"Having played all 3 of Tara's levels this had to be the
most intricate. Jumps and Puzzles in this one were quite
difficult, Platforming in particular, hours of
frustration but patience needed for this one. However is
was thoroughly enjoyed and iv even started to replay this
game in an attempt to obtain all the secrets. I would
place this game in my Top 5 Favourite TRLE's if not my
most favourite. A very hard but clever TRLE.
The secrets, I wasn't able to find many on my play
through initially as it was blind, but on playing this
again with the assistance of the walk though, i have seen
how some i easily missed.
Object wise sometimes things were hard to spot but on
most cases i just put that down to being blind lol. The
Copying of the room in Ghosts of the past seemed harder
then it appeared as even when objects were placed
correctly the trapdoor didn't seem to open. On a 3rd try
The atmosphere of the game i really enjoyed, nice large
levels with plenty to do, the Irish levels in particular,
being from Northern Ireland myself it was nice to see.
Sound - The music is this game was nice although at times
it didn't fit the level set. But good none the less.
Cameras - all were good and well placed, didnt give to
much away but also showed enough so you had an idea of
what to do - some camera angle were abit annoying but i
got around it.
Textures and lighting i cant fault in anyway, all seemed
to be in order and items and things such as trapdoors
were very well blended, so well in fact it left me
thinking, wow now that's clever, or sneaky in some cases
I would like to hope that maybe Tara would make more
levels of this nature as i do enjoy a challenge." - Wiseajak89 (26-Mar-2019)
"This is actually the first of this
builder's games I managed to completely
finish (I got defeated by Vikings and
Legio at the very end). This builder's
games are amongst the most difficult I've
ever played (putting aside a few Japanese
games) and this certainly took me a while
to finish, with a few frustrations running
high throughout. Plenty of pixel perfect
jumps, tight timed runs, a fair few
obscure puzzles and plenty more that have
faded from my memory, which isn't really
my type of ideal gameplay. I did enjoy
some of the parts though. The creativity
in the gameplay is otherwise astonishingly
high, with the other puzzles being really
well thought out and enjoyable to solve,
custom objects are wonderfully used,
secrets are worthwhile to go for, enemy
attacks are well placed and the locales
are very pleasing (although the texturing
is a bit cruder than I'd like). Taras'
levels are a matter of taste, but I won't
deny they're worth playing if you want
something challenging." - Ryan (15-Mar-2018)
"Definitely a MUST play, as long as the other two levels built by Taras. Quite challenging gameplay indeed, yet extremely relieving when you finaly make that pixel perfect jump or that tight timed run. Beautiful sceneries and once again THE BEST music and atmosphere (especially Nightwish :p ). Taras is definitely one of the best builders, taking tomb raiding into another level." - mary-jane (01-Apr-2015)
"First of all I want to thank Julian, David and Moritz for the excellent walkthru. It saved my butt many times when I was too dumb, too blind or too pushed by terms to notice something. Amount of work required to write such a brilliant guide is comparable effort put in building a level. Good job, guys.
On the Air
A game must be good if it starts in a toilet - obviously one of few real-life situations in the whole game, for ever since the plane prologue the whirl of unnatural events sucks us in, thankfully without sucking anybody out - I couldn't believe Lara was stupid enough to open a door when flying on max altitude without causing decompression. Anyway she kept desperately looking for an alternative landing, so the whole level is about finding a parachute. The plane itself is huge as none else, I hope some really offer so much space to stretch legs in the future of aircraft, but here it only adds much backtracking to this otherwise simple initial level. Of course the setting is breathtaking, but apart from getting the notebook giving us some first ingame clues about the plot, the whole thing feels artificially long, so let's just leave it and start some serious business by hopping down and crashing on a tree in...
From the very start of the first Irish episode, everything gets better and rather flowing - literally, with a lot of running water and floating objects Taras has in habit to create. Crazy music fits the magician's room very well, and constant-tension ambience fills the air of surrounding frozen village with dense mystery, so You know something is about to happen, but no idea what exactly - a way to build tension the proper way. We can find the first of many secrets rooms, accompanied with floating themed items usual for this builder and unusual to any other, but I don't know what is more difficult - secrets or regular gameplay. If You remember certain design from Vikings, it might be easier for You to locate it here as well (still, I needed several passages to finally notice that little spot). I tried to talk to every frozen village member, but none of them expressed any interest, so I just took the wand, crossed the magic mirror and progressed to the...
The first pack of flares appears in the cave, right in the moment when I started to beg for them. Since then, there is plenty of any item we can find... Except from those crucial ones we have to literally struggle for. Here comes what I like: while the majority of builders would place a hole in one corner of the room and a puzzle in another, Taras gives us a separate level for a single major artifact and a full adventure to hunt for it. The innovative sequence of moving platforms, a bit challenging but really creative (all hail TRNG which allows more paths to design paths), was unfortunately followed by clearly the hardest tightrope ever (arrrhhh!!), and then another platforming sequence the previous one seemed easy when compared to. One moving platform has collision disappearce bug, and I still don't know if I got the secret the legal way (all hail TRNG opening more ways to efficiently annoy players than regular TRLE had). All brilliant and terrifying in the same moment. If I needed a dozen tries with certain jumps, what an inexperienced player will do, if anything at all? But slow progress has one advantage: it gives time to admire beauty of the surrounding cave, and it's crafted so brilliantly that I never gave up trying. After the whole massive challenge, the wizard fight is a piece of cake, while - let me remind - the same boss was one of the toughest in classic TR. When he finally dies, we grab his wheel and get moved back to...
