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Level: Lost City of Menouthis back home search
Author(s): Will Gell
total rating:8.55 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
alan 8 8 9 8
Andi Croft 9 9 9 8
Brat352 9 8 8 9
CC 9 8 9 8
Cuqui 10 8 9 9
David 10 9 10 9
Dimpfelmoser 10 8 9 8
DJ Full 7 7 9 7
Duncan 9 8 8 8
Engelchen Lara 9 8 9 9
eRIC 9 9 9 9
Freeman Porter 9 8 8 8
Gerty 9 9 8 9
Jay 8 8 9 9
Jose 8 8 9 7
Kristina 9 8 8 8
MichaelP 9 8 9 9
Miguel 7 7 8 8
Momster 8 8 9 9
Monika 10 9 8 8
Mulf 9 6 7 8
Orbit Dream 8 7 8 9
Paulo 10 8 10 10
Phil 9 8 9 9
RaiderGirl 9 8 9 9
Ryan 8 8 9 9
Sash 9 8 8 9
Scottie 10 9 10 9
Treeble 9 8 9 8
vienna 9 9 9 9
category averages
(30 reviews)
8.87 8.07 8.73 8.53

Reviewer's comments

"This is a very entertaining and well executed level in an atmospheric catacombs environment. The gameplay taking place around this has you exploring various submerged structures in a convincing state of ruin on your quest to open the double doors and thereon exit the level. It's quite a challenging level in places, but everything should be easily doable without tearing your hair out in frustration, and there's some nice timed runs, traps and puzzles to get your brain in gear. The underwater maze might be a bit off putting, but it's really not as complex as some others out there, so I can recommend this one as a good all-rounder." - Ryan (22-Nov-2018)

"I quite liked this catacombs level. It has the classic objects, enemies and puzzle items. I liked the underwater city and the timed runs. Cameras are well placed and sound is too. I didn't have to read the walkthrough so it wasn't difficult for me. I found 2 secrets and finished in 1 hour. Recommended." - alan (23-May-2018)

"A Great greek styled level. The distances under water are quite long. Puzzles are very good and I liked puzzles diverse. It is very nice that shootable vases have items and one of these include diamond. Recommendable level from year 2001." - vienna (07-Dec-2016)

"Approximately an hour and a half of classic catacomb raiding that easily stands the test of time. It's very nicely built and the gameplay is satisfyingly well rounded, with some enjoyable timed runs, traps and puzzles. The action takes place in a hub area (an atmospheric sunken city) with various tasks to achieve in the outlying areas, which provides the chance for Lara to dry off from time to time. It's a format I always enjoy and it has been well employed here. Enemies are mainly skeletons and mummies and you get appropriate fire power to deal with them. This isn't a level for a very new player to tackle, but for anyone with a bit of experience who fancies a catacomb level I can most definitely recommend this one." - Jay (28-Apr-2016)

"After the first tasks I thought this could be a hard level, but I was mistaked. Yes, it's a challenging level, but the tasks are not very hard (timed runs, jumps, swims...). You'll find a submerged ruins where there are some passages to explore to find several dry areas to get the items you need. The game is not lineal, but the gameplay is good 'cause you'll never need to visit the same places several times (ex: until you got the Pharos items, the doors to the rooms where you must use them remain closed). Secrets are not too hidden, and I found enough explosive ammo to deal with skeletons and mummies. There's a very good use of the cameras and flybies, always showing you what you're doing or where to go. The environments are a bit dark, and the textures are not very well applied, but usually the appearance is good. Recommended!" - Jose (25-Nov-2015)

