Level: Alexander's Mausoleum back home search
Author(s): Francesco Venco
total rating:7.60 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
CC 8 8 8 8
Dimpfelmoser 8 8 7 7
Engelchen Lara 9 8 9 9
eRIC 8 8 8 8
eTux 9 9 6 7
G.Croft 7 7 6 6
Gerty 8 8 8 8
Jay 8 8 8 8
Jose 7 7 7 7
Kristina 8 7 8 7
Leandro 7 7 8 9
MichaelP 8 7 8 8
Miguel 4 5 5 4
Momster 7 7 8 8
Nina Croft 9 8 8 7
Orbit Dream 7 6 7 8
Phil 8 8 8 8
RaiderGirl 8 8 8 9
Ryan 8 8 8 8
Sakusha 8 7 6 7
Sash 7 8 7 7
Scottie 9 8 8 9
Sherry 8 7 9 9
category averages
(23 reviews)
7.74 7.48 7.52 7.65

Reviewer's comments

"This is actually a solid little Catacombs level, and performs well in all areas. Atmosphere-wise, it's rather well done and although there aren't many camera hints, the triggered action isn't usually too far. Plenty of skeletons and mummies to stop you, but explosive ammo is plentifully provided, so long as you find the secrets. I liked some of the neat touches here, such as the neat manner of ridding the scarabs, the gymnastics around the water rooms and aiming a crossbow bolt through a window to destroy some vases." - Ryan (05-Sep-2017)

"At the start I saw some stretched textures, but later I found the rooms had a good look, even with the old textureset. Soon you can find several routes, and find closed doors behind, but don't worry 'cause there is no backtracking in this game and soon you'll find again yourself back in a sort of "hub" room. Tasks are not difficult, but there are some tricky traps and dangerous situations. It's easy you get stucked in the room with the vases behind the windows 'cause you can't figure out you can trespass it with your ammo. The same old catacomb enemies, mummies, skeletons and scarabs, but well placed. Many objects are not well tinted and many rooms are too dark for my taste, but not a real problem for the gameplay. This good debut was the advance of several excellent adventures from this author." - Jose (07-Jul-2016)

"This is a delightful little gem in the tradition of the very first BtB competition (which now seems like long ages ago). It clocks in at about 50 minutes, and Gerty has provided a compact walkthrough that covers all the bases and documents the three secrets (although there may be another one, as neither she nor I could find out what if anything was accomplished by pushing two face buttons near the end). The lighting is good, the Catacomb environs are pleasing to the eye, and there are several tasks that get the adrenalin pumping. Recommended." - Phil (14-Jan-2014)

"I found this great old level by pure chance and decided to play it although I usually don't play old levels and in particular, I least enjoy catacomb levels. And after an hour of exploring the tomb of Alexander the Great as imagined by Francesco Venco, I do not regret that time and that decision to play this old catacomb level despite my principles and my taste. Given the fact that the builder used only standard catacomb wad and textures, this level is simply amazingly built! I was really astonished at the way the builder created the whole level and made it interconnected. Although you have to return to some previously visited areas, you don't have to backtrack, it is enough to take a ride in one of many water channels with strong current... It takes many hours only to create that kind of a concept. The overall gameplay and puzzles are excellently built, proving once again that you don't need tons of custom new objects in order to make a great and interesting adventure. Secrets are well hidden, but not too hard to find, if you remember the door(s) you have to open as yet. Enemies are mummies and skeletons, molesting you along the way, but if you find the first secret, then you won't have any problems with them. Atmosphere, sound and cameras are nicely created, with no spectacular moments but also, with no mistakes as well. The weakest link of this level are textures and lighting. Lighting is (in my opinion) a bit too bright for catacombs, while the textures are not always properly applied, having many cracks and being distorted at times. The best part of the level, for sure, was the possibility of ending the level in two different ways, depending on the number of gems you managed to find along the way. Make sure to find all three of them, to access the treasure room of Alexander the Great. This level is highly recommendable, very nice to see, not hard to play, and really, really nicely built. Surely one of most interesting catacomb level out there." - Nina Croft (17-Aug-2013)

"I don’t normally review old levels, but having enjoyed this builder’s new level so very much and noting that I had never played his only other one, I just had to download it and see if it matched up. Obviously, it’s quite old now in custom level terms and we’ve become quite spoiled lately with all the clever new objects, moves, animations etc., but I was pleased to find this a very nice level indeed. It’s a standard catacomb environment, well built and atmospheric, with a good mix of enemies and enjoyable, mainly quite linear, gameplay and if you find all three secrets you get an extra room at the end (just a quick chance to admire some treasure). If you feel like approximately 45 minutes of very traditional raiding, try this one." - Jay (08-Jul-2009)

