Level: TombRaider: True Story back home search
Author(s): Maciej Malec Michal Mularz
total rating:7.38 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
CC 7 7 8 7
Dimpfelmoser 8 7 9 9
eRIC 7 7 8 9
Freeman Porter 6 7 8 8
Gerty 5 7 6 7
Jay 7 7 8 9
Jose 5 6 6 8
Kristina 8 7 8 8
Magnus 6 5 6 6
MichaelP 7 7 8 9
Orbit Dream 5 7 9 10
Phil 8 8 8 8
RaiderGirl 8 8 9 9
Ryan 6 6 8 9
Sash 8 8 9 9
Tombaholic 6 7 6 7
Treeble 7 7 7 7
category averages
(17 reviews)
6.71 6.94 7.71 8.18

Reviewer's comments

"These four levels have to be played separately so I can't be sure cumulatively how long I spent playing them, but I'm guessing it was close to 2 hours. Some of the areas are quite striking and beautiful (particularly the first and fourth levels, the latter reaching a state of grandeur) and you would be happy just to roam around and soak up the atmosphere. Which is probably exactly what you will be doing, as the gameplay isn't as impressive as the visuals. Some sections, like the long crawling and backtracking get quite tiresome and there's no real puzzles aside from a couple of pushblocks and a few mild traps. Things do pick up in the Journey level which was probably my favourite. The jeep ride, jump sequences and pleasing surroundings did at least keep things bearable. Overall, if you don't expect anything too cerebral, sit back, load this up and relax." - Ryan (11-Mar-2018)

"The initial flyby really does draw the eye and the underwater areas in particular are really beautiful. This is a four part game and you start as young Lara, which is usually a frustrating experience as it's all about dodging the enemies. Things pick up a bit as the levels progress through base, Arctic and woodland (which is more like jungle actually) and Lara gets to wear a good selection of outfits. Unfortunately, the gameplay doesn't really match the scenery as there's quite a lot of backtracking and rather repetitive stuff going on, but the various areas are very nicely put together. Each level is played separately so I suppose if you just fancied having a look without necessarily finishing each part, you could certainly do that. I found it very playable but not necessarily memorable. Part four was probably the one I enjoyed most, with its good atmosphere and somewhat odd but rather attractive mix of textures etc. Also, right at the end there's a short but fun jeep ride, although considering it's emblazoned with the Union flag, I dare say it's supposed to be a Land Rover. Nice of the builders to leave three revolvers lying around for Lara too." - Jay (03-Oct-2017)

"Not very interesting this set of levels I need to play separately. There are not puzzles to solve, and all the entire gameplay is based about gymnastics and pull a lot of switches, press a lot of buttons and find a lot of keys and bulbs to open doors. In the first two levels there are excessive crawlspaces, in the second one even you're forced to crawl three times through the same long path; the second and third levels were a bit better, but even in the last level I had to backtrack a lot to the very beginning after got the keys I needed. And what about if you forget the jeep keys? More unnecessary backtracking. I found the uzis and the revolver, but not enough ammo to use them more than two or three times so be prepared to use always the pistols; there are also a lot of very dark corners, but I never find enough flares to properly explore that areas. I missed a lot some camera shots when using a switch or a button, and I can't understand the reason why the authors didn't add musics for most flybys. The texturization is usually good, except in small and triangular surfaces, and the lighting is very well worked, for me, the best of the game. Not very entertaining levels but enjoyable anyway." - Jose (07-Jun-2016)