...to return life in the frozen village. It really brought satisfaction to watch all those people move - but there was one problem: after the ridiculously hard cave section, I spent a lot of time wandering around in search for the wheel slot, convinced it might be anywhere, while in fact it I didn't notice it right before my nose. In my opinion the slot should be a bit more visible - there's no need to slow down the action when the fight needs a quick conclusion. I supposed the level will end right after the spell was lifted, but no - a whole new castle section opened before my eyes, where I had to repel some casual invaders (possibly another evil corporation willing to take magic for themselves). This was the real target, or at least what I thought to be until I lit the torch and left through the smashing cannon finale into the...
I still didn't find out what the name means. I was too busy looking my eyes out for those elusive shamrocks. Yep, this is on the contrary an example of level having all four crucial pickups in itself. Does it make raiding easier? Not at all. Though this is the level I had the most time and peace for, and the only one of the whole game I managed to go through without peering into the walkthru. But I sometimes really searched for those plants in crazy locations I would never dare to build in purpose of hiding any item. And some of those places really contained what I was looking for. You always need to believe You're supposed to go the certain way, and let me mention the whole level is a huge, non-linear space, fully explorable from the start - the very edge of fair design, and some might disagree it's fair (not me in that point though). But the effort is well rewarding with the ballroom sequence (You can rarely see two animating sequences concerning multiple characters in two levels in a row). The very goal artifact of the whole episode shows why it's good to apply some decent crafting to those mostly desired objects and I understand why the author wanted so much effort from any player who wants to obtain it. Since Lara needed one more like this, she took the balloon, asking herself: "Couldn't this guy just drop me here in the very beginning of the game?" But it was thankfully too late, so three previous levels were fully explored and she set off to Egypt, to wake up the...
Ghosts of the Past
Visually, this level is brilliant - a rare occasion to experience a fully open space in a TR level. And this is the second place where things become real again - ancient seals, archeological digs, site plans and equipment - so before I praise anything more... DAMN those magically appearing levers! This is not a way to design secrets, especially in map that large and that realistic! With all respect to the wonderful stuff around, things must FIT, otherwise a great risk of players going mad (as in this example) occurs. Running around that pyramid in search for missed things is painful, no matter, and wasted time is never rewarding, no matter if the hunt results in a success or a failure. A human brain should contain an emergency switch to temporarily turn memory on and off, so builders of certain levels could forget the way through for a while, and I wonder if in such case Taras would be able to find half of secrets he created. Sigh... Having taken a deep breath, I left the admirable scenery, descending beneath the sands of time into the hidden realm of...
Whoever she was, she must have been a brilliant character, as the level devoted to her is my absolute favourite of the whole pack. I think it would get full marks from me even if it was the only part of the whole adventure. If You're not into particularly difficult games, wouldn't enjoy the full adventure as much as I did and decide not to play it, OK - but in such case at least take a savegame from the beginning of this level and play it separately, because it's a must no matter of what. The beginning contains one of the most ridiculously hard traps ever created - I guess it would be suspiciously classic or even boring to apply slamming doors that DON'T move (what next? jumping STARGATE blades with flame emitters attached? maybe it's better not to suggest this...). But this section is possibly also the most brain-tiring sequence ever ported into TRLE. I can't remember such a concentration of hard thinking, progressing from one room to the another takes ages until You eventually spot the right place or figure out the right thing, but all in all it's an indoor space that will, sooner or later, give You some clue - and it's well worth to descend into the pillar hallway of the buried palace, because at last somebody didn't give us another pile of sand-covered ruins but pictured the location like it looked in its greatest days - untouched and colorful, so it all feels hidden really deep. And the pigeon animation sums it all up, so even the pool jumping (another peer into the walkthru) cannot disperse the pleasure. Such levels shouldn't come to an end, but they eventually do, in this case I was guided back to the sunny surface, for a second attempt to face...
Ghosts of the Past II
While the previous level felt like home to live in forever, this one takes a contrastingmost dip into the very hell of Tomb Raider, the nightmare of children, the jaws of the beast, and before You bin the game, simply throw a hat away forever, because after seeing millions of previous instances of the Seth battle, this one is NOT boring! Though hunting for the last neshmet was super-hard for I never knew which corridor I checked already, the moment when Seth breaks out of his prison dispersed the feeling of relative safety in the most wonderful way possible, graduating the fright as I more and more realized what actually happens. There are many dull bossfights and few ones to remember forever, and this one would sink into memory even without the reminiscence FMV conclusion inclusion. It's the strongest point of the whole Egyptian episode, like a grand symphony coda - so why doesn't it end here? Instead, we board one of the bigger neshmets and have some relax sailing down the...
And here's where a total downhill, or downriver, occured. You could sum it up with a single sample of regular water splash. Yes, I was never fond of kayaking, but this time I made it difficult on my own: I actually spent about 10 minutes to row up the first waterfall, what the builder never intended to happen, but I still wasn't motivated enough to travel upstream where the real secret was :D . I cannot explain this, sorry. But the point is the whole Neshmet ride is fair, though the all-green location is possibly the least visually attactive place of the whole game. The cave run is hard yet nice, finding the cartouche items was challenging, and floating leaves gave a shortcut after each harder segment so those who play without reloading (are there people like this?) don't have to repeat the already done platforming. Having unlocked the final temple, I was a bit surprised to find it the final item location, because the Seth fight in the previous level took the whole climax to itself. Still, it was nice to encounter the tough boss, and Lara eventually got the next staff, sorting things out and enabling herself to drip...
