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Level: The Cursed Castle back home search
Author(s): Bernard Collet
total rating:7.33 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Boris 9 8 8 8
CC 7 5 7 6
Dimpfelmoser 7 5 8 7
Gerty 7 7 8 7
Jay 6 7 8 7
JesseG 8 7 7 6
John 8 8 8 9
Jose 3 7 6 5
Kristina 7 6 7 7
Magnus 8 8 7 6
MichaelP 7 6 8 6
Momster 10 10 8 9
Necro 8 7 8 8
Orbit Dream 6 7 8 8
Phil 7 8 8 7
RaiderGirl 9 8 9 9
Ryan 6 7 7 6
Sash 7 7 7 8
Tombaholic 8 6 8 8
Torry 10 10 10 10
Treeble 7 6 5 6
Xxenofex 9 7 6 5
category averages
(22 reviews)
7.45 7.14 7.55 7.18

Reviewer's comments

"I have so many contrasting thoughts upon ending this level that I don't know where to begin. Some of the gameplay was fairly enjoyable such as using the mechanical beetle and taking on the role of grave robber near the end. However, I wasn't fond of backtracking through a certain maze three or four times, although miraculously, I didn't get lost. There was also another maze near the beginning which was unnecessarily pitch black. I liked the Scottish textures although some didn't contrast well and a lot were stretched. It'll probably never make my replay list." - Ryan (02-Oct-2016)

"This is a slightly odd mix of Scottish castle textures and seemingly random cleopal style objects, but it works well enough. The outside areas are light and attractive, contrasted with some pitch black inner areas/mazes that really did not need to be quite that dark. There are four beetles to find and a few enemies along the way, with a plentiful supply of weaponry. The pistols suffice quite well for the warthogs, harpies and demigods so the shotgun is of limited use, but the explosive crossbow ammo was certainly handy for the skeletons. There's the odd trap to negotiate, but no timed elements or puzzles. Not a particularly difficult level and quite pleasant, apart from the dark mazes and annoying backtracking." - Jay (02-Aug-2016)

"I'm very surprised about the high ratings for the gameplay section, 'cause for me the gameplay was really bad. You can advance even leaving behind important items or tasks, and when you reach the places and the dead ends the backtracking is terrible; evenmore, the very long way back to get a beetle in the dark cave once you have the crowbar was totally unnecessary. There are several nasty mazes, and some rooms are totally black. Textures are often bad applied, very elongated in large panels or very stretched in small panels. The best were the enemies and secrets. Better play it taking a look to the walkthrough." - Jose (11-Jan-2016)

"This is a sprawling level of about one hour's duration. It begins with extended crawling through pitch black tunnels, so by the time I got to the well-lit castle I was ready to call it Blessed Castle instead of Cursed Castle. The gameplay here is essentially a beetle-collecting exercise, but the excessive backtracking required to obtain the fourth beetle is so aggravating that points have come off my score because of it. You also have to find both parts of the scarab to access two spike-trapped areas, and both parts of the Portal Guardian so you can complete the level. Good fun, if it weren't for all that backtracking through dark mazes." - Phil (11-Apr-2014)

"Well,I'm glad that's over,I must say.From the pitch black crawlspace maze near the start;to the corridor and underwater mazes in the middle section;to the epic backtrack into that damned pitch black crawlspace maze once again...this level threw my least favourite gameplay elements uncompromisingly at me.It's a shame,because there is plenty of gameplay invention elsewhere (especially the hunt for the mechanical scarab).Construction-wise,it veers from the scrappy (the opening boxy valley)to the evocative (the rather stunning Castle courtyard);with comparably variable textures (especially noticeable when you're compelled to backtrack past them,time and again).Enemies perk things up quite significantly;and cameras are an assistance - but the lighting is way too dark at times,and at least one climbable wall was cruelly hidden.It's ultimately not the sort of level most players will want to replay;but is nevertheless epic enough (80 minutes duration)to make you wonder what else Bernard Collet might have accomplished had he continued to build,all those years ago." - Orbit Dream (03-Jul-2013)

"An hour long trip that takes you exploring the inside and outside of a large castle area. The idea of the level was nice and gives a sense of a journey, as you begin in the outskirts and sneak around to the front of the castle via an underground tunnel, and so on. Unfortunately it could have been executed better. The tunnel I mentioned is a rather large, pitch-black maze with stretched textured that give lighting issues. In fact, many parts of the level have stretched textures and a labyrinth feel to them, and there are quite a number of pitch-black spots as well. On the other hand there are quite a number of tasks to do, such as spelunking graves and gathering 4 beetles around the courtyard. Some climbing textures are rather ambiguous and there can be quite a bit of backtracking involved in the level, and these are things that the player can do without. There are not too many threats in terms of enemies or traps besides the handful of pits, a few harpies and a few irritating skeletons. It is not a bad adventure but it could use some improvement. The best start would be for the builder to structure the level using smaller rooms and piece them together - some rooms are way too large and, as is shown, can be hard to manage when building a level." - SSJ6Wolf (12-May-2010)