"Many adventurers have searched for the last resting place of Alexander the Great. Everybody has failed. But not Lara. Lara has actual found her. The last resting place of Alexander the Great. His mausoleum. And as it is proper for such a big man, this mausoleum is very big of course. And very dangerously. Since everywhere there are traps. And the mausoleum is guarded by skeletons and mummies. But Lara overcomes all obstacles and stands after about 40 minutes before the coffin and at the level end. This level is one of those treasures which it is a matter to discover. It properly gives fun to investigate the whole arrangement. And I say it over and over again: One does not need the whole newfangled folderol to build a good level. If the level builder understands his craft, he can be also convincing with the old LE and the textures available there. Pity is only which there is not any more level of this level builder." - Scottie (17-Jun-2009)

"Considering its age and that only the original catacomb resources were used to construct it, I found this to be a wonderfully inspired little adventure. Looks-wise for most part it might seem as generic as the catacomb adventures come, but the overall feel to me reminded me TR1 wearing a TR4 coat. There may be nothing overly spectacular at hand, but the 2 or 3 big areas that are there, are very impressive, and I thought that the constructed course was very clever - with throwing you in a stream that took you through the entire environments you'll be visiting and having you work your way back to where you were thrown in into this affair. Of special mention are the tasks offered - with a few exceptions they are not overly complicated and play out very logically - like a block rising in a pool to block off a sinkhole creating an impassable stream, an earthquake making a pillar fall to reveal a crucial puzzle item, or shooting vases to mention a few. I didn't find any of the secrets on my first run, but that only motivated me more to replay this to find them all, and I did. They are far from obvious, mostly requiring you to think way out of the box, or backtrack a little, but on the whole - fun sidequests that even open an extra secret room in the mausoleum. It's not all that rosy though - there is one task that was far too much trial and error than I would've liked, and the unmarked traps made matters only worse. The nano-second long camera bug can be encountered, and it's as nasty as ever, though to be fair - the path in the level is quite linear, so it shouldn't cause any extra trouble. That's not the only camera problem - as there's a particularly annoying one closer to the end, that made pushing the final column almost unbearable. All that said - if you are not fed up from the usual environments - this would get high recommendations for me, as despite the few lackluster moments, it's a highly innovative game, and the only real pity is that the author has not released anything since!" - eTux (16-Aug-2008)

“Apparently Alexander's soldiers are loyal to him even after his death even though his fits of madness have made him execute some commanders who were accused of looting and burning the temples his army has conquered. The contradiction is that even though he was a cultural barbarian he restored temples destroyed by earlier conquerors and he built about 70 cities (e.g. Alexandria in Egypt and Kashgar in Afghanistan). His tomb is under the Nabi Danial mosque in Alexandria ever since a major earthquake in the 4th century destroyed the ancient city. So in order to make this level even more historically accurate the author could've created a level taking place in Alexandria (with a mosque which would require city.wad) and built Alexander's underground tomb after that (all we know is that he's buried under the mosque so we can imagine how his underground tomb would look like). Nature has preserved a significant amount of historical evidence lots of golden coins and other treasures (the treasure which is represented by textures is around Alexander's coffin and the Horseman's gems show that we can still find valuable items in Alexander's tomb). The level is a little bit difficult but I appreciate that. You have to crawl while you're being bitten by morgue beetles you need to backflip constantly in order to avoid a spiked boulder at some point there are few boulder and spike traps (combined) and a few showdowns with skeletons which sometimes come in groups. The mummies are relatively harmless but you need to shoot at one of the mummies because one of them has a horseman's gem. The rooms are very well-constructed one of the textures is a reminder of the battle of the Issus River where Darius king of Persia lost the battle to Alexander. However Darius fled at the end of it. The 'Catacombs' of Alexandria have a few elements of Hellenic civilization (the same thing applies to 'The Lost Library' and 'The Hall of Demetrius'). Therefore the author made an excellent choice when he decided to use the Catacomb wad. He uses anti-triggers repeatedly (ie the doors close behind you frequently) and he knows how to use sinks. I liked the part where you needed to shoot four vases which are enclosed in cases in order to open a door.” – Sakusha (22-Aug-2004)

