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Fragments of the Core by Horus

Andi Croft 10 10 10 10
billie2001 10 10 10 10
CC 9 9 10 10
Deekman 10 10 10 10
DJ Full 9 10 9 9
dya1403 10 10 10 10
EssGee 9 9 10 10
eTux 9 10 10 9
G.Croft 8 9 9 10
Gerty 8 9 9 9
gfd 9 9 9 9
jawi 10 10 10 10
Jay 10 10 10 10
Jorge22 9 10 10 10
Kristina 8 9 9 9
Loupar 7 8 9 10
MichaelP 9 8 10 10
MigMarado 10 9 9 10
Mman 9 9 8 8
MrJavi94 10 10 10 10
Phil 10 10 10 10
QRS 10 9 10 9
Relic Hunter 10 10 10 10
Richard Ba 10 10 10 10
Ruben 10 10 10 10
Ryan 10 10 10 10
Samu 9 9 9 9
Sash 10 10 10 10
Shandroid 10 10 10 10
Spike 10 10 10 10
Thorir 10 9 10 10
Torry 8 10 9 10
Treeble 9 9 10 10
Yoav 10 10 10 10
release date: 12-Jul-2004
# of downloads: 352

average rating: 9.58
review count: 34
review this level

file size: 105.44 MB
file type: TR4
class: nc

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Not much to say that hasn't been said already, but his epic remains a masterpiece after 19 years from its release. Not as polished as Neon God but everything else is there: Customisation, engaging gameplay that progressively becomes more challenging, and that rare feeling of not wanting it to end. What else can a player want? Highly recommended to experienced players." - billie2001 (09-Dec-2022)
"This is Horus' "breakout" release before they went on to make one masterpiece after another. There's a wide range of themes here that make use various semi-custom textures and objects; it mostly works, but there are some slightly odd texture combinations at times that clash a bit, and, while mostly good, the lighting is also a little flat in some areas. There's also the occasional texture gap and being able to reach the end of the world. However, a lot of the design is on a vast scale for the time, which makes some of the weaker parts easier to overlook, especially given how much more limited the engine was back then. The custom objects fit well, and help make some of the more traditional themes feel like something new. The ambient loop in the "dungeon" levels also stood out as a little short for how long you spend with it. Compared to how near flawless the author's later releases are visually you can see some holes, but it's mostly good looking.
The gameplay is on the challenging side, and maybe harder than most of Horus' later releases, with lots of tricky platforming and trap sequences, along with the vast environments you can potentially miss things in, as well being a very long. Like the visuals it generally works and provides lots of enjoyable sequences, but you can see that the designer is still developing here, with some filler type sequences where you have to find a bunch of switches in a large room or slightly overlong block puzzles (although they can still be creative conceptually), along with some larger areas somewhat empty of things to do despite their size (and, in one or two cases, even empty to the point where they feel unfinished). Still, the good sequences outweigh the weaker ones, and, when it works, some of the bigger areas come together in very satisfying ways. A great set that's worth playing (although it's limbo status means finding and converting it to work properly could be an adventure in itself for those used to the modern days of levels just working), but in the more dated aspects you can see that Horus is still developing their talents here before later releases fully realised them." - Mman (04-Jun-2022)
"Here's (yet) another epic adventure from the earlier days that daunted me. And with good reason, these nine levels took most of my free time over the last five days (ie, essentially one whole week), and without the walkthrough I fear it'd have taken a whole lot longer. What you get here are huge and beautiful environments with a wide variety of themes, I'd say that Athens might have been my favorite visually speaking. There were a few times when I felt the pace was off, such as some of the pushblock puzzles (some are very interesting, but a few feel like a chore when all you need to do is to drag one single block across a lenghty path) or the slight overuse of moving walls (which only really becomes an issue when Lara keeps dying for merely touching them and that will undoubtedly happen a lot). With such grandious designs, I guess we can overlook a few untextured spots, plus the end of the world easily within reach at the beginning of The Outskirts of Hell. All the while I was thinking what a pity this author has retired, thinking of the wonders she would undoubtedly deliver with the currently available tools. 6h15min, 12 secrets. 05/21" - Treeble (23-May-2021)
"First levels only have default objects so I thought the "core" also refers to the original devs but soon little bits of customization appear here and there, until the finale of heavy alterations, some of master quality. Same occurs for geometric architecture - the last level is the bravest and richest in the most inspired shapes and colors, and locations switch very often as for 60+ kilometers of travel (I might have ran some circles but still...), thus we feel we're going somewhere like I always like. So, a seventeen year old girl embarks on an epic adventure armed only with her skills, patience and orientation in unfamiliar environment, but also learns them in the process - and Lara follows. It's not yet perfect craft like in Nadine's later releases, but a wish for greater scope already shows: the prologue is large but Greece is so big many rooms just exist without any interaction, for both raw emptiness and isolation, the latter winning just like in coastal TR4. I often begged for less symmetry because reaching every corner of such map takes a lot of time, and unfortunately Zeus Key is placed in the most off-focus place possible, so I spent at least two horus on exploring the whole map few more times, somehow not brave enough to check the adjacent one... But with absence of more such issues I dismissed that single one and then only experienced minor flaws: the fog thicker in every next level until a unicolor blue patch in Iceland almost denied progress - I only grabbed the ledge because I saw it from outside of the room, but it was still a leap of faith so what will a newbie do; throughout the batch, the amount of missing sounds just surpassed my ignorance headroom; eventually, camera rolls and tilts like crazy, surely entertaining for a bird but sometimes too much for a human being - again, I'm a simple man who prefers Kubrick-style filming so please consider having some mercy; I also couldn't use pistols if another weapon was drawn first until all ammo of a specific type was spent - however I'm not sure if that last error wasn't a result of bad compiling: those removed games provide a separate challenge in manual conversion of all fragments so I could mess something up and I don't count that issue. SUMMARY: By default I view Nadine's package work more valuable than her games but halfway through them I find her just universal, and Obig deserves at least a separate shrine for preserving this piece of history. The following Neon God surely does some keyframes better but this earlier epic has them already and good - even if a bit oversized and timewasting it's a complete adventure, crafting a purifying experience from massive input exploration and platforming effort - it took me 700 savegames, 200 more than usual nine-levelers so brace yourself for a challenge. Recommended." - DJ Full (19-Mar-2017)
"Whenever you download a Nadine level, you know you'll expect high quality raiding with something to suit everyone. This is no different. You get to explore a variety of wonderful settings including a Rome environment, a laboratory headquarters, icy wastes and fiery depths. In gameplay terms, it can be admittedly quite tricky at times with plenty of traps, puzzles and timed runs, but less experienced raiders should not be deterred as all tasks are doable with a bit of practice. I can't think of any negative parts, so I'll go ahead and end this review with my highest recommendations." - Ryan (27-Oct-2016)
"Level 1 - Qanyuntha's Palace: (9/10/10/10 - 2 secrets) - An awesome opening to the adventure. This level is basically based on Lara's past while in Alaska in 1985. She must find the Qanyuntha's artefact and get away along with it. As a first level, it has a lot of difficult challenges, like when getting the second Qanyuntha's key or some hard timed runs and tricky jumps.
Level 2 - Athens: (8/10/10/10 - 2 secrets) - A very good continuation to the adventure. I should highlight one of two hard timed runs. In the second part of this hub level, placing the God keys has been a good idea from Nadine.
Level 3 - The Catacomb Complex: (10/10/10/10 - 0 secrets) - Another awesome level. This is where you'll find the three God Keys (Poseidon's, Zeus' & Hades'). There're many hard spots here where player's dexterity should be notable. Driving the car through all the narrow corridors and slopes. For example, one of the hardest moments while on the car is at the beginning of Lara on it. You have to go down a hard curved slope to cross through the door below. Enemies are basically Jade Warriors which have been awesomely desgined by the author. Textures are surprising and the gameplay goes better and better.
