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Level: Selaachi's Secret back home search
Author(s): TrueRaider
total rating:8.05 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
bERT 10 10 10 10
CC 7 5 7 5
Engelchen Lara 7 7 9 8
eTux 8 8 8 6
G.Croft 8 8 10 10
Gerty 8 8 9 9
Glow 7 8 8 8
Jorge22 7 7 7 8
Jose 6 7 7 6
Kristina 9 8 9 9
Kurt 7 7 6 6
Lady Lara 9 7 10 8
Magnus 7 8 9 9
MichaelP 7 8 9 8
Obig 8 8 9 9
Orbit Dream 8 8 10 9
Oxy 9 8 9 9
Phil 8 8 8 8
RaiderGirl 9 9 10 10
Ryan 8 8 8 8
Sash 5 6 9 8
Sherry 7 6 7 8
TombRaiderFan 9 9 10 10
Treeble 8 8 9 7
category averages
(24 reviews)
7.75 7.67 8.63 8.17

Reviewer's comments

"A rather sprawling mansion level with plenty of ground to cover and that should take you the best part of an hour or more to complete. Aside from a couple of minor negatives, I thought that it was a well executed and enjoyable level to go through and you get quite a bit of variety in the gameplay department so you never get bored or frustrated. What I thought was a little annoying was the backtracking you had to perform from one opened door to another and as I mentioned, the place is very large so it's easy to become confused. The long shimmy near the end was also a bit irritating. Still, the atmosphere is convincing and is spiced up by a few surprise dog attacks, and the camera angles and custom textures in a few places were neat (the one near the zip line for instance), so the level as a whole is a solid offering." - Ryan (06-Feb-2019)

"A rather exotic title for what amounts to your garden variety house level. However, it's a good house level, sprawling indoors and out over two separate tr4 files, so you can prepare yourself for a couple of hours of gaming entertainment. There's a little bit of everything here, including a ride on the motorbike. Your ultimate goal is to find and place three golden stars, two of which don't show up until quite late in the game. The gameplay is for the most part engaging and logical, but my main complaint lies in the fact that, as in many house levels, it's sometimes quite complicated to make your way from point A to point B. Even though we knew exactly where the room with the star receptacles was, having visited it early on, it took me an inordinate amount of time to find my way back there. I had to refer to its first reference in the walkthrough and use the directions in reverse order to get there. By that time I wanted to pull out what remains of my hair. But in sum, a nice raid with relatively few stressful moments." - Phil (28-Dec-2011)

"Oh my God! In all my life never had seen a mansion soooo big! At the end of the game I saw that I had gone over 8 kilometers! Rooms are too huge and usually empty; in many stairs there are no balustrades to protect the inhabitants; there are some rooms nice textured, but in many places textures are bad applied all over in triangular surfaces; few enemies to shoot, when I found the shotgun it was unuseful for me 'cause all the dogs were already dead. Not bad gameplay but it was tedious run and run around and around through very huge areas searching for items, 'cause the only real puzzle I found was the easy globes puzzle near the beginning. Secrets are very difficult to find, and I missed some more cameras when triggering something in certain places. Not a bad level but a bit bored." - Jose (07-Mar-2011)

"The villagers have asked Lara to find a possible source of evil within the abandoned mansion, where Lord Salaachi and his family is buried. Dark mansion with gardens, graveyard and scary basement is nicely textured (maybe too colored for my taste), worth to see, only rooms are too square with long corridors - I missed more complex architecture and little brighter areas. Game-play is quite linear, you find more or less everything on your way - keys, golden stars ... It's quite a lot of work to do before you find the final artefact and drive your way home. Enemies are dogs, skeletons, bats and knight from secret library. Castle mansion gives the impression of abandoned building and death still rooms are warm and cozy. I didn't find any evil except the picture of that girl is quite scary, still it remembers us that everything will pass away someday and nothing will be left. Try and see. I gave those two skeletons the final shot; they may rest in peace now." - Oxy (15-Mar-2009)

