Level: Setback 3 - By Following Birds back home search
Author(s): Thierry Stoorne
total rating:7.63 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
CC 9 7 8 8
eRIC 7 7 8 7
eTux 8 8 8 9
Gerty 6 7 8 8
Jay 7 7 8 8
Kristina 5 7 8 8
Magnus 7 6 7 7
MichaelP 8 7 8 8
Navi 9 8 9 9
Phil 9 8 8 8
RaiderGirl 7 7 8 8
Sakusha 9 8 8 8
Sash 6 7 7 7
category averages
(13 reviews)
7.46 7.23 7.92 7.92

Reviewer's comments

"I'm not sure how this level gets its name, but it's a delight to play. Gameplay is for the most part built around a large room where you have to go on side trips to open various doors and find various items in order to proceed. There's nothing innovative here, you've seen it all before, but it's put together very well and a number of taxing challenges are placed before you. I was able to play this level thanks to a savegame provided by snork, who has also volunteered to compile a file package that works properly. Litepulsar, whom we haven't seen around here for quite some time, provided a walkthrough that, while certainly appreciated, displayed some evidence of a rather inexperienced player (much as my early walkthroughs did). Dutchy has written an alternate walkthrough that explains things in a slightly different manner. Both were helpful, as this is a rather complicated level. The Setback series is fun to play, and this one is probably the best of the four I've thus far played. Recommended." - Phil (31-Aug-2010)

"I should've kept my saved games after I've finished playing the two previous levels because I've ended up in the Coastal Ruins. So I had no choice but to use the original script files in order to play this level. I've noticed some improvement because the author has placed the textures in such a way that the level seemed more realistic than his two previous levels (therefore, I gave an 8 instead of a 7 for textures and atmosphere). The objects are perfectly placed, especially since they can be hard to find and they can make the level more difficult (example: the blade traps). There are a few puzzles where Lara needs to find a particular item and eventually retrace her steps. I've once again seen an underwater labyrinth. I haven't found a single secret in this level, even though I know there is at least one. Here is the plot, which I have translated myself. After a few surprising events, Lara has entered a fortress and lets herself slide to what appears to be an ancient palace where a certain amount of adventurers (even the most popular ones) have perished. While she was looking at the birds that adorned the temple, Lara asked herself: ‘Am I supposed to find the source by following the birds?’ Enemies consist of harpies, who may have killed a few adventurers with their slanderous tongues, and skeletons. I suppose that some of the skeletons have possessed a few adventurers after their demise, but they have decided to let two of them rest in peace." - Sakusha (04-Feb-2005)

“Not as boring as the author’s previous levels but still not all that exciting. You get the usual traps and enemies – some skeletons some bird blades some harpies… Still the level is quite fun to play even though we’ve seen it all before. The texturing is nice. It’s just like you would have expected but it’s still nice. The level isn’t as dark as the author’s previous levels but it’s still quite dark in some places. It’s not a hard level and it takes less than twenty-five minutes to finish but sometimes that’s just what you’re looking for.” – Magnus (29-Jan-2004)

“A cleopal setting makes quite a change for this series. The other Setback levels are quite austere and forbidding in style whereas this is rather beautiful and gentler looking. There are some fairly tricky spike/blade situations to overcome hindered quite well by various harpies and skeletons. Lots of jump switches to pull along the way and the dear little mechanical beetle to assist with the spikes. You will need a savegame from Setback 1/2 to start this level unlike the future episodes where the author has provided savegames. Not perhaps my favourite of the series but definitely worth playing. 18.10.2003” – Jay (18-Oct-2003)

“Despite the use of the well-worn Cleopatra's palaces which I must add are made very beautifully here I liked this level very much and it has its own nice twists. The crawlspace straight at the start was very sneaky and I was running around for quite some time till I finally found it. The slope where the fire pillars appear can catch you off guard but is already predictable and avoidable thanks to the fly-by. The tasks here are challenging as always but maybe had far too many jump switches of whom you can miss some and then have to backtrack like I did. Overall it is worth a try - you just might not like it if you are tired of the Egyptian settings already.” – eTux (04-Oct-2003)

“This third part reminded me a lot of TR 4. Especially the puzzles and the beetle that has a special meaning. Not too easy for Lara – several jumps traps and enemies. Graphics were nice and sound and camera were suitably added I found 2 secrets here. Enemies were demigods and skeletons which can be quite annoying so watch out and save your health as there are few medipacks around. A nice challenge for Lara and I would recommend it to everybody.” – Navi (03-Oct-2003)

