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Level: River of the Sacred Beetle back home search
Author(s): Theresa Jenne
total rating:7.76 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
alan 8 7 8 8
Andi Croft 9 9 9 10
bERT 8 9 8 9
Casual Raider 9 10 9 9
CC 6 5 7 6
Data 10 10 10 10
Dimpfelmoser 7 9 9 8
Drew 7 8 8 7
Ejecta 8 7 7 6
Engelchen Lara 8 7 9 8
eTux 10 10 10 9
Gerty 9 9 10 8
Jay 8 7 8 8
Jose 8 7 7 7
Josep 7 7 8 8
Kristina 8 8 8 8
Loupar 7 8 8 9
MacRaider 7 6 7 7
Magnus 8 7 7 7
manarch2 6 6 7 6
Mehrbod 6 5 7 6
MichaelP 7 7 9 9
Mulf 5 5 5 4
Nutman 8 8 9 9
Orbit Dream 6 6 7 9
Phabius Phodes 8 8 7 7
Phil 8 7 7 8
RaiderGirl 9 9 10 9
Ryan 8 8 7 7
Sakusha 8 8 6 6
Sash 9 9 9 9
Sys 9 8 9 8
The Aussie Adventurer 7 6 6 5
The Last Frustration 9 9 8 8
Torry 10 9 10 9
Treeble 6 6 7 6
TrueRaider 7 6 8 8
category averages
(37 reviews)
7.78 7.57 7.97 7.70

Reviewer's comments

"Another memorable resemblance of a classic jungle level with a medium length gameplay in comparison with the previous identical environments. The gameplay and puzzles were average, nothing to commend a lot, Enemies and objects were a bit irrelevantly placed, a mummy inside water in order to exemplify. Atmosphere had the top score throughout the elements of this adventure, the jungle environment was nice I must admit. Lighting and textures were not bad, but not good, and most of the textures were stretched, which produced some definitely eye-irritating cracks on walls. Recommended for players who like to play a TR3 jungle level set within a TR4 based game system. Thank you!" - Mehrbod (02-Sep-2018)

"Modern TRLE players, accustomed to the extravagance and the bells and whistles of today’s levels, may be inclined to turn their noses up at an old release such as this, despite its reasonably high rating. They are surely missing out, however, as this is a solid raiding experience that almost anyone can enjoy. The level structure isn’t exactly linear; you start off near a waterfall, and straightaway you can explore in several different directions. It seems that there is always something in practically every nook and cranny - players are often rewarded for being thorough while they play, something that is certainly a strength of this level. You can also see some humble and endearing first efforts at storytelling within custom levels through tiles featuring text detailing the last days of what seem to be a group of doomed explorers. Unfortunately though, the gameplay suffers from a lack of challenge both in terms of mechanics and puzzle solving: If you’re stuck or missing a key item, the solution is usually ‘Go check that corner/room you made a mental note of earlier, then come back here and see if you can progress now’; Indeed, I found that any difficulty this level presents tends to come from inconvenience, like avoiding a wraith trying to bother you or dealing with one of many skeletons - the only enemies you’ll deal with (aside from some oddly placed mummies), but they shouldn’t be a problem if you stopped to pick up any ammo or meds, which are regularly placed, obvious and out in the open. There are also a few secrets, some of which are easier to get than others. In terms of sound and atmosphere, I found that music cues were put in good places and chosen well but the default Catacombs ambience was unfitting when contrasted with the bright colours and openness of the jungle. No special camera angles or flybys are used at all, which was disappointing - a good overview of the starting area could have done wonders with regards to setting the scene. As mentioned before, the level is bright pretty much everywhere, although the lighting is sometimes inconsistent. In one cave-like area, it is darker but everything is still mostly visible, something I appreciated and found to be effective. While a variety of textures were used overall and in intervals, I think that they were a bit wallpapered on at times rather than realistic-looking, and sometimes the same texture was used from ceiling to floor, which didn’t look good at all. Despite these flaws and all the rest however, I was entertained from start to finish and would recommend this level to anyone, least of all those who adored the India levels of TR3." - Ejecta (13-Aug-2018)

