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Level: CIL back home search
Author(s): Qunai Vinci
total rating:8.43 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
guss18 7 8 9 9
Kristina 10 9 9 10
manarch2 9 9 9 8
MichaelP 8 8 8 9
Momster 6 8 9 9
MpGrill 7 9 7 7
Navi 8 9 9 9
RaiderGirl 7 8 9 8
Raymond 10 10 8 8
Torry 6 7 10 9
Yoav 9 9 8 9
category averages
(11 reviews)
7.91 8.55 8.64 8.64

Reviewer's comments

"OMG. What a frustrating, nerve wrenching yet rewarding level set. My in game time was just short of five hours but the time I spent in front of the computer screen was 8.00am to 10.00pm for four whole days, minus toilet and food breaks. Each segment of pixel perfect jumps took me a minimum of 50 tries (sometimes many more) to master and thank god I found a video walk through online that allowed me to establish the correct starting points for these maneuvers and also the correct follow up moves to complete the sequence. Much easier when you see it being done than trying to visualize it from a written walk through that only confused me even more. I found ways to use the motorbike I previously thought impossible and traversed avenues I would not even have thought possible if not for the video walk through. One of the best wow moments for me was the large lady Egyptian statue that rose from the floor and elevated Lara to a new tunnel. Now this is an extremely difficult set of levels where the authors have squeezed every last ounce of capability out of the TR4 engine BUT they have also exploited some of it's weaknesses and fall-abilities to garner a whole new way to raid. Very clever but is this raiding in the traditional sense? After hours of finger crunching and manipulation I need to say no. Whilst clever and inventive it is not raiding in my opinion. There were some sequences that I almost gave up on. For example. Lara must jump, back flip, pull her guns, fire and break a grate over a crawl space, jump forward again, holster the guns whilst jumping and then grab the edge of the crawlspace. I cannot count the number of times I tried that before I finally nailed it. Then there are a number of extremely tight banana jumps as well. Way too frustrating. Hints provided via the cut scenes were well done and in the main covered the next step well BUT not all of these had cut scenes so that left me wandering about aimlessly for a while in certain spots. Like I say in the main this was well covered but not always. Another pet peeve of mine is secrets. Yes there are secrets here and they are damn hard to get to but when you finally accomplish the near impossible you are rewarded with a med pack, or a pack of flares or some such triviality. Please guys, reward the player. Remember in TR2 you could pick up 4 or 5 items at once. That is a reward for effort. Whilst the main CIL game was good fun the bonus levels were terrible, with the arduous amount of back tracking involved and the near blackness in which you had to traverse the level (not to mention the complex layout of the level itself). Fortunately there are plenty of flares else this would have been a pure nightmare. Unlike the other levels, the secrets here are mandatory to collect in order to finish the level. In conclusion, great set of levels marred by devious and unnecessarily difficult maneuvers in a grand setting with fantastic textures." - Torry (19-Jun-2018)

