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Level: The Spring Of Eternal Youth (Demo) back home search
Author(s): Walrus
total rating:9.04 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Dick 8 8 9 10
dmdibl 9 9 10 10
Duncan 8 8 10 10
eRIC 9 8 9 10
eTux 5 8 8 10
Gerty 7 8 9 10
Glow 9 9 10 9
Ivan 10 9 10 10
Jay 8 8 9 10
Jose 5 8 8 9
Josi 9 8 8 9
Kristina 8 8 9 10
Loupar 9 9 10 10
MichaelP 7 8 10 10
Moonpooka 10 10 10 10
Phil 10 10 10 10
Roberto 9 9 10 10
Ryan 9 9 10 10
Sash 10 8 10 10
category averages
(19 reviews)
8.37 8.53 9.42 9.84

Reviewer's comments

"An amazing, absorbing and extensive demo that will likely occupy you for the best part of three hours. The three levels that are included all intertwine with one another to give the impression of a continuous game. There are some amazing sights here (particularly the leopard statue cave, you have to see it for yourself, and I loved the Mayan textures that were used in the various temples). There is lots of exploration, so it's mostly Lara's agility that will be tested, although a few small puzzles are added. Don't miss this one." - Ryan (18-Dec-2016)

"A pain that this author didn't release the complete game; there are interesting ideas and situations, good effects and atmosphere, and textures are nice to the eye. On the other hand I found a bad gameplay with a lot ot backtracking through very huge areas and excessive jumps between levels; there are small bugs, and sometimes you can avoid some tasks and advance through the level; several endings is not a bad idea, but players can be confused with items they didn't use and give the sensation they've missed a part of the gameplay (they really missed); there are too darkness in some areas too. A good game but only to play following the walkthrough." - Jose (19-Mar-2012)

"Has some of the most impressive design work that I have seen in a Tomb Raider series: to highlight a couple of Wow moments, there is the time when Lara finally emerges from the dark cave, and comes into the Mayan Temple with its confusion of colored texturing, for these seem authentic Mayan murals; then there is the time near the end when Lara comes into a part of a temple from a lava cave (here I was hopelessly lost, so I'm not sure what cave this was) and the four blue transparent spheres lowered. There is a huge leopard statue--think giant golden cat of Unfinished Business. But this also highlights one of the challenges with this Demo version, the lack of clues. When Lara gets the second gem there follows the mother of all backtracks, as she retraces her entire route through one level after another, doing lava jumps, monkey wings, rope swings, ladder shimmies, a level jump to the leopard cave, the circuitous route around upper ledges. Then as players spot a familiar ladder, they are also supposed to notice that Lara is running by an alcove where a block has lowered. Some sort of camera clue is surely needed here and elsewhere. There is a whole new path to the top of the leopard's head, where Lara places the gems to make its eyes. The eyes send out swirls of energy. Now totally unbeknownst to Lara the leopard's mouth has opened, so Lara needs to drop from the end of the nose. Again there should be some clue. So even though the game play throughout these levels is excellent, it is so overwhelming and confusing without a walk-through that I can't give it a full 10. Indeed, while playing the cave sections I became so daunted by everything that I took periodic breaks to play other simpler levels. Of course this isn't really a problem because of the excellent G&D walk-through. This is vital because it warns of unfinished areas where Lara can be trapped. At the end of the game (and there are two equally plausible endings, or maybe three) I was still wondering about a hole in the floor of the leopard cave, but found that this unexplored route is handled as an endnote in the walk-through. The enemies are mostly natives. A recent June author post in the "Chat About A Level" forum said that the complete version of this game will have 16 levels, and that 14 levels are complete, and the other two only await some NG implementations. The full game will have FMVs and should be four times the length of the Demo. I had been meaning to replay this, and found an enhanced Demo version 2.0 on trle.net (the link is on the levelinfo page), a 76 MB download, while the old Demo version was 43 MB. For those interested in a preview of the upcoming major release, take walk-through in hand. I eagerly anticipate the full game and a wondrous experience." - dmdibl (07-Aug-2009)

