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Level: ISS 101 back home search
Author(s): ve2lyr
total rating:5.40 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Ceamonks890 5 1 4 5
Dimpfelmoser 1 0 7 8
Drew 7 5 8 7
Gerty 5 4 7 7
Jay 5 3 8 8
Jose 5 2 6 7
Kristina 6 2 8 8
Lady Lara 7 4 7 6
Magnus 2 0 4 3
manarch2 6 1 6 5
MichaelP 5 4 9 8
Orbit Dream 5 3 10 9
RaiderGirl 6 4 9 8
Ryan 5 3 7 8
Sakusha 7 4 7 7
Sash 2 0 5 6
Scottie 7 4 7 8
Whistle 4 2 8 8
category averages
(18 reviews)
5.00 2.56 7.06 7.00

Reviewer's comments

"By far this builder's most coherent effort, and is at least less difficult if you can grasp the concept of astronomy and the solar system. The gameplay involved in getting the gems was a little bungled (apparently you have to locate every one or you could become fatally stuck or be in for a heck of a backtrack), but the setup of the puzzles with the binary code and the moons was quite nicely done (although I'm none the wiser with this sort of thing so it still took a bit of glancing at the walkthrough for me) and although occasionally obscure, it at least relies on logic this time around. The audio choices and use of blinking (and planetary) textures were fitting touches, although the lighting was a bit dull in places. Nothing too substantial, but I did feel I experienced a satisfactory raid." - Ryan (22-Jan-2019)

"I think the author should give a hint in the readme file to know how many gems the player must get before start the puzzle; and also another hint about the satellites and the binary code. The ladders could be better marked, and it could be some extra flares to light the darker areas. Once you know the number of gems you need and the sense of the puzzle, the tasks are nice to solve, even if you need to use paper and pencil (and information from internet). There are numerous moving textures in the ISS and also the textures with the planets are good; all they usually appropriate. I should suffer a bug with the musics, 'cause they sounded very very slow. If you like a different concept of the TR custom levels, and not only the classic ones, play this one." - Jose (03-Aug-2016)

"While there is no real significant changes here from Robert's previous outings, this is probably the best release that he's ever put out(making it all the more tragic that this was the last one he uploaded to the site.) Regardless however, if you aren't familiar with how the puzzle gimmick works in this specific release, then good luck trying to figure it out for yourself without a handy walkthrough on hand(as there will be a lot of trial and error to overcome, before all is said and done otherwise.) So in conclusion, despite some unnecessarily dark lighting, overly simplistic texturing and initial un-user friendly nature of the gameplay, I'd still recommend this level highly over any of the builder's other works, as at the very least, you'll actually feel like you accomplished a great feat, rather than feel like you achieved the level out of sheer blind luck." - Ceamonks890 (26-Nov-2014)

"I'm rather glad that I at least enjoyed Robert's last level (both his last and also the last I haven't played before). The gameplay is really good and not so obscure, well at least if you understand the logic behind the main puzzle. When you do, it's a pretty clever level. First you have to find the 18 gems (of which you can get all even if you missed some the first time around) and then place them in a distinctive order to "note" the number of moons each planet has. If you do wrong though, you have to reload an earlier savegame, but the builder warns about this and it can't really be avoided. The overall futuristic texturing is solid, yet pretty sameish, and the atmosphere is just find with the floating buildings and some great views. Sometimes the lighting is unjustifiedly dark and this especially makes some of the jumps across the pillars pretty hard. But overall this is a very interesting level and you'll get a nice surprise at the end after 15 minutes. Probably the only really recommended game of the builder." - manarch2 (11-Apr-2014)