"I think this is one of the earliest builders collaborative levels, and while it's not quite clear, I imagine both authors went for a Chronicles style, as the levels don't seem to link into each other (and you can also play them in the order you desire). Deep (30 minutes, 1 secret): this is a young Lara level that starts out in what looks like an underwater facility, but then it quickly morphs into a base level and eventually into a jungle of sorts in some caverns. As any other young Lara level, gameplay is rather simple and relies on key progression. There are a number of enemies scattered through the level, but there are more than enough medipacks. There are a few issues with it, though, such as unmarked spike tiles, untextured surfaces and at least part of the underwater glass tunnel is not solid, so you can jump into the water (but never get back). Escape from the Soldier Area (30 minutes, 1 secret): the second level in the set brings adult Lara Croft to a base environment. It's quite linear as you go from one area to the next up to the point where you shut down the power, only so you can retrace your steps back to the beginning to collect a key and then progress. For some reason this flipmap also causes an aircraft to disappear, lol. A few switches later and you're making your way to an helicopter outside. Arctic Zone (45 minutes, 1 secret): the third level again sees Lara running through a military base, though this time it's somewhere in the arctic. Gameplay again relies on the usual item/switch progression formula. The flare bug kicks in somewhere along the way though. Some textures felt oddly out of place (namely the Egyptian ones), and I couldn't help but laugh as the level ends with Lara entering a ship named "Titanic". Journey (30 minutes): this last level is probably my favorite in the entire set. It steers away from military facilities and instead has an atmosphere that evokes the Scotland levels of The Lost Artifact. It's still a simple level that has you chasing keys to proceed and a massive backtrack in the end before you get to the jeep, but generally it's a fun level. Bottomline, despite its age it is a levelset worth checking out for the insatiable raiders. 135 minutes, 3 secrets. 04/09" - Treeble (04-Apr-2009)

"This four-parter is a good example of the older gems out there that for one reason or another have not received much attention or acclaim. The way I learned of this one is through a recent post by SuzanneJack in the stuck thread. Even though it's been nearly seven years since True Story was released, it seems as fresh as if it had appeared yesterday. You can play the four levels in any order you wish, and as you finish one you have to select the next one from the level menu, but I suggest that you play them in the order listed (and as treated in Dutchy's walkthrough). You begin with a young Lara level, and be aware that there are several confrontations with enemies here that can drain your health in short order. You then graduate to a base level where you're obliged to do an awful lot of crawling. Next up is an arctic level, and the grand finale is a romp in the jungle (where you'll encounter a pack of horny monkeys that will do anything to get between Lara's legs). There's nothing here that will mark these levels as classics, but you get a scenic variety of raiding environments that will keep you occupied for the better part of three hours. The lighting is good, the gameplay is reasonably challenging without taxing your skills to any extent, and the levels as a group are worthy of high recommendations." - Phil (02-Dec-2008)

"There are four separate levels here, and the player can choose whichever one they want to play. Three are playable on the mac; but the level 'Arctic Zone' crashes the mac, and obviously this problem has never been solved. Such a pity. Sounds like the type of level I would have enjoyed.
The Deep. This seems to be a sort of training session for Young Lara, set up by Von Croy, who we see in two cutscenes, standing at the controls and beside a transporter. The 'Virtual Chamber' he has set up is of a marine base on a rocky island, with lots of caves, pool area, and plenty of rooms to explore. Her mission is to get inside, find keys and discs, avoid the crocs in the water, and dodge guards. As she is so young help is given in the form of soldiers who deal with the guards. This hologram was not put together very well, as Lara can 'escape' through glass windows if she chooses. None the less, it looks beautiful, and when Lara has finished, she pushes the switch to change the scene to a jungle and river crossing.
Escape from Soldier Area. And that's litterally what happens. (Is Lara in the hologram again?). Love Lara's outfit in this one. Lots of crawlspaces to get into, lots of guards and dogs, lots of switches, and lots of moveables like bookshelves and crates. Shutting off the power to get one key, and finding another, allows Lara to get out in the open air for some good ropeswinging exercises. Here again, Lara can get into places she's not supposed to, but if she does she is stuck forever. The decor here is not so accomplished as the first level, but it does cover vast areas, and we are treated to a cutscene of the helicopter coming to the rescue.
Journey. Quite impressive jungle level. Not sure if it's supposed to be India, but it certainly is vast. This seems to be the biggest level, as we cover a lot of ground - a dry gorge, base/factory type area, and a most impressive looking cathedral, that looks better from the outside than the broken down jumble inside. Lara is in her familiar shorts outfit in this humid environment, and just as well, as she must perform a lot of aerobic exercises. The local fauna, monkeys and tigers, are friendly; not so the armed guards, who fire at Lara in some awkward situations. Again, we can get into places never intended by the author, and become stuck forever. At one stage the author punishes us for our cheek... squashing Lara with boulders if she runs towards the tiger instead of using the the jeep to get through this swamp area. The other 'legal' boulder trap was a great surprise. A hint for the cathedral: if Lara runs back across the rocks to the outside, the ropes don't appear; but if she goes down to ground level and runs up the stairs they do; and Lara needs those ropes to swing in front of this imposing edifice. Not only do we cover vast areas of ground, but we go up high in trees and in that cathedral, then down below ground to lava areas with interesting ropeswings, climbs and shimmys, and dodge a lot of rolling boulders in one sloping room. All told, these were fun levels to play. Not too demanding, more exploration than puzzle or trap based. It was nice to visit the different and beautiful locations, but saving in different slots is recommended for those 'stuck' areas." - CC (12-Nov-2007)

