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Level: Ayutthaya - The old Capital back home search
Author(s): holli
total rating:8.17 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
bERT 6 6 7 9
Bex 7 7 10 8
CC 9 7 9 8
Dimpfelmoser 7 7 8 8
DJ Full 8 6 8 8
eRIC 9 9 10 9
G.Croft 9 8 9 8
Gerty 7 7 9 8
Gill 9 8 9 9
Jose 5 7 7 8
Kristina 8 7 8 8
Loren 9 9 10 9
MichaelP 9 8 10 9
Momster 6 6 9 8
RaiderGirl 7 7 8 8
Ryan 8 8 9 9
Sash 10 8 10 10
Selene 8 8 10 10
category averages
(18 reviews)
7.83 7.39 8.89 8.56

Reviewer's comments

"A monstrous level indeed, but definitely masterfully created. I suppose, in hindsight, the criticisms of the reviewers before me are perfectly valid (somewhat tedious backtracking, slightly too many crawlspaces and pole climbs, a bit too much darkness in spots and a bit of a sharp difficulty to some of the tasks) but somehow these never bothered me as much as they usually do. The Cambodian setting is so exquisitely crafted with excellent use of texturing, sunbeams, audio and flybys and the gameplay otherwise well planned out that I found myself having an entertaining time with this one and forgetting those negatives . Enemies are rare, but there are plenty of puzzling aspects to keep you occupied in the form of block puzzles, flipmaps, traps, rope swings, timed runs, artefact hunts and a lot more. The hiding place of the final lion's head was a bit too cheaty and obscure, but the mad sprint for the finish trigger was a neat climax to this rather underrated gem of a level. A shame that this builder never continued with the next parts." - Ryan (01-Feb-2019)

"02h 36m in stats which could be reduced to half, what the burner sequence and the lack of fast return from various puzzles are mostly responsible for. On the graphic side the game is mixed: sometimes the atmosphere is perfect, but in the majority of minor rooms we just have that unicolor green ambience which sucks life out of the game. The level sometimes requires multi-location thinking what can be difficult to understand in the first moment, but is otherwise strong in tasking variety, especially noticeable in the canopic jar room which could be a standalone minilevel itself. SUMMARY: Quite tiring yet largely promising, makes me wanna get more decent Angkor we still don't have much of. Recommended but be patient with it." - DJ Full (14-Aug-2015)

"This is one of the authors who think that in order that a level be good it has to be very difficult, or otherwise more experienced players will not enjoy it plenty and they will not do good remarks. Crass error. In general, the difficult levels do not use to be funny, but tedious for majority players (the ones that do not abandon it). This is one of those cases: too hidden switches, very difficult leaps which is necessary to repeat, another times activating two things with the same trigger and the camera only shows you one of them, like in the case of the canopic jar, so you can get fool later to find it; the swinging ball practically impossible to spot through small holes in the ceiling, there is not enough ammo for the revolver in case that you waste it with another enemies and need it to shoot at a high object ... Definitively, softly my point of view it had not been a well thought-out level. On the other hand the environment is good, I liked the architecture and the texturization, some rooms with well-earned lights, although in general the surroundings are too dark and there are not enough flares, also I missed more enemies and one or two more medipacks and extra weapons. It is not a level thought about majority players." - Jose (24-Nov-2010)

