Level: The Secret Pyramid back home search
Author(s): David Ruano
total rating:8.51 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
alan 8 8 9 9
Andi Croft 10 9 9 9
David 8 7 6 9
Dimpfelmoser 9 8 9 9
Dougsan 9 8 9 7
eRIC 9 8 9 8
eTux 8 8 9 7
Gerty 10 9 10 9
Jay 8 8 9 8
Jorge22 8 8 8 9
Jose 8 8 7 8
Josep 9 8 8 8
Kristina 9 8 8 8
MichaelP 9 8 9 9
Minox 8 7 8 7
Momster 10 9 10 10
Orbit Dream 9 7 9 8
Phil 9 9 9 7
RaiderGirl 9 8 9 9
Ruediger 8 7 9 8
Ryan 9 8 9 8
Sash 9 9 9 10
Tforc Aral 10 9 10 10
Torry 9 8 9 7
Treeble 9 8 8 9
category averages
(25 reviews)
8.84 8.08 8.72 8.40

Reviewer's comments

"This is a very nice level, quite different from others. There's a nice variety of gameplay, you don't only go artifacts hunting, also avoiding sets of traps, solving a blocks puzzle, and dealing with some bosses at the end. I liked the long fall to the pyramid and the final area reminds a lot of TR1. A shame that the author stopped creating levels. Recommended." - alan (10-Aug-2018)

"Here's an enjoyable 75 minute older level. The lighting is fairly dark, to be sure, but I guess that's what's expected from settomb levels. Luckily the gameplay makes up for it. You get some fun jumping around on pillars, an underwater maze, an extended push block puzzle and a couple of eye pieces to find. Worth a look if you don't mind the darkness." - Ryan (31-Dec-2016)

"So many of these early levels are one-offs and, for the most part, one heaves a sigh of relief. Not so here. This is definitely one of the better levels of its age and it's a crying shame that the builder never followed up his obvious potential. Anyway, if you like a settomb environment (and I admit it's not for everyone, being inherently dark) you really should give this a go. There's a good blend of action, traps, puzzles, enemies - about the only thing not in the mix is a timed run of any description, but there's plenty going on apart from that. The surroundings may be gloomy, but they're well done and atmospheric and do bloom into a somewhat Atlantean feel at the end. The 'boss' ending with three demigods may seem a touch tame by today's standards, but at the time must have seemed pretty hair raising. Definitely one to try." - Jay (15-May-2016)

"This level start in the caves to finish in the atlantis sets, it is enjoyable to play because not very difficult, there are few enemies from some scorpions and bats, and three gods at the end. A good time for the raiders." - Minox (14-Mar-2014)

"Here's a level dating back to the Dawn Age of the level editor. And a good one it is, although it's much too dark for my taste (most of the darkness being encountered at the beginning and near the end of the level). I can understand why it received such rave reviews at a time when then were relatively few other good levels to play. Too bad the builder allowed this one to remain as a "one shot," as I imagine he would now be ranked up there with Piega, Horus, Dick, Inchdix, MagPlus, etc. if he had stuck with it and honed his skills with additional releases. It's pretty much your classic Egyptian fare, with spike balls, jackals and demigods, but it's remarkably polished for its era and still provides a good hour of solid gameplay. Go back and try it now if you missed it the first time around." - Phil (11-May-2011)

"One of my favourite levels of the"good old days". It starts in a tomb of Seth environment , evolves to rooms with Temple of Horus textures, and a bit of Atlantis flavour for the ending. Good architecture and atmosphere, and user-friendly gameplay make of this rather long raid an enjoyable moment for all profile of raiders." - eRIC (01-Jun-2008)

"When I began this game I thought it could be another dark and bored settomb level, but soon I realized I was mistaked. Gameplay is fluid and not much difficult, you don't have to visit many times the same places; well hidden secrets, good architecture and textured, with enough ammo and guns; all kind of movements for Lara. Near the end there is a very interesting pushblock puzzle and a spectacular fall through the top of the pyramid. If you get problems with the pushblock puzzle there is a bug which can help you: Lara can drag the blocks even if a block is behind her. At the end the flare bug appears and when you finish the game crashes, but even so it's a good work you can play." - Jose (13-May-2008)

