Level: The Secret of Lara's House - The Mystery of the Library back home search
Author(s): Tony Sinatra
total rating:3.93 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
CC 2 1 4 4
Dimpfelmoser 6 5 7 5
DJTch7 3 3 2 2
Fairy Godfather 6 6 7 6
G.Croft 4 4 4 4
Gerty 3 3 5 3
Jay 3 4 5 4
Jose 3 2 6 4
Kristina 4 4 4 4
Leandro 6 5 6 6
Magnus 0 1 1 2
MichaelP 4 4 7 5
Momster 4 4 3 3
Orbit Dream 4 5 5 5
Phil 4 5 4 5
RaiderGirl 6 6 6 6
Ryan 3 3 4 4
Sash 3 4 4 3
Sheevah 3 3 3 3
Torry 4 5 4 3
Treeble 3 3 3 3
Xxenofex 2 3 3 2
category averages
(22 reviews)
3.64 3.77 4.41 3.91

Reviewer's comments

"This is just about the oddest mansion I've ever seen. It's huge, filled with dead bodies (OK, perhaps that's not entirely without precedent) and vast water pools. The library theme is rather overdone too. Actually, that's the main feature of this level - everything is overdone, from the endless hallways, to the mind numbingly repetitive gameplay. I think the flare bug kicking in about half way through just about did it for me. Frankly, I was just glad when it ended." - Jay (24-Aug-2018)

"I normally don't play levels rated as lowly as this one, as I'm not a completist by nature, but I gave this one a try to see if I could answer a forum question. (To my surprise, I found that I could.) The level is rated about where it should be. There are too many long dark tunnels, made worse by the occurrence of the flare bug. On the other hand, ample flares and weaponry are provided to cope with the darkness and enemies (bats and soldiers). Contrary to the walkthrough, you need to obtain and use the first token to make the deadly pool safe, where you can return for the level's only secret before proceeding (as you can't come back later). There's not enough to do here to make this a justifiable download, but there plenty of other worthier levels to play." - Phil (04-Jun-2018)

"Better than the previous level from this author, this time he used more flybys and musics to create atmosphere, and the rooms are not bad textured. But that's all; the rooms are still too huge and empty, again the paper walls and the flare bug appeared just when you more need use the flares. The first part of the level I was only pulling switches to open doors, next a very nasty maze in the library where you can waste many time pushing blocks for nothing, and the last dark part shoot SAS to get disks and open more doors. Not very enjoyable for me." - Jose (17-Jan-2018)

"While this is a huge improvement over the author's Castle of Vimercate, it's still a long way from a proper raid. The very first room was surprisingly well designed, but less than a minute in and you find yourself in the biggest swimming pool in a Home level you'll ever see. As this is a very linear level, you find yourself zooming across a number of massive and generally empty rooms in search for the next jumpswitch or spare change (lol) to open doors. I stumbled upon the one secret I found while I was simply running and jumping around what I'd believe to be the gym: it was merely concealed by the darkness. Ah yes, there's plenty of that and it's coupled with the flare bug, too. Luckily it's a predictable enough design so ditching flares to light up dark spots is entirely up to you. 30 minutes, 1 secret. 01/18" - Treeble (13-Jan-2018)

"This level begins with a perilously high fall from a familiar but surprising location: the attic in Lara's Mansion. But from there on it went downhill and became not a little tedious with huge bland rooms, crude texturing, excessive darkness, and rudimentary gameplay. I initially also thought that if you collected the first secret sooner, then you would be stuck with no way to proceed further. That is the case, but Phil was kind enough to alert me to the fact that if you use the Token then come back to the deadly pool, it will have turned to clear water and there are no more issues, hence this amended review. Aside from that there's a lot of guards to shoot and corridors to run down, so nothing overwhelming." - Ryan (16-Oct-2017)

