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The Mystery of the Northern Star by masha

Blacksheep 10 10 10 8
CC 9 9 9 9
Celli 10 10 10 10
DJ Full 9 8 8 9
EssGee 8 8 8 9
eTux 9 8 9 8
Gerty 8 9 8 8
Gill 10 8 9 10
Jay 10 9 8 9
JoeTheCrazyGamer 10 10 10 10
Jorge22 10 9 9 9
Jose 7 8 9 9
Kristina 9 9 9 10
Loupar 9 10 10 10
manarch2 8 8 8 9
MichaelP 8 8 9 9
Phil 10 10 10 10
Relic Hunter 9 10 9 10
Ryan 9 9 9 9
Sash 10 9 9 10
Scottie 8 9 9 10
Treeble 7 10 10 8
release date: 07-Sep-2004
# of downloads: 166

average rating: 9.06
review count: 22
review this level

file size: 54.70 MB
file type: TR4
class: nc

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Mixed feelings. On the one hand, I quite enjoyed the scenery in these levels (especially the city outdoors, although the museum in itself was also very interesting). However, I thought gameplay wasn't up to the same level, with a few too many levers, with a number of locked doors requiring keys to grant you access to further levers, and some of the sections were somewhat repetitive, such as the underwater lever sequences along the way. Some of the pushblock puzzles were interesting though, and I rather enjoyed the platforming sequences such as the timed jumps over raising blocks towards the end. The ladders and monkey swings could have done with proper marking, too. These are definitely good levels, don't get me wrong, but they're just a little short of being great. 120 minutes, 7 secrets. 07/21" - Treeble (04-Jul-2021)
"This is an enjoyable level set that should please the explorers among us. Right from the start the atmosphere of the town of St Petersburg is well crafted with wonderful texturing and lighting, even if the constantly looped music might get annoying after a while. You firstly explore the town area itself for a few needed items and once you solve a couple of flipmap puzzles, you enter the Planetarium where the puzzle solving gets underway. The scenery here is impressive with the bluish lighting and the central swinging pendulum. The trident here affords access to the New Hermitage where the difficulty increases slightly with a fun raising block timed runs, a pushable block puzzle and plenty of traps. Highly recommended for those who like to think about what their next move might be." - Ryan (26-Nov-2017)
"This is another amazing TRLE from Masha, Masha never fails to impress and when she builds a level she always makes it the best. The timed swim in the middle was a point that had me tring and trying with lots of tricky jumps it will keep you entertained for a while." - JoeTheCrazyGamer (28-Sep-2016)
"The day was old and exhausted but the night was young and idle so I continued with masha's levels, unaware I attempted one which will keep me busy until the morning. This must be the first real adventure of this builder, and lol that readme. I thought it's a Christmas level, but a daylight Petersburg is fine either. My parents have visited Hermitage many years ago, my father knew Russian and such revelations always make me wonder about things like: could they meet masha in the streets, completely unaware? Could they talk to her? I know they definitely shared the same experience: a couple of KGB agents was following them through the museum, just in case if they were spies of capitalist regime. And I could now take from this museum a thing they definitely wasn't able to - yep, I found all secrets and claimed the egg, though as always I was a bit disappointed the intermediate pickups were just the golden roses without any additional content. The enemies were regular dogs and guards, also some spiders, but I missed something spiritual like a giant chicken boss guarding the egg, go figure. And I definitely never saw such a usage for umbrella, gotta try this when my door gets locked... The geometry peaks at the patio structure in the second level, also many rooms of the concluding museum are really consistent and filled with always fitting furniture. Texturing is great, especially in the planetarium, however some places were definitely painted with noticeably compressed jpegs and other contain loads of seams. As always the pushables are long but this time split into less riddles and every single one makes sense (somehow the final one of the museum was more satisfying to me than the bit dragging one of the planetarium). A nice touch came with the tridents placed after each segment so I could tell from it how far into the game I am - a nice measuring device, as well as the pendulum. But my favourite moment was getting the golden key in one level and immediately spotting its proper keyhole as soon as I returned to the unit I already knew." - DJ Full (15-Feb-2016)