In the Swamp
Memories from Beyond the Scion and UUB4 strike together, but this time the area is larger (new tools come in handy again) and wilder - dead trees, to-be-dead crocodiles and hostile natives occupy the place. However it's the vehicle which stands for the most of fun - we can literally feel like some alligator hunters in Florida, only in near-equatorial Africa. Another instance of hard-to-spot wall bouncing occurs, but I learnt from Henutmire so I found it easily - if all difficulty graduation flew like this, I would have had absolutely nothing against main gameplay overlay. A passage through the swamp involves obligatory tribesman massacre and even more platforming You need to believe You're supposed to execute before attempting it. BTW there's a nice YouTube channel called Seifenhasser, brilliantly covering all these harder sequences (and tricky parts of many other customs), so if You again consider this game too tricky - check those videos and bow to them. The last area of the level involves a raft puzzle many people don't know the intended way through, but possible to finish two other ways, however the solution is always the same, so we can't skip another new animation made for it (I can't really count them already).
It says "Village" but before we get to it, we'll approach a lot! The especially hard spike trap, also covered by Seifenhasser (what makes me simply ashamed of my own [lack of] skills), and only comparable with difficulty to the Henutmire doors, but also passable without a health loss (traps in the whole game are fair in general). Next, we step into a breathtaking, long-abandoned temple, and going through it I could really feel its former greatness, though it was definitely more touched with time than the Egypt part - and I think that gives nice variety. One of these ruined places is a puzzle, and while I don't mind its high difficulty, I really think the author shouldn't have left the whole temple open to exploration until the riddle is solved (until the very end, I remained clueless I skipped something in that place and I had to go back unnecessarily). The following collapsible pillars were another nice alteration applied instead of falling floor blocks usually utilized in such cases. Having both major artifacts collected, a huge canyon is unlocked, another moment surprising us with not yet being the end of a single level - but wait, there wasn't any village, was it? Correct - when I cleared the canyon, I reached an even bigger area, for another surprise to explore tribal huts, despite of the level name supposed to prepare me for it. One starts to wonder how it's possible to include that much in a single unit, if he doesn't start to wonder what to do next. In my case, I got plainly stuck, and I cannot remember being more stuck anywhere, anytime, in my whole life. And the best thing was to find out a hint was there all the time, so again, the builder was fair to everybody. Taras, here's exactly what I consider a difference between good and bad design - on the contrary from the Egyptian secret, this village puzzle not even fully satisfies those who are observant enough, but even fills with respect those who had to refer to the walkthru, dismissing their a reason to complain, just because You were fair to them. In fact, the highlighted could be the only phrase necessary for this review... wait, WHY the hell didn't I do it???
Tiny title, huge level. Possibly the hugest of all. The placing of artifact acquired in Ireland Egypt episodes is a lot of effort itself, and it's only a prologue. The rest is a stunning, enormous city filled with non-linear sniffing for many things to do. This place does not forgive any mistakes in exploration. Take time for it. Climb all the buildings. Light four candles what sounds like no deal but in fact takes an hour, so in the end You can't wait to see what dwells beyond. You may drop the torch, but it won't help - anyway, You will now burn in...
A true nightmare. Yes I know it's virtual but feelings are plainly true, wasn't it what the games were being created since their dawn? And this unfamiliar cave leaking with lava purely resembles those classic, unreally hard games which were all about jumping and running until You die enough times to give up or survive enough times to continue. If You aren't a veteran raider or a super-concentrated demigod player, You might throw more curses on this section than You did in entire life. If it one day appears Taras is a silent author of Flappy Bird, I won't be surprised at all. But whoever succeeds with these lava platforms, will surely be rewarded as... hell? Yes, this is hell! For if there's life after death, it will indeed burn into Your memory for eternity. After the warm welcoming, the normally hated harpy fight over floating ledges feels like a relaxing break, and finally, finally, in the very end, when You go through the struggle to disarm and defeat the last boss (Seth again but woman! so the anagram is "T.She", a coincidence or not, both may be true), the combined satisfaction from the whole game is immense. This is where, in the whole game, a classic 16-ton weight with the capital "PERIOD" written on it should fall from the ceiling, with the additional floor shake effect. But no - instead, we make it to a bonus in...
- and it's really better not to collect all the secrets in case of this game. A bonus level after a challenge should, at least for me, remain a challenge. While in Vikings there was one, here we explore an empty palace - of course nicely laid out and furnished, but we don't even meet the owner, and it would be good to find somebody alive here. In the end, we've just fought the evilmost creature on Earth, and haven't we saved anybody? Maybe this is how it should end with respect to the book the game is based on - but in this case I haven't read it so I can't understand, and the standalone effect is not that satisfying like it could be - though still beautiful.