"What Matt has offered here in this double level is a quite enjoyable mansion setting which you will be able to examine up and close from almost every angle imaginable through the hour it takes one to reach the end. And both - the mansion and its grounds in their various manifestations (a cellar, gardens, a family graveyard and the mausoleum, a treehouse (!) and a library with a secret passage) will take you on a memorable hunt for the 3 stars with cameo appearances of timed runs, globe puzzles, lasersight puzzles and the 3 element puzzle as you explore the areas bit by bit. There's nothing excruciatingly brain wrecking here and everything can be figured out with some effort, or some backtracking at worst, but that's absolutely OK - as it makes the gameplay fluent and thus more enjoyable - and while I enjoy the more complex setup or two in other levels I've never understood the players for whom that's some kind of a quality measurement, when a level like this delivers just fine too. What didn't work for me so well however were the looks. On one hand - I wasn't that keen on many of the (custom, I assume?) textures themselves, so to some degree it was a matter of taste, but purely from a technical point of view - there are a lot of wallpapered surfaces, a number of semi-stretched textures and the geometry of some areas felt awkward and clumsy and was not given the full potential that could've been squeezed out of it, not to mention that often with a series of simple jumps you could reach the end of the world areas, and use some of them to your advantage by avoiding tasks you actually had to do at the time in the level. Neither of the above is really a game-breaker as I found the atmosphere compelling enough to keep me going, but point in case being that even if the author didn't have an artistic bone in his body (which I am absolutely not saying is the case), what could've made it a more aesthetically pleasing adventure for me was some extra testing and extra time devoted to it. That said - the above criticism doesn't mean I found the level to be ugly, far from it! I just think it could've been pepped up in places more often than not. If anything else - I was intrigued by the initial fly-by and felt kind of let down that it never really amounted to anything when all was said and done, but dramatic setup at least to date is not rateable category for any level out there, and thus a fairly minor point in the overall scheme, plus the fun you get out of playing the level is a reward in itself. While at least personally this left me something to be desired in a few aspects, it is still a very enjoyable mansion level I can only recommend further to any potential players reading this! Didn't find any of the secrets, however." - eTux (05-Oct-2008)

"I actually think I may have started this level in the past but not making progress decided to move on to something else, and that was quite a mistake. This is a very enjoyable mansion/castle level that spans quite a few different environments within that setting and what really stands out, besides the atmosphere, is the camera work. They're used in very unusual ways (just wait until you take the zipline towards the end) and I thought they were actually quite fun. The only thing that was missing, in my opinion, was an eerie background audio to go with the atmosphere, which is quite disturbing as it is (the pictures of Selaachi's daughter come to mind). You set off after three golden stars to finally reach the goal and then you take off. It may not be perfect, but this still is a very solid and enjoyable offering. 60 minutes, 1 secret. 09/08 LHRP" - Treeble (29-Sep-2008)

"If I understood it clearly, Lara went to an old mansion (not too old by the looks of it) to find out whether there was a source of evil there. Well, having finished the level before you can say JR (not the one from Dallas but Jack Robinson abbreviated), I felt puzzled - what on earth did she find? A couple of skeletons (the most common of 'curses' in custom levels) who would happily leave Lara alone anytime she entered a building, many fit for slaughtering dogs, some locusts who nicely left her alone without consuming much health, a couple of bats, some easy traps, a sandbag, a jerrycan, torches and fire, a waterbag, three stars, my worst tomb raiding nightmare, a tinman on a horse (fortunately, the author was kind enough to allow us to make him fall off his horse much faster than usually), an old manuscript, lots of keys, the easiest globe push/pulling puzzle I've seen, a fire wraith with a pool most conveniently located just down some stairs, several levers, one lion with a breakable gem, Selaachi's hand and several more similarities. Attention: I'm not saying the level isn't well built. Not at all. All I'm saying is, it is conceptually perfect for beginners. It may even be a little tough for some since Lara has to go so many places and find so many things. But is it challenging? Not a single time. Apart from that, I had some fun whilst playing, which is, of course, positive. And I'll certainly give the author his due credits for one thing: in spite of the level being named Selaachi's Secret, I found none of the two that there were according to the readme. I suppose they must have been well hidden enough to demand a thorough search which I don't think I was able to perform. Now, do you want an easy, fast playing level which, at the same time, isn't by any means badly built? Do you want to relax but still run around a lot and do loads of things? Then, this is the one for you." - Jorge22 (18-May-2004)