"Hopefully, this hasn't been added twice as the first time, my connection crashed. This level is a very good one especially since it was created in the beginning of the TR editor community. It has a lot going for it including the diverse puzzles and locations which the auther has spent a good long time in developing judging by the look and it certainly adds to the feel and hightens the gaming experience. It was also difficult in ome places. A very enjoyable level." - Necro (22-Jun-2008)

"From the starting room you already see many mistakes, most of them texture wise. Then you drop down into the next area and what you get is a pitch black maze. I'd have dropped it here, were I not so determined to be a lifetime reviewer eventually. So I realized we were on a quest for the beetles the moment I stumbled on one in the dark maze without a crowbar. Made a mental note and went on... thankfully the crowbar wasn't in the maze nor in the randomized floor outside areas, but in a room only for itself. Made my way back, got the beetle and then pushed on. Loved the main courtyard area and the quest for the other three beetles are rather on the fun side, with the exception maybe of the long underwater maze (it could've been worse, it could've been a long dark underwater maze...) and then, after cracking the pyramid open, you set off on a quick quest for the Portal Guardian to the level end. Also loved the graveyard near the end. 60 minutes, 3 secrets. 08/07" - Treeble (20-Aug-2007)

"I had a 'cursed' experience with this level. I tried every way I could to get it to work on my mac even trying the original CD before the new wads were available the only way was to rename the tom to newcity. I still got butts and objects that were different to what they were supposed to be but I was able to get to what I thought was the last room. If what I saw was correct it's very much a cave/highland castle/coastal type level with cleopatra objects and finding Egyptian beetles. Very strange indeed. I had no problem locating pull down switches and opening doors and graves I did find ammo weapons and the crowbar got cut scenes after actions but the only enemies I encountered were bats. There's a particularly nasty underwater maze area on two levels and another wall maze where you could fall into a gigantic empty room below. The whole thing seems to me to be exploring a huge level. I was very impressed with the climb up to the castle though. I can see that type of scene working very well in a new level." - CC (12-Feb-2004)

"Starting inside dark caves but with enough flares and more to be found as you go on you reach the castle. The atmosphere though didn't convince me. The mix of Egyptian elements with Scottish textures was a bad sight to look at. Not to mention the horrible underwater maze the solution is simple just follow a path near the entrance of the second level of the maze and you will find an airhole. After that it's very easy to access the secret and get the scarab until that time though and when you have to go back out I am sure you will be cursing. The puzzles are not hard at all four beetles to place on the pyramid and get the mechanical scarab a pharos pillar and a portal guardian. The jump switches are well placed in the shadow and I liked the idea of opening the graves and use the scarab to get the Ornate Handle. Demigods harpies skeletons and little beetles are your enemies not hard to dispose. I found three secrets and the level ended after a little more than an hour with Lara entering a treasure room and while approaching a throne." - Kristina (10-Apr-2003)

"The title Cursed Castle was exactly what I did (cursing) as the beginning is really really dark. And you have to find at least one beetle a knot and a jumping switch before you can exit this dark place. And you will be back here as the crowbar you'll find later (as to pry that beetle from the wall). For me the fun started outdoors again as there is a rock facade to climb before you can enter the castle. Getting four beetles and later the mechanical one. I loved the dive in the pool and finding the switch for the graves was not that hard in my opinion. Some nice traps are there and the boulders had me reloading a few times. The fierce water was great to see and luckily not that difficult to master. There are also two huge mazes and the underwater one was very hard. I was glad to get the shotgun and also the crossbow as skeletons are a pest and the demigod and harpies will not leave Lara alone. The camera work was very good at least it showed you were to go next. You'll even encounter some beetles and you have to see the three Lara statues great. Found 3 secrets. 29-01-2003" - Gerty (01-Feb-2003)

"Although the castle is beautifully built and the gameplay fairly entertaining for most of the time there are a few things that spoiled the fun for me. A few minutes into the game you enter the pitch black catacombs with many crawls and when you come across the first black beetle therein and are short of a crowbar you're bound to spend an awfully long time groping for it in the dark; you might even be tempted to retreat your steps and have a closer look at the courtyard you started out from. As it is you get the crowbar a little later and then have to return to the dreaded dark hallways. Furthermore there are just too many maze like areas the underwater labyrinth being particularly irritating and finally I thought that the Cleopal wad simply didn't work with the Celtic castle setting. The demigods and harpies seemed completely out of place as did the Egyptian items and the sarcophagi. Although the cause and effect of the levers is somewhat enigmatic you usually get a cut scene to let you know what happened but I needed some time to locate the jump switch that opens all the graves. Despite all the downsides still a decent adventure that will keep you busy for over an hour." - Dimpfelmoser (14-Nov-2002)

"For me the hardest part of this level was actually getting to the castle as in the beginning there are some extremely dark passages to get through with lots of crawlspaces. I loved the actual castle though and had a great time exploring it for the four beetles and then the two halves of the Portal Guardian. The author has the atmosphere down just perfect and the enemies and traps are done just right and add to the enjoyment of the level instead of just being annoying. There were a few spots that had me reloading a few times especially an extremely hard underwater maze but overall the level is straight forward and offers about 90 minutes of enjoyable raiding." - RaiderGirl (05-Nov-2002)

