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Level: Green Secret back home search
Author(s): Tanne
total rating:7.89 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Andi Croft 10 8 9 10
Dimpfelmoser 8 6 8 8
Gerty 8 7 8 8
Jose 7 7 7 7
Kristina 8 8 9 9
MichaelP 8 7 9 9
Mman 6 8 7 7
Momster 7 6 8 9
Mulf 6 7 8 7
Phil 9 8 8 7
RaiderGirl 8 7 8 9
Ryan 8 8 8 8
Sash 8 7 9 9
Torry 9 9 9 7
category averages
(14 reviews)
7.86 7.36 8.21 8.14

Reviewer's comments

"This is quite a complex and engaging game for being released nearly 16 years ago. You would do well to keep the walkthrough not too far away as there are plenty of switches that blend in well and that are hidden in dark corners, not to mention a complex and intertwining layout to all three levels. With the walkthrough's guidance, I had a good time despite there being no real complicated puzzles. The first jungle level is really quite realistic, although dark in places and was by far the most atmospheric and involving while the final two were little more than quick transfers to the next level. The guards were a bit overdone in my opinion, but the secrets are really well thought out, require some planning beforehand and are worthwhile to get. The heart may not have had a real use, but I nonetheless had a good time here." - Ryan (05-Jun-2018)

"Freshly returned from Green Base, how could I not follow it up with Green Secret? Turns out that the latter, released only a few months after the former, is - just like its near-namesake - one of the many bases in which Forbidden Experiments on Extraterrestrials take place (because of course they do), although this one has been secreted in a jungle somewhere. So the title "Green Base" may have been taken, but "Green Secret" fits the bill perfectly anyway: an occurrence so rare in the world of TRLE that I'm going to award the level one extra point solely for that achievement.

In other respects, however, the level is much more difficult to rate. On paper, the two green levels may seem to be mere variations on the same theme, but there's a world of difference between them. While Green Base is an unintentionally hilarious, buggy mess that is over within minutes (though not without its merits in the design department), Green Secret is an epic three-level adventure, fairly accomplished in design and varied in gameplay at least in level 1, which first sends you on a quest through a lush TR3-style jungle Environment - complete with a village full of hostile natives (make sure you pick up the shotgun here, as enemy density will increase sharply later on) and a temple full of traps, presumably in search of an entrance to that elusive base, although as a player you don't know it at the time since you're not being given any kind of directive. When you enter that crawlspace in the temple at the end of level 1, level 2 loads, and you find yourself suddenly transported to a storage room, and immediately under fire. One would expect level 2, which is quite short, to act as a transition between the two vastly different environments, but this is not the case: the only indication that you're about to enter a different environment is the modern chain-link fence texture you can see at the end of that crawlspace, and the jungle theme is not reprised at any point later in the game.

As the reviews show, not a few players found themselves let down by this unexpected switch; and while the base is very well designed (it features some interesting takes on architecture and is one of the best-designed bases I've seen in a custom level so far), gameplay deteriorates dramatically in this second part, as it becomes a repetitive shooting and button-pushing spree punctuated by long bouts of crawling and backtracking. The usual enemies-SAS, a lot of them; plus a few dogs (who make no sounds, one of the few technical errors to be encountered here) make their predictable appearance at every turn, and are often even badly placed, as they implausibly pop into existence in your back after you've cleared the area. Now, there's obviously no safer way of killing off a shooter than by bad enemy placement, but the icing on the cake was when I found myself terminally stuck after pulling an underwater ceiling switch close to the end of the game, although there was no indication that it might be unwise to save in that spot. I could finish the level only by means of a savegame purveyed by the inestimable vimmers; words fail me if I try to describe the uncanny degree of his skills, so I'll use his own: he's "good, very very good". (Thanks, vim!)