"The title of this level has been tempting me since I first started playing custom levels, but for some reason I've never gotten that far. That all changed today when I thought I'd play it for some "quick fun". What I got was quite the opposite though.....this is without doubt the longest stand-alone level I've ever played!!!! According to the statistics it took me no less than 3 hours and 18 minutes and I had a blast for approximately 2 hours until I realised that all I was doing was running around in circles, coping with an overly tedious amount of backtracking. I must have covered the exact same ground 16 times over and without all that going back and forth it could easily have been done in less than half the time. At least it helped getting more familiar with the area, but all the crawlspaces and the going up and down the same pole half a dozen times at least drew it out even further. That(and that alone) is what drew the gameplay down for my part. The fire wraith chase through the corridor with the fire-breathing statues, the lionhead in the last room, the beetles that sucked 4 medipacks out of Lara in no time and the last timed run were challenges that had me on the verge of giving up. Apart from this I have nothing bad to say about the level......and for being a debut: WOW!!!!! This is by far among the best constructed temple levels I've ever seen........I've seldom seen anything so gorgeous and life-like. Almost every room had me in awe and with the splendid use of the Angkor Wat textures that alone is worth playing this level for. The music fit in like a hand in a glove and the transition between the various pieces never felt out of place or inappropriate. The lighting was stunning in some areas, but unfortunately completely lacking in others. I loved the use of the enemies(bar the beetles that is): crocodiles, warthogs, bats and even the horseman from TRC(absolutely BRILLIANT). The traps were fabulously set up and while some were a bit stressful they were never too much to handle. I found three secrets: two golden skulls that you had to find in order to get access to the third.....great idea!!!! I've seen some really lovely preview screens from the sequel to this terrific level and if the author can make the level a tad shorter and lose about 85 % of the backtracking(and crawlspaces) I believe it can become a perfect 12 out of 10. Either ways I'm really looking forward to it. This level might be a tad hard for complete beginners, but I'd nonetheless recommend it to anyone...only to see the stunning artwork if not for anything else. Be warned though that you DO need all the patience you can get for this one as it's neither short nor easy, but if you're prepared for this you're in for one heck of a treat." - Selene (02-Jun-2006)

"I was going through some older levels and came across this beauty. I don't know how I could have missed this gem of adventure. After the initial flyby, the atmosphere and music had got a grip on me and off I went again, totally submerged into yet another mission of Lara Croft. In this Old Capital level, every movement and turn had me suspense, wondering what might lay ahead of me and around next corner. The environment, game-play and surroundings, was just my cup of tea. Plenty of buttons to push, to solve the puzzle with the statues with fire. Lots of nooks and cranny's to explore for all those important and well hidden treasures, buttons and jump-switches, so indeed you will be doing plenty of exploring in this one. You will be doing some target shooting for swinging balls and lion heads, some of which are very well hidden and are not easy to spot, so a keen eye is needed here. Also keep a lookout for those well hidden crawlspaces too, so I suggest you bring your binoculars along for this one. You'll be dodging boulders and avoiding spike-traps, finding pushable blocks and just to keep your adrenalin pumping even more, a few timed runs are thrown in as well. Your enemies will include warthogs, crocodiles, fire wraiths, swarms of bats and a horseman. Gosh what an adventure, as soon as I entered this level, I knew I would enjoy it and that I did, I loved it. Where has this level builder gone, this being the first level built by this author, this is an excellent piece of work." - Gill (31-May-2006)

"A very long and great level for explorers in old Cambodia ruins with some good and sometimes not so obvious puzzles. The author has made an amazing work in the design to create an authentic feel of a real Khmer ruins. I enjoyed the camera work, especially the view of the mechanism that opens the trapdoor , or the jumps of the camera in the same sequence which is almost never seen in custom levels. Many hints are given to solve the tasks at hand, but even though they are not all obvious. There are some very minor mistakes and the lighting could be better in some places. Also there is some backtracking , but on the whole the different areas interact in a good way. Great map for a professional work !" - eRIC (09-Sep-2005)

"This is a challenging level not so much for its enemies which are few but for its devious traps and well-designed puzzles. The game is set in Cambodia using textures from both Angkor Wat and Race for the Iris from TLR as well as many of the objects from Angkor Wat. (Oddly the author chose to use the plinth from The Tomb of Seth rather than the plinth from Race for the Iris which would have fit in better.) One particularly noticeable deficit given the broad extent of the level was the paucity of medipaks especially in a room where Lara has to obtain a Hand of Sirius while avoiding swarms of beetles. (The author placed only two large medipaks and four small medipaks in the entire level.) One shootable switch near the end was extremely well hidden but necessary in order to finish the level. Baddies (besides the aforementioned beetles) consisted of four warthogs three crocodiles two fire wraiths swarms of bats and one horseman (Vladimir the demon from Old Mill in Chronicles). There were three Secrets of which the first two (Golden Skulls) were required in order to obtain the third (the Stone of Maat). The atmosphere is beautifully set and sound and music are well used. Lighting is a bit flat in places but this isn't generally a problem. Ayutthaya - The Old Capital completed in just under two hours receives my hearty recommendation. Since the level ends with Lara entering a dark new area I assume that the author intends to continue with one or more levels in this series and I look forward to his next submission." - Loren (04-Sep-2003)