"This is another very early one, possibly the one which pioneered the ‘Mummies in the Arctic’ genre, although it’s all about Skellies in the Jungle here (Catacomb wad with textures from TR3 Jungle and Coastal Village). It may well be the second custom level I’ve ever played (after Queen Elahna); it was the first I didn’t bother to finish. The reason for this was that the builder appeared to be hell-bent on annoying the player as much as possible by employing booby-traps, and having the player be harassed by skeletons while refusing them a means to get rid of them; open water is the only safe place, for the sole reason (I suspect) that the Catacomb wad provides no crocodiles. This time around, I found that gameplay improves once you find a useful weapon and boulders cease to drop unannounced on your head at every other corner, but they return with a vengeance in the underwater maze (!) which constitutes this level’s ill-conceived finale.
Inbetween, the level manages to sustain interest largely by challenging you to find your way around the place. I liked the sequence where you need to traverse a water surface on various monkeyswings (sounds tedious but is in fact handled quite well, especially in the case of that one monkeyswing which inclines down towards the water and at first glance doesn’t appear to lead anywhere). However, judging from the other reviews, there are alternative routes for you to take, and I’m not sure that the builder was aware of the fact (I’ve consulted the walkthrough, provided by the builder herself, on one or two occasions but haven’t read it in its entirety, so I don’t know if it addresses the issue). Some players finished the level without ever using the Music Scroll, which I thought was crucial; on the other hand, I never used a Pharos Knot during the monkeyswing sequence mentioned above, so the corresponding door remained closed. More to the point, many players (myself included) finished the level without ever seeing so much as a single antenna of that fabled beetle, which made the undertaking seem fairly pointless and anticlimactic, in addition to being freshly irritating towards the end.
Visually there isn’t much to write home about either. The jungle is rendered in a merely serviceable manner, with boxy rooms, very square trees, mostly flat floors, and resolutely steamrolled ceilings. Texturing is a bit rough, lighting adequate (if you ignore the pitch-black trap room in which you need to make some pickup. Tip: Crawl. You avoid the Homing Dart Emitters, and it seems to confuse the skeleton. Didn’t hit me once), and there are no spectacular sights to see. Bottom line: Better than I originally thought, but"unlike most examples of the ‘Mummies in the Arctic’ genre"strangely overrated." - Mulf (18-Jan-2018)

"Fascinating jungle level, nice surroundings, a great storyline and enjoyable. I didn't get lost in this huge jungle, fortunately. It uses textures from the TR3 sections Jungle and South Pacific. They looked nice, but more lighting in some caves would have made it look better. I would have liked some real jungle enemies from TR3, like tigers, monkeys, or a shiva statue, but there are skeletons and mummies instead. Perhaps it wasn't possible to copy objects from one game to another before? I found the crossbow and explosive ammo for it, so dealing with the enemies wasn't a big problem. Some unexpected boulders took me by surprise and it was a bit annoying. Secrets are well-hidden, I found 3 of them and I don't know if there were more. I finished the level in 50 minutes and with a Music Scroll in my inventory, but not the Sacred Beetle. Then Lara just slides into what seems like a dead end and that's it. I expected her to escape or something. But no doubt that much effort was put in this." - alan (29-Jun-2017)

"Another level from the fledgling years of the Level Editor and this proved to be an enjoyable raid even now. What sets this one apart from other early efforts is the combination of textures from TR3's India and South Pacific sections, which was unique, although many were stretched in places, which was a shame. I enjoyed exploring the waterfalls and surrounding rivers and blasting skeletons into oblivion along the way. The timed run near the end. Nowadays it appears quite dated in terms of appearance, but I still enjoyed it." - Ryan (08-Aug-2016)

"I think I'd have been quite impressed by this level way back when it was first released - indeed, it still represents a fun raid. The jungle atmosphere is lush and quite well done and there are some interesting traps to avoid, plus a multiple monkeyswing across a lake area that seemed familiar somehow. Either it reminded me of another level or I actually did play this one in the days before I started reviewing. Who knows! Skeletons abound and luckily there's plenty of shotgun ammo available. I did find a crossbow, but no explosive ammo to go with it so that wasn't much use really. No matter, I enjoyed myself more than I expected to." - Jay (27-May-2014)

