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Level: Santa's Quest back home search
Author(s): Lara's Soul
total rating:4.40 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Aims 4 2 2 3
Akcy 3 4 3 3
CC 6 5 4 3
Cuqui 6 5 4 4
Dimpfelmoser 5 5 3 3
Dougsan 7 7 8 8
Drew 6 6 6 6
eTux 5 4 3 3
Fairy Godfather 5 5 4 4
Freeman Porter 3 3 4 2
G.Croft 5 4 4 3
Gerty 6 6 4 5
Jay 4 5 4 4
Kristina 6 5 4 4
Magnus 6 5 3 3
manarch2 7 5 4 5
MichaelP 7 6 4 3
misho98 4 4 4 4
Mulf 7 5 1 1
Obig 5 5 5 4
Orbit Dream 4 5 2 2
RaiderGirl 6 7 5 4
Sash 5 6 4 5
Sheevah 5 4 5 3
Tombaholic 6 8 3 3
Torry 4 4 3 5
Treeble 6 5 4 3
Xela 3 3 3 2
category averages
(28 reviews)
5.21 4.93 3.82 3.64

Reviewer's comments

"Apart from Lara's outfit, there's really nothing very Christmassy about this short level. OK. the 'hands' have been retextured to look like Christmas stars and Lara does go down a chimney or two but this is no Advent Calendar level, that's for sure. Still, it was a nice attempt for such an early level and I suppose it has a certain novelty value for that reason." - Jay (06-Aug-2017)

"It is difficult to properly rate and review a level that pioneered a genre. On the one hand, you have to give the author credit for coming up with the creative divergence of placing Lara as Santa's substitute. On the other hand, well, the level just isn't that enjoyable, even for its time. My level of arousal oscillated between sheer boredom from the monotonous corridors, to unbridled frustration at the snowmobile sections, which were hastily designed to be irritating. I never hit a happy medium of enjoyment--a feeling that you hope would be sparked by an Xmas level. To the level's credit, there are moments of creative flair. And the houses, in their simplicity, are rather charming, though that's because I have a weird obsession with simplistic architecture. In the end--between the never-ending wolves, Egypt, stale textures, uninspired room design, and tiresome activities--I was grateful when the level finally crashed on me, signaling the end. I suppose if you're curious about the first among the Xmas levels, then you might find a bit to appreciate here, but you can stay away otherwise." - Xela (12-Jan-2014)

"So this is the firs Christmas level ever? It's quite good and fun, the textures were badly attached and the lighting was...well the usual actually, and I didn't liked how Egypt was involved. Anyway, it was fun and short, but you can leave it without playing - you won't miss anything." - misho98 (12-Dec-2011)

"Another early level from this builder not necessary to unpack because of the patched exe. The tasks you had to do were quite nice, the snowmobile ride was challenging, too; it was good classic riding with some TR3 textures. Enemies were well placed, too, but some of them weren't really dangerous." - manarch2 (21-Dec-2010)

"Far be it from me to disagree with any aspect of Mulf's quite superb reviews,but I feel he was perhaps unreasonably forgiving toward the quality of the gameplay in this little adventure.Yes,there are a few imaginative moments (the rolling boulders and the snowmobile Finale),but nothing overly innovative or impressive - indeed,the use of pick-ups to open nearby doors is rudimentary at best,and the pack of endless wolves came charging straight through a firmly closed door.A rope swing or two and a showdown with three demi-gods constituted the action element,but the pushable puzzles were elementary and all the observations about stretched textures and no lighting are accurate and need no further comment from me. This is a fun but slight game,without a doubt;but the builder's lack of interest in any of the essential details means that most of the gameplay enjoyment is sucessfully undone by the blandness of the construction." - Orbit Dream (12-Dec-2009)

"Any player of TR custom levels will by now have formed an opinion of what to expect from a ‘christmas level’, but if you go back to where it all began, you’re in for a surprise. This level, issued two years before the first of the Levelbase ‘advent calendars’ came out, was apparently the one that got the snowball rolling, and much to my surprise it turned out to be a parody of the very genre it was pioneering, or indeed—I’m inclined to concur with Tombaholic’s suggestion—a parody of the absurdities of level editing as a whole. On the one hand, you get once again to witness just about each and every mistake that a beginner can possibly make in the design department: huge empty rooms, positively cyclopic architecture, no lighting whatsoever, a completely random batch of objects and enemies, textures stretched to a point beyond the merely ludicrous—you name it, you’ll find it in here. On the other hand, there are numerous indications of a level of technical skill and imagination on the part of the author which would seem to contradict the utter disregard he seems to show for questions of design: The plot may well be the best christmas level plot ever (Lara as a stand-in for Santa Claus, delivering presents in an area where Santa would not dare); Lara appears for the first time in a skimpy Santa skin, and this is also apparently the first level whose author hit upon the idea of using waterfall objects in order to have snow fall from the sky; but above all, gameplay is fun, original, and on occasion quite astonishingly effective—specifically, the surprise attack of a huge pack of wolves, and the snowmobile ride down a long 45°-degree slope at the end. The boulder chase may be worth mentioning here, too. I even enjoyed the prolonged pushable task in the merrily random Egyptian section; to some extent, at any rate. ;-) It’s easy to be of two minds about this level, and it’s therefore difficult to rate, but I’d suggest not to let yourself be put off by the sorry first impression that this level cannot fail to make." - Mulf (10-Dec-2009)