"Allowedly, I am no fan of the Levels of Robert La Chapelle. And, yes, I have not valued both predecessor's levels Lara on the Moon and The Planets very high. And again yes: This level also has again the charisma of a fire jellyfish on whom just somebody has stepped and writhes now in pains (the Somebody, not the fire jellyfish).
BUT: Now I must simply make an exception. This level is so out of touch with the real world, that he is on the other hand really funny. Before you play this Level, nevertheless, you should look first into Wikipedia and investigate about two things:
1. How many planets has our solar system (outgoing from the time of the level construction) and how many moons have these planets
2. What is a binary code
If these questions are solved (or if one has read up before in the Walkthrough about what it is generally), one has the best conditions to master this level. If one does not make this, one stands like a duck in a thunder and has absolutely no plan.
What the player must make here, is fast explained: 18 precious stones collect and than use it right. That's it. The textures are, well, a little bit need getting used to. But since Amanda Lepore nothing more can frighten the inclined player.
If you really want to dare it, I can say only one: Have fun" - Scottie (29-Apr-2011)

"The master of the brain teasers. Well I am not good at that so having a guest over and he loves indeed puzzles I tried to combine my favorite game with his brain and voila. I am glad I got this over and done with and now I also understand the logic. This one is all about gems and 18 of them. This is easier said than done though. It is a bit hard to mark the levels as although I did play them, the solution came from the person sitting next to me. 04-02-2006" - Gerty (06-Feb-2006)

"Well this is strangely satisfying though very frustrating. Got part-way through it alone and then had to check the forum (up till about the sun room). Once you know it is about moons then easy to count up the binary numbers - that was fun. I liked the atmosphere and loved the music. Even though the textures were simple they fit the setting. I will go back and play this again definitely." - Lady Lara (10-Oct-2004)

"Yes the author is getting better and better when it comes to gameplay AND level designing. Instead of stepping on a particular tile in order to solve a puzzle you have to get 17 (or 18 if you have the secret) horseman's gems and place them in the correct keyholes in a particular order. I don't see why zeros and ones have anything to do with astronomy though. The textures make the level look sublime. Several textures are animated and some are partially transparent. If you finish the level prematurely (thus being incapable of fully enjoying this level) you will get a decent finishing trigger but if you finish the level in a normal way tomb4.exe crashes for some reason even though it doesn't crash if you reload a saved game or when Lara dies. There are only horseman's gems (they are very well-placed however) so I can only give a four for objects enemies (nonexistent once again) and secrets. I have really appreciated the textures (some areas are unfortunately untextured but they are difficult to notice thanks to the darkness of the level. So I will still give a 7 for lighting and textures) and the lighting which gives a space-like atmosphere to this level (the same thing applies to the audio files provided by the author). I wonder why eRIC is considered a space pioneer at the end of the level. I understand if Michael (he published his levels after all) his wife (?) Lara (she solved his puzzles) and the author himself are considered space pioneers but I still can't find out why eRIC is a member of that group (of all the levels made by Bob he only reviewed 'Lara on the Moon'). I am sorry but I am puzzled by the existence of that picture in this level. The uklogo.pak the load.bmp (Lara's face somehow makes me think of the moon in that bmp file) and the author's title.tom were stunning and they all deal with astronomy one way or another." - Sakusha (17-Aug-2004)

"Seeing as how I used a Walkthrough for the last level I played I thought I'd bite the bullet and try my hand at the one level that I've been too scared to have a look at - until today. And yes; it is absolutely impossible for anyone but Einstein to complete. (Stephen Hawking would probably struggle as well; but only with the keyboard). However armed with the appropriate instructions I strode happily into this; only to come a cropper near the end because of a misplaced Gem. Second time around and it was a complete doodle. Actually despite my aversion to ultra-hard gameplay and futuristic textures I rather enjoyed this excursion. It's nothing if not tranquil. But how to score the Gameplay? Should it get a '10' because of the overly intellectual solutions? Or a zero for the same reason? How about a compromise? I gave it full marks for 'atmosphere sound cameras' however because not only were the surroundings imaginative and colourful and the camera angles effective; but the Designer also included snippets from The Planets Suite by Holst my favourite Composer. And very well utilised they were too. (Incidentally he may want to update this Level by using an excerpt from the recently completed 'addition' to the Suite: 'Pluto' by Colin Mathews). Having said all that anyone who attempts this level without the aid of a Walkthrough would be 1) brave 2) foolish 3) a smart Alek and 4) the sort of person who would also enjoy sticking sharpened pencils into their eyes. You have been warned!" - Orbit Dream (07-Mar-2004)