"This is a gem from the earliest days of the editor, though it does have serious visual lacks in several rooms that I consider don't even fall into the "hasn't aged well" category, namely several untextured spots and half-transparent textures where can see the end of the map behind. To the level's defence, despite these and even the many misplaced textures one can find everywhere in this level, the atmosphere works and actually I found this to be a very charming level. Gameplaywise, there's a decent amount of climbing and exploring involved, only in the large area at the end it slightly gets boring. I liked the timed run over the fire pillars and also the few text messages that add to the albeit great storyline, the enemies (skeletons, mummies and wraiths) do their job well but honestly, even if there's nothing the builder could've done against, the catacomb objects did not merge well with the jungle environment, and the many boulders dropping out of holes above and under water got annoying after some time. The secrets were well hidden (not that hard to find though) and overall this was one of the best levels back in the time it was released, but I think it could have been just a little better with more adjustments. 25 minutes." - manarch2 (18-Jul-2013)

"Traps in this level (as for its age) are really unique and surprising. Seriously that mummy made my day! Really interesting level connecting TR3 jungle/pacific with TR4 tombs and yet having individual spirit. Really liked this level, was a bit challenging and gameplay was nice. Recommended." - Casual Raider (17-Jul-2013)

"This level was impressive in some ways. The amount of exploration required to figure out what to do next was a very classic TR element. I felt lost for a while, but I slowly but surely found my way through the jungle. The Indian pyramid, the waterfalls, the small wooden bridge and the jungle settings actually looked nice. The skeletons (especially when a skeleton pops out in a room filled with poisonous darts) posed a significant challenge as well, and getting key items like the Guardian Portal and the Mechanical Beetle were quests in themselves. The inscriptions from the deceased explorers were interesting to read, especially since they were explicit warnings on what to expect from this jungle. However, I was surprised to see an underwater mummy, and the lighting contrasts were a bit too much at times." - Sakusha (12-Feb-2010)

"This was the first custom level I ever played, early in the Dark Ages. It's rather crude by today's standards. However, it was state of the art stuff back when it was released, and I remember selecting it primarily for the reason that it came with a bundled walkthrough. Even today it gave me about an hour's worth of gameplay, and there are also some neat touches that you don't see very often these days. There's a mummy who gets around just fine underwater, together with bunches of unseen spikeballs suspended in ceilings here and there, waiting to crush an unwary Lara. Shades of Marksdad. The lighting is ample, maybe even a touch garish. However, you'll never hear me complain because a level is too bright. I doubt that this level would enjoy anything approaching its present scores if it were to be released today, but I still found it to provide a pleasant raiding experience. Recommended for beginning to intermediate players." - Phil (20-Nov-2008)

"This jungle level is nice and has some interesting tasks. It's full of water rooms and you'll have to look for underwater passages often. Architecture is not great but useful. Few kinds of enemies, you'll have to deal with the skeletons only with your shotgun. It can happens that you go out of the level without the sacred scarab you had come to look for. There are very few cameras, but the switches are not far of the object they trigger. Not a masterpiece but enjoyable." - Jose (03-Dec-2007)

"I remember. I remember having started this level a number of times in the past 6 years and always quitting near the beginning because I just couldn't understand the logic of mummies walking underwater or the boulders that suddenly smash you while you swim through some underwater crack. As you can see, unlike most of the reviewers of this level, I don't have fond memories of this level, and today, when I finally struggled to play it till the end, I must say I'm underwhelmed. Probably spoilt by what later addons could make for levels or something along those lines, but this level simply didn't click for me. The environment really is nicely put together, but some elements are so random, like some fake floors and leaf walls that looks solid when they aren't. With all that said, I really expected to pick up a beetle on the end of the level, and that pyramid looked like it hosted one - big disapppointment there was none. Oh well, we can't have it all, can we? 30 minutes. 01/07" - Treeble (28-Jan-2007)

"Back in the day, this level would have rated a bit higher, but by today's standards this level is really only average. Being a jungle level, it's one of my favourite types of levels and it doesn't dissapoint. For one of the earliest jungle levels, it's quite good. The gameplay is nice where we must follow a river to find the sacred beetle and then find a way out. The puzzles mainly consist of item finding and avoidence of spiked boulders and the occasional change up. The enemies are just skeleton which can become quite boring after a while. There was no use of the camera so I can't rate the camera work, but the sound was a highlight of this level. The texturing back then might have been good, but by today's standards, it's quite horrible. The lighting is ample for this as well. If I had to give this level a grade, I would give it a C+, a high pass mark." - The Aussie Adventurer (17-Jan-2006)

