Level: Folklorist Diary - The Hidden Palace back home search
Author(s): Leoc1995
total rating:4.80 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Christian 4 3 2 2
dmdibl 6 5 6 5
eRIC 3 3 4 3
Gerty 4 3 4 3
Jay 6 5 5 5
Jose 6 6 6 6
manarch2 4 4 4 4
MichaelP 6 6 5 5
Mister-B 7 6 9 8
Mulf 3 2 3 3
Orbit Dream 4 4 3 3
Phil 7 7 7 8
Ryan 5 5 5 5
sonnyd83 6 5 6 5
category averages
(14 reviews)
5.07 4.57 4.93 4.64

Reviewer's comments

"This actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, judging from a few of the reviews. Yes, the texturing and lighting is rather lacklustre, some rooms are rather bare and square, the looping audio in the first part got annoying after a while and the majority of the gameplay is very basic. But I did like the bull sequence, the jumps around the icy canyon and the fast and furious battle/avoidance with the hammergods. So, far from a masterpiece, but not terrible either." - Ryan (30-Nov-2016)

"I know, I should write a review after I played the level, but sometimes I am just too lazy. Punishment was to play it again as I had no idea what it was all about. Might say something about myself, might say something about the impression this level had on me. Still don't get the why behind the fall-through bridge though. But the ending was rather spectacular." - Gerty (23-Jun-2013)

"A 3 levels game lasting only 35 minutes, the second one being very short and superfluous , and the last one functions as a boss level , you deal with a couple of hammergods while flipping many switches. This one was kinda fun. The first one where you spend most of your time offers limited exploration , a bit of swimming , and a few jumps later on, but it is not very eventful. Only a few enemies , I remember only a useless dead knight and a useless bull. The setting is very basic , we can spot some thin floors there and a thin wall somewhere else , and the choice of some not very pretty textures, notably the white ones which are supposed to be snow. You pickup a palace key ,you expect a nice palace, but when you enter there is no palace , only a square room , with fire emitters. You get twice the same kind of fire emitters riddle , it was easier to run to water using a medipack than dealing with this boring challenge. Good ideas should not be repeated , and more so the bad ones. At least the area with a big wooden structure starts to resemble to something and you get some good jumps there. All in all, not unpleasant but not very essential if you like good gameplay in nice settings. An adventure that disappoints , as the author is able to do much better." - eRIC (15-Jun-2013)

"Not a great level but playable anyway. Simple architecture, I missed some puzzles and more enemies; secrets are even easy than the normal gameplay. Pull switches, look for keys and some jumps were all I found in this game. Texturization is monotonous and many rooms are too dark; some flybies not really necessary to show nearby triggered objects; a ladder you can't climb correctly and another minor defects could lead players think this game was not properly tested. Worth to play it anyway." - Jose (29-Apr-2013)

"I wasn't as put off by this game as others apparently were. For one thing, it's playable, and it has no discernible bugs. Gameplay is simple and linear, requiring few pauses for thought as I wrote a walkthrough while playing through for the first and only time. I even felt like the Great Secret Hunter for a while there, grabbing off the five secrets early in the game. (It took me a while to realize that in lieu of the familiar chimes, a pleasant strand of music plays when a secret is encountered, something that wouldn't tend to grab a player's attention.) The lighting is good, and there was rarely the need to light a flare to see what was going on around me. For all of these reasons this would be the perfect level for a new or young player to gain confidence with Lara's moves and to hone his playing skills. Recommended for this limited purpose." - Phil (21-Jan-2013)

"I liked that level a lot, I liked sound effects, the flybys helped in the sequence of the game. I delayed when noticing that had to use the lasersight to open the grating under the water! The author improved your level a lot in agreement with the previous games, and it tends to develop still more!!" - Mister-B (09-Jan-2013)

"Bland and uninspired sub-TR2 style (though technically TR4) set of three levels, which easily could have been integrated into a single one, and which takes place in emphatically no particular location or point in time whatever. Mostly run-of-the-mill find-the-next-switch gameplay, though on a few occasions gameplay made grind to a halt: there's 1) a solid looking (by TR2 standards) fall-through bridge (which may condemn you to quite some backtracking); 2) a shatterable underwater grate that doesn't look particularly shatterable; 3) a button presumably to be activated by a bull, but which is in fact a regular switch. All three are builders' inside jokes, tee-hee, asserting the builder's superiority over the mere *sneer* player. Oh, what fun we didn't have together." - Mulf (09-Jan-2013)

