Level: The Silent Dome back home search
Author(s): TombRaiderFan
total rating:7.70 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Bex 8 7 9 9
Blue43 6 6 8 7
Dimpfelmoser 8 7 7 7
eRIC 5 8 8 6
eTux 7 6 9 7
G.Croft 8 7 9 8
Gerty 8 8 9 7
Jay 7 7 9 8
Jose 3 6 7 6
Kristina 6 7 6 6
MichaelP 7 8 10 8
Momster 8 7 10 9
Moonpooka 9 8 10 8
Navi 9 9 10 9
Orbit Dream 8 7 8 7
Phil 8 8 8 6
RaiderGirl 8 9 10 8
Ryan 7 7 8 7
Sash 7 7 8 8
Sheevah 9 9 10 10
Tombaholic 8 6 9 8
Treeble 7 7 8 7
Whistle 7 7 8 8
category averages
(23 reviews)
7.30 7.30 8.61 7.57

Reviewer's comments

"This is very atmospheric (and, yes, unfortunately that is somewhat synonymous with 'dark'), creepy and gothic with some excellent sound files. The gameplay is rather episodic - most entertaining at times and rather pedestrian at others. There is a boss ending of sorts, with Seth rampaging about, but it's just a case of avoiding him, leaping into the water and having a rather underwhelming finale. Interesting, but ultimately a bit of a letdown from initial impressions." - Jay (28-Jul-2018)

"This is a bit of a creepy level, with great use of audio to enhance the feeling. There were a few random graffiti scattered throughout the place, stating "Lara Will Die", which was a nice touch and helped to build up on the atmosphere. Gameplaywise it's rather straightforward, although the flare bug eventually kicks in -- just about the same time as the areas get darker, no less. There was one particular trap which I'm not sure was intentionally designed like this, but it required insanely precise sidestepping between a wall and a flame emitter. I hate how flammable Lara is in the original games engine, so I can say I was slightly aggravated after a handful of failed attempts to get through. Lastly, the secret I found didn't register properly. 40 minutes, 1 secret. 01/18" - Treeble (13-Jan-2018)

"The gameplay in this level does have some enjoyable sections, such as the pushable puzzles and the sequence requiring Lara to trap a knight to move an object to a trigger tile. But, the level is so shrouded in darkness from start to finish that for me it personally became more of an ordeal than an enjoyment. The precise dragon fire emitter, underwhelming ending, close-knit enemy encounters and swim- through walls didn't endear themselves to me either. A shame, as the murky atmosphere was well caught and custom sounds were well caught. A bit more effort would have made it even better." - Ryan (19-Oct-2017)

"This is a solid level worth to play, but from the very beginning I realized that it'll not be easy to play, 'cause the odd hint to open the first gate with the moveable object. Tasks are not difficult to accomplish, but the extreme darkness with no flares brings a plus of difficulty to the players exploration; evenmore the flare bug appeared at the middle of the level so better play this level by night and with a good monitor. There are good touches, like the knight you can lock to better move the piece (why the "S" sign?) onto the right tile. Soon the shotgun and the uzis appeared, but later you notice that there's not enough ammo to deal with the hard enemies. In the room with the dragon face with the continuous fire emitter, I couldn't find the trick to reach the left corridor without being toasted, so, sadly, I had to abandone at that point. It's for that I couldn't give a higher punctuation in the gameplay section. A pain." - Jose (08-Jul-2016)

"The varied and moderately challenging gameplay is this levels strongest point,as there's plenty to keep you on your toes.Enemies are well placed and entertaining (although the one raptor seemed out of place and actually vanished into thin air after firing one shot at it),and the atmosphere was appropriately spooky and well maintained.What really let it down was the constant darkness compounded by the flare bug,which ensured that my one hour of playing time was largely spent peering closely at the screen in an effort to discern potential pushable objects - rather than being able to sit back and actually enjoy the environments.Added to this a rather nasty flame trap and a somewhat baffling and disapointing finale,and I left the adventure feeling that a little more work on the part of the builder could have turned an already very decent level into a really good one.Definately worth playing though,but preferaby in a darkened room." - Orbit Dream (31-May-2013)

