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Level: BtB2014 - Marahatanahaduhashitva back home search
Author(s): DJ Full
total rating:8.86 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Adriel 9 9 7 7
Don007 10 10 10 9
Drakan 8 8 8 6
EssGee 9 8 9 7
Jay 9 9 10 9
Jose 6 8 8 8
Josey 10 10 10 10
Leeth 7 9 8 9
m.julien 8 8 8 6
manarch2 9 10 9 8
MichaelP 8 10 9 9
Mman 9 10 10 9
Mytly 8 9 9 8
okuhtfesq 9 10 8 7
OverRaider 10 10 10 9
Phil 10 9 9 10
Relic Hunter 9 10 10 8
Ruben 10 10 10 9
Ryan 9 10 10 9
Treeble 8 10 9 8
Zhyttya 7 10 9 10
category averages
(21 reviews)
8.67 9.38 9.05 8.33

Reviewer's comments

"My BtB2014 journey reaches its climax with this excellent and highly unique adventure, also one of the longest levels in the contest and coming from a quirky builder who is developing a unique style for himself, expect the unexpected. Renamed inventory items, excellent cutscenes and great secrets, some requiring extra work to obtain. Definitely a favourite of mine and a great way to end the contest. Thanks everyone!" - Ryan (06-Feb-2016)

"This was a fantastic level made by DJ Full. I can guarantee you'll be fulfilled in terms of joy. My personal experience was a bit of a mix between good things and bad things. The good things mainly consisted on the wonderful music that we could hear throughout the whole level. Each area has it's own theme and hell how they fit perfectly. The new animations where really good making room for immense new game play. Not to mention the perfect level design. On the contrary i felt that the game play was sometimes counter intuitive or not that really clear. For example the custom lever with both sides functional, having access to a huge area forcing you to backtrack and walk a lot (for me, not the best kind of game play) and the bell to shoot that was incredible hard to find. But that's all minor things, the rest was so good that you can easily surpass them. One last thing, i can't ignore the fact that the level as too many illegal slopes (hope i'm using the right term), i found myself too many times on them." - Zhyttya (12-Jan-2016)

"A really wonderful level. A fun and addictive game to play with some little jokes in the middle. The atmosphere and camera work is excellent but the constant change of volume on sounds spoiled it a bit. The enemies were really well made, the items were well fought and the animations (like water > stairs) were a nice addition. Still, there were some flaws on the gameplay, puzzles and even level design (the amount of illegal slopes is a bit to high). Even if they were fun to solve, there was to much of terrain to explore and if you get a bit lost on where to start, you just stand lost for a LONG time, and some things like the bell you have to shoot blends way to well with the surroundings (this is a good and bad thing but kinda of annoying). Some switch were strange (the leavers one that was suspended) and the stairs were a bit buggy (I was watching my self jumping all around while climbing). Oh, and talking about stairs, there are some stairs in one of the last zones that doesn't even seem like one. Other negative of this game is the ending, it starts like something epic and just ends out of no where. Another two complains is that the basoka does way to low damage compared to the mp5 and the lizard at the beginning didn't had to die :( RIP Lizard you will be remembered. Even with the scores I have, I will highly recommend this level. As usual, a really fun level from DJ Full" - Leeth (12-Jan-2016)

"What can I say about this author? Not a classic author, but full of innovative ideas (sometimes strange) and not indifferent for anyone. The gameplay is sometimes fluid and another times confusing; the worst is that if you're stuck you'll have to re-explore a lot of huge areas to find something to continue playing. Good architecture, good texturization, also the musics are well choosen, but it's not a level for a BtB contest (I was more than three hours playing it), but a solid level to release in a month where there are not more levels to play and you have a lot of free time to explore huge scenes." - Jose (01-Feb-2015)