"If you always were a fan of sayings like "this can't be possible" in certain raiding situations, you really should give this levelset a try - after you have done everything in here you will certainly will have a different attitude to before. But warning: When you have problems doing the hard version of the banana jump, it might just be better to avoid this level, as banana jumping is one of the easiest tricks you have to do here. So now off to the actual review - the main game of CIL consists of three highly interconnected levels and I must say the way they are combined is really fantasticly done with the brilliant usage of the bike in a very special and unique puzzle and I loved the way the whole game is centred around it. While not everything is just about perfect (mainly due to the overdose of running around large areas without knowing where to go on as the jumps you have to do aren't that clear from the start), the walkthroughs of Kristina, repley (in German on the Levelbase) and Soul (a video one on Youtube), whichever you like most, are certainly helping you to find your way and if you like difficult situations to master and have the patience to try again and again up to a few hundred times you will find a lot variety even if most of time you will be doing just different kinds of jumps. Kudos to that! But you will not only encounter jumps only using the pretty brilliant room geometry but also some really fantastic moments such as a moving object that prolongs one of the jumps, a pretty challenging bike track, clever usage of weapon triggers and elevators and timed runs of all sorts. After you opened the path for the bike to finally get around all the levels to the big puzzle room there is a bug that can activate the boulders too easy, I'd at least recommend you try out how this puzzle is intended to work as it's quite original. The 3D puzzle that follows felt a little tedious but it's as unique in its concept as the previous. The quality of the looks differ much from level to level as I found the first two levels pretty atmopsheric with all those canyons, rivers and hills, but the third level was a little bit too blocky and uninspired for my taste. To get the nine secrets in the main game might be even harder than getting through the level without all those but it's creating such a sense of accomplishment if you finally found them and when you got two special secrets you are able to find a different path in the final room of the main game and climb onto the elevator avoiding the finish trigger enjoying the sight in a high room and being able to enter two bonus levels (I simply had to reward an extra point for atmosphere because of that brillient scene). "The Castle" was maybe even more atmospheric than the rest of the level but gameplaywise I found it to be not as good as you mostly run around pretty darkish passages with a lot of passages that look alike and you being pretty confused in this maze-like scenario, but some of the jump sequences were just about cleverly put together. "Search" was certainly my least favourite level of the pack but I loved the two timed runs against boulders at the start and the yet again pretty engaging jump sessions. Unfortunately the level got a little bit ordinary after some time changing into a classic catacomb-style level but with a whole lot of tedious to and fro. I still mostly enjoyed the level as every time when it was close to getting extremely tiresome a rather fun task is put in and the level also didn't take as long as the other bonus level so that I found it - say - bearable. There was one strange bug - or was it intended? - in the demigod room as suddenly it turned into a lava room with no escape for Lara and I had to reload an earlier savegame to progress. Texturewise there were a lot wallpaper effects and slightly streched textures here but just as in the castle level I liked the glimpses to previous or future areas which increased the elseway rather standard atmosphere a lot. The ending system was quite a great idea but I think that one has to find some of the secrets to be able to finish this level which wasn't very good. Summarizingly - highly recommended (or better: a must-play" for really experienced raiders that are bored of levels like "Odyssey 2012" or "She", masochistically inclined people or those who want to have something to boast if they manage it. Time Taken (yes I want to bore you) - Main Game: 95 minutes, Extra Parts: 10 minutes (CIL 1) + 85 minutes (The Castle) + 60 minutes (Search) = 155 minutes, total 4:10 hours. 16 secrets." - manarch2 (02-Sep-2012)

"I must say that I think that this Level might be a little bit overrated,but thats my opinion. Its very hard to orientate trough this game and this is a negative point,this has nothing to do with difficulty...It was just boring and no fun.There were also some hard jumps to master. The Lighnings were pretty bad,everything looks a bit monotone including the Atmosphere. But there were some interesting and funny parts like the motorbike." - MpGrill (19-Feb-2009)

"OMG....what was I thinking. Yes I read the difficulty rating and the reviews. This was a major hair pulling, head banging, teeth grinding experience. Without the pictures in the walkthrough I would not have finished. Aside from the near impossible jumps you will also have to traverse over lava, avoid blades and hammers deal with some lever and switch puzzles, boulders and trying to drive your motorcycle over some pretty tough terrain. I did (mostly)enjoy this level but I will admit all the hard jumps became somewhat tiring. I think it is a shame when more emphasis is put on making a game that most people will avoid. It would have been nice if two versions had been released. I think it will be some time before I attempt another Japanese level." - guss18 (24-Oct-2008)

"I played the CIL level with two parts one when he release I got stuck somewhere in the levels then Kristina helped me with savegames to play the bonus levels and second time with the walkthrough. To play the CIL you need hard nerves and lot of patience there is hard jumps difficulty to find the way. The statue elevator was impressive. I loved to play the bonus levels - they are my favored - thanks!" - Yoav (25-Dec-2003)