"From what I readed in the story I expected a lot more, and even the loadscreen and Lara's outfit was promising. But then no Christmassy atmosphere at all, out of place Egypt settings and plam trees in the snow. Lot of streched textures and thin walls. There were no villagers around and no presents to deliver, unless the retextured hands were supposed to be the presents, we open doors with them in the houses. The only secret was impossable to miss, later there were some more tricky pickups, the walkthrough states them as secrets but they were not. There was an pushy object puzzle, and some cool snowmobile rides, apart from that gameplay was rather uninspiring. Not the best Christmas level." - Akcy (03-Dec-2007)

"Weeell, a strange level this is. So this wanted to be a Christmas level, though we explore Egyptian rooms and we have to push Egyptian god-statues. Besides all these there are 3 demigods and about 25 wolves to riddle with bullets, moreover 20 of them attacks us at the same time. Though we get the Uzi and the Shotgun against them. We can also ride the snow-mobile. The level is not so bad, but it's not a Christmas-level either. There are 4 secrets, but I could only collect 3 of them. There are no hard challenges; maybe only the snow-mobile ride over the icy slopes and platforms. :) You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version), savegames and pictures here: http://treditor.hu/15/ http://treditor.hu/15/santa_s_quest.htm" - Obig (29-Sep-2005)

“Here's a fairly difficult xmas level. Santa was unable to deliver gifts to some people due to difficult passages so Lara takes up the job to deliver them for him instead. You have to fight quite a few enemies and do some tough jumps at the end after placing the stars so it makes you think is it really worth all that agro to give stars to 4 people? lol I was shocked by the amount of wolves you fight at one time others said there were a lot but I didn't think there were that many about 20 or so! The Egyptian area below was very out of place but even if the level is based in Egypt it still didn't feel right the only other Egyptian style stuff in the level was some trees from tr4 by a house. Why anyone would want to live in a place that is swarming with wolves and needing to be a skilled snowmobile rider to conquer the hard jumps is beyond me. Let's hope next year they move somewhere more convenient for Santa so Lara doesn't have to risk her life for 4 people who weren't even home! lol” – Aims (28-Oct-2004)

“Lara in a nice little 'Santa' outfit. She picks up red and yellow 'stars' which she brings to houses. The snow falling at the start looks great and she gets a red 'Santamobile' to visit the locals. The level is huge heightwise rather than sprawling that is veeeeeeeerrrry long falls into nothingness with stretched textures from a limited palette and paper thin walls. The season of good will and all that aside the highlights of the level were the huskys that attack the giant snowball/boulder run and a great snowmobile ride along precarious ledges especially that last slope down at the end which gave me a fright as there's a gap to fly over. At one time Lara swims through a very long underwater setup to come out on 'sand' with scorpions meets demigods and does a couple of simple statue pushing puzzles in a very Egyptian environment. Perhaps Lara was dreaming of a sunny country or perhaps she is already in a sunny country dreaming of this weird place! I couldn't save in this level which was a bit of a pain. Oh and I loved the load screen of Lara on the snowmobile with presents. I suppose these are what she brings to the houses down the chimneys - Santa's little helper! A nice little diversion while you're trying to digest the Christmas dinner!” – CC (25-Jul-2003)

“Lilian Bobola's nick is ‘Lara's Soul’. Based on Santa's Quest there is jazz in Lara's soul. Palm trees in the snow? Snow on what are obviously homes in Egypt? This can't be can it? Lara substituting for Santa! A red-nosed snowmobile substituting for Rudolph! Certainly the world as Lara and I know it must have been turned upside down or rightside up (did I take my meds today?). The A Train has left the station and is swaying to the motions of the night. Lara's Soul thank you for 45 minutes of pure simple fun. Jingle bells and all that stuff.” – Dougsan (21-Feb-2003)

