Level: The Underworld - Counting Souls back home search
Author(s): Andreas Zimmermann
total rating:6.86 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
Akcy 6 6 6 6
Bex 8 7 8 7
Dimpfelmoser 8 8 9 9
Dougsan 7 7 8 7
eRIC 7 8 9 9
G.Croft 7 7 9 8
Jay 7 7 8 8
Jose 3 5 7 7
Kristina 7 8 9 8
Lizard Queen 9 8 8 8
Magnus 6 5 7 7
MichaelP 4 2 8 8
Necro 8 5 8 8
Orbit Dream 4 7 7 8
Phil 8 7 8 8
RaiderGirl 7 7 8 8
Ryan 6 7 7 8
Sash 4 3 5 5
The Aussie Adventurer 6 4 8 7
Treeble 3 3 6 6
category averages
(20 reviews)
6.25 6.05 7.65 7.50

Reviewer's comments

"Definitely a more difficult level that most from the early days, and for those players who thrive on tight (and in this case obscure) timed runs and traps that are set to give you barely enough time to fairly pass them, this might be the right choice. For me though, it went a bit too far. The texturing was neat and effective (although lighting was too gloomy in spots), the atmosphere was good and the giant scorpion statue masterful while secrets were well hidden although relatively useless, but gameplay leans too much toward the difficult side of things concerning the traps and timed sequences and there were a couple of sequences that required you to reload if you solved them incorrectly. A good job construction-wise, but the gameplay fell flat for me." - Ryan (12-Jan-2019)

"This is a surprisingly tricky level at times and I very much doubt I would have got far with it if I'd played it when it was first released. Even with 16 years more experience as a raider, I still struggled a bit at times. It's nicely built, although sometimes that can be hard to ascertain as it is definitely rather gloomy, but the atmosphere is good and it does feel quite 'realistic'. Not bad, but don't attempt it if you're inexperienced." - Jay (24-Aug-2018)

"When I tried to do the first task jumping from the corridor with the chain to the jumpswitch with the fire below I was lucky, but I thought "Not a level easy to play for anybody". In the first water area it was easy to find the secret crossbow, but hard to find the right path to the top to continue playing. In the room with the big scorpion (amazing!!!) I got stucked soon, and I had to read the walkthrough. When doing so I realized that I missed a good part of the gameplay in the first areas and the gameplay here is too "obscure" so I decided to take the walkthrough in hand till the very end. The game was too dark for me to like, even when the architecture is excellent and the texturization is good too; there are some sound and camera touches and also earthquaques to create atmosphere, but the way to advance is never clear and I suffered a lot even with Harry's indications so I can't recommend this level." - Jose (12-Jul-2016)

"When I pray, I give thanks for my many blessings. When I play levels such as this one, I give thanks for the tools that enable me to bypass some of the more annoying aspects of the game. In this case it was the innumerable flame traps. Whenever I was set ablaze, which was often, I would simply save my game and use a trusty savegame editor to eradicate the flames so I could continue playing. Although this is advertised as a remake of the builder's earlier level, which I played less than a year ago, I didn't experience any sense of recognition when I played this one. Maybe this means the dementia isn't just creeping, it's now at full gallop. Anyway, if you enjoy demanding levels this one should be right up your alley. Every possible way to die is afforded equal opportunity, and although the gameplay seemed quite inventive for a level as old as this one, I quickly grew tired of the flame traps and the cramped crawling conditions. The giant scorpion statue was a nice touch, however. Took me about an hour from start to finish, using Harry Laudie's walkthrough." - Phil (20-May-2016)