"If it wasn't for the target shooting you need to do this level would be a perfect young Lara level. Set in Angkor Wat. Textures are very good (but the colours are clashing in some rooms and it didn't look right to me anyway) architecture is very good you do get to go outside as well as in caves and temple rooms but by the time the level was finished I was all Angkor Wat'ed out I'd had enough and as the old saying goes 'enough is as good as a feast'. You certainly get your moneys worth. There's an awful lot of stuff to do especially crawlspaces (a LOT) pole climbing chain-pulling swimming monkey swinging shimmying shooting gems in lion's mouths/metal balls jumping timed-runs rope-swinging dodging boulders outrunning beetles and warthogs outwitting a great looking dead knight setting fire to floorboards crawling past fire breathing dragon statues drowning fire wraiths a good few intriguing block pushing puzzles that horrifying giant spikes-from-all-directions trap tile pushing lever pushing wall switches and probably the most annoying of all the constant re-visiting of rooms. Perhaps this is the main reason why I was glad when I finished. And what about that final timed-run that final swim and the final flyby with Lara saying something I couldn't understand but is that final camera shot a clue to a future level? For a first attempt this is a magnificent job well done Steven." - CC (09-Jun-2003)

"It's rare I guess but it does happen that I come across a level that I deem massively underrated. This is one of them. It again proves that Sash's and my taste in terms of custom levels seem to be rather aligned. Yes ok - there is a bit too much crawling and there are a few tedious bits and when you need to pass an area for the forth or fifth time there is a sense of annoyance slowly developing but hey all is forgiven in such a fabulous setting with great music added just the right portion of flybys thrown in and two hours of net gameplay that wonderfully opens up the place as you keep coming back to rooms just on a different level as you pick up and place a gem three hands two snake talisman's and a canopic jar (Vase of inspiration). Enemies are few (warthogs crocodiles beetles bat swarms and two fire wraiths and a horseman). There are three secrets (two golden skulls and the Stone of Maat) which are well placed and fun to get and there is a sequence of rather clever puzzles and courses to master involving burners spike traps boulders pushable blocks a timed trapdoor shooting gems out of lion's mouths and the good old burning floor from the library wad is here as well. I found it to be a very inspiring game and the cute 'cliffhanger' at the end makes me wait for the sequel very much." - Michael (01-Feb-2003)

"Using the Angkor Wat textures the atmosphere and rooms in this level were absolutely amazing - I'm glad the author didn't make this a young Lara level though. As far as gameplay is concerned I'm not too sure yet. It's a huge level with many many areas with much going back and forth - annoying when all the areas are connected by crawlspaces monkey swings difficult jumps etc. Plus there are a lot of doors to open or changes to be made by pulling switches or using an object and with no camera work I never knew what I had just done so had to start going from area to area again. After running around for an hour I had just about given up ever finding what to do next when I found that next crucial switch and decided to hang in there for a while. I don't often feel that relieved after finishing a level." - RaiderGirl (23-Jan-2003)

"This is not an easy walk down the lane. A lot of tricks and traps search your way through and keep an eye open for shootable objects. The rooms fit well into each other and some rooms you think you may have missed you come to later in the game so don't worry! Good looking surroundings and a great deal of atmosphere." - G.Croft (05-Jan-2003)

"This was an exhausting level at least I thought so. As a debut I only can applaud but to be honest I like them a bit brighter as it was a bit too dark at places. Very tedious were those crawling places as well some short and some long and some of them you have to crawl through again and again. That ruins the fun a bit in my opinion. This is a level you have to take your time as there is so much to explore. Had to take notes as this is not a straightforward level and you need to know where everything is. There aren't that many enemies but I didn't miss them. Still hate the beetles and even starting to dislike the locust not even to mention the wraiths but still you can get rid of those. Luckily there were some players before me as some items are very hard to spot. The Angkor atmosphere is great and there are so many nooks and crannies so do look in all of them. I would have liked some more camera work as I found myself wondering around like a woman without a purpose. And THAT I hate. 17-12-2002" - Gerty (22-Dec-2002)