So, the situation here is pretty much the same as in Miss Kroft's Assuan, which I described as 'what used to be called a "Super Sound Single": a decent hit followed by two outtakes'. That's not to say that the first level doesn't come with flaws of its own: I found the gameplay in the area where you pick up the second 'hand' too contrived; inside the temple, it often gets unnecessarily dark; it's possible to reach the bottom of the bottomless pit (by a sequence of fairly tricky jumps, during which I hoped, in vain, to find another secret); many of the boulders are glorified booby-traps, in the sense that there's no way of not getting killed by them the first time around; there's a redundant monkeyswing in the village, and another one that's incompletely marked; and, having recently lambasted a different builder for mounting a jumpswitch on a wall of ice, I'm disappointed to see a much more accomplished builder mount them merrily on greenery and trees: why not do it the way Core did it in TR3's "Coastal Village", using switches mounted on walls and connected to ropes that suggest an unseen mechanism? Even so, gameplay in the first level is, all things considered, solid and entertaining, and the swamp that had so many reviewers stumped is in fact very easy to get across: the safe path is marked, with suitable subtlety, by the reeds in it (and the fixed camera is needed here to prevent the camera from passing below the water surface). I'll agree with Dimpf: the first level would have profited from a standalone release; but the base part, too, might have met with a better reception as a standalone, as in that case you would have known at least in broad outline what you're in for. Combined in a single package, and with no transition between them, the two parts feel like an awkward and arbitrary omnium-gatherum." - Mulf (28-Jan-2018)

"Despite having no backstory there's a nice story communicated here as you find a hidden base in a Jungle where aliens are being experimented with. The visuals are general okay, but various flaws show, like various stretched textures and crack- filled underwater areas, waterfalls also move inconsistently, and sometimes even move the wrong way. The last two levels are more consistent in their visuals, but they're also mostly pretty simple in terms of geometry. There are some interesting sloped room designs though. In general too much important stuff gets cloaked in darkness, such that it tends to be the decorative stuff that's bright and the important stuff that's dark. The first map's gameplay is okay but it feels lacking a certain flow, and, while it's not too big or especially backtrack heavy if you miss something it felt like it could give more hints about certain things. The second map is the shortest by far, and only a few areas, it has an annoying bit of vent backtracking though. The third map is the meat of the base area, and it becomes a borderline shooter with guards everywhere. There's also a moment with an invisible shimmy crack that seemed completely unnecessary. There are some nice rooms but you spend most of your time in the small rooms around them, and I felt it started to outstay it's welcome a bit by the end. It's decent enough but it definitely seems to have aged somewhat. It ends on a preview of another set (a sequel?) that apparently never released, which is unfortunate as the better parts here show a lot of potential." - Mman (19-Oct-2015)

"For a level set that was released nearly a decade ago, this one is remarkably polished, and I'm amazed that it's taken so long for me to discover it. The lone drawback is a pervasive darkness that took a lot of the fun out of my gaming experience. I manufactured unlimited flares for myself quite early on, and I found myself flicking them one after the other so I could see where I was going and what I was doing. Sure didn't take builders long to discover my pet peeve. This is a three-parter, the first part of which takes place in a jungle setting, the second two parts in a base-type setting. The middle part is very short, almost like an interlude, but all told I spent nearly three hours here. The gameplay is quite complex, and I'm glad I had Dutchy's walkthrough close by for frequent reference. For those just now joining the TR community who may think that the sophistication of level building has been slowly evolving over the years, this is a good example to demonstrate that crisp competent levels were being churned out back in the early days of the level editor. Recommended for an immersive raid." - Phil (24-Feb-2012)

"Lara searching for aliens again; this time not in Nevada, but in a base in the jungle. First level was good, but very very dark so you need to use flares often. Second and third levels were tedious and bored, 'cause there were excessive enemies to shoot (one behind each corner) and a loooooot of crawlspaces to cross which make the gameplay more slowly and tedious. Also there are very few puzzles, only a moveable crates puzzle in last level was interesting; rest of the game you'll be pulling switches, pushing buttons placing objects to open doors and shooting thousands of enemies (enough guns but not enough ammo). I've missed some cameras when triggering something too. Not bad but not for my taste." - Jose (15-Oct-2010)

"Blood sweat and tears as this is the third time I started this level but now I finally finished it. What is the problem you may ask well the gloomy atmosphere has a good deal to do with it. No do read on as the level itself isn't that dark but the problem is to find the very well hidden and blended levers you need for progression. The first level is a jungle level and I do love jungle levels. For a long time I had no idea what the first lever did right after the fall into the water but thanks to Andre I finally got to use it. The lever you have to find on top of one of the huts is very easy to get at it as you can climb on the hut and don't need that monkey climb at all. The swamp is the pits so save before entering it. Next lever where a lot of folks got stranded is behind a waterfall so jump everywhere you can in that area and you can get to it. Another place I got stuck is where you get your second hand also two levers very nicely hidden on some trees. The boulder trap had me reloading quite often but I made it. And there is an very breathtaking underwater swim so save as you have to get familiar with the way you have to go. The other two levels are base levels. Soldiers and dogs and finding buttons cards keys and a fuse. Also after using the fuse I was mighty stuck thanks to Levelbase and I praise myself lucky that I can read German. There is a block puzzle and remember that after pushing you might try to pull the same block. Do look very good in this level as I got completely lost almost at the end my tip is make it back again to the underwater fan. There are enough goodies to find and also almost all weapons. Found 4 secrets. 07-02-2004" - Gerty (24-Feb-2004)