"Question:When is playing a level not actually very much like playing a level? Answer:When you have no choice but to use the Walkthrough continuously,from first moment to last.It never feels satisfying,but instead develops into a tedious drudge. In the case of this particular adventure,the fact that the most recent review prior to mine was a full six years ago and you can understand why this level has been noticeably ignored. Actually I defy anyone to reach the Finish trigger without recourse to the Walkthrough,as the gameplay is a veritable minefield of 'no-escape dead-ends',non-clued timed-runs,appallingly cryptic non-linear progression,and absolute game-stopping bugs - far too many to list here.It's a telling point that even with the aid of the Walkthrough,I STILL found myself unable to progress further on numerous occasions and had to revert to earlier saves.It's a great shame,because in most other respects (aside from the criminal under-use of helpful cameras) this was a well-contructed adventure.The lighting,although dark,was undeniably atmospheric (there were copious flares provided);and the texturing was especially well done.Enemies were interesting,although not particularly well-placed (the big scorpions could either be killed from a safe distance,or ignored altogether;while the beetles were a recurring nuisance);while key pick-ups were sometimes quite superfluous.Despite a genuinely creepy and effective ending,this was never anything more than an arduous slog;and it can hardly be recommended to anybody - except those,like me,that are tenaciously reviewing all those ancient levels that they'd never got around to before." - Orbit Dream (24-Oct-2013)

"A revised version of the author's first level, and it's better in almost every aspect. Somewhat confusing but very genuine architecture, good use of textures. A tad lighter but still too dark, this time the flare supply was sufficient though. Good jumps and timed runs, the downside was there was no clue when the timed door opened. Some pickups strangely appeared out of nowhere. And if you try to get the first secret you'll be trapped, and the level crashes. You can be trapped in the second secret as well if you don't pull the jumpswitch before entering. Fluent and, apart from the aforementioned annoyances, good enough gameplay." - Akcy (09-Nov-2007)

"It took me a while to complete this visually stunning level. It would have been a truly excellent level if not for the terrible timed run. It was luck not skill that made me finally do it. Pure curiosity kept me from giving up. The setting and atmosphere was perfect throughout which captured the mood of the place. The final cutscene was a little unclear but I got the jist of it. Quite enjoyable but I haven't got much hair left now ;)" - Necro (17-Oct-2007)

"What can I say? I really, really liked this level. Once you know NOT to go through the top door, near the beginning (and that the trigger tile for the timed run is INSIDE the Scorpion Room), the rest is a breeze. Well, not exactly, lol. This is still not an easy level, but not impossibly difficult either. I really loved the gameplay and the interesting configuration of the cave itself, ie. jutting stones, etc. And yet, I was not able to find one "illegal slope", very well done. I particularly liked the upper level where the floor/ledges were jagged. A very convincing job of it. And finally, a level with some jumping! A nice change from the recent "mega" levels I've been playing (ie. too much running around from room to room, pulling lever after lever, makes for very boring gameplay, IMHO). But not this level. I was glued to it from start to finish. (Oct.13/05)" - Lizard Queen (13-Oct-2005)

"The second level in the series gives us nothing better than the first, in fact, it is a little worse. The intro starts off nice enough with a cool cut scene. But, the level is not up to scratch with the cut scene stardard. First of all we have a ridiculous jump to a level over a burner which I had to try hundreds of times. Once I passed that, I kept on going solving a couple of puzzles and then I was annoyed the rest of the level by scarabs who kept following Lara. I wish the author could fix the darkness problem and the put a bit more thought into the puzzles. Don't get me worng though, its design is good, but let down by bad placement of switches and burners. If I had to give this level a grade, I would give it a C, a pass mark." - The Aussie Adventurer (21-Feb-2005)

"Better than the author's previous level but there are still a lot of things that need to be improved - mainly the lighting and the gameplay. The level is too dark and in a lot of places you can't see anything until you light a flare. The gameplay is slow and it's sometimes hard to figure out what to do even if it's easier than in the previous level. I thought that the whole level was quite boring - not too boring but still quite boring. It's just a matter of personal taste though and many people will probably like this level. What I found strange was that the author had reused several areas from his previous level (the gigantic scorpion for example) and just retextured them. That made the level look very much like the previous one and I found it quite annoying. It could be that the author wanted it to look like Lara was in the same place again but wouldn't the whole level have looked the same then? Anyway the level is quite good even if it's a little boring. It takes about 25 minutes to finish so if you've got half an hour to spare you might as well play this level - that will probably make our humble leader (Michael) happy." - Magnus (29-Jan-2004)