"For some reason, the full game upon which this three-level "demo" is based has never been released. That's a shame, because this is an under-reviewed, underrated and generally unsung tour de force that really belongs in the Hall of Fame. Architecturally, it's without a doubt the most visually pleasing level I've ever played, and the gameplay doesn't lag too far behind. As other reviewers have noted, it's a complex exercise involving three interlocking levels, and even with Val's masterful walkthrough it took me more than three net gaming hours to complete. And I especially appreciated the fact that the builder has chosen not to shroud this work of art in darkness. When playing a level I normally pay little attention to the technical and dramatic applications of the lighting. To me, a level is either too dark, or it's not too dark. This one is just right, although there are places where you need to invest a flare or two (but these are usually in caves, and never where lots of eye candy surrounds you). The "look and feel" of these levels is quite up to date, and I'm really quite amazed that they were released more than five years ago. And there has been only one review since 2003 (and that one was in February of 2004). Eternal Youth must be the best-kept secret of the raiding community, so waste no more time and download it now. One final note: This review covers v1 only. There's also a v2, but you'd never know that unless you checked out the levelinfo page for v1. Val tells me that, as she recollects, an entirely new level has been added at the beginning of v2. The download for v2 is nearly twice as big as the download for v1, and it comes in a self-installing executable (which probably means that the contents have been compressed, and that the unpacked files take up even more space on your hard drive). It follows that there are substantial differences between v1 and v2. For this reason, there should be a separate listing for v2 at trle.net so that both versions can be suitably publicized, downloaded and reviewed." - Phil (13-Aug-2008)

"The author has used a great deal of Mayan art and glyphs to create a dazzling environment. For the record many of the wall murals come from the Mayan ruins of Bonampak and much of the sculpture (turned into flat wall textures) is from the ancient Maya city of Copan. I feel the author should have stated this in his readme. The level is huge with a lot of challenging treks to get the needed items including a very long detour to get the crowbar. I did not appreciate the custom music and in my game every return trip to the Jaguar Room caused an endless earthquake - very annoying. The gameplay had a strong non-linear quality which I liked. Overall it is a fabulous and sophisticated gaming environment and I am grateful to the author for dedicating so much time. Well done!" - Duncan (01-Feb-2004)

"A long adventure in three levels with a non straightforward progression. Actually this is rather ambitious with at least two different endings for what I know. There is also a mistake as one can reach the area with the brass ball to shoot without having the revolver and lasersight and can not come back. The fun here is not in the enemies mainly natives and a few others but in finding your way around caves and platforming actions in rooms with ledges and platforms. Also this adventure was a great pleasure for the eyes with some beautiful rooms with well lighted and colourful new textures." - eRIC (04-Oct-2003)

