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Level: Necro's Domain 5 - The Hidden Oasis back home search
Author(s): Necro
total rating:6.73 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
CC 8 6 6 5
Dimpfelmoser 7 6 7 7
Doug E 8 7 8 8
eRIC 8 7 8 7
eTux 7 6 6 6
Fairy Godfather 8 7 7 6
Gerty 6 8 8 7
Jay 7 7 7 6
Jose 3 5 6 4
Kristina 7 7 6 5
MichaelP 8 7 8 7
Momster 8 7 7 7
Phil 8 7 8 7
RaiderGirl 6 7 6 6
Ryan 6 6 7 6
category averages
(15 reviews)
7.00 6.67 7.00 6.27

Reviewer's comments

"This definitely plays better than it looks. The opening section is especially bad, with lots of missing textures and illegal slopes and I almost gave up on the whole thing. Once it gets going however, there are some quite interesting traps etc and, despite some rather boringly repetitive parts, most of the action is actually quite enjoyable. It’s a definite improvement on the previous sections at any rate." - Jay (18-Mar-2019)

"I found this level a bit of a mixed affair and hard to score. It's certainly an improvement on the previous episode of this series, but I still felt slightly disappointed throughout and by the time I'd finished. There's undoubtedly a lot of gameplay tasks crammed into this one level, giving the player enough variety, but to counteract these, there's also a large amount of repetition in some of the tasks (the unreasonably long monkeyswings, tedious flame and blade traps and too much backtracking), which largely diminished the overall positive experience this level could have offered. The waterskin puzzles were also odd as apparently they could be shortcut simply by pouring any amount of water on the feather part of the scale (but at least this saves having to fill and refill continuously). Textures are bland and sloppy throughout, while the darkness is overbearing in places, not aided by the flare bug. Not a terrible experience by any means, but for me it fell flat and never quite reached any level of excitement." - Ryan (16-Jan-2019)

"Again surprised for the very high ratings. When I started this level and saw all the missing textures and the ilegal slopes I thought it coudn't be a good level, and I wasn't mistaked (my personal opinion, of course). Even when there are some entertaining tasks, I found a lot of boring/tedious tasks and many things to be fixed/changed in a level so long like this. I couldn't pick up the secret uzis, 'cause the low ceiling; there's not a hint in the room with two buttons to know where is the spike trap; shoot a demigod only with the pistols is not very funny (I think the hard enemies should be placed near the end of the levels); there is no sense for all those repetitive tasks, like pass all that circular blades 3 times (a total of 12 blades) is really unnecessary; where is the hint to know the ammount of water for the waterskins? why I must place the water in the "wrong" side of the scales? the blind jump from the third scale to the open door was a nightmare, you never know what's the right direction and I had to reload many times; the hint for the first globe is obvious, but where are the hints for the remaining globes?: trial and error and wasting the time; in the room with the corkscrews, the author forces the players to run through the traps (under the opening) a couple of times losing health; in the adjacent rooms to the globes area there is excessive darkness, and the flares are not enough (at least for me); there are bugs with the two horsemens: one of them disappeared (reload) and the other one mounts an invisible horse; again repetitive and tedious tasks crossing a long monkeyswing with fire emitters and have to go back the same way; is there any player getting fun with a huge and nasty underwater maze only looking for small ceiling levers and finding often dead ends? and if you had not enough, repeat again another nasty monkeyswing with the fire emitters: four more times!!! the flare bug appears in the room with the revolver and sight; there's not a hint to intuit the fire trap in the pedestal with the last keys; bad placed fires in the last room with wall sconces which already have "lights"... And some more things I can't remember. Playable but not enjoyable for me." - Jose (19-Jul-2016)