"A better title for this ten-year-old release would have been "The Dark Dome." For that matter, if there was indeed a dome somewhere in there, it was too dark for me to see it. Furthermore, to add insult to injury the flare bug kicks in near the end. I finally maxed up my gamma so I could see sufficiently to complete the level, and I was not a happy camper by that point. Too bad, because the level really has a lot to offer, with nice-looking graphics (insofar as you can make them out) and decent gameplay. Yoav has provided a concise walkthrough that streamlined my one-hour playing time. Sure do wish this darkness fetish wasn't so prevalent with our builders." - Phil (05-Jun-2012)

"This dark and gloomy level does have some interesting game play to offer. Parts of it were actually quite challenging, others were annoying. There was a burner that was nearly impossible to pass. I looked everywhere to turn that thing off until I read the walkthrough. Also got stuck another time when overlooking a door as it was dark and there was a flare bug. Using the binoculars with night vision made the level crash to the desktop, so that part of the game was a little frustrating. There was also quite a bit of block pushing that could have been a lot shorter. Other than that the game play was very nice. I liked the use of the knight and all the swinging blades. Atmosphere was excellent and good ambient track and sound effects were used. The level was fairly dark in many areas, but other areas with burners and lava were nicely lit. The texturing was fairly basic but there were some decorations in form of several grates with burners behind them and I thought that worked quite well. Lara encountered a few enemies like harpies, scorpions and those nasty buzzing beetles. The boss in the end was impossible to kill with all the weapons Lara had in her inventory, so I ended up just avoiding him. The secret chime rang once during this game but it didn't show anything on the statistics screen. I personally did expect more after looking at the ratings but it was still an enjoyable raid. (50 minutes, 0 secrets)" - Blue43 (25-May-2011)

"The author recommended this as a spooky level, and I guess it is rather creepy because it takes place in underground caverns with little lighting, and some added audios to enhance the somewhat threatening atmosphere. First Lara must do a couple of object moves to obtain the Star of Hannigan, then she will move deeper into the chambers meeting bug enemies, scorpions and harpies. Traps lay in wait by way of swinging blades then Lara can take the scroll. Later there's a nice object move which involves a knight and you even get to lock him up in a cell. We also have some fire traps and an alien looking dino thing which frit the life out of me when it appeared unexpectedly. Eventually Lara will need the Cemi Knot item, and will later face Seth who she will have to avoid in order to escape. This was a dark and eerie level with good atmosphere and nicely placed traps. The rooms looked fab with the little barred cubby holes with fires behind them, and the decoration worked well. I found one secret, though it didn't show up in the stats. Great level, good game play and lots of spooky fun." - Moonpooka (01-Feb-2006)

"As others have said this is definitely a level with a lot of atmosphere and nice texturing going from a dungeon like area of a castle to an oriental setting and the flow from those diverse settings was flawless. The level itself was fairly straightforward but you do come across a few stops in the process like the very tricky flame you have to pass flat to a wall not once but twice and for me the hard to spot trapdoor to open after finding the Cemi but that was more a fault of the flare bug making it impossible to see in quite dark places. Speaking of darkness this was maybe the biggest enemy in this level although the real enemies also gave this a nice dimension with most of the fights coming in packs and being confined to low ceiling rooms I do think though the raptor was out of place a little and the flying Seth right before the end was totally wasted as you just run and jump into some water and he is not a worry anymore. If Chris could fix the flare bug and maybe make this a little longer than the 40 minutes it took me then this would be a much better level but as it is it is still a damn good time. There's also one secret but it didn't register." - Sash (19-Jul-2003)

