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Level: Beneath back home search
Author(s): Marksdad
total rating:7.32 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
bERT 7 6 8 6
CC 8 7 8 7
eRIC 7 7 7 7
G.Croft 9 7 9 9
Gerty 8 7 8 8
Jerry 6 3 5 5
Jose 6 7 8 8
Kristina 7 7 7 8
MichaelP 7 6 7 7
Phil 9 9 9 9
RaiderGirl 9 8 9 9
Ryan 7 7 7 8
Sash 7 6 8 8
Treeble 8 7 7 7
TrueRaider 8 7 6 6
category averages
(15 reviews)
7.53 6.73 7.53 7.47

Reviewer's comments

"This is a short and crisp four-parter situated in a variety of different settings: Lara's Mansion, settomb, City, Cleopatra's Palaces and finally back to Lara's Mansion for the final escape amidst some ninjas and the collapsing house. Enemies really make their presence known in Level 3 with hordes of SAS and an incredibly tricky machine gun sequence, which I accomplished by pure luck. There are some nice little gameplay elements though, such as some trigger tile puzzles and timed runs, so this could be worth a look as an in-between raid." - Ryan (12-Jul-2017)

"This levels are better than the previous ones, at least better textured, better architecture, and better atmosphere. Not great puzzles, but you'll find a lot of traps here and many tricky tasks. I can't understand the absence of pickups except in first level, 'cause in the last levels I was about to abandone the game and I had to reload many times to save ammo and medipacks. What I suffered: in the room with the blue wraith and the machine gun I was not able to cross without get on fire so I had to play very quick jumping the next block and ledges to the small water hole in the next room wasting a lot of medipacks; later, in the small room with the harpy and Lara's statue was very difficult to kill it 'cause the small space, and I wasted almost all my ammo and the remaining medipacks. That way I got many problems in the last part of the level with the skeletons and in the final level with the red ninjas. Not a piece of cake, I think this levels were intended exclusively for experienced players. So it's your choice to download and play them." - Jose (30-Aug-2016)

"The builder states in the readme this level being his last one. According to the level list it is at least his 8th, and I am sorry to say that it rather looks a little like being his first. Rooms are very angular shaped and often seem to be textured randomly and tapestry-like, and lighting could have been done better as well. Not to mention the missing camera hints when pulling a switch or using a puzzle item and then again those fixed cameras whenever there was a tricky situation with boulders on my heels or later on when driving the bike through narrow passageways in a maze-like room. There are some rooms that seem to be thrown in with the only purpose of being a trap room with no connectedness to the plot. In one place with a water hole and an ice ghost I had severe graphic problems with non-textured walls around. On the whole gameplay is not bad and even challenging at times with timed runs, jumps and traps to master and a couple of enemies to shoot. But altogether it was not enough to make this level set something extraordinary. But I had a good laugh at the beginning seeing Lara's outlandish bedfellow lying in her bed." - Jerry (13-Jul-2009)

“My main purpose in playing this five-level set (11/04) was to write the walkthrough and I was surprised to find a 10-page document when I was through. I imagine the extra verbiage is to describe the many difficult jumps and puzzles you encounter along the way because there are a couple of occasions where a platform or a ledge (seemingly there for a reason) must be ignored if you're to progress successfully. I enjoyed this adventure a great deal and would recommend it to everyone. It's challenging without being frustratingly difficult and the changes in Lara's house from the first mini-level to the last were reminiscent of the Recon Lab series. I needed Ian's help in a couple of places but everything is quite fairly laid out once you understand it. Download it and play it.” - Phil (11-Nov-2004)