"Before I start the review I'd like to thank Val for helping me a lot so I could finally finish this confusing monster (lol) as I had spent months without getting anywhere till the past few days when I finally got through (reached all 3 endings) with her help. I have to admit this is one of the most beautiful and atmospheric levels I've ever played and the full version undoubtedly will be a hit in those categories if follows the same formula but in my humble opinion there's far too much running around far too much confusion and it's sort of 'planned' out too much. Now I'll elaborate - let's start with the good things - as said this undoubtedly is one of the most fantastic beautiful levels I've ever played - the textures are really unique the lighting fantastic (despite a few bleak rooms near the end) and the audio tracks (even if most of the custom ones played in the Jaguar statue area) truly exceptional - I even reloaded quite a lot of times to listen to them again so beautiful they were. Also the fly-by's are great especially the one that guides you at the top of the canyon. Lara herself looks great too - at least this seems more like an outfit an archeologist would wear liked the nifty touches like the red sunglasses the backpack looking more like a purse (with accompanying new animations - well done!) this time and the white blouse. There are some exceptional areas worth the mention - let's start with the Jaguar-sphinx room - it really just HAS to be seen and even if it doesn't look so great from the bottom when the horizon bug kicks in the many views from the top make this a truly memorable place to visit. Another great area is the first huge lava cavern - looked magnificent too and traversing the lava lakes was very enjoyable with the great atmosphere here. A great room is the one in which you turn the switch that floods the lava area - the 4 pillars with the water globes and the accompanying flybys are well worth seeing as well. There are many other beautiful areas to but these are the ones that jumped in my mind at first. There are a few glitches graphic wise too - like the disappearing surroundings at some points (before the first brass ball) the end of the world (you can easily outswim the spike/current trap in the river if you dive into it what needless to say is no good idea in the first place) some missing or misplaced textures in the lava/water cavern flipmap the horizon bug in the jaguar room but those are minor cause I can't fault the enormous work put into this to make it look as fantastic as it does. Found only 1 secret (the uzi before the 4 water-globe room) in the game. As much as I was impressed by the looks and the feel I'm pretty unimpressed with the tasks and the overall flow. The tasks like the minotaur/table room (which has a bug so you have to do it in one go) the torch puzzles timed runs collapsible tile runs are very fun but they really hardly stand out as what you do all the time is run run run - see if you're on the right track and run some more. All this mindless running around and confusion spoiled the game for me - after running around quite a lot I reached 2 crowbar switches long before I actually got the crowbar (the route to it and the receptacles for the leopard's eyes blends so well into the well-crafted and realistic environment I actually only found it when Val pushed me in the right direction so to say) and that's the 'planning out' bit I was talking about before. It's not so bad in this area (as you can leave those 2 switches for later they're essential for finishing the game or reaching different parts of the game but you can live without them for the time you reach them) but you can really feel that when you reach the first brass-ball and realise you don't have - either the revolver (which was my case) or the lasersight. And what do you do then? What if you didn't go the route as the author planned you to do in the beginning? You either spend some more time searching where you have missed it or replay the whole game again. Not very funny. As another reviewer so wisely said this is just far too complex and confusing for its own good - that's why I'm not rewarding the game too high in the gameplay category. I hope the full version is just as beautiful and atmospheric as this stunning demo was but very less like the demo gameplaywise - as the running around and exploration is a part of what Tomb Raider is and has always been no arguing with that but the dose in what this is offered here is ridiculous and I'd rather play a very linear level than this confusing piece of work where if you don't know what to do you have to explore all of the vast areas for days till you find what to do to go on. Am not saying this level is bad and that you shouldn't play it but I wouldn't dare to do so without a walkthrough or a helping hand (or loads of time on my hands)." - eTux (09-Sep-2003)

"Don't let the Demo in the title fool you as this is a massive set of three levels which turn out to be an explorer's dream as you have huge areas to cover. All three levels are linked in various points and you can and will go back and forth between them. But I would still like to comment on each of them individually so here goes: Chapter 1 - Temples Access (20+10+20 min. 1 secret): First thing to notice is that Lara is looking very stylish in her new outfit and glasses. It starts outside of a huge temple and right away you will do a lot of running to make sure you are not missing things in one corner or the other. This is in my opinion also the major gameplay downside of this adventure as it can become a little tedious despite the beautiful surroundings. Lighting and texturing are top notch and you get a fun sequence with a hammergod and four pushable objects and an easy torch puzzle for the two holy daggers. Later in the game when you return here there is a nice cave with cobwebs and some beetles in a crawlspace plus a few warriors to battle and you can also collect one of the gold nuggets and one Leopard's eye here. Very remarkable is a special trip for a secret which is a little game of its own. Chapter 2 - Temple of Jaguar Part 1 (20+20 min. 1 secret): This level revolves around a huge lava room in which Mayan Temples are set and which you get to fully flood near the end. More warriors and some bats along the way and a fun quest for the revolver. Here as well as in level three you can enjoy a lot of climbing jumping shimmying monkey swinging to make your way around which is quite cleverly designed but again at times a little on the verge of becoming too tedious to master. Later in the game you can come back here and place the two cartouches enter yet another lava area and find another Secret there. The choice of music is quite remarkable in this passage and also the structure you reach subsequently with a beautiful flyby. The second Gold Nugget can be collected in the flooded Lava room. Chapter 3 - Temple of Jaguar Part 2 (15+15+20 min. 1 secret): This level is built around the central room with the 'Jaguar-Sphinx'. Very impressive indeed even though of course due to the sheer size of the rooms the disappearing horizon issue occurs. A lot of climb shimmy monkey jump action again also involving ropes and collapsible tiles and along the way also an easy torch puzzle more running through temples and the other Leopard's eye to find. The effect after placing the two eyes is great and getting the cartouches from the mouth was fun too. Note quite sure what the turning of the mirrors was for but the flyby was nice anyway. So all in all this is raiding in grand scale and if you don't mind extensive explorations and enjoy good use of Lara's moves along the way this set of levels will be just for you. And even if you don't it's simply worth looking at for the wonderful setting overall which is really quite unique. Looking forward to the other levels of this series which are apparently in the building process." - Michael (09-Aug-2003)

