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Level: Return to Natla's Mines back home search
Author(s): Devoid
total rating:7.63 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Ceamonks890 7 6 7 7
Dimpfelmoser 6 7 9 8
Doug E 7 7 8 9
Engelchen Lara 8 7 9 8
eRIC 7 9 8 9
Gerty 3 3 7 7
Jose 5 8 7 8
Kristina 7 6 9 9
Leandro 7 8 7 7
Loren 8 7 9 9
MichaelP 7 7 9 10
Miguel 7 8 8 8
Monika 8 7 7 8
Orbit Dream 9 8 8 9
Phil 9 8 8 8
RaiderGirl 8 8 9 9
Ryan 8 7 9 9
Sash 3 2 4 5
Sheevah 8 7 9 8
sonnyd83 8 8 8 8
Tombaholic 6 6 7 8
Torry 10 10 10 9
Treeble 8 9 9 8
Xxenofex 7 7 9 9
category averages
(24 reviews)
7.13 7.08 8.08 8.21

Reviewer's comments

"A surprisingly above-average recreation, considering the era this came out in. General level structure is the exact same from what I noticed(with the sense of atmospheric place being just as effective in spite of the stock TR4 assets used through solid texturing, lighting and gameplay picking up the slack). Overall, a worthwhile play if you haven't gone through the original TR1 version of this map in a while." - Ceamonks890 (31-May-2019)

"This is definitely one of the better remakes out there. It's actually more of a reinterpretation than a straightforward remake. The builder has taken the original Natla's Mines format and added a few more touches to make this a fun hour long adventure. You get the usual suspects (the motorboat, boulders, fuses and the pyramid), but it has been slightly modified to be worth a look. I for one enjoyed it." - Ryan (03-Dec-2016)

"Really a good work with this remake, even when there are not custom areas. The texturization is good, not so the lighting; I liked a lot the fixed cameras and specially, the camera shots when pulling switches, but I missed some more CD tracks here and there. Enemies are OK, and I also found enough ammo for the extra guns, but I have to lower the rating in the gameplay section 'cause the unmarked climbable ladders and the unmarked spiked traps. Also the author could avoid a bit the unnecessary backtracking in the first areas with the fuses. Anyway a good option for all the TR1 lovers." - Jose (19-Jul-2016)

"Natla's mines was one of my favourite levels from TR1, and I think this 2002 remake does it justice. It stays faithful to and expands upon the original, and provided me with 1 and half hours of gameplay, obviously it would have taken longer but as with all remakes, we already know what to do! As the name suggests, Lara finds herself in a mine deep underground. The main tasks here other than constant switch pulling, are forcing a boat to move, finding 3 fuses, avoiding a great deal of lava, blowing up some rocks, and some giant scorpions near the end. There are differences, including said scorpions instead of the skateboard kid, Larson does not appear, and there are a lot of unmarked spike traps, which was a little unfair. The texturing is of a reasonable quality with a few stretched out ones occasionally. The sound is the low point here because there's very little of it, even the waterfall sound is missing. Not a bad game in conclusion." - sonnyd83 (19-Aug-2015)

"It's been so many years since I played the TR1 original,that very little seemed familiar to me;but,in truth,most of this is a re-interpretation rather than a re-make...and a very good one it is too! The textures are applied immaculately;gameplay is varied and extremely well balanced;cameras are helpful,and effective lighting aids the atmosphere immensely.It's all about exploration,and I had a thoroughly enjoyable 100 minutes; the only downside being the flare bug.Highly recommended." - Orbit Dream (23-Jun-2010)

"This level is billed as a remake of Natla's Mines from TR1, which I've played in its entirety at least three times. However, neither that experience nor my use of the TR1 walkthrough was of much help in playing this excellent custom level, although there are certainly many similarities in the two levels. This one should properly be evaluated in its own right, and I found it to be a very challenging but enjoyable gaming experience. Some of the reviewers have complained about the hidden spike traps and the distracting earthquake that dogs you for the last quarter of the level, and I share those feelings. However, this is by a considerable margin the most ambitious of Devoid's levels, all of which I have enjoyed, and I would recommend this to the more skilled gamer. Don't let the word 'remake' throw you off; this is one of the good ones." - Phil (14-Jun-2005)

"I haven't played TR1 except from the demo so I am going to trust the other reviews that wrote this is a remake. The setting is bluish and monotonous if you ask me with nothing really to attract the eye. The puzzles are simple find three fuses after many switches and after a while enter the other half of the level. The enemies are a couple of dogs big scorpions two guards at the end and some bats. Everything is about jumping blocks open doors and shimmy around at some point to reach the next area. Occasionally avoid spike balls and spikes. I liked the boat that you had to jump on and the pyramid key at the end. Pushing blocks to reveal another switch and place a cartouche to access the last area. A second fight with scorpions and the last double doors open for Lara to escape. Personally I wasn't satisfied with this level after a little more than an hour of gameplay and one secret found." - Kristina (07-Mar-2003)