"Some levels rely on atmosphere to make them good and this is one of those levels. The atmosphere is top notch in this level and the story the author included only helps to bring the level to life. That said the gameplay is quite interesting too. Mostly it revolves around finding keys and opening doors with the odd trap or dog thrown in for good measure. Still the author manages to pull it off and the level never gets boring. The texturing is quite nice even though it gets a little repetitive at times and some textures are a little blurry. When the level ended after less than forty minutes I felt content and happy with the length of it. Overall tough I felt that what really made this level great was the atmosphere." - Magnus (29-Jan-2004)

"Wow - what a great level. I love houses and this was a truly unique example of one. One of the best things in this level was the sound and the atmosphere. I probably would have given it higher for textures but now I am spoiled by oxy. Really great fun finding the secret on the roof. Picked up many keys stars crowbar revolver shotgun tools for an element puzzle. Selaachi's hand was well-placed in an appropriately secret room. Not too many enemies and skeletons were not a problem. I'd like more from this designer definitely." - Lady Lara (25-Dec-2003)

"Like some others I do see the resemblance to Matt's Haunted Mansion level but this one has by far better atmosphere greater use of textures and a greater progression through some wonderful areas such as the graveyard children's room and treehouse to name a few but it also lacked so much that makes for a great level. There isn't much in the way of what I would call puzzles besides a movable planet puzzle that has the entire solution up on the wall in full colour and two beyond obvious target shots so I had to rate down accordingly there is also an inordinate amount of just running from area to area and in this level areas are not only big they are sometimes vast. In the end though I enjoyed the overall feel of this 65 minute mansion level although it was a little upsetting to find out that the dog I just shot was called Fido or Rover couldn't he have called them Killer or Cujo sheesh!" - Sash (18-May-2003)

"This is more or less another house/church/grounds level. Selaachi is dead and buried in the crypt in the garden according to his tombstone. The house is nice and there are really lovely new textures but they are applied like wallpaper mostly and colours clash with each other making some rooms look garish and unreal. This applies outside too with the grass and walls. A little rotating of the textures and flipping would have gone a long way. I loved the dog kennels for Fido and Rover and the rat running into the mousehole the skeletons running around the graveyard (perhaps Selaachi and his better half) the tree house the burning floor in the crypt. The globe puzzle in the house was too easy - the picture on the wall. Things move on apace under the crypt with skull blocks that slam down ala TR4 but it's really quite simple just run down the right hand side and back. After this you do other puzzles like the sand/water/fire in one of the rooms drowning fire wraiths in the bathroom up on the roof and finally a motor bike ride. Gameplay is very easy but can take some time to complete the level so it's worth the download." - CC (21-Apr-2003)

"This is rather a fun level as I usually do not like mansion levels as well as others but TrueRaider takes us outside to a neat tree house an interesting cemetery and then back inside. There is an elemental puzzle that is easy (if you have all the elements) and three stars to find to enter the room off the clock tower for the final showdown. Nice atmosphere and some good ideas throughout. Good fun." - Sherry (08-Mar-2003)

"The story takes place in a big house. Lara has to get the Hand of Selaachi. However you need 3 golden stars for doing this. First collect the crowbar from the jar and get the small waterskin the bag of sand the jerrycan and the music scroll in the house. You have to find the Revolver + LaserSight for shooting the swinging sphere. There are only a few enemies: 2 bats some dogs and 2 skeletons awaking from their tombs in the cemetery and a horseman in the end of the level. I found a secret on the roof. The textures are great various every room is different and there's even a playroom. :-) You can't really get jammed in the level although I walked the house by fits and starts 'cause I didn't notice the closed doors. Unfortunately there are no added sounds but I would have imagined some of them mainly in the cemetery which I like very much. The gameplay is cool but not too difficult there's only one timed run in the level. All in all I love this level." - Obig (07-Mar-2003)

