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Level: St.Trevelyan's Folly back home search
Author(s): Richard Lawther
total rating:6.84 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
CC 7 6 6 6
Ceamonks890 4 3 4 3
Dimpfelmoser 9 8 8 8
Doug E 7 6 6 5
Engelchen Lara 9 8 9 7
eRIC 8 9 8 7
eTux 9 7 7 5
Gerty 4 4 6 4
Jez 9 8 9 9
Jose 6 5 6 3
Kristina 6 6 7 7
Magnus 7 6 6 5
Mezcal 9 8 10 9
MichaelP 9 8 7 5
QRS 8 9 5 6
RaiderGirl 8 7 7 7
rjb 9 8 8 8
Ryan 7 7 6 5
Sash 8 7 9 8
Sheevah 4 3 6 2
Tune Razor 9 8 9 8
Whistle 8 7 7 7
category averages
(22 reviews)
7.45 6.73 7.09 6.09

Reviewer's comments

"It's interesting to see the progression from this, Richard's debut level, right up to the Astrodelica series, the Underworld series and beyond. The textures in this one are a bit of a jumble and try as I might, I just couldn't get used to them and they seemed rather repetitively applied, although they do give hints of Richard's future texture use (thankfully his later levels are much more attractive). The gameplay has its moments though. Aside from a couple of long crawls and monkeyswings, there's a nice couple of minefield sequences, sentry guns to destroy, plenty of fire traps, a few tricky jumps and an ingenious motorbike ride that I really liked. I also missed two armour pieces, but couldn't figure ou how to get to them. If you don't expect anything visually pleasing, you should enjoy yourself." - Ryan (09-Jan-2019)

"As much as I admire Richard's later work within the editor, his debut has unfortunately not aged well. Environments are barren & incredibly blocky, lighting and texturing look very crude by today's standards & gameplay gets old real fast(as you find yourself running around empty rooms for that one switch required for progression, in-between stock TR4 SAS soldier shootouts, some arbitrarily unmarked explosives and fairly underwhelming platforming sequences). The motorbike was a nice surprise towards the end, but it could only do so much to prevent boredom, from catching up with me completely over time. And while I can't fault Richard for the enemy, object & music choices(on account of limitations which came with the era back then), it ultimately left me with a very unsatisfied experience on the whole. So in the end, only worth checking out if you're wanting to see how the builder got his start, as his latter work is just so much better." - Ceamonks890 (06-May-2018)

"Incredible how, this author, 13 years later, could release an adventure like "Shalebridge Murder Mistery". This level was his debut, of course, but except the gameplay section, where you start to notice good and fresh ideas, the remaining features are usually bad. Simple and angulous architecture, poor texturization even with missing textures, many ilegal slopes, paper walls, huge rooms without objects or furniture for decoration... There's an interesting ride with the bike in the big room with several levels; also the parts of the armour are worth to find, but unfortunately I missed the last one, trapped in a transparent pillar; cameras and musics are not bad too. Take a try but don't expect nice environments." - Jose (05-Jul-2016)