"While re-testing KAP bonus gameplay levels, there came a time when I couldn't stand epic and awesome anymore, so I took this one, for I thought it will be a short break in between. And this choice was great. Original catacomb.wad has something incomparable to anything describable with other underground words we know: it's similar neither to a dungeon, nor to a crypt, nor even to a tomb, because of that paradox when You descend there among the undead, You still feel calm and peaceful. Presence of those nasty skeletons and wraiths does not scare me at all, but brings somewhat meditation mood instead. It's a pleasure to wander along those majestic rooms, differing from each other - because there's no copying at all, excluding one multi-switch puzzle where repetativity is necessary and demanded. It's relaxing to listen to the ambience, which is, unlike other original backgrounds, quiet and subtle. Of course, there are additional themes placed where they should, but it's also the contrast with the main ambience what makes them more efficient than in other default settings. I always wondered why catacombs have been chosen as the first BTB theme ever, and now I realize I always knew it. Unfortunately, the atmosphere sometimes loses intensity because of numerous cracks, many of which could have been fixed. This is one of three primary flaws, the second one being a hub design with two available paths, one of them filled with enemies, and the other one containing weapons to fight them, so we have no clue which of these routes the author wants us to follow first, and if the choice is wrong, we end up in a maze, chased by accumulating skeletons, what might seriously disturb our efforts to solve a puzzle of this location. And finally, the third mistake: crucial gem placement in ordinary shatter vases, without stopping a player in the location spot, so we can end a path, enter another one and face the keyhole for item left missed a half level ago. SUMMARY: Tired of large, epic spaces, long storylines and blinding special effects? Take a break with this one. It's simple, slow and comfy, and it will help You recover." - DJ Full (27-Mar-2013)

"This level provides a vastly more engaging and eye-pleasing raid than the previous Menouthis level I recently played and reviewed. Even with the walkthrough provided by the builder I spent a bit more than an hour and a half here. There's an underwater hub area of sorts that you keep coming back to, and one of the highlights was a nine-room floor level puzzle that kept me running around a bit until I figured out how to get to the exit room. The surroundings and enemies are standard catacomb fare, but since that's one of my favorite environments I have no complaints about that. We haven't heard from this builder for several years, which is a shame because he showed a pattern of improvement with each new level, judging from the review scores. Recommended." - Phil (12-Jan-2012)

"After this level grow Lara swimfins, or she has the best qualification to be a lifeguard. I can hardly remember a level with which I had to dive so many and so long distances. But now and again Lara also was allowed sometimes to go out of the water. Finally, she had to find three precious stones, Pharos Knot and Pharos Pillar. And it has given damn a lot of pleasure to look for it. This level had good riddles and the lighting was in such a way as it must be. There were hardly dark places and for these few places one had enough Flares. Because one could also find richly explosive ammunition, the skeletons and mummies were no problem. I still lack two levels from Will. This are Return to the Trench and The Skull of Dunelie, but I am sure which this level is one of the best Levels that Will has built." - Scottie (23-Feb-2010)

"I'm normally not a big fan of Catacomb-WAD levels, but this one stands out definitely. You can expect all basic elements of a catacombesque adventure, but add a lot more to that. I particularly loved the whole underwater temple -- by the way, you spend a lot of time underwater here. Hunting the five puzzle pieces is challenging enough to be fun, not frustrating, and being able to get through the maze of levers puzzle give you a great sense of satisfaction. It's a pity the underwater environments plagued with cracks, but back then, people had no idea it could be fixed, so it's still all good raiding nevertheless. 55 minutes, 3 secrets. 08/07" - Treeble (08-Aug-2007)

"Another competent and challenging level from this author. The level has well thought out design and proceeds logically. I thought there was a bit too much repetition: too many timed runs and underwater mazes. Well worth the time to play." - Duncan (16-May-2004)

"Lara falls into a pool from the last level and comes immediately to a unbelievable drop into what? Well what the hell let's do a swan dive off that ledge. Yes that was it a dive into a tiny water hole phew! Find the lasersight and switch by swimming and now that huge deep pit is full of water and you swim up to a room with a fire pillar in the centre and three stone doors to open. These are timed runs from a door over the fire pillar to the next door. Hard but do-able. I like the column pushing puzzle that releases the wraith onto a gigantic room with rope swing and pool below a small maze a clever room with switches and stone doors to open a gigantic room with ledges and ladder and deep drop in the centre - loved this room. When you've finished this particular room look carefully for that blue gem on the floor I ran past it it's on the floor before the next big room with the huge structure in the centre. Here is where you get the pharos knot and pillar and just when you thought that was the last enormous room the next one is similar with three way water channels to flood the central pit like the original game. More huge rooms one has a great timed run up steps and over a fire pillar before it lights. Not to mention the underground sunken temple ruins. Very well make level. The way this series has developed is incredible. Two more levels to go..." - CC (19-Aug-2003)