"If memory serves me this was the first custom level I ever played, way back in the first half of 2001. Being one of the very earliest custom level releases makes it very difficult to review several years later, as so many wonderful levels have followed it, but at the time it was something of an eye opener! There were some areas that failed to really engage me, and it's certainly not a masterpiece as we know them now, but there was something about Sacred Beetle that drew me in and kept me there to the end, and would do the same if I were to play it again today. In a very real sense, and despite its naivety, it was a demonstration to the fledgling custom level community of what may be possible in the future - a hint of things to come! The action takes place in a river-jungle setting, with plenty of skellies that were maybe a little out of place (but fun none-the-less). Lara is required to negotiate waterfalls and climb trees in the search for the Sacred Beetle, and there were possibly the earliest examples of custom texturing with scrawled messages left for her to find. There is also a reasonably coherent story to make it more interesting! When you remember that this was a TR3 style jungle level released very soon after the Editor appeared; a level that pre-dated the custom wads that were available to later authors and was essentially breaking new ground every step of the way; then it is quite an achievement! If you want to see the origins of the custom levels we love so much, and a level that must have given inspiration to many other authors, then go no further than this one!" - MacRaider (01-Nov-2005)

"A classic. This was one of the first custom levels released soon after the TR Level Editor was made available. At that time, this is quite an accomplishment indeed. Original markings, tedious monkey swing, swimming in confusing tunnels, spikes and darts galore, timed run on pillars, enemies (wraiths, skeletons) and pick-ups (hathor effigy, music scroll, knot, etc) a plenty. All the substance and formula of tomb raiding were still adhered to quite faithfully (yea, like there was much choice then) without losing the elements of excitement and adventure. By present standard, it may be trite now. Nonetheless, this is very well done considering that custom level designing was still at an infant stage then. Not too many trailblazers yet to draw inspirations and ideas from. But Theresa was one of them. It's just a pity she didn't follow up her initial work with another level." - Drew Pizza (31-May-2005)

"Deep in the jungle the overall effect is good but the texturing is not great in a lot of places stretched missing and wallpaper effects. You get to climb trees go over waterfalls through caves swim a lot and a monkey swing over water. Very well hidden underwater crawlspaces. You know I think this is a funny description 'a crawlspace underwater'. Maybe they should be called narrow swim tunnels! The 'sacred' beetle is a mechanical beetle so RK says on the wall. Actually the story of the level is very good well worth the read before playing. After that you find knots and Hathor effigys (not really consistent with a jungle/South America setting). The crossbow is on one of the trees so that and a shotgun are what you use to deal with skeletons. A couple of wraiths as well easy to kill on underwater bird crosses. I hit the end trigger knowing that there were some places I didn't go to and there were places throughout the level that were just traps to dead ends so it ends up being a real explorers level. Levels have improved greatly since this one was released but it still has that certain something that got us all addicted in the first place." - CC (01-Oct-2003)

"All through this game I kept saying to myself 'Remember Orbit Dream this is one of the very first Custom levels so give it the benefit of the doubt'. And why did I feel the need to say that? Because I was not particularly impressed at all. Skeletons skeletons everywhere constantly impeding my progress; but no Crossbow. Lots of quite impressive jungle areas but no proper indications of where to go next. Lots of different paths to take without ever knowing if I was doing everything in the correct order (For example I saw a Temple from a distance but chose instead to first explore an adjacent water cave; only to find it was impossible to return.) I left the adventure without even laying my hands on the Beetle of the title and thus felt deeply unsatisfied. It seems to me that if you're going to go to the bother of constructing so many potentially interesting areas you should at least give the player the opportunity to investigate them. The words 'massively overrated' came into my head as soon as I completed this but of course 'remember Orbit Dream this is one of the very first Custom levels so give it the benefit of the doubt'" - Orbit Dream (24-Sep-2003)

"This is one of the first levels that were created and a very good one. Wandering in beautiful waterfalls and walking onto tree tops Lara is out to find the sacred beetle which isn't anything else but the mechanical scarab with no use in the game. Also a knot a scroll and two portal guardians will help her proceed. The skeletons might give you some trouble if you haven't found the shotgun or the crossbow but they are nearby better search for them. There were also two mummies with one of them being inside the water which was hilarious. Some textures close to the water were animating like it but that's a minor flaw considering the wonderful areas Theresa built. The pyramid was a great sight and everyone that will not play this level will miss as well. It could have easily been built today after three years of its release it's still an interesting and entertaining level." - Kristina (05-Aug-2003)