"If it wasn't for the bug I encountered I might have given this level higher marks. It is a little difficult, personally I don't like dark ones because you can easily miss things and the flares don't help much. I found no secrets although there are three according to the author, I saw at least three places I couldn't access so I suspect the secrets were in those areas. The player will have to walk through spikes, shimmy around, get into holes, crawl a lot, in one place you get to visit four times if I am not mistaken a little annoying crawling back and forth. Three hands, two serpents and a canopic jar are needed to progress. All the areas are similar to the Angkor Wat level, I mean the textures and the way the rooms are built. The statues with fire puzzle was quite good but there are too many switches and levers to push-pull. Coming to the bug I mentioned above, near the end I needed the laser-sight otherwise I couldn't finish and it had mysteriously disappeared. Fortunately the author was very helpful and kindly sent me a savegame after my request at that area so I was able to finish the level. A horseman that looked like the demon in one of the TRC levels was a nice touch. Hardly any enemies except some annoying beetles and bats in flocks, I could use some more medipacks though. It is worth the three hours if you have the patience." - Kristina (13-Dec-2002)

"Sun Dec 8 2002. 'Dear diary this evening I started playing a new TR-level set in Angkor Wat textures. It has a nice pace some nice sections like the one with the gallery of fire breathing statues (well done) and I'm getting flashes of perfect 10's like I had when I played Munakata's The lost valley.' Mon Dec 9. 'Sweet diary I've reached a section where I collected 3 Hands of Sirius and two snakes. All a bit straightforward I'm afraid spirit of Munakata having gone though there was one clever room with ceiling holes where you had to look well to notice a metal ball that you had to shoot.' Thu Dec 12. 'Diarrhea that's what I'm having right now after running around for 4 evenings with a backpack full of garbage that I can't place because all my flares are used for searching every corner even in between the two rolling doors and discovered at least one illegal slope where you can get stuck. I'm getting in a bad level mood because I'm desperate to do what I never want to do: go to the forum or a walkthrough.' Fri Dec 13 8.00 am. '38 years old and still holding a diary? Am I becoming senile or what? 8.30 am. Been to the forum... For crying out loud: the place to be WAS that friggin' crawl space between the two rolling doors! 9.00 am. I want to finish this @&]$$! of a level. Forum again. WHAAAAAAAAAAAT! Another stupid crawling space above a door where you have to swing to and of which again I have to believe it's clever because it's hidden because of the friggin' darkness????? Proceeding...but...can it be true...did I hear that familiar end tune when that door opened yes please say yes...! 01.00 pm NOOOOOOOOOO! It was not! I'm in the darkest phase of this level now (oh I love that...with no flares...my tongue on the floor...) and I mean pitch black. Another lion head to shoot finally got rid of those two snake thingies and...an end sequence that looks as the author became bored with his own level. End scene: close up of a man eating what seems to be a diary. Final note to the author: this level showed you have ALL the skills to create brilliance out of existing textures objects and such but I'm afraid you've done the bad thing that ruins it all for me: endless backtracking and totally unnecessary darkness (certainly those last corridors before the room where you had to place both snake objects) and unnecessary movies of obvious opening doors and a lack of movies where a slight hint might have saved the day. Otherwise: don't take me too serious!" - bERT (13-Dec-2002)