"And so another wildly successful BtB comes to a regrettable close. DJ has come a long way since Transplantation, and despite the nonsensical title and the quirky artifact names I would not have seriously suspected that this one was his. It undoubtedly has the best special effects of any submission this year, and the required tasks take you through one wide-open and creative section after another. It's about the longest of the bunch, too, clocking in at nearly two hours and forty-five minutes for me. The only glitches I hit were near the end. I couldn't get the last secret, because although I was able to take a curved running jump to the swingpole, Lara wouldn't swing around a couple of times as suggested in the walkthrough but would consistently swing once and then bounce off the wall. And the guide remained motionless no matter how many times I ran back and forth throughout the dragon room, forcing me to resort to Michael's beat-the-lowering-block trick. Still, this is a fitting capper to a great competition, and I wish there were more Khmer Empire levels to play." - Phil (23-Oct-2014)

"This is an entirely unique level. Objects are used in crazy and original ways and the scale is on a whole other level to the rest of the maps. The texturing and lighting style is likely to be divisive as it's so intentionally outside of anything normal, but I think it mostly works great despite flaws here and there. The non-standard design does lead to lots of illegal slopes, but there's usually a way out, and they're pretty obvious at least. It also makes a creative use of item descriptions to support the story. The gameplay is as creative as the visuals, and there's all kinds of large scale puzzles and non-standard object uses. Those uses can make things a little vague at times, and there seems to be some forced damage (maybe I overlooked something though...), but it mostly keeps momentum and provides an interesting stream of challenges. It's on the difficult side, with some complex exploration and tough tasks and jumps. One of best in this BTB and also one of the most unique TR maps around." - Mman (04-Oct-2014)

"There are some brilliant moments in this level: banging the gong in order to scare a lizard into running over a minefield and setting it off (aww, the poor lizard!); breaking a floor by dropping a ball onto it and revealing a huge underground room underneath; draining a pool to get a quadbike out of it; Lara making off with her (dead) enemies' jeep; and so on.
On the other hand, I felt that this would have been a better level if it had ended after Lara drives off in the jeep. The whole area beneath the pyramid felt pointlessly tacked on, serving only to stretch out the game length artificially. The only thing I liked in this section was the heart- and brain-themed structures. The use of the guide in the final boss fight is counterproductive, as she is so buggy. Why not just let Lara place the artefact herself?
The texturing in this level can best be described as 'eclectic'. Most of the areas are textured in a large hodge-podge of textures. Sometimes this effect is good - especially when paired with decent lighting - and at other times, it's almost painful visually. The architecture in itself is fantastic: the keyword is 'big'. There are dozens of enormous multilevel halls. The main room under the pyramid is easily the largest indoor space I've seen in a custom level. The builder clearly loves building huge complex shapes (even though they are far too infested with illegal slopes). If only the texturing and lighting were a bit better - or even a bit more consistent - this level would have been a visual spectacle. Still, there are some gorgeous rooms, such as the hall where Lara steals the jeep or the one with the Khmerlot. The huge spaces also mean that there is far too much running around to get from one set-piece to the next.
The unusual object names are hilarious, especially all the awful puns on the word 'Khmer' - my personal favourite is 'Wat Khmerger (clones temples around Cambodia)'. Some of the secret quests are fun, but one is particularly unintuitive (lighting an elephant statue on fire), and I needed the walkthrough for help with that one.
Overall: A level with amazing architecture and a whole lot of unique ideas, but they are stretched out too thin across a far-too-long level. Recommended, as it's a memorable experience despite its flaws." - Mytly (02-Oct-2014)

"There is only one word to describe this level: spectacular! What a triumph of creative imagination! I'm amazed. Yes, the author loves ramps, legal and illegal. Yes, he also loves explosions and bomber soldiers. Yes, perhaps the maps are extremely stretched, and there is at least one jump boringly difficult. Yes, the helpful guide stuck looking at a wall in the end, leaving Lara under dragon fire without a possibility of defense, and I had to download a previous save to finish the game. But my dear friends, the variety of tasks and environments, the overall beauty and the originality of the level well deserve, by themselves, a full round of 10s. Did you see the scared lizard triggering a mine field? Did you see the sequence for achieving the secret that was almost in the sky? Did you see...? Well, play it and see for yourself. Congratulations and thanks to the intelligent author!" - Josey (22-Sep-2014)