"Excellent textures and some very nice made colored levels with huge areas. Big monument of Jaguar is one of best which I ever saw in Tomb Raider levels and reminded me on first Tomb. There is huge sphinx and here is Jaguar very well made. You have a lot of areas for searching and looking for needs and goods. Areas with fire and with water are very nice. And beginning of playing are great hob and I never yet saw textures like this very nice precision and good job made!" - Ivan (07-Aug-2003)

"This demo is absolutely great fun to play and beautiful to see it's probably going to take a while before we can play the finished levels but in my opinion it's worth waiting for. The puzzles are sometimes pretty hard the jumps sometimes difficult like on the breakable platforms but not so hard that you would want to quit. It can be confusing what to do and where to go but since you can go back to a level (there are three) anytime you want or need to it's not to bad. Explore every opening corner or holes and try to remember the places you go you might need to return there. The statue of the jaguar is fantastic and you even get to climb up there. You can find gold nuggets leopards eyes (now I do wonder why you need to put leopards eyes into a jaguar) and some stones nr 9 you also need the revolver and lasersight. There are not so many enemies around a few bats some native people and demigods and ofcourse the hammerguy I've seen some crocs too. The only thing I did not like was the fact that once I had been in the room with the rolling balls the rumbling went on when I returned to the jaguar I hate that earthquake effect so I hope that will be fixed in the final version. Great level!" - Josi (27-Jul-2003)

"Phew this was one hell of a long demo! Not only was it long 150 minutes but it was extremely complex in the fact that you can go back and forth through the three levels using different entrances and exits but before you realise this you leave so much left to do and so much to collect and place in some levels that you think you shouldn't be moving on but let me give you confidence in that you can and will return so just go exploring and have lots of fun. And fun is exactly what I got while playing this and surely what you will experience. These large levels are so full of exploration that I was like a pig in the proverbial and thrown into this mix are a few really nice puzzles but the real star of this show was definitely for me the environments the first a gorgeous Mayan temple with beautifully vivid colours making up the wall paintings the second in a massive lava room with small little temple like buildings sitting in that lava and the third set in a cave with an enormous absolutely awe inspiring leopard majestically sitting in the middle looking very Sphinx like. I noticed before I fully finished with only three of the five secrets that this set of levels can be finished in a few places early one outside in a wonderful lake area and I assume these are jumping points for the next levels so when you find a timed door using a wooden wheel then you have the right ending and have done everything. I can't recommend these levels too highly and just hope the enormity doesn't put some people off just realise you can always get back to places as I have said before and in the end it isn't a very difficult level it is just overwhelming to the eye. This taste of Eternal Youth has me in great anticipation of the next 8 or so levels hopefully my savegame will work I just hope I don't have to wait too long." - Sash (09-Jul-2003)