"Very dark very dark very dark. That's bad enough by itself but there is also the flare bug starting half way through the level and goes on until the end. Not many puzzles involved buttons switches a pushable object in a sort of compass room and a knot. There are other moving objects and a star but really I can't say I enjoyed the level I got annoyed throwing flares all the time because of the bug so that I could see where I was going and that's not only it there are no flares given until the end of the level and they were useless then because the fires around were giving enough light. I had to add flares with the savegame editor and I hate it when I am forced to cheat. The enemies are harpies scorpions flying beetles and a knight but the last one was helpful in one occasion I hated the big guy at the end but it can't harm you for long as you drop to a pool to progress. In that same room there was a flyby that showed a man having a stick or something in his heart a vampire I guess lol. Swinging axes and lava are the traps you will encounter. It lasted an hour. Not my kind of level." - Kristina (29-Jan-2003)

"So far I think this is the best level ever from Chris. A shame that the flare bug kicks in at a certain point although in the 'compass room' it worked like a dream again and showed its ugly head right after leaving that room. Finding first a crowbar and later a star will set you on your way. Finding levers also some under water will let you progress. Although straight forward there are some nasty enemies but finding the revolver and sight as you need some practice shooting I was glad so I could use it for the beasts you'll encounter. I loved the graffiti on the walls puzzles were not too hard apart from getting past the fire spitting dragon head. There are some swim through walls at the end but not hard to figure out. I had to have a good look at the nice re-textured knot what a beauty. Meeting Seth is always a thrill and it is even harder as some harpies will bother you at the same time. Never found the raptor Elvis is talking about and a grate was still closed but I hit the end trigger. Found 1 secret. 26-01-2003" - Gerty (27-Jan-2003)

"Find the star and off you go. Swim jump and swing your way through this level. Enemies you meet are large gnats scorpions 'flying scorpions' and a 'helpful' knight. There are also series of swinging blades and a series not often seen also involving jumps. The hardest task was to get past a fire breathing 'dragon' - carefully. The level ends with 'defeating' a large ogre which is really best avoided (I could not kill it?). The graphics include a good variation of textures which set the mood if a little on the dark side with good colouring. The downside to the level was the fact it has the flare/bins bug but I had no real problem with the light and doubt that you really need the flares except for the odd occasion. The old alternative to use gun flashes also seemed not to be of much use. Hence down marking the game play. Definitely worth a download and play" - Whistle (27-Jan-2003)

"If you like 'gothic' levels and don't suffer from claustrophobia you will probably take interest in this raid of one hour. All the action takes place underground in little rooms and spooky corridors. Some textures are from TR2. The atmosphere is quite good and spooky with a lot of fire burners giant beetles or harpies to kill. The progression is straightforward with some good little puzzles to solve along the way. The main flaw is the flares bug which happens very early in the game nevertheless the level is playable but at night only. The gameplay and some of the puzzles could be better: Except for annoying Lara I wonder what is the use of the knight as I found no fence to smash the red cross on the ground to help the player to solve the movable object puzzle is a bit childish and avoiding the fire burner in a form of a dragon head was completely boring: Lara prefers to make good jumps than walking like a crustacean. She has known more sportive performance in the past. The last enemy Seth is easy to avoid: just dive in the water find the useless crossbow and the exit. And sometimes there is also 3 buttons or 2 switches to open a single door. Good stuff in the enemies department and the author has made good efforts of innovation in the details of the rooms." - eRIC (15-Dec-2002)

"I am very impressed with this level by Chris. It took me ages to play this every time I started it I didn't know what to do need new glasses as I kept missing that darn star (lol). Having now played this AFTER his latest level I find a little disappointment that in my opinion this one is better than his newer one. This is chock full of things to do from the semi-difficult jump to the ledge from the slope to the very difficult task of passing the fire breathing dragon it was quite fun. In between a knight to help you complete a puzzle lots of levers and buttons some underwater and plenty of enemies sneaking up in close quarters. Too bad about the flare bug and the binoculars made it crash but even then a nice adventure." - Momster (15-Nov-2002)

