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Level: Halcyon Lodge back home search
Author(s): The Vagrant
total rating:7.76 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
alan 8 9 9 9
Ceamonks890 8 9 8 8
Chel 7 7 7 7
DJ Full 5 9 7 9
dmdibl 8 9 9 8
eRIC 5 9 9 8
eTux 6 8 9 9
Jose 4 6 7 8
Kyle 8 9 7 8
manarch2 3 8 9 8
MichaelP 6 9 8 7
Nuri 6 10 8 10
Obig 6 8 8 8
Orbit Dream 5 7 9 10
Phil 7 8 7 7
rtrger 8 8 10 10
Ryan 5 8 8 8
The Snarky Lesbian 5 5 7 7
Torry 7 9 10 10
Treeble 7 8 9 8
vienna 7 8 9 9
category averages
(21 reviews)
6.24 8.14 8.29 8.38

Reviewer's comments

"So this - ladies, gentlemen and Moonkin players - is what we call a boss rush level. You will be equipped with only bare minimum of items, all weapons and 2 or 3 med kits and then it's time for you to rush the manor. If you ever wondered how the Great Pyramid Natla fight would look like because you skip it so often, here it is in all it's obnoxious glory. If you ever wanted to see how long it would take to defeat the torso demon with only pistols in an even smaller arena, well you can find that here too.
In that, this 15 minute level is nothing special, outside of a few nice aesthetics and the creeping dread of having to defeat high stamina bosses with next to no gear.
And also I found the first secret using a glitch because I have no conscience." - The Snarky Lesbian (01-Mar-2019)

"This is a pretty solid mansion romp. There are classic enemies from the final levels of Tomb Raider 1 (only skateboard kid and Larson are missing). It's a bit on the short side at around 20 minutes, but still worth a look. The final boss was challenging. What a small platform!!! I found a spot to hide and finish him off but it isn't fun that way. More great work done with the old engine." - Chel (10-Nov-2018)

"Another surprisingly good looking TR1 level. The architecture and texturing must have been light years ahead of other levels in this engine, and even today it still seems imposing. It's a shame that the gameplay was generally lacking a bit. It mainly consists of shooting a variety of enemies (the final giant mutant did prove rather challenging, at least until I found a reliable safe spot) and it's also very brief at around 15 minutes, so it's hard to get too immersed into it before it suddenly ends. Still, why not try it out for the eye candy?" - Ryan (05-Aug-2018)

"The Vagrant at his diabolical best. Here we have a short 15 minute TR1 level using textures from TR2. Nice. Natla is back and so is that two armed, no legged beast from the end of TR1 but this time you have only a third of the manouvering room which makes it a tough challenge indeed. Actually all of the enemies were tough to kill. Textures for this old engine were brilliant but I used the tombati.exe which helped a lot." - Torry (02-Apr-2018)

"I am once again disappointed that a custom level like this, starting in a really exciting way, ended so quickly. The environment in this level is beautifully designed, the enemies too (talking about natla). I had fun playing this level until it ended so fast. Not sure if it's worth to play..." - Nuri (22-Feb-2018)

"Great level from year 2005. I am TR1 fan so I liked very much on textures and atmosphere. Cameras are OK. Level is very short and maybe 50% of time I used to kill main enemy which have very good healts. This is a very good level for players that have 15 minutes time for raiding." - vienna (03-Mar-2017)

"This level is amazing, I can't believe the builder could create this with a TR1 engine! In the screenshots I saw that large and dark mansion, I couldn't believe it, so I downloaded it. But the objective here is to destroy every enemy you find on your way, the builder could add more gameplay and puzzles. I spent all the medipacks and ammo, lucky there's plenty of them. It has the atmosphere of a mansion, the textures inside and outside are great, as well as the lightning, some dark areas which make this mansion a bit spooky. Found the 3 secrets, or I don't know if there was another one, I think no. One was very easy while others were hid better. The final enemy was the toughest, and the space to fight it wasn't very large, but that makes it more challenging. I thought it would never die, because I had never killed this enemy before, though I knew it, but I didn't finished the original Tomb Raider game. It also was too short, I expected more. 15 minutes. Recommended for a bit of action, and nice work ;)" - alan (29-Oct-2016)