"ôLara Deaded!" This explanation of what happens to Lara in the walkthrough in certain areas of the level is just a perfectly charming accompaniment to the bizarre experiences waiting for you in St. Trevelyan's Folly. It just cracks me up when she flips through the air and I see in the walkthrough that the poor girl"deadeds." So, it was a very pleasant experience to find that the level download and the accompanying walkthrough in mangled English have had no revisions, or upgrades, to this early adventure from the past.. Taken together, they are a complimentary joyful trip back in time. One that I really enjoyed; pulling out the original TR Chronicle audio tracks, swapping out wads, and tinkering to get the original game configured correctly. (I remembered my first bungled efforts years ago.... having gotten well into a critical junction when I had the wrong configuration, and a required rope did not appear, so I put it aside.) So, coming back to this, after experiencing the author's later works, was a real treat. Perhaps I should have paid more attention to the blustering announcement as the adventure opens up, that we are not just put here for simply running around, shooting, climbing, and"ahh-haaing" tombraiding; but are actually being offered a chance at"enlightenment beyond the rainbow pillars." Holy Dali Lama! The whole gleeful journey is more like: "Holy T.S. Lawrence's Missing Car Jack Beyond the Seven Pillars of Folly." Pure Lawther merriment. Once the adventure opens up, it immediately transports us into a powerfully explosive, chaotically creative madness..... nothing short of an hallucinogenic trip replete with so many unforgiving,"kabooms", plaintive Lara death rattles, chaotic laying on of textures, and myriads of originally inventive challenges, that the overall effect leaves you enmeshed in the author's powerful grip. As is his style, he continually takes delight in spinning you out of control. Albeit crudely crafted, one can sense in this first little nugget, all the wonderfully controlled insane magic that would eventually coalesce into the later masterpieces from this most creative and gifted of authors. You will even enjoy the early reviews when the level was first released, as many are taken aback with a shocked impression, and slightly disturbed reception, almost reminiscent when the public first experienced modernist paintings It's a mistake to assume that this first offering; with it's neophyte crude patchwork of textures is devoid of rich attention to intellectual raiding...there are constant delights as the game progresses to be confronted with inexplicable and unsettling challenges that are nothing short of ingenious. How pissed off you'll feel at getting hilariously"deaded" trying to figure out the correct approach to all those exploding Chinese lanterns that ingnoramiouses like me didn't pick up on because I was too dense to pay attention to what was happening during the opening slide down during the entrance in the level. Even at the first block, a step behind us when the game starts, he lays down a signal for us with his diabolical attentiveness to detail. It's an early reminder of Lawther's inventive craftsmanship. The answers are always there. But you have to take your time, and remember to"share a little joke with world." And you'll be rewarded with a plethora of exciting challenges and truly alien worlds waiting..... just kick open a door into the darkness, and find your self confronted by an ice blue pyramid surrounded by ascending wrap-around balls of fire.... enter a room of transparent, and invisible blocks, leading to jumps laid on with gorgeous abstract colors and mysterious designs. After awhile, you'll get smug, and think you've gotten the hang of it,"....of course I can get this," but hey, guess what? Duh! You'll get slammed by the most unexpected cards this author plays...and he is always one, two, three steps ahead of you. So, take your time, and savor every twisted moment, or you'll find yourself at the end, empty-handed, err, empty-enlightened. Thanks also to Robin Burgess for the great walkthrough, and to another fan who took time to explain in detail how to"swing on a rope around the world." That was crucial." - Mezcal (10-Jul-2009)

"I can't say that I liked this level much. Not that it was bad, it just didn't have Dick's ordinary touch :) Even if it has some cool parts like the bikeride etc. Although I know that the textures are meant to be in disorder, it makes me feel uneasy. It involves a great deal of strange puzzles and hard parts that I liked though. Over all a great level but I prefer the textures in Richard's later levels. Fore being a first level it is great though! 2005/04/12" - QRS (13-Apr-2005)

"A quite nice thirty minute-level with some interesting ideas. The gameplay mainly revolves around pushing and pulling levers but there are a lot of fun things you have to do to reach the levers. Even though the gameplay is good the texturing isn't. It's very odd and it looks as if the author wanted it to be that way. It shows what the author was going to create in the future though. Overall I liked this level. It's not the best level I've played but it was fun for the short time it lasted." - Magnus (29-Jan-2004)

"Large rooms and plenty of unusual tricks and traps keep you on your toes. The aim of the level is to find pieces of armour and a 'car Jack'. There are few enemies to cope with (SAS) which can easily be exterminated. The game play is quite circular in construction returning to rooms again after gaining items or operating switches. The gameplay is not difficult if you keep your wits about you and the puzzles are reasonable. The hardest parts I found were some of the jumps-on the edge of Lara's capabilities. Be prepared to give your eyeballs an experience as the textures are often bright and very colourful. These textures add to the 'folly' part of the name though and give the level that extra bit of uniqueness. Definitely a level to play if only for the 'eyeball'." - Whistle (11-Jan-2004)