This is just the obligatory outro sequence, so let me also put a conclusion of the whole review here. I was seeking for the best single word that could summarize this adventure, and the only suitable one that comes to mind is "terrific" - for it sounds both "magnificient" and "terrifying". It has a moments that will make one stand in awe before the builder's talent and praise the day he was born to this world. It's also punctured with spots where a player might find himself close to hang himself on the ceiling lamp. A combination of TRLE heaven and hell that would form a black hole if ever happened in real world. It's hard to decide to take it on being aware how hard it is - anyway I did. It's equally hard to request improvement from Taras who sacrificed years to create this game - anyway I will. Technically there isn't much one could whine about - the adventure is solidly executed from the beginning till the end, every single environment is convincing, the local climate of various episodes is differing and beautiful so we can "sink in" despite of extensive brain usage (I really feel something on the air, and I think it's my head which is still smoking). Finally, the number of things that have been created especially for this game, the amount of pioneer puzzle types and loads of new objects utilized stand above any frustration one can get due to the over-the-rainbow trickiness. However there are some things that should have been done in a bit different order to result in proper challenge graduation, and too much space open for instant exploration together with no camera hints applied while they could really help many times. Nonetheless - I need to be brief, my balloon is waiting - whoever doesn't play this, he (or... SHE, buahahahah xD) will miss a massive dose of "wow" moments, and of course mind that, just in (likely) case, the walkthru is here which I once more thank to Julian, David and Moritz for. Meanwhile I found out the mysterious Seifenhasser is our dear Scottie, so I also applause him for the master skill he utilized to make this wonderful release even more friendly to all of us - for it would really be a shame if somebody skipped playing a marvellous game just because of its difficulty, and I always feel pity when it happens. I also see the 16-ton weight is still hanging under my ceiling and for too long, so I'm pulling out the scissors and trigger it to fall... Ouuch!.... PERIOD." - DJ Full (18-Oct-2014)
"EXCELENT!!! First level which i played from this talented builder was Vikings. At those times it was the hardest custom level which i played until Tomb Raider She was released. But what could i have expected from this amazing builder? Yeah, i am sure this is the hardest custom level so far. I just wonder how many players couldn`t finish this fantastic game because of its very hard chalange. Puzzles are very hard but every puzzle has its very clever and logical solution. For traps, timed runs etc. and gameplay you need to be perfectly skilled player. Textures, lighting...perfect. Perhaps i didn`t like a few music or background sound choise but even those chosen fits the atmosphere greatly. And there are many new ideas in this game. Absolute 10/10/10/10 from me. Took me 30 days to finish it with 12 hours 36 minutes of net gameplay with all secrets, because i wanted to play bonus level and for that you must find all of them, so i needed to replay some levels. In my opinion this adventure is MASTERPIECE. If you feel to be super experienced and skilled player than good luck to this one :D Thank you very much Taras for your adventures. I hope there will be your next one and of course even harder :) Highest recommodation..." - OverRaider (14-Dec-2012)
"Original, inventive, superb level. hard? yes!. Indispensable?
yes!. Thanks Taras!." - requiemsoul (05-Nov-2012)
"Tara's is known for infamously difficult levels set in
surreal fantasy settings, and this set continues that trend.
There's a large variety of themes in this pack, and the
thing that really sticks out is the object use; there are
all manner of completely new and unexpected objects (many of
them used to kill you in new and unexpected ways) that
revitalise even the more ordinary level themes. The
texturing and lighting frequently falter with flat lighting
and stretched or oddly used textures, but I can forgive them
more than I would in most because there's something about
Tara's use of them in their packs that almost makes it feel
like part of the surreal, almost cartoonish, aesthetic. The
sense of scale and stronger aspects of Tara's design also
creates some great and vast looking areas.
This might be Tara's most difficult pack yet, which is
saying something. The pacing is mixed up quite a bit, with
some levels being a bit more sedate (or at least focused on
passive exploration rather than pixel-perfect timed
challenges), but even at it's easiest it very much rests on
the hard side, and at it's hardest... Well, it contains
possibly one of the toughest platforming challenges I've
ever seen. The challenge is expected from Tara's at this
point, and can be respected as part of the vision they have
for their levels, what's not so respectable is some of the
incredibly vague puzzle solutions that almost require a
walkthrough; not helped by the new objects that frequently
function in completely new ways. I'm also not a fan of
forced medikit use. There's more of a story in this set than
in Tara's earlier packs, and while it's mostly relayed in
the first level there's some nice events to support it, and
the Egypt section contains some very clever links with Tomb
Raider 4 (and Lara gets to clean up some unfinished business
at the Great Pyramid). If you're up for the challenge this
is a recommended set and it's interesting to see Tara's
continue to refine their unique style." - Mman (03-Sep-2012)
"Well, as my 'real' life doesnt't allow me to play all day long it took me some time to finish this game. I really can't remember every detail of the 1st levels I started somme weeks ago. So why to write a review at all? Because Taras has developped his art - that's what an artist (Taras an artist and not only a builder) should do. He's grown. But I see also some negative aspects of his development, almost concerning gameplay.
It's a complex multilevel adventure as we could expect from him. There are quite hard challenges - this could have been expected , too. (The fact, that I found most of them easier than in his earlier works may be hint that my abilities have grown, too ???). But his former games were mor stringent, the logical way to proceed was worked out more clearly. Concerning gameplay too much ways were no more traceable. Concerning lighning and textures 'vikings' convinced me more. Gameplay also was more creative there. Concerning my 'grades' I only can rate this author in comparison to his former works, not to other authors, he is that outstanding.