“Ha ha there's an Egyptian guy on Lara's bed. The poor old devil is worn out causing havoc he just had to lie down for a minute. Well I presume it's Lara's bed. Cool house though especially the vaults where you place the cartouche. There's a nice little story here. Briefly Ian says it's the house built by Howard Carter over the caves where he was convinced the 'Horseman's gem' Tutankhamun's most treasured possession was hidden. Lara buys the house and goes in search of the gem despite knowing that those who touched it would meet misfortune. There's five levels but they are short and run together almost like one level. Lara goes through a gate and down in the bowels of the earth below the house. It's very dark down here and it's hard to see what you need to do and avoid falling into the lava. A very hard to see crawlspace. There's jumping to do over lava lots of boulder traps and timed run. Out to a little underground town and immediately guards shoot at you. There are little houses here and a task to do in each. One has a fairly difficult fire floor to cross a fire corridor and I particularly liked the idea of the monkeyswing that you had to keep looking at the floor to figure out. Another had the bike and a unique type of maze to drive around in. She slides into a bright tomb. There's a lot of pulldown switches to open the door going through you see a falcon picture and hear the familiar harpy sounds and find that it's attacking a statue of Lara. A jump sequence and into rooms with fire tiles to hop across on the safe tiles (I just saved a lot here) deal with some Egyptian soldier skeletons and get the gem. BTW take note of what Ian says about not saving in the tall room with pillars and tile triggers I got stuck here. Swim through a tunnel back to the house and you become aware it's been invaded by ninja's. They have started fires and blown the roof off the house. Even as you run around to investigate the damage they are blowing up more of the house and eventually they gut it altogether. This was spectacularly done well done Ian a great idea and a great little series. I know you said this was you're last Ian but it's early days yet and who knows you may feel like having a go at another level in the future.” – CC (11-Aug-2003)

“A pretty interesting adventure. Lara buys Howard Carter's home which was built over the Caves to make his life easier to get to the underground tomb where the Horseman's Gem lies. The levels itself are not big but the 5 together make it an enjoyable 1 hour long adventure. The game starts in ‘The House’ (15 minutes) which was very like a maze for me but interesting fact is - you only pick up items to help you in this level. So explore as much as you can. The textures come from TR2 and instead of pink the transparency was set with light green that's why the green transparency - I didn't like it but where this level failed the others didn't. I didn't find a lasersight though and I am not sure if there was one. Going down you enter ‘The Caves’ (10 minutes) although it's a quite short level it has some complicated jumps to do and finally you get to the third level ‘The Barracks’ (25 minutes) the hardest level of them. Right at the beginning it took me a lot of time to figure the logic on the burning room. Some tricky things to do here and I only used the bike to crash that wall - the path in the next room is too tight to ride in. There was also one point where a Lasersight was obviously needed and after many unsuccesful tries jumping over it I tried jumping and turning Lara in the air - it was quite tricky but this way the sentry gun didn't set Lara on fire! At the end there were some rooms which would become pitch black according to the angle you'd turn Lara. Getting through that one Lara finally arrives at her point of interest – ‘The Tomb’ (7 minutes). This one was very short but there was a lot of time reloading because I didn't find a sense for the burning tiles after all. There was a tricky timed door here as well. Then the final level ‘The End’ (5 minutes) begins. It was quite short and showed some thieves breaking in. The whole house is now exploded and all that you have to do is to find another way out and escape with the artifact (which has become a butt in the inventory). All in all quite an enjoyable adventure tricky sometimes and average difficulty. And yet another impressive fact is that the whole adventure was made only with the object sets the TRLE provides no custom wads thus justifying the small (and worthy) download.” – Treeble (24-May-2003)

“This is like Recon Labs 3 on the down low. Well okay it’s nothing like Recon Labs 3 but it is a series of five levels with the first starting in the mansion that’s where the resemblance ends. None of the five lasted for more than 15 minutes and with two actually being only 5 minutes this though still made all up a cute level that because of the diversity of locations made it feel like a real little adventure. The first level is there to collect all the non crucial pick ups you can as the rest of the levels have none the second set in caves is a reload level as you aren’t really sure of your actions until you die and then you can see what jump or move you have to make to get around the trap or dilemma the third is a little underground city with SAS a couple of tricky moves such as the monkey swing where the hint to get through is under your feet but out of sight once on the swing and an automatic gun you have to literally sneak past so close that you give it a nudge with your hip the fourth is a temple with a couple of fire tile jumps and an easy timed gate and the last you find yourself back at the house which is now collapsing where you must find a way out while battling ninjas and a nastily placed croc. I had some real fun in this 50 minute level but was slightly disappointed that they were all so short and that there were no secrets to find.” – Sash (18-May-2003)