Level 4 - Inside the Temple of Theon: (10/10/10/10 - 2 secrets: One in each level) - Another "duplicated" level. The first one, Inside the Temple of Theon, the objective consists in activating two levers to open your way to more. It could be easily said that one of those paths is the "water" one and the second path would be the "fire" path. The fire path is quite challenging. The enemies are newly Jade Warriors ridden on metal horses, so they're a bit more tricky to kill. The atmosphere is very good. It makes you feel yourself with Lara in her journey. The textures very similar to the previous level, The Catacomb Complex. The second level, Inside the Temple of Theon was very funny and intriguing for me. You have to collect three items belonging the different type items: Hades' Skulls, Poseidon's Tridents & Zeus' Bolts.
Level 5 - NL-Tech HQ: (10/10/10/10 - 1 secret) - Well, looks like Lara has changed of country. She has gone to a facility we could name "Nenivor's Lab" where is the Nenivor, the third fragment of the core. In my opinion, gameplay was much better than the previous levels, the difficulty is constantly present and some effects difficult your vision of the level. Enemies are just guards & dogs , but the guards design has been imaginative IMO. Textures are very different in comparison to the previous Rome style levels.
Level 6 - The Outskirts of Hell: (10/10/10/10 - 2 secrets) - What? Did she travel to another far country again? Definitely, she has done so. Now she has travelled to Iceland, where it's hidden the fourth and ńast fragment of the core, the Marvatuyk. The visibility in some parts is very hard and in some spots, there's nothing you can see to. Enemies are basically bothering wasps and ahmets. Gameplay is still complicated and the atmosphere is great.
Level 7 - The Gleaming Ravine: (9/10/10/10 - 0 secrets) - She's standing in Iceland, where the cold is the most known feature. Gameplay is some worse im comparison to all the previous level in my opinion. Atmosphere is still being great and even unique and the textures are very similar to the previous level, because supposedly she's in a very cold country. I particularly enjoyed a part where you have to pass through a false wall texture that leads you to a level you must press.
Level 8 - Felavoru: (10/10/10/10 - 2 secrets) - My favourite level of the whole game. She's on the surface of a volcano from which she has to escape.(Obviously :)). Gameplay is perfect for me in this last level of the game; I particularly loved the mirror room where it's needed to step on the five green circles tiles to open the door it's in the opposite way of the room. If you step onto the oragne ones, you'll instantly die and the same if step onto the fire tiles. The atmosphere is still great and some lighting effects made the level very enjoyable to play. The lava textures are very well customized and it gives the impression of you standing on the volcano along with her.
Overall - Conclusion: (10/10/10/10 - 11 secrets) A very enjoyable adventure where the difficulty and the well design is always present. Highly recommened, but beginners should think it's a very hard game, but they can always enjoy it indifferently. Vielen Dank, Nadine." - MrJavi94 (14-Jun-2012)
"Having played this game oh so many years ago, together with Dimpfelmoser and never been able to finish it, I gave it another go. Now a fortnight later I finally finished it. Not due of lack of concentration but I needed a break here and there. Architectural I have to say that Horus does make very interesting rooms/buildings in my humble opinion. Her choice of textures is sometimes a bit eclectic but that didn't bother me at all. Texture wise it does need quite some TLC in some areas. Sometimes I found it a bit confusing and needed the walkthrough at certain points. There was also a big game stopper in this game. It involves a push/pull puzzle with four pushables. One disappeared into a block one has to raise through a chain and the only thing I could do is to go back to the beginning and do it all over again. The one thing I did miss.. is camera work. Although most doors were nearby at a certain point they weren't, so going back and fro to find what opened was not my idea of fun. Apart from two nasty timed runs, the rest was doable, even for me (and she knows I hate them LOL) you certainly get your money worth. I have to say that at the end the back and fro over quite some distance was putting me off (more of the"up and down" kind). I also noticed how much she has grown, comparing this level with the last one she is still building. If you have time to spare (not kidding) give it a go, as it still is a great epic, even in this day and age." - Gerty (04-Oct-2009)
"Oh, great piece of brilliant work. All levels look stunning. Textures are beatiful and lighting is very good. Story is interesting and outfits are wonderful. If you want to play big game which is hard and has got good gameplay - this is your game. Clever puzzles and flybys add to this custom atmosphere which you can't repeat. Intro (Qanyuntha's palace) gives you a view of forgotten temple under the snow. I got scary when I free the Quanyuntha and it's a very good moment. Athens are well built, so you can move around realistic, ancient city. Places have got good textures and lighting. Level isn't long but very good. Catacomb Complex it's a long level with hard puzzles. I enjoyed this level very much. After return to Athens you're going to Temple of Theon. This VERY long level takes you to ancient temple with jewel warriors - guards of Theon's artefact. Beatiful places look impressive especially those great halls with vety high columns. When you go out of there you go to complex with high security. This level has unique atmosphere which gives you a lot of fun. The last place where Lara move into is Iceland. In cold you meet harpies and strange creatures. Mystic temple complex takes you to Gleaming Ravine. Oh, I enjoyed it very much. It's one of the greatest places in custom levels! And finally the Felavoru and final cutscene. These are beatiful and perfectly textured. This custom is amazing! Congratulations to the author!" - jawi (18-Dec-2008)
"This is one of the best and most challenging levels ever made. Few levels made in later years can be considered better than Horus' sprawling level full of tough puzzles and jumps. You will feel like you really accomplished something after completing this fine level. If you only play a few levels in your gaming experience, make sure Fragments is on that list." - Shandroid (29-Oct-2008)
"I believe all is said and done about this set of levels by Nadine: FOTC is not just an adventure - it`s an experience ! Unfortunately Nadine still keeps in mind not to publish the follow - up to this fantastic game ! Now all you TRLE lovers out there : let`s join hands for a big PLEASE to Nadine for I am almost sure if FOTC2 ever gets released it will shake and rattle and rock and roll all over the TRLE world !" - Ruben (17-Feb-2008)
"In my opinion, this is essentially a wonderful, memorable experience that has no faults whatsoever. From the start it looks beautiful, and it stays this way throughout the entire game. The lighting is always brilliant and it is extremely atmospheric, and some of the areas are absolutely huge. The gameplay is also sublime, and there are a large range of tasks including vehicle rides, timed runs, pushable puzzles, boulder traps, spikes...pretty much anything you can think of. Progression is smooth and I didn't find myself in one place for a particularly long amount of time. The objects used here were an excellent choice, and Lara's outfits suit with the surrounding environment perfectly. The audio was also excellent, and was always placed perfectly and at the right time. In all, this is essentially a perfect game, and I hold it even higher than Nadine's fantastic Neon God, as a complete classic." - Spike (20-Jul-2007)
"After playing Neon God, wich really impressed me, I decided to discover more of Nadine's world.And so, I began the jurney in search of the fragments of the core.I can't really tell wich level I liked best, but I must say that the combination of such a vast categories of gameplay,styles,outfits,enviroments,dangers,enemies and even the usage of young Lara in the begining combine toghether in a story that keept me hooked and completly spelled in front of my computer and when I finished it it was a very nostalgic moment for me.Thank you Nadine for the imense effort that you put in your creation and be sure of all my apreciation." - dya1403 (09-May-2007)
"This is a wonderful adventure that takes you on a whirwind tour to many remote locations around the world. Whether its the bleak cold reaches of Iceland, the magnificent architecture of Athens or the tropical Bahamas, the locations are lush and exciting. You'll be taken on an enchanting journey in search of many artefacts. There are some fine flybys and cutscenes which stitch the levels together beautifully. For me, the Athens levels are the high point of the game, the architecture, sheer size and magnificence of the city are a sight to witness. There is an endless array of puzzles and challenges that will keep you hopping until the wee hours of the morning. There's two vehicles to ride and you'll enjoy some inspiring musical tracks throughout the game. Only my personal taste, but I didn't like the Young Lara outfit in the first level. I thought Lara looked like she was wearing a Ronald McDonald outfit. Conversely the Greek bandana outfit is stunning. A really fun touch are the treatment of the secret areas, which are often not easy to locate, but are well worthwhile seeking out. Not saying any more here you should go find them for yourself. The author's overall quality control slips a little in a few spots during the levels, with missed textures, missing sounds, end of the world views and a bug with one of the raising block puzzles which could have benefitted from a little more vigilance in testing and patience before releasing the levels, but these are minor gripes in what is otherwise a great and highly professional work. A 'must-play' game." - EssGee (10-Mar-2007)