I've never seen such sunsets as in one of the egypt-levels. It s a masterpiece of an artist. Anyhow Taras has created a TR-opera. But concerning gameplay he should keep his players in mind. It's not a game for everyone." - Christian (07-Jul-2012)
"I suppose that no one ever finishes Spenser's The Faerie Queene and says to themselves, "I wish that had been longer." And I doubt that few players ever reach the end of Taras's She, and say to themselves with a sigh, "Gee, I wish that had been harder." (Now that I think about it the collected works of Taras share similarities and themes to the longest poem in the English language.) This will be a short review. She has over 6,000 downloads in several weeks, and the author is well known for a unique vision, fanciful landscapes, imaginative expert challenges, and the creative use of new objects. Players expect this, and if they persevere they will again be amazed and enchanted. I felt the levels got better and better as the story progressed. Near the beginning play put me off. In Grotto, Lara has a boring hunt for five plugs to shoot, then sideways moving platforms are not only flaky, but can trip a game-stopping bug. Soon there is a huge verdant Ireland landscape, and to my dismay Lara is mostly searching for four shamrocks in tall grass. But once past this, and into the middle section, Egypt, players find that the old Taras is back. In the last third there are finally levels that look as though they were inspired by the novel, with breathtaking views, and wonderful ideas and objects. Often gameplay can only be scored as a 10. I appreciate challenges, and here there are dozens of creative mechanisms set awhirl to enthrall and confound. You don't find such a collection in other authors' levels, and for that matter you don't find dreamlike landscapes so well realized by anyone else. But I do question when repeated jumps aren't about agility and skill, but instead seem to succeed by random luck. Lara tries a hundred times, or two hundred times, until twirling fire pots chance to be in a position to let her pass. One can resent such demands for time, or the little details--spot a coin up near a ceiling to shoot--that cause pointless delays. Taras tends to aim his levels at the top five percent of players. As intrepid souls have put together a walkthrough, and a collection of savegames, future players may find the levels more accessible. Very much a major work, and much thanks to the author for a grand achievement." - dmdibl (13-Jun-2012)
"I must confess this is the first Taras game I actually
finished yet, and it was a fantastic one with great object
usage, unique gameplay experiences and a great appearance
with a lot of self-made textures and perfect sound usage.
Ireland (8-10-9-8) - On the Air (5 min.), The
Magician (25+35 min.), Grotto (35 min.), Talamh Bhrionglóid
(30 min.): Already the short prequel introduces us in an
imaginative world with a great plane to Ireland Lara has to
explore, but also shows what might be not Taras strongest
side - the area down on the floor looks rather crude and the
edges show the end of world quite clearly. This doesn't harm
the atmosphere so much though - if you are able to overlook
some mistakes and rather flat lighting throughout the game
everything is full of great details. The tasks in this and
the next level, The Magician, are rather mundane compared to
the later levels, and finding some of the rather well hidden
switches and keys doesn't show much creativity gameplaywise
(actually only the timed run and the platforming just before
it do, although the timerun is too tight for my taste),
luckily things pick up in the Grotto level. I found this to
be the best of the Ireland levels, because the rock
platforms; the thumpers and the coin shooting were rather
fun (but very hard!) to accomplish and the floating castle
area was one of the most atmopsheric I have ever seen. Only
the tightrope task was rather unfair to the players with the
bomb being able to reach you any time - some safe spots
could have been implemented in my opinion. The three secrets
were well hidden but maybe only reachable for the most
experienced builders out there. After returning to the
Magician level things are again great, with the village
coming to life after the time has been restarted, great
scale rooms with fantastic sound usage, extensive but fun
exploration, a nice way of getting rid of a sentry gun and
getting out of a well, and last but not least some nice
scenes like the pig stable and the cannon which breaks the
wall to finish the level. The next and final Ireland level
was the least interesting at least for me although the large
outside area had a fantastic atmosphere (although lighting
was missing here), with really odd gameplay choices like
completely invisible trapdoors, levers hidden in too lush
greenery and simply a too large space to really carefully
explore. Also, the "end of the world" moments got more and
more here, as one can climb some ledges and then run against
invisible walls, but the end really made up for these things
with a beautiful ballroom and a stunning end sequence.
Egypt (9-10-10-9) - Ghosts of the Past (30+2+2 min.),
Henutmire (50 min.), Ghosts of the Past II (35 min.), Nile
(35 min.): The poor balloon driver has done quite a journey
with Lara but he eventually managed it and Lara enters the
second location - a large pyramid area which serves as the
hub level for the Egypt levels, but also has quite an amount
of tasks to do before entering the different levels. The new
pyramid textures from Psiko did a fantastic job here - the
area looked very realistic and it was a pleasure to raid
through this level. I pretty much liked the cool sequence
after getting the mask; the object puzzle underground was
very clever and the two trap sequences near the end with
moving back and forth spike walls and a up- and down moving
block were great fun, although I found the sole secret in
this level to be hidden rather uninspiredly. The first
sublevel, Henutmire, provided a bunch of fantastic puzzles
throughout the whole level; some tasks were a bit sneaky
again as the too well hidden coin at the start and too well
blending levers, but all in all this was my favourite from
this Egypt part - there are so many things to like as the
slope sequence with a ball to shoot in between, the boulder
puzzle, the wind letting you have access to a higher level,
the (pretty demanding) double timed run and the great flyby
of the statue at the end. Also very good graphics throughout
the whole level with a lot of nice details, but I found the
shadows being used rather odd in non-fitting places -
lighting in general is not so great in this game. Ghosts of
the Past II brings players back to TR 4, where Seth is still
running around the cave he was left in years ago, and
suddenly gets bored... there is not so much to say
gameplaywise but I think the lot of nostalgia and exploring
areas that weren't accessible before was plainly engrossing.
Although there are several nice gameplay touches - e.g. the
stairway changing into a slope every few seconds was a nice
puzzle. Nile, the last Egypt level, didn't catch me from
right at the start because I found the kayak ride to be
rather slow and boring, and there were a few bugs that
really can make players angry, like when the boat hits a
wall while progressing backwards through a flow Lara gets
thrown back a few metres. The later half of this level with
a very hard timed run and the fun quest for two cartouche
pieces was more to my taste, even if not so experienced
players might tear out their hair on some of the jumps. I
found the lighting to be better in this level, mainly
because of the cave with the timed run and the cool fogs
spread throughout the level.