"This is somewhat a hard level to rate. On one hand the author seems has gone out of his way to put in a lot of things for the player to tackle, the looks are ok, though hardly anything memorable, but on the other hand - a number of the tasks are tedious at best, annoying and lacking any sense at worst. And as I've said as a general critique for the author and his series before - is that progress in his skills are barely noticeable. Choosing an Egyptian setting maybe limits his object choice, but only to a certain point. The geometry is as simplistic as it has been in his first level, and especially the beginning of the level suffers from this as the plains are unappealing, the large outdoor areas could've easily been reduced to more compact ones, where the author could've put more attention to detail. There's a variety of tasks to do, but the monkey-swing with the burners was extremely tedious - especially if you take a wrong turn before you actually have to - and even if you don't - all the backtracking is a pain as it is, and I wondered on numerous occasions why he didn't at least build an alternative way back that doesn't force the player through the same experience again and again. The underwater maze didn't offer anything imaginative too, and far enough into the game - the flare bug kicks in too. The other puzzles for the gems were interesting enough to sustain the interest, but overall I thought there was a whole lot where the author certainly could've done some major improvements. As always - the final fly-by is something to look forward to, as it pushes the gameplay a little bit further each time. I did enjoy the experience to some extent here, and if you're in for playing the series, play it. As a stand alone level I probably wouldn't recommend it too highly, though you could definitely make worse choices of what to play." - eTux (19-Nov-2007)

"I've had a good time playing some of these older, middle-rated levels for the purpose of writing the walkthrough. I'm now working on the rapidly-vanishing collection of those rated 7.0 or higher, and although this series finale just misses that perch as of this writing, I'll fix that with this review. Despite a horrendous start, with many missing textures (see, I'm starting to learn the lingo) and a most unimaginative landscape that looked like someone had been playing with a giant cookie mold, it settled down into a most enjoyable gaming experience. The other reviews tipped me off to the scales shortcut, but what nobody mentioned was the fact that you could side flip away from danger after placing your random amount of water on the feather. I'm not sure if I solved the double boulder trap the way I was meant to, but what I did worked both going and coming. And I thought I was so smart placing the first globe on the third circle disc, then discovering that all the other pieces looked exactly the same. Although the flycheat is disabled, I found to my pleasant surprise that I didn't need it, and I was able to make it all the way through without outside help. There are a couple of problem encounters with tin men, well documented in the reviews and the walkthrough. I haven't played the other levels in this series, but this one was quite nice. Recommended." - Phil (02-Oct-2005)

"I really had to force myself to continue from the start. It didn't look promising. Huge texture problems again in this level well at the start anyway. Huge outdoor area of sand and lake to find two gems. Inside are four sets of double circular blades into a room with a mirror and scales. Now I've gotten used to looking in the mirror for something you can't see in the room you're standing in so that was easy to get the waterskins. What was not easy was trying to get the scales working and that you have to run through the circular blades each time to sort out the amount of water you need. The clue is where you get the waterskins but it didn't work so easily for me. (Oh BTW you pour the water on the feather in this level not the pot). Moving on to an unusual globe puzzle unusual in the sense that each globe placement opens a particular door to a different task each time. Gameplay steps up greatly as the level goes on I liked the monkeyswing past fire emitters although that second two-way one was a disappointment you only get ammo - that you don't need - it would have been better to get the eyepiece here. And isn't it strange that I always think there's three underwater levers in a level here there are four in the first and two in the second. We're also used to three lion's mouths with gems here there are four no wait a minute there's 'five'. That was a good kick in our complacency Lee. The final dialogue was good with Von Croy but Lara's childish voice was now getting on my nerves. All the same well done Lee. For other players try and ignore the awful starting textures and outside areas because it will get very much better from the scales puzzle onwards. Twice during the game I had to reload a savegame to get things moving i.e. after the long monkeyswing into a room with a horse the knight did not appear the first two times and I was about to give up trying it a third time made the knight appear. So if you see him run in and deal with him rather than risking falling back into the lava and doing it all again. This was the best level of the series." - CC (18-Nov-2003)

