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The Lizard King by Richard Lawther

afzalmiah 10 10 10 10
Aims 8 10 10 10
Bene 10 10 10 9
bERT 10 10 10 10
Blue43 10 10 10 10
CalrOsario 10 10 10 10
Capt. Abbey 10 10 10 10
Cory 6 9 10 6
Cruzader 10 10 10 10
DJ Full 10 10 10 10
dya1403 9 10 10 10
Engelchen Lara 10 10 10 10
eRIC 10 10 10 10
eTux 10 10 10 10
G.Croft 10 10 10 10
Gerty 9 10 10 10
gfd 10 10 10 9
guss18 10 10 10 9
Jay 10 10 10 10
JesseG 9 10 10 9
Jorge22 10 10 10 9
Jose 9 10 10 9
Josi 9 10 10 9
Juan Carlos 10 10 10 10
Juno Jim 10 10 10 10
Kristina 8 9 10 10
Loupar 8 9 10 10
manarch2 10 9 10 9
Mezcal 10 10 10 10
MichaelP 9 9 10 9
MigMarado 10 10 10 10
Mman 10 10 9 8
Moonliteshadow 9 8 10 9
Moonpooka 10 10 10 10
Obig 9 9 10 10
OverRaider 8 8 8 9
Phil 10 9 9 10
QRS 10 10 10 10
Ruben 10 10 10 10
Ryan 10 10 10 10
Sash 10 10 10 9
Scottie 10 9 9 8
Staticon 9 10 10 10
Sutekh 9 10 10 9
Suzanne 10 10 10 10
tadziu_PL 10 10 10 9
Tedos 10 10 10 10
TimJ 10 10 10 9
tomb gamer 10 10 9 10
TombRaiderFan 10 10 10 10
Tortoise3 10 10 10 10
Treeble 10 10 10 10
Tune Razor 10 10 10 10
Ward Dragon 9 10 10 10
Whistle 10 10 10 10
Yoav 10 9 9 9
release date: 14-Jan-2004
# of downloads: 247

average rating: 9.70
review count: 56
review this level

file size: 106.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Fantasy/Surreal

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"The Lizard King is absolutely amazing, (a 10/10 in all, or any category you may think about). The aventure takes me around 5 hours, (pure joy). Fantastic atmosphere with great puzzles. In my opinion, a great epilogue for the serie that i trully enjoy. Fantastic architecture. Sense of humour without equal! (Thanks Richard for quality time i got with this adventure and the others you had provided to this community)!!! Found 4 secrets." - CalrOsario (22-Dec-2022)
"One of those levels which prove lighting matters the most for visuals - the scenery is made of crude materials, but light and shade provide it with flawless colors, making it easy on the eyes despite of relative simplicity. Gameplay... oh, boy - if even pushables are good, then I have no further questions. And as for music, I had the Orr Cafe Swing in my head for several months... A must-play for any fan of the first golden age of level design." - DJ Full (18-Jul-2022)
"Pretty much the perfect levelset. Great storytelling! Amazing and varied settings filled with interesting things, including humor, music, puzzles, a bit of platforming, sequences that do not take too long and are not too hard. The difficulty is moderate, with well dispersed challenging parts. This is a lesson for builders, truly, and that is the greatest compliment I can pay Richard! I only disliked the somewhat wallpapered texturing in some parts, but it is absolutely nitpicking and bad reviewing on my part to go there. Okay, I just changed the textures rating to a 10 too. Geez, I'm letting some forum threads get to my head, aren't I? :) Congratulations, Richard, you're a genius! Thank you very much." - MigMarado (20-May-2021)
"Wow, what a brilliant adventure. I might have stated on any of my recent reviews to Lawther's levels that they were a bit of an acquired taste, but while this one is just as "out there" as the Astrodelica series, it's definitely a sight to behold from start to finish. There are a number of different levels brought together by a nice hub area, and each area has its own share of puzzles and perils to conquer, with a lot of clever level design (the "nothings", the massive overworld with the pyramids, the bike tracks, to name but a few) all around. There are plenty of brand new objects to go around as well, such as the Anubis guide (who eventually turns into something else entirely) and the annoying imp creatures, plus the skeleton band(s?) was a nice touch. Moonlight Sonata is a song which I've grown to love over the last year or so, so everytime you step onto the main pushblock puzzle area of the hub you get that nice treat. Thanks to Sutekh's thorough walkthrough I managed to finish this journey over the span of three days, and I loved every second of it - I only wish I hadn't arrived so late to the party! 3 hours, 5 secrets. 04/21" - Treeble (25-Apr-2021)
"Absolutely amazing. A 10/10 on all fronts. This 4-5 hour game packs a diverse array of fantastical, otherwordly yet sort of familliar locations where you'll have to solve some truly clever (yet not too hard) puzzles and platforming in order to progress. The sheer amount of inventive ideas present in this TRLE is astounding. The only thing I could criticise is the vehicle driving section since you can't reverse drive which then makes the lava floor section quite frustrating to go through but that's honestly the only complaint I have. Perhaps you could say that the Hyan Pyramids area is slightly barren but I didn't find this to be out of place considering the surreal environment. With all that said, this TRLE plays good, it sounds good, it looks good, it's a pretty damn good game and you should definetely play this one. Considering the age and how good this TRLE is I could argue that this is a classic that every Tomb Raider fan should play." - Cruzader (06-Sep-2020)
"This is the start/semi-related intro to Richard's Underworld series. The setting are very distinct, as you go from the abstract floating ledges of the hub area (and one or two other parts) to pyramids, a river of blood, and other settings. There's also a lot of new and original object usages, some very creative Guide usage, and things that still feel fresh. Something throughout the series that starts here is also a lot of work put into the background materials like the maps provided and storytelling details, as well as the persistent humour and certain locations that you revisit in later parts. The architecture and lighting is on the functional side and relatively sparse a lot of the time, but there are lots of interesting large-scale designs (especially a giant pyramid area), and little details that add intrigue to the setting and make every area feel distinct, and, despite the humour there's a slightly oppressive feeling to the atmosphere that fits the afterlife setting.