Senegal (9-10-10-9) - In the Swamp (30 min.),
Amahagger's Village (60 min.), Kor (50 min.), Eternal Fire
(20 min.), Bonus Level - Ayesha's Palace (15 min.), Epilogue
(1+2 min.): At the start I wasn't so much attraced by the
first level, In The Swamp, because I just didn't find a
start in it, but as soon as I found the boat it went uphill
steadily as the way to get there is already ingenious and
afterwards you can cruise around the scenery (which is much
more fun than the kayak), face very nice tasks (turning a
bridge, doing fun acrobatics, shooting a raft to get a
platform), although the level ends rather abruptly and first
I thought I will return here, but actually one doesn't. The
next level (Amahaggers Village) was my favourite Senegal
level with fantastic atmopshere and lots of in-and exterior
areas full of nice tasks, great textures and lovely object
usage, such as the pillars of all kind, the bridges and the
tree that makes a tightrope. The village itself was a bit
flat in terms of lighting, but I didn't mind too much as the
main puzzle inside was incredibly well thought out. Kor, the
next level, was partly rather sneaky with too well hidden
passages at the start, partly brilliant with a cool
platform/pole puzzle, again innovative and ultra hard traps,
elevator and torch usage and Lara even having to get two
statues on top of a scaffolding... great stuff throughout
the level, but I found the lighting to be really not good
here as everything is way too uniformly lit and the
atmosphere is not that great because of that. Eternal Fire
is rather short but it's OK so as it contains the boss fight
against Her, but also some final brutally hard task (jumping
over sinking platforms in a lava lake) to scare away the
last dabblers ;). The boss fight itself was a bit boring and
I could imagine something more interesting than doing the
same task four times, but whatever, the level's appearance
was great with the blueish textures merging very well with
the red lava lake. Indeed, this level is the only reason why
I give this game a "9" in Lighting/Textures, else an 8 would
have been more than enough because of the lighting I really
disliked in many levels. After the return to Kor (which is
now called Epilogue) you have the option to go for the bonus
level but only if you found all twenty secrets, which won't
be possible so easily - I only found half of them myself
even with (mostly) long exploration, and the other half with
the incredible help of Soul and vimmers - thanks much you
two. It's not a great level - mainly about running around a
huge castle area finding three cat statues and eventually a
book - but it still was worth as a reward for finding all
the secrets. And after returning a final time to the
Epilogue one gets to see a fantastic concluding cutscene.
Summary: This level was worth playing every second of
the more than 7:30 hours I spent here - there is so much to
see and experience it never gets boring. All in all the game
would have benefited from more compactness in some of the
levels - less hour-long exploration, more ingenious puzzles.
This and a bit more time spent in lighting work for even
more stunning environments would have made this level close
to perfect, but it's still more than highly recommended and
hopefully it will get a classic TR. Finito." - manarch2 (09-Jun-2012)
"A very difficult multilevel game just like i was expected from Taras ...and moustly builded for hardcore -expert raiders its a shame from some point of view that cannot be played bye everyone cause is otherwise a brilliant game - a masterpiece same iff we talk about ideas and same on scenery involved -very variated with cave setting - city setting - lava rooms setting- Egypt setting ........ i am not sure iff this - or his first game Legio Victrix was harder .... but i can tell u is a hell off the game with many many frustrating moments with pixel precision jumps .... and all the traps u can imagine in a Tomb Raider game is present here .. at Legio Victrix he focussed more on spike traps and very tight timed runs .......... in this one insteed that he added some sinking rocks + balancing burning pots !! so u can be cooked easy lol also is alot off burner traps in this one ( only boulder trapps i dont withness lol )... another very difficult part was the spining slicers moving ones + calapsible froor !! ..... all in all a masterpiece off game - BUT NOT FOR EVERYBODY- ONLY FOR EXPERTS !! ...... my personal opinion Taras is at top 5 builders all time !! just he make his games only for a restricted amount off players ..... who can make it to the end will dont regret.... for me needed a week to finish ... and even needed 2 save games to can continue- wich is very rare thing at me ....... but like i said is very very difficult game with all the tasks at LIMIT !! .... i was see a six at gameplay by Jose ..... i admit is frustrating game but lets not be too cruel .... this is a 150 % Hall off Famer and dont deserve so low mark even iff is frustrating one .... RECOMANDED 100 %- BUT ONLY FOR EXPERTS I wait for ur next game Taras - i hope will be harder than this lol - joking ;)" - Jack& (05-Jun-2012)
"I have enjoyed many TR levels, but this will figure among the very best. It has been the most challenging level I have ever played and I resorted to the fora and the wisdom of Vimmers & Soul more than in any other level series. Although many may not agree, I welcome these really tough levels, but only when they, as in this one, are accompanied by great large locations to explore, custom objects/animations, inventive and non-obvious puzzles, using many of the standard TR level features in a new way (e.g. speedboat, 'train') and, despite them giving me a repetitive stress injury, those almost 'impossible' jump sequences. Such a feeling of achievement when you solve something or find a secret. I found only 10/20 secrets so am looking forward to replaying the game soon - which is unusual for me - but probably will need the walkthough by my side! Well done Taras, keep these levels coming!" - Adrian (03-Jun-2012)