"Like with almost everyone else I enjoyed the first part of this 3 level game the most with the lush jungle environment to explore but that doesn't mean that the last two were bad at all in fact though set in a base it still had a different feel from the norm that it was still fun just very different from what you would expect given the first level. I would say in all three levels you don't really find any puzzles apart from a tight timed run/pole climb and a movable block puzzle in the last but the search through the environments was a real blast again especially in the first. Enemies natives and giant scorpions in the first and SAS dogs and some nibbly rats in the last two were easily dealt with because of weaponry but they still added a nice element to the game as they were put in fairly compromising positions. With a combined game time of 130 minutes of play and 5 secrets found with only 4 registering this was a really nice set of levels but I would have loved it if the jungle theme had made its way into all three levels. Just watch out for that damned swamp in one as it is a pain in the behind!" - Sash (18-May-2003)

"It starts in a jungle area with huts and it's kind of on the dark side but with just the right lighting. The puzzles aren't very original but there are some well-hidden jump switches you also need two hands and two masks. Many key cards and plugs to collect later on which made me get bored. Fighting natives and occasionally kill a crocodile or two you reach the second part which is very short and I believe is just a link to the third part. After that there are a lot of SAS guards to deal with so watch your health and ammo as well as looking for items they might have dropped. Many moving blocks climbing jumping some mice expect you further in the level. The alien element at the third part and the texturing creates kind of a lab atmosphere. I had a problem with a timed door though it looks like after pulling the switch you have to wait a second and then start running otherwise the door doesn't open that had me searching around for some time to find out what door opened until I realized the above problem. I found two secrets and I wasn't able to get the goodies from the center of the big structure near the end of the level. An earthquake occurs and Lara is able to escape from the area. It will keep you occupied for about two and a half hours." - Kristina (07-Mar-2003)

"This level consists of 3 parts the first being in a totally different atmosphere from the other 2 parts. Part 1 is set in a very green very lush jungle so well done you can almost feel the humidity. Frankly I would have enjoyed this level much more had it been totally set in the jungle scenario. Very nice gameplay and camera work while collecting some hands and masks while dealing with quite few headhunters one particularly hard to spot jump switch and a deadly pond of green muck that was MOST difficult to get through. Lara must sadly leave the jungle for a base scenario which although well done by no means compares to the previous adventure. In the rather short part 2 and longer part 3 Lara encounters guards at every turn and it became a bit mundane and boring after a while with lots of buttons to push key cards to acquire some well done aliens and a push block puzzle fairly difficult. Cut scenes were fairly plentiful and helpful." - Momster (23-Jan-2003)

"This set of three levels will set you back three hours of raiding time. The first and last are rather involved with lots of thinking to do to try and locate the correct paths to find switches pass codes or keys. The middle level is quite simple and seems to be only a conduit so that you can arrive at the base via the jungle areas you had been previously negotiating. There are many many enemies to ward off and although health packs are about they should be used wisely. In the jungle level the local natives certainly take a dislike to our heroine whilst the base is infested with those blasted SAS and the odd guard dog. The object here is to locate and steal the alien heart and the depiction of the dissected aliens is quite cleverly portrayed. Both areas are a miasma of passageways crawl spaces and conduits so it is very easy to become disorientated but stick with it as the heart is worth the effort. Like stealing a young ladies heart always difficult but in the end rewarding." - Torry (22-Jan-2003)

"This is a great level. In the first level Lara is walking through the jungle. There are some natives. The puzzles in the first part were too hard and the switches were on too dark places. But the graphics is very great. In the next two levels Lara is in the Area 51. These two levels I found better than the first. There are many soldiers and I had to find some objects. On one place a lot of rats were coming and they followed me in all rooms for a long time. You find all weapons you need and the ammunition is rare I like that. But I don't know why the revolver and the crossbow were in the same room. I had to find movable objects. The puzzles in the last two parts were not so hard but you must look in all corners. A hard timed-door you must spend some time by this. I was playing 3:23 hours in this fine level and I found only one secret. You must play this level." - Andi Croft (05-Jan-2003)