"I never quite understood why this was released as a "test" level - it's obviously much more than that, and in comparison to a huge number of smaller, less significant releases out there (including from yours truly), this is pretty much a complete experience. Gameplay is very simple and linear, as you run through a few rooms and wipe out a number of different bosses Natla was the most troublesome IMO, as the space was rather small and she had a tendency of flying over my head to flank me , but each and every area is nicely crafted and textured. The very initial room, outside the lodge, oozes atmosphere, it's quite a sight to behold IMO. Short but sweet, definitely. 15 minutes, 3 secrets. 12/15" - Treeble (30-Dec-2015)

"A case of little brother level - the setting is very similar in construction and mood to what we can see in Cape Fear, however this location is much, much smaller. Like that level, this one could also be clasiffied as a shooter because it takes most of time for a series of bossfights with all TR1 adversaries which are by default tougher than generic enemies - no, there won't be bats, wolves or gorillas, and the weakest opponent will receive several shotgun hits before he's dead. Fortunately we never run out of ammo - the second major part of gameplay is collecting ammo and weapon pickups. Just in case if we're badly hurt, there's also a fair amount of medikits provided. The only puzzles are to open doors which one by one lead to following fight zones and I guess the pushblock doesn't even have to be moved at all. One secret is as perfect as TR1 could allow, it has a whole separate room which, considering the small size of the map, is quite large and the place also contains a trap. The next one is almost obvious and the last one has a very classic feeling so there's a proper division to easy, medium and hard while the pickups gathered are useful a lot. The last fight surprised me. It's right before the finish so as I usually do in such cases I tried both a kill intended to perform before it all ends, and pulling the switch after luring the guy away so I could jump out and leave him to scare off all the players which will come here after I quit. SUMMARY: A lot of blood spilling in a very pleasant manor. It's insane to build a level that pretty just to include such simple gameplay but it worked very good here. If I would change anything in it I would add more shade and local audio. Should receive more attention, this game." - DJ Full (29-Apr-2015)

"A rather brief but still entertaining run through a creepy atmospheric mansion with some nice custom textures and objects used to help differentiate itself from the rest of the TR1 custom level cavalcade. Essentially, you'll be finding yourself taking down some of the toughest enemies that the main game has to offer, including the bald guy with a shotgun, the cowboy, a retextured Natla and the abomination simply known as the Torso in a sort of boss rush mode. So putting this release under the 'Mystery' category is kind of misleading, when what we really have here is something more along the lines of a shooter. Does that really impact on the fun in any real way though? From this reviewer's point of view, not in the slightest. So, if you've ever wanted to test your mantle across one boss battle to the next while struggling to keep Lara alive, then this is definitely the custom level for you to test your skills in. As a first level for new players to familiarize themselves with the TR1 engine and how it works in-game though, you're better off trying one of the other 22 TR1 custom releases available on this site, before even thinking of giving this one a shot. As what's on offer here can be quite brutal, if you aren't prepared and haven't had enough practice with TR1's style of controls to get accustomed to the overall difficulty." - Ceamonks890 (29-Jun-2014)

"I hadn't played a TR1 level since...well, since the last time I played TR1 on my DOS computer quite a few years ago. One reason for this was what I thought was a too-complex-to-be-worth-it installation ritual. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that all I had to do was go to the Dosbox folder and click on the batch file with the word "glide" in it. The game then started up in full screen mode, exactly the way I remembered it. This custom level is a short tidbit, clocking in at 20 minutes for me. Most of that time was spent saving and reloading as I attempted to conquer that huge arachnoid boss creature at the end. It wasn't until I literally stumbled onto a safe square out of the monster's reach (in the same corner where you find the uzi ammo) that my confidence level began to soar. From there I could finish him off without having to worry about being pushed onto the lava or being grabbed and flung like a rag doll into the air. Being a TR1 level, it's not one you're going to come back to play time and again, but it's worth the download for old times' sake." - Phil (29-Jun-2014)

"This level is a great TR1 level. The author did a great job with the textures plus the puzzles and the baddies were great. Who ever knew Natla would be waiting for us. A great level. I recommend this level to anybody who wants a challenge." - Kyle (19-Jan-2014)

"No many TR4 levels for me to play, so I looked for levels like this. The architecture is good, with a nice look at least in the first courtyard of the level. Secrets are easy to find and the enemies are cool, but too hard to kill. It's what you'll find here: pull some switches and think about complex strategies to can kill very heavy enemies without being killed yourself. I had to reload a lot of times so the level was not funny for me. The best was the texturization, even with small defects in some surfaces." - Jose (03-Dec-2013)