"An excellent level very entertaining. Really this one is big and has a variety of traps and good puzzles. From fire to water and mazes but not that hard to solve only with the necessary difficulty to make this as fun as possible. Skeletons and mummies are mostly the enemies the player will have to deal with. The goal is to find three gem a knot and a pillar after passing the traps and completing every available task to finally open the exit and escape. Everything is well placed we have an adventure that every TR fan must play." - Kristina (24-Jul-2003)

"Lara enters a huge water temple and has a lot to do. She needs to find three gems and three pillars and that is not an easy task. You will need to do a lot of diving and pass mazes. Some sequences are timed. And the skeletons are annoying. Mainly levers to pull and buttons to press. I like the atmosphere as well as the texturing sound and cameras. Enemies were mainly skeletons and wraiths and I found the three secrets. :-)" - Engelchen Lara (26-Jan-2003)

"By way of timed door and underwater maze Lara's first goal is to get to the lost underwater city of Menouthis. I actually had to refer to the walkthrough for this part as I never would have thought to jump onto the burning pillars. Once to the lost city her next objective is to open the underwater set of double doors and there are a number of puzzles to solve and objects to collect to accomplish this. Often there are a number of steps to get to the next area and things must be done in the right order. As in Will's earlier levels this is well built and fun to explore." - RaiderGirl (21-Jan-2003)

"This is a long and fabulous level. Gameplay is challenging: rooms with flaming timed blocks the way to get Pharos Pillar and Pharos Knot the final puzzle room phew! It was hard. The underwater area is amazing. There are big and wonderful rooms. Atmosphere is excellent and puzzles clever. I found this level very fun." - Cuqui (18-Nov-2002)

"I like all Will Gell's levels and I have no favourites among them all. However The lost city is surely the most achieved and challenging of them. The atmospheric setting of the absorbed city is really great and the tasks are various and satisfying. The first time I played this level I found the timed doors and runs rather hard for me but not so much this time. I like all the puzzles especially the one with the two movable columns (the solution in on the front of the temple) the timed runs and the great atmosphere." - eRIC (12-Oct-2002)

"This was one of the first Custom Levels I ever played and I was so impressed that (along with Heroic Manliness) it dwarfed my own modest level building efforts completely. I found the construction quite splendid and the gameplay challenging but not infuriating. The timed challenges were smart and in fact they directly inspired me to create similar sequences in my own levels. I must challenge Mulf's criticism of unrealistic room design (when applied to ledge and column jumping challenges). These types of game style (the mythical temple type) are fantasies and draw on our popular (no doubt misguided) image of extravagant ancient architecture combined with Indiana-Jones style challenges for the intrepid traveler. If these types of 'ledge and column jumping' rooms crop up in the middle of a Venice level (for instance) or a Military base environment they could justifiably be labeled as unrealistic but I feel that they are sufficiently plausible within this type of level scenario. Anyhow the challenges and tasks (including a really hard 'plain sighted' pick-up) are tough and absorbing; making this a level to devote an entire Sunday afternoon to (as I did)." - Orbit Dream (02-Oct-2002)

"Gameplay wise this is one of the best custom levels I've ever played but then I do like those timed runs and there are two in here that are particularly neat. As in the Gateway to Menouthis you have a perfect balance between non linear exploration and steady progression. And there is so much to do so many different things it really never gets boring as you're never quite sure what to expect next. It starts with a boggling plunge into the deep unknown and after a surprising flipmap effect you arrive at the main section of the city. I liked the way how you always had to swim from one task to the next. I can't recall someone else having done a layout like that. The first time I played this I had trouble to locate the elusive third gem but everything else comes together beautifully without being too obvious or easy. There are some very inventive ideas incorporated here and the camera work and fly bys support the story nicely. It's just top quality raiding in the best TR tradition. Do yourself a favour and play all of Will Gell's levels. That's an order." - Dimpfelmoser (28-Aug-2002)