"At first, this felt to me like a highly overrated level. The gameplay in the "city" part of the adventure was rather tame, there are dozens and dozens of levers of which most are too well hidden and I didn't feel any exitement here, well maybe except for the nice atmosphere in the town, which works even better if you studied the readme and know its context. I also didn't really like the puzzles which were either straightforward or repetitive; especially doing four exactly same tasks is not quite fun. The negative highlight was the planetarium, where the tedium gets even stronger with lenghty pushing and waiting for the soldier. It says a lot about the last two levels that I still gave an 8 to the first category. In there, the fun factor is very high with a lot of much more original puzzles and especially fantastic timed runs for which alone it is worth to make your way through the first levels. While most overall elements are very scenically crafted, just as we know from this builder (both objects and very well and cleanly applied texturing and lighting), I found the background audio in some levels to be a killer in that regard. I could get used to the music pieces in the later levels, but I cannot quite see any sense in using the title music as a background audio in the second level, it was plainly annoying. Also, I found some areas to be not used to their potential, i.e. lacking more detailed design, but I also have to say that the main areas of the museum, the planetarium with the fabulous Foucault pendulum and the outside areas are very well crafted. Maybe I didn't like the idea of the secrets being needed to get the item of the destination (it would be pretty pointless to leave without it), and the finale was a bit too abrupt which left me with the feeling that this level could have been needed some refinements befor the release, but anyway, the great looks throughout the whole game and the gameplay in the second half should be good enough arguments to try out this great level (which lasted 1:50 hours for me)." - manarch2 (29-Jan-2014)
"Here we have a good set of levels worth to play. The environment is very well worked with a good appearance, the puzzles are easy to solve, except in the rooms with no marked climbable walls and the damned corridor with the row of spikes with the golden rose at the end. Also in the first part of the game you can be confused with all those jumps between levels, but lately the gameplay is more lineal. There are few enemies to shoot and the secrets are not difficult to find. Perhaps there's an abuse of the switches, but they're not very hidden. The best for me were the good use of the cameras and the atmosphere." - Jose (28-Oct-2013)
"I have played this level two years ago already once, but I cannot remember which I had had even then so many tomatoes on the eyes. I could have supplied a whole company with these tomatoes. However, I must also say that many of the levers and Jumpswitches were hidden too well. How should one find such a lever if he has the same colour like the wall? And how should one find a Jumpswitch if he is directly in the wall lighting? Then these were in such a way moments where I would have bitten before frustration almost in the edge of the table. But whether had this my teeth endured? Another criticism point is the constant tootling with music. This becomes apparent above all in the first level. Again and again the same sequence. I know, I know. To call Classical music as tootling is a heavy crime. But if one must hear it constantly and without respite, I am just a criminal. This is a lift music. But enough grumbled. If we come to more gratifying things. If we start sometimes with the atmosphere. It is one of the strengths from masha which she can build so wonderfully formed level. As the first the place with four statues strikes there. Very realistically built and very well on each other co-ordinated. There every detail is right. Of course there is even more of such places. One takes only the planetarium with the Foucault pendulum. Or the Hermitage Museum where masha has also paid attention to such details like the small benches. If we come to the riddles and the time runs. I have already appealed to the problems with the levers and Jumpswitches. But, nevertheless, there were still enough moments which have given a lot of pleasure to me. So, for example, the big room under the Hermitage Museum where one had to water a few narrow canals and lower several Raisingblocks to reach the crowbar. An umbrella as a crowbar! I have still never seen this. This umbrella was very expensive certainly, as stable as it was produced. There was another good riddle in the planetarium where one still had to take up the help of a KGB zombie. The time runs were very good. I never had the feeling which I would have had not enough time. Another highlight are the Flybys. Opponents were dogs and the security guards. The playing time lay with 3,5 hours. Result: Nevertheless, in spite of a few frustration moments it has given a lot of pleasure" - Scottie (16-Jul-2009)
"Somehow I missed this marvelous level set when it was released several years ago. If any builders who feel abused by my reviews have any interest in what I consider decent lighting in a level, consider Mystery of the Northern Star as my Exhibit A. The builder has given us room after room of graphic glory that he has chosen not to hide by cloaking everything in shadows of darkness. And although there are a number of tr4 files (maybe a half dozen) here, they are all interconnected so that you play with the conviction that it's all just one huge level. In fact, you get nearly four hours of engaging gameplay that has its share of challenging twists and turns, especially near the end. I'm not sure why this release has not yet been inducted into the Hall of Fame, but it's only a matter of time before we see it there. Download it without delay if you haven't already played it. Highest recommendations." - Phil (20-Mar-2008)