"Wow! This huge adventure took me over 8 hours of gaming time to finish over a timespan of 6 month :):) The reason I took a break was that my savegames got corrupted and I had to restart the game again after reaching the 4th level. (Nothing to do with these levels. It was a MS problem *sigh*) This masterpiece has it all. Huge beautiful rooms with tons of things to do and you are never bored due to that. The atmosphere and music is done to perfection and so is the flybys. Some missing textures and weird lighting from time to time but overall up to the usual high standard that we have come to love and respect from Nadine's levels. What struck me as most impressing though, was the fantastic gameplay! All the levels range from hard to hmm super hard and there is never a moment where you can really rest hehe. I love that. Granted that there could be a few more cameras that shows what's happens during the last levels but it was not so hard to figure it out. This is an epic adventure that is not to be missed. Btw, the last cutcene was fantastic! As I often say, Nadine is one of the best builders there is and this adventure, even if it is one of her earliest, are so damn good that it hurts. If you have not played it, just go ahead and do it. You will not regret it!" - QRS (27-Jan-2007)
"A most fabulous game! I think "Fragments" is almost everything I'd look for when playing or building a level. It is not its size or diversity only, it's also the brilliant storyline that keep the player from playing just for the heck of it. The raider is absolutely absorbed by the wonderful atmosphere, an accurate display of what is expected in the different kinds of levels, and wants to retrieve the fragments by any means, not resting or quiting at the first adversity, and there are many of those, challenging and perfectly timed jumps and doors, the ocasional thoughie and mind breaking puzzles. It was so absorbing that I don't believe I'll ever be able to play it again, and this is a compliment. I think there were a few couple of extra medipacks, since I finished with more than plenty for another journey, and, besides the fact I loved the ending flyby, I think that particular bit of storyline was missing, since there was no further development of it. Thanks, Horus (Nadine), for this amazing adventure that came from the mind of a very specialized raider and builder. Play it, but only when anf if you've developed your raiding skills, and even so, you'll probably thank for the walkthrough." - MigMarado (22-Sep-2006)
"To my surprise, I just found out that I haven't reviewed this level. I played it about half a year ago, but this is not a level you will forget! In short, this is one of the finest custom levels I have ever played. You will have days and probably weeks of pure Tomb Raider exploring and enjoyment. It's not for newbies, so be sure to consult the walkthrough when stuck. It's better than missing out on this superb adventure!" - Thorir (02-Jul-2006)
"This is quite huge level serie containing many levels and playing it takes a lot of time but it's worth to play. At first this game include many different kind of levels which is a good thing. The levels are located in Alaska, Athens, Iceland and there is also a base level in the game. Gameplay and puzzles are both quite good and I like especially the puzzles which are planned quite well. These levels include many different enemies and there are some enemies which I haven't seen in any other level for example some dragons in lava pool in the final level. I like also the secrets because they are hard to find and they include different kind of pictures or other nice things on the wall. The atmosphere is also good during the whole game and there are some pretty nice musics in the game. The environment looks very beutiful containing good looking textures and nice lighting. Some areas are also very big and they seem breathtaking for example one outside area in Athens. Despite this game is very unique and many things are made very well there are some things which could have been done better. In Athens there is pretty annoying bikeride in underground catacombs. Despite I said earlier in the text that the environmet looks very good more attention should have been paid to some places. I found also a roof in one level where you can get on but I think that the author of this level hasn't meant the player get there but that doesn't affect on reviewing. Despite there are some bad things in the game, this is mainly very enjoyable and well created game and I really recommend this." - Samu (18-Apr-2006)
"This was a blast and a challenge from start to finish. It had everything. Well thought out layouts. Plenty of secrets. Great enemies in all the right places, and plenty of danger in the places where there were no enemies. It was a nice a bit of freshness to have the non-gun toting young Lara in the first level. The locales of exploration were diverse and varied. I especially liked the little Lara portraits sprinkled throughout, and the tributes to fellow builders were a nice touch, and must have been a lovely surprise to them whilst playing the game and finding themselves in it. The ending animation sequence was a joy to behold! It took me a while to get through it, owing to the fact that I just didn't have the time to play much these past couple of months (June/July 2005). And now that it's over, find myself longing for more of the same!" - Deekman (01-Aug-2005)
"FOTC is a very long game that starts with a young Lara exploring an icy area in Alaska inspired by the Tinnos level in TR3. After that first level in which Lara only can run to save her life we arrive to a beautiful and huge Athens' area. At this point the complexity of the game increases more and more; the next levels are harder and the settings become more varied too. The last three levels are full of almost unreachable switches puzzles traps and collapsing tiles.... too much for me. I finished the game really tired and somehow bored: I had the feeling that it was an endless game. In spite of this the atmosphere/sound/cameras and the lighting/textures are really well made." - Loupar (16-Jan-2005)
"Stupendous loved every second! Names and locations of levels: 1. Qanyuntha's Palace: (Young Lara) Snowy palace with lovely cathedral 2. Athens: (Visit twice) Enormous Greek city with tall buildings and wondrous bridge 3. The Catacomb Complex: Underground caves temples 4. Inside the Temple of Theon: (Double level) Temples set on Poseidon Hades and Zeus themes 5. NL - Tech HQ: Base 6. The Outskirts of Hell: Canyons temples 7. The Gleaming Ravine: Weird snowy icy temple areas 8. Felavoru: Lava cave temple Enemies: Not many in all 1. Sprites Qanyuntha (reminded me of Jeff Goldblum's fly) 2. None 3. Green tinmen 4. Green horsemen skeletons tinmen templar knight bird like monsters that sort of looked like one of Witchipoo's (from H R Puffenstuff) henchcreatures 5. Guards alsatians 6. Blue ahmet inspired monsters harpies giant mosquitoes 7. locusts that look like asterisks spiked ahmets spiked monkeys wraith 8. Harpies beetles that look like little stars lava dragons Secrets: Each is found with a graphic or photo 1. 2 2. 2 3. 0 4. 2 5. 1 6. 2 7. 0 8. 2 Duration of Levels: 1. 80 minutes 2. 40 minutes 3. 55 minutes 4. 100 minutes 5. 70 minutes 6. 65 minutes 7. 45 minutes 8. 65 minutes Miscellaneous Info: The Catacomb Complex: Quadbike The Outskirts of Hell: Motorbike Wrap Up: The puzzling wickedly brilliant timed runs/swims/climbs to name but one kind and diversity of level environments and tasks makes this one fantastic game to immerse yourself in. My mind boggles that Nadine is only 15 but can produce such a professional and ambitious product for us to play she deserves to be given every ounce of praise that she has earned." - Sash (23-Oct-2004)
"A huge set of levels much enjoyable and you can really tell that Nadine loves to build build build! Huge areas with lots of details. Different settings and good gameplay throughout the levels made these 12 hours of net gaming really worth while." - G.Croft (21-Oct-2004)
"I've just seen the amount of writing in all these reviews. So I will control myself and say only a few words. It took me a while to do this over a few weeks and I've just finished. What an achievement for such a young builder! I am gobsmacked. Great imagination as well as skill is shown here. Wonderful enemies objects architecture; beautiful colours and lighting effect although I imagine some people might think the colour combos in some areas were too striking but I liked them especially all the blue rooms as blue is my favourite colour. New ways of doing old stuff good jumping climbing brilliant timed runs and a few very sneaky well hidden routes to find - not always obvious but they're there right in front your eyes. Each level is in a different location Lara has changes of clothing but the whole series fits so well together the changes between the levels aren't shockers. Stunning views in huge areas like Athens but I never came across any disappearing textures. There were slight problems like illegal slopes but considering the whole thing it would be a crime to complain about them. I'll finish quickly now by saying I was staring at the screen in amazement at the flybys (especially that one of Young Lara and the brilliant finale) and I thought the music great and suitable. Absolutely brilliant. I intend now to get Nadine's other levels to see how she has progressed from the beginning and I can't wait to see her next offering. Well done Nadine. I think we have a genius among us folks." - CC (21-Oct-2004)