"Oh no you two grizzle assed misers (Dimpf and Momster) didn't! How could you rate such a wonderful stunning intriguing involving unfolding level so low? Alright I'll forgive you both this time but just remember Dimpf I haven' reviewed 'The Lost Valley' yet and yes that's a threat! (To the uninitiated I really love 'em!) Okay back to the review. This 2 hour Angkor inspired level just drew me in from the start and kept me sucked in right to the end with as I said the fantastic way it unfolded. There is I have to admit one section of crawling and one pole climb that is used a little too many times but with the level being so long there was enough space between for me not to care too much. Enemies here are practically non-existent but the level is so full and atmospheric I never missed them one bit either. The gameplay in this is just so imaginative and it helps if you are quite observant as there are a couple of times that a good eye is all you need but I didn't find this unfair I found it a challenge. There is also a section in the game that after using a gem you then have to collect a Canopic jar you can see in the grated ceiling above and this area could have made a wonderful little level in and of itself it was so fun. If this really is Steven's first level then he has to be congratulated because it is just an absolute masterpiece in my eyes!" - Sash (12-Dec-2002)

"Is this really Steven's first level? If so applause is deserved. It's been a long time since I played a debut which had so much atmosphere it really pulls you in from the start and makes you want to see what's around the next corner or through the next door. I'm not usually a great fan of the Angkor wad for some reason (maybe it brings back memories of Von Croy and Young Lara having tedious conversations in TR Chronicles) but in this case it's perfect. One of the things I liked so much about this level was the fact that there are hardly any enemies the emphasis here is on exploration. Also there are some tricky jumps to make and a couple of good timed runs into the bargain not to mention a few good puzzles (especially during your quest for the torch) and some well-hidden lions' heads to shoot (one perhaps TOO well-hidden). Music is used well throughout and there are lots of landmarks to help you find your way back to certain places. Speaking of which I must mention the downsides: Firstly there is a LOT of backtracking to be done quite a bit of which involves repeating a pretty tricky jump from a certain step to reach a pole. OK you don't usually have to go very far when you need to backtrack in this level but returning to the same area three or four times does become a little boring after a while and it does adversely affect the gameplay at times. As others have said though the main flaw of this level is that it's just too long. It took me over 4 hours to complete and my personal view is that if Steven had squeezed everything into half of this time he would have a near-classic on his hands. I am very much looking forward to the follow-up to 'Ayutthaya' though because the author obviously has tremendous potential." - Bex (12-Dec-2002)

"In my humble opinion this is a brilliantly built level with huge amounts of potential gone bad. The Angkor wad is beautifully done and just oozes 'I can't wait to explore'. Unfortunately there's a bit too much exploration too much useless back and forthing which became downright tedious and although I've been in a raiding slump of late over 4 hours for this level is inexcusable. On the other hand if this is truly an author's debut it is a fine one. It just seems as though he got carried away trying to make it longer and it would have garnered a much higher gameplay score from me had it been shorter. Add to that the fact that the 4th hand seems impossible the door to the right of the ladder in the big pool area not to mention that lions head at the end over which I started getting silver hair. Do download it though for it is (or could be) a wonderfully enjoyable level just be prepared for the negatives." - Momster (07-Dec-2002)

"This level is too long for its own good. Well with 255 rooms it's pretty big to start with and then you have to do a lot of backtracking but what really slows down the pace and ruins the fun to some degree are the omnipresent crawlspaces that you have to pass over and over again. There is one crawlspace that I had to do no less than eight times. This backtracking doesn't really go with the story. In fact it is fairly obvious that it's all put in there to drag out the net gaming time to three hours (and I didn't even get the fourth hand). This is a shame really cause the setting is quite good the area cleverly constructed and the puzzles are pretty neat. It would have been an entertaining adventure if there weren't all those crawlspaces. Also some things are too cleverly hidden for my liking. Take the last lion's head for instance; it is placed inside some treelike structure in a way that you can only see it from a certain point. This really seems too far fetched I think and thus destroys the illusion of reality. All you can think of is the author sitting in front of this computer piecing this level together and making it a long one. The Angkor atmosphere is great there are a few tricky jumps and I really liked how the rooms interacted. Enemies don't play a major part; the fire elementals and beetles provide some excitement; apart from that you'll encounter only a few swarms of black butterflys (or baby bats) a couple of boars crocodiles and the re-tuxtered horseman (brilliant). Actually I don't think you have to fight the horseman as he doesn't leave you anything. This levels is fun at times with its great variety of tasks but it seems so huge and the environment is simply not that great that you want to crawl through it forever." - Dimpfelmoser (06-Dec-2002)
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