"What a promising set of levels! We've played only three of the nine of the complete game but I think that it will be great. First of all the textures are the best I've ever seen in a Custom level; the caves are very realistic although they are also very 'square'. The lighting has no faults: no flare bug not annoying darkness everywhere only in some places. The atmosphere sound and cameras are perfect: the custom music is very beautiful. The objects are varied and sometimes very difficult to find: I only found two secrets and the medpacks are really scarce in my opinion. The gameplay would be better but the rooms are so big and the places so different and linked in so many ways that the most of the time I was disoriented. I reached two different ends. I hope that we continue soon with the next levels. Very good work!" - Loupar (04-Jul-2003)

"Until from the farthest times.. it has been felt to speak about the Source of the Youth it was worth more than all the put riches of the world together. The waters gave to new youth and vigor to who was dipped to you. In order to catch up this source of the youth in the final version of game LARA it will have to recover of the particular artefacts. From first struck of game of this DEMO we account of the greatest job made from Walrus becomes in order to render more realistic possible the atmosphere of the pyramids Mayan and their inside. The illusion to find itself within the videogame is much high one. The distances from beginning comprising 2 secrets are make very well and give gameplay to a remarkable rhythm. Better still it happens when we go in the laviche rooms to the search of the revolver to means of monkey and of the gold nugget. There are of the connections to the main room of the great Jaguar that they concur an immediate return in the others knows them to inspect. Truly remarkable the recovery of 2 the eye of the Leopard after to have crossed rooms of incomparable beauty. Also the enemies (Mayan warriors) are equipped with a certain intelligence and much agility being reconstructed on the Ninja of TR 4. And the scarabs of the great caverns are not at all easy to avoid. Evocative the climb of the great cove of the Jaguar with a background music much beautiful one carried out through penthouses that shake and monkey for the search of the crowbar and to the return of the 3 secret. Very executed the animations and the game of the cameras that they make to see the points us to catch up. Also Lara on outfit by Litepulsar has a various animation when it instead takes the objects from the lateral bag ..that from the backpack . After all an optimal realization while we attend the most complete episode in 9 levels and 2 bonus levels." - Roberto (01-Jul-2003)

"I can hardly believe this is a demo from the setting and the whole atmosphere but it is. Temples underground areas huge lava rooms you name it it's here. This will be an extraordinary game when it is finished. Really I have no words to describe it the traps spikes and lava are not many at this point nor the enemies some bats natives a demigod and the hammer guy. There are different routes to take in big outside areas which lead to other levels. Often I got confused as to where I was supposed to go but help was always near from other fellow raiders. Two golden nuggets two cartouches a torch puzzle will keep you occupied. In that great scenery I didn't like the big distances one has to cover. It took me three hours to complete this and I found two endings they are supposed to be three and that was because of all the running climbing swimming. It is worth the trouble though and you will be missing a lot if you choose not to play it. Waiting for the actual game." - Kristina (01-Jul-2003)

"I am not sure if the term DEMO is on its place here as this was a 3 level game. My impression overall was that this was eye candy. The Mayan Temple you encounter is just as one could imagine a Temple could look like and later that enormous cave filled with lava and even more small Temples in it and then that huge Leopard. The atmosphere is darkish and although there are more than enough flares it does become a bit tiresome to my eyes. I found the gameplay quite frustrated as one had to travel through the levels and you easily bypass some sections you need to do first. If you miss that you can go back but it does hinder the gameplay as I got mighty confused at times. This is for sure a level that one has to explore every nook and cranny and even then some. The puzzles that were there are fun to do although that Hammerguy got a bit on my nerves but that is what he does best. The enemies overall are very well placed. Main goal is getting the Leopard eyes and in between you will pick up the necessary items as the sight revolver torch crowbar and some nuggets. There are even 3 endings so try them all. 18-06-2003" - Gerty (26-Jun-2003)