"What an opus. It took 13 in game hours to play and countless more scratching my head alone unloved and unwanted at the computer. This set of levels is absolutely brilliant in places and horrendously inadequate in others but on the whole I must admit it is a damn fine raid and one not to be missed. Things I loved about this level set was the tricky jumps the timed runs (all do-able but tight) and the fact that Lara takes you on her journey to actually retrieve something the Fragments themselves. What I disliked with a vehemance was the lack of flybys. So many times you would pull a switch and wonder now WTF did that do? Please give the player a hint as to what comes next. Now I know that some flybys were included but there could have been and should have been many more. The closing cut scene was fantastic. I loved the way Lara showed her athletic ability in getting the puck out of there. Well done. All in all though a VERY solid attempt and all accolades to Nadine. Well done lass." - Torry (10-Oct-2004)
"When I was about halfway through this epic adventure I announced publicly that barring a major letdown at the end I intended to reward Horus with top marks in my review. I was chastised for this pronouncement because of my admission that I'd enabled the flycheat due to my inability to progress legally past some of the timed runs and other difficult moves that keep coming at the gamer with depressing regularity. It was argued (with considerable persuasive force I might add) that my resort to the flycheat meant that by definition the gameplay experience for me was something less than perfect. Another suggestion was made that by rewarding the builder with a high rating for an unreasonably difficult level (or in this case a grouping of levels) the builder would be encouraged to produce more unreasonably difficult levels. But then someone else made the counter argument that a builder may well have intended the high level of difficulty to be exactly that and it would therefore be unfair to rate the level down in gameplay for this reason alone. After mulling over the pros and cons in my mind I decided to stick with my original impression. After all half the other reviewers before me have done the same thing so it's not as if I'm in the minority here. What we have in Fragments of the Core is a collection much like what we've seen in Saudi Arabia and Russia: a representative grouping of virtually every theme commonly associated with the level editor. And I was simply dumbfounded upon learning that the author was only 15 when these levels were released. And yet she's a veteran with two previous levels (that I haven't played yet but will soon) under her belt. The past month and a half has been perhaps my most fulfilling since I became addicted to TRLE as I've enjoyed simultaneous and continuous exposure to TRA TR Gold and FOTC. FOTC gives us everything that I treasure in a memorable production: beautiful environs effective use of music and sounds innovative touches challenging gameplay diverse settings and replayability. My net gameplay was a little under 12 hours about half the time it took me to get through TRA but I enjoyed every minute of it. Don't miss this one." - Phil (23-Sep-2004)
"Qanyuntha's Palace (10/9/10/10): Some of the best graphics yet seen in a TR game coupled with fantastic music and stacks of things to do and see. This is the first 'Young Lara' level I have ever played and the only thing I really missed were the flares. Don't worry though you won't really need them. I really liked this level and didn't get stuck or frustrated once. Excellent. It took me 1 hour and 15 minutes but I didn't find a single secret :( Athens (9/9/7/10): Some truly awful fixed cameras do their best to mar this otherwise excellent level; featuring some of the most impressive architecture yet seen in any TR game. It really does look epic. Another lovely level then but a bit short on enemies. This one took me about an hour and I found a solitary secret. Catacomb Complex (9/8/9/10): The only thing I didn't really like about this level is when on Earth you're supposed to know when the exit in the big swimming room opens. Or indeed that it was an exit to begin with. Anyway go there after you find the Poseidon key. More fantastic graphics and brilliant music abound on this level. There's even a new tune for the jeep. Very nice indeed. It took me 1 and a half hours but I didn't find any secrets. Inside The Temple of Theon (9/10/10/9): Lots of things to hunt here and good puzzles and jump-sequences guarding them. Good fights too especially the bit where you faced 4 horsemen! Use the pistols on them because the crossbow won't do you any good. Speaking of which remember to keep an eye out for shootable swinging pendulums. The only thing that I really had an issue with here was a very difficult timed sequence in the lava room. It took me a lot of attempts before I managed that one I can tell you. This episode took me 2 and a half hours and I found 1 secret. NL-Tech HQ (8/8/9/8): Very nice music plays throughout this base map that despite the fact that it is 'only' set in a base still manages to pack in a nice intro a fair few jumps climbs swims and even a few shock encounters. One thing I disagreed with was that the crowbar was practically invisible and I just think that few people are going to find it without help (it's not all that far away from where you need it though). This took me about an hour but I found no secrets. The Outskirts of Hell (8/9/8/8): Quite a difficult level this with more than its fair share of tough moments not least of which were a hard bike ride and a very hard slide/jump sequence. Nicely remodeled enemies help keep things fresh (although the Harpies didn't seem to make any noise unless that was deliberate?). There was one of the very best smashing-wall sequences and an excellent lava-jump puzzle (there is a way to do this you just have to use your eyes). A few illegal slopes here and there and perhaps a bit too much darkness didn't stop this from being yet another very good level but probably too tough for beginners. It took me about an hour and a quarter and I nabbed 2 secrets. The Gleaming Ravine (8/8/6/9): More nice graphics and atmosphere here. There's even something that I don't think I've ever come across before - a creature that helps you by pulling a switch. There's a very impressive water room here but one that held a rather strange ice wraith. Strange in that the water seemed to kill it? The one bad point about his level is a horribly unfair fixed camera that obscures a necessary switch. But all the good jump-sequences new objects and nice rooms made up for that. Felavoru (8/8/10/9): This can get pretty tough and may even perplex the odd expert here and there. That's not to say it ever gets too tough or unfair just tough. Fantastic newly textured demigods keep you on your toes and your toes shall have to be kept up to avoid lava and hot ash. A satisfyingly difficult last level one that ends with quite possibly the greatest cut-scene yet. This whole series felt professionally made (speech music cut-scenes) and took me about 11 hours (more than some full price games I've bought lately) but I only managed to nab a lowly 4 secrets." - gfd (11-Sep-2004)
"All the levels of this adventure are wonderful have an enjoyable gameplay and an incredible atmosphere that in conjunction gives to the level a good sensation. This is my favorite level from the author." - Richard Ba (24-Aug-2004)