"I consider myself to be an above-average raider but this level took me longer than any level I have played. I was determined to get through it and although I had the help of Halcyon Kristina and Muscon it should not have been so necessary. I missed a lot of secrets and relied heavily on savegame help but all in all I still enjoyed the experience and wouldn't have missed it. I do not believe though that this should be the case. I have rated gameplay lower than anyone else has only because I feel that playing custom levels should be a pleasurable experience. I've played some far more simple that I enjoyed as much as or more than CIL. I'm not saying this wasn't fun it was to a certain extent and the atmosphere was fantastic IMHO but still and all there were too many frustrating moments and pitiful cries for help for me in all conscious to rate it any higher." - Momster (23-Nov-2003)

"This series really makes Eye of Eve and Meganebashi seem an easy run through - or is it just me getting old? Be prepared for a lot of frustration and twisted fingers but of course also those moments of great sense of accomplishment along the way. And don't forget that the indicated playtimes are my net gaming times. In total I spent many many hours more to make it to the end. CIL 1 (8/7/9/10 30+15 min. 4 secrets): I very much liked the overall setting of this part with the canyon the waterfalls the greenery and spent the first two hours to collect the first two secrets sort of right at the start (net game time for this about 10 minutes only but the require about a dozen pixel perfect jumps so it took a little longer). The rest of the level and the third secret as well mainly revolve around a series of tricky jumps to master but it is actually not too bad with a little practice. Bringing the bike up is very smartly done and requires a bit of driving skill as well. Make sure you do collect the lasersight. There are no enemies at all in this part. Towards the end of the series you come back here for the grande finale and entry points for 'Search' and 'The Castle' and there are really some neat effects with the statue the revolving snake and the great view from the pyramid. CIL 2 (8/8/8/9 15+45 min. 3 secrets): Initially you pass through this part on your way to part 3. The landscape is a bit rougher and I thought the texturing was a bit more careless than in part 1. The two first secrets require yet a few more perfect jumps and there is just no way I would have picked up the rose petal without a hint in the forum. This part does feature a number of interesting custom objects and even a few ninjas and ahmets as enemies. The way how you bring the bike around by passing through CIL 3 again is wonderfully designed. There are tight short timed sequences to master and I am not sure I really understood the 8 lever room until I got it explained in the forum and was just glad when I managed to get through the two doors finally towards the end or rather the bonus levels which you need to start independently. CIL 3 (7/9/8/8 45 min. 3 secrets): This is where frustration heavily overcame the sense of achievement. For some reason the tricky sequences were too tricky and too many for me in this part and simply took too many tries before somehow mastering them like the slide with the spikes spikeballs and fire and many other passages. The flyby after shooting the ball is great the use of the moving object to help you jump further was cool and I also liked the elevators and the skeleton room where you cannot draw your guns without burning like in Traio's Mantua. To my surprise the double timed run seemed rather easy. Enemies encountered are bats and giant scorpions and very nicely done although highly annoying the little red 'beetle' scorpions. Search (8/8/7/8 90 min. 4 secrets): Admittedly I really liked the idea of designing a level with various different endings and assigning a 'skill level' to the player depending on what you managed to complete - very original. And after three levels of CIL I had hoped for something a little more relaxing and initially was so wrong as if anything it gets even harder. A quick boulder chase a very difficult passage dodging fire and a boulder on a pole and a series of pixel perfect jumps in a deep cave and further along two fairly tight timed runs. But all of a sudden this turns into a 'run of the mill' explore and collect pickups level which was quite a surprise. Four gems (the secrets) four knots two coin pieces two tridents two scrolls and a bunch of precious artifacts 'Blue in the blue' being a very nice custom one are your reward here. The Castle (8/8/9/8 110 min. 2 secrets): Strangely I did enjoy this one quite a bit. The castle atmosphere comes across quite nicely and even the dark and gloomy (ie need flares quite a bit) works kind of well. You definitely need a sense of orientation here as you revisit places and shortcuts open up along the way. It does even start rather easily and even almost tedious with rooms full of crates to search but soon enough you get a very creative but tight timed run and some pixel perfect jumps again. Two sentry guns need to be eliminated and about a dozen SAS roam the place but are not a real threat. The burners room was also very tricky there are yet more jumps around floating blocks similar to 'Search' and two very hard to get secrets (both big medi). Had to look again to actually see the crowbar and found two keys. I did like the use of the sprint/crawl action in a very clever way and the big burner room was fun to maneuvre as well mainly to deactivate all those spikes. With another tricky slope jumps room and a bit of swimming you then finally make it to the amulet and the end of this level and the overall series. Bottomline I am all for a challenge but those five levels simply have a few too many of them to remain an enjoyable play as such. The architecture is entirely fantastic the way all those jumps have been integrated into the environment is awesome and there are many Wow-moments throughout but trying too many jumps too many times before succeeding did spoil the fun for me and so I cannot rate it as high as some of the other reviewers did. But certainly it is a unique adventure not to be missed by the toughest of raiders out there." - Michael (18-Oct-2003)