"Another level by the author where I can't see the logic behind the puzzle. Luckily there's a walkthrough. I suppose the level would have been more fun if I hadn't had to use the walkthrough all the time. Anyway though the gameplay is weak the atmosphere is still quite nice. I especially liked being able to view space from the second room. The level lasts for about fifteen minutes if you can see the logic behind the puzzle or if you use the walkthrough. I don't recommend this level." - Magnus (29-Jan-2004)

"If you fancy something really different take a look at this level but be warned you will almost certainly need the walkthrough as the planet puzzles are far from obvious. This is an alien setting - a space station in fact and very effectively done with the different planets visible from the windows and snippets of The Planet Suite appropriately inserted. Although nobody creates alien environments quite as well as Richard Lawther this is certainly very atmospheric and the ending in the space pioneer room is pure fun. With the walkthrough it's quite a short level. Without it you could be on the space station for days! 23.05.2003" - Jay (24-May-2003)

"Someday I'm going to be able to finish one of Robert's levels without looking at a walkthrough or reading the forum. Ok I wouldn't bet money on that either. This is my favorite level of his though and has you finding 18 gems at the beginning and then placing these gems throughout the level using the planets and the number of moons that each planet has. My favorite thing about this level though besides the clever puzzle is the look of the new textures and the way he put them together and the new music and sound effects. Plus the room with the pictures of the 'Space Pioneers' near the end. It's great that Rob's teaching us all about astronomy but I hope there's not a test on this later." - RaiderGirl (16-Feb-2003)

"Having not mastered Robert's 'Chessboard' I thought I'd give this a try and you guessed it somehow I screwed this up as well. Damn you Robbie damn you! As all the others have said you have to collect 18 gems that are easily found and place them with some logic in sequences according to some planetary moon deal. Well not having the obligatory PhD necessary to play one of Robert's levels I used hit and miss and got through every moon sequence but I got through them using ALL 18 of the gems and then found out I had to have one measly little insignificant blue *add expletive here* gem to enter the end area with the piccies so I replayed it and it still came out with the same result all 18 gems used. This made me quite upset so I then decided to draw my OWN piccie of Robert himself and as you may have guessed again there were things pointy red hot things inserted into orifices that in most parts of the world are not normally humanly possible! Damn you again Robbie damn you!!!" - Sash (12-Dec-2002)

"I think we all know Robert's style by now. He is creative with puzzles that require you to have basic knowledge about a variety of things sometimes it's chess and now it's astronomy. The whole level has to do with planets moons and gems. The player has to collect eighteen gems carefully not to miss one especially in dark corners and place them in the right receptacle. I admit I made it the first time with trial and error and I finally got to the last three holes but I only had one gem therefore I did all again this time with a little help. So I guess it is possible to reach the end in more than one ways but not finish the level because although you would have found eighteen gems you will be missing one at the end if you don't solve this puzzle in the right way. The textures and colours are very nice so is the lighting. In the end there are pictures of real persons and one might seem familiar as it is our good friend and boss lol Michael. If you want to see something different than the usual custom levels then Robert's levels are what you're looking for." - Kristina (07-Nov-2002)

"This level could have been entitled 'A Tribute to Holst' or 'Hal Strikes Again'. If you have no knowledge of the solar system then you will need the walk though. There are no enemies (except the author for setting undoable situations/puzzles). The start needs careful consideration and a good look round but be quick. The first dark level provides all the clues you need if you are an Astronomer. The rope swings and jumps provide one or two tricky situations but can be done (you will get the third rope if you do the right thing). The lowest level provides a series of puzzles (Hint: think satellites) which most folks will need to seek the advice of the nearest encyclopedia. A level with lots of frustration and some unnecessary long runs but the atmosphere and graphics along with the original idea make this a level one must at least look at if not play." - Whistle (10-Sep-2002)