The gameplay isn't especially difficult outside of a couple of tricky obstacles, and some very non-traditional vehicle challenges, but there's constant gameplay and puzzle ideas, and each level establishes distinct gameplay ideas like the climbing and navigation in the River of Blood and the vehicle theme in Babylon. There are various block puzzles but there pretty much always done in a way where it's working out things that's the challenge and they go by quickly once you know where to move them. A couple of pits you can't seem to get out of was odd, but the overall quality of the designs make up for it. It also all works towards a great climax as you deal with the boss in an unexpected and satisfying way. An excellent set and a great start to this classic series." - Mman (21-Jun-2019)
"What a beautiful, imaginative level, I admire Richard Lawther for all he can create! Everything is well done and in the right balance, I enjoyed from start to finish! I recommend it to all those who have not yet played it, it is for everyone, not easy but not very difficult." - Tedos (25-Nov-2018)
"Richard once again drags us into his unique world of demons, great puzzles and humorous music. Especially the tune played by the skeletons in Castle Orr. This is set before the events of the UUB series. Lara once again has a helper in the form of Anubis. A great raiding experience and unmissable." - Ryan (11-Mar-2016)
"I expected something special from this game when i saw the very high rating but there was nothing special here. I don`t like surreal type levels but my rating is objective so i will never give low rating to level types i don`t like. When i played Underworld UB4 which was surreal as well it became one of my top custom games. This one disappointed me. There was some interesting puzzles or ideas but mostly boring, too easy because i wasn`t stuck at even one moment so i finished it for the first time when i started it. I didn`t find all the secrets so those was very well hidden. I recommend it for players who like these types of levels but there are a lot better surreal type levels on trle. 8/8/8/9" - OverRaider (26-Dec-2012)
"It seems that I am the only person in the entire world that disliked this level. The gameplay is not as unique as most people say. It mostly involves doing a pushable block puzzle, then a lever puzzle, then jumping from one ledge to another, and then doing another pushable block puzzle. There is no denying that there are some quirky moments, like summoning Anubis and running through the nothingness. However, these moments were too few and far between to warrant a better gameplay score. There is even a random pit in Hyan Pyramids which you can fall into and never get out again. Even though I did not like the level, I cannot give less than 10 for the atmosphere because it was perfect. Literally perfect. The lighting and textures, however, were not. From the reviews I read, I was expecting something amazing. In the end, I got repetitive wallpapered textures, which are sometimes stretched and sometimes compressed and never really impressive. The only impressive moment in the whole level was really the castle, and even that didn't look too great. The final boss fight was good fun, but I felt that enemies weren't really spread through-out the game, but more thrown at you at certain points, for instance, when you get ambushed by 4 Warriors of Xian. However, the objects used were unique and fun, and faultless. Secrets were also hidden well. In short, I think this game is vastly overrated, as even though some parts of the game were fun, most of it was dull and repetitive, and sometimes just mean and unfair. The texturing was never very good, and at some places (Hyan Pyramids especially) just plain appalling. But I would recommend you play this level, just to experience something different, something completely unique." - Cory (23-Jul-2012)
"Well, reading the reviews from another players I think there's not something more to say. Only viewing the innitial scenary you can imagine what you can expect from this amazing game. Richard's style is distinct than all the other builders around the world, with fantasy scenarios full of incredible imagination, awesome objects, very original tasks, fantastic animations and flybies and a great history. Perhaps some areas are too huge and empty, but it doesn't involve a bored game, always with something to do and no excessive backtracking. The help from Anubis along the game and the pleasant vehicle were the best of the game. Really a essential jewel of the custom levels you can't miss." - Jose (26-Jun-2012)
"WOW! What an amazing game! This was a prequel to Richard Lawther's UUB series. You are in the underworld and you need five lizard true forms from completely different places and you also need thors hammer to get inside the lizard king's lair but sadly that got stolen by the minotaur. Seems like you need to do a lt of things and you do but it's not boring at all. To find the lizard trueforms you need to go to five countries (The countries look nothing like they're supposed to.) and do a lot of tasks to find them. A lot of good ideas from Lawther and some funny things. I liked all the places like the realm of Ego and the realm of ireland which had a fun timed run. A realm which I didn't really like was the realm of india, blood river (or something like that). In egypt babylon there was a lot of really hard challenges and would take you a lot of tries for you to get past them. I did anyway. Very good atmosphere and a lot of transparent objects and floors. There was also a transparent maze which I firgot to mention. Very fun and the best maze I've ever been to! A lot of amazing things in this game and you shouldn't miss this astonishing adventure." - afzalmiah (15-Apr-2011)
"For sure the most brilliant and impressive game up to its release. In terms of puzzles (the ones there were so imaginative and innovative I can't praise them higher) they are for sure on TOP10 (for-)ever. The jackal bike ride was extremely nice in Babylon. Also enemies were really new and Anubis as a guide fitted very well to the scenery and gameplay, until you shoot at him, of course. Also atmosphere was very good for a hell-levelpack. Only complaint were the textures; not that I don't find them nice, for sure they were really good for this time, but today (maybe to that time, too) they seem a bit "normal", as in the Hyan level. To the single levels, according to the walkthrough:
Castle Orr (9-10-10-8) A nice level, lasting not too long, but with nice gameplay elements like the shower for the lava room and the changing-platform room (now I know where Scottie took his idea for his level). The climbing on the roofs was reminding me on the CS2010 levels - good to see this was doable in the early days, too. Unfortunately you could get the Lizard Trueform without searching for the "change"-lever which destroyed the good idea of hiding from the guards. Nice remake of the TR2 and TR5 enemies.
Hyan Pyramids (9-8-9-7) was - as said earlier - not good at textures (I don't mean the Nothing!) but that nothing was so creative, unluckily I lost Anubis once so I had to completely redo this part. I enjoyed the jumping parts for the pyramid climbing very much, as well as the searching for four keyholes. Again, I have to complain something: Due to an unkown bug the Lara puzzle can be screwed up - when finding a hole in the floor and falling through, the right lines can be seen, Laras can be moved - but then nothing happens. Also the area was too big to explore everything, but that's only my opinion.
Uranus (2 levels) - (10-9-10-8) This was a real strong level. Not only because of Anubis again, this time serving you as Charon, but only because of the very good water puzzle. I also liked the river parts as the jumps were quite hard to figure out and there was not often more than one way. I simply loved the architecture of the rocks and the stones at the end.
Demon Nursery (10-9-10-9) It was short but strong. I certainly would have given 1000/1000 to gameplay/puzzles as this was so attractive, beginning with hard-to-figure-out pole jumps, going on with some excellent breakable floor puzzles and with a quick-shoot challenge - it took me many tries before finally managing to shoot all tiny creatures before they get to the deadly tile. At the end you have to do some easy classic puzzle. You might think this is odd for the high quality of gameplay, but here you had to run against the time (another creature)! Finally getting something more quiet with a crazy translucent maze to solve. But these walls helped to see the exit ladders quite fast. Finally getting to the real highlight; that was
Babylon (10-10-10-10) I can't say anything bad here. This was fantastic. The jackal ride as the most difficult challenge - not only in this game - with some very nasty traps like the diagonal wall maze or the block puzzle. I don't know why, but this finally convinced me to feel enthusiastic for this levelpack.
The Underworld Parts (10-9-10-8) were great between-levels which completed the storyline and also had a great puzzle where you had to know about every official Tomb Raider Games to know how to place the effigies. Great idea for the music skeletons here.
The Lizard King (9-10-10-9) was a great epilogue for this pack; it was very short, but the Lizard King was the highlight. He was so detailledly made and had such a bad humour ("You are nothing, ha ha ha") it was the visual highlight here. Placing the Trueforms was not that challenging, I think, but I nevertheless find this a good level, but still don't know why this level was combined with the Demon Nursery one.
If you count all things together, this level included everything a good level needs. Congrats to Richard for such a brilliant level!" - manarch2 (18-Nov-2010)
"I held off playing this one for a while, because I was a little intimated, thinking it would be very difficult and too challenging, but I am so glad I did finally play it now, since this level is a unique work of art. This is the first Richard Lawther level I have played and it sure won't be the last one. I don't want to repeat most of the things other have already described in their reviews, but I have to say that the game play is definite one of a kind. There are so many things to do and different places to see here, that one can only wonder that this was made with the regular level editor. The ideas that have been realized in this level are simply amazing. Some of the puzzles were difficult but in the end it all made sense. A little checking in the walk through helped me finding all the secrets and cracking the hard parts. I also found the supplied map and the information stones very helpful. Music and sounds were in a wide variety from spooky to entertaining and that created a perfect atmosphere. Every one of the levels had it's own highlights but I think Castle Orr and the Demon Nursery were my favorites. And then of course who can forget Anubis as the guide? This level is a surreal masterpiece and has instantly made it onto my personal favorites list. If you have not downloaded and played this yet - do it now!" - Blue43 (01-Nov-2010)