"The textures and atmosphere in this level isn't anything much and I can't say I enjoyed it. There was a bug that can prevent you for continuing and a secret the Uzi you can't pick up underwater because Lara doesn't have enough room for the animation of a pick up. You need gems a key and the Eye of Horus to complete the game. There is a problem with one of the gems that's supposed to come from a horseman when the horseman is about to mount the house he disappears so you are stuck for good. The solution is to run quickly and lure him to attack before he tried to get onto the horse it worked for me anyway. The traps were nice though with boulders coming down fire blowers lava rooms scales you need to reach by getting through stargates but I didn't like the idea of a fire wraith chasing Lara on steps that were big blocks. I repeated that many times to be able to finally get to the water without burning. A long monkey swing between fire blowers was only for a secret the crossbow and it's not really of any use since there are no enemies here apart from some crocodiles at the beginning and wild boars. Also the flare bug occurred and there were missing textures all around the place especially at the start of the level. The level ends with a long scene of Lara and Von Croy talking but previously we see Lee's picture and the signs as usual with a thank you note." - Kristina (15-Mar-2003)

"I have started this quite a few times but never got past the scales. Now I was too proud to ask for help in the forum or even look if there is a thread as the puzzle doesn't seem too complex. However no matter what amount of water I poured the door never opened and it is a real pain in the ass cause you have to pass through 8 circular slicers to get the water. This time I thought to myself well just for the hell of it I pour the water onto the scale with the feather and -don't you just know it- the door opened just like that. Now where is the logic in that or has it always been this way? Despite there being some Roman numbers up where you find the water skins as far as I can tell it doesn't really mater what amount of water you pour onto the feather. So I started this without much expectations the more as there were many textures missing in the first outside are. But it improves a long the way with a great boulder trap an annoying underwater maze some hopping over lava and a timed run. I found some of the tasks a bit repetitive like the globe pushing but worst was really the long monkey swing past the fire emitters at the end. I mean you've done that before and here if you take the wrong way (to the right) you have to go all the way back shoot four lions heads on the left and then monkey swing to the right side again. Well I guess that's optional as there is only a useless secret waiting there but one wants to find out about those things. There are hardly any enemies in this library adventure; the tinmen seem to be put in to supply the gems rather than to pose a threat so that one fire elemental that chases you up the stairs provides one of the more exciting moments of this level. There is a little dialogue with Von Croy at the end which is a bit odd as Lara has this rather high pitched girlish voice whereas I always imagined her as a forty-a-day woman." - Dimpfelmoser (24-Nov-2002)

"Do not be discouraged by the very sloppy start of this level with missing textures illegal slopes enemies appearing out of thin air and a disappearing horizon behind that huge body of water that you have to explore or by the hit or miss button puzzle or the fact that you have to make your way through those slicer dicers a few times. Because all in all this is a level with quite a bit of variety in gameplay and I enjoyed the 80 minutes I spent here. Not sure why other reviewers claim the hints for the scales puzzle were wrong - they worked for me. I liked the concept of getting five planets onto their right spots and after each run of for a side adventure eventually yielding a gem for progression. It is these adventures that hold the fun: slides spikes ropes lava swinging chains corc screws boulders fire emitters and the inevitable but not too hard underwater maze with four levers to find. I also encountered the bug that the first time round the tinman with the horse would not show up and the flarebug is present as well. The flyby and music upon completion of the planets puzzle is great as is the one with the dialog with Von Croy at the end. So all in all this was definitely Lee's best level in my opinion and you should try it for some good fun." - Michael (21-Sep-2002)

"Great level apart from the to and fro you have to travel. That makes this level rather tedious. I don't know how many times I drowned in the underwater maze where you have to find (I think) four levers to pull the other maze was smaller but still I had to reload a couple of times there as well. Also with the burners of course I went the wrong way first. And you have to go back the same way again. The traps are very nice puzzles too and not hard to do. I was really stuck with that fire spirit hardly had any health left but thanks to Michelle I could go on. The flare bug kicked in and that is a shame. I would rate this much higher if Lee would give you other ways back to the room with the globes. The added music was great after placing the last globe you get a real 'I accomplished something' music. As I know from earlier games the minute Von Croy starts to talk boost up the sound then you can hear the little conversation they are having. 14-08-2002" - Gerty (18-Aug-2002)