"A dark and gloomy level which however created an uncanny atmosphere. A couple of times it stood written on the walls that 'Lara must die'. She doesn't have to though. I made it through with a couple of difficulties. Lara has to overcome many hindrances and solve partly difficult riddles. She has to swim through paths which one does not recognize on the first view as such. Many opponents were around. Suitably placed. The sound and the textures were set very much in the mood of the level. Somewhat mysterious. Light and shadow were processed very well. The end remained uncertain. In total a very pretty level that I would recommend to everybody. Unfortunately the flare bug occurs. Therefore definitely an evenings play. Already because of the atmosphere." - Navi (01-Sep-2002)

"Ooh spooky stuff here! This is a good level with an atmosphere that is almost as convincing as that of 'Castle Doomsday'. I say almost because some things annoyed me a little bit. The thing that annoyed me by far the most was the appearance of the flare bug - this is a very dark level anyway and so you really don't need the flare bug happening in this one! Another thing that annoyed me was the ending - it just seemed so sudden. Actually I sat there for about 5 minutes afterwards thinking I had missed something or done something wrong because of this I was convinced there would be more somehow. I didn't like the writing on the walls either - it was OK the first time I saw it but it got a bit jaded after that and I felt that it detracted from the atmosphere rather than adding to it. There are very many good points to consider though so many that I feel a bit mean for pointing out the few downsides in such detail. For example some of the rooms here are gorgeous with a real mediaeval look and feel to them. It's very clever the way that the author manages to change this look and feel to an equally convincing Oriental one with such subtlety. The music and sound effects work really well throughout. The gameplay is generally very fluid and logical and there's not much chance of getting lost or stuck for any length of time. As for enemies personally I thought that their placement was at times a bit unfair (i.e. often they appear at very inconvenient moments) but I think that a lot of people will enjoy this aspect of the game as it certainly adds to the challenge. I highly recommend that you give this level a try and I for one am looking forward to seeing what the author comes up with next." - Bex (22-Aug-2002)

"Now that is definitely a huge improvement compared to the early levels Chris gave us. This one is a real winner. Make sure you install the custom audio files as these are a crucial part to the fabulous spooky setting that you dwelve into in your quest to find the dome room with a good old friend waiting for you. Gameplay is a little linear but nicely diverse making use of movable objects quite a bit finding and placing a scroll and a knot swinging blades and fire also play an important role. Cameras are well used and I found only one secret (based on the sound as it did not count in my inventory) in the 1:10 hours of net gaming time. Enemies are also nicely placed some harpies scorpions bats a raptor some wasps. Unfortunately due to the fires the flare bug occurs but though gloomy it is not too dark and you can get along pretty well without flares. I thought the ending - so nicely introduced with the dome room flyby is a bit strange and why these swim through walls? But all in all some excellent raiding here." - Michael (21-Jun-2002)

"From the first flyby that pans to the words 'Lara Will Die' written in blood the atmosphere of this level is superbly chilling and eerie. As you make your way through this place it becomes stranger still with the decor shifting to a Chinese theme but it somehow still works. Enemies are very effective as they attack in tight quarters (harpies and mechanical wasps). The 'big boss' at the end is quite lethal (if you get too close he picks Lara up by the neck and it's instant death) and after a couple reloads it became clear the only way to survive was to run away. One puzzle involving swinging blades jumps a knight and more was particularly well designed but the flame blower sequence isn't really a proper puzzle at all and came down to luck as much as anything. My biggest complaint about this level is the flare bug which is inexcusable in such a dark level (and thus the rating in the 'objects' category). It's also a bit odd that you find so many pickups just before the end of the level - they would have been useful earlier on. Still if you like spooky levels this one is well worth a look." - Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)

"A fun level with a lot of puzzling. Not too hard but you can't just run through it either. A fire-breathing dragon kept me busy for a while but when I got a tip how to get past it it wasn't so difficult. The ending is clearly inspired by the original games with a "boss" but still it felt a little sudden. I could have been going on playing this level a little longer!" - G.Croft (21-Jun-2002)