"Tremendously innovative & imaginative: in the way it's designed in its puzzles in the use of the motor-bike & in how everything 'hangs together'. (I liked the exploding stairs & the 'translucent blocks' & I thought you had to 'dodge' the machine guns until I realised you could sneak up on them! - though that rope swing had me fooled as I thought 'That can't be the next bit - it's too far!'). I suppose an outlook that can see the surreal nature of it all as a positive thing probably helps(!) but as this is the only one of Richard's games that I've played so far & as I've had the pleasure of using his 'hover jeep' in 'Losing Your Marbles' I'm looking forward to the 'Astrodelica' series to see how he demonstrates further ways of 'pushing that TR envelope'." - rjb (23-Oct-2003)

"At first this looks like a huge room with broken surfaces and any old texture thrown on that came to mind making it look like a patchwork quilt. But once you start moving you forget all about the look. Perhaps the clue is in the title 'Folly'. Quite unusual gameplay here. Riding a bike up different levels of this huge room to get to platforms in the centre with floor switches to open big double doors a timed run to get one of the armour pieces trying to figure out how to get across that mine field blowing up sentry guns. The hall with 7 coloured pillars looks good - don't forget to read the readme on these - what an imagination Richard has. Again if there was a category for originality this level would get a high score. I don't think there's a walkthrough but I'd be interested in doing this again if there was. The level is possibly a little too weird for most TR players. Still it's so unique it merits a look at least." - CC (25-Sep-2003)

"This is definitely not your normal run of the mill level but coming from the mind that later on went to make the Astrodelica series need I say more. In this level you find yourself in a once owned Vatican building St. Trevelyan's Folly now in the title of a French archaeologist who thieves on the side. For some reason this building which is made up of a mish mash of textures making it an oddly intriguing place to visit is being patrolled by SAS though not too many and automatic guns that are nicely placed and not so easily taken out you also must disable some minefields from a safe distance to get around. After you pass these minefielded areas to have to somehow make your way to the top of a multileveled room with the use of the bike and levers placed on floating platforms. On this journey you also get a side game trying to locate the five pieces of armour that are secrets and with each you find a lever to pull which gives access to the sixth secret Winston's car jack though imagining poor squat Winston trying to change a tyre while healthy robust Lara looks on is not a nice thought. This hour long level will probably not click with everyone but it was a different enough experience from the norm to make it a worthy level to play." - Sash (05-Aug-2003)

"Enjoyed this level a lot. I liked the atmosphere great use of revised city wad (I always enjoy the motorbike). Dark but not too dark. Not many enemies I am not sure if that is good or bad. Depends on your taste. If I had paid more attention I should have got through without any help. In hindsight the difficulty is just right. All in all a great level. I am off to do some more of Dick's levels now." - Jez (16-Jan-2003)

"Technically and gameplay-wise this is a solid level and I liked it very much. The textures though are a matter of taste - I did not find it bad but in the end it was a little too colourful for me. Rooms were well designed. My Lara died many times (but she is used to that). There is a motorbike to ride and I only found three secrets as I could not reach the others. You need to put your thinking cap on and do things in the right sequence. Many levers to pull jumps climbs monkey swings and sentry guns to get rid of. All in all a good level. :-)" - Engelchen Lara (12-Jan-2003)

"Glancing at the scores for this level it's easy to see that people either loved it or hated it. I think the reason for that is because it's such a unique level with a look all it's own and gameplay that you're not likely to see again. Even I didn't like the textures as much as in Richard's later levels but I did find them interesting to look at and really the main focus for me was gameplay as it took me a while to figure out how to disarm the minefields. I have one confession though - I was unable to obtain Winston's lost car jack because I missed one of the secrets." - RaiderGirl (29-Dec-2002)