"Very simple yet perfectly enjoyable game. I must say David Ruano must be the kindest level builder I've ever seen... Every path every action is plainly logical ammo and medipacks aren't scarce at all and there was more than a time when I thought I was going to fall to my death and instead landed on some solid block. Even the three demigods that make their appearance near the end are easily beatable thanks to all the grenade gun and pistol ammo you've already collected. And the traps are so logical you just have to think a bit to pass them not be a magician. Take notice: I'm not speaking of lack of imagination. Ah but David also likes a little trompe l'oeil!... What about it when you think you're going to land on some platform and instead you take the deepest dive ever in tomb raiding history? Or the final artefact surrounded by four fires? How will you put them out so you can get it inside your backpack? The game is fun fit for anyone to play despite his/her expertise and the textures are well applied albeit a little too classic. In the end though there's a change from the Egyptian settings to TR1's Atlantean ones in a nice huge room. If you're looking for almost impossible challenges save this game for some other day. But if you don't mind adventuring in a more relaxed way download it now and feel good about not having to use a walkthrough or ask anybody for any directions." - Jorge22 (11-Jun-2004)

"Boy was this one fun. There are not many levels around built using the Tomb Of Seth wad but this one uses it and with merit I might add! This is a pretty old level mind you (I am writing this review almost 3 years after its release) but even today it was up to the current standards. The textures are simply great very well applied thoroughly (and some rooms are outstanding such as the water pillar) and lighting was just as good. If you can get past the first few minutes which are set in some pretty dark caveish areas then you're in for the real thing. I myself did boot this level once long ago - found it way too dark. Decided to give it another go and I am so glad I did! Gameplay is solid throughout this one hour adventure always finding element pieces always with different settings and puzzles and your goal is the Atlantean Ankh. Speaking of which this is one of the few levels which have a really elaborate story so before going into this level take your time and read the entire story. It's very interesting and it will answer your dull question 'what is this Atlantean stuff doing here?'. Those three demigods at the end weren't quite a challenge as only one could attack each time but could they represent the three Atlantean rulers? Definitely a must play!" - Treeble (23-May-2004)

"This level extensively uses the Tomb of Set textures those dark red rocks with spider webs looks like Helgoland went to Hell ;-). The level starts with an impressive camera move along a lava stream great visuals from the beginning. It seems easy at first with only a few difficult jumps and no strong enemies yet but it gets much harder in the 2nd half. No complaints from me about anything exceptionally." - Rüdiger (02-Nov-2003)

"The Secret Pyramid is an enjoyable 60 minutes of raiding with some neat puzzles. There is a block puzzle that really has to be thought out before hand or Lara can find herself in a real mess! The enemies are of no consequence. The three 'gods' near the end die much too easily (I limited Lara to the pistols since the 'gods' attacked one at a time). The settings are very nice and the sculptures are quite different. Unfortunately Dave the designer is yet another lover of the dark. There were few flares until well into the game but a LOT OF DARKNESS. I was reduced to closing up my den to all light and setting my monitor at its most brightest AND STILL Lara has trouble finding her way. I did enjoy the story and the puzzles but some light please." - Dougsan (20-Feb-2003)

"I found this a very interesting level. It's not that it has complex and difficult puzzles but it's entertaining. The Eye of Horus four cartouche and the Timeless Sands are the items necessary for progression. The level is quite dark with no flares available I only remember picking some once. The start is all about jumps over a lava pit and there are quite a few levers in the whole level. The player has to raise blocks swim in underwater tunnels easy enough pass spikes the blades in one room didn't work and many more. It' unlikely to get stuck but you will spend a lot of time in the room with the moving blocks until you get to the door on the other side of the room. Scorpions dogs a couple of harpies and demigods are your enemies but with the weapons available it will be a piece of cake to eliminate them. The Amulet is the last artifact you will pick up a short time after the level ends while Lara slides down to the unknown come to think of it many levels end with a slide lack of ideas I guess. Play it you will get a little more than an hour of fun." - Kristina (07-Feb-2003)

"From the opening flyby you know this isn't going to be an easy level and it isn't but it is a lot of fun and very satisfying to finish. You start out exploring some caves for a number of objects needed to progress further into the level and between the beginning and the end you'll come across poison darts harpies that attack at the worst moments underwater circular blades dogs ropes to pull spike traps jumps and climbs around lava a hard rope swing and overall just lots of exploring in this huge level. My favorite part is definitely the end after you swim up the shaft of water. There are three more cartouche pieces to collect which is a game all by itself a brilliant pushable block puzzle a great fall during which you wonder if you'll make it out alive three Demigods to fight and then you have to figure out how to get to the top of this huge room to pick up the amulet and then make your escape. I have to admit to spending some time trying to figure out how to turn off the fire that was surrounding the amulet but finally just tried to grab it and of course the fire didn't burn me. Hopefully we'll see more from this author." - RaiderGirl (26-Jan-2003)