“After a hiatus I decided to play an older game and was very pleased to find I enjoyed it very much. The atmosphere was very good beautifully built. I had two glitches appear which hampered the gameplay but did not stop it. A very good effort. I wish this builder would do more.” – Sherry (24-Jun-2004)

“Now that's what I call an entrance! Sliding sliding and falling down down and being sucked along underwater. Gameplay here is terrific. So forget all about having seen all these similar scenes before like the waterlogged rooms skeletons mummys levers etc. because it's a very well designed level that'll keep the old brain cells working 'til the end. That boulder room took me a while great way to kill beetles good camera work and lighting and I loved the look of the water tunnel where you see bones and skellies in niches like a real catacomb. That was a good room where I knew I had a lasersight but could see nothing to shoot that is until I just shot to see what happened the vases exploded 'behind' the windows very good. A lot of swimming involved here and crawling but it's never boring. Great stuff well worth the download. BTW I finished with only one gem.” – CC (10-Dec-2003)

“This is a very solid Catacomb level built with some skill and displaying quite a few good ideas. It contains a classic example of the 'so this is where I've ended up!' style of gameplay that I always enjoy and even goes to the lengths of actually portraying a real Catacomb; something which most other levels involving this Wad don't usually bother with. Here at least there is a good reason for Lara to be bothered by the restless undead. I gave 6 points for the secrets even though I found none; an indication of how well they were hidden! For those in the mood for a 45 minute level in atmospheric(if somewhat familiar) surroundings this is just the thing.” – Orbit Dream (26-Apr-2003)

“An average Catacomb level with the known Textures. The enemies are skeletons and mummies there are teeth spikes a lot of scarabs rolling balls and fire. A the beginning a sink is pulling Lara away - later to find the way back. I found an arm hanging in the air - even I found one before and a flying arm you cannot catch ;-)) Light/Shadow placing at the beginning not so good - but becomes better. The objects have too much light. Some good cameras - sound not so much. There was a bad room with teeth spikes and not a hint where they are...About 45 min gameplay - maybe there were Secrets - I found none of them.” – Miguel (31-Mar-2003)

“Lara looks for two gems here and it is not an easy task as there are many puzzles to solve. And there many skeletons too but as you get the shotgun right at the start that is manageable. Also many buttons and levers to use and watch out for the traps but if you look closely you will see what triggers them. The beetles can easily be outwitted. I liked the architecture very much especially the small waterfalls a lot of care went into building this one. Textures were cleanly applied and lighting in the rooms was well done. Also a bit of sound used. Atmosphere was nice as well my Lara enjoyed herself a lot around here and I can only recommend it further :-)” – Engelchen Lara (20-Feb-2003)

“Beautifully constructed this 35 minute level makes catacomb levels interesting for me again. The path throughout is really well designed with rooms connecting with others you’ve already passed through in ways you don’t expect your tasks are also nicely done without being difficult except for the spike boulder gauntlet that annihilated poor Lara many many times. I ended though very frustrated as I found 2 of the 3 gems that open up a secret room at the end and know almost for sure where the third is lowering tile in beetles room but for the love of god I could not work out how to lower it and I used every combination I could think with the 3 levers and 3 buttons found around this area. So I had a lot of fun with this one but I would be ever so grateful if by any chance someone actually retrieves that third gem could you tell us how!” – Sash (24-Dec-2002)

“This level was a fun adventure taking you through a very nicely designed catacomb wad. Spikes and boulder traps skeletons and beetles hinder you as you move through the level. You start off climbing up and jumping from high ledge to high ledge. Thankfully the shotgun is provided early as the skeletons are ever-awaiting to attack. A fair amount of swimming necessary and you must have the crossbow and laser sight to shoot some vases or you are stuck. Finding and placing a pillar and a knot you end up in a huge tricky water area with a current to sweep you way back again. The first time I played this level I found 1 blue gem long before I started reviewing (actually Sash was still around to help me). This time I found no blue gems which is probably why I finished in only 45 minutes.” – Momster (05-Oct-2002)

“Even with the skeletons (which I hate) I thought this was a rather great level to play. Although straightforward you’ll end up where you start. Enemies are skeletons and beetles. Francesco’s idea to get rid of the beetles is a great one never seen that one yet. Main goal is getting the blue gems although I only found one I still could finish the level. There was one gem already in its place. Also the pillar and the knot are required. You start off by being swept away by the current and I thought at that moment: what a shame that I can’t explore that. But you’ll be back. The best part was swimming past openings with skeletons (not the walking kind we meet in the games) in it. There are some spike and boulder traps hard but manageable. As for lights I’m not complaining but it could be a bit brighter sometimes. 24-08-2002” – Gerty (01-Sep-2002)