"If you've played any previous levels by this author, you will be aware that he takes no prisoners. I certainly required a helping hand from time to time, mainly from my husband, but also on a couple of occasions with a savegame from the forums. As I actually managed to get through 'Vikings' entirely unaided, I can only conclude that either Taras is making his levels harder or I am losing my raiding skills. It could be a little of both. However. Starting with a ride on an aeroplane with the most leg room I've ever seen, this epic adventure takes Lara to Ireland (magical and quirky), Egypt (majestic and nostalgic), Senegal (steamy and full of restless natives), and culminates in a boss ending in lava filled caves. The various sections are beautifully made and pleasingly diverse, but the thing they all have in common is some fiendish jumps, timed runs, agility tests and puzzles to accomplish. Enemies are used sparingly, effectively and appropriately, the cut scenes and animations are a joy to behold and the music is extremely well chosen. It may well be a game aimed squarely at the top five percent of raiders, but I still urge you to have a go as there is so very much to enjoy and the ever so kind experts in the stuck threads are sure to help you out if you get into too much difficulty. It's too good a game to miss." - Jay (03-Jun-2012)
"Later Legio VI and Vikings great Taras gives us a new
beautiful adventure TR. ..She, a fascinating history divided
into 12 levels that will bring Lara Croft in 3 different
locations, Ireland, Egypt and Senegal. The adventure begins
in a large aircraft carrying Lara in Ireland, a few actions
to be performed but well congeniate .... the prelude to a
series of levels is not easy and, as usual, recommended to
more experienced players. The 3 levels of Ireland, The
Magician-Grotto-Talamh Bhriongloid are set in a medieval
castle, very nice graphically and not easy, especially the
part where you need to reach another castle in the clouds
using the original flying stones. The next part set in
Egypt, Ghosts of the Past I-II-Henutmire-Nile is what I
liked most, graphically impressive, I have never seen a real
Egyptian environment well, and as I said on ASP forum,
seemed to be on the set of Indiana Jones. the last part is
the one where Lara reaches the Senegal, In the Swamp-
Amahagger's Village-Kor-Eternal Fire where the adventure
concludes, this series is perhaps the most difficult, very
articulate but equally beautiful from the graphic point of
view. In conclusion, I say that this game is exceptional
from the graphical point of view, great music, fun gameplay,
I love the levels of Taras, the fun is 10, although someone
may seem too difficult but must not forget that the TR
officers were not intuitive and if someone penalizes these
game wrong, this is my opinion. Thanks for this wonderful
work of Taras." - Pablito_it (02-Jun-2012)
"It's easy to suppose what I'm going to say seeing the numbers first. This is one of the very best levels I played this year; I love some ingenious puzzles, the cool musics and excellent cameras, marvellous objects and animations; perhaps some secrets are excessively hidden, and I missed some more enemies in certain areas through all levels... On the other hand the gameplay is quite good, with innovative ideas and original tasks, but sometimes the excessive exploration (look for small switches or objets in very very huge areas) and the toooooooooooo hard tasks always to the very limits of what Lara can do (trying the same task dozens or hundreds of times is not funny for almost anybody) make this adventure playable only for a bunch of players around the world. But Taras is so; he never let indifferent to anybody. Nobody is forced to play his levels: take it or leave it!" - Jose (31-May-2012)
"On the Air: This level feels more like a Prologue and so I won't rate it. Either Lara booked the wrong flight or she just doesn't feel like taking the long way from the airport to the "Magician", as she has to get off the airplane with a parachute. This level already sets the tone for the whole levelset: Despite the rather unspectacular design (flat lighting, big, empty rooms) of the level, taras still managed to create a great atmosphere, thanks to a perfect choice of audio and some great flybys.
The Magician (8/9/10/8): One gets to visit this level twice and when I first entered it I wasn't too keen on it. I liked the oblique walls, that were completely new to me in the TR4-engine and the overall architecture of the city, but somehow it was also a mixed bag for me, due to lighting being almost non existing. Furthermore it seemed, that every single player was stuck at the same spot thanks to a deviously hidden underwater switch. Of course there were already some great moments too, namely the house of the magician (one has to see it to believe it!) or the alchemists laboratory, both with some very nice new objects, but frustration casted a damp over these things. The second visit (one got to explore the amazing Grotto in between) then started with a phenomenal flyby, that showed, that "a bug" was actually a gimmick and from then on, I simply loved the level. There were still some places, where I was stuck and had to ask in forums, but I didn't blame taras for that and created my own take-home-message instead: "Everything could be a hidden mechanism in this custom, that is best played with open eyes" and having this phrase in mind every time I played "She" made progression a lot easier ;)
Grotto (10/10/10/9): Amazing level, that's set in a huge cave-complex (hence the name). Taras created a believable environment and it's a real pleasure to explore every meter of it. What I loved is that normal gameplay elements, such as balancing on a rope or pole swinging got turned into some never seen sinister traps with the help of the almighty TRNG, resulting in some real challenges even for the more experienced players out there. The end of this level is already the first highlight of "She" and left me speechless, but I won't spoil the fun for you all, by saying, what it was :)
Talamh Bhrionglóid (6/10/9/7): This is the level I enjoyed the least and the main reason for that is the rather uninspiring gameplay, that's mostly about finding deviously hidden things in a vast environment. Lara has to find 4 shamrocks and I didn't even find one of them, without help from the forums. In hindsight I have to say, that the tasks for two of them, both in swampy surroundings, were really great, but at the same time a bit too far-fetched for people to get it. In terms of atmosphere, taras did an amazing job though. Again everything looks a bit rough and lighting is hardly existing, which is a shame, but one gets to see all kinds of tame animals (I especially liked the way taras changed the behavior of the eagles) and loads of brand-new (animated) objects.