"I really wanted to like this cause I always appreciate it when an author looks for a different approach to level building but all things considered this simply doesn't work. For one thing there are far too many options to get stuck. Not only are all the puzzle sections non resettable but if you forget to backflip right at the start you're short of a gem at the end of the level without being aware what you did wrong. Also there are three slots at the beginning that virtually beg you to place the gem yet if you do that you're gonna be stuck later. I mean that seems to be done deliberately and in my book (and I know a few level builders agree with me) that's a main offence. So you need 18 gems to solve the puzzle and Bob could have done something with the gems but they are just placed at random in the first three rooms of the level. As for the puzzle itself; well either you get it or you don't. If you get it it's kinda boring I guess and if you don't get it it's very frustrating. Me I didn't and let Michael do the work for me. The abstract simple setting is quite good in places especially the night sky outside the big floating cube and I liked the view you get through the red tinted window but on the whole the textures are too one dimensional and poppy resulting in an atmosphere that is just too unreal and artificial. There are a lot of other things that I found slightly irritating like the fixed camera angles walkthrough walls and floors invisible barriers the complete absence of enemies a very long corridor without any purpose whatsoever but really the stuck issue is my main complaint here. The end is really magnificient though and by that I don't mean the photo gallery of Lara and the lads." - Dimpfelmoser (26-Aug-2002)

"An inside info on Bob's technique in this level: the puzzles --- gem pattern and rooms ID --- of ISS101 is based on the all-too-familiar bits and bites (0's and 1's now that's the obvious part) and the esoteric knowledge of the solar system (now this I didn't know till he told me). It might have been easy to figure out that the zeroes and ones of each planet represent their relative formation in the solar sytem (with the sun as the center thus it's 0000 and mercury next so it's 0001 and so on). But it wasn't too obvious for me to figure out that the way you must place those gems are based on the number of moons (or satellites if you will) each planet has! Quite an ingenious and complex basis for a formula but unfortunately the ingenuity and complexity of it all is easily lost bypassed and left 'unfigured' because gamers can just as easily simplify things. Like even if you know not that much about astronomy you may as well discover the gems puzzle the way I just did it --- through trial and error. Caution: the puzzles cannot be reset and once you waste a gem that's it; you need to reload a savegame. There's a tricky part however at the very start. But don't despair as you can still get that one without having to start all over again. In the end you see familiar faces at the hall of the space pioneers. Quite a treat there. This level is the third part of the outer space trilogy --- Planets Lara on the Moon and this. The ambiance is well done as you get the feeling you're really in a space station a la Mir though I would have wanted to see more consoles and computers and spaceship gadgets onboard. The background though I would have wanted again to see more stars resembles the dark outer reaches of the space. The station itself is creditably textured with lots of animated lights. The background sounds of the planets were recorded by Bob himself including Hal's voice of 2001 Space Oddysey. And the one-way doors is another experiment and good attempt I have to admit at achieving difficulty and repetition of routine if you accidentally cross them. By and large a good effort and an interesting level. But like all of Bob's levels this one is short and can be included in a bigger and longer series." - Drew Pizza (26-Aug-2002)

"You know by now what to expect when you play a level by Bob and this one is no different. When you know what to do you get through it in about 15 minutes. To find everything out easily took me about 2-3 hours but was very satisfying when I got it solved. Basically you need to pick up a total of 18 gems and place them in their right slots to progress - so the challenges are to find them all and to understand the logic of placement - well or to do a lot of trial and error and reloading savegames. Which is one of the reasons why my gameplay rating is only 5: If you miss the backflip jump right at the start you will be a gem short and only notice that much later (if at all) the puzzles while smart can not be reset which means a lot of reloading (I wondered why the gems? - those puzzles would work with stepping on the tiles only as well right?). There are ropes which allow you to swing through walls into space and why use invisible walls - would have been nicer to have a texture and then see it 'open' when you get your puzzle right? Oh and why did those climbing walls have to be textured in such a subtle way? - took me forever before I jumped against the outside wall to find out if it holds Lara or not. That all said I really enjoyed the quest and think the atmosphere lighting and textures are great in their simplicity but with nice added animation effects and I thought the short classical music themes for the planets as well as the use of colours in their respective puzzle rooms was smartly done. If you had fun with some of Bob's other levels you certainly will with this one - it is one of his best I think and not only because my picture as a space pioneer is in it ;-)" - Michael (25-Aug-2002)
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