“Together with two other fellow reviewers I beta-tested this level and something was amiss with the textures in 4 of the 5 levels. The textures did look more like a cross from Richard Lawther’s Astrodelica and Hokolo's Mysterious Alien Cave. And for a funny reason I did like it. At last getting the textures right was a different ball game as Lara started in a proper house. Ian always likes a good jumping session and that is what you get quite a few as a matter of fact. Exploring is also great in these levels and also true to Ian's nature are the timed runs. The fire puzzle with the colours isn't too hard to solve although the jumping of those tile did keep my busy for quite a while. 12-05-2003” – Gerty (18-May-2003)

“5 quickies for one hour of fun. Lara starts in a home before going down in caves and a temple and returning in the house where some bad surprises are waiting for her. Not too much enemies in those 5 levels but there is a variety of puzzles tasks and jumps to perform. I like the two first levels with a couple of time doors what I dislike the most is the puzzle with the burning tiles in the fourth level: I could not find any logic in it. All in all Beneath is fun but I still prefer The Hand of Sirius.” - eRIC (04-May-2003)

“I usually take note when playing a level and I usually rate individual levels of a series separately but as the five we get here are rather short I did not do that this time. I liked the way how Ian presents us with a story here and how the levels carry it. The House (20 min.): This part takes up about a third of the whole net gaming time and that is a bit unfortunate because I do not particularly enjoy running around in a rather simplistic almost maze like house only to collect a dozen or so pickups including the shotgun and the revolver pull a lever and find and place a cartouche to exit the house. But the timed run was fun and I thought the ‘Egyptian friend’ in Lara’s bad was a hilarious joke. The Caves (10 min.): Dropping into a big cave with lava far down below it takes a moment to figure out how to proceed and funny enough I found a shortcut with a few more tricky jumps and avoided a few rooms in my first round and restarted the level later to play through them. You get a few boulder traps and crocodiles and skeletons to deal with (read: run away from) and another timed run and a few nice camera angles. The Barracks (15 min.): As expected from the City WAD there are a bunch of SAS to kill and a few more diverse puzzles involving a fire tile room a monkey swing the crowbar a series of levers and doors and a bike to smash a wall. The moment with the wraith and the sentry gun was tough and a bit frustrating and the final room has the editor issue of ‘blackouts’ when you stand in certain angles. The Tomb (10 min.): Even though Ian allegedly hates the cleopal WAD this is probably the part I liked best because it has some colourful lighting a harpy hacking at a Lara double two cool jump sequences and you get the horseman’s gem that you came for. The End (5 min.): This is just the escape route avoiding a few crocodiles and killing a few ninjas but I thought the explosions and the two flybys that show you how the house collapses are excellently done. All in all I guess I expected more when I installed a series of five levels but if you view them as one they do provide some very solid entertainment for an hour and are definitely worth a look.” – Michael (21-Mar-2003)

“Ian wanted to go with a bang - and he did! What a great last level this is (well one can always hope that there will be another one....). A long storyline which begins in an Egyptian manison built over underground caves where Tutankhamuns ‘horseman’s gem’ is hidden. And this is the artifact that Lara wants to find. Along the way there are deadly traps difficult jumping and timed runs. The legend says that anyone who touches the gem will have misfortune - play the game and see what happens to Lara when/if she finds it!” – G.Croft (07-Mar-2003)