"Despite being split into three parts, this level will not take you long to play (50 minutes for me) and if you're looking for something straightforward, undemanding, but quite pleasant, this would do nicely. It would, in fact, be rather ideal for the inexperienced player as there is nothing at all difficult to achieve in the way of agility tests, no timed elements and the enemies (apart from flying bugs in the middle section) are ones to avoid rather than fight, i.e. crumbly crusaders, a bull and two hammer gods. There are five secrets to find and I was surprised to see from the stats page that I actually had found them all, partly because it's not like me and partly because there were no 'chimes' so I hadn't realised I'd found any at all." - Jay (02-Jan-2013)

"There are a few interesting ideas concerning gameplay - at least at the beginning of the 1st part. It's a running around in quite monotone areas, puzzles are more or less boring. Everything seems to be uninspired." - Christian (01-Jan-2013)

"Despite some interesting gameplay ideas in the first level, this three-parter is simply uninteresting - the gameplay is a tedious rush through very basic rooms (mostly boxy, wallpapered texturing, bland lighting) and it's rather an ordeal to finish it rather than fun. The boss fight was really annoying with Lara having to pull more than ten levers with two hammergods chasing you, the ladder you cannot climb properly is a poor design mistake. One item can be forgotten easily and then you need to traverse three times through a very, very long underwater tunnel. I'm almost sure some of the textures are taken from Quest of Gold and completely sure some objects are from Sanctuary of Water, Ice and Fire, but not much is made out of them. 35 minutes, four secrets found but one secret registered while swimming in the starting pool(?) I am sure the builder could do better with a little more effort spent in room design and gameplay. A little better than Ghost Factory, but still not quite a decent game." - manarch2 (31-Dec-2012)

"I came to this hoping to give higher scores. The author did an entire TR2 series of levels that felt like a genuine contribution. That series had the feeling of TR2 play with lots of enemies, and maps with returning quests, so areas were only gradually resolved. There was a carefully planned home invasion level, and Hanging Prison had something different, and later Xian warriors were fun. Emulating enjoyable levels is a fine way for a builder to develop--inevitably, creative touches personalize the levels. But what the author was doing in TR2 has only occasionally been extended to TR4 levels. This new release is playable; I am always thankful for the steady progress one makes in this author's levels. But here Lara seems to wander without a plan. What I will remember most are a couple gags: in one place there is a fall-through bridge so that Lara can't really get across, despite appearances; in another room there is a bull and what looks like a standard wall plate for it to strike, and this misdirection tricked me for a few minutes. As I've said in past reviews for this author, it is time to develop the architecture. Overall, not that bad, but from what I've seen this author can do a lot better. Fun moments, three levels with the first level the longest, 50 minutes." - dmdibl (31-Dec-2012)

"I decided to play this right when the author emailed me the package, as I had a bit of time and ended up spending an enjoyable 40 minutes in this level which is split into three parts. The first one is the most substantial at about 30 minutes (and I assume has all 5 secrets of which I ended up finding 4). It has a few nice ideas - like the use of the lasersight, the first appearance of the knights and later the bull - and I liked how it loops back to the beginning. The audio is nice too, but the ambience loop track gets on your nerves after a while. Part 2 is a short 5 minute intermezzo with a quick to and fro for a key and then part 3 is the final showdown with two hammergods, which appears tougher than it actually turns out to be. So, all in all, a well rounded, albeit a bit simplistic adventure with rather basic architecture, texturing and not enough care taken about lighting (place a sun in each room for more 3D Lara!)." - MichaelP (30-Dec-2012)

"The first thing you'll notice about this level is the distinctive soundtrack, and the TR1 style texturing, both are reptitive, but quite plesant. There are very few enemies here which is fine, we have knights and later on, demigods, which are both undefeatable. This leaves the emphasis on the exploration. The main tasks which are also repeated, are pulling an underwater switch, raising a block, pulling a switch, finding and using a key. This set of tasks is used several times. There are few objects here other than doors and one or two pushables. One thing to note is that some objects which look like doors are actually shatterable objects, which is confusing. Desite the repetitiveness, I quite enjoyed this 50 minute adventure." - sonnyd83 (30-Dec-2012)

"The best part of this 3 level set is the splendid Finale,which is tense and exciting,and really gets the adrenaline going. Unfortunately,you have to trudge despondently through 40 minutes of very average gameplay and bland environments in order to get there.The textures are uninvolving and applied monotonously;while the lighting is bland and uninteresting.The background music in the first level is tense and atmospheric to begin with,but gradually induces tedium with its sheer repetitiveness;while objects are either missing or incongruous,and secrets are hard to miss. Other than being completely stymied by an underwater grate that was shootable (even though all other doors and grates could only be opened by levers or keys)the gameplay is straightforward and somewhat tedious,with only the final few minutes providing any reward for the player. One for hardcore raiders only." - Orbit Dream (30-Dec-2012)
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