"Lara starts out in a mine which looks very much like Natla's Mine in TR1. Textures were the same and the whole level structure as well well almost the whole I don't remember all the details. I liked the atmosphere very much. Lara has to find the Pyramid Key. The puzzles are easy but there is the occasional tricky scene. Because first she needs to find three fuses and a key push a lot of boxes and pull many levers. You meet a few soldiers scorpions and bats. There is also a secret to be found including the MP-5 which is useful at the end as there are numerous giant scorpions around then. Unfortunately the flare bug occurs but you can make it without flares as the lighting in the mine is not too dark :-). If you like TR1 this is a recommended level. Thanks to Devoid for his whole series of levels. I had a lot of fun and please continue building :-)" - Engelchen Lara (19-Feb-2003)

"A voyage back to remember TR1. A good looking styled Lara makes her way back to the mines of Natla. Well built objects and the atmosphere reminding us of TR1. What a pity that it is not possible to make it all like before - but you will se the effort of the builder. I had the flare-bug near the end. Enemies are bats scorpions and some bad boys with weapons... Until Lara finds the way out she would have to fight the rolling spikes teeth-spikes and lava traps. Nice work - surely a lot of time invested." - Miguel (18-Feb-2003)

"I had a very good moment with this remake of Natla's mines which includes some different puzzles but the rooms are the same. The best moment was the fights with the hords of giant scorpions really enjoyable!" - eRIC (29-Jan-2003)

"As this one was not one of my favorite levels from Tomb Raider I the only thing I did like was Lara's suit. Devoid did add some touches as the boxes instead of the crane the prayer wheel underwater (what was that thing doing there). The fixed cameras are big no no in my book and just for the heck of it let's see how much I remember. Well I didn't get even that far as a bug prevented me (twice even after a new download and a fresh TRLE) to enter the rolling ball area. So I chucked it. Only thing I did miss in my opinion was (not that skateboard kid as I hated that) the new enemy in that room. Tough luck. 31-12-2002" - Gerty (05-Jan-2003)

"A remake says it all for me. Unoriginality and imitation score low in my eyes as I already have the original and don't need it again." - Sash (02-Dec-2002)

"The original Tomb Raider is still an unforgettable adventure in every TR fan - including the TRLE fans. This is one of the many remakes and just as those this is very well designed accordingly to the TR1 structures and where the limitations of TRLE appear the author has used his own creativity. In this level for example there's no house to pull up using the fuses but then there are some TNT crates so Lara can climb them. Even though I've been in the three locations where the original secrets were I found only one. It's a must-play level! I also enjoyed Lara's new outfit. Congratulations Devoid ;)" - Treeble (14-Oct-2002)

"This level is essentially the same as the TRI level except with a much different take. Though many of the puzzles are identical there are many that are new. I was able to find only one secret. It was in plain sight though camouflaged by the texture. It would have been better as a pick-up triggered secret though instead of a regular trigger. His retextured Lara is well different. The author did something to her lips that I think was intended to make her smile but it looks more like the Joker's smile from Tim Burton's Batman movie. The eyewear from the VCI levels in Chronicles would work well in a high-tech environment but looks really out of place here. The author would have done better to stick with the traditional Lara model for this level. Moreover this model seemed incapable of reflecting the shading of the placed lights giving Lara a rather cartoonish look. The Natla's Mines environment was fun to run through though I would have preferred the author invent a new geography for Lara to explore. But my main problem with this level was his use of spike deathtraps. He placed about a dozen or so throughout the level seemingly at random giving no warning to the unsuspecting player. At least in theory the player ought to be able to complete the level without being killed the first time through. The author's placement of baddies was good. He used three SAS guards in the place of Natla's thugs and he supplemented them with bats dobermans and scorpions (both large and small). The atmosphere cameras lighting and textures were generally good except that he didn't put timers on the triggered cameras. The sound was pretty boring. He could have used some music files to spice it up (especially some original TRI music)." - Loren (12-Sep-2002)

"I have been surprised how beautifully one could do a fascinating remake of such an old level. Now I do not even know even exactly how it has differed from the original. Because of the new graphics alone it was very beautiful to play. The atmosphere was just as good if not better than in the original. The puzzles were naturally the same. Recollections came (was that really like this?) and went it was simply great! Nevertheless I've been stuck actually at a place and I could not believe this really! The opponents were naturally something else there was no giant scorpions at that time anyhow. The level is really recommendable and very enjoyable!" - Xxenofex (21-Aug-2002)

