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Level: Palace in the Castle back home search
Author(s): Vinci
total rating:4.84 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Ceamonks890 4 5 4 3
dmdibl 7 6 5 5
eTux 5 5 3 4
Jay 5 6 5 4
Jerry 6 5 4 4
Jose 2 5 5 6
manarch2 5 5 4 3
MichaelP 6 6 5 4
Obig 7 8 7 6
Orbit Dream 4 6 3 4
Ryan 5 5 4 3
category averages
(11 reviews)
5.09 5.64 4.45 4.18

Reviewer's comments

"This level is well builded, very dark for my monitor but at least you can correct the gamma settings to make it brighter. I liked all the cameras pointing the triggered doors, but I expected some musics here and there. The problem here is the very bad gameplay design; if you miss a switch or choose the wrong path you are doomed, and the backtracking can be terrible repeating several times all the same movements and jumps. Example: to go back to the outside area near the start you are forced to take the long route to the long ladder. The best were the well balanced enemies and the provided weapons and ammo in the secret places. Take a try but I recommend play it following the walkthrough instructions." - Jose (14-Dec-2017)

"Unless you are a real diehard TR3 fan I wouldn't bother with this one. It's very dark in parts and the surroundings aren't all that easy on the eye when you can see them. One particularly looooong ladder felt very weird as the flare ran out half way and it made it seem even longer to actually reach the top as all I could see was Lara and no surroundings whatsoever. There's quite a lot of backtracking too and I never appreciate having to do a timed run more than once, even if it is an easy one. There are guards to shoot and a few traps etc., but it's a rather lacklustre experience and this builder has produced far better levels since." - Jay (13-Jul-2016)

"Well, I suppose it's not the worst TR3 level out there, but I wouldn't exactly call it a good level. Some of the gameplay was fun such as the challenging timed run (which had to be done twice) and avoiding some traps. The enemy placement was well done and more than catered for because of the huge arsenal that you accumulate along the way. However, there were some parts that I found irritating. The lengthy bactracks and long swims tedious, the audio was absent and texturing and atmosphere was average. Only for completists." - Ryan (13-Jul-2016)

"From the offset, you can very clearly tell that this is a debut level through and through, with texturing that's incredibly repetitive and lighting that can generally be much more dark, than is truly necessary(combining to create a very monotonous atmosphere throughout.) Gameplay ultimately doesn't fare much better in this category either, as you'll easily find yourself backtracking constantly for the most minor of actions, with almost very little actually getting in your way in-between. So in conclusion, despite managing to witness the aforementioned 'Palace in the Castle' alluded to in the main title within the actual game itself, this is one release that I don't believe stands the test of time all that well in my opinion, making it only worth a look for those who want to see how Vinci got his start and not much else beyond that." - Ceamonks890 (05-Oct-2014)

"Seeing all those wallpapered textures right from the start, it's not hard to believe this is a debut level, even if from a builder who proved to do better in his following levels. Actually, the rooms are all textured with the "texture all" method (I don't know if there is such a command in the unofficial editor). Lighting was rather poor too, with several rooms being excessively dark so that one has to put the gamma settings high up to be able to see anything at all. Looking at the screenshots on the levelinfo page before playing this game, I really thought there were several rooms which include the end of the world, but this is actually plain darkness. The only visual highlight is the palace structure very near the end, which has a nice architecture and fitting textures. Progression in this level can be highly confusing. For example, there are lots of situations where the path divides and you have to decide for one direction, but after absolving the tasks there you won't return to that path and, in case you even remembered the junction at all, you have to return to the same areas various times, which isn't really fun, although camera hints are present; there's still something up to the level's structure that feels genuine in a way. The tasks itself are rather fun, mostly based on platforming and exploration; one timed run that has to be done twice took some tries. I also liked the placement of the enemies, like the tigers running up the long stairway, or the nastily placed officers. Also, the secret placement was rather fun but the weapons you get are a bit too heavy versus the rather small amount of enemies in this level. All in all this is a mediocre game lasting 25 minutes for me which has a good structure and some nice ways of progression but without much care for the visuals." - manarch2 (13-Jun-2013)

