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Level: The Castle (Le Chateau) back home search
Author(s): Claude Gross
total rating:7.86 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
CC 8 7 9 9
Dimpfelmoser 7 7 8 8
Doug E 9 9 8 8
eRIC 7 8 8 7
Freeman Porter 9 8 8 9
Gerty 7 9 7 8
Jason 9 8 8 8
Jay 7 7 8 8
Jose 7 7 8 8
Kristina 7 7 7 7
Lady Lara 10 7 9 8
MichaelP 7 7 8 8
Nomad 7 7 8 7
Phil 9 8 8 8
RaiderGirl 9 9 8 8
Sash 9 8 9 9
Tombaholic 9 9 8 8
Treeble 6 6 6 6
category averages
(18 reviews)
7.94 7.67 7.94 7.89

Reviewer's comments

"I hope you like swimming because there's quite a lot of it in this level, especially through those awkward diamond shaped tunnels. It's not at all bad for a level of its age, although I was glad of the walkthrough from time to time as parts of it can seem a touch obscure. I found some of the outside areas quite appealing, if somewhat slapped together, but perhaps that was largely relief at being on dry land. Definitely playable, but you would do well to keep the walkthrough to hand." - Jay (18-May-2017)

"Although this level has its moments and a couple of nice looking rooms (such as the arched terraces), for the most part it felt slightly rushed, with careless texturing and generally speaking some of the areas feel a bit dull. Gameplay was a bit on the mysterious side as well, thankfully there's a walkthrough to make sure you reach the end but even then I had trouble with the three switches at the very start not properly triggering the flipmaps in the pool areas, so I had to go back and forth quite a few times until I could proceed. Speaking of pools, there is a whole lot of swimming involved as you hunt for some keys, but on the other hand I was somewhat happy to the see the bull in use as it's a somewhat underused feature in my opinion. All in all, mixed feelings, maybe it would have caused a better impression had I played it a good 15 years back, but it's not exactly engaging nowadays. 45 minutes, 5 secrets. 03/17" - Treeble (30-Mar-2017)

"I must say I got bored with this level. Exploring different parts of the castle and its surroundings via water ducts are actually good in theory but it was not well applied. First it took me some time to figure out what the levers in the beginning was doing, moreso since there was a lot of distance from the levers to the pools. Continious backtracking between the ducts and forgetting which pool led where and resetting the levers, they all became annoying after a while. I also wandered for a lot of time after using three keys wondering what I missed, then checked the review and found out that the glass was breakable when you jump through it - more frustration. Gameplay in the other parts are actually okay and offer some puzzles and various well-made areas like the mirror room and save the level. The castle looks good and makes you want to explore it when looked from the outer areas. If the said issues were not there this would actually be a great level." - Nomad (05-Jan-2017)

"I thought I'd played all of the levels by Claude Gross, but somehow I managed to miss this little gem. It's one of his earlier ones, released during the early days of the level editor, but it's still a delight to play. Dutchy seemed to encounter some "strange things" during his exploration, but if you follow his walkthrough you won't experience anything out of the ordinary. The gameplay can get rather confusing, because you have several hub areas, one with a number of connected underwater rooms, and one later with pools that look alike leading to underwater tunnels that look alike. There's an invigorating bull fight near the end, but the way the targets are arranged, it's easy to lure the bull so that it charges you head-on rather than at an angle. Of course, this means you have to be wary at all times. I'm having a good time going back to play these early, higher rated levels. You would enjoy this one, even if you played it when it was first released. Recommended." - Phil (06-Mar-2012)

"Strange level where you'll have to look for a couple of cartouches and several keys to finally get the Amulet of Horus. Easy tasks with interconnected rooms but sometimes you have to take long paths to return to the place with the pools where there are the ways to the items. A long underwater labyrinth, lots of underwater switches to pull, red ninjas and soldiers, you'll need to find the secrets if you want extra weapons. Correct cameras and sounds, the best I liked were lights and textures." - Jose (04-Nov-2008)

“I’ve had this on my desktop for weeks so I’m just back to it today to finish it. I had a lot of bugs in this level and it spoiled it for me. A major one was in the room where you have to swim into the entrance in the moat to an underwater room where you see other rooms through gate walls and have to push a block around to empty the first room. After numerous tries I ended up getting the key in a buggy way and I can't explain how. All I know is that reloading a savegame enabled me to get out with the key. It certainly wasn't the way the author intended. Came across a lot of invisible walls. Got totally lost in the green underwater maze but eventually found the cartouches and was able to finish. This is a good looking level with great textures and lighting. Perhaps I was just unlucky (the bugs) and all I remember about this level is the backtracking and that bull. I'm sure there's a logical way to get the bull to headbutt the eyetiles but I just let it smash the lot. I ran in one gate and the other one opened. A few times round the block the bull actually disappeared into the closing gate! (Was that another bug). At least it gave me breathing space to run around in safety. And in the end with the hand I escaped through a now open gate to end the level. It is definitely worth the download and I hope new players don't have the same problems I did.” – CC (01-May-2003)