"I never find it easy to review a level that is kind of a remake. This one is a little different to the original and that's okay. Same as in the original Lara has to find three fuses. She meets only one or two human enemies it's mainly dogs and giant scorpions she has to get rid of. For my taste Lara's new outfit didn't fit well in this cave-level would be of better use in a tech level. The texturing seemed a bit monotone and the lighting could have been a bit more atmospheric by using some coloured lights. And not to forget those non-obvious spike traps I really dislike that it's not fair." - Sheevah (11-Aug-2002)

"I liked this more for it's very unique and convincing setting and not so much for the lever infested gameplay and my main objection concerns the never ending earth quake in the second half and the spikes that pop up without warning and have you press reload a little too often. There are some good moments and surprising twists but on the whole gameplay was a little monotonous methinks bearing in mind that this will take you rather long to finish. Truth be told I can't really remember the original and I suspect I've never gotten very far with TR1 for some reason or another. Have to try it again some day." - Dimpfelmoser (11-Aug-2002)

"Impressive indeed and would this not largely be a copy of the original map and gameplay my scores would even be a little higher as this is first class TombRaiding with a touch of nostalgia. Worth mentioning the real neat catsuit Lara is wearing and those caves and lava areas are really well crafted. There are three fuses the mine keys and near the end a tablet key and a Pyrimid Key to find. Enemies are many bats some dogs and soldiers and small scorpions and at the end for the final battles a pack of giant scorpions. I enjoyed to see the little touches like the boat moving the conveyor belt 'puzzle' and the skateboard area. The flare bug was annoying and somehow a bit more music would have been nice but otherwise an hour of excellent fun. " - Michael (21-Jun-2002)

"WOW. What a classic interpretation of this marvelous old Tomb Raider 1 level and what a fine job the author did. The use of the TR4 objects (when he did use them) did not seem out of place the graphics were great and the gameplay just ever so slightly different that it made the whole thing so much better. It took me just shy of an hour to get through this and I was scratching the head a few times trying to recollect what to do next. I would have given this a perfect score (that's how impressed I am) but alas just near the end the flare bug appears. What a shame but people if you love Tomb Raider 1 the classic that started it all you MUST download this level." - Torry (21-Jun-2002)

"I'm really at a loss about how to rate these levels which are duplicates of old TR levels. Furthermore I really don't get the point. It seems to me that they are really more of an exercise for the level builder than legitimate entertainment for the player. If you really have a hankering to play the Natla mines level just load it up from your TR1 CD and get the real thing with all the bells and whistles - music cut scenes enemies. That said the main problem I have with this is that it's not so much a 'Return' as a 'Retread' with TR4 enemies self-consciously inserted in place of the originals. The skill in rebuilding the level with original textures some objects camera shots etc. certainly deserves some credit. The atmosphere could have been improved though by including some music or background sounds. The game map and puzzles unfortunately are all the same as the original - moving the boat the conveyer belt rolling boulders etc. If this were truly a 'return' level with original gameplay and puzzles then it could be rated much differently. The idea of Lara returning to the scene of an early adventure with new challenges and puzzles to solve would be much more interesting than a move-for-move copy of an original TR level." - Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)

"This level uses the same map of Natla's Mines (TR1) with some new additions and of course new puzzles and traps. It's not a remake it's kind of a... return to Natla's Mines! :D Worth a download to the fans of the first ever Tomb Raider game. It isn't a amazing or creative level but will worth your time." - Leandro (21-Jun-2002)

"Devoid has done an excellent job of recreating Natla's Mines from the first Tomb Raider and added a few new things as well. It's obvious that great care has been taken to make sure this looks like the original and the finished product is just amazing. It's been long enough since I played the original and with the new things it took me probably two hours to finish playing this. This version has its own set of enemies including dogs soldiers and bats and though I miss the skateboard kid the new enemy in that room was a great surprise. I really liked the first Tomb Raider so I loved this level except for two things - I didn't like the fixed camera angles in the large lava pit and I hated the spikes that came out of normal looking floor tiles. I really appreciate all the people that are remaking some of the original levels and Devoid did a wonderful job with this one." - RaiderGirl (21-Jun-2002)

"A rework of an old game. This works very well and took me a couple of hours to get to the end. The flare bug hit me towards the end and I found the earthquake bit just too much for my eyesight to take in. Having said that the feeling of being in a mine was quite real and was very well done. Some of the camera work was quite well done too. Well worth playing." - Doug E (21-Jun-2002)

"Even though I don't really understand why there has to be a remake of this level from TR1 I played it nevertheless. Best of all I liked Lara's new outfit. It was also surprising what I had forgotten about the original level. You meet dogs bats soldiers scorpions and giant scorpions. And you have to go a lot forward and backward. The mine doesn't look too much different. A little sound like music would have given the story a nice touch. It was not overly exciting for me to play because of knowing the original level. But there were enough changes not to let it be boring." - Monika (21-Jun-2002)
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