"This level is like a good Stephen King novel - it had some scary exciting moments and I just couldn't put it down. One of the most original levels I've seen in a while - every detail seemed well thought out and the finished package was truly superb. The puzzles were usually not too hard but were interesting and well done and varied through the level so there were a few times I had to figure out what I needed to do next. The music and sound effects really added to the atmosphere as did the spooky graffiti written on the walls the mist and cobwebs the swinging axes the textures the subtle camera angles and shots and the great fly-by near the end. The enemies can be tough but I found plenty of ammo and a few secrets though they didn't show up in my statistics. The objects were used well and had been renamed and some were retextured and the final boss at the end totally took me by surprise. I had a great time playing this level and would have scored it even higher except for two things: the area where you have to sidestep past the flame from the dragons mouth was just a little too hard and frustrating in my opinion and the level was way too dark and because of the flare bug it was even harder to get around. In some areas I had to light a flare and throw it down almost every other step which was annoying but the level is so great I couldn't get too upset." - RaiderGirl (21-Jun-2002)

"A very nice level - nice and not easy. There are not so many enemies but some scenes I would even call unfair and which you can only make with a big bit of luck. Visually this level is great and the atmosphere won't be topped easily. I really love running around through this kind of dark and doomy dungeons. Great work one of my TOP favourites!" - Sheevah (21-Jun-2002)

"You can see that this author had influence from another custom level - 'Castle Doomsday' and the Temple of Xian from TR2. You can see (and hear) this because of the diabolic laughing the writings on the wall the textures from these 2 levels and the dome itself which was almost identical to the pedestal where the Dagger of Xian was in TR2. This level was really a great adventure with interesting but not hard puzzles. Trapping the knight in the cell reminded me of trapping the butler in the freezer at the Lara's home levels. I think I found one secret cause there were the chime sounds for the secret but it wasn't listed in the statistics when I checked it. The textures were nice and if I see the ratings for the author's previous levels I think this is a grand improvement. 'But if this is such a great level why the 6 for the objects?' you might ask. Well firstly there were some objects that did not fit in the level at all - like the white head statues that spoiled a lot of the great views. That was the least of the problem though I'd give it a 7 or even 8 for the great use of the shotgun and the swinging axes but there was a thing that spoiled this rating. All battles which Lara had with her enemies were damn unfair. Like for getting the Cemi about 6 bats and a harpy appeared making Lara's life worse. Ok the bats might not be the biggest problem but the harpies were hard to fight in such small rooms that are in this level. And the final battle was not fair too the boss and harpies usually fried Lara before I could dive in the lake beyond and at that time I had only one medipac and my health bar was almost empty. I don't know for what reason author put the raptor in the level too it didn't make the level better at all. The crossbow near the end was useless too unless you want to try it out for the few scorpions left in the adventure further. All in all a tough level because of the enemies but nothing too challenging here otherwise. It's a really good level but the amount of enemies is a bit exaggerated." - eTux (21-Jun-2002)

"Definitely a fun level although getting past the fire spitting gargoyle caused some frustration in my case (my tip on the way back try a side flip immediately after reloading). The title suggest a rather tranquil run through huge rooms so don't be disappointed when you get the opposite. The gameplay is pretty linear with many levers under- and above water (sometimes five for one door) but there is so much else to do. A lot of heavy objects to push plenty of flying enemies to kill (most of the time in a confined space which makes it quite tricky) an easy rope swing some not so easy jumps past those swinging blades and a strange final that left me confused to some degree. The setting is truly eclectic (what the smeg is Buddah doing in Brazil) and the textures are not very consistent but it works to some degree resulting in a surreal yet somewhat gripping atmosphere. I could have done without the graffiti and the alien but as this is a kind of Anything-Goes-Adventure it's understood that everyone is bound to find something they're not that happy with. Well worth checking out cause after all it is kind of unique and this is usually a good omen in my book." - Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)
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