“As this is an early level of Claude's it's not the best there is. Nevertheless it's interesting you need to find keys and one guardian key to complete the level. In the mean time and while searching SAS guards will stand in your way and there is a bull you have to lure and smash some buttons. As previous reviewers wrote you must have three keys before dropping to the area with the horse statues otherwise you will be unable to go back up and search for items. There are many pools that need to be cleared from lava therefore some swimming is involved also two cartouche pieces to find. Darts one set of spikes inside the underwater tunnels spikes at the mirror room and burning floor are the only traps encountered. I don't know exactly what the bug with the three red buttons was that others mentioned but I did push them all and had no problem. It's a nice level but don't expect too much environmentally a good part was the moving block puzzle and the rooms around it. After all those tasks Lara picks up the Amulet and as she enters the door in the horses courtyard the level ends.” – Kristina (07-Feb-2003)

“Unfortunately I have to say this is an utterly confusing level and the reason for me rating gameplay 'only' 7 is that it is rather easy to run into a dead end in this level without actually being aware of it and with no hope to get out of it other than reloading a savegame. Putting that frustration aside though this is a very smartly designed adventure set in below and around a nice Castle with ninjas SAS and a bull to battle and five keys and two cartouches to find to get to the amulet and escape with it. As the underwater channels look all the same I got lost here quite a few times but in hindsight it is not all that complicated. Some of the puzzles are really neat like the drain/fill some rooms combined with a pushable block or the mirror room. Also liked the canyon area a lot. The three red buttons are also a bit confusing as there seem various possible options and the camera does not really help. I found four secrets (one key Uzi revolver and grenade gun) and had fun in here despite a few frustrating moments.” – Michael (27-Dec-2002)

“This was my second attempt and irritatingly enough again I wasn't able to complete this as the flipmap in the four room area with levers and pushable block did not work no matter what I tried. I never saved anywhere near it I installed the LE afresh I did it as soon as possible I did it as late as possible; still the first room would not drain. So I never got the fifth key which is a real pity cause I enjoyed this adventure immensely. It combines quite a few different elements but it never falls apart which is something of an achievement in my view. I particularly liked the camera angles during the bullfight and the rather complex room with the magic mirror. Frankly I couldn't solve the legendary mystery of the three red buttons but I got stuck there like everybody else so that was a serious damper on the gameplay. If you are looking for clever puzzles with a bit of exploring in between and many surprises along the way you should give this a go. And I keep my fingers crossed that the flipmap will work with you.” – Dimpfelmoser (07-Oct-2002)

“This is exactly the type of level that I love because the emphasis is placed on the puzzles and enemies seem to be more incidental or used in conjunction with a puzzle such as the bull here. Set in a castle its moat underground and the surrounding grassy canyon this was a great hour long adventure where you need to collect five silver keys but not being perfect it had its faults in the puzzle where you have to drain and fill rooms with water underneath the castle if I reloaded at certain times I found that the water that once filled a room was now missing so it was impossible to progress and with the 3 red button puzzle not knowing what they really triggered or if I pushed them in the right order and not wanting to leave them after pushing some of the buttons just in case they were done wrong I reloaded before I pressed them and found I could finish the level without a problem though I think this was actually because of a helpful bug that retained the triggered information when I pressed the buttons even after I reloaded to a previous savegame before the buttons. I know I will be definitely looking out for upcoming levels from this creator as having played his other works I really like the style of the levels he builds.” – Sash (21-Jun-2002)

“There's a lot of great gameplay and puzzles packed into this castle level. Lara must find 4 keys to get to her objective - the amulet of Horus (a fifth key is a secret which gives access to one final secret). As usual I ran around forever looking for the one key left pretty much in plain sight (LOL). Of special note are a tricky mirror room and a puzzle involving draining and filling several rooms with water. One word of caution - save a game before pushing the red buttons or you may find yourself unable to complete the game. Enemies include SAS and ninjas and a dicey encounter with an altogether unfriendly bull.” – Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)