"A nice level to play. You start off outside and have to find a way into the extremely dark tunnels! I actually found the atmosphere in there a bit scary! After you find the first beetle and made your way over the lava pit you get to another outside area where you have to climb up a lot of rocks to reach the castle above. When you get to the castle your quest is to find the other 3 beetles by completing underwater mazes a wicked timed wade through some water before it gets set alight and a few jumps on platforms etc after that you need to get back to the top of the castle use the mechanical beetle to get past spike traps and do a bit more of exploring to find another two artifacts so you can finish the level. The enemies were skeletons warthogs and the beetles that gnaw at your feet they were nicely placed and there wasn't too many of them which gave you more time to explore and enjoy. The level was set in the day and involved a lot of going back inside and back outside which was nice for a castle level instead of being stuck inside all time. The level took me about an hour and has a few points where you might get a bit confused but the texturing helped me to discover and find another place to go when I got stuck. There isn't many traps mostly spikes and boulders but I must admit the boulders made me jump I had to react very quicky! So good job there! I found 2 secrets and the texturing and lighting was nice and well placed. Overall a nice enjoyable level which I could happily replay. :-)" - John (19-Aug-2002)

"The search for four beetles develops into something extremely time-consuming! And afterwards still the Hathor Effigy! At the beginning I did not like this level at all: to find a passage to the castle was very difficult because it was pitch-black. But then this quickly changed! The puzzles were great all items very well hidden. I have searched particularly for a beetle very long although I had already been there. With this level you need to keep your eyes open and I mean it. One should really examine every corner exactly before one goes on. There are flares enough you do not need to spare them. The atmosphere is strange a little bit: Certainly it is built architecturally extremely well but neither I liked the lighting nor the texture processing particularly. But one should always pay attention if a sound hints at something. I love such a level with so interestingly hidden artifacts but does it have to be always so dark? There was a variety of opponents: Demigods harpies skeletons. But they did not represent a big problem. Advanced players could try it but also professionals will have to look long for the artifacts." - Xxenofex (17-Aug-2002)

"This is definitely quite a nice level set inside a large castle high atop a mountain that you eventually climb to after some very dark tunnel exploration. The main aim here is to find 4 beetles spread throughout the castle and its outskirts and then when you finally do and think it's nearly finished there's another adventure that sends you looking for the 2 halves of the portal guardian. With 3 secrets to find as well and quite a few of the meaner enemies skeletons scarabs banshees and demigods this was a pretty fun hour long level that I hate to say had me fairly stumped for quite a while in one spot but I beat it!" - Sash (21-Jun-2002)

"I don't know why but somehow this level just did not 'click' with me. I was stumped and got stuck quite a few times and had to ask for help only to find out that I had been right in front of the next step. So my ratings here may be a little lower than what the level actually deserves. It is using most of the Cleopal WAD enemies and puzzles (like the 4 beetle pyramid and the mechanical scarab) and sets these into a massive castle environment. It had me searching and exploring quite a bit and I ended up with well above an hour of playing time. Those caves at the beginning are definitely way too dark (I mean pitch black is really dark) which I found very frustrating and some of the wall levers/switches are in very illogical places. But all in all the flow and progression of the level is quite impressive and even though the textures are a little patchy at times they help to create the castle atmosphere well. So give it try and maybe you get through it better than I did." - Michael (21-Jun-2002)

"In a word WOW! What a level. This has to be one of the most frustrating levels I have played. From the problem with finding the entrance to the castle to that maddening retreat to get the last black beetle not to mention the underwater maze this was a level for steady hands and hearts. Everything worked as it should textures were right out of TR 3 and the puzzles were obviously conceived by an author with a death wish LOL. BRILLIANT LEVEL. Play it you won't be disappointed." - Torry (21-Jun-2002)

"A very good and large sized level. The time to finish the game is about 90/100 minutes. I have found three secrets and no bugs. Advice: It is necessary to explore every single corner during the game to arrive at the final." - Boris (21-Jun-2002)

"This is a nicely done level set in a 'cursed castle'. Lara's objective is to make her way into the castle and collect 4 black beetles to gain access to a horde of treasure. A stormy sky with rumbling thunder adds to the atmosphere. There are enough moments where you scratch your head wondering what to do next to keep the game interesting. The Egyptian objects within the northern European setting seem a bit odd though. A few more flares are definitely in order for exploring the VERY dark tunnels at the beginning. Overall though a fun 90 minutes of raiding." - Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)

"This was a very good level. It's quite big with its 70 minutes of gameplay. I didn't like the dark caves in the beginning most of the time you couldn't see a thing! Many textures are a little stretched. I had some troubles installing the level but after e-mailing the author he sent me the files I needed and then it worked perfectly. All in all a level that's worth a download." - Magnus (21-Jun-2002)

"I'd tried this level previously in early days of my custom level career and had gotten stuck. Went back to it this week now that my skills have somewhat improved and tried it again. It's a testament to the level that I went back to it. Really loved this level the right amount of baddies lots of puzzles and gameplay. If you're a puzzle fan this level is definitely to be played." - Momster (21-Jun-2002)
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