"My word Lara looks like a librarian - well from the neck up at any rate - and she's got a rather natty little shoulder bag instead of the usual backpack. Nicely done. This 'demo' is actually a three part level so the final version in which we are promised 14 parts should be an epic indeed. There is a lot of to-ing and fro-ing between the three huge areas which makes it easy to miss things. Lots of running and jumping climbing puzzle solving timed runs lava rooms - all the usual raiding activities basically but nothing too difficult. Some of the settings are breathtaking. In particular the first temple is quite dazzling - jewel-like and scintillating. You won't get too much time to admire the view there however as our old friend the minotaur is on the rampage and trying to stop you solving a globe puzzle. Between him and the bacon slicers you encounter going up and down poles you may well find yourself running low on medipacks. Go on give yourself extra I won't tell. Other enemies are demigods and cannibals (interestly retextured ninjas rather than tinmen this time). I confess I found the gameplay rather erratic and confusing but if this is merely the demo I feel the final version should be quite magnificent." - Jay (18-Jun-2003)

"At 2hrs40 net gaming time this demo is bigger and more complex than all but a few full levels I've played. Therein lies part of the problem. This was too complex and confusing for its own good. It's OK to get stuck in a game but I generally like to have the problem well bounded - ie to be stuck in one room or a few rooms; here one has to grapple with an ill-defined set of tasks that contain elements spanning THREE HUGE non-linear levels that are difficult to travel between. And frankly it's too overpowering. Also it is possible to progress very far in this set of levels only to discover you need a revolver - which was in fact to be picked up maybe 1 hour earlier in a place it's easy to bypass. On a more positive note: the lighting textures and general atmosphere are superb - especially the textures. So much was awe-inspiring and some of the ceilings were just so ornate and gorgeous. And the leopard has to be seen to be believed - so skillfully built. Graphically and with audio there were a few glitches like an irritating sky graphic that kept on wanting to shed light on a large cave some areas blacked out occasionally suggesting a bug in the prj associated with these rooms and near the beginning an audio track looped in a very irritating way; and rolling balls that should have been anti-triggered at some stage to stop the screen from shaking in distant areas. Walrus could be building a top series of levels here - but a few things need to be addressed to make the Gameplay more fluent (so it gets the 10 it deserves) and easier to comprehend. I will look out for the finished game with interest." - Dick (16-Jun-2003)

"An absolutely fantastic journey comprising of three levels which will eventually lead to up to fourteen so we are told. When the first level began I was gob smacked by the beautiful building in front of me a Mayan temple it was the most wonderful building I have ever come across in a TR level truly marvelous with textures that stood out and made the stone work was almost real lighting was perfect and atmosphere awesome when the background music changed from outside to in. I can't praise the whole effect enough. Gameplay throughout was backwards and forwards to different levels to collect the items required to proceed the important things to get were the leopards eyes to place in a mega sized leopard building and like all the rooms in these levels it was truly spectacular the lava room also was so beautifully done with small Mayan type buildings set in a lava area. There were so many items to collect and most were not necessary to end the levels but I did find them all and finish all the levels with no misses I wasn't going to miss a thing and can't wait for the rest! Some brilliant additions were the sound tracks and the amazing sphere episode to flood the lava room magnificent stuff! The tricks and traps included high up collapsible tiles which was a task but so exciting to do also some well thought out jumps and timed runs globe moving and lots of ladder work enemies are few and a tad scarce with African chaps a fire wraith bats some demigods and a minator. I suppose one has to play these levels to appreciate their true beauty and the total greatness of what they have to offer I could go on forever about the many wonderful things involved with these levels but I will leave it there and highly recommend this as first class level building." - Moonpooka (16-Jun-2003)

"A very good demo it kept me busy for more than three hours! This demo is massive so many rooms and so much to do...the gameplay is very smooth logical you can go back and forwards in the different levels in case you forgot something and this is very nice! The puzzles are not very difficult enemies are not many and of the usual kind (demigods animals). Secrets are difficult to find I missed some of them. The atmosphere is fantastic you really think you're in a Maya place the textures are realistic and well placed. What I enjoyed more was the lighting fab and the sound (cool music!)...with some corrections (it's a demo) it will be perfect now is very enjoyable and recommended!" - Glow (15-Jun-2003)
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