"A very nice level! Not too difficult quite relaxing but very pleasant to play...It's set in a castle and its surrounding (even a cemetery) the castle is beautiful big and sumptuous rooms kitchen bathrooms even a nice swimming pool (quite useful when you're on fire...).I didn't find any bugs the textures are well placed and nicely coloured (fine wallpaper I loved the children's room!!). There are a few enemies easy to kill just the horseman at the end kept me busy longer because I had only 10 ammos left and I had to use the pistols. Not too many medipacks but I could survive. The puzzles are not original (golden stars sand water and fire). I quite enjoyed wandering around this massive castle the atmosphere and the light made me feel like I was actually there! Well done!" - Glow (07-Mar-2003)

"Lara starts in front of a house or mansion and many puzzles await. Mainly Lara has to find keys to get three golden stars and that is actually not easy. A lot of running to do levers to pull and some parts are timed. There is one interesting puzzle as Lara needs to find the jerrycan sand bag and waterskin but the solution is quite simple. There is also a lot to do in the outside areas and I really liked the tree house. Inside the house itself the atmosphere is very calm somehow spooky. Very few enemies just a few dogs passing Lara's way sometimes coming as a surprise. Textures are very cleanly applied. Cameras were not a lot but well used. If you don't like a shooting level but something more calm then this level is for you." - Engelchen Lara (06-Mar-2003)

"I'm not really a fan of house levels (unless it's a HAUNTED house :) ) but I still had a good time with this one. Gameplay was a bit linear but sometimes that's ok with plenty of puzzles (but no real head scratchers) the treehouse is really cool and well done and I LOVED the kids room :) I think the rooms could be a bit smaller to give it a more homey feel and the interiors were a bit too bright for an abandoned mansion but these are minor points... overall a solid effort :)" - Kurt (06-Mar-2003)

"Matt has produced a great mansion level here! Resident Evil style! The whole atmosphere of the level was absolutely fantastic. So was the Grounds level too. The mansion was put together nicely with some great and new spectacular textures. I especially liked the kids bedroom and the textures on the walls they were so babyish :D There are a couple of puzzles involving the element puzzle and also the pushable planet puzzle from the library. I liked the way Matt had took a screenshot and given it as a clue to the answer to the puzzle. That was really cool! I hope Matt's levels from now on are more like this one because this one is one of my top favourites!" - TombRaiderFan (04-Mar-2003)

"Some level builders do have a style you would recognize even if you did not know who built the level and Matt is definitely one of them. This is sort of a 'Haunted Mansion' continuation and it is a double level in which you will cover a lot of ground inside outside above and below a Mansion. It has a rather solid and sometimes spooky atmosphere to offer features quite a number of original textures and a variety of gameplay that does make the rather bare rooms the many doors and the long eventless runs bearable. You get a timed sequence a planet puzzle an elements puzzle burners chains a torch/burning floor puzzle a lion head and a blue ball to shoot and all this to acquire three stars and eventually the Hand of Selaachi before you make a neat escape battling a horseman for a gem using the zip line and the bike. I found only one secret (the sun terrace) but there may be more. Enemies are scarce (some dogs locusts wraiths bats skeletons). I like the scroll cut scene the tree area and the graveyard area and did have quite a bit of fun for the 1:10 hours it lasted. And I thought it was very considerate to offer two crowbars this time ;-)" - Michael (03-Mar-2003)

"A perfectly built mansion and gardens around it. It has everything - from kitchen to bathroom from children's room to a tree house from garage to graveyard (and of course the graveyard has skeletons awakening as you approach). There is a LOT of atmosphere in this empty haunted place but there is a little less gameplay. Pretty much straightforward search the rooms and surroundings for three golden stars to open the door to the final area where Lara finds the solution of the quest. (Remember to read the readme file there's a great background story there)." - G.Croft (03-Mar-2003)

"I just love house/mansion levels and this has become one of my new favorites. Your first objective is to find your way into Selaachi's mansion and then you skip back and forth between two levels as you explore the place inside and out. There's even a graveyard where after some searching you see the head stone of poor Selaachi himself. There's also a clock tower a tree house the many rooms inside the house including the usual bedrooms dining room bathroom etc. Your second objective is to find three golden stars which give you access to the artifact (and also releases an evil spirit on his horse). You must now fight the spirit and escape on the motorcycle carrying your prize with you. The detail in this level is just brilliant from the 'Calvin and Hobbes' wallpaper to the doghouses with the dog's names written on the side. This is the kind of level I love - lots of atmosphere and exploring with just enough baddies to keep you on your toes." - RaiderGirl (03-Mar-2003)