"In the same atmospheric vein than The 12 Gates of Duat Counting souls is more challenging. Not that the actions are very difficult (except for the tough timed door in the big scorpion statue room) but finding your way is not always easy. The puzzles the rooms and progression are also different from Andreas' first level and more valuable enemies are met: giant scorpions skeletons and a mummy infested by beetles. Some mysteries remain: The game crash before reaching the first secret the impossible challenge with the timed smashing block (probably for the second secret or was it only a deadly red herring?) and another couple of doors I could not open. And why the timed door in the room with the big scorpion statue was not discernible as a timed door? The end is calling for a sequel I hope the author will come out with new levels because I like very much the setting and the mysterious atmosphere he has created. But I prefer the gameplay of his first level." - eRIC (11-Nov-2003)

"Essentially a remake of 'The 12 Gates of Duat'. This version though had so many annoying features that I just lost any enjoyment for it at all. Early on you come across an area with a secret sound but if you keep going in the direction you are then the game crashes an actual area with a secret (half a cartouche) is once gotten into impossible to escape from as you are blocked totally by a fallen chunk of rock the level all over is a little too dark and although this doesn't usually bother me here you sometimes need to look for ways to progress and the darkness makes it quite hard to do this what I thought though was the worst was an extremely tight timed gate in the scorpion room that is just not evident as a timed gate so I and I hear others wandered around for ages looking for a switch or trigger tile to open it it is also non resettable so you have to reload a save before entering the room. All up I spent 45 gruelling minutes here thinking I was doing something wrong with every step I took and ended with both halves of the cartouche (both secrets). Just a hint for any one wanting to play this rename the data file to tut1 don't worry about the included title and use the original scripts that way if you need to flycheat you can it helped me on more than one occasion." - Sash (18-May-2003)

"Having had so much fun (tongue firmly in cheek) running around in circles with the first effort at the Underworld I have played the second effort 'Counting Souls'. IMO if you have played 'The 12 Gates' - you have all but played 'Counting Souls'. Lara will get just as much exercise swimming and running around in circles crawling through various cracks and crevices and burning her way through a million or so flares. I will never understand why so many designers seem to dislike normal light. The dimmed light adds NOTHING to 'Counting Souls'. You will be treated to a few challenging puzzles (nice addition) and a short chat with Von Croy (never a pleasure until AOD I'm guessing). You will also again be treated to very nice textures and almost believable scenery. None will knock your socks off but it is all very nicely done. You will again run around in circles hoping that something you do will advance the game if your experience equals mine. I don't recommend 'Counting Souls' but most of the reviews are positive which strongly suggests this reviewer is a bit of a dummy and the designer has done a good job." - Dougsan (18-May-2003)

"Now this is a rather strange one. The level starts off right like TR4 last minutes - Von Croy yells 'give me your hand Lara!' while she is falling down. The rest of the level (for me) is just like what Michael described in his review. Whenever I get my hands on a fully functional version I submit a new review." - Treeble (16-Mar-2003)

"If you've played Andreas' first level then you'll already know what to expect from this one. In fact there are a lot of similar elements like the large chamber to explore for holes and openings the giant scorpion the doors that close behind you trapping you in a room till you figure out how to escape the room to drain to push a statue standing around figuring out where to go next. I liked this one better than the first but it was still confusing making me glad when the level was over. I did like the very beginning when you see Von Croy as you're falling deeper into the earth and he yells out to grab his hand - of course you won't make it. The ending was confusing though with Lara's face on a blue block and a voice mumbling something I couldn't understand - something about Gods and a door?" - RaiderGirl (21-Feb-2003)