"Didn't want to review any BtoB level but felt this gets underrated heavily. It's a masterpiece! Everything's just AWESOME in this wonderful level and only the textures can be better a bit. Insanely well done!" - Don007 (21-Sep-2014)

"To say this is a big level is putting it mildly. It's huge! On one hand some areas are visually very impressive, but sometimes this scale can be almost be overwhelming to the player. And it's full of some very creative and unusual puzzling, architecture and environments. Gameplay is good, although sometimes quite challenging, as you stumble your way through this large map. Good use is made of the quad, the guide, the enemy jeep (very original idea) and the psycho killer mercenary to incorporate them into the gameplay. Visually it's a mixture of emotions. On one hand there are some lovely architectural areas, but at other times textures are just a bit too 'loud' and unnecessarily diverse and this becomes a bit distracting. Similarly the use of many illegal slopes in the room design, whilst not in-escapable are just a bit annoying. The script has been used creatively to create some rather quirky and sometimes humorous titles for objects. Audio is used well. Certainly something very different that distinguishes it from the rest of the pack. Even if you can't say or spell Mara-watcha-ma-call-it, you won't forget the level in a hurry." - EssGee (15-Sep-2014)

"What an overdose in originality and creativity! This level is unmatched by any other in this competition in terms of how the available objects are being used and combined and how textures can be sliced and diced and applied - to provide a very extensive and very unique playing experience. There are way too many wow moments to even begin listing them here, very often cinematic little camera sequences that show how the environment changes because of actions Lara has triggered. Simply a joy to watch and experience. I also loved how the secrets are not only creative in terms of how to get them, but really elaborate side quests to accomplish. On the downside, this adventure is of course a bit too long for this competition at 2.5 hours net gaming time and there are a few annoying elements that spoiled it for me here and there, such as quite a few illegal slopes you can get stuck in (and some you can indeed not get out of anymore), some odd gameplay choices (like the pixel corner to corner jump to the MP5 and the subsequent aim up with the MP5 to hit the bell, which only a seasoned player will a) guess and b) manage to do) and despite the many camera hints, I still often ran around for a long time in the huge areas trying to figure out what to do next. Still, these minor gripes pale behind the massive achievement of creating a truly unique adventure that you have to play in order to believe what is possible to do... great stuff!" - MichaelP (13-Sep-2014)

"ouahhh, an ambitious level, maybe too ambitious... with more than 2h30 of "net" gameplay for me. In reality I suppose that it was 3 or 4 hours. Rooms are too huge and empties and the levelfarview is not enough high...Textures wasn't applied with harmony (juxtaposition of different textures). Many stretched textures, many flat lightings, and too too many illegal slopes where Lara can be trapped. I think more camera hints could be usefull. Puzzles seems sometimes so far-fetched, one moment you should shoot a bell without a laser. However this level have really good effects (the lezard and the mines, the falling rolling ball and the key) and in general the story ; cinematic with the jeep, the ending sequence (when it's not skipped by the player ...). I have quite different kind of feelings about this level because I rather liked some parts and also hated others. I even thought that this level was built by two different persons. In my opinion this is not at all a bad custom and don't be missed due to the originality of the gameplay but too overrated in my taste because of sloppy design sometimes. Shorter level and refined, it would have been perfect. 8/8/8/6" - m.julien (06-Sep-2014)