"Unless you are an experienced Japanese player I recommend you print out Kristina's walkthrough before you start this and have it nearby at all times. I probably could never have finished without it (Thanks Kristina!) I liked the look of this series better than I did Eye of Eve especially the beginning with all the greenery but the HUGE rooms with lava blade traps spikes screws collapsible tiles boulders etc were very intimidating. Plus even with the walkthrough I spent many moments wondering what to do next or how to do it. I was just glad to see the end of this one it seems like lately too many authors have tried to make levels that are extremely difficult and that only the experienced or determined players can finish. Maybe someday this author will use his skills to create a level that everyone can really enjoy and have fun playing." - RaiderGirl (18-Sep-2003)

"These three levels plus Bonus levels (with which I was a bit disappointed) were yet another great challenge. Very difficult. The overall architecture was fabulous especially the flybys in the bonus levels were fantastic. Puzzles and riddles were often rather unclear. I often wondered what I had caused (was the fire puzzle really intended with the bike?). When Lara slid down an edge she could stand in lava so I tried in a few places and it opened up many options but I thought it was strange. If it had been water...but well my Lara was glowing so I saved on using flares when it was dark ;)) Jumps were mostly very tough to master as were the timed doors but with a bit of practice you can do it. Lara's main task is to find a wondrous artifact. Before that though a few other items are important (rose including leaf). Objects were at times very beautiful and new. I liked that. It was also very diverse. Lara can move around in the three levels very much and then there is an unbelievable bike ride. I found 7 secrets (5 in the first three levels and two in the bonus level Search). One was reachable by a jump we know from Eye of Eve). Not many enemies but they sure were well placed. Sound was used often and suitably. Cameras were missing a bit except for the flybys as most of the times Lara pulled a lever and you did not know what happened and you had to find the way by yourself. About 'Search': Lara finds two blue gems which open the way to the end. Lara reaches a closed door with an artifact behind it which she does not take with her ;) and then it was over. Kind of sudden - a pity. But it was a great challenge. The levels are definitely not for beginners but if you like Japanese levels they are a must :) - high danger of being frustrated. About éThe Castle': Again tough jumps here and the name gives away the location. But they certainly did not know light in this castle. I had to finish this with a savegame (thanks to the sender!) as there was one jump that I could not master despite trying for days. Many thanks to the author for some help!" - Navi (05-Aug-2003)