"Part 1 (8/8/10/10 75 min. 1 secret): Lara in combat outfit with a neat tattoo on the arm drops into an utterly fantastic and very intricate jungle environment with waterfalls fogs a little village with huts - all really quite convincing. There are a bunch of natives some giant scorpions and bats roaming and have a good look out for the flare pickups as it is rather dark and moody. You will need two hands and later two masks to progress and the level was quite tricky for me with well hidden jump switches spikes and boulders rope swings but giving a great sense of accomplishment as you progress. You then get inside and again the setting is well done if a little dark with a few more diverse puzzles and action (especially liked the room with the 'running fires' igniting the oil). I found only one secret (the crossbow) and found the mud pool a little annoying with its camera angles. Part 2 (7/7/8/9 20 min.): Setting changes completely and rather for the worse. Beginning in a warehouse room this turns into a Base Level. With buttons to press SAS and dogs to kill and quite a bit of crawling to do. At least the movable blocks were a bit of fun and there was a key card and a yellow fuse to find. Part 3 (8/7/8/9 45 min. 2 secrets): Still a base setting but with the 'alien touch' this works better than Part 2. You find the alien heart early but I never actually did anything with it. Three key cards and two plugs to find and probably almost 50 guards to kill which really got a bit out of hand here. I like the movable block areas and overall the trip is fun up to the short earthquake sequence at the end with debris coming down from the ceiling. The ending is rather abrupt with a neat reference to a website. Bottomline you don't want to miss Part 1 especially if you like jungle settings." - Michael (21-Dec-2002)

"Though I'm not sure why this series is called 'Green Secret' (I did find three secrets but none were green) I had a great time playing through this adventure that has Lara searching for the entrance to a secret lab that is hiding some scary alien experiments. To find this entrance she must search a jungle for a few well hidden jump switches two hands and two masks while dodging head hunters bats and giant scorpions - plus there are some exciting moments that involve collapsible tiles spikes jump switches and rolling boulder traps that are sure to have you reloading at least a few times. The first level ends and Lara is suddenly in a storage room under fire from a few soldiers and the short second level seems to be just getting further into the lab. The third level involves finding a fair amount of cards and switches to get around plus a well done pushable block puzzle with rats nibbling at your heels and a large amount of dogs and soldiers to kill along the way. Sounds like more of the same but the great atmosphere in the last two levels constructed with good texturing lighting flybys and music plus some great effects and exploring make what could be a boring mission fun to play. The jungle is especially well crafted and well worth a look." - RaiderGirl (21-Dec-2002)

"I find this rather difficult to rate as the first half of the trilogy is an utterly enchanting Jungle adventure with a great gameplay while the second half is a fairly ordinary base experience with far too many crawls and SAS guards. You start out in a magnificent setting - coastal village style- and you have to explore to find those crucial jump switches. There are monkey swings in the trees which serve no purpose as far as I can tell. For instance one leads you to a set of shootable bones and that would suggest that you have to go and look for the revolver and laser sight but it seems that all the bones are merely decoration. Funnily enough you get the laser sight in the third part without really needing it. On you run jump and swim to collect two hands and two masks until you finally leave for a more modern place. I liked the boulder traps the quagmire the camerawork and the steady flow that incorporates just the right amount of exploring. The only enemies are some bats and a few savages that are sourced from the ninjas. There is a great diversity in the different areas but every room manages to conjure up that mystical exotic vibe that suits the storyline so well. The second part is already set in the base but it's fairly short. In part three you get more of the same and though the base itself is quite spooky (with suspended aliens and the likes) the constant killing becomes somewhat tedious after a while. I liked the intricate course that more than once brought you back to the main path in a roundabout fashion and although the whole area is fairly complex you usually get a cut scene should you need it. There is a pushable block puzzle to solve access cards to find and a lot of buttons to push. I reckon Tanne should have released those as two separate levels as I'm pretty sure the jungle part would get a far higher rating as a standalone adventure. Oh and I thought that Lara's facial injuries looked damn scary. All in all more than two hours of top quality raiding and should you be a fan of the base type level you might not even see the second part as a bit of an anti-climax." - Dimpfelmoser (10-Dec-2002)
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