"To say that these four levels possess a 'smooth flow of Gameplay' (which they do) is a very tactful way of saying that there's not much to do in any of them other than run around, pulling levers and/or locating keys. The closest thing to a puzzle which I encountered in 3 or so hours of playing was moving a wooden crate away from a doorway. Other than that, you basically amble around and admire the truly impressive scenery. Level 1 was amusing and colourful, with a very refreshing non-violent gameplay. The 'Hologram' sequence was a clever idea; as were the 'helpful allies'. Level 2 was a little bland and involved too much crawling, but still had surprising moments and a pleasing appearance. Level 3 was generally straightforward, with the exception of a rather cheaty 'shooting a window' sequence (all the other windows in the Level were un-breakable) and enjoyed a decent non-Tinnos Antarctic setting. Level 4 was by far the best. A simply breathtaking environment, most beautifully crafted and lit. The Monastery, in particular, is stunning and one of the most impressive environments you will encounter anywhere. There seemed no connection between any of these levels, so look upon them as four separate and distinct good-looking adventures in one handy package. Wander around at your leisure; ponder why some areas have two different methods of traversing (invariably, neither of them difficult). You won't be working up much of a sweat here, so relax and enjoy." - Orbit Dream (03-Jun-2005)

“'Deep Blue Sea' was a great beginning to this four level series and has you exploring a base area where apparently a lot of scientific research is going on involving underwater crafts and artifacts. Von Croy is even present but unfortunately you only see him through a window. There's a number of keys and disks to find as you dodge soldiers crocs and ahmets and my favorite part was at the end. There's a 'virtual chamber' that is empty but at the flick of the switch turns into a jungle area to explore complete with a small lake. It's sort of like the holodeck on Star Trek. 'Escape' and 'Arctic Zone' are both base style levels with lots of keys and fuses to find but I thought the environments were so interesting that I enjoyed both levels. There are some underwater areas to explore and you'll see the diving bells plus there was a huge shark tank that was grossly underused. 'Journey' has you searching all over a jungle and beautiful castle setting plus a few underground areas for the key that you need at the very beginning of the level. It really is more fun than it sounds and the environment really makes it even better. Once you find the jeep it's a short ride to the last area where you begin your journey home. Overall a great set of levels with puzzles that are fairly easy but still interesting all taking place in places that are fun to explore. What a great level building team!” – RaiderGirl (09-Feb-2003)

“This is actually a four part adventure. It looks very good from the flyby at the beginning but often things aren't exactly as they look. We have young Lara in the first level passing through SAS guards they are taken care of by friendly soldiers swimming through pools and avoiding crocodiles. The puzzles are keys and later on fuses. It becomes a little boring especially at the third level which is the longest and with not so many enemies. The fuses are many so many that I lost count. The second and fourth level doesn't differ at all from the other two. Although the last one has a very good scenery a jungle with a monastery and underground tasks to complete but yet again the only puzzle items are the fuses and different kinds of keys. Lara's outfit at the second level was nice white above and black down. Cutting down the power made things interesting for a while at the second level but I don't like crawling that much and I did a lot. There were a few places with ‘goodies’ along the levels that I couldn't access I wonder if they were secrets I did backtrack many times to see if an action triggered the doors to open or something else happened to allow me to enter those areas but with no result. Mutants SAS guards as mentioned above and a few crocodiles at the beginning are the only enemies available with two monkeys as well but those are friendly. Some parts of it were good some others boring and what made it more unattractive was the fact that you must choose the levels from the title screen every time one finishes. There is also the flare bug at the end but the areas aren't that dark so you are able to proceed without any serious problems. Of course that means that Lara starts again with the standard weapons and medipacks I would like to carry the Uzi to the next level I also found the desert eagle at the last one. I would say play it but there isn't much excitement in it.” – Kristina (19-Oct-2002)