“A rather classic catacomb level with a great start with the camera angle and the long ride in the current of the water. Nice progression as you make your way through water and through high rooms across ledges off which you shoot the dozen of skeletons that haunt this place. There is a knot and a pillar to find and place. Textures are standard but solidly placed but I thought lighting was very well done. The area with the spike and boulder traps was a little tough and almost unfair but manageable in the end. I liked the idea of burning those beetles to death - serves them right for nibbling on Lara's heels. I spent almost an hour in the Mausoleum and did actually not find any of the three gem secrets so I guess I will have to come back another time.” – Michael (21-Jun-2002)

“When I read in the readme file that this level would be filled with skeletons and mummies I thought - oh no not another one. But I must say I was surprised how they were used and I actually enjoyed playing this level. The surroundings look good but average as the gameplay. The level is crawling with the dead guards of Alexander and for a start you have nothing to defend yourself with - so keep on running. In the beginning Lara falls down into current water that takes you through surroundings you will return to near the end and I liked the looks and the idea of that. About 45 min of gameplay and 1 medipac used makes this a nice little level!” – G.Croft (21-Jun-2002)

“My first impression from this level was bad: it has a bad architecture and graphics. But when Lara enters the first great room I had to change my mind: this level is very good! The graphics are excellent and the puzzles smart. The architecture is great with a lot of details and huge (and beautiful) rooms. The lighting needs some work but is also very good. And the gameplay is simple but fun. I recommend it to everybody who loves 'Catacombs' (TR4) and the roman levels from TR1. Great job!” – Leandro (21-Jun-2002)

“Although Catacomb levels are usually not my favorite this one was done very well and was quite enjoyable to play. The enemies are usually skeletons with a few mummies and beetles thrown in and you need to make your way around them solving a few simple puzzles and collecting both a pillar and a knot. The puzzles were done very well and called for speed and some tricky maneuvering more than mental ability. Water was used very well here with some flooded rooms to explore and some areas where the current would carry you to another area. I found two secrets including one gem and a floating secret and another gem but I never got the third gem though I think I know what door it was behind. This is a large well-designed level with plenty of rooms to explore and the puzzles are interesting without being too much of a challenge - a level I would recommend playing. Now I'm off to play it again to find that last gem and maybe figure out what that empty pedestal was for.” – RaiderGirl (21-Jun-2002)

“A medium level with a couple of clever puzzles. Supposedly the player must find three gems to access the secrets well I found none that well hidden. There is a large underwater area with a lot of pickups and mainly spike balls and spike traps. One of them combined with the two elements is quite interesting actually two rooms are like that. Another part I liked was the room accessed from the underwater area shooting those windows therefore the vases behind them is simple but clever it certainly fooled me thinking that I have to open the door first and go up there. The beetles and skeletons are the only enemies here. Lighting is good enough but the textures are a little boring one single tile in all the surrounded walls isn’t the best thing. The knot and pillar give access to another door unfortunately the push lever open door is present. The ending is fighting a little the current and if you found the gems get the secrets if not you just finish while closing some steps.” – Kristina (21-Jun-2002)

“A nice catacomb level with some interesting rooms good lighting use of current in the water a deadly trap with boulders and spikes and it is always enjoyable to see skeletons falling down from ledges or catwalks with the shotgun. If you are fast enough to leave the room the beetles do not appear. Found also a bug with a camera. I have not found out what did all the buttons I pushed maybe that's the reason why I found none of the three secrets to disposition but I will be pleased to play this level again to find the blue gems. I like this level and I rate a little higher than the stuff I've seen because I know I missed some things. Completed in less than 1 hour.” – eRIC (21-Jun-2002)

“This is excellent stuff. I liked this a great deal although I don't really know why. The gameplay is truly fast paced without being too obvious or undemanding. You have a truly thought through placement of enemies and I particularly like the way you could get rid of the beetles. Of the three secrets I found only one but I have an inkling where the second might be. There is nothing too remarkable about the setting but it is a reasonably well done catacomb environment with a nice use of water. What is pretty outstanding is the course and how the rooms interact. Also the way the author manages to make the tasks go so well the overall construction of the area. You get some nice camera angles and solid fly bys but that's not what I remember about this highly enjoyable adventure. It's the smooth and action packed flow of the game the inventive ideas the deadly traps and some other surprises that you have to find out for yourself.” – Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)
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