"An interesting mini adventure through part of the author's home town St Petersburg and into a museum called the Hermitage in search of a prized Faberge Egg. Whilst these levels look very polished both architecturally and texturally, there is an enigmatic frustration when playing which really eats away at the fun factor as you get more and more frustrated. Perhaps this unwittingly reflects the underlying tension and frustration of life in this city. I would have toiled long and hard to finish this game if it were not for the assistance of a walkthrough. There are some unfair unmarked climbable walls and monkey swings which really frustrate and spoilt it for me. As a consequence the gameplay suffers. You will encounter some challenging timed runs and have to steel yourself as the 'spikes-in-yer-bum' run will test your patience. But its a great relief when you finally get into that crawl space. The looped background music really suits the levels but may grind on your nerves as you stumble through the more difficult parts of the game. Fixed cams are generally available as clues to remote gates etc, but you need a good memory in the city level as there is much to do. The planetarium with its pendulum and the final glassed security area with its raising block puzzle were the highlights for me. I hope you value your Faberge Egg as you will work hard to earn your prize in this one." - EssGee (10-Mar-2007)
"This is a terrific level, set in St. Petersburg, and divied into different parts. Part 1 is mainly outside in the lovely city streets, river and bridge, and a town square in front of the museum gates. The square has four Neptune statues in cages (good security point there). I particularly loved the soft golden light that gives the impression of early morning, or sunset. Lara is dressed for what the rest of us would imagine is a fairly cold climate in Russia. But this city is bright and cheerful. The main aim of the whole level is to find the tridents for the statues in the square. There are a number of obvious blue and red star patterned squares dotted about the city. Although I thought them strange here, they become more and more important as we move through the levels. In the beginning they rise to become blocks that Lara can stand on, then they form blocks to push, they indicate where to push other blocks, and further on become timed rising blocks. There are a lot of well hidden switches and levers, perhaps a little too well hidden, (i.e. finding and pulling out a block in front of one), and some run-through textures; so a lot of searching must be done. It might be a idea to save on entering each room and light a few flares to search it, then reload. There is an excellent block pushing puzzle that includes swimming through different channels and using underwater levers. Actually, Lara pulls a lot of underwater levers in this game, in different places, and through different intriguing and slightly confusing tunnels and water pools. I laughed when I found, and Lara first used, a large umbrella (aka the crowbar). Now there's a novelty! Other pickups are cds, golden roses, gems and of course the tridents. I loved the route around this city, searching in the houses, offices, on balconys and roofs, and we come back each time to place the trident we have found elswhere. The music seems appropriate and I'm guessing it is native to St. Petersburg! Through one of the double gates here we enter Part 2, which is another square with a central structure, around which are globes to push inside and raise up to the top. This in turn opens a large mansion. Some nice little timed runs in the library, good use of the torch, switches and block to push. The only thing that bothered me here was one golden rose I didn't get because when I went back for it the door was closed into that room. I could have gone back to a previous savegame, but I was too impatient to continue on. The level changes again and we are inside the Planetarium. I thought this was a pretty impressive looking room with the ancient looking map of the planets on the floor and the blue map of the night sky above, in the centre is a swinging pendulum that changes direction every few swings. It is one big room with a long globe pushing puzzle. Four globes are high up in the four corners and we have to get them down to ground level by raising and lowering blocks. This process is hampered slightly by a bad tempered KGB guard, who actually turns out to be quite useful. He moves so slowly that it's easy enough to outrun him. Having our gem and trident, we move back through parts 1 and 2 again to work through more underwater tunnels, pulling levers, finding keys and gems, and a good timed run over rising blocks to grab a monkeyswing and drop to a shimmy. I must say that, even though there were excellent flybys to show the way through the water tunnels I got a little confused at times and swam past the keys without realising the way was clear to pick them up. Did I mention before to look in all nooks and crannys? The next part