"This was deffinently the best level I ever went through. It really kept me on edge when running from the Lizard King. I kept saving repeatedly too just because I didn't want to screw up too bad. :D It was really fun! All I have to say to you Richard Lawther is, keep making levels cause the stuff you make is the stuff I like! :)" - tomb gamer (28-Jul-2010)
"I planned to play all four parts of the UUB series and now the question positioned itself for me whether I should play before The Lizard King or not. It was less about whether the level feels well or bad. This question was answered quite enough. No, it was for me about whether I had to play this level to have an entrance in the UUB series. And, indeed, one could look at The Lizard King absolutely as a Prequel. This is why I play first this level. And it is worthwhile, to play this level. Anubis as a tourist guide through the white Nothing. A Demigod which looks like Lara. A waterfall with which the water flows into the wrong direction. So fantastically everything also looks, nevertheless, there are a few things which disturb me. For example, the standard Pistols sound does not fit thus at all to the play. And in the cave system of Uranos-River of Blood one can see too many texture mistakes. Moreover, it does not so feel well if one gets stuck in an Illegally Slope. But then one finds in the next level a brilliant water column jigsaw puzzle. Indeed, one can also jump at both mountain slopes upwards and reaches thus the "End of the Level". Such a thing is very irritating. It is irritating also if one cannot take up a Medipack because it lies on the water surface. Then in Castle Orr I got for the moment a fit of laughter. Finally, one does not see every day small running balls of wool with cord needles which also laugh quite funnily. This level is substantially better than both Uranos levels. The duties are much more interesting and one can already recognise the typical humor of Richard Lawther. Nevertheless, all together there are clear differences in quality. Above all Richard would have had to rework both Uranos levels still strongly, above all the first Uranos level has many texture mistakes. An other Problem is a Dead End-Bug in the Level Demon Nursery and the Lizard King. If I shoot the 9 small Demons, don't grab the Demon Key, use the cable railway, goe back to Underworld and plays first the other level, I have no more chance to come to the Demon Key. Though The Lizard King is a very good level, but, unfortunately, to a top level it is not enough." - Scottie (16-Jun-2010)
"I started this a long time ago and made the mistake of going to the area with the Nubie bike early and Immediately thought" This is insane". After a few custom levels under my belt, including all of Mr. Lawther's masterpieces , thought I would give it another shot. I loved, loved, loved it. The quirky and unique characters and objects were fantastic. The spiky round foes with their giggles and woo-hoos made me laugh. Puzzles and gameplay were very interesting and not terribly difficult. This go round I actually enjoyed the Nubie bike challenge. Your quest is to locate the True Life forms to enter the Lizard King's inner sanctum for a final battle. The boss battle was tough and when it was over and I used the lever I kept thinking...Vengence is mine saith Lara...SPLAT! This is a must play." - guss18 (18-Oct-2008)
"I am very pleased that the author released MAC playable levels for this brilliant game. Gameplay is well-rounded with tricky puzzles (hard enough to warrant a hints.txt from the author) and high-adrenaline moments (the last boss fight). The atmosphere is creepy (good use of audio), as it should be, but it has its colorful moments too, such as a band playing jazz in the Castle of Orr. Some sounds were missing, but other custom sounds make up for it (the Anubis vehicle especially). Texturing is quite unique and abstract, almost boggling to the eyes at a few points (such as a transparent-white pyramid that you must ascend). Lighting is pretty straightforward in some places, but is pleasantly dark and colorful in others, such as the Uranus caves. Overall this is a high-quality, creative adventure that every raider should experience at least once." - SSJ6Wolf (10-Oct-2008)
"Now that Lizard King is Mac compatible, I FINALLY got to experience yet another of Richard's MASTERPIECES! Hands down, he is one of my all time favorite builders. What an imagination this guy has! I loved, loved, loved the"Anubis Bike", especially the little barking and whining noises it made. Climbing the pyramid was a blast too and there were lots and lots of great puzzles. The samurai warriors, skeleton musicians, those funny little demons, helpful Anubis, warning shivas, and OH, those giggling spiky things had me rolling on the floor laughing! I loved it, loved it, loved it! Thanks so much for making the mac version Richard!" - beachnutt (12-Jul-2008)
"Well, I made the mistake of reading some of the other reviews, so it's hard to think of more praise... I can say I have loved all of Richard's levels, but this is the best yet !!! He really has a nack for putting himself in the player's mind, the cues, and hints were very helpful. I really like the departure from the standard TR look. I think this was the first game (more game than level) to use another animated AI character, Anubis, who was very loveable and intelligent "excellent"... The puzzles were fun, the Jackal Cycle was a challenge and a blast. The whole adventure was very immersing, and difficult to leave. Somehow, I lost one scroll, and had to navigate through both "Nothings" without Anubis this time. Luckily, having played this game before, and remembereing that there was an "up" block in the second "Nothing". It only took me about 10 & 20 minutes each... LOL." - Juno Jim (05-Mar-2008)
"This level was surreal in a very good way. I really enjoyed the puzzles, the exploration, and the overall atmosphere. The storyline was great as well (especially the ending). My only problem was that I thought the vehicle was a little hard to control. However, that's a minor complaint when weighed against the sheer brilliance of the level in its entirety." - Ward Dragon (31-Dec-2007)
"I have played this level series some years ago and enjoyed it very much but never found the time for a review . We all know about Richards beautiful UB Series that followed after which have become milestones in TRLE history. But I also believe that this wonderful first step into the underworld also deserves a golden crown as it takes the player right away into Richards mysterious world for the first time foreboding things to come. I can still hear the moonlight serenade ringing in my ears as if to say: 10 . 10 . 10 . 10 . Thanks Richard" - Ruben (23-Nov-2007)
"Well ! It was simply astonishing and marvellous ! You begin in a strange place. After having looked around you you'll simply think : "Well. There will be a lot of thing to do here. What am I going to do now ?". Simply go ahead and slide on the slope in front of you until you reach a plateform which some stranges statues and skeletons playing the Moonlight Sonata. Here we are. There are five statues and five name of places written on the floor. Hum. You'll surely have to put each statue on its respective place. Unfortunately the blocks on which the statues are have raised. You'll have now to find a way to lower this blocks. You'll have to travel the underworld to visit several places and find the Lizard Trueforms. These will help you to beat the Lizard King. I won't describe every level but I want even so notice some things which were really incredible. In Castle Orr by exemple if you are spotted by some ennemies who have a weird mechanism near them you'll simply be burned. So you'll have to be careful and keep your guns in your holsters. In Babylon the Jackal-bike was simply amazing and the several trials you'll have to do with it where very clever. I was very frustrated with the one where you have to go in a precise way on a slope with lava but finally I loved the idea. The idea of Anubis (very well modelized by the way) which leads you in the Nothing was also incredible and what can I say about the 3D labyrinth of the unnamed Pyramid? The final fight against the Lizard King was also funny when you have to crush the baddy with a big ball. Another funny thing was the musician skeletons. In fact you won't be bored in these levels : they are just beautiful. There wasn't a lot of ennemies. I liked this a lot. In most of the TR levels the ennemies are an important part of the gameplay and in The Lizard King they aren't. The atmosphere was really weird and I think some players might not like. Personally I had problems to stop playing because I was really taken by the game. The beginning of Uranus level was a bit weaker in term of atmosphere but I can't really explain why. It was less fascinating for me. May I say something about textures and lighting ? Well. They match the levels very well and were well chosen. The Hyan Pyramids level was a bit weaker in this point. Some textures were streched and there wasn't a lot of lighting... but I know it's hard to build levels with huge areas. Anyway it's a Masterpiece and I recommand it to everyone. It's a challenging level but I think it's not too difficult." - TimJ (20-Mar-2007)
"I could not believe it was so good. Err, I mean soooo good. More than 2 years after its release , I did not know what I missed ! I spent an afternoon to complete the game and it was top class entertainment. This set of levels is extremly enjoyable and incredibly funny. At times it is necessary to oberve and think to solve the ingenious and various puzzles. The pace is not slow as there is also a lot of action , the game is pretty fluent and logical, the solution for the puzzles is always near. I encountered a bug in Castle Orr as the lift did not want to work the first time , probably the savegame bug , because the 2nd time I did not saved nor reloaded in this place and it worked like a charm. Great sense of humour , typically British methinks. Really enjoyed the many appearences of Anubis , the timed tasks with the little white beings in the "Nursery" , the climbing of the great pyramid , the journey with the vehicle , the amazing scenes , and all the complicated puzzles (complicated to build for a builder ,but not frustrating to solve for the player). There are so many good and innovative things in this game , I can't believe it. "Excellent!" said Anubis." - eRIC (03-Oct-2006)