"Classic raiding. What a joy and pleasure to play. Nothing too strenuous which a little thought will sort out. However there are lots of objects to find and this hunt for the two pieces of the eye piece two halves of a cartouche the sands of time and a further three complete cartouche blocks will keep you occupied for around an hour. The object is to retrieve the amulet and this is guarded by three demigods which is a nice climax to the level. Unfortunately the flare bug shows up very late in the level and I have deducted a couple of points for this but otherwise a fine level." - Torry (22-Jan-2003)

"Sit down relax and forget about the boring old real world because this one is absolutely worth a try. Lots of huge 'where do I go in here?' rooms; a tough block-pushing puzzle which (for once) doesn't bring the gameplay to a shuddering halt but rather adds more spice to the adventure; and THE most amazing huge drop through what appeared to be almost all of the earlier rooms via well positioned holes in their floors. In fact I almost deducted a point for that as it was just too flashy by half!" - Orbit Dream (23-Jul-2002)

"WOW! Where did this come from? And where is this guy? What a level I stumbled upon it by accident thinking I was looking for a nice easy level after playing 'Deadman's Keep'. It's a real shame if this author has 'blown his wad' so to speak on his one and only level because I'd sure like to see more from him. Magnificent design beautiful textures. Just enough enemies never overwhelming well placed. I just fell in love more and more as I traveled through this 'Secret Pyramid'. The only negatives I find are the darkness and some flare bug situations but not enough to take away the pleasure of the game. I was a little slow starting but once it got going it was both fun and fast-paced. Excellent 'hints' in the way of glimpses into new or other areas. I spent an hour and ½ adventuring I totally missed 1 of the cartouche halves and had to go back and do the jump/shimmy/climb lava bit again when I realized that I should have come out of that area with more than just a medpak. For a great adventure and for possibly the more 'seasoned' raider try it out." - Momster (16-Jul-2002)

"It seems this is the first level produced by this author and if that is true then he did an absolutely outstanding job. Set underground this adventure blends the feel of organically earthy with man made structures wonderfully as you make your way through this 80 minutes level with it never once becoming stale. Allowing players glimpses of upcoming rooms through gates and fissures positioning crucial pickups perfectly secrets that serve a purpose using rotating blades in and out of water as well as movable blocks and more this was just a truly inventive joy to play." - Sash (21-Jun-2002)

"From the perfectly crafted starting fly-by this level picks up nicely in an underground cave setting and provides the player with above an hour of very entertaining never repetitive and quite inventive gameplay. Initially it is more about finding the right path later some traps are added and towards the end there is a neat movable block puzzle. A nice mix of enemies (bats scorpions banshees and for the final fight three demigods) rounds it all up. I particularly liked the idea to place the rotating blades underwater and that very deep fall towards the end was exhilarating. Some solid use is made of sounds and cameras and texturing is standard but perfectly put together with a nice atmosphere in one of the final rooms. All in all a fun experience so try it out!" - Michael (21-Jun-2002)

"A very good level with a lot of "natural" and big scenarios which make it always more difficult to get good results. Good underground scenarios with a very good lighting I have enjoyed especially the very interesting "Boxes Maze" and the final part with the "Atlantian" textures. I have found only minor bugs that with a more accurate review could be easily fixed." - Josep (21-Jun-2002)

"An excellently designed level with some great rooms and nice use of textures. The level really opens out well and although some of the rooms turn out to be a little disappointing in that they look great but there's ultimately nothing to do in them overall it's a good level. A nice block of baddies at the end to battle off some interesting ideas along the way (I liked the black room with the rope swing) and the first use I've seen of the push-pull block in a superb puzzle well thought out and executed (loved the idea of a glass ceiling so you can go above to see what's happening and work out moves and then return below to execute them). I found two bugs: in the push-pull block puzzle room Lara was able to pull a block right up to her trapping her between two blocks. Lots of jumping around finally freed her. And in the final big room where the three baddies are fought flares don't work and trying to use the binoculars quits the game. The secrets are well hidden (I found two of them) but there are some good pick-ups therein so it feels worthwhile." - David (21-Jun-2002)

