon with the snake head formation, I feel it did not always live up to what it could've been with more varied texturing and more interesting use of lighting. That said - I found the atmosphere very gripping, and one can only wonder what the story behind all the calamities that have struck the city could be. The author has done the smart thing by leaving this to the imagination of the player. Despite some questionable gameplay choices, this actually is playable by pretty much everyone and tests your pathfinding skills and ability to think outside the box more than your finger agility or knowledge of obscure moves. A recommended play, especially if you enjoyed the first level and wanted to see how the game carries on where it left off." - eTux (20-Jun-2010)

"A true TR3 adventure. Sequel of the Station in the Dark level. We roaming in mountains and base. I had to move this level into the South Pacifc demo, because I couldn't crawl under the barbed wire at the beginning. But I've just moved the .tr2 file. I suggest, try hanging above the barbed wire. I had to run over and over the level, because the middle cage was closed. I haven't seen the opened trapdoor in the black water. In fact you can finish the level without two stones. Not an easy level, but the real challange is searching for the right way. Don't forget, you can use the tricky falling, when you can jump under the platform in TR3 too. Two steps from the ledge, and when you falling press the action button. But for the second Stone you can reach it by a side jump. It was a good adventure, I can suggest for everyone." - Obig (31-May-2010)

"I quite enjoyed "Escape From Serpent City - The Falls of Naga," and expected this earlier effort to be somewhat cruder, but to be of interest for insights into the author's development. I ended up spending several days working to get through this level. In the released form the level crashes when Lara goes down the stairs at the beginning. It always crashes when Lara tries to drop to a crawlspace in an area with numerous pillars--probably the vertex limit is exceeded when Lara looks down. Avoid this by putting TombPC.DAT and shore.tr2 into the TR3 "South Pacific Demo" data folder (and for good measure I played on an old Windows ME machine). Later I switched back to a fast Windows XP computer. At the end of the level, Lara hangs from a snake-filled structure, with a long vertical drop, and there were no problems with crashes. But what can't be circumvented is a once-in-a-hundred-years jump sequence. In Harry Laudie's walkthrough, he states he got lucky after about two hundred attempts. He says there must be a better way. After trying this jump numerous times, I also decided there must be a better way, and searched the cavern for unmarked climbing surfaces or hidden shimmy cracks. The obscure jump--I have no idea how Harry Laudie found this--is the only way. If you are a complete masochist, you'll enjoy the effort and wasted time required to succeed. Yet even without this jump, the level is dreary with drab stone textures all over the place. It just isn't pleasant: the city is smothered in dirt mounds. Near the end it feels like the author created a large cube filled with vertical and horizontal passages, then linked them with trapdoors and gates for Lara to wander through. Packing a level with snakes does not make for interesting opponents. On the plus side one can sometimes see flashes of game play ideas that made "The Falls of Naga" so involving. I liked detonating the building, and having Lara jump over to the roof of the snake condominium. The secrets add a lot to the level." - dmdibl (22-Nov-2009)
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