"This is trully a great level. it has a little bit of everything, strange but common TR settings, all spiced up with some new elements (characters, objects and puzles). The sound was perfectly choosen (I liked most the atmoshere in the Underworld level and the sounds played when the fight with the Lizard king begins). And the skeletons were also pretty talented at playing those instruments... The Anubis- mobile is funny (it barks when you turn on\off the engine) and I enjoyed the puzzles and timed races I had to do with it. In total you get a great mix of fun and adventure that worths trying, but I admit I was a little discoriged in the beggining when I saw all those complex platforms linked togheter in the beggining of the level, bi\ut the map provided was very helpfull." - dya1403 (25-Sep-2006)
"I could tell it with only two words: "perfect game" But I will try to say a little more. A game with all the elements that a game needs, such as very smart and interesting thinking puzzles, action and enemies that goes in a more difficult grade as the game goes on, finishing with the big enemy. A game that you can play with NORMAL Lara moves (this is great, no tricky moves, no special moves, just the normal game moves). Perfect construction of rooms. The most beautifull cavern I have found in a game. The castle of Orr, another beautifull construction. The game is hard but not too hard, you can play it and finish it without looking for the solution, that is enjoyable because I hate to get stuck with ideas no logical and with lines that are impossible to be seen. Congratulations and thank you very much for this level Richard Lawther. This complete and perfect game must be played by all Lara fanatics." - Juan Carlos (16-Jun-2006)
This one's a classic, and probably raised the standards of custom levels when it was released. It has a unique atmosphere, one I would qualify 'droll', and oozes inventiveness from every parts of it, be it for settings, sound or gameplay. Said gameplay is tough at times, with tasks requiring a certain level of expertise, but never frustrating, and you'll have more to resort to your brain than to your fingers agility to accomplish most of the tasks. You'll also find something rare in custom levels: real characters. From Anubis to the Skeletal Musicians and His Reptilian Majesty himself, you won't encounter only enemies but real (albeit virtual) persons. All this added to a subtle humor (very British) makes the Lizard King a real classic and sort of a milestone in the custom levels history. Not only highly recommended, but almost mandatory. - Sutekh (27-Jun-2005)
"It was a tough and hard piece of work to finish this level, which is divided into several areas. But I have to say it is unbelievable what is on offer here, especially all the new objects and figures that you can marvel at. Espeically the enemies were chosen with great care. Puzzles are partly quite difficult and test your thinking and patience. Several passages are timed. There was one frustrating place which took me a lot of time and that was to cross the lava hill with the dog car, but in the end all frustration was forgotten. In other areas it is a little easier and graphically something to look at. Huge pyramids, marvelous caves, glass mazes,...ingenious. Sounds was also nicely added. Lara needs to find 5 artefacts and as said it is quite a challenge. All in all this was one of the best levels I ever played. Thank you to Richard for the great effort of building such a masterpiece :-)" - Engelchen Lara (31-May-2005)
"Nothingness, platform suspend in area, skeletons playing on pianos and strange statuettes discouraged me on start. However, immersing to next periods I begin perceiving this peculiar climate and everything adjust logically as seen. Most important element motivating to game are rare earlier solutions and riddles. I played with curiosity what author could else invent (and he has invented a lot). For example, killing all white freaks before they come for indicated place. Are too several extreme moments. Anubis riding on almost vertical wall or entry on top of great pyramid jumping for excavated openings. Climbing on transparent pyramid is unpleasant too because is possible to obtain nystagmus. I think still, that in Richard Lawther's levels quadrature predominates and in these huge rooms contain a lot elements. Textures and music are all right. There are not enough opponents but they adjust for these changed climates. It is necessary to play to it." - tadziu_PL (01-May-2005)
"This level set is an unabashed tour de force that must be experienced to be fully appreciated. There are more unique touches than can be described in a review such as this, but they reflect a gifted and creative mind. The ending sequence is nothing short of brilliant, making all of the travails up to that point eminently worthwhile. In summary, you owe it to yourself to play this fascinating creation if you haven't done so already." - Phil (29-Apr-2005)
"This is one of the weirdest, funniest and best collection of levels I have ever played. This is so far from the original way tombraider was mean to be played but I love it!! I can't imagine how much time Dick must have spent making all these hard puzzles and the scary environment. The secrets were hard, the puzzles extremely hard and the 'vehicle' hardest (without reverse *argh*) The eerie feeling in the sublevels really made scared. Especially the end with those evil skeletons and their nasty music :) Full score from me as this is a masterpiece in its own genre. Time to try the sequels. 2005/04/12" - QRS (13-Apr-2005)
"Ridiculous weird fantastic surreal mind blowing unbelievable kooky brilliant. These are the words that come to mind when I recall this set of levels. I really don't know how Richard can just keep delivering such innovative levels with the inclusion of new vehicles new enemies and new objects and sure he's had some help on a few of these aspects from others but in the end he is the puppet master who directs the show and what a show he puts on. Here's a round up of what you'll be accosted by of course in the nicest possible way when and if you decide to download and play. Underworld - This is the hub from whence all levels sprout and it definitely has Richard's trademark stamped right across it. This is all about floating platforms and walkways in a void of black space and although at first glance it can seem daunting to say the least you will find your way within minutes so just run and jump around to get acquainted. You'll come back to this hub to complete a glass tiered maze later and a movable object puzzle with a country theme but otherwise this is just a stepping stone to the other worlds where each holds an artefact you need to find a Trueform. Uranus - You can do any of the five levels from the hub in any order but in the readme Richard has written his preferred route so who am I to argue. So let's go visit Uranus gee that comment could get you arrested in most good Baptist backwaters across the USA! Anyway in this level you have to follow the River of Blood which flows upstream through a cave network to reach the River Styx as you'd expect you have to pay the ferryman to cross in this case the ferryman is the dog guide Anubis and payment is the two halves of the boatman's pole which you find after a confrontation with some Shiva's. End this level after 50 minutes with a speech from Osiris as well as one secret. The definite highlight was a brilliant shaft of water you have to build in sections using trigger pads not only because it was a smart puzzle but because it just looked awesome. Castle Orr - Yes even though you may not be Einstein you should have guessed this one is set in a castle but a castle floating in space. I would guess it might also be an oriental castle; do they have castles in the East? Oh well even if they don't this is Richard's level so reality went out the window when I clicked on 'Play Game'. The oriental theme comes to mind as you meet a samurai looking enemy that at times you have to stealthfully out manoeuvre you also meet what I can only describe as turkeys without heads but they aren't too much of a threat what I was a bit surprised with though was the seemingly sedate skeleton jazz band who seemed to get a bit cranky maybe that's why they call it the blues and started to chase me. You get movable object puzzles one with timed intermissions and the other with a picture clue moving platform jumps jumps over a deadly fire floor and a really cool camera shot of a set of stairs magically appearing over a lava floor. There's also plenty more in this 45 minute level including one secret but I couldn't for the life of me find the way to open it's entrance so gave up skulking into the next level. Hyan Pyramids - Definitely the most interesting thing to be found in this game is here in this level the mazes of nothing now you may ask Sasha what is the mazes of nothing? And I may say firstly call me Sash Sasha is too formal secondly stop being so nosy if you want to know go play it and find out for yourself what am I your personal gossip columnist! Geez where did that shrew come from I'm so sorry of course I'll tell you. The mazes of nothing are exactly that totally whited out textures in a maze so you can not make out anything and you may as well have a white stick and a guide dog well speaking of guide dogs why not call Anubis and he may help you through really he hasn't got anything better to do at least until three when he gets his monthly flea bath but till then he's just traumatising mailmen so you'll be doing them a favour. Other than that you get a vast expanse with four differing pyramids a gigantic one you climb with precise jumps one you have to release four boulders on one that transforms so you can collect something and the other you internally climb to the top of. Just watch out for the fifth kind of pyramid the flying wraith like pyramids that chase you so look for a nice cold pool of water while you're in this area why not look for the one secret as well. End this level after 40 minutes with a cool Lara head movable puzzle which unleashes yes this is freaky a giant Lara who you have to kill now this slaps of self hatred and truly I think Lara could do with some counselling to come to terms with whatever her issues are personally I think it goes back to not being breast fed but that is her demon to overcome. Speaking of demons.... Demon Nursery - This level is really quite inventive and though short at about 10 minutes was nonetheless really a whole lot of fun. You're in a world very much like the Underworld with floating platforms so good jumping is a must but it's the timed moves that include small baby demons that is were the brilliance lies. If you include the glass maze I wrote at the top then this level pads out to about 20 minutes and all of them very worthwhile minutes. Babylon - You'd think by the name Babylon this would be a world of beautiful gardens but it's not it's a world of mostly devious and deadly bike tracks but as there is no bike to be seen what should one do except call Anubis. Good old Anubis now flea free is such a giving guide so giving he turns himself into a dog bike now let's go riding. There's a hilarious movable object puzzle where you have to give a dog a bone as well as a fantastic set of path making puzzles using pressure pads I unfortunately missed both secrets and couldn't believe that I had accomplished all that needed to be done in only 25 minutes as it was so involving. Now that we have all 5 Trueform artifacts let's go get the Lizard King. Underworld - First though to get there you need to pick up something from this level to access his domain so go get it. Lizard King - What a disappointment I was expecting Jim Morrison! Okay so it's another Lizard King and he's pissed! Quickly place the Trueforms as the big bad bastard through bolts of death at you and turn him into his alter ego the Lizard Twerp now he's just the right size to squish so do it. The end! Well jump on an invisible platform as Anubis looks on I didn't get this but I don't think I need to and didn't really care and now it ends. Fabulous! Just Fabulous!" - Sash (23-Jul-2004)