"A mature beautiful level with some extremely tricky but smart puzzles the most infuriatingly devious ones being the myriad of timed runs this creator has once again come up with the goods. Large rooms and water are both used wonderfully here especially when combined in the totally submerged section of the city that is used as the central point to the game with the many adventures branching off from it. The gameplay was also fantastically executed from fire puzzles lever door puzzles timed run puzzles and others to make this an exciting and exhilarating 1 1/4 hour level that will leave you wanting more." - Sash (21-Jun-2002)

"A fantastic level that will keep you busy for more than an hour in sometimes huge and impressive rooms and with a central underwater ruined city that creates an awesome atmosphere. There are just too many fun elements in this level to list them here: a long dive (try for the 3 somesaults) several timed sequences including fire traps a cool fog/light effect double-rope jump platforms and on and on. I found the secrets maybe a little easy and not too rewarding the enemies are few and if you are not into underwater mazes (like me) it can be a little annoying at times but all in all a wonderful experience so download it!" - Michael (21-Jun-2002)

"Another fabulous level from Will. This one is complex and devious with lots of interesting areas and puzzles. The initial rooms are neat and the timed runs tricky to achieve (I had to ask help to get through the final door here as the solution was eluding me). There's lots of water so Lara needs deep breaths to get through it. However the areas are nicely devised and linked together to open up the different areas of the level. I also had to ask where the 'third gem' was and apparently I'm not the only person to miss this one. Will obviously takes a lot of pride in this conundrum and when you know where it is you do feel a little foolish. In my defense the first two were hidden in breakable pots and it's not unreasonable to expect the third to be similarly hidden ...Overall I had great fun with this - over 2 hours gameplay for me which is longer than some 'real' TR levels. Brilliantly designed and worked out and something of a triumph methinks." - David (21-Jun-2002)

"Very well done level swimming is a necessity and as long as you know where to go you could make it for the well needed breath of air. Puzzles were great and not too obvious to solve. The different areas where this level takes you are very well linked together. This is 'my kind of level'. Hardest for me were the timed runs but eventually I made it." - Gerty (21-Jun-2002)

"A really good typical Tomb Raider-Level well-designed with the usual catacomb-wad. The author used a lot of timed doors and flames also some ghosts want to kill Lara. A lot of big rooms and a perfectly created underwater city made the gameplay brillant. You have to find 3 blue gems and two Pharos artifacts to open the last door to finish the level. I've found 1 secret and played about one and a half hour." - Freeman Porter (21-Jun-2002)

"This is a level that will drive you nuts! Very well laid out clever timed puzzles nasty enemies that come on you unaware. You had better be good at swimming because most of it is underwater! You will have much fun playing this level." - Brat352 (21-Jun-2002)

"As the strengths and beauties of this level have previously been pointed out I will concentrate on the weaknesses which prevent me from rating it higher. Despite the fact that among those levels which use a standard wad and texture set (Catacomb) this one is among the best for sure in terms of visual brilliance it is no match for Catacomb Towers. While the rooms are generally well conceived and executed some of them are too obviously designed for providing say a jumping exercise; there is for example a really quite large room with a number of improbable ledges pillars and blocks that couldn't possibly serve any other purpose; correspondingly the textures in this instance look like wallpaper. Messed up textures however are few and far between. Cameras have generally been put to good use. Although the flyby sequences tend to continue when the corresponding audio track has long since subsided they are otherwise well executed and dynamic in that their speed and angles vary. However a major failure in my opinion are the fixed cameras in the room with the pushable puzzle. I am told that their angles are meant to give a hint at how to solve the puzzle but if that is the case unfortunately it's impossible to tell intention from ineptitude; and come on the puzzle is in fact quite easy and its solution couldn't have been more clearly pointed at than by the way the textures have been used. Turning to gameplay I must state that there is in fact a reason for my hesitating over the venture of playing a level by the Master of the Timed Runs--to put it bluntly I don't like 'em. This being the case I'm pleased to say that in the end the 'myriads of timed runs' boil down to two. The first one of them is an artificial contrivance which is both its strength and its weakness; it nearly had me abandon the level and I would most probably have done so if I hadn't been able to look up the solution. Another puzzle with the potential to put me off (which wasn't actualized though--may have an instance of serendipity) was the one that consisted of a number of identical rooms with levers in them. The other timed run (with the fire trap in a room with lots of breakable pots) is a lot better devised and can be solved by using a specific jumping technique (hint: remember the roof of the Barkhang Monastery?). Confronting another fire trap (where you acquire the other Pharos thingy) I couldn't quite tell whether I accidentally had stumbled across the solution of the puzzle or whether it was a bug because after reloading I could jump across the flame square on the second storey without being set on fire. Given that the whole level revolves around puzzles--whereas the few enemies you meet can be easily disposed of since from the start you are heavily laden with ammo (the wraiths do get a little bit annoying though)-- it must be stated that they are well devised and executed walking the line between the blatantly obvious and the utterly impossible and yielding to neither--while the secrets are so easy that they are in fact hard to miss. Oh and count me among those who had to ask for help because they failed to locate the third Jewel Key. As it is not quite hidden in plain sight I feel nothing like 'foolish' though; I just had no intention of scouring the whole level yet again." - Mulf (21-Jun-2002)