"Certainly one of the most atmospheric unoffical custom levels out there! I have nearly nothing to fault visually, because the TR 1 engine is used to its best to create a spooky setting, especially the look-up to the tower at the very start was a goosebump moment. The choice of enemies kind of retells the story from the last levels of the first Tomb Raider out there, since you'll "only" get to fight the bosses from Atlantis, but they're well presented and it's the first time in a TR 1 custom that does have its amount of enemies enough health kits and ammo (enough meaning pretty exactly enough) were provided. Finding two of the secrets requires a bit of thinking - the other one is just a bit further away from the regular gameplay path. Unfortunately, gameplay is the point where this level fails to impress me completely. Take away the fights and the secrets, and you have a very boring and totally linear level running through a couple of rooms and flipping the occasional lever, and there's not a bit of a challenge for the player except for the encounters with the enemies; awarding the first category with an 8 is really beyond me, but of course opinions can differ. Despite that rather large gripe, I'll recommend this level for some epic shootouts in a very convincing setting. 12 minutes." - manarch2 (06-May-2013)

"If you ever wondered what a reunion of the toughest enemies of TR1 would look like, Halcyon Lodge provides the answer. If you don't count Larson and Pierre, this really contains every fight you don't want to be confronted with as a player not used to playing in the TR1 engine. It can be pretty tight, even more so if you don't try to minimize the damage and plan a little ahead, and even with doing the best I could, I ended up using every bullet and medipack I found. That said, I found it to be very doable and quite fun at that, aided even more so by the beautiful surroundings you'll be taking these challenges up in. At 10 to 15 minutes of play time, this might sound a bit short and while I would've enjoyed spending more time in the surroundings, hitting the finish trigger will seldom have felt as well earned as here, and the experience will come off as anything but brief and dull. The Vagrant has done it again, recommended." - eTux (25-Jun-2010)

"For those in the mood for lots of running and killing in beautiful and atmospheric surroundings,this is the best Unofficial TR1 level you'll ever experience. The construction is superb,while the textures and lighting are so far ahead of what you would usually expect from levels of this type that you wonder if The Vagrant has some sort of secret ingredient that he's keeping to himself. There's not too much in the way of puzzles here,but that's ok because this doesn't ever pretend to be anything more than a very beautifull Shooter. Conserve your ammo,search out all the firepower you can possibly get your hands on,and get stuck in! 20 minutes of exceptionally well made action." - Orbit Dream (29-May-2010)

"This level is great. I'm using Glidos, so in high resoultion textures are nice. A bit, oh of course not a bit this level based on the battles. Vainly you get weapons, you will be out from them. If you like the battle, start it. To be sure this level includes the bosses of the TR1. :)" - Obig (14-May-2010)

"Rather short level with very good atmosphere on the threatening side , with not many but 4 tough enemies (or in fact 5) and you just have enough hardware to come in handy, even if finding the secrets. Good decor , the lighting is typical from the author , very worked on with dark corners hiding nothing important. Good work. [ 21 minutes ]" - eRIC (02-May-2010)

"Another remembered favorite, sort of "The Thing In the Courtyard." As you'll see from the impressive screenshots, this is another of The Vagrant's spooky mansions. Nicely designed library and grand hall; pause a moment to look around. Admittedly, it can't have the graphics quality of TR2, but mostly Lara is trying to stay alive against real challenges. First, a nasty battle with Phaedra (a stand-in for Natla. What really bothered me is that I thought Lara had developed a strategy for dealing with her, and now I couldn't remember what it was.) For the courtyard finale, the readme claims that there is plenty of room, that it is easy to fake the monster out, but it sure doesn't look like much room to me. Incidentally, if Lara tries to jump for the exit-door lever, The Thing can reach around the pillar from either side and grab her where she stands. Have fun. Lots of fun. A hallmark level." - dmdibl (19-Apr-2010)

"WOW! That is amazing! This level looks soooooo good! The level is shooter-style one, but it's challenging a bit, so it isn't a problem. The game lasts for 15 mins, that's sad. But that graphics is simply stunning and wonderful. That's even better than Cape Fear, despite it's shortness, so again, hats off to Kevin. Don't forget to play it!!!" - rtrger (02-Apr-2010)

"Wow, that was quite an exhilarating 15 minutes that felt like much more. There is not much gameplay as such, but despite the age of the engine and the inherent graphics quality issues, the whole setting looks very authentic and has cool objects to boost. And then you get a few increasingly tough fights to manage, which are more of a challemnge than I had expected. The flying mutant that gets up again after dying for the first time and then of course the good old TR1 monster - all great fun in such a condensed fashion. Give this a try for old times sake - you won't regret it!" - MichaelP (26-Mar-2010)
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