"I much preferred this to the Astrodelica series. The main reasons being that the puzzles (whilst being brilliant) were no longer unfathomable and the general game is much more logical so that you're never too unsure as to where you should go next. Moreover the level is not so ball-breakingly hard as his previous. The atmposhere here is amazing right up there with Devil's Lair. It's also has more than its fair share of funny moments. The enemies are both new and funny. There is a whole host of stuff that I'm not too sure has even been done before. I loved the way that you could tackle the levels in any order you liked. Come to think of it I loved just about everything! This mini-game took me 4 hours (which just flew by) but I'm afraid to say that I didn't find a single secret :(" - gfd (07-Jun-2004)
"In this story Lara is again out of the world but perhaps is only wandering in her inner world. The first platform (with the beautiful music 'Claire de lune') shows the Lara's past icons; one for each game. Along the game Lara has to find five lizard forms and after placing each icon in their place open the door of the Lizard Realm. The levels are varied each one with their own enemies: Castle Egypt India etc. The puzzles are also varied because some of them are easy but the Anubis-mobile (thanks bERT it was difficult for me to name it) riding over the narrow walkways was very hard. Finally and after some visits to the forum or the walkthru I finished. I've enjoyed this superb game: perfectly lighted and textured and with a perfect atmosphere and sound. The secrets are a bit difficult to find and the gameplay is sometimes confusing." - Loupar (23-May-2004)
"Tour de force! This is work by a consummate artist so rich it makes your head spin. The operative word throughout this gorgeous experience is perfection. One moment will find Lara actually doing quantum mechanics invoking the Copenhagen Interpretation as she traverses space-time and the next she struggles with existential being and nothingness! Woven throughout the deft touch of the Lizard King lays on hilarity in such magnificent detail it's a joy to be in his universe. Run off with your jackal in a nightgown you will be dancing to skelly tones before the night is over and you'll never be the same again. 'Ruff Ruff!'" - Mezcal (13-May-2004)
"I think this is the strangest game I have played but then I haven't played many other than TR. Some of the enemies are quite surprising! I was truly amazed that I was able to complete some segments. I was aware that others had but I was convinced that I didn't have the skill level and patience required. I was very 'chuffed' to get through the bull/dog ride at the first half of Babylon. Very difficult! I have to say that I also found it a bit tedious having to try over and over and over again. The whole atmosphere was certainly something different to any Tombraider I have ever played. Suspense levels are high scenery is ..... what can I say..... I think the author said somewhere something like 'your worst nightmare'. Certainly spectacular and scary. Thanks Dick for a great and different game." - Moonliteshadow (03-May-2004)
"Well this is one of the best levels I've ever played. The locals and enemies are various and there are numerous interesting puzzles. You must be very careful about not to do harm to the Anubis because he won't help you in the 2nd labyrinth. There are 5 Secrets but you will need all of them in the 2nd walkthrough. The textures and the added sounds are fantastic. You must collect 5 Lizard Trueforms place them in the end of the level and finally kill the Lizard King. There are a couple of Medi Packs on the level but they won't be needed. Possibly there's only one bug on the Hyan Pyramid's level where you have to push 2 Lara-headed statues. Looking down from above you can notice the right places where you must push them but the door does not open this way. Well don't drop down but climb back down the ladder. There are so many ideas and puzzles involved that it's impossible to describe them in a short review. I love the vehicle of Anubis too. The historical and mythological locals and characters are a bit mixed up but on such a beautiful and adventurous level like this the author must have this kind of freedom. :) Don't miss it! You can find a Hungarian walkthrough (as we don't have English version) savegames and pictures here: " - Obig (24-Mar-2004)
"Hey there Richard! You probably remember me as the one who didn't understand your highly praised Astrodelica... Well please take note I loved your Lizard King. Still surrealistic and yet so different not only from what I've met in Astrodelica but also from any other custom level I can think of right now. Of course you made it easier on us players by giving us a lot of hints with the download. I did follow the route you suggested and paid great attention to the suggestions you offered namely in that dreaded motoanubis tour along the path surrounded by lava. I must say the level I found the most difficult must have somehow been the very first in the River of Blood where I found myself stuck quite a couple of times totally ignorant of where I should turn to next. Of course the entire game is very ingenious and it gets hard very often. It does get so in Castle Orr with the moving platforms and finding out you can jump across safe spots on the lava... It gets hard in the Demon Nursery where it isn't always completely obvious where/how to move along at all occasions and then in the short race against time with the little devil... It gets hard in the Nothings (that was so original!) are a where after trying every possible chess move with the Lara's heads you finally discover how to move them and slap yourself because it was so easy after all!... And it even gets a little hard when you have to face the Lizard King (a song by the Doors here wouldn't have been ill placed) at the end but then not so hard at all since you provide us with so many clues as to what to do there. I must say this was an amazing and well accomplished job you've done with the level editor. I wonder how you'd do were it not for the limits imposed by the editor... If you for instance could prepare a final battle with a much harder enemy such as the dragon in TR2 the mutant spider at the end of TR3 or the mean Egyptian god (sorry I can't remember which one it was) in the final part of the Last Revelation. I truly believe you'd do better than what Core has done with that dreadful Boaz in the Angel of Darkness. I'd also like to add I liked your musical choices namely that tune by the skellie jazz band which reappears at the end. All I can say as a final word and if it matters is please give us more of this (no do not repeat yourself just be as good as you've proved to be here) and you shall have all my blessings!" - Jorge22 (17-Mar-2004)
"Some of Richards other levels have left me in awe of the inventiveness they contained and yet I was still unprepared for this. It is massive. It deserves to be boxed and sold as a commercial product. I have always claimed to be an eternal beginner but though this is not an easy level even I managed to finish it. (Thanks to Richards's walkthrough for the guidance). Some of the tasks set for Lara had the adrenaline pumping yet some of the enemies had me laughing out loud - especially those little balls of knitting wool with knitting-needle legs and arms. LOL. I did spot a few twisted textures but in a game this huge they can be forgiven. Overall everything was great the texturing lighting cameras - all added to the gaming experience. I particularly enjoyed the euphoria of beating those two pillar-top scimitar traps the Anubis ride and the dog and bone puzzle. The glass pyramid was hard on the eyes to say the least and that end-boss sequence had the old heart a-pumping. It was with much relief that I converted the Lizard King into a lizard-burger. Excellent work Richard. Probably one of the most complete and well-rounded levels I have played yet. (Until the next one Dick?)" - Staticon (02-Mar-2004)
"What can I say? This is a brilliant level! So original. I've never seen this sort of thing in any of the tomb raider games I've ever played! What's the story? Well Lara being a naughty girl has resurrected the evil lizard king (she has a tendency for getting in trouble!) so invoking the spell of Anubis she is sent to a place in between earth and hell to destroy him where he is most vulnerable so the mess she has created is cleared up! There are 5 levels in which to travel each having a lizard trueform. I only gave gameplay and puzzle 8 because even though it was fun it did have some puzzles that were really hard and took a few goes also some tricky jumps and timed sequences. 10 for enemies objects and secrets as they were so original and clever! From enemies such as weird ball shaped imps with spikes coming out making weird sounds and pillars to push with items of Lara's past on them such as a jackal and even her own head! The sound was brilliant really original and eerie and I liked it when I was spoken to by a God even though I had a little trouble hearing him it was still brill! I loved the ghosts playing the moonlight sonata in the main area and in other areas won't spoil too much! The camera work was fab too! So a 10 there! And finally 10 for lighting it wasn't too dark but just dark enough to convince you that you were indeed in nowhere! Who can forget meeting the lizard king? Well if you wanna know you'll have to download it for yourself! Two thumbs up keep up the good work Dick!" - Aims (02-Mar-2004)