"That's an extraordinary set of levels! Absolutely highest degree of difficulty especially the jump sequences. I really liked the challenge but I can also understand those who are frustrated by these levels. This is only for very experienced raiders with a high tolerance for frustration. But you will also get a lot of satisfaction and fun! Often you come in a room and think: Oh god! What the hell I'm supposed to do here! Jump sequences with extremely exact jumps difficult timed doors and hard to solve puzzles! For instance the long downhill slide in CIL 2 the lava rooms in CIL 3 or the big room with boulders floating in space in the bonus level Search ... . Just overwhelming! How these levels are constructed is really amazing. So for gameplay and puzzles I want to give the 10 although there are some puzzles which made not that much sense to me or for instance in Search it's very likely that you have to play the level again because of the fact that you missed something in the beginning of the level. Enemies are not that many well chosen and placed. The set of Objects is also ok. The 10 secrets are very excellently placed. I liked the atmosphere in the Levels which is dominated by a sense of wonder. Sound and Cameras are well used but not that outstanding. Textures in the CIL levels are well composed in the Bonus levels sometimes a little bit monotonous. Lightning is not the strong point of the levels. Sometimes I wished that there would have been more invested in this. Every level has his characteristic flair. CIL1 is basically a trip through a deep river valley and than up a mountain with a adventurous bike trip. CIL 2 and 3 are highly interconnected playing in a rocky outdoor area with partially gigantic spaces below it. The two bonus levels Search and The Castle are basically a system made by dark corridors and also gigantic impressive spaces. The special about Search is that it has different ends depending on your skills measured with S(highest) A B or C. These levels had been also a highly cooperative adventure. So I want to thank for the help of Kristina bERT Halycon and all the others. So altogether I would say that these levels are a absolute must for the very experienced raider." - Raymond (05-Aug-2003)

"Before I begin to comment on the puzzles of these levels three plus two bonus I have to say that like all Japanese levels these are very very hard. Not only do they have difficult to impossible jumps but the players actually have to use their brain and skills to finish this challenging adventure. Bear in mind that you will have to jump often from one level to another and go back again. I would also like to thank Bert from our forum for his pictures with funny comments and help Jay the author for providing hints and these wonderful levels Halcyon and last but not least an Italian fellow raider which again with pictures and help in difficult areas made it possible for me to finish. Starting in a place with much greenery and a lot of waterfalls Lara has to jump and make it to the top of a sloped surface to reach an important item and enter the next level. Remember that the bike is essential for the game so is the laser-sight be sure to get them before proceeding. In the same setting with rocks greenery and the Egyptian element all around the tasks which our heroine has to complete are getting harder. The crossbow although in plain sight and so close is not easily acquired. The enemies are not many big scorpions small blue ones and ninjas. I think that is for the best since the difficulty of this level is high. The switches and levers are there to help the player access the next area or maybe open way for the bike to cross and turn off fires. The four balls puzzle with the reach in switches was so easy and yet looks so complicated at first. The third level is connected beautifully with all the others and our friends from the East have a talent in creating such convincing and solid levels. I loved the pool-garden with the flowers and the petal was a great idea. That along with the rose the gem and case the Ring of Ba a unique nitro feeder that looks nothing like the usual one are some of the nice and new objects. Going further I was drown more and more into these levels. I finally reached the bonus levels and it felt like a great accomplishment seeing those caves it was like they are calling and waiting to be explored. After a number of new tasks I found two pieces of another new object a coin with an awl on it a knot and gems. The second bonus level 'Castle' is even greater than the previous. Going round and open doors to finally reach a room with tanks and fires is the first thing to do. That won't be easy though as more difficult jumps waiting for you outside of that area but inside as well. I found this level to be the hardest of them all. Two moves one in CIL1 and the 'Castle' were brilliant but also hard to imagine. The one at CIL1 is unique and I would never believe something like that was possible; I am talking about the area with the waterfall and spikes that has the 'Eye of Eve'. The other one in the bonus level is two moves used together that make Lara escape the spikes and the crawlspace behind to access another secret and an outside area of the castle. The work is just brilliant work in all the levels. I found all ten secrets but not the first time I played it I had to do some areas or even on bonus level again the 'Search' to be able to get them all and visit every single area. Since these are none linear levels there is a chance that someone like me to complete some tasks in different ways. Well I say that's the beauty of the game. Make no mistake the timed runs are present and at one time you will encounter two together the jumps are hard and frustrated at times so unless you have patience and persistence do not try to finish them but do take a look at them as they worth every single drop of sweat. One thing that was fascinating among others of course was the big female Egyptian like statue that was set as an elevator and helped Lara reach the entrance of a new area one of the bonus levels. You have to see it to understand. Everything is well placed and much attention has been given to this game. A great challenge that all TR veterans MUST try and all TR players MUST at least experience. A big thanks to the authors for their creativity gave us a wonderful adventure." - Kristina (07-Jul-2003)
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