New Hermitage sees us actually inside the museum, and the goal of our quest, that gorgeous jewelled egg. This museum is very beautiful, especially the grand staircase with those beams of light shining through the skylights. It goes against the grain to be shooting the displays but it is necessary here. I found a torch early in the level and brought it with me through most of the level as there are a lot of things to light. A word of warning though, I had to redo a small portion of this part because I brought the torch too far with me and couldn't get it later on. So when the player reaches the room with the unmarked spike floor, just after the three boulders, leave the torch somewhere in the boulders corridor or further back. Again, a lot of well hidden switches and levers, and even more obscurely hidden golden roses (think run-through walls again). These roses are needed to open the gates to the first egg. One large water room has an interesting underwater tunnel route, and slightly confusing jumping exercises, but good fun. The highlight for me was the pixel perfect run through spikes, then diving into a crawl position to claim another rose. That was a rush and took many tries to finally get there. The final part is a huge room with glass panelling, through which we can see more of those textures on blocks. That means a timed run across them to get to the switch on the high ledge. I actually got to that ledge another way without realising I needed to do the timed run. I was a bit confused for a while. But the player will have to do this run anyway to get out of here. To get inside the glass panelling in the first place we have to open doors around the outside walls. Inside each are great little tasks to do to get a gem and horseman tablet. One being a run over breakable tiles avoiding fire emitters, and sliding and jumping back down trying not to catch fire. Another being a small area of 'cells' and timed switches that starts with pushing a globe. Loved all that hopping about to get the final trident, along with the monkeyswinging, rope climbing and jumping, and the extra block pushing beforehand. There was no fanfare of farewell to this level, just place the final trident and open the last gate. But at least I had a gorgeous Faberge egg in my backpack. All the flybys in these levels are excellent, but I've rarely seen one that is so perfect as the one that scans the room where the last trident is. An excellent raiding experience. Highly recommended." - CC (14-Oct-2005)
"Though I'm not a fan of the 'find the jump switch button that is sneakily hidden or blends with the environment' type of gameplay what mostly is offered here I enjoyed this thoroughly through the 2+ hours it took me to play despite myself. At the moment I can't remember when Lara's mission has been as bluntly put as here - get in the museum steal egg and get away with it lol. It won't be as easy as it sounds - at first you have to search the well designed town for tridents keys CD's and an umbrella while fighting the occasional guard and guard dog. They're a minority here though as the essence is the gameplay - movable block puzzles and timed runs especially. Thorough the game I thought it was pretty standard and suitable for anyone though I did like some of the more challenging timed runs a lot. However gameplay-wise part 2 of the Hermitage is an absolute highlight at first you complete puzzles counter clockwise for pictures and then do a brilliant timed sequence in the middle of it! If the gameplay had been as eventful most of the time before that too it would have been a perfect score in this category no doubt about it! The enemies don't play a major role in here so Lara at times will feel quite lonely but the countless traps will surely make up for that. What I wasn't so keen on was the idea secrets guarding the thing Lara came here for in the first place. Don't get me wrong getting them was a pleasure and I did get all but if I wouldn't have gotten it and left the level after placing after the 4th trident with empty hands it somehow wouldn't have felt right. Another thing I didn't like so much was the background music in some parts of the game - the Venice track and TR4 title music became more irritating after a while so I had to turn the sound down. While I didn't deduct any points for this I wouldn't advise the author to use this approach at background tracks anymore maybe it's just me but I found that irritating. Overall - a highly recommended level series can't see a reason why you should let all the fun in here pass you by!" - eTux (19-Jan-2005)
"Great game with timed runs and puzzles to solve. Lara has to find four tridents placed in different levels. The way to get the tridents is sometimes really hard and it requires original tools (the umbrella/crowbar). The atmosphere is very beautiful the classical city the house the New Hermitage with paintings (some of them are clues...); there are breathtaking rooms with complicated puzzles. Only in two occasions I found that the solution was easier than the author planned: I got two golden skulls without doing the expected things (one burning tile a little less dangerous and another climbable surface easy to reach with a simple jump). All in all I've loved the sounds from TR2 and the perfect use of lights and textures; and I've enjoyed all the game. Really a very good work." - Loupar (23-Dec-2004)