"Now this was fun many will hate this level and I admit this was not exactly my type of a level too but it somehow got me through the 50 minutes of gameplay and it became a normal Richard Lawther level for me then - clever inventive puzzles and weird surroundings. I could get used to the textures in a while but the lighting was really nothing special and didn't deserve more points. Nothing more I can add that others haven't already this is not a bad level and if you like the surreal settings you'll love this but I prefer Astrodelica to this one." - eTux (18-Dec-2002)

"I mentioned in another review that if we are giving out rewards for the most weirdest textures than this one should be in the top 10. Although it sort of grew on me but that didn't mean I liked it. Must have done also something wrong because after not even an hour I was surprised I passed the end trigger. This in the only game so far after playing more than 350 levels that I didn't feel compelled to start with a saved game as I knew I must have missed half of the game. Very annoying was that I downloaded this with an EXE and halfway through I had to use the revised WADS as Lara wouldn't do some moves. Having an EXE does mean also no README. Trying to download the different zips from the author site gave an empty page you still wonder why I am peeved? This level is nice as an experience but has nothing to do in my opinion with Tomb Raiding. 03-10-2002" - Gerty (07-Oct-2002)

"A level with a message (story) - but I guess I am not so sure what the message is - LOL. To start with I believe the overall setting and especially texturing is a matter of taste here and I for one hated it (sorry) especially as often it looked as if textures would be missing even if this might have been intentional certainly the patchwork style did not appeal to me. I also did not enjoy a rather long crawl and a few longer monkey swing areas and the few SAS and sentry guns do not make up for much in the enemies department. But - and it is a big BUT there are lots of ingenious things here that make this level one you have to play: minefield explosions a few tricky jumps the floating fires and translucent pillars and most of all the section you cover with the bike is really a treat. Also a few nice flip effects here and I enjoyed the treasure hunt for the 6 secrets a lot. Not my style in terms of design but very much so in terms of gameplay. Great stuff!" - Michael (27-Jul-2002)

"This is a very strange level indeed! The textures to be quite honest are very strange indeed. The level is huge and needs a good logical mind to remember where you are. The idea is to get around and collect a few trophies along the way. I for some reason did not get all the bits and pieces but still managed to finish. There are some nasty traps that burn Lara's bottom if given a chance. Some clever ideas involving jumps and transparent blocks were a little difficult but good entertainment. The author of this level has got loads of talent but for me the textures and the illogical gameplay were too strange to score high marks." - Doug E (21-Jun-2002)

"Another level which I would like to call one of the 'experimental arts'. I felt like looking at a picture wondering what the artist wanted to express with his work. Yet I didn't find out. The architecture is not well done it's just a couple of rooms which are linked together somehow the texturing is mixed up and too colourful and gave me a kind of strange feeling in my stomach. While playing I was hoping on something to happen but I had nothing to do except killing some SAS guards and pulling some switches. The level has IMO nothing to do with tomb raider. As for me I don't need this kind." - Sheevah (21-Jun-2002)

"This is the first time I found it difficult to write a review. Lack of words you say no it wasn't that. It was because starting it I thought it was sympathetic but as I was going further my confusion started. I had the dilemma if I should write a review or not because I didn't understand a lot of things. One step at a time. First about the whole atmosphere well kind of unstable if I may say. What I mean is coming from wide lighted areas and going into dark ones in huge big rooms connected that's my idea of it wasn't my liking. Let's talk textures well they are different I'll tell you that but so mixed it doesn't make sense. Maybe I have a bad taste but I don't like an environment that gives me the idea of something fake in every step I was reminded I am in a game not a good one. You will say now yes but you are playing a game but I want to enjoy it not think in every corner how does this wall match the one next to it. About the gameplay confusing. There are some secrets in the level but you are able to finish it without getting them bottom line is that if you miss them or don't want to suffer and try to understand what each and every thing means in there like me you will be pushing some levers opening doors get a bike to access the upper levels push more levers and you're done. Interesting parts of it there are mines in both sides as you start and clever ways to deactivate them not exactly puzzles more like triggers. The first part of it was pleasant enough but along the way a lot of things didn't make sense. Like an area which I believe it gives you access to one of the secrets you can go there but there is no clue of how to open the door inside. Another thing is a hand inside a yellow column you can wonder there around and around for hours and getting frustrated but no hint this time either of how to solve that riddle. As for enemies there are some SAS guards easy to kill and sentry guns you'll be given the revolver and laser-sight of course. I think my IQ isn't high enough to play this level maybe yours is." - Kristina (21-Jun-2002)