"This level has everything in it what I love about Tomb Raiding. It starts at an underground cave and finding the way through the game is tricky but luckily not too hard. Enemies were very well placed; I specially liked the banshees. This is a game where you really should look in every nook and granny. The author used very nice touches like the underwater rotating blades the spiked balls and a very deep fall you make towards the end and more. Eerie was the rope swing in the dark room and you even don't need your flares to swing although I had more than enough. This is one of the levels I want to play again." - Gerty (21-Jun-2002)

"After having played quite a few custom levels this one surprised me from the beginning to the end. It shines in every aspect: textures are wisely and widely chosen light effects are magnificent and the level structure is clever and artistically very well done (special mentions to the windows that let you see future rooms and to the light blue transparent column room). There is a wide range of enemies very well placed along the level creating a perfect balance with puzzles and exploration. The author has focused on creating enjoyable gameplay with a normal to high level of difficulty which will let you enjoy this more than an hour level without becoming dull in any moment. But lovers of high difficulty will have also many challenges in form of rotating blades an incredibly difficult movable block puzzle and a nearly impossible secret which can be picked up although it might seem it cannot etc. Summarizing an excellent level suitable for every type of Tomb Raider out there. And its plot is an interesting and well-written story putting together many key moments of Lara's adventures along with this one of course. I highly recommend this level to everyone." - Tforc Aral (21-Jun-2002)

"Wow what a great level. The textures are nice and the puzzles are good. The block-puzzle is not so easy. The lighting is a little bit dark but it is ok. I found flares and some health-packs. The enemies are different and the demigods are good to kill (I had found the revolver and the grenade gun). This level is a must play. It is a great adventure and I had a lot of fun." - Andi Croft (21-Jun-2002)

"This level lasted for an hour but it felt a lot shorter cause everything was happening so fast that I felt I had finished the level in only 15 minutes. The design of the rooms is superb you get very high rooms diagonal hallways and of course some pyramid looking shapes. The enemies are also placed very well all starts with a few simple to kill bats and gets harder by every room. A little later but still close to the start you get to fight some doggies then later you get some of the golden birds and the final battle with 3 demigods where you must fight one while the other ones are still 'sleeping' but still making the battle harder because they draw Lara's attention. The puzzles are quite simple but I loved the one with the movable blocks where you could see the progression in this puzzle from the top room. The looong fall has to be the highlight of this level. I just loved it and reloaded a few times just to experience it again. The textures were carefully applied and the lightning was ok. Loved that the author took care of the story and wrote whole diary for it so to don't make Lara's adventure pointless. Also liked how the textures changed from the boring Egyptian ones to the Atlantean textures and it made the atmosphere so much spookier suddenly. If the textures were so good I couldn't say the same about the lightning. Of course the lights were all ok and good to see a bit more color than the ambient one but the level started pretty dark and I had to modify my monitor settings so I'd see better. At the end the flare bug also appeared so it was impossible to navigate through the level later. Of course it got lighter by time but please if your level is so good no need to hide it in darkness. But otherwise an interesting adventure worth playin' it all." - eTux (21-Jun-2002)

"Courtesy of Lara's Levelbase I was finally able to play this Classic TR adventure on my Mac. Thank You. After all those progressive levels that have been released in recent months the Secret Pyramid seems atavistic to some degree but in a very charming way. You get some very traditional raiding which remains faithful to Lara's origins but is more than a mere replica of the Last Revelation. The gameplay is original inventive and so fast paced that I reckon this must be one of the shortest Top 50 levels. Nothing is too cleverly hidden so you can't get stuck but it's still tricky enough to be satisfying. I particularly like the moving block puzzle where you could climb up and see it from above in order to work out the best way to solve it; and spot the shotgun that you might have missed otherwise. There are boulder traps good jumps some swimming rope swinging raising blocks; the usual suspects. All very pleasant especially since the atmosphere is very convincing. Don't worry even though it's called the Secret Pyramid you are spared the garish Egypt setting but get something more spooky and sinister instead. So everything fits together nicely; course tasks enemies and environment correspond beautifully but what will have you calling out for more is one spectacular plunge at the end. My heart skipped a beat; I kid you not. Excellent moment and probably the best dive Lara ever did. Prepare for your whole life to flash past your eyes and don't forget to scream. Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiih." - Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)
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