"What an exciting level! I must admit that this was the first custom level I played that was set in Russia and I was not let down! It seems to start out a little slow but the excitement and fun really pick up once you go after the first trident and you have to make the underwater timed run without drowning. Very devilish but that's what Tomb Raider is all about isn't it? The game revolves around finding four tridents to go on the statues in the courtyard. Each one is in its own area: a canal a residence a secondary courtyard and the New Hermitage Museum. Each location comes with its own series of puzzles the best coming in the New Hermitage Museum. Some of the puzzles require speed and agility and others you need to bring your mind. And then there are those that require a mix of the two. I am being vague about the puzzles because it is best to experience them for yourself and then decide which you think are greatest or the worst. There were many new objects that were very fun to work with. The crowbar became an umbrella and there were three paintings in the New Hermitage Museum that you had to search for. I was hoping they would be different paintings but alas they were not. The ultimate secret in the New Hermitage also is a new object but I won't ruin the surprise if you want to go after it. ;-) As always good music yet again. I had not cared for Russian music either way before but now I'm rather fond of it. Mystery of the Northern Star is one of those levels that cannot go unnoticed." - Celli (11-Dec-2004)
"The Mystery of the Northern Star (7/8/8/9 60 min. 2 secrets): It's great to see a builder set an adventure in her hometown - St.Petersburg in this case and the city setting is really nicely done and the atmosphere set with a nice flyby and nice music. You meet the occasional guard and their dogs open many doors and pull many switches. There are plenty nice touches (like the umbrella as a crowbar) and a nice puzzle area with movable blocks and raising water levels as you make your way to acquire the first two of four tridents. So far so good but what really did not work well for me in this part is that several of those switches and jump switches are just too sneakily hidden and while there are many camera hints it always felt as if they were missing just when you needed them and it got more and more frustrating to run around like a headless chicken searching for something to do next. The Mystery of the Northern Star -Part 2 / Planetarium (9/7/9/9 45 min. 2 secrets): The gameplay got much better here as it became more logical and obvious and still made you think a bit every now and then with planets to push around raising and lowering blocks/cages a nice house with libraries to explore good use of the torch a nice timed run and much more solid camera guidance. The Planetarium section is impressive with the cool pendulum and basically one big globes puzzle that gets you to a gem and another one of those CDs you need. I really enjoyed the helpful KGB guy. Then you get some water action for a number of keys and a really neat timed trapdoor sequence that took a few tries to master and you leave here with the third trident. Nice puzzles all in all with the only complaint being that they were a little repetitive in nature as you often have to do pretty much the same thing three or four times in a row. The New Hermitage (9/8/10/10 60 min. 3 secrets): Most definitely the highlight of this series and worth getting through the first parts to see this. A beautifully crafted museum setting with plenty of action along the way wonderful classical ambience music a few dogs and spiders to get rid of and nice new objects like the eggs. The third secret rose was really tough to get through those spikes. At first you have five buttons to press which involves a torch puzzle with doors and swimming rolling balls and spikes and collapsible tiles. Then in part 2 there is more work to do to acquire three pictures involving burners a really smart block puzzle and a series of timed runs before you tackle the final big room with another very interesting timed run across raising blocks. I had quite a bit of trouble with the rope in this room and thought this was a bit unfortunately designed but this is a minor gripe in such a wonderful part of the series. Get your fourth trident here and make your way out. All in all this is great raiding if you manage to survive the first part and don't get too frustrated by it. It is truly worth to persist though!" - Michael (06-Dec-2004)
"When I have just started this level felt that Lara's outfit wasn't stylish and those textures was incompatible with the map. But No worries! You will find losing yourself in a lot of puzzles and timed runs for getting The Poseidon's Forks. Other some new objects will be waiting for you. Especially I like that umbrella! I can assure you that this level has very good ideas and its gameplay is excellent!" - Blacksheep (05-Nov-2004)
"Not a lot of us can find the spare money nowadays to go and purchase a lovely Faberge Egg and I have to say there are a lot of better