“The first level from my country. I have to say that Lara in her red outfit looks nice and the retextured bike is nice too but there are many mistakes with the textures. The Egyptian style right about the middle of the level doesn't fit very well the rest of the scenery the snow and chimneys Lara has to get down from. She picks up four hands two red and two yellow and has to make her way on the roofs and down the chimneys as mentioned above to place them and open doors to proceed. Many many little scorpions will come after you at some point and in another area many dogs or were those wolves hard to tell. Luckily you get the Uzi and shotgun. The demigods weren't hard to kill but again I didn't think they were fitting the story line. A nice try nonetheless.” – Kristina (17-Feb-2003)

“Don't know what made me play this level as I hate driving a vehicle other than that is it snowing outside and the world looks like it is at peace. Although this level starts with a tame drive and even then I died a couple of times you need to climb into chimneys to use the 4 Hands you'll find. I loved the snow at the start and Lara's very nice outfit. There is a multitude of enemies like a nest of scorpions three demigods and a pack of dogs. Talking about an adrenaline rush shhhheeeesss. Finding crossbow revolver and the uzi and luckily for me some medpacks as well as I sure needed that. The best part is at the end and I died figurative a thousand deaths doing that ice ramp with the bike. There is a major horizon problem and paperthin walls and strange textures but I had fun. 01-02-2003” – Gerty (09-Feb-2003)

“A weird level - it starts out so good Lara in a Santa costume snow falling gently on the ground and you have to pickup 4 presents that you deliver in 4 huts in the mountains but what were the Egyptian places for? Together with the 3 demigods and the Anubis statues they really destroyed the original feel around this level. At some points you get to fight countless enemies I hadn't experienced something like this from the good old times in Tinnos with the never ending hornet attacks - they just kept coming and coming but the effect wasn't as convincing as it was then. Play this to get yourself in the mood of Christmas for a moment.” – eTux (29-Dec-2002)

“Well well. It's a very short and easy level. I think that's a nice idea Lara in a pretty Santa outfit bringing presents and riding a snowmobile. She must kill lots of wolves and scorpions! The snow at the beginning is really beautiful but the Egyptian area in these snowy mountains is out of place. However the final snowmobile jumps are very fun and tricky.” – Cuqui (13-Dec-2002)

“First I have to say I didn’t like that level at all maybe I shouldn’t play and review such joke-levels. It’s not my taste but still it’s very original of course. Lara has to bring 4 Christmas presents into 4 houses coming through the chimneys she wears a nice Santa outfit. Snowy area in the beginning but on the way you will meet some demigods in an Egyptian style area in one place were 6 palms in the snow side by side! Later on after opening a door there are 20+ wolves coming out Santa Lara has to shoot them one after one how boring. Also about 15 scorpions in another room coming at once. The textures were most times stretched. The best thing was the end with the snowmobile also Lara’s outfit looked very good and in the beginning the snowfall. In one place I had to cheat (I hate cheating) but there was a bug with a rope I could not get up and finish the level without DOZY. If you like totally different joke-levels give it a try.” – Freeman Porter (13-Sep-2002)

“I really loved the idea of bringing presents to the huts in the mountains and entering them via the chimney. The outfit is dead cool the attack of the pack of wolfs was quite a shock and the final ride with the snowmobile was fun; alas everything else was rather half baked. One simple and one tedious moving statue puzzle; what are those statues doing in the mountains anyway? The demi gods seemed equally out of place. Textures are stretched repetitive and applied carelessly. Rooms are boxy and walls are thin. Well the usual really.” – Dimpfelmoser (26-Aug-2002)

“This is a cute little original idea having Lara help Santa by climbing down the chimneys of houses she comes across in the snowy environment and there is actual snow at the beginning of the level which I have never seen reproduced in any other level so far. This is by no means the most well put together level though with boxy looking areas a bizarrely placed fight with 3 demigods on a walkway over a bottomless pit that felt so out of place with the rest of the level and a secret that you could not miss unless you were blind that can just be picked up but then soon after a normal pick up that takes a tricky little jump with a twist to collect. What makes up for it all is Lara’s brilliant red xmas outfit a fun huge dog attack that will have you jumping all over the place trying not to be bitten while you take them out and a very cool precarious ski-mobile ride ending in a bone shaking 45 degree downward slope jump.” – Sash (21-Jun-2002)