“After the two first levels of this series which were not Egyptian here we are now in an underground Cleopatra type temple. The first half of the level although good is not much inspired with simple puzzles to solve in narrow areas to arrive in a big central room with ledges all around where jumps are required climbable walls must be spotted and backtracking is needed. The second half is much more enjoyable with a big watery room accurate jumps needed to avoid a couple of fires a beautiful and atmospheric room with a central bridge with a big fight with skeletons. The real highlight for me was the platforming actions in a high room near the end (great fun here): the level is worthy to be played just for that (and to continue the adventure).” – eRIC (05-Aug-2003)

“I really wasn’t expecting this kind of a level a standard cleopal after the brooding atmosphere of ‘Setback 2’. That isn’t to say this isn’t a decent game as there are some nice jumps involved and a very cool flyby of a camera frozen Lara being engulfed by skeletons it’s just that I’m not a particular fan of the cleopal genre and it all felt a little dated. There are two things that I disliked quite a bit an exit from a water tunnel that is blocked by a plant hampering your attempts to get past and a climbable wall I must have had to complete five tedious times. Finding 3 secrets I hit the end after 45 minutes and was happy to go onto part 4 of which I have already played and loved. P.S. Make sure you have the crowbar when you start.” – Sash (10-Jun-2003)

“Unless I'm very much mistaken 'by following birds' means following the paintings of the birds on the wall because they are all placed in strategic locations and their wings are pointing in the direction you have to go. I liked this level. You definitely need the crowbar fairly early in the level. I had it in my inventory from the last level I have no idea if there is one lying around to find. We've all seen these Cleopatra textures before but I love the way Thierry has created these lovely rooms especially the one with the hanging greenery and fountain. You must keep you're eyes open right from the start for crawlspaces and jump switches and jumps especially the one right at the start to pull a chain. The three underwater doors near the start had me confused for a while because I missed a crawlspace in one of those areas. And don't forget to get the crossbow in the room with the tricky jumps. There are other rooms with tricky jumps too. Enemies are golden harpies skeletons and demigods all very well placed. I totally missed the wall switch beside the beetle and had a job getting the winder. Some people might say ho hum another cleopatra level but they should have a go because these levels hold your attention right through and you keep wanting to know what comes next. Great stuff.” – CC (29-May-2003)

“I completely agree with Kristina and I even go a bit further to say that one shouldn't NEED a saved game to start a level. And thanks to Lara's Levelbase as they provide a download with a savegame so I could play this level (as I threw mine away I always do that so people with a Mac can't play this unless Pam is so nice to provide that as I know she does in other games). So after playing this my secret count was 8 and I know that is wrong. You start this level underground and one thing that stands out is the very tricky jumping that one has to do in this level. That took some thinking on my part. Enemies are harpies demigods and skeletons. Finding a Gem and the Knot and of course the Mechanical Beetle and the Key so you can make your way to the exit. This level could have use just a tiny bit more camera work as I sometimes ran around like a idiot just to find out what happened next. 08-04-2003” – Gerty (13-Apr-2003)

“In a way we regular custom level players are all severely spoiled I think by all the bigger better more and faster and what have you levels that we have had the pleasure to see especially in the past few months. But I thought that this level brought back many fond memories of how it was in the old days of level building and it manages to bring a long a decent atmosphere largely cleopal based with some good lighting solid textures the usual suspects as enemies (demigods harpies skeletons) and most importantly some excellent platforming and jumping action which at times is really smartly thought out. Yes ok in the end all you do is pull jump switches and chains and some of the repeated climbs are a bit tedious but I thoroughly enjoyed this almost hour long quest for a gem a knot and most importantly the mechanical scarab quite a bit.” – Michael (10-Apr-2003)

“This was a fun and challenging level to play but I never found any birds to follow unless the author is referring to the harpies that attack when you don't have much room to jump around. There are also a few skeletons and demigods to follow as you search for a gem the pillar the scarab and the winding key plus a number of jump switches and ropes to pull. The highlight for me was definitely the great jumps slides and climbs to master that had me wondering a few times just how I was going to get through it. Secrets were fairly easy and it was nice to get the crossbow early on. The level was well built and attractive with the cleopal textures and the many traps were fun to get through.” – RaiderGirl (07-Apr-2003)

“I wish people would warn the players about things you need from previous levels or at least provide a savegame. Starting this I was getting the coastal level so I had to use the original dat files to play it right. Soon enough I discovered I needed a crowbar and it was nowhere to be found so I had to cheat and get it. After that the level being a classic cleopal was pleasant nothing too hard. Harpies demigods and skeletons as enemies and a gem a knot and chains to pull and proceed. Everything was fine and I found the mechanical scarab and winding key easily by performing a few jumps on slopes until the time came to use the scarab. I have no idea what went wrong but after two uses the scarab gone crazy and I couldn't pass the last set of spikes to finish the level guess what I used DOZY. I know for a fact that it can be used three times so I wonder what's going on with this level. After forty five minutes and three secrets found plus getting the above problems the level ended.” – Kristina (03-Apr-2003)
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