“I have the feeling that if these levels were to be rated separately they would score higher. I enjoyed every one of them although like Gerty I had to give the third one a miss as it crashed on my Mac. There is too much crawling in the second part and maybe there isn't that much variation as far as the tasks in hand are concerned but I liked the fast paced gameplay and especially in the fourth part the atmosphere was really convincing. The cathedral in the jungle is beautifully textured the flybys are quite impressive and the final ride with the jeep was great fun. I should have taken notes cause looking back now I can't remember for sure where on level started and the other one ended but does it matter? I think they are all worth playing. The first installment is quite thrilling bearing in mind that it is a Young Lara level and especially the long swim past the crocodiles in the colourful base was a great experience. The best moment in the second part was when you turn of the electricity and the whole place turns dark but there are plenty of other good moments so I advise you to have a look.” – Dimpfelmoser (06-Oct-2002)

“When the authors of Eldorado and Laguna temples work together it can't turn completely bad. Here we have 4 independent levels very different sometimes great sometimes only average. You will not meet many enemies or find many pickups in all of them. A special mention for the new title very beautiful! This set of levels is a tribute to the tombraider series especially TR3: here and there you will see the meteor the yellow sphere and other objects from TR3 textures from TR3 or TR5 etc...I think the authors should have better made only 3 levels as the second and the third ones (base levels) are a little similar and not really exciting. But I am glad to have the first and the 4th. Deep blue sea (8/7/9/10 1 hour): A very enjoyable level of exploration with good graphics. Young Lara is in a submarine research base and must find the way to escape (although it is not really a base level). She must find a few keys in caves or rooms avoid some crocs ahmets and SAS. At one point she is helped by friendly soldiers. This base is in the midst of caves in the ocean and the setting is sometimes really awesome. There is a also a jungle area at the end. The escape through underwater caves infested by crocs is really enjoyable and the atmosphere of the whole level is surreal. A must play. I found a bug when Lara is in the glass corridor at the beginning where you can see the little yellow boat. Lara can go through the glasses and you can explore some more areas. The kitchen is also too much dark and as you play with young Lara you have no flares! But I do not have the heart to rate down for that this level is so beautiful and fun. Escape from soldier area (7/7/7/7 50 minutes): Do I need to explain that Lara has to escape from a military base found some keys shoot some obvious crates crawls trough vents and kill some SAS and dogs? The puzzle to cut off electricity so Lara can pick up the first key is good even if the lights can not be turned on again so some areas are a little dark but it gets better after. There is a nice outside area and some caves with lava at the end before Lara reaches the helicopter. There is two ways to end the level one is very easy the other involves a movable blocks puzzle a pole a rope swing and some jumps in the last cave. The problem with this level is that some things seem to be useless and I had the feeling that the authors could have done more. Artic zone (7/6/8/8 1 hour 20): In Arctic Lara explores a complex of military base icy areas underwater rooms until she enters in The Titanic trapped in a frozen lake. She has to find some keys and fuses to have access to new areas. On the downside: the progression is a little boring there are not many enemies and the flares bug shows its face at the end because of many fire traps easy to avoid. On the upside the graphics are good some special effects and some good puzzles. The Journey (7/8/9/9 50 minutes): An enjoyable level in a kind of jungle setting with very great graphics. Lara explores gardens caves a beautiful church in ruins to finally find the Journey key and the key of the jeep for a short ride until the end. There is a problem as you can find a shortcut to go where the jeep is and without the keys you will be stuck. SAS to kill 3 Desert eagle found harmless monkeys and a tiger you don't have to shoot. Some areas are very beautiful. I had a very good moment with this level.” – eRIC (11-Aug-2002)