"Ok I have had about enough of this. Been trying to download the right files about a dozen times now and with help and assistance from many people but still what I am getting here is a great starting flyby and an intriguing and tricky jump sequence involving 2 jumpswitches with fire burners underneath which brings you through a door to a room where the secret chime sounds and when you pull up there (after 7 minutes) the level crashes to the desktop. Beats me. If anybody gets this to work correctly let me know and I will be happy to reconsider my review." - Michael (26-Nov-2002)

"A vast improvement on the first 'Underworld'; however I still found the gameplay to be a bit too non-linear for my liking. And dark. Let's not forget that. But it really is much better than the first one - I think the atmosphere is just a lot better. If as G. Croft said there is a bonus area I never got to it either. Everything else has really been said by the other reviewers. It's still not really 'my kind of level' but I have to commend the author on making the improvements that he has. It will be interesting to see what his next level will be like!" - Bex (22-Aug-2002)

"A rather tricky level with some timed runs that you have to practice on. A lot of jumping and climbing to get along. The main thing is to find the two eye pieces and leave (?!?) the area (cool ending!). To be able to do this you have to empty a large room filled with water and manage a timed run in the big scorpions room amongst other things. Fun but hard. At some places you can get stuck if you're not quick enough and again that I don't like. Either a way out or instant death! I think there is a bonus area but I couldn't get to it I just know there are some doors I haven't been through and some chains I didn't pull and I only have 1/2 a cartouche." - G.Croft (21-Jun-2002)

"This is difficult not only the level but to give an idea of it. It is true that it has some very good textures and good lighting. Also the rooms are full and the giant scorpion not alive it is just a very good idea and it's great as an object. But here it comes the gameplay is a little confusing at times and it gets difficult. I mean just one door I had to catch open was terrible not like the usual trouble but that kept me one whole day to figure it out at the end I cheated otherwise I would have never finish this level. Then the darkness well it is much dark but fortunately with many flares. Nevertheless it isn't the best choice especially when you are getting stuck in every step and have to find small underwater openings or openings inside rocks. Apart from that it took me longer because or the confusion I had and not because there is a lot to do in it. You find a cartouche piece the timless sands half of the eye early in the game and near the end the second one. There was a part that I didn't complete but I did see it it was the chords I didn't pull because the room wasn't drained and a lever at the room with the second half of the eye. I also saw the crossbow and laser-sight but didn't get them I am assuming it might have to do with those chords or maybe not. Two pushable objects are well textured and the trapdoors were nice to look at red with a symbol on them. The enemies are usually big scorpions and skeletons. As for traps I got only a few blocks falling on me or part of the ceiling coming down on me the fires at some point weren't anything to worry about. Well it has some parts that are interesting but I wasn't impressed with it or anything like that sure is a good one though." - Kristina (21-Jun-2002)

"This is a variation of the first Underworld level and thankfully the author has eliminated the two major flaws I found with The Twelve Gates. What I didn't like here is that the timed run isn't discernible as such (got stuck there) and that once you return to the main hall from the Big Scorpion the floor is teeming with beetles and there is no way to get rid of them. The only way to survive this is to run around the structures for a while until most of the vermin is disorientated enough to nibble at the pillars for want of something more tasty. Otherwise it's an entertaining action packed adventure where you won't cover a lot of ground but what you get is put to good use resulting in a truly cleverly constructed course. There are some good camera angles and the fly bys are nicely done and supposed to give you helpful hints I'm not sure it always works though. Apart from the aforementioned beetles you get some giant scorpions a couple of bats and a few skeletons (one trapped itself inside a pillar which looked rather funny). Gameplay is more fluent than in the first part of the Underworld series but still far from being fast paced. However when the atmosphere is as gripping as it is here you don't really mind looking around for a bit." - Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)
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