Ghosts of the Past I (8/10/10/8): This one is more a hub-level that interconnects the following two and thus isn't that long. Gameplay is mainly centered around exploration but in contrast to the last level in Ireland, it's great fun to explore this vast Egyptian area and progression is constantly made, with only one exception: After climbing a tower and passing some traps one had to realize, that some mechanism, has to be activated first, what shouldn't happen, as it just adds to frustration in my opinion. While I'm still not too keen on the way taras applies lighting to his outside areas (the inner areas all look fantastic though) I still loved the way he designed this environment, as loads of different textures were used- and applied appropriately to create a believable desert area and an Egypt that's completely unique in the Tomb Raider world.
Henutmire (10/10/10/10): This may easily be the best Egypt level I ever played, as it's an all-round carefree package for every player, who likes challenging levels. Lara gets to explore Huntmire's tomb, that's filled with deadly traps (I for one loved the moving (!) fast closing doors), imaginative puzzles, tight agility tests and nice jumping sequences that all made my TR-heart leap for joy! From the moment I entered the first hall and the Requiem for a Dream OST kicked in, I knew, that I was in for a treat and the more I progressed the better it got!
Ghosts of the Past II (9/10/10/9): As a mixture of areas from TR1's "Sanctuary of the Scion" and TR4's "Temple of Horus" and "The Great Pyramid" (both with textures from TRAE) this seems to be taras' tribute to Core's Egypt and I really liked the basic concept of it: Lara has to face her eponymous Ghosts of her past but all the well-known areas were turned into whole new experiences and new rooms, that fitted perfectly were added. To give you an example: At the beginning of the level, Lara reached the scale-rooms from TR4, but since she didn't have both water-skins, she had to find another way, that lead her to a brand-new area, where all the Ahmets where placed in cages (they appeared in TR4 in case of a failure). I called it: "Behind the scenes of TR4". If it was possible, I'd give the third category far more than just 10 points, as the flyby, that showed Seth getting closer and closer left me speechless. Great work!
Nile (9/10/10/10): I normally don't like levels, that involve the kayak, as I still can't get over, how bad Core made the controls of this vehicle, but in this case I really enjoyed it. After practicing the controls a bit the player reaches an incredibly beautiful river-area, but can't get out yet (at least taras thought so - muahahaha) and has to follow the river through some traps first in order to reach the riverside much later. Even if it's possible to use a shortcut here, I hope, that players will still take the long route, as it has some pretty nice gameplay moments, including an extremely tight timed run, I really loved. Again there's hardly any lighting in the outside-areas but everything still looked very nice and realistic, thanks to all the new textures and objects.
In the Swamp (8/10/9/9): After Ireland and Egypt the Senegal is Lara's third and last destination, but before reaching the sublime "Amahagger's Village", Lara has to cross a huge swamp. Despite its rather rough design and almost missing lighting, it still looks very nice, thanks to the perfectly fitting horizon and a subtle fog, that's covering the whole swamp. Again taras managed to create a great atmosphere and chose the music wisely, but I think, that it wasn't the best idea, to have drums as background sound, when riding the vehicle. It was nice the first time, but it started to be a bit annoying the more often it got played, especially because it didn't even stop, when Lara jumped off the boat. While gameplay started a bit uninspiring, thanks to a huge stuck-moment, it got better and better, once one found the way to the next areas, where some nice platforming had to be done.
Amahagger's Village (9/10/10/9): In my opinion the Senegalese equivalent to "Henutmire". Again Lara gets to explore the inner of a great looking temple and again everything, a Tomb-Raider-Fan could ask for, is there. Sadly, some puzzles and the way Lara had to interact with some of the new objects were a bit too obscure, or better: too imaginative for their own good, resulting in some frustrating moments and so I couldn't give gameplay the top-score even if quite some planning must've went into the layout of the level. While all the other levels so far mainly took place either indoors or outdoors, this one is both set in the temple and also in the village outside and so the player will see some drastic differences in terms of lighting, which is quite a shame. While all the areas in the temple, where lit appropriately and created a nice atmosphere, the outside-area felt a bit rough again and it was hard to believe, that both was created by the same author. I'm not saying, that the village didn't look amazing (loads of new objects turned this place into real eye-candy) but I would have enjoyed it a lot more with some proper lighting (lowering the ambiance a bit and placing a sun will work wonders )
Kor (10/10/10/10): Let's do something different here and just throw in a few words, that describe this level imo., as words can't really express how much I liked this place: beautiful - imaginative - tremendous - mystical - atmospheric - challenging - clever - ... - perfect! One has to see it, to believe it!
Eternal Fire (10/10/10/10): The perfect ending of an almost perfect, epic journey that guided our heroine across 3 different continents, in order to finally unveil the entrance to the Sacred Fire (yep - I read the story ^^). Even if it's rather short (it's mainly the place, where Lara gets to encounter the final boss) there's an extremely hard run over sinking platforms in lava, that will test the skills of every player a final time and took me numerous tries and many savings in between. Kudos for that!
The fight against the boss is executed very well and even makes use of the lyrics in "Scaretales" by Nightwish (squealing pigs ^^). You never fail to impress me, taras!
Ayesha's Palace: A calm, final raid for those, who have found each one of the 20 secrets (I did :-D). I liked it very much, as it still offers some nice new objects, despite being just a bonus, but I'm not going to rate it.
Verdict: One of the best levelsets (certainly the most imaginative) I ever played. In contrast to Vikings and Legio VI Victrix, gameplay got a bit worse, as a big amount of the "challenges" in the levels is finding deviously hidden stuff, what is a pity, as taras proved, that he's a very creative person, who is able to look over the rim of a tea cup. This and the partly flat lighting in outside-areas is my only point of criticism though, as everything else is almost perfect imo. Mille grazie, Augusto!" - Soul (29-May-2012)