“This is a huge download as for some reason the ZIP file holds all the sound wavs you already have with the editor but also because it contains four independent levels and a really nice Title flyby. It seems the four levels are supposed to be connected by a storyline but if so it is not very obvious. Deep (8/7/8/9 – 40 minutes): This is a Young Lara adventure and it features some SAS crocodiles and ahmets (!) that keep her on her toes. After a long starting flyby you make your way through sort of a marine base finding four keys and two discs for progression and there is quite a bit of exercise involved as you crawl shimmy and monkey your way along. I found one secret right at the start and really enjoyed the setting and variety of environment and gameplay. There are a few bugs though (missing textures fall through windows) which could have been easily avoided and sometimes there seems to be a much easier route than the one the authors have planned for. Still not sure what you see brief glimpses of VonCroy for on two occasions but those caves were neat and the 'swimming with the crocodiles' passage quite a thrill. Also the 'virtual chamber' that turns into a brief jungle intermezzo was a smart idea. Escape from Soldier Area (7/7/8/9 - 45 minutes): Lara sporting a nice custom outfit in an industrial base environment. Even though there is the added treat of a few movable block and cupboards the gameplay is a little dull in your quest for a few keys as there is quite a bit of air duct crawling involved. I found one secret and the many dogs and SAS are not a major threat. The two lava caves are quite impressive but the best moment for me was the very well crafted 'lights out' effect and its smart use to make that one key accessible. Arctic Zone (6/6/9/9 - 50 minutes): Seems that helicopter that Lara took off with at the end of the previous level crashed in the Arctic. Luckily Lara could change into her camouflage outfit and is now exploring the grounds meeting a few SAS in the buildings. Gameplay here is very linear and straightforward and rather repetitive as you need to find 6 blue and 2 yellow fuses and a small key. The shark tank and the sewers look nice and the RMS Titanic at the end made me smile. I found one easy secret and another more tricky one but there was nothing there to be found - too bad. Journey (7/7/8/8 - 40 minutes): Indeed a Journey for the 'Journey Key' which once found can be used right were you started. Lara in her good old trusted outfit starting off in a jungle setting which later becomes monastery and then castle like. Only a few monkeys and SAS around here so not sure why you can find the desert eagle twice as you really don't need it. Found two minor bugs (missing textures and no water where it should be) but they do not harm the overall experience. You have to find a few keys solve a simple movable block area and explore lava caves and gardens and there are a few nice platforming sequences. I liked the room with the boulders - nicely done - and some of the camera angles. All in all you get a lot of 'value for money' with these for levels. 3+ hours of running around in beautifully designed worlds with quite a bit of variety so play it for the looks and endure the gameplay which is a little dull overall.” – Michael (20-Jul-2002)

“I was so excited when the flyby at the beginning of these set of 4 levels started because the setting seemed so wonderful a lab in the ocean somewhere and this first level did have a great look with fantastic touches such as subs seem through windows and a virtual chamber where you get to turn a normal sized metal room into a much larger virtual jungle where you go and explore so this helped me overlook the lack of gameplay with the usual lever pull scenario. Unfortunately the next 3 levels were almost replicas when it came to gameplay only the environments changed the second in a military compound the third in an arctic base and the last in and around a monastery in a jungle setting and although each of these had some visual eye catching area they just didn’t grab me like the first. These 4 totally separate levels took me 3 hours to play and for that fact alone I probably rated slightly higher in a couple of categories I just wish they could have been a bit more diverse game-wise as that would have made them a brilliant set of levels.” – Sash (21-Jun-2002)

“Starting with a very cool flyby sequence these levels did not quite live up to their promise. The first opens with young Lara in some sort of laboratory holding chamber. Using only her wits Lara must make her way through this undersea complex made up of laboratories offices and more. Soon she encounters the bad guys - SAS guards some with their pet ahmets. Weaponless Lara must depend on friendly soldiers for help other times she must just be quick and take as little fire as possible. In the end though it’s not so dangerous and I got through without a single medipack. The atmosphere is nicely rendered here - with lots of neat touches like submarines and boats in the water areas the meteor from TR2 and at one point Von Croy skulking around. Unfortunately there’s a couple serious bugs like Lara being able to walk through glass walls into the water beyond (and back) and some areas can be reached illegally. Some elements like the large floor levers and the rolling door from Angkor seem out of place in this setting too. The following two levels play out basically the same: a fairly linear march finding keys and fuses to progress. Only the settings are different. The author uses a nice flipmap effect at one point when Lara shuts off the power in the soldier’s complex. Unfortunately random items were missing - like crates - from the flipped rooms. The final level takes place in a jungle setting which is not bad. Again though I was able to easily reach the end of the level right away - something that the player is not meant to do until going through the whole thing and finding a key. Conclusion: these levels have some nice touches but many bugs and the gameplay gets a little dull at times.” – Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)