"Though my statistic time at the end showed I had spent over 6 hours in Nadine's epic adventure actually this took me weeks to get through as I played a bit here and a bit there strangely I couldn't concentrate on it enough to play it in one go. Due to the great time span spent here I can't remember all the levels in details so will try to describe the locations overall. Alaska - a prologue for the whole adventure and quite a good one for a young Lara level. Though not all that much to do has some nice tasks with the long movable block pushing coming to my mind beautiful (though a bit unrealistic for Alaska but who cares really at the end of the day?) scenery and the rather challenging final sequence with Qanyuntha himself taking up Lara in a duel. Nice start for the series makes one want to carry on. Athens Greece - after a well made cut-scene and a fly-by showing around the part of the city you'll be exploring (I think most of the raiders thanks to TR probably have stereotypes about these locations Lara has been too - for example Athens consisting only of temples ruins and such lol) Lara starts in one of the back streets with a cool new outfit spiky accessories and a red bandana. While the huge picturesque city just seems begging for you to look in every nook and cranny of it actually you can leave for the catacomb complexes here immediately. While it is quite confusing due to the choice on how to do things just get on with them and you'll be fine. There was a really beautifully done fog effect in one of the first catacombs rooms and though the setting is not my favourite at all aided with a quadbike and other nifty stuff here it was quite fun really. After some raiding in both settings you have the access to Theon's temple where after mastering some well structured rooms devoted to the Gods you finally find the desired artefact and may leave to the next location. Found 2 secrets through all 4 levels here. Bahamas - quite promising start where a school of dolphins swim past you and Lara starts in a lagoon before a base yet I must say this would be my least favourite level from the series. I don't mind base settings but I found this to be rather bleak and not really differing much from what I've seen in other base levels. Some nice timed runs a flooding puzzle and the moves from the chronicles but somehow I was missing the 'kick' to keep me interested. It also is a pity that the artefact 'Nenivor' didn't have a great background story as the other 3 had though I suppose it ain't all that easy to figure out what has happened to an artefact that has just been unearthed from the depths of the ocean. It's not really a bad level though maybe not as good as the others in the series. Iceland - the first thing that comes to mind when one has to describe the last 3 levels is 'blue'. All the areas were incredibly blue and you'll see what I mean when you play the levels - from the dark volcanic rock and lava which you travel over with a cool (blue) bike rises a huge temple with many big icy areas incredible amounts of those deadly moving pillars and deadly fires among other traps. While the first level didn't really grow on me it got better with the Gleaming ravine where the surroundings seemed more diverse due to the red stone textures here and there. And I must say I was pleasantly surprised with Felavoru when I reached it - amazing textures amazing architecture amazing atmosphere amazing objects and I could go on! If the levels of the game had been released as stand alones this one would surely get a perfect score from me it undoubtedly was the best level in the series - I couldn't find a single fault about it! Also of special mention are the secrets - I found 6 altogether but most of the ones I found had some great additions/Easter eggs - including Lara pictures meeting pictures and I also found a tribute to Tomo in one of them :) Well done makes you wanna find them all! In the end of all this I remember how harsh my review for her first level was and it ended with 'Better luck next time Horus...' well no need for luck now - after this superb adventure Nadine's proved that she's walking with the TRLE giants now ;) Not to be missed for any Tomb raider fan out there so download and start this up!" - eTux (22-Aug-2004)
"This is one of the best levels I ever played. More than 14 hours statistic game playing time I had and 6 secrets I found. This is a level I like very much - why? There are some hard timed doors. You must run very fast and must do difficult jumps too. The timed-door in the little garden was the hardest. The colouring of this level is brilliant. The colours are persuasive and the textures are completely perfect. Enemies are not so many but I like this. This series with 9 levels is very diverse. All levels are different. Not one theme more themes in one level cool. In some levels are catacombs in others are temples and in others are city atmospheres. The atmosphere and the music are great. This level has not so hard riddles. This adventure fascinates principally by jump combinations and time actions or you must find well hidden objects. It is a mix between hard and moderate easy. For all players a good adventure. But on some places I push a lever and than I cannot see a camera sequence. Then I must seek what I have done. But this curtails the play fun in no way. This adventure is a masterpiece. All tomb raider fans must play this." - Andi Croft (18-Aug-2004)
"A massive adventure, and with a massive storyline, too, so make sure you do read the readme and you do watch the title flyby - it will be worth your time - before diving into this adventure... Qanyuntha's Palace (8/9/10/10, 60 min., 2 secrets): A Young Lara level as an introduction to the storyline and one of the best Young Lara levels out there, no doubt. The first half of it I knew from playing it at the Hamburg meeting in Nov 2003, but this has in general a great progression which rarely will have you wonder for long what to do next, while still being fairly diverse in the actions, despite a few too many levers and a rather tedious block pushing passage. I do always like the Tinnos textures but what is most impressive here is the lighting throughout. Lots of flowing water and snowfall enhancing the atmosphere and generally a lot of attention to detail with added sound fx, solid camera guidance, fabulous ice caves, many custom objects and more. Gameplay highlights are a few great jump sequences, two not overly stressful timed runs and of course the thrilling encounter with Qanyuntha. I very much enjoyed how you returned to previously visited locations and the cute little cut scene that carries the story over space and time is brilliant. Not sure about the secrets though: one is fairly uninspired and the other is near impossible to find other than by pure luck. Still, a great warm-up for the series...onwards... The Catacomb Complex (9/7/9/9, 50 min., no secret): You can enter here right at the start of the Athens level and come back later with the secret key. Rather huge underground architecture here, with nice fog effects, good use of fire, sneakily hidden jump- and underwater switches and your main task is to bring a quad bike trough the level and find the three God's Keys (Zeus, Poseidon, Hades) along the way. A little timed run at the start and a really interesting puzzle near the end with pushable objects and raising blocks spice up gameplay even more. Again I found one of the pushable object puzzles unnecessarily tedious and that one monkey swing was really hard to find, but other than that excellent fun here as you open gate after gate to move that quad along. Athens (8/8/9/9, 40 min., 2 secrets): A very spacious area to cover here, which also leads to the occasional issue with the 'disappearing horizon' and despite some hints you are likely to run around a lot without having a clue whether you are progressing or not. However, after a while, as you get to know the surroundings, things begin to fall into place and in the end, it is only about a few buttons and levers, another timed run that looks easier than it actually is and then using the three God's Keys to make it to the Zip line that brings you into the next level. I am not a great fan of walkthrough walls (even for secrets) and the occasional camera hint more when pushing a lever would not have gone amiss. The torch puzzle is rather simplistic, but I really liked all the nice use of arches and the Bridge of Hera is most impressive - also because of the fixed camera when you walk over it. Inside the Temple of Theon (9/9/10/10, 30+60 min., 1+1 secrets): A level in two parts which has a lot to do for Lara. Initially you get to explore a Poseidon area, mainly blue with a lot of water and a Hades area, mainly with lava and a few tricky jumps. Particular the rather inspired construction of the room with chains, spikes, jumps, climbs was a lot of fun. In the second part, the flow is pleasant, as you go through a series of little quests to collect three itmes each of Hades' Skull, Poseidon's Trident and Zeus' Bolts, which includes a wide variety of action like fighting strange 'dogs', skeletons, knights and green warriors, very clever climb and jump sequences, short but by no means easy timed runs, lava, spikes, fire, target shooting and more. Maybe a few too many buttons to press along the way, but you will hardly notice them anyway, as you will be amazed by the huge and beautiful architecture of the rooms. I really liked the transparent floors and ceilings and the battle near the end was fun. And so Lara collects the second Fragment (Theon) and finishes a great part of this adventure. Onwards... NL-Tech HQ (9/8/10/10, 60 min., 1 secret): New outfit, new theme. Starting with a nice flyby with dolphins and the awaiting helicopter on a night beach, you are treated to a base/office setting, but certainly one with a difference. Ok, it has a few rather bleak passages and the enemies (guards and dogs) are not all that exciting, but the long and winding trip through this area is superbly entertaining. You get a bit of bar swinging and tightrope walking, interesting custom objects, timed runs and swims, a nice puzzle where you raise the water in a pool several times to progress and near the end a transporter effect before you pick up your next Fragment (Nenivor). The textures and lighting in this level are absolutely remarkable -go see them for yourself. The Outskirts of Hell (9/9/10/10, 70 min., 2 Secrets): My kind of level. A new outfit again and while I had my doubts about the style of the previous ones, this one I really liked. Absolutely gripping atmosphere with nice caves, blue fog and a series of other impressive lighting effects, lava, ice, water - it's all there. And then you get loads of adrenalin for free as well, as you make your way past squishing blocks, a slide with spikes, deadly tiles (nice clue there), blades, slicer dicers, more spikes etc etc. Great fun! Add to that the nice course that brings you back round to the start, a fabulous bike ride and a nice secret area to credit another builder for his work and you have a great adventure here. The only areas I did not care for much was the huge flooded hall in which you had to spot a number of hard to see levers (very tedious) and towards the end the fog effects were a bit overdone and did not allow you to see a thing and I even switched Vol FX off temporarily in order to see where I was supposed to go next. Also the ghostly harpies, ahmets and a few wasps serve as suitable enemies and the fire-dragon statues look awesome. The Gleaming Ravine (9/8/10/10, 45 min., no secret): Right on from the outskirts this will be a test of your dexterity as well. The red/translucent and also the blue sparkling textures are awesome and help create an eerie atmosphere. The star locusts are fun and those ice lizards are almost cute and one is particularly helpful towards the end - very well done. You have a series of initial tests with collapsing ice tiles, a really cool slide effect through a spike field and more climb, monkey, shimmy action going on. Add some burners and squishing blocks and you know adrenalin will be high in this level too. Your quest is actually to get the four shaft keys (Gleaming Crystals) and towards the end that includes finding your way around a huge and very impressive icy cave, which requires some very precise jumping and is really only let down a bit by the fact that you get to repeat the same long trip a few times over in your search for buttons and jump switches. In those fabulous setting this is only a minor gripe though. I did find it rather unfair to hide a crucial switch via using a fixed camera though. Felavoru (9/9/10/10, 50 min., 2 secrets): The grande finale - and it is definitely a very worthy finale, as it keeps the action high up there and despite its rather linear structure keeps you fully into it all along. One eerie lava cave follows another with the by now well known traps to master (squishing blocks, spikes, collapsible tiles, blades etc etc) and with some nice additions compared to previous levels of the series, like the mirror room, many rather cool custom objects, like the Fire Crescent Circles, the Dragon Claw, and more custom enemies, and especially those ice dragons are absolutely brilliant. Obviously the Easter egg in Secret 1 deserves a mention *cough, cough* - but go find that for yourself ;-) This final part really impresses again with a great sense of location, breathtaking flybys and the room with the floating platforms was nice, but again a bit tedious as you get to climb that ladder and swing on that rope just a few too many times. Not sure why Secret 2 offered so many pickups so close to the end of the series? At the end you are treated to yet some more jump and climb action through the lava caves and last but not least a great and dramatic final cut scene. All in all - this series nicely grows and grows and manages to keep you entertained for hours on end. A fabulous achievement indeed and if you are not sure whether you really want to tackle such a huge adventure then don't think twice and dive right won't regret it." - Michael (16-Aug-2004)
"Qanyuntha's Palace: I'm usually not a big fan of Young Lara's levels but I'll make an exception for this. The atmosphere is generally magnificent, with all the snow and the ice and the many textures taken or adapted from The Lost City of Tinnos plus the wonderful Celtic inspired drawings all over the walls. Lara's outfit is nice too. Jumps, swimming, monkey swinging, a couple of timed runs and enough but not too many traps, all seems very well balanced and, frankly, I didn't miss the shooting. You may feel a little stuck at times but not for long, there's balance there also. In the end, you free the restless soul of Qanyuntha (one of those dreadful immortal semigods, retextured, that can set Lara on fire) and you have to wait a while, jumping and running until you can pick up two serpent stones, then you free his mind and his soul (or lock them, or something...) and you're finally ready to go get the artefact he keeps in his lair, which is why you came here in the first place. The level ends with a cut scene and it's nice seeing some builders trying to mess around with cut scenes (which was unthinkable just a while ago) even if they are still less than perfect - I believe it holds a promise for the future. In the current case, the most interesting thing in the scene is the final subtitles that unfold, telling you how Lara will only find the remaining places she has to go to in order to look for the missing fragments of the core twenty years later, and where. Then, comes a flyby of Athens which, well, frankly, reminds me a lot of Rome. The Athens levels: This is a very good Rome. It's certainly not Athens. But let's leave that (somehow important) detail aside... This is also a huge level or a series of three different big levels which start a little on the dull side, in Athens. Many rooms, empty rooms, empty coffins, empty glass cages, Jesus, so many empty spaces and a secret with an enormous Lord of the Rings poster on the wall. Let's leave that aside too...Just when you think the game has definitively lost momentum and because you can't think of anything else to do in the well preserved ruins of Ancient Greece, you can't even find an ouzeria, a cafe where you can play a little tavli, not even a regular bar or anything, you decide to plunge into the Catacombs (Athens's catacombs?) where you have to find three keys. The Zeus key, near the beginning, is easy to miss, so keep both your eyes open for that one. The other two, you just can't miss them. Anyway, this is where some more action starts, slowly, slowly, but it does, after you find yourself lost in an immense flooded room. Search for the sand! Then, you get to ride a jeep retextured as a quad bike - wonderful! When you finally leave the catacombs, don't worry excessively about the lock and the closed door: it's a secret which I didn't manage to uncover. If you do, good for you. So, back in Athens for a little while and off you go to the Temple of Theon (which is to say something like the Temple of God). There, you'll finally find plenty of action, from an amazing zip line ride to fighting three jade warriors plus one horseman all at once, from a virtually impossible timed run (see in the savegame solutions website if you have to) to many other much simpler tasks, from jumping across lava to fighting 'dogs of hell', you'll find a bit of everything here and it's all beautifully done. The place is so huge I think I left several doors closed and a couple of places I decided I wasn't going to go to anymore out. Oh, well... Great music too and the sounds can be so important. All in all, the slow beginning is rescued by a brilliant continuation and I'm glad it is so because the architecture is so grandiose I would be sorry if the adventure couldn't match it. The worst points, in my opinion, are the aforementioned timed run which may discourage one too many and Lara's outfit (she's an English lady, not some Roman semi-punk). And off to the Bahamas she goes! NL - Tech HQ: And a base/lab level arrives really handy after a big Old Rome orgy. I feel there are some slight differences here from your regular base/lab level, starting from the initial setting by the lake, under the moonlight and the stars, and then maybe several details I really can't explain. It's a feeling... Anyway, Lara has to find her way along the place (not always obvious), bypass a series of trap-like obstacles (where I'll include finding a necessary crowbar in a place where it's almost invisible) and use a couple of features from TR5, namely tight-rope walking (not my favorite, but I still applaud its use) and bar swinging. The lab is huge and complex. There are dogs and guards from TR3 (which I much prefer to SAS men). There are a couple of timed runs (which I always like as long as they're challenging but possible), one of them underwater. After Lara's searched the labs thoroughly (still leaving out many rooms and areas), she finds the artefact she came looking for to the sound of the triumphant AoD theme and there she goes back to the outside areas to get into the helicopter that's been waiting for her all along (it's amazing how no single guard even thought of shooting it down) and from there to the Outskirts of Hell. Not the very best base/lab level I've played but still very interesting. The Outskirts of Hell: The name says it all, we're very near hell here... The air must be of such bad quality that Lara even needs to wear a mask - nice outfit. Loads of traps from innumerable blades of different sorts to uncountable smashing, moving blocks, burning tiles (was there any way to tell which were safe except for trying?), fires, lava, some big bugs and at least one particular jump that will suck your health away. That's how I arrived at the end of the level without any medipacks or even much health left. Furthermore, there's a thick blue fog near the end, so dense that it won't let you see an elephant in front of your eyes - look for a wall lever somewhere because the fog is your enemy. There's also a very interesting flooded room packed up with so many goodies it will remind you of Christmas but also at least a hundred (you can tell it's a figure of speech, correct?) well disguised levers - do remember to come up and breathe from time