"This is one of the weirdest things I have ever experienced. It is by far the most spectacular level I've seen so far. It's amazing to play something created by someone who really really knows what they're doing. I was completely immersed in that place for the entire level. Of course EVERYBODY loves the Anubis-mobile! And we can't forget those weird little spikey things that say 'yoo-hoo!'. What?! The whole level was lovely lovely lovely probably the best tomb raider level ever." - Capt. Abbey (11-Feb-2004)
"A brilliant set of 5+ levels with plenty for all kinds of TR tastes. Puzzles galore of every kind often with brand new twists which make you really think hard and question your approach. All you need in terms of items you need (ammo etc) you do get including novel health so nothing lacking in that department. Enemies are also present often in a mega or unusual way. Ride what has become Richards trade mark an unusual 'Dog' round tricky courses and also learn to do some very exacting jumps. Slide down zip lines and negotiate the tortuous routes Richard has devised. Graphics and items are again unusual and fit the mood and purpose to a tee. Music and sound again had a large unique element. Camera's give you the views smoothly changing to keep pace with the game play. What else is left to say except thanks Richard for writing it (and for download) and if you haven't played it then get a copy and spend many hours of gameplay which have been devised with lots of thought." - Whistle (08-Feb-2004)
"Find five true-form lizards and use them to defeat the Lizard King. Sounds simple maybe but there's nothing simple about it. You go through several worlds to find the lizards and luckily you get a lot of help from Anubis you really need that help. Babylon is my favorite part of this level. I loved it nice puzzles and a very cute vehicle. The first half of the River was my least favorite quite dark (never liked the Ganges in TR3 much either) but the second half was fun again. The changing of the guard in the China-part was absolutely great never seen anything like that before. The skelly-band in the castle was cute well before they got mad at me that is. I'm very happy that Richard is 'unretired' and I hope there's still more to come from him." - Josi (06-Feb-2004)
"Phew! What a ride - lots of innovative ideas the best boss fight to date and my favourite level from Richard so far probably! I found no secrets along the way as I'll mention a few times (I wrote reviews for each of these as I finished them). Anyway here are the bits of the game - reviewed as I played and finished them. Babylon - spent 20 minutes here till found the lizard trueform. This level is more based on the vehicle (Anubis is your vehicle here lol) which makes hilarious sounds and actually whimpers after a big fall and is happy after a completing the fiery hill puzzle. The puzzles that work together with the vehicle are clever especially liked the timed drive over the deadly platform. There are other dog related puzzles and also a clever pad - movable tile puzzle. Didn't need any help with this level even though missed the secrets. Uranus - River of Blood / Uranus to Osiris Court - 20 minutes in the first and 10 in the latter one. The river level is basically a run through along a River Ganges style river (with exception that it's red... and there's no vegetation... and it flows in the opposite direction...) with some deadly scimitar deactivating action and shooting some stone lizards and funnily sounding robots along the way. Not much more to mention about that level - the court though starts with a 'water tower building' pad puzzle and I think I've seen something like it in the original Astrodelica. Hmmm. Anyway - collect some stuff from the Shivas and let Anubis take you over the river Styx so Lara could face Osiris (nice scene here I only wish I could've understood what he said! *sniff*). Was fairly simple as well (even though I did the water raising more on trial and error) so I didn't need any help and didn't find any secrets as well. Castle Orr - 30 minutes spent here in search for my 3rd trueform and some great action here! Lara mainly has to avoid 4 or so Xian guardians (some stealth stuff!) to get to a desired lever or they set Lara on fire (bastards lol) but there's more to do along the way as well - two movable object puzzles the hilarious 'Skelly Tones' room the hilarious running/laughing buns of the Xian guys lolol some timed platform jumping that requires precise timing. All puzzles are logical and doable and thus I didn't need any help again (yay!).. but missed the secret again (darn!). Hyan Pyramids - the search for my 4th trueform took me 40 or so minutes. The idea of the nothings is a great one but kinda reminds me of a high school confirmation ceremony where you're taken to the destination point blind-folded and have to do a lot of nasty tasks along the way. After that you're at some really huge pyramid areas and all I could do for a while was to run around like an idiot cause starting this was a bit confusing and later climbing up the pyramid a bit tedious. After the 2nd nothings route where I think the spirit guide sometimes fooled you by going somewhere and then turning around and going into another direction after a movable object puzzle you meet a Lara-monster on drugs and use it's ego to get the trueform. I found this to be the most original of the levels this far ALMOST got stuck here but missed the last secret I had the chance to get anyway - damn! Oh and before I forget I found the floating pyramids very cute and hilarious lol. Demon Nursery & Lizard King + Underworld - 10 minutes in the 1st one 5 in the latter revisit and some 10 more in the last section. The first bit basically is a bunch of clever timed sequences in a surreal (bet you wouldn't have guessed this! lol) environment. On the return you wander around some see through pyramid and needless to say it's difficult to see what you're doing here. After getting my last trueform and doing my bits here and there Anubis took care of the minotaur and I could finally go and meet the Lizard king in person - and what a bastard he is! Up to then I got through without a single medipack but then they were used up fast while doing various things so you could get your trueforms placed. Anyway - I was glad when Lara could finally squish that mean old lizard and leave the underworld! What a magnificent fight! Absolutely fantastic levels by Richard ones not to be missed!" - eTux (01-Feb-2004)
"I just cant get my head around how brilliant and imaginative these levels are. How on earth did Dick put together such a masterpiece? I am still sitting here in awe of the whole thing. Absolutely wonderful it was a privilege to be able to play it. Once I got past the River Styx [must admit I am not too keen on dark caves and ledges] the whole thing opened up into something remarkable. I just loved my Anubis guide who gave hints so we could progress together and must admit I could have done with some more of him. Loved the way he howled when you got off the doggiemobile sent shivers up the spine. I adored the skelly bands and the humorous music they played the gravitation devices the aerial tracks in fact everything about it. Loved it completely. And what a novel way of killing the Lizard King had me laughing my head off. More please..." - Tortoise3 (01-Feb-2004)
"So many fantastic things to say about these levels I wouldn't know where to start so I'm going to keep this short. Firstly I thought I wouldn't manage this because I experienced Richard's previous levels which are not for the weak hearted. However I was totally hooked on the screenies I saw and had to give it a try. I'm so glad I took that leap because this was a wonderful adventure all the way through. Place objects from Lara's past after each visit to various places collecting the Lizard stones on her way. At the end fight the Lizard King himself which was really hard but fun. The various places to visit each had their own special atmospheres music sounds textures and enemies the entire use of these things was just outstanding in every way from the Glass Castle to the Caves and Castle Orr Babylon and the Demon Nursery etc the re vamped bike and the re constructed items and my most fav bit of all the huge water tank to fill to swim to the top of the room plus the beautiful use of lighting fire tiles block moves and pick ups. These levels hold too many wonders to name them all it was all spectacular. It simply has to be played to be believed because I can't describe it so well as to give it full justice so I hope my top ten marks say it all. Thank you Richard great work I hope you keep building for us." - Moonpooka (29-Jan-2004)
"Well this has everything I dislike: dark caves where the lighting is really dark surfaces that look like they can be walked on and can't jumps that look easy and aren't and jumps difficult enough to convince me I've gone the wrong way and missed something. All this I found in the beginning area when I followed the author's advice and started out in Uranus: River of Blood. By the time I got to the jump to the two spike/sword columns I was ready to give up. And then something happened. I got totally hooked on getting past those columns (staying up late into the night to do so) and totally hooked on the atmosphere gameplay and storyline. What a tour de force the author has produced. It indeed stands in a class of its own. Lara is on a quest through the underworld for five Lizard Trueforms that takes her to five distinctly different strange and wondrous areas with transporters hanging walkways and platforms elevators and Anubis as a guide (magnificently animated) who can then reform into a vehicle that only goes forward - no reverse making it very difficult to 'arrive alive'. There are five secrets of which I got three with forum help. One that was extremely hard from which to return (after throwing a switch needed to access the secret) and involved a new (for me) jump described by the author as a swerve/reverse/twist triple camel loop. Good enough name but maybe he should have said lizard instead of camel jump. lol. The outfit that Lara wears (complete with heels!) may be....... ahhhhh... a bit much especially when crawling but 'nuff said about that. Everything here camera work gameplay (the need for stealth in one area) puzzles atmosphere and storyline are masterfully done. This is a MUST D/L for builders and players alike. Not so much a primer on 'How To' but a primer on 'What to Aim For and Achieve'. The author has hit the jackpot here. Thank you Richard for all your work in bringing us such a memorable and unique classic experience." - Bene (28-Jan-2004)