"Now I approach the final level (for me) of this year's Back to Basics, and it really seems I saved quite the special level for last. As unique as its title, the level packs a very unique style combining grand architecture with ingenious gameplay sequences that had me thinking outside the usual confines of the level editor engine. There's a number of interesting sequences to be done here and most of them are accompanied with great cameras and effects: The beginning segments with the minefield and the use of the boulder to smash the door in the floor open, the interesting use of the quadbike, the clever setup of triggers on familiar objects to create new gameplay, the jeep transition and the sequence of events in the great hall in the second half of the level are all quite different from what's normally seen in levels and all of them are executed quite well with a generally clear flow of gameplay. At times there was some backtracking involved, especially in the second part, but this game definitely keeps the player entertained with a good variety of tasks. The objects are very cleverly named and nicely carry the story along, while other object names are downright funny with various references to things in real life, puns, and even poke fun at the level editor itself. I also applaud the smart use of enemies to set up engaging combat and interesting scenarios. The arrival of the mercenaries and the tiger cage made for good scenarios, as well as the showdown at the end. There's also a very good hunt for secrets that fleshes out the rest of the level with a good number of platforming and puzzle challenges. As for the looks of the level, the texturing style is indeed quite experimental as while the texturing is technically correct, they are used in ways that utilize common editor mistakes like stretched and wallpapered textures to create the aesthetics. Overall the result is more pleasant than not with nice application of geometric patterns and shapes that are uncommon in most levels. Lights convey the atmosphere appropriately, though there are some areas with very flat lighting or lighting that heavily contrasts with other rooms, giving this category a slightly disharmonious quality. Marahatanahaduhashitva is a unique level made by a creative mind that should definitely be experienced at least once." - Relic Hunter (01-Sep-2014)

"Wow, just wow. This level ends my BtB-Khmer journey on such an unusual note. The one aspect that stands out throughout the whole adventure is creativity. Despite having seen another 17 levels built using the same resources, pretty much everything here has been used in a different, unexpected way. There are also two extremes here. Either the areas are so daunting big, or so claustrophobically small that navigation becomes difficult for no good reason and more often than not you're faced with one too many slopes to anyone's liking. Still, for all it's worth, I have definitely enjoyed my time here, even if at times I had no idea what I was expected to do next - also, extra points to the most unique item names (alongside the probably longest single-word level title in existance?). 145 minutes, 1 secret. 08/14" - Treeble (01-Sep-2014)

"Another longer than average entry in the competition and, for me, the last one and it certainly was going out with a bang. This is a delightfully quirky level in many ways, not least the amusing names for the inventory items. Having to rescue the quad bike from a pool of water was an entirely novel idea and there's enough in the way of puzzles and task solving to keep the momentum going nicely. Nothing difficult to achieve for the average player, just the sheer size of the area to explore that could have you scratching your head at times. Wonderful stuff." - Jay (27-Aug-2014)

"What a raid! This is such a vast level with so much you can do and see that I felt quite overwhelmed by all the impressions. Let's get the negative things out first - while I don't think the illegal slopes pose much of a threat and I never felt utmost stuck because of them (actually there are some nice jump sequences which otherwise wouldn't be possible this way), they are fairly numerous and could be handled a bit more carefully - perhaps making some of them deadly with placing spikes on them would be a good idea. Visually, this level is a quite mixed bag too. While the texturing and lighting are highly inventive and often nearly perfect from an aesthetical viewpoint, their application is not always clean, there are some wallpaper effects and the lighting feels sometimes a bit, sometimes way too flat, the exterior pyramid area being the worst example of them. So with that things mentioned, this is just a great example of a level which shows that creative ideas (coupled with good technical knowledge) are always superior to levels whose only aim is to please the players with well flowing, undemanding tasks that all other levels included thousands of times before, I can do without those really and I hope future builders are taking levels like this as examples and not the others. Lately, there are only very few really examplary levels and I'm really missing the grand adventures of Richard Lawther et al. niveau. This level, in fact, is the reason why I'm still playing custom levels after over four years. It is not perfectly executed (no-one's perfect after all) and not quite of Richard Lawther quality, but what is presented here is done with a quirky sense of entertainment and some really impressive moments, both in the tasks and in the atmosphere. The architecture of the rooms is superbly crafted, the various areas are perfectly integrated into the setting and I just loved the various connections, may it be for shortcuts or for some glances. The use of sound and cameras is often very good, sometimes epic and very apt for the respective sitution, and the flat lighting is indeed the only thing that prevents full marks in this category. But that leads to the category with enemies, objects and secrets... this one doesn't leave anything to be desired at all. The use of enemies is perfect and not only that, it's so far the only game where a kind of genious is seen in the enemy design. A good example is the cage with two tigers which transform into... see yourself, really a great moment. The object design is just as great, especially when completely different objects are combined like the elephant statue with a gem receptacle. The four secrets are all excellent miniquests and you'll probably miss all of them if you aren't observant enough, they are really well hidden and even if you have a rough idea they are still incredibly tough to find. I'm really restrained in giving the second category full marks in BtB levels, given that the resources are already given, but this is one of the very few exceptions where a genious mind has done wonders to a given object set. Gameplaywise, there's really so much to do here that I won't go into further detail, but I'd like to say that each and every area is done with a great sense of care, there's neither too much nor too little to do in every area and even if there are vast spaces to cover, there aren't excessively hidden things so you'll do fine with leisure exploration - very good. There's a great cross over between the two parts of the game, and the cameras, key names (very funny!) and notes are nicely telling the story further. Maybe the game loses a bit of steam in the second part, with a bit too much to and fro in the large hall, and the puzzles itself could've been a bit more challenging in general, sometimes there's one obvious way to progress through the areas and no need for thinking too much, but overall this is my favourite BtB level gameplaywise, with only one level left for me - mostly because this game never runs out of great ideas and that for the 70+ minutes it lasted for me. I hope that it ends up in the Top 3 this year, as it has a save place in mine already." - manarch2 (21-Aug-2014)