"Terrible. I know there are people out there who think that every level deserves glowing reviews because the author took the time out of his or her busy schedule to build a level for us lowly players and dear God how dare you anyone say anything negative about it? Obviously those people haven't played a lot of levels. Or this one. Let's get the positive things out of the way first: the triggers all work and the flybys are okay. And that's about it. There are bad levels that are just kind of 'meh' and not very fun to play, but then there are terrible levels that feel like torture to play. This level falls into the latter category. Gameplay gets a zero from me because there's really nothing more to the level except running through huge - HUGE - rooms and pulling levers and picking up keys, then running back to the door you've opened and doing the same thing over again. And then you get to do the same thing again! And again. And... well, you get the idea. There's a small maze with pushable blocks, but that's really the only time you get to do anything other than traversing big, empty rooms. The texturing is wallpapered and dull and the level is too dark. And then the flare bug kicks in, making for some really annoying long, dark hallways. Objects are rare, making the huge rooms seem even more empty. The level ended for me after twenty-five grueling minutes, when I got to the final door and realised that I'd missed a key much earlier - with no way back. That was a surprisingly fitting end to a thoroughly underwhelming level. This is the kind of level the people who complain about negative reviews need to play. In fact, why not play the hundred lowest-rated levels and then let's see if they still think that every review should have a positive slant." - Magnus (17-Jul-2009)

"After a startling beginning (a wholly unexpected plunge from a familiar location),this level turns into a 'run around a large area in order to find out how to access the next large area' experience.Progression only comes to a slow-down in a corridor labyrinth filled with pushable blocks,but elsewhere it's easy to follow and entails lots of sprinting. Despite the copious amounts of familiar Mansion brickwork,the location doesn't even begin to convince as anywhere even remotely connected with Lara's domicile;and the flare bug kicks in some time before the end,which is an irritant in such a dark place as the one presented here.Nevertheless,it remains mildly entertaining for the 50 minutes it lasts;and at least it dares to do something different with the familiar Mansion theme." - Orbit Dream (08-Jul-2009)

"Lara starts running up the stairs to her attic and find a hole in the floor falls through and way way down splashes into a swimming pool. She climbs out of the water there's a closed door and finds her first butt climbs some more and there's more butts and another closed door. Into another huge room lava pool monkeyswing across to a butt high on the wall and that is all I could do. Rooms huge textures mansion walls fires in mid air lighting good no secrets in this house for me. The only interesting thing I did was read the other reviews!" - CC (04-Sep-2003)

"Found this a bit of a strange level. Starting in the attic and falling down into water was a bit of a surprise so I had to do that over and over again. Finding dead soldiers was an ominous sign and the long long climbs monkey climb and running through this huge level was wearing Lara out. Then there is the block pushing bit and it must have been my lucky day as it worked and before I knew it I was at the fountain. Found the key but ran so many times past that lever ridiculous. The soldier that had to leave the first disc disappeared into the wall when I shot him so after that long dark run (flare bug kicked in) and finding the revolver and no way to go had to do that part all over again. From that on it was easy piecy as the next disc fell where I could find them. 21-05-2003" - Gerty (26-May-2003)

"A thirty minutes level with huge empty rooms and SAS guards at the end. Basically it's just running climbing a lot of ladders finding four CD-Rom and two tokens plus one set of keys to exit the level. Bats will be flying around occasionally but nothing much. There are stretched textures everywhere and thin walls. The moving blocks inside the library weren't anything difficult and the lab doors were out of place. I found one secret. Maybe next time it will be better." - Kristina (31-Mar-2003)

"So this has all of a sudden become available as a proper non exe download and no-one told me. Sabotage! Good thing that I checked just in case. What we have here is certainly not an A class level but I liked it all the same and I thought the boxy rooms were so much of a concept here that they made sense (shame about the paperthin walls though). It is a fairly easy run through dark and deserted underground areas with only a few bats to shoot until you bump into the SAS guards in the last part. I like the way the moving block puzzle seemed really complex but turned out to be very easy but I would have missed the key in the little pool by the fountain so I was extremely grateful that the fly by you get when flicking the nearby jump switch panned slowly over it (the key that is not the jump switch). Maybe I was just relieved that this isn't a mansion level despite it starting off in Lara's attic but I found the atmosphere strangely pleasing especially in the room where you hop across bookshelf blocks suspended over deadly red water. As there are many non-retraceable slopes you are never tempted to backtrack which makes the whole experience rather linear and fast paced." - Dimpfelmoser (23-Dec-2002)

"I'm sorry but this was just uninspiring. Was there a highlight for me well okay I didn't mind the movable library shelves (blocks) but otherwise I just wanted it to end though I didn't expect the ending to happen as it did. And really if this is such a secret underneath Lara's house then how come so many freaking SAS knew about it! I think the real secret is that her architect had no actual degree." - Sash (05-Dec-2002)