"What a delightful level I have to say. Starting outside you need to get into the house and for that you need a key. All in all you'll find 3 keys 3 stars the crowbar a torch (in fact two) a scroll revolver and laser sight (for some practice shooting) a blue gem and the items for the water fire and earth puzzle. You will leave with the Hand of Selaachi in your backpack though. There is a lot of ground to cover and I didn't mind a bit as everything looked very pleasing to the eye. This is not a dark level and suited me fine. Matt added some nice touches like the benches near the fountain they looked real good as did the cemetery. Also that tombstone from Selaachi added to the spooky atmosphere. And a big EEEEW for that dead rat in the house. Found one bug by accident I jumped on top of the trapdoor in the fountain and Lara started to do her boogie dance. Also you don't need to do that monkey swing as you can jump from that block straight towards the fire in the room with the floor you need to burn. There is some fantastic camera work specially the one with the locust. Enemies there aren't that many but nevertheless I did jump in my chair every so often. Found 1 secret some ammo and a medpack. 02-03-2003" - Gerty (03-Mar-2003)

"Technically this is Haunted Mansion 2.0. It's a beautiful revision/revisitation I grant you with much improved gameplay; but it's not quite a wholly original level. The atmosphere is nothing short of superb and beautifully realised; texturing and lighting is accomplished as well. However I do have an issue with the gameplay (ohh don't I always??). Despite being on the whole quite free-flowing there were several moments where the infamous 'stop the level!' moment set in. On a number of occasions the backtracking became a little too inevitable and you somehow knew without being told that the lever that you just pulled would only activate a door a very long way away (as opposed to the door that was close at hand) even before the camera cut-away showed this to be the case. Nonetheless this is a very fine work. Indeed I would go so far as to say that it easily rivals the first Castle Doomsday level and quite comfortably beats its sequels" - Orbit Dream (03-Mar-2003)

"A beautiful level darkish and with a nice flow. Unless you forget a door somewhere and get stuck like me. Outside and inside areas hide crucial items like stars a jerry can a bag of sand and the waterskin. Lara will start in a mansion very well built and by finding a few keys she will visit different areas inside that mansion you can see most of them through the windows. The puzzle with the globe was very easy the solution is given to the player in a very obvious way that spoiled the fun for me. I liked very much the idea of a mouse disappearing in a hole on the wall. The tree house was a nice touch. One thing I found is that you don't need the lasersight you can shoot the blue ball and the gem in the lion's mouth with the pistols and a jump or two. There aren't many enemies just a few dogs and wraiths plus a couple of skeletons in a graveyard. At first the jumping between the two parts confused me a little but that is the way you need to proceed every time there is a back to the mansion and close to the area you need to explore next. Collecting the Hand of Selaachi releases a horseman with his gem you can go outside and access the motorcycle. After a few jumps the level ends with Lara driving to the unknown. I found two secrets and it kept me occupied for about two hours." - Kristina (03-Mar-2003)

"It's been 5 months since Richard Lawther's Astrodelica sent shivers down my spine. It happened again last night. This time because of the absolute realistic setting of this spooky mansion game. From the very start - the long way up to the mansion - this level oozes atmosphere I have not experienced before in a TR-level. The child's bedroom the graveyard the treehouse the whole mansion in one word the story it is just brilliant. Very rarely I start playing a level and just want to end it in one go without noticing time going by. Of course it helps that progress is not blocked by ridiculous puzzles or timed runs that make you want to put a voodoo spell on the author. There is a timed run and there is a (very easy) globe-pushing puzzle but the author wants you to play his level so play you can. But when you finally reach that sidecar you know your time of fun is over (net gaming less than 1 hour; 1 secret found). Matt you too have proven there's life in the editor yet. Thanks for this brilliant Resident Evil style game (even if it hasn't any zombie walking around in it)." - bERT (01-Mar-2003)
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