"Amazing! I'm a civil engineering student I love buildings and this level is different from all the TR games I played (I played them all). The level has a large underwater city witch I found exceptional (although I've been lost in it for a week) and it is a hard level to complete." - Paulo (21-Jun-2002)

"Lost City of Menoutis - another typical adventure of Will Gell - this time less enemies (skeletons and mummies) but jumps challenge and a nice underwater temple city. Textures sound and ambience are like in the levels before real good and make the game enjoyable. This time Will didn't put that timed-doors but he put us timed-fire....Even for that it is not so heavy - recommendable level which gives you one and a half hour of gameplay. Less action but more brain - a lot of switches invites you to make the door open - close game. All in all a good level - it is for beginners too." - Miguel (21-Jun-2002)

"This game is all about swimming solving puzzles and passing timed doors and fires. To be honest I almost gave up fairly near the start because I just couldn't pass one timed door. Luckily Gerty helped me with a Save Game to get through. Really would have missed something by not playing this game. I enjoyed the long swimming parts and no crocodiles at my heels. I found the three blue gems and the Pharos Pillar. For the Pharos Knot I had to search again in an area I had been before but had missed to open one door. The other timed sequences were (after a few tries) no problem. The camera at the tower puzzle was a bit irritating. There are not to many enemies. Just near the end plenty of skeletons appear. The rooms in and out of the water are well done. The game lasts about 2 hours (not counting the endless time trying to get through the door I mentioned before) and in the end I had three secrets. Well I just have to play more of Will Gell's games." - Monika (21-Jun-2002)

"This is the best and the longest level from this series. The underwater-rooms were fine. The lighting is not as dark as in the other levels. The enemies are only skeletons and mummies. The atmosphere is good and the textures were better than in the other levels. The camera-sequences are very fine. I did not have to search around a lot. I was playing 105 minutes in this nice level. The timed-doors were very hard and Lara was burning a lot of times. I ended this level with a walk in the darkness. This was typical for all these six levels." - Andi Croft (21-Jun-2002)

"This is another of those levels I'd tried long ago pre-forum and desired to play through. To my chagrin I find no threads on the level so I took a deep breath read all the reviews and put on my determined face and off I went. I am so glad I went back to this very enjoyable level. As all said before me there's a lot of swimming but plenty of places to stop for air once you find that first shaft. Good puzzle play especially the tricky one in the beginning involving the timed door with the burning block. As all who have gone before me I missed that 3rd (or technically the 1st) gem that was supposedly so easy to find as it was just laying there but as there were no other pickups in this vast submerged lost city area you wouldn't have been looking for one. Some nasty skeletons and a few mummies nothing that couldn't be handled and I did wonder if I was ever going to need that laser site but as it turns out you do. I will definitely download the rest of Will's levels you should too." - Momster (21-Jun-2002)
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