“This is such a promising start which then does not make use of its full potential. Lara in a nice Santa outfit has to bring the 4 presents (in form of retextured hands) into people's houses and has a nice snowmobile (actually two) to support her. And this is the first custom level with real snow! Not sure why there had to be so many scorpions in one place and so many dogs in another. The three demigods were easily taken care of. The overall level architecture and the textures and lighting are really bad but I did like the pushable object puzzle the climbing down the chimney (very fitting) the snowballs chase and the bumpy and tricky snowmobile ride to the end of this 30 minutes trip. Ho Ho Ho...to Lara J” – Michael (21-Jun-2002)

“Sorry folks but apart from the neat sled ride and the wolf pack attack I thought this was a pretty crappy level. The red outfit on Lara is ludicrous and the object of delivering ‘presents’ in the form of coloured ‘hands’ I thought was pointless. The attack of the three demigods on the narrow walkway was tough though and look this could have been so much more but the few good points for me simply did not outweigh the rest.” – Torry (21-Jun-2002)

“Oh no Santa forgot to deliver presents in this neighborhood! Well now it's a task for Lara-Santa! Dressed as the script says Lara has to deliver 4 gifts (2 yellow and 2 red gifts) in this small neighborhood. It's a very good level for a first try but you will notice the stretched textures the bad design in some areas and other small bugs -- one with a polerope that annoyed me then I had to cheat :-(. You will drive two snowmobiles in the level and you have a tricky jump to do with it in the end of the level and you will kill around 20 wolves or so in the level. There are some problems with the atmosphere (cold area with Egyptian rooms?) but the level is quite fun. A big novelty is that it's SNOWING yes SNOWING in the beginning of the level :). Give it a try.” – Treeble (21-Jun-2002)

“We have had ‘joke’ levels before (remember Lara in a box?) but this one actually has some merit. Lara has to deliver her Christmas stars in this icy wolf-infested winter wonderland. Suddenly though she's in the middle of a bad Egyptian level! You begin to get the idea that the author is making a big parody of bad level building. There are the Tut1 textures that have been used to death (completely out of place here). And of course Lara has to move a statue through a maze and fight a coterie of demigods - all very cliché. Then there are the oversized and empty rooms with uniform textures. Well I hope it's a parody because if not...! I actually have to award points for the brilliant costume and the snowmobiles. And fun and games aside there are a few tricky finesse moves to perform with those snowmobiles before you reach the end. So take a half hour and play this one - you're almost guaranteed a smile.” – Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)

“A cute little level that is fun because Lara is Santa. Otherwise it’s not much of gameplay. Lara Santa has to deliver four gifts into four houses through the chimney of course! You also get to drive a snowmobile and practice your driving skills. Sitting here in january 2002 with 10 degrees below outside looking at Lara makes me freeze seeing her running around in the snow with only shorts and a little top well at least she has something on her head! ;-)” – G.Croft (21-Jun-2002)

“So this is what it would look like if it snowed in Egypt. This is definitely one of the oddest levels I have ever played and worth a look just to see Lara's Santa costume and the beautiful snow in this winter wonderland. For the most part this is an enjoyable level to play - it's very fitting that Lara has to enter people's houses to leave gifts but I didn't really think the Egyptian areas fit too well into the level. The end was the hardest part for me as I had to drive the snowmobile down some very dangerous paths but with a lot of cussing I made it to the end.” – RaiderGirl (21-Jun-2002)

“I understand why Santa Claus didn’t deliver gifts in this neighborhood since it’s full of wolves Egyptian Gods and boulders. And apparently all the children got Egyptian ‘Hands’ this Christmas. Anyway Lara has to deliver four gifts and she gets to ride two snowmobiles and kill a lot of wolves (and I do mean A LOT). There are a lot of stretched textures in this level and there’s no lighting but it’s still a different and fun idea.” – Magnus (21-Jun-2002)

“Short level mainly on snow and ice. Lara dressed in red Santa outfit has to drive a snowmobile around ice ledges stopping off to deliver ‘hands’ opening doors kill an avalanche of wolves pick up another snowmobile and drive a perilous path round more ledges to a final snowmobile ski-jump.” – Fairy Godfather (21-Jun-2002)

“Having outside temperatures of 30° C and higher I thought this level would be the right one to cool myself down. Well the only original thing in this game was Lara's Santa outfit that was funny indeed and I liked it. And quite Santa-like she enters houses through the chimney or roof in most cases. Gameplay-wise and graphically the level isn't that exciting besides some interesting jumps with the snowmobile.” – Sheevah (21-Jun-2002)

“This level is a Christmas treat indeed! I like the snow Lara's costume and the treacherous snow mobile ride towards the end. I just thought the Egyptian underground was a little bit misplaced in the game. And also killing all those wolves made me feel guilty in the spirit of the Holiday Season. A short and sweet level nonetheless.” – Drew Pizza (21-Jun-2002)
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