"Very, very long level, very well above the standards set (1h to 1h30). If there was only the middle, it could have been excellent. Because there are good ideas (the quad out of the water ....) and nice rooms (very long bridge). The first time, I actually took a path not provided by the builder and got stuck me near the pyramid. I went back and enjoyed the whole middle of the level. Against by the start and end are not of the same ilk. In the huge great room at the end, there is a selection of wallpaper textures that do not give a good rendering. But the most painful in this level are illegal slopes, one is often stuck if we are not careful, and there are many from beginning to end. In one room there is a lock that floats, it is unclear how it can hold. Personally I did not recognize the Khmer Empire (set theme). There is also a lot of quirks like an elephant giving a key or a Buddha, for example, the strange object names (names have extension, luckily I have a 16/9 screen for read everything lol). With the good ideas, I trust the author for improve its next levels, especially in the texturing." - Drakan (15-Aug-2014)

"I have to say... Marahatanahaduhashitva is like no other level I have played. The builder has an extremely peculiar sense of architecture, geometry, texturing, and even item naming, making this level an extremely unique experience. Unfortunately, like it's name, Marahatanahaduhashitva seems to stretch on forever. While the savegames say I spent 2:30 in this level, I estimate that in reality it was easily double or triple that - FAR too long for a Back to Basics submission. For those of you who played the steampunk Back to Basics levels, Marahatanahaduhashitva is quite reminiscent of Moonlight Legacies in a "dear God is this level ever going to end? Please make it stop!" sort of sense. The style of gameplay often left me feeling quite directionless, which was not helped by the lack of camera hints in several places. I spent hours just running around, occasionally accomplishing something but mostly wondering how all the pieces fit together and losing patience. The gameplay is not all bad however, as there are quite a few genuinely brilliant puzzles and platforming sequences, and some wonderful (though excessive) exploration to be done. The enemies are quite minimal but well placed, and there are plenty of pickups. The single secret I managed to find was well hidden and brilliantly incorporated into the level. Other than the lack of camera hints, the builder seems to have quite a cinematic and impressive style of camera placement. Marahatanahaduhashitva is a mixed bag visually. There are what seem to be out of place or "mixed up" textures all over the level, especially in the outdoor segments and at the beginning, and the builder has a bizarre sense of geometry. This level just might set a world record for the most illegal slopes in a single custom level, and while not all of them are harmful (and some seemed intentional in order to achieve certain architectural effects), many are, as I was forced to reload countless times due to getting stuck in them. The architecture is also bizarre, but for the most part actually looks good. The texturing is very inconsistent, being detailed and beautiful in some places and wallpapered and messy in others. There are also some awful end of the world views, and most of the level takes place in enormous environments, many of which feel rather empty, further diminishing the visual merit of the level. Some static objects phase through one another, and there are several instances of incorrectly placed doors with invisible blocks in front of them (one of my pet peeves). Marahatanahaduhashitva is indeed quite puzzling in that some aspects (the architecture, scale and complexity of environments and gameplay, and the cinematic camera work) seem quite professional while others (the sloppy texturing, item placement, and door placement, the numerous illegal slopes, and the glaring end of the world views) seem unprofessional, leaving quite an inconsistent overall effect; maybe the level was rushed? My review probably sounds quite harsh, but I do not mean to imply that Marahatanahaduhashitva is a bad level at all; I legitimately enjoyed playing it and there is much potential here. It is simply too long and too flawed for me to consider it a truly fantastic Back to Basics contender. I have to commend the builder for finishing this in time and creating a level of such enormous scope, but maybe he or she might go for a more "short but sweet" level in the future? 9/10/8/7" - okuhtfesq (13-Aug-2014)