"Underworld (not rated): This serves as the hub level for the whole adventure and nicely sets the scene with the vast nothingness eerie atmosphere and then of course the two piano playing skeletons. The whole concept and story of this levelset is quite amazing and I really like to idea of Dante's map to allow you to sort of plan your adventure. Uranus River of Blood / Uranus to Osiris Court (7/9/10/9 30+15 min. 0/1 secrets): Following Richard's recommended sequence I started with this part of the adventure. It is set into a rather darkish cave area surrounding the magically upward flowing bloody river which you have to navigate along. Naturally this turns this part into a fairly linear adventure with occasional swords to shoot to deactivate traps a few interesting jumps and stone lizards and small flying thingies to battle. In the second half you are treated to a nice little water puzzle and a short battle with two Shivas who drop the all important boatman's pole that allows you to summon Anubis who takes you further on his boat. I managed to miss the secret which supposedly was near to the boat and while searching for it could reach the 'end of the world' in two places ;-). Finally acquiring the first Lizard Trueform and after a (rather lengthy) speech from Osiris Lara is thrown back to the Underworld. Castle Orr (9/9/9/9 45 min. 1/1 secrets): A spooky Castle setting which really makes you feel being there even though at times the rooms seem a bit empty and desolated. Spear traps lava pools and a variety of unique and original enemies keep you on your toes. The Skellie Tones are utterly hilarious and I really felt sorry about having to 'kill' them. Two gems and a few keys help your progression which is more interesting and not as linear as in Uranus. There are puzzles which pushable objects which are fun stealth elements which are rare in custom levels and the alternating platforms took a few tries to master. Of course you want to make sure you do not drop off the 'electricity elevator' as this can get you irreversibly stuck. Towards the end you are treated to a series of jumps along the Castle walls on the outside which I really enjoyed and then collect your second Lizard Trueform before returning to the Underworld. Hyan Pyramids / Nothings (8/9/9/8 40 min. 1/1 secrets): While the use of the guide Anubis through the white Nothings is a great technical accomplishment from a builders perspective I am not sure it added much to my gameplay enjoyment. Also you need to watch your savegames as there are at least two areas where can easily get stuck without killing Lara. The setting with the Pyramids was quite vast and I found the running around a bit tedious only to pick up some Manna. But - enough with the complaining: The jumping up the big pyramid is well crafted the spirits are utterly cool good camera work here and a nice and tricky to be had secret. Near the end yet another neat pushable object puzzle in the House of Self and your next Lizard Trueform and you return to the Underworld. Demon Nursery (9/8/10/9 10 min. + 10 min. in Underworld): So short and yet so much fun. The construct with ziplines elevators poles and collapsible tiles makes for a fun obstacle course and the 'shoot-up-the-demons-before-they-fry-you' passage was hilarious. Then another timed sequence of the more original nature before you get back to the Underworld to find your Lizard Trueform in a maze like Pyramid. This last bit I found quite annoying as it was really hard to see anything and make out the right next step. Babylon (10/9/10/9 30 min. 2/2 secrets): I had had the pleasure to beta test this part and it was just as good when I got to play it again now. The vehicle is awesome (especially the sounds) and you are treated to a timed sequence a skill sequence and then a 'much-skill-required' sequence with it (over the lava slopes). Two nice little secrets (which I missed on my beta testing) and a pushable object puzzle add to the fun and I really enjoyed the cleverly designed floor pattern puzzle. The Lizard King (10/9/9/9 15 min.): After being back to the Underworld with your 5 Lizards you push the 5 objects to their places and can then deprice Thor of his Hammer (very well set in scene) and enter the Realm of the Lizard King for probably one of the best boss endings in a custom level. To the beats of the skellie tones you rush through this trying to avoid the bolts of the Lizard King himself and place your five Lizard Trueforms. Great flybys in here that bring the story to a close as you get to kill the King and then are lifted back home from the Underworld as Anubis waves good-bye. I realise I may have scored this a bit more critical than others but it is important to see that I do rate levels individually as a habit and for this adventure it is definitely true to say that the whole series is better than the sum of the parts. This is one that under no circumstances should be missed." - Michael (25-Jan-2004)
"This was an ordeal and like in 'Losing your Marbles' my fear of height kicked in and in a major way. But I got help Bert provided me with a step by step for the Demon Nursery and Richard was so friendly enough to give a save after the Babylon as there was NO WAY for me to drive that cute doggy bike over that small road. Apart from all those black voids I had a marvelous time. This was indeed a lot of OOOOOH and AAAAAH in this mini game and I fell in love with Anubis in his baby-doll pj's sooooo cute. Cutting through all the eye candy this is still a very entertaining level finding the 5 Lizards other artifacts and in between that a lot of jumping to do timed runs but not so hard that frustration might kick in puzzles and put on your thinking cap as these are for sure new ones. I had a good laugh seeing those little meatball with chop sticks for legs in Castle Orr. Loved the bands playing at certain times but don't relax too much as they will chase Lara. The puzzle with the Xian warriors what a wonderful idea and the way the Lizard King let you hear he was ticked off. Well as you can see I could go on and on. So see for yourself and if you don't suffer from vertigo as I do you will have a ball. Found one secret as I got a day later another couple of saves from Bert so I could have a peak what to do with the two keys in Babylon and also the doggie bone puzzle wasn't planning to go for the secrets so this bit was the icing on the cake for me. 22-01-2004" - Gerty (24-Jan-2004)
"Don't retire Dick! This is an absolutely astonishing spectacular imaginative ingenious set of levels. I promise you - Lara has never seen anything like this before! The Anubis guide the 'nubie pony' the little deamons the skeleton musicians the 'chess'-pieces and the Lizard king himself. You have got to see this to believe it! Collect five lizards to be able to get rid of the Lizard king forever (as approved by Osiris) in a cruel but great way! Ride the nubie-pony and follow your guide through puzzles and traps to manage your task." - G.Croft (22-Jan-2004)
"I guess I peaked too early with some of my level reviews which leaves me somewhat lacking in superlatives (and marks) when it comes to rating this set of levels. Anyone who has played one of Richard's earlier levels will know the sort of unconventional fare to expect but never has he come up with such a complete and satisfying combination as to demand the amplifiers are all turned up to "11". Those familiar with Richard's earlier levels will not be surprised to hear that 'Lizard King' features a number of stark surreal environments. However where it really triumphs is the way he manages to combine these with more conventional settings all including his peerlessly intelligent and well constructed puzzles. And whilst conventional wisdom will tell you that quantity and quality are mutually exclusive here we have an enormous set that manage not only to be impressively large but also to maintain a bewildering level of inventiveness throughout. So after that grand introduction what can I tell you about 'Lizard King'? Well the set of levels consists of five distinct sections some typically Lawther some more conventional but all of a standard that's hard to find elsewhere. The central area is a nightmarish surreal environment that in common with the 'Babylon' level is reminiscent of 'Floating Islands' from TR2. Babylon itself sees Lara mounting Egyptian jackal-god Anubis and manoeuvring him around some tricky circuits. Pretty challenging whilst you're still getting used to the controls! Castle Orr is more conventional and features the magnificent Skelly-Tones for your musical enjoyment as well as some maniacally unhinged enemies. Several puzzles here some precision jumping and a clever timed jump sequence not to mention some stealth elements. Uranus River of Blood is a dark cavernous area featuring yet more original enemies and excellent game planning and development. Hyan Pyramids is fairly straightforward once you've figured out where to go first and mastered an arduous pyramid ascent. To enter the pyramid area however you first need to enlist the help of Anubis once again to guide you through the untextured blandness of 'The Nothings'. This part of the level I felt was quite inspired! Finally (although the levels can be tackled in any order) we have Demon Nursery another surreal minimalist level. In addition to some precision jumping and careful timing we're treated to a couple of ingenious timed puzzles and a frustrating translucent three-dimensional maze. And once you've tackled that lot you can look forward to the final showdown with the Lizard King himself. It's pretty rare for a 'Boss' level to be featured in a custom level but this one brings the series to a satisfying and dramatic conclusion. The levels manage to be challenging without seeming impossible or becoming (too) frustrating. It is in maintaining this balance that Richard really scores by managing to maintain momentum and flow without making the levels trivially easy. Enemies hardly come thick and fast when they do appear they won't be enemies you've seen before and chances are they'll also bring a smile to your face. There are five secrets to be found none of which I happened across on my first play-through and two of which I'm sure I'd never have found without some fairly hefty hints from Richard himself. Having said that these levels really aren't about the secrets and whilst you might find the extra health packs (in the form of Manna from Heaven!) that locating the secrets bring useful you're not really missing too much if you don't manage to track them all down. So far from retiring from level building as he hinted at with the release of the final Astrodelica level Richard has come back in great style with a magnificent but most importantly eminently enjoyable achievement." - Tune Razor (21-Jan-2004)