"Well an oldie once again but also an absolute classic from one of the biggest TR-Fans ever...Theresa... :) I can say almost only good things about this level. It has a strong storyline it's strange and mysterious it's very long and complex and it's full of great exploring and adventuring... What else do you need?! Hehe a Quad Bike perhaps...? ;) I remember...after I started I was just sightseeing for an hour with some reloads - sudden deaths and attacks - of course. Because from the starting point you can go really everywhere (and there are 2 permeable floor-squares here also) but naturally there's an optimal way to raid through the full area. So it's a bit confused in the beginning but later it becomes to be a bit simpler I think. I found 2 Secrets in the beginning areas but I can't be sure about that the level has only these two. When I was on my way to access these 2 Secrets I really felt the good old 'Expert's Challenge' feeling - remember it from Theresa's Site - as they were very well hidden and hardly accessible. Most of the keys and artifacts and their doors were also very well hidden or they were just simply too far from each other which is not the best part of the level. Anyway before I forget to mention: the level is very-very large and it has very large areas also with so much pickups and enemies. Find them all and kill them all... :) Ah and by the way: Lara needs so much of her skills and moves in this level...The enemies - skeletons mummies and spirits - are all very well placed. Some mummies attack in short and tiny tunnels but my favourite one was that who attacked me under the water! Brr... 'Fascinating isn't it?' (Willard - TR3) Later I returned with some Explosive Crossbow Ammo and I blew that ugly apart by the Crossbow. :) The spirits were very unpleasant again. But naturally the skeletons were the bests: they were almost everywhere but we could shoot them with the Shotgun and with the Crossbow too. And by the way there were so much shootable bones on the ground and some of them were reachable by the pistols also; but I found that they were just for fun...The atmosphere is great again! For the first I didn't really enjoy the original 'Catacombs' ambient but later as I was getting deeper and deeper into that jungle... So it's just sounds good. And the action-tunes are excellent also. Actually it's a really strange and scary world sometimes...I can't remember any very special camera-effect at the moment but the lighting was good again: I used up some Flares at some darker places but fortunately the level doesn't have too much of them. I enjoyed the textures also as mainly they were taken from TR3's India and South Pacific areas so it's not about just some more Egypt-feeling again... Anyway I am also really not a fan of the jungle-environments - I have the same reasons as Dimpfelmoser - and I didn't like the 'frozen' foliage at the Secret which had some skeletons and the Crossbow also...Back to the story... Theresa was very creative again and I think every TR-level should have at least a simple storyline... So I read the whole story first and then I started to play and I can offer the same advice to All. And in the game I really liked Ralph Kennedy's comments; hehe and the TombRaiders.com links... ;) Well at this point I've just reached the negative experiences so let me say just a few sentences about things I didn't like in this level. Again the confusing and inconsistency... This place is in South America so I don't understand why are those 'Egypt-stuffs' - like 'Pharos Knot' for instance - here. And I didn't really like the 'Mechanical Scarab With Key' as the 'Sacred Beetle': I think Theresa just should replace the name of the objects. And by the way...the level name should be exactly 'River Of The Sacred Beetle' instead of 'Catacombs' especially when it has a script-file. Unfortunately the level has a bug too with the lightings: the Flares won't light until you throw them away and don't use the binocular's nightvision-feature or the game will crash... And one more thing...I don't know but I just missed a nice and creative ending: Lara just slid down and that was all... Okay that's all about the negative things for this great level...So at the end I can offer this level for experts and especially those experts who liked the good old 'Expert's Challenge' puzzles and the original TR3's strange outside environments..." - Sys (25-Feb-2003)

"This is a classic TR level and one that should not be missed by anyone. The download comes with a great story that tells of an earlier expedition led by Ralph Kennedy that had gone in search of the sacred beetle. His entire party was killed except for Ralph himself and he was found floating in a raft with a decapitated body and his own hand had been chopped off. He kept mumbling things about skeletons and swords. Currently Ralph is being kept in a mental institution until he starts feeling better. Lara reads about this in the paper and decides she will have better luck so she persuades a tour guide to take her to RK's last known campsite. There she finds his tent and remains of a campfire and she is left alone to find the sacred beetle which is hidden somewhere in this large jungle filled with enemies and deadly boulder traps. The story alone gave me the shivers and finding messages from Ralph scrawled along the path really added to the lifelike atmosphere." - RaiderGirl (08-Feb-2003)