"Definetely one of the weirdest levels I have ever played. I cannot believe all this has been built in the short time that was given to the builders in this years BtB competition as it is a real giant of a level . I really can`t wait to find out who created such a mind-blowing adventure in his fantasy factory. The level is pretty much apart from the regular BtB stuff I have encountered so far. I played a couple of days and I enjoyed every minute. A player`s patience is stretched to the limit as many things are not what it seems to be. You will love it or hate it - I for one decided to sign in for the first option . My rating reflects the splendid time I had and so I recommend this unusual 'trip` to Marahatanahaduhashitva. Greetings, Ruben." - Ruben (10-Aug-2014)

"Good level, nicely done and with very good ideas and good scenarios. The gameplay is kinda creative and there is always shortcuts and ways to go that don't let the gameplay boring. The level is huge and with lots of big and impressive scenarios with somehow kinda complex architecture. The gameplay and the ways that the author used the objects are completly autentic and inusitate(including the script and the names he gave to objects). The gameplay was good and the game is cool and fun. Now it's turn to take a more technical view on the level. Yeah, the gameplay is good and the scenarios well structured. There are very high and interesting scenarios. The thing is that the author could use the textures and ilumination on a better way. I found streched textures on walls, cracks and misplaced textures many times during the level. Even underwater waterfall textures that shouldn't be there. The ilumination could be better worked as well to make a more interesting to see atmosphere. The level is good one and whoever did this has hability on making levels. I just had the impression that here the author was in a rush to texture and ilumination on the level and that was a fail because the level would be so much better with well worked scenarios." - Adriel (07-Aug-2014)

"It seems that I chose for the first play one of the best if not the best level of the btb2014! What an adventure... You start in a beautiful rocky jungle outside near the caves where you soon enter into the depths of the caves to reveal a grand temple...Level consisting of two parts where the first part is a bit more impressive than the second part but of course second part is very impressive too. What I mean by that is not only in gameplay terms but also in visual and atmospheric terms the first part is better. But as a whole impression for me is that this is an absolute fantastic level as a whole where there are so many complex and challenging tasks, puzzles to solve never seen before and beautiful areas and environments to explore that I never got bored and enjoyed it so much. I was stuck here many times but a deeper exploration and some tries solved it and I always had a very satisfying feeling after every task I solved. There are not many objects in this level but all are very well placed and also this level has so many architectural/construction details that you will never have a feeling of empty rooms...breathtaking. And now about the very little issues in textures and lighting aspect. There are more than few squeezed or few misplaced textures also some areas have flat lighting but this is just really very minor issue in this grand level because the variety of the textures used in every area and most of the areas have professionally coloured lighting applied that with an absolute fitting soundtracks and background sounds accompanying is all this creating an breathtaking scenery. Definitely a level from a professional builder where my playtime was 2:28 hours and have found 2/4 secrets of which 1 is a miniquest accompanying by epic soundtrack well you must see it yourself... (hm still wondering where are those 2 secrets which I haven`t found as I explored every corner in this level, well even bigger motivation for replay) A level definitely not to be missed! 10/10/10/9" - OverRaider (03-Aug-2014)
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