to time. But this is also the level where Lara got stuck in slopes and where her motorbike penetrated a wall and the vision of hell (fires in the air, diabolical structures out of nowhere) suddenly became clearer. I liked the level... Specially after I managed to arrive in the end. A couple of details which I found interesting: the text on a wall thanking Tomo for his The Last Saga and a graffiti reading 'MDN was here'. It helped me understand better the big Lord of the Rings poster back in Athens. It's fantasy land alright, we just forget it at times... The Gleaming Ravine: Same outfit for Lara. Of course, she's in the same place, actually. After a start with wonderfully made star locusts and a couple of Ahmets, Lara takes a small dive and arrives in a place where she'll have to get a key in a room, then go to another room and use it in order to proceed (lava and moving blocks in the first, helix blades in the second). You may find yourself unnecessarily stuck here, so pay attention when you're swimming with the fixed camera. In the second big room, she'll need to jump from collapsing ice tile over lava to collapsing ice tile, slide along a surface packed up with spikes, escape an easy spike boulder, perform some nice jumps from column to column, do a long (and tiring too, since it's easy to fall) monkey swing, etc., all globally challenging and inventive, in order to get to the last room. This is by far the best and most complex too. Notice the levers in seemingly unreachable places. There are ways to get to them, don't be too puzzled. Meanwhile, Lara will be collecting four gleaming stars that will eventually open her way out into the next level. I loved the short flyby as she opens the last gate - wonderfully done. Notice the big gate by the water, with a couple of imps inside and a lever pending from the ceiling. How on earth will you make that thing work? You will, you will... This is a beautiful, creative level that will put both your fingers and your brain to work. Loved it. So, here Lara heads for Felavoru with little health in stock but her well known courage to back us all up... Felavoru: What's the meaning of Felavoru? And what did the strange writing Lara kept staring at on a wall near the beginning of the level mean? Just curious... Anyway, the health problem is solved here because there are several large and small medipacks scattered all over the place. After all the preparations for hell, here it comes in all its might... This is hell. Fire, ashes and lava all over the place, scary music, terrifying sounds, great overall ambiance with a lot of textures taken from the Atlantean levels in TR1. The star scarabs were fantastic and so were the dragons that came out of the lava. There's so much to do in this last underground level, one must pay attention to every detail, so many levers hiding in the most unsuspected places... Glass platforms, ropes (remember the trick of making Lara slide once and then swinging again and letting go after she gets her legs back around the rope), some harder jumps, a lot of closed doors that will have you scratching your head for a while, very well placed traps, loads of original (or so I believe) textures... This is, as one might say, 'la cerise sur le gāteau'. I can't really describe it in words; you'll just have to see for yourself. And then, there's that final cut scene which is fantastically made if you think of what's been achieved in LE games... I liked it a lot, even though I found myself stuck quite a couple of times. So... After having played the whole saga, well, I know there are those who think I rate the levels too high, but what else can I do? I would never have built anything like this, I probably wouldn't even have imagined it. The only reason why I'm rating the gameplay and puzzles with a 9 instead of a 10 is because it's so incredibly easy to get stuck throughout the game (and high difficulty isn't always the best of things), because of that timed run in the Temple of Theon, which took me days to do (and I was lucky), and mostly because of Athens, which was somehow worse than the rest albeit also very well built. But when I see (I'm not even sure I should be mentioning this but...) Nadine is 15, wow!, I feel I was so very immature at that age, so very incapable of doing an epic work such as this, my most sincere congratulations go to you, Nadine! I don't know what you'll do in the future... But you've already managed to do something important. It's not a novel. It's not a painting. It's not a record. It's a game. So what? It's one of the best - and it's fresh. (August, 10 2004)" - Jorge22 (12-Aug-2004)
"Don't neglect to read Nadine's readme file (as though you would dream of treating a builder so discourteously) as the storyline here is very good and will set the scene for the various levels. Qanyuntha's Palace: This is a prequel to the main storyline of this level and thus we have young Lara searching a temple in Alaska. As normal with young Lara the emphasis is on fancy footwork rather than enemies and there's some very nice sliding/jumping timed runs and boulder dodging and general leaping about to be done. There's a nail biting encounter with Qanyuntha himself before grabbing the artefact and legging it to safety. This section ends with a nice cut scene of Lara holding the artefact and walking into the snow. Athens/Catacomb Complex: Nice to get somewhere a bit warmer after all that ice and snow. Twenty years have passed and Lara is grown up (thank the gods flares at last). The architecture here is rather stunning and it's just as well because you'll have to spend a lot of time looking at it - this level is big and confusing so I employed my usual headless chicken routine and eventually found some useful stuff in amongst the sightseeing. I got so used to not meeting any enemies that when a baddie jumped out at me in the quad bike room I got a real shock. There's some fun riding to do round the catacombs in pursuit of the Zeus Poseidon and Hades keys required to gain access to the next section and amongst other tasks a nifty variation on the block puzzle. Inside the Temple of Theon: I very much enjoyed the action in here. You have several areas named after different Gods with plenty of tasks to achieve in each room and various items to find. All the rooms are beautiful and I especially liked the Poseidon room with its gorgeous blue colours. There are a few enemies in this part but the emphasis is still on agility (yet another really tight timed run aaaargh) and exploration. The tapestry slide near the end is absolutely spectacular and there's one hell of a boss ending. Phew enough excitement for anyone. NL-Tech HQ: After a wonderful opening flyby you can begin to explore this impressive base. This is less confusing than the previous section and you can consequently achieve your goals faster. There are guards and dogs around but not too many. Lots of good moves to make timed runs monkey swings jumping over toxic water flooding rooms - all enjoyable stuff. Base levels have to be well done to retain my interest and this one never got boring. In fact I was almost sorry to collect the nenivor and return to the waiting helicopter. The Outskirts of Hell: What a smart looking blue motorbike. There are more interesting tasks awaiting you here. The sequence with the squishy blocks followed by a lot of jumping about avoiding being sliced to pieces and a quick dash for some goodies before the water caught on fire was absolutely wonderful. Some tricky bike riding and a nail biting slide sequence over spikes and exploding tiles will also keep you more than occupied for some time. Never a dull moment I assure you. The Gleaming Ravine: After finally achieving the collapsing tile run to end all collapsing tile runs I had to have a break to massage some life back into my poor aching fingers. This setting really does gleam - even the water is full of sparkling crystals. Lots of climbing to do here and one or two quite tricky jumps in search of four crystals. I mustn't neglect to mention the beautifully re-textured harpies - their tails look like stars. Felavoru: Aaaargh take me back to the gleaming ravine - this place is full of lava. Do take time to admire the wonderful re-texturing of spikes to look like stalagmites - how clever. The mirror room is an excellent variation on a theme and takes some negotiating. The ending cut scene is really outstandingly well done and a fitting end to such a first rate set of levels. I particularly appreciated the contrast between all the different sections; there really is something for everyone. If I have a complaint it's that a couple of the timed runs were just too tight for me and I needed help which is always frustrating but given the overall excellence of these levels I'm just nit picking really. Well done Nadine an absolute triumph." - Jay (10-Aug-2004)