"Atmospherically this is a great level but I did not like the textures at all. In some corners they were even missing and many were stretched. A pity this could have been done a little better ;-) The design is nice though with a lot of diving shimmying and climbing. Two beetles and three pillars to find and I found three secrets but the third did not register ;-) It was a nice idea to place the crossbow in the trees. Enemies were skeletons mummies and a few wraiths. If you enjoy jungle levels you should not miss this one. ;-)" - Engelchen Lara (22-Jan-2003)

"Really did not have to replay this one for the review but I did because I remembered how enjoyable it was way back then (now is 21-12-2002). There's several little things that you just don't forget like the monkey swing with L's feet touching the water the scratched-tile-messages a certain R.K. left behind and the easy to spot but not that easy to get secrets. The settings are so cosy and well built that even when you don't find anything right away it's fun just to wander about. Not sure whether everything was intended as it is: for instance you don't have to get the sacred beetle to be able to end the game. Sword skeletons are placed well and economically. Level with a boredom factor zero: a little jewel." - bERT (21-Dec-2002)

"This was a very nice catacomb/jungle level. Enemies were only skeletons but I only had the shotgun for them. The textures are great and the atmosphere too. The puzzles were not so hard. I had to find some objects and I had to seek for them. I found a mechanical beetle but I don't now for what. I played over one hour and I found 1 secret. It is a fun level. You must play this." - Andi Croft (23-Aug-2002)

"Another level that I abandoned ages ago because I was stuck near the beginning. Now I started afresh and straightaway stumbled upon the crucial item that I had overlooked all those months ago. Speaking of items the locating of them is what it's all about in this picturesque jungle quest. So the gameplay is probably not that inventive but I didn't mind. I had such a great time moving from one area to the other all quite different but all so wonderful to be in. The caverns the treetops the little temple the waterfall. Best part for me was battling the four skeletons with nothing more powerful than a shotgun. Quite a thrill. I reckon there was a crossbow to find at the very beginning as I collected some explosive arrows and there was a door which I never walked through but I'm perfectly happy that I never got it. I'm not a big fan of jungle levels as I think those cubic trees are a bit laughable but I really loved this atmospheric trip to the exotic river. A classic really. Should be in the Hall of Fame one day if you ask me. But no-one listens to me anyway." - Dimpfelmoser (14-Aug-2002)

"Just as everyone has said this is a fantastic level. This has everything going for it a superb jungle environment with lovely uses of water wonderful gameplay involving puzzles fun battles especially if like me you missed the crossbow first time through 3 well hidden secrets which I found none of again first time through great exploring and an extra special touch with ever growing ominous scrawled messages here and there from the previous explorer Ralph Kennedy. I really recommend you also read the well written back story in the readme I actually read it after the game and found it was easier to relate to having now seen what was described in it." - Sash (21-Jun-2002)

"The absolutely best Jungle Level I have seen so far. Marvelous setting which really takes you into another world; great storyline reinforced by a couple of custom textures. The puzzles and secrets are not too difficult though they do require some raiding experience and if everything fails you could always use the walkthrough provided on her Homepage. I did find a few bugs with textures that are not overly disturbing. The Music Scroll puzzle is actually not needed as the fires also go out by simply jumping to the first one and there is actually a way to avoid the sink and swim to the Beetle without using the monkey swing but all in all a Level you simply have to play because it is very unique in its overall scenario." - Michael (21-Jun-2002)

"This was the very first level I downloaded and I look back on it fondly. With those gorgeous TR 3 textures it promised of good things to come. That Theresa is a sly one though. She had me going on a number of occasions wondering what to do next. My only complaint was that when you finally got to the end, the level did not end but you just sat there with nothing to do and nowhere to go. Just a minor point. Great level!" - Torry (21-Jun-2002)

"This was the very first level I downloaded and I look back on it fondly. With those gorgeous TR 3 textures it promised of good things to come. That Theresa is a sly one though. She had me going on a number of occasions wondering what to do next. My only complaint was that when you finally got to the end the level did not end but you just sat there with nothing to do and nowhere to go. Just a minor point. Great level!" - Torry "Nice at first looks quite good using jungle textures and re-creating a jungle very well! Level editing has advanced slightly since then so it is no longer the best level available but still pretty good. Very bright and colourful it is a visual treat but gameplay wise it could be better. I didn't like the falling boulders where you would least expect them; that made it quite frustrating. More for people who like a challenge!" - TrueRaider (21-Jun-2002)