"After the Astrodelica series the author created a set of levels combined in one game that continues in the same style the space-like exotic style. This time we are introduced in the magic world of the Lizard King which Lara has to destroy with the help of Anubis. She has to summon Anubis to help her during her wander in the shadow world mostly acting as a guide and a boat man at one occasion. I liked the mystery in these levels and the diversity between the levels. In her quest our heroine will find gems strange looking keys battle with demon creatures Chinese warriors and many others. Also she will be facing challenges like driving a vehicle that barks and having to balance on narrow race tracks as well as finding ways to overcome certain obstacles and avoiding being detected stealth tactics have to be implemented. The gloomy caves at the Uranus levels with the Shiva traps were nicely done only once there and after completing the levels you shouldn't go back to them otherwise you will be trapped forever. That is something I believe the author should have prevented from happening. In one of the parts there is a room with invisible walls you can also get trapped so be careful of where you're sliding down to. I am afraid I played one part in the 'Hyan Pyramid' in a way that wasn't intended. I completely bypassed the pedestal of which the scroll had to be placed don't ask me why I just didn't notice it and I was able to pass through the maze and reach the other side without Anubis' help. The problem with completing the certain task my way is that if you place the map and then go back which I did and summon Anubis when he arrives in front of the map he just stares at it without moving. As you can imagine I had to load a previous savegame and go back through the maze summon Anubis and then place the map luckily I didn't have to re play the level from the start it sounds tedious doesn't it. I enjoyed driving with the dog vehicle having to avoid getting burned; it was a great challenge for me. The ultimate challenge though was avoiding the Lizard King which was quite difficult only at the time you have to push the blocks and access the receptacles to place the lizards. Out of five secrets that are in the game I only found one at 'Castle Orr' which was not that difficult anyway so I wonder where the others were obviously very well hidden. Taking into account the times I got stuck due to design problems I think I rated this game fairly. I will not reveal any more about it but simply leave you find out for yourselves. Definitely a game worth playing." - Kristina (19-Jan-2004)
"I bet this levels makes everyone realize just what an excellent level it really is! You just can't fault one little thing about it...If this doesn't get more than 9.9 then I am puzzled! It consists of 5 levels which you have to complete to get the Trueform Lizards. Each level is set in a different location too: Castle Caves a mysterious Pyramid The Hyan Pyramids..and Babylon. Each with different puzzles different custom enemies and places to explore. The thing that's so unique about this game is the number or challenging puzzles that Lara must face. Every puzzle was a puzzle I had never seen before! They were all thought out well and invented by the author. They were just the ideal puzzles! The best puzzles I have seen in any custom level! I can't really describe where the whole game is set. It's out of nowhere and is very weird..In a good way of course! :) The hardest of the 5 levels I would say is 'The Demon Nursery & The Lizard King' which consists of a huge area with various poles and collapsible floors...And very challenging puzzles to work out! 4:26 hours to complete this epic adventure! Overall this is an amazing game and I guess that no custom level would ever top this game!" - TombRaiderFan (19-Jan-2004)
"Hail king Richard! I've come back to my senses again having been glued to the computer screen from the beginning till the end during this game (not in one go however this game should come with a health warning 'play with moderation'). Now IF there's one medicine after playing a crappy game then play this one and IF you're a beginning builder then DON'T look at this game because you'll feel so little even to think you can come up with something like this you will tuck the level editor away forever. The Lizard King is absolute top amusement and a level builder course in gameplay settings atmosphere cameras laugh-out-loud humour story 'wow'-moment-building and music. Your quest is to find and 'humiliate' the Lizard King. Five worlds have to be visited in order to get to the king. Babylon. Very beautiful Egypt themed level with the most hilarious anachronism to drive around in: the Anubis-mobile. This vehicle outdoes even Richard's Whizz-Bang from the Astro series. Everything about it is fab: the look the sounds it makes (certainly when making that big jump) and the way it is used in the gameplay. The best for that matter being the 'Avoid-the-burning-tile' slopes. Camera sequences with Anubis are brilliant. The Anubis character is a very well 'restyled' guide from the official series and makes several appearances throughout the game. This is the only level I found the secrets from (2) through first play. Demon Nursery. Atmospheric Floating-Island style level with very original timed-action routines involving hopping little...demons what did you guess! Eerie atmosphere through perfectly textured settings. The author again proves his originality by warning through a 'telling-stone' you better not save during one timed sequence. Castle Orr. Wonderfully lit Castle level with some very original stealth routines through which you have to stay out of the hands of some very mean looking big (think Sumo wrestlers) 'restyled' Ninjas. Truly breathtaking sequences amongst which a 'lightning' elevator. You'll be running to the toilet from laughing when you meet and hear the little meatloafs with chopsticks (never mind I don't know how I should call them but they looked a bit like that). And you'll hear the Skelly Tones who look peaceful but seem to have a surprise up their sleeves. Hyan Pyramids. It's big majestic huge in settings. You'll hop skip and jump around a flipping mother of a pyramid meanwhile releasing boulders. Again the way this is textured is sheer beauty. The most memorable thing about this one however is the way the guide Anubis leads you through two white labyrinths: another brilliant idea implemented here. Uranus. Darkish cave level along a 'river of blood' of which the two main attractions to me where the 'water-tank-builder' puzzle and the Standing Stones area for being a basic but very atmospheric lit setting. Very worth mentioning here too is the way you have to 'unblock' passages by looking for and destroying the Shiva-swords. The 'swinging signs' warning you for these add much to the atmosphere as well. Once you are through these five you'll have your five lizard-keys and the chance to shove the five icons from the worlds you've been through. This leads to two greatly entertaining sequences of which one involves Anubis again calling for a necessary spell to shut up Thor who in turn gives you the 'key' to an 'explosive' intermezzo leading your way to the best end-of-level boss sequence I've seen so far in Tomb Raider. I know for some people Astrodelica 1-4 was too far 'off' Tomb Raider (I'm still not convinced it is 'off') but for those who would have second thoughts to start playing the Lizard King I'd say: think of the best candy you ever ate would you have wanted to miss it...?" - bERT (18-Jan-2004)
"The beginning of the levels maybe will look to you strange indeed - it looks like... well don't worry - you going to enjoy the best of Richard's levels. Everything about this level is excellent. Lighting camera work gameplay and puzzles. With new mini dress hmm.... Lara starts. She need to find 5 lizard objects from kind different levels. Many puzzles some of them we never saw before. A white area maze in which Lara can see totally and with the Anubis guide she gets out move statue on timer while small creatures junp to tile to burn the whole area and more and more new 'motorbike' LOL and long hard driving wow a little hardness in the end when being blasted with his voice said to Lara 'you are nothing' 'you are nothing' and Lara shows him who is nothing ha ha ha Excellent." - Yoav (18-Jan-2004)
"My review is based on the beta test version of the level but apart from extra secrets I believe nothing significant has changed. I did incidentally manage to miss all the secrets in the beta version so I shall definitely be playing this wonderful level again. You will be delighted to know that Richard has brought all the inventiveness quirky humour and other world eerie atmosphere of the Astrodelica levels to this new undertaking. You enter the level in the Underworld a surreal Floating Islands style area complete with skeletons playing the Moonlight Sonata from which base you can access various other areas. Uranus/Styx/Osiris Court: Beautifully lit caves with the River of Blood running through await you with deadly blade traps to deactivate and lizard creatures to fight. Follow the river (the path is not always clear) to reach Osiris Court where you can solve a nice block puzzle. Shoot two Shivas to obtain parts of a boatman's pole to summon the boatman. Collect the first lizard trueform and enjoy a spectacular meeting with Lord Osiris before being returned to the Underworld to continue your mission. Castle Orr: The first enemies you encounter here are bizarre indeed - rather like giggling barbed Christmas puddings. Stealth moves and puzzles are the order of the day and I loved the resident band the Skelly Tones. Another trueform lizard to find and then on to: The Nothings/Hyan Pyramids/House of Self: The nothings are a featureless void for which you need to summon a guide Anubis otherwise you will never find your way through. There's a really good jumping up the pyramid avoiding the boulders scenario here that I particularly enjoyed. Once you pick up the map for Anubis you can go through to the House of Self and an object pushing puzzle with a difference (not to mention an enemy with a difference). Find your third lizard trueform and make your way to: The Demon Nursery: This is a fascinating section where speed is of the essence whether you are shooting demons or racing against the clock to place pushable objects. Finding the route to the top of the unnamed pyramid takes some concentration as it is very disorientating but you are finally rewarded with the fourth lizard trueform. Babylon: Here you get what must surely be the most unusual vehicle ever in the history of Tomb Raiding. Wonderful. There's plenty of fun riding to do some of which can be quite tricky until you get the knack of it. More good entertaining puzzles and the fifth and last lizard trueform is yours. Back to the Underworld to place the five icons and the lizard trueforms to gain Thor's hammer and finally get to meet the Lizard King himself. A really good boss ending this dodging away from the Lizard King to the great music produced by his skelly musicians. The end of the level is lovely with Lara ascending homeward watched by her faithful guide Anubis. Absolutely brilliant." - Jay (16-Jan-2004)