“Four levels in one download. Sorry to say that I couldn’t get level 3 to play at all I played this one on the Mac Lara froze the moment she stepped through the door. Wasn’t taken by this game. It starts as young Lara found some bugs like in the underwater tunnel Lara could step through the glass and swim in the water outside. At a certain point you even could get in another part of the water by climbing. Also in some rooms she could get inside buildings just by walking through glass so I didn’t needed some keys. Don’t think the authors made it that way though. Anyway have been searching for the first keys for ages and when I finally found it I was not too thrilled to get killed by SAS men while some other soldiers supposedly helping young Lara didn’t do a thing. The crawling and shooting grates were getting a bit tedious after a while. Second level you had a lot of backtracking to do SAS soldiers and dogs are the enemy. Couldn’t get a jump from a pole to work and also a rope jump but found another way to get where Lara needed to go. Lots of buttons to push and doors to open. Level three couldn’t play it. Level 4 is bit of the same but in a jungle/Scotland type setting. Found a short cut to end the level very quick what isn’t intended (I think). Lots of SAS soldiers to kill and like in all the other levels illegal slopes can trap Lara.15-05-2002” – Gerty (21-Jun-2002)

“A big download with 4 levels and a title flyby but what is the sound folder for? Everybody has the same already with the LE installed. Ok there are 4 levels with different Lara outfits in different locations. Every level is a game on its own not connected together you can choose in the Start menu. In the first one ‘Deep Blue Sea’ you are playing with young Lara this level is really nice to play. The others not really because it’s always the same find a key or a fuse and put it in the right place after a while you get bored. Also some objects were put in every single level always the same it doesn’t matter if you play in the arctic zone or in the soldiers place. The same enemies everywhere and no special puzzles the cams were good also the helicopters look nice. Give it a try but don’t expect too much I enjoyed the first level with young Lara.” – Freeman Porter (21-Jun-2002)

“This download could have been much smaller if the sounds hadn’t been in it. They serve no use (at least I don’t think they do). These are four levels and they’re not connected to each other in any way. In one level you’re in some sort of base in another you’re deep under water. That doesn’t need to be a bad thing however. It’s actually quite fun to play completely different levels and not run around in places that look alike all the time. The gameplay is rather repetitive though. Oh well here you have my separate reviews for the four levels: Deep (30 minutes; 6/6/8/8): In this level you play like young Lara and for some reason you keep following Von Croy. The level takes place in some sort of underwater base but after a while it changes into a jungle-level (the way it changes is quite neat though). The beginning is nice with windows you can see the sea through (in one place you can go right through a row of windows). The level doesn’t offer anything special except the nice sea and it’s annoying to not be able to shoot the enemies but it’s worth playing. Escape from Soldier Area (30 minutes; 5/5/5/5): In this level Lara has to battle her way through a military compound to get to a helicopter. There’s a lot of buttons in this level and you often have to run to one place press a button and then run to the first place to go through the door you had just opened. In one place you turn off the power and all rooms get dark but for some reason one crate reappears and another one disappears. Also the fans must have some sort of backup power. Arctic Zone (40 minutes; 5/5/5/5): A rather long level with a quite boring gameplay. Just open a door find some sort of key or button open another door and then do the same thing all over again. There are some exceptions but they’re not many. The enemies don’t pose any threat and are easy to kill. The flare-bug appeared and that didn’t help the level either but fortunately there aren’t many dark places. Journey (25 minutes; 7/5/5/6): This is probably the level with the best gameplay. It’s also the least linear of the four levels. The texturing isn’t very good but it serves its purpose. The monkeys can’t be killed (not the tiger either by the way) but you’ll get to kill many SAS-guards so don’t worry. I found three (!) Desert-Eagles which at least I think are too many. In the end you even get to make the ‘journey’ which means driving the jeep on a short track.” – Magnus (21-Jun-2002)
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