“I found this level to be clever interesting and frustrating all at the same time. There's a nice blend of some easier puzzles and challenges with some that can be a bit tricky. I especially liked the four underwater rooms that you fill and drain in order to get one of the five keys. I liked the puzzle where you have to get the bull to smash five blocks but unfortunately I had to do it twice. I pushed the three buttons before I had picked up the first three keys so I had to start the level over again. Playing the second time took me exactly an hour in this really enjoyable level. The few enemies are smartly placed there are lots of places to explore and each area is interesting to look at. Some well made fly-bys show off the level well and camera angles are used well to make things interesting. Great looking level excellent textures used and fun to play.” – RaiderGirl (21-Jun-2002)

“If this is the first level Claude build then he did a good job. The idea is a great one. He used dinosaur heads hanging on the wall instead of deer LOL. The puzzled are great not too easy but also not too difficult. Liked the mirror room. Enemies are SAS men ninja's and a bull. I hate the bull and the camera made me feeling queezy. Some enemies I found out you can avoid altogether. There are some minor problems like hitting invisible walls one corner was without texture (sloppy) you could not walk down on the wooden bridge in the mirror room and Lara was standing at least a foot above the floor in the same room. Also the fourth room in the water puzzle room after draining you can find some goodies there but there is no way you can get out of it. Well Claude found an unorthodox solution to that. A big problem was the red buttons. That is the only place you need to keep a saved game as they will not reset. Also be sure to collect everything before diving down in the pool with the four horses. How Lara survived that dive is still a mystery LOL. Be prepared to do a lot of swimming. The goal is finding 5 keys and 2 cartouches. Needed no ammo as everything can be done with Lara's trusted guns. Found 3 secrets.” – Gerty (21-Jun-2002)

“This level is well worth playing. You need a good memory otherwise you will get hopelessly lost! On the way to collect 5 keys Lara will get lots of swimming and drowning practice. There are a couple of naughty bits namely the window that won't break by shooting and a 3 switch puzzle that requires the correct 1 switch to be pressed. No reset of this part is possible and you don’t know if you have done wrong until several saves later (author please note). Everything else in the level was very well done.” – Doug E (21-Jun-2002)

“Brillant level with good puzzles there is a lot to do for Lara. The goal is to find 5 keys (the fifth is a secret maybe you only need 4 keys then) and 2 artifacts to open the last door to the end. You swim in different areas with different puzzles I liked the mirror room although the sight was a bit confusing there it took me a long time until I found the crowbar (there is another crowbar on the burning floor you can’t get this one). Also a nice puzzle with the four rooms with water levers and usual levers. Not an easy level you need good orientation but fun to play. My playing time was 1:20 and found 4 secrets.” – Freeman Porter (21-Jun-2002)

“This was a very enjoyable level to play. The object of the game is to collect five silver keys. There were some good puzzles to work out including a small block puzzle which enables you to flood and drain a couple of rooms and a small 3 button puzzle at which point I would save the game just before you go pressing any of the 3 buttons as you can get to an impossible situation (at least I couldn’t get out of it). Another slight problem (not sure if it was intentional) but a shoot able window would not shatter instead I found if you walk up to it and perform a roll the window will shatter. I did like the mirror room also. Very enjoyable.” – Jason (21-Jun-2002)

“Firstly some hints: 1/ don't make savegames while your are solving the nice 4 rooms water puzzle: if you reload you can be stuck (a problem with the flip map rooms). 2/ don't push any buttons in the room with the 3 red buttons: it's useless. 3/ don't go down in the courtyard with the 4 horses statues without the crowbar and having found 3 silver keys otherwise you are stuck. 4/ The shatterable white window can't be broken by shooting. Go right in front of it and make a roll (I would never have found this without Jason's post on the forum). So I have been very confused with this level and had to begin it again three times. Aside from that the level is nice with some good puzzles and architecture. Some minor bugs with the textures. Good camera work. The weapons can only be found as secrets. I think that people can really enjoy this level if they are not stuck.” – eRIC (21-Jun-2002)

“I just finished this level and I must say it was thoroughly enjoyable! I am not usually a fan of a puzzle-based level but this one was clever and fun. A bit of back-and-forth in several places to get stuff that was missed (I only had 3 keys the first time I entered that bull room) but the level was pleasing enough that I didn't mind this so much (I am partial to castle/house/office levels). Though at one point I forgot which pool to jump in next and I must have jumped in and out of those pools at least a dozen times - I wished I could have blown Lara to bits just to end the pain - LOL! (A la screwing up the cheats in TR3.) After reading some other reviews - 2 things: 1) you can blow up that unshootable window with the grenade; 2) I pushed all the red buttons and got through fine. The ending was a bit if a let down (find amulet if horus and then walk through the door to something interesting looking ahead and the level unexpectedly ends). I expected to have to use the crossbow and lasersight and I never did. In sum - lots of neat ideas beautiful design clever game play - I am now downloading some more of Claude Gross's levels!” – Lady Lara (21-Jun-2002)
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