"You get shot at by guards right from the word 'Go', but it is not the enemies that make this a reasonably challenging 40 minute level, but rather the repeated backtracking and well hidden crawlspaces. While the construction is generally quite clever, I found several of the long climbs and long swims rather tedious and the darkness prevailing in large parts did not help make this more enjoyable either. Still - as a debut level it shows all the promise that Vinci has evolved since then." - MichaelP (07-Nov-2010)

"Wanting to play something manageable by Vinci, I naively turned to his début. Admittedly, this doesn't have any finger-twisting moments like some of his other games do, but the entire structure and interconnectedness of the level don't make it as straight-forward as I had hoped and I probably would've turned to drawing mind-maps to make sense of it all, if there had been no walkthrough to help me with the spots where my intellect failed to grasp the level's complexities. For most part it is simple enough - well, until it isn't any more. Basically there are a number of paths to take, and most if not each one of them usually entails some closed doors and a switch at the end of the path that opens one of the said doors in another path. These doors can lead to secrets, but mostly they are crucial for progress, and thus you most likely will end up taking certain paths over and over again. If the backtracking was not tedious enough, some of the paths incorporate some nasty jumps or timed runs (though with finding the right method, I found it to be fairly manageable) to add insult to the injury. That said, it sounds more horrific in theory than practice - as most likely there will just be that one switch or task that has eluded you if any at all. Apart from the structure closer to the end (the Palace (in the castle)?), there wasn't anything I thought of as very memorable in terms of looks, and if you don't turn up the gamma settings it's darker than necessary. For its age it is a nicely constructed game, but probably more appealing due to that, than anything in particular from the level itself. Found 5 of the 6 secrets." - eTux (11-Jul-2010)

"It was a great TR3 adventure. The secret collecting is one extra thing, there are harder weapons too. But you don't have to get anything, standard pistols eill be enough for you versus tigers. But we have to swim well. And don't forget the timed run, we have to complete it two times too. And don't want to jump for every colomn, you can't complete it in that methold. The challange is opening doors and we have to find switches, it's not an easy challange. You can go on several ways, and go through the level several times while you find everything." - Obig (31-May-2010)

"The exploration here is itself a puzzle, since the order of the multiple routes isn't clear. I have fond memories of spending hours to get through this confusing level, and someone muttering (probably me) that Vinci's levels really need a walkthrough. Well, Harry Laudie has provided a good one, so now a player can get through this in forty-five minutes. It's nice to know where all the secrets are, though now it isn't quite the same, doing things in an efficient fashion, instead of repeating everything several times. The appearance isn't great, since the texturing tends to repeat, and the dark places are much too dark. (I gave Lara extra flares.) I'm not sure if a present-day player, with walkthrough in hand, will understand the satisfaction of getting Lara through such a level. Anyway, savoring old memories, I enjoyed it." - dmdibl (17-Dec-2009)

"This is one of those 'pull lever,go on huge backtrack to find the door it opened;behind which is another lever..etc,etc' levels,which becomes rather confusing and (thanks to the monotonous texturing) not a little uninteresting. It's also very dark (make sure you have Gamma turned up as high as it can go). Nonetheless,the course is quite well devised;enemy placement is rather good;and there's one really neat timed-run sequence to challenge the best of players. Worth a look for these alone." - Orbit Dream (14-Nov-2009)

"As to start with the texturing I can say that I liked the realistic looking stone walls, although I found them a bit overused throughout the game. On the whole textures are not so well used nor well applied, most often tapestry-like with only one or two textures in each room, some of them stretched or squished, and all of them of dark colours. So along with the very dark lighting the whole level looks gloomy and a bit monotonous. Most of the time I was operating in total blackness what made it very hard to spot climbable walls and openings in the walls leading to a secret or switch, and in the end it caused a lot of backtracking. This aside gameplay was not bad although it is looking for switches and doors in the first place. There are no puzzles to solve, but some jumping and one not too hard timed run to do, and a couple of enemies like guards and tigers to kill, the latter I found a bit out of place here. No audio files used (at least I don't remember any)." - Jerry (18-Sep-2009)
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