"This was one of the first custom levels available. Having this in mind we must consider it a very interesting level probably for this reason the rating is better than other levels of similar quality. As I said it is a interesting level but with so many minor bugs (textures unreal waterfalls doors). My feeling is that the designer was more interested in developing a level quickly exploring the TRLE possibilities rather than really fine-tuning it." - Josep (21-Jun-2002)

"Apart from that Theresa was one of the first on the net for downloading her level she also provided us with a story and a walkthrough. That is one thing I'm missing in other levels not so much the walkthrough but maybe some hints as in some games secrets are hard to find. For me it had everything in it what I like. Blasting away enemies is not my idea of fun. It did have some other bugs when I played it than the ones mentioned by others. Like all the skeletons disappearing suddenly but that only made it easier for me. You got to play this one." - Gerty (21-Jun-2002)

"I guess this one was the first custom level I saw on the net for downloading it appeared right after the Level Editor was released. I was a regular visitor at the creator's site (tombraiders unfortunately out of business for a while now) and I must give my congratulations to Theresa for building such an intricate level so fast. We level builders know that an outside jungle level is much more complicated to create than city/modern levels and this one for a first attempt is very well modeled. Sometimes textures look like wallpaper but I knew from Theresa that she did not know about the zoom controls of the Editor at the time. Gameplay is very cool and so are the puzzles although there are a few bugs. I particularly enjoyed the monkey swinging over the river with Lara's feet touching the water but I must say that mummies underwater was not a very realistic idea. Overall it is a very good level specially for being a first creation. Be prepared for many surprises and a nice adventure." - Phabius Phodes (21-Jun-2002)

"I didn't know how to rate this level. I've just played it and to todays standards it's not as good as it was when it was released. This is one of the oldest custom-made levels (if not the oldest) and that is of course a handicap since there's many programs today that will let you make better levels. Of course it's still a good level. The story is good and set you into the right mood. The enemies are well placed (there's a mummy in the water in one place but still) and the level takes about 40 minutes to finish. The gameplay is good too. This is a good level despite its age and it's well worth playing." - Magnus (21-Jun-2002)

"My favorite levels in TR3 were the levels set in India. Theresa's great jungle level is very similar and just as good. With excellent gameplay environments and even a story this is a fun level and should be played." - Nutman (21-Jun-2002)

"This level was made by tombraiders.com webmistress Theresa. And as good as she is at making websites she is even better at making levels. Although old this level is definitely one you can play again and again! Including hidden boulders both underwater and out of water beautiful scenery difficult secrets and the professional look of real levels I seriously recommend you download this level now if you haven't already got it. You won't regret it!" - The Last Frustration (TLF) (21-Jun-2002)

"I do not know why the author of this exceptional adventure has not as yet followed this up with another. I was most enamoured by the beauty of this level it appeared to have all the foundations of a classic Tombraider level. Furthermore I felt an unnerving anticipation from the relentless attack of skeletons... Hmm where is a grenade launcher to be found when you need one. The incredulous jumping from branch to branch in a seemingly no win situation with these skinless wonders was indicative of how a great adventure should be that is why I give it top marks and well deserved it is as well." - Data (21-Jun-2002)

"No idea why Theresa hasn't released more levels yet coz' this one is truly fascinating especially because it is one of the first levels ever released out there. All the jungle levels I've played can't match this one in any way. Really great hideouts for secrets superb design texturing and lightning great jungle environment that somehow reminds me of 'The Last Crusade' even if isn't really familiar with it (probably because you can get lost here too just like in TLC) masterfully hidden boulders that won't leave you alone even underwater. Even if skeletons will chase you through the whole adventure I'll say that this is one of the best levels out there so be sure you have this one for your collection." - eTux (21-Jun-2002)

"This was the second level I played since the LE was released. I mostly liked the river and the scenery in general; it reminds me the jungle in TR3. Sometimes it seems a little square and it has some errors (a mummy attacks underwater) but the game play and the puzzles were very good. Good level! I hope Theresa comes back to her website and to build another TR level." - Loupar (21-Jun-2002)
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