"If you like difficult challenges and are really patient you will probably like this level - I'm afraid it just wasn't for me though. You start out having to go through 30 of the circular blades - which I hate - then you have to solve a number of puzzles and fight a number of horsemen to gain access to all of the globes which you pull onto the correct square then once you get the final door open you have to do many of the obstacles again. They include monkey swinging past a large number of flaming jets tricky boulder traps giant corkscrews in the ceiling spike tiles jumps over lava double rope jumps with fire elementals breakable tiles over lava and underwater mazes with absolutely no place to get air. I finally had to use the savegame editor and give myself more health packs. I didn't have any problems with the tinmen showing up but I found that if I started shooting at them soon enough they didn't even get on their horses which was good because the rooms were pitch black and the flare bug appeared halfway through the level. I like the dialogues the author has got between Lara and Von Croy and from this one it sounds like she's going to Antarctica next but this was just not my kind of level at all." - RaiderGirl (29-Jul-2002)

"An interesting level which has kept me busy for 1 hour 20 of net gaming. Yes there are some mistakes: some texturing bugs in the first outside area strange waterskin puzzles as there are false hints on the wall uzis that Lara has found but was unable to pickup and a bug with a horsemen after the fire burners: if you don't shoot the guy before he reaches his horse he disappears and Lara is stuck with no blue gem to place. There is also an overuse of those fire burners which explains the appearance of the flares bug at the end of the level. Nevertheless 'The hidden oasis' is fun to play there is a lot of gameplay involved and there are also some good puzzles like the one to pickup the gate key. So Lara has to find two first blue gems in the oasis (does it really looks like an oasis?) and kill some various baddies and animals to enter in a temple full of traps. Once inside she has to place 5 globes. Placing them opens doors to little adventures. In each of them Lara has to kill a horseman to collect a gem. Avoiding fire-burners spikes-traps swinging chains or boulder traps surviving to revolving corkscrew spikes or circular blades finding underwater head switches and escaping from the wrath of a fire spirit are some of the dangerous events waiting for Lara in this temple. The most difficult was to deal with the fire spirit: Lara succeeded to come back without burning only after 6 or 7 attempts. Then the last door opens and Lara's adventure becomes easier with some more fire traps jumps on collapsible tiles shooting puzzles (non-timed) until she met Von Croy. Most of the sequences are easy a few others are rather difficult and I found 3 secrets. The texturing is somewhat inspired by the library wad and the atmosphere is very good. One more word: spare your medipacks! Because you don't know when you will need them the most." - eRIC (29-Jul-2002)

"This is a great level. The start is a bit dull and contains some bad textures but after 1/2 hour it becomes a lot more interesting. Finding blue gems here and there will allow you to progress through the different rooms. Great booby traps and nasty boulders. At one point I had an appointment with a gem bearing horseman but he never turned up for some reason. Restarting the game seemed to encourage him to come forward and get shot! There is a planet puzzle bit which involved different tasks to get the planets and a good fire chamber bit. All in all a very good game." - Doug E (15-Jul-2002)

"Guard your health. You will need it to get past the demigod horsemen fires and a very persistent fire demon. I nearly had to resort to savegame editor to carry on but just made it to the next medipac in time. It was also very frustrating to get through 4 or 5 rotating slicers to find some waterskins then find the water you need is back through the slicers and the scales are where you were." - Fairy Godfather (10-Jul-2002)

"I enjoyed this level immensely even with its sometimes suspect textures and very straightforward gameplay. Lara travels thru the desert shooting a few scorpions and swimming with the crocs to gain entrance in a temple in an oasis. Once she's inside she must find her way into a large room with several closed doors and one 'famous' sliding globe. Once you find which spot to put the globe on it's a matter of going into the next room offering numerous hazards to obtain access to another globe to slide on another spot to open another door etc etc. But this was quite enjoyable gaming and some well-thought out puzzles. I did at one point get to a room where there should have been a tin man waiting for me to cough up his gem when I killed him but he wasn't there. I re-loaded from a previous save and next time it worked. There was also the infamous tin man on the invisible horse which had me laughing. Good boulder traps spike traps 2 water skin puzzles. A disappointing end though as after Lara places the eyepiece VonCroy comes up behind her with a knife and we have a quite long conversation between the 2 of them that I found impossible to hear. Then it just ends. Quite good anyway I highly recommend for 1:30 hours pleasure." - Momster (21-Jun-2002)
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