"I never knew that Lara had such a huge underground cpmplex beneath her mansion and judging by things I am not too sure Lara was aware of it either. This level of just on an hour has you running through HUGE rooms and long passageways for no apparent reason. Many areas are pitch black and as the flare bug shows up about midway through the level it makes progression very difficult as you need to pick up items dropped by the SAS you have recently dispatched to a better world. As these firefights sometimes occur in dark areas it is most frustrating. The movable block puzzle in the library was very unimaginative and unproductive. After a lengthy run through the aforementioned passages (a motorbike would have come in handy) the butler finally shows Lara the exit as she was certainly lost by this stage." - Torry (24-Nov-2002)

"A rather dull level but with a few surprises that are worth mentioning. It starts out in the attic of Lara's Home but it is not yet another house level as you drop deep down into an adventure with huge box-like rooms with wallpaper like texturing many pitch dark corners and walkways and the annoying flare bug does not help either. Also a lot of tedious climbing and monkey swinging involved here. Enemies are bats and SAS nothing too taxing and I found one secret (revolver ammo). I did have a smile at the 10 Cent Euro coin you get to use and thought the flybys and accompanying sound were rather nicely done. Also the movable blocks were fun though there could have been made more of a puzzle out of that area." - Michael (21-Jun-2002)

"What can I say that hasn't been said? - Bookshelves stretched and bookshelves compressed....." - G.Croft (21-Jun-2002)

"It's another level in Lara's home but with a completely different map which is always a good aspect. But the level is not good only because of that. Actually it's quite bad and because of a lot of other things. First we simple puzzles (jump puzzles climb puzzles water puzzles et cetera...) then we have the almost total absence of objects (only a few ones in some areas) and also the weird lighting and bad architecture. So even with some creativity over Lara's home idea this level isn't good." - Leandro (21-Jun-2002)

"When I saw that this was to take place in Lara's attic I thought of a small level probably short opening doors and exploring a long hidden part of the mansion. What I got was a HUGE level - lots of huge rooms a huge swimming pool a long monkey swing and a movable block maze that took me an hour just because the block I really needed to move didn't look movable to me - I must have ran past the stupid thing fifty times before I figured it out. Some of the areas remind me of the training room in the house only much larger. Most of the areas though are just long dark hallways with doors that you open either with a switch or a disc that the soldier you just killed dropped. My total time was 1:37 hours so if I hadn't missed that block in the maze it would have taken me about 45 minutes. I found two secrets and lots of pickups so the few soldiers were absolutely no problem. The dark hallways however were really annoying." - RaiderGirl (21-Jun-2002)

"It is surprising what you can find beneath your house if your name is Lara Croft. Lara falls through a hole in the attic to an adventure in the bowels of her house. She finds a library with blocks of shelves to move to make her way to other unlikely places. It then becomes slightly boring shooting enemies picking up code keys to open doors and eventually following the butler through a black wall in another library ending the level." - Fairy Godfather (21-Jun-2002)

"It is quite astonishing what kind of architectural peculiarities you can find beneath Lara's house - gigantic areas swimming halls libraries ... ;) There is no real gameplay in this level you just run through empty rooms and long corridors kill the one or other bat find medipacks ammo and flares. But the flares are not of much use because of the flare bug in the second half of the level. - Recommendable only for those who want to have a complete level collection." - Sheevah (21-Jun-2002)

"Lara usually does cross-country skiing empty ways simply textured and completely unadorned. In an area with enormous sizes there is nothing further than a single switch and a bat. The lighting conditions are disastrous not only because of the appearing torch bug. However this makes no difference because there is nothing to do - Lara meets no traps. The level to me seems almost as if it had been built during the beginning days of the TRLE. Okay then at the end come nevertheless a few SAS which also however did not deprive me of any energy. Hardly recommendable!" - Xxenofex (21-Jun-2002)

"A mediocre level which I found rather boring if not downright irritating with all the running around in bad lighting and with useless flares. The most exciting part for me was finding the hole in the attic floor and realizing there was a climbable wall to a secret." - Momster (21-Jun-2002)

"This level should be titled 'Lara In The Twilight Zone'. How else do you explain falling into a huge basement all the way from a hole way up in the attic? Or what about the fact that there's lava pits and army men in the basement? That's not possible (at least not in this dimension!). Also I've never seen so many books in one place before. And why is the basement so much bigger than the actual house?" - DJTch7 (21-Jun-2002)
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