"I usually dislike City levels: I don't like the puzzles the opponents the textures the darkness the horrible sounds and the atmosphere. In four words: I hate City levels! But I have been quite interested by Trevelyan folly. It is an original work there are good ideas in it and I like the overall concept. Have a look to the read-me files for the scenario it is interesting and funny. So Lara has to retrieve the pieces of the golden armour as secrets and also Winston's car-jack stolen by a bloody french archaeologist. Each time you find one of the first 5 secrets a camera shows the opening of a door in a corridor giving access to the sixth. You can see the breastplate in the first room but you can pickup it up only at the end. The game is well built I never feared to be stuck. As I was solving puzzle after puzzle I had a good feeling of progression in this mission. At the beginning I was a little in a state of despair but once I have found the revolver and lasersight and understood the meaning of certain colours or patterns of textures and how to deactivate the minefields the level really began to be enjoyable. Concerning the texturing some rooms are a bit strange but I like some others. Some places remember me a little Chambers of Tulun in TR4 but in less realistic. The tasks you have to accomplish are diversified there are some good jumps a difficult rope to rope jump a timed door to collect the first secret rides with the motorbike in this impressive room with four floors but I don't like the series of jumps on the translucent yellow slopes because I did not see clearly where to jump. Not many enemies and for me it is a good point as killing SAS or dealing with sentry guns are not among my favourite hobbies. Sometimes when I have time to waste I play a city level only once and simply delete it afterwards but I will keep Trevelyan folly safe in a folder." - eRIC (21-Jun-2002)

"Quest for the holy Car Jack. This Level probably won't take mprager.de by storm but I really loved it. The design has a weird patchwork quality to it but here it seems intentional and funnily enough it works. That is the biggest achievement here in my view. This is kind of surreal but not in a contrived way. I think it makes sense in the Tomb Raider context. Are you still with me? Hard to explain if you haven't been there so let's stick to the facts. The few SAS guards that are placed in the first half are oddly out of place but this adventure doesn't rely on the enemies. The gameplay is straightforward and fluent and in the end it will bring you back to the starting point (with the help of the motorbike). The long crawls are a bit tedious a few structures too transparent some places almost pitch dark and at times the textures get a bit too eclectic but I'm going to rate this rather high cause the atmosphere is pretty unique the course cleverly constructed and the gameplay goes so well with the setting. You don't do anything new here but everything seems slightly different. I don't want to brag about how many custom levels I've played but there have been quite a few yet I've never been to a place like this. Just go there and see if you like it. You can always quit if it's too strange for you." - Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)

"I really enjoyed this level. It's one of those that's so compelling that once you get started you just can't stop playing. I have to say that the first timed secret had me dreading a game full of timed runs but mercifully we're spared that. It also took me a while to get the 'style' of the game but once I had got started the gameplay was fluid and engaging with plenty of intrigue. Thankfully not too many enemies - shooting baddies can get sooo tedious but some challenging (and sometimes frustratingly tricky) jumps and a rope swing that I gave up as impossible several times before finally cracking it! The puzzles are quite tricky but all the more satisfying when you do solve them. Visually the level is quite impressive and as other reviewers have commented slightly surreal. Some rooms are reminiscent of the work of M.C. Escher some use trademark Magritte devices. Or maybe that's my imagination. Whatever the environment is large and spacious with plenty of areas to explore indeed plenty or areas you have to explore to complete the level. Unlike some I'm not an old custom level hack - I guess I've only played 35 or so but this is definitely one of my favourites and despite its use of unusual textures is visually much better constructed than many I've played." - Tune Razor (21-Jun-2002)
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