“I enjoyed this set of levels for one main reason the huge range of ideas for puzzles! I don't know how Ian did it but there's literally hundreds of different things to do such as many timed runs and especially jumps. You finish in one room and go onto the next with some other difficult jumping puzzle. Although the huge variety in gameplay is a good thing dying and reloading a hundred times is not. In particular the second level had me pulling my hair out how many boulders can you fit in a level?! One of the rooms in this level had a lava pool with a few sloped blocks and a little surprise involving a boulder half way along. This was difficult enough for me but there was an added awkward camera that made lining yourself up for jumping a little annoying. In the same level I had a problem with the flare bug or a flare bug of some sort. A few other moments I will remember with less fond memories was the room where you could drive the motorbike but it got stuck at each end because it was too dark to see the ends and the constantly switching camera didn't help matters also the illegal slopes in the same room and that fire puzzle in the second to last level where you have four rooms with tiles some are deadly and some are not. I could not for the life of me figure out the logic. However enough of the bad bits this adventure is best for its huge variety in puzzles. Some of my favourites include the memory monkey swing where you have to remember the correct path given to you on the floor and follow it round to the other side. Also I enjoyed exploring the mansion which is at its best at the end. A lot of naughty Egyptians have set her house on fire poor Lara why does she deserve this! The flipmaps were pretty good too especially on the outside of the house and the camera sequences show you the damage that the explosions have caused! My favourite part was when you had to dodge a couple of boulders coming down slopes in different directions which required precision timing to get through. Overall a great adventure with more ideas than I've ever seen before! Good fun!” – TrueRaider (06-Mar-2003)

“I'm sad that this is the last level we'll see from Ian but what a way to go out - with a series of five levels that tell a great story and are fun to play. You start out in Lara's house and must explore it top to bottom for the way to get 'beneath' the house and for all of the pickups you can find. After the first level there are no pickups except for the crowbar and the gem itself - the prize you're after. You won't find the laser sight either in case you're looking for it but believe me you don't really need it. You're after the 'Horseman's Gem and there's a whole new world under Lara's house for you to search for it. There's some tricky jumps along the way as well as a few timed doors and a short ride on the motorcycle. Look for clues on the walls for the puzzle with the fire tiles and remember that the way across a room isn't always what you first thought. After collecting the gem you end up back at Lara's mansion where you see that the house has been destroyed by some unknown source and it's all you can do to get back out alive. I really had a great time playing these five levels with its many locations clever puzzles that are easy enough to make the game smooth and enjoyable and most of all the great jumps with sometimes unexpected surprises.” – RaiderGirl (03-Mar-2003)

“I guess this time it's true this is Ian's last level divided in four parts. The first part is a house with the appropriate atmosphere and rooms. It has a few complicated corridors but manageable and a timed gate not hard though to satisfy the demanding players. The second part had mostly jumps and boulders and another timed gate not so easy this time. Also a lava room with a well placed crawlspace. The third part was the city one again with jumps involved and the motorcycle used in one occasion. The crowbar had me puzzled for quite a while it was cleverly hidden. I believe this part was the most challenging with a room that had fire tiles and you are called to choose the right one jumps on sloped blocks and more rooms to visit. Jump switches and levers will help you access the desired rooms. The last part was very short and mostly with flip effects many ninjas and fires all over the house which you revisit for the last time. A couple of cut scenes confused me because I couldn't quite understand what they were showing maybe the way out of the house. The enemies throughout the levels are ninjas crocodiles SAS guards. We are saying goodbye to Ian as a level builder now with this fun level and hope to have and enjoy his levels for a long time.” – Kristina (03-Mar-2003)

“I appreciate people trying to make a level feel like it's telling you a story. That's why the atmosphere gets the most points: you do get the feeling she's being chased by the naughty men finally ending up blowing her house that we were so nicely introduced to in the beginning. Before that we are nicely challenged 1. to perform consecutive multiple jumps without having to be exactly pixel-precise; 2. to explore a bit for finding that one specific triggering tile; 3. to do timed door bits; 4. by disorientating cameras (the labyrinth room you reach with the sidecar). But then it happens...reaching the machine gun. Why oh why spoil your level by putting in pixel-precise ****** like this (have censored myself here but it shows how much this makes me want to throw all my TR-cd's in the bin...). Ian Ian Ian sheesh no no no. Wasn't able to pass the gun so used the item editor and gave myself the revolver (can be found in level one though I noticed afterwards) and laser view (not to be found in Ian's level?) Not sure about the consecutive burning tile rooms either. Did or did they not have anything to do with the ‘coded’ walls in the room prior to the room with the Lara-double? Could not find the logic in that (except for the first two burning tile rooms where the color of the room had some corresponding logic with the tile you had to jump on). Anyway a level you should try no matter how much the gun taught me once again how much swear words I know...” – bERT (01-Mar-2003)
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