"This game includes eight levels with similar surroundings except the first which differs a little and the tech one. I have to say the author's time to create this was well worth it since everything looks quite good with a somewhat peculiar gameplay though. Generally you will be searching for keys gems tridents but mostly for levers or switches that will open the way to the next area. The boss at the end of the first level was impressive although I dislike bosses I can't kill so did the other enemies in this game along with the custom objects. The more impressive the setting was though as we go further the more tiresome the gameplay became in most places. My idea of a fun level isn't to search a huge area beautiful no doubt just to find a lever or two it doesn't matter. I felt like I wasn't accomplishing anything just finding ways to finish one level and jump to the next one. I was stunt by the nice bridge with the horses in 'Athens' although it looked more like Rome to me and the pictures that were depicting ancient Greek gods. I saw Ermis and Aphrodite in one of the following levels. The one I liked most was 'Temple of Theon' that was challenging enough to keep my interest until the end. In a game like this timed runs are a 'must' so we got plenty of them and tight ones. In the outside areas I found quite a few places were the 'end of the world' bug occurs also in the first level by crawling through the structure on the right side instead of jumping onto the slopes and blocks you can reach the other side easier a shortcut there. One thing that was missing in the entire game is cameras the ones that are there are very few and most of the time I found myself wondering where to go and what to do now if you have a big area to cover with many rooms it's not pleasant. I also had some sound issues the bike didn't have a sound and I couldn't understand or rather hear a word of what Lara was saying in one of the levels. There was a little weird incident at the 'Outskits of Hell' level as well if you reload at the area a fire starts rolling down it begins going down all over again from the start. Which reminds me the dragons were great but then again as mentioned above a lot of the objects in this level were impressive. In the last levels I also got stuck between illegal slopes and couldn't get out so reloading a previous savegame was the only solution. Apart from the few not so big problems mentioned above I found this game to be the best the author has to offer so far obviously her gameplay has improved immensely but it is for average plus players. That's not a bad thing not for me anyway but the secrets were very hard I found four and demanded hours of searching which I refused to spend. I believe secrets should be well hidden not almost impossible to find except maybe a couple to spice things up. Nevertheless the beautiful setting the inspiring atmosphere and the challenging moments from this game are memorable. What else can I add except don't miss this one it entails sceneries never seen before combines tech levels with classic ones and includes not so often used tasks like using bars to get across. Good work Nadine." - Kristina (23-Jul-2004)
"It was very good time for me to play these eight levels and Nadine doing here great work. Some of the levels are long with many things to do serious jumps and timed running. Hm some of them was hard for me to do. Pick up objects many keys and drive on two kind of motorbikes what has really surprised me is the fact that there was not much enemies but when they show up it was in a bad place for Lara. I liked the new textures - looking nice and good Atmosphere. Somewhere in a secret place I saw Nadine's picture and in another place a man and a woman - wondering who they are lol - one of the best flyby showing in the end. Great levels indeed." - Yoav (19-Jul-2004)
"I haven't played such an amazing series of levels in a long time. This was the best raid I ever had! Nadine has sure improved a whole lot! We even have some excellent music too! Here's what I think of the levels: First we visit Alaska in... Qanyuntha's Palace - The prologue level was really nice. We start with young Lara in a nice red winter outfit. The gameplay in this level is fluent, with tasks that aren't hard nor easy. The first room was very well built with the waterfalls and brilliant architecture. We see most of that as we go along in this level. The most beautiful area in here was the Cathedral of Hope, since I fancy cathedral areas a lot, and there was a nice fly-by in here too. The only enemy that we face here is Seth retextured brilliantly to look like Qanyuntha, and the blast were also beautifully retextured too. There was also a nice cutscene at the end of this level, when Lara walks out of the palace with the Qanyuntha artifact in her hand, and then the quest for the Fragments of the Core continues twenty years later in Athens. Athens - We are treated to a nice fly-by of the city at the start. Lara here sports a new outfit that I thought was rather nice. The first time in this level you have to do a few puzzles here and there to get to a secret. After coming back from the second level of Athens with the three Gods' keys, we are treated to one of the most amazing fly-bys I've ever seen. The Catacomb Complex - This was also a good level, however this was rather confusing, if I do say so myself. The first sight that I thought was very interesting was the large pool that was very well constructed. We also have the quadbike here too, and the rides with the quadbike were also nice. Another area that I thought was very good was the canyon in which we still use the quadbike. The enemies we face here are a few jade warriors. After getting all of the three keys in this level and using them, we go to the next level of the series. Inside the Temple of Theon - Here we have a very nice two part level that was my favorite in the series, because of its fluent and never boring gameplay. In the first part of the level, we go to the rooms of Poseidon and Hades, where we have to complete two tasks to open the exit doors of the level. In the Poseidon room, we do some nice tasks in this large and beautiful room, such as jumping and dodging blades to reach a switch to open the first exit door. We then move on to the Hades room, where we are presented with better tasks. The hall here was very well constructed, with some difficult tasks because of the tricky jumps. The route back to the beginning of the level is a little longer here. A nice task here was the jumping on rock platforms over lava to push a few buttons while a skeleton chases you. We later continue our quest in the second part of this great level, where our task is to collect three of the following items: Zeus' Bolts, Poseidon's Tridents, and Hades' Skulls. We also have some nice timed runs here too, and each of these rooms that contains one of the items has a different task every time. Once every item is collected, we later continue on the level, when we come to a very nice slide when Lara has to hang onto a piece of blue tapestry, and we have some nice camera work with the AOD theme music. The last room was a combat scene, in which we fight four jade warriors, and one of them is on a horse. The rooms in this two parter were very well built. We face here some jade warriors, skeletons, horse riders, eagle-dogs, and ghostly knights. We then continue to the next level of the series in the Bahamas. NL-Tech HQ - Lara sports another new outfit, which was also good, and we are treated to a fly-by of our surroundings, and we also see a family of dolphins too. The gameplay in this level is also pretty much fluent, as we infiltrate a base complex to find the Nenivor artifact. We also have actions from TRC present too, which are the parallel bar swinging and tightrope walking. There are a few timed bits here too, such as the timed block near the beginning of the level. Even though this was my least favorite level of the series, I did enjoy it very much, just like I did with the previous levels. Here we face some guards and attack dogs. After this level, we move onto the quest for the Marvatuyk artifact in Iceland. The Outskirts of Hell - Lara sports another very nice outfit for extreme weather conditions. We also have the motorbike here too. We face some of the nicest tasks in here, such as jumping on platforms while the spinning mechanism thing spins and can push you off the ledges, and the moving blocks too. We also have nice objects too, such as the red sculptures and the dragon statues. There is also some tricky jumping and the bike ride wasn't easy either. The hardest part of the level to me was trying to slide down a slope with exploding tiles. The enemies encountered here were wasps, a harpy, and ahmets. Anyway, we move on to the next level of this intriguing series. The Gleaming Ravine - We are presented here with some more tricky tasks, as we search for four Gleaming Crystals. The gameplay gets trickier and trickier the more you progress through the level. Some tasks that I found were entertaining was jumping that involved the moving blocks, and the spinning mechanism. There is also some tricky monkey-swinging too. We also see an amazing flyby of a ravine and its beautiful surroundings. Enemies here are some beautifully retextured locusts, some ahmets, harpies, and some ice imps. Felavoru - The last level gives us some more challenging puzzles as the search for the Marvatuyk continues. We have even more great puzzles in here, such as a nice mirror room in which we have to use the mirror to step on five green tiles to open a door, avoiding orange exploding tiles, and tiles that release spike balls. We also see some new objects here too, such as a shining star stand which was very nice. There is also some tricky rope swinging, and jumping over lava too. There is also another amazing fly-by of a volcanic type area which was very good. Here the enemies were ice dragons that swim in the lava. Bottomline - The final cut scene in this series was brilliantly made, and was very suspenseful too. These levels were some of the best I played and I look forward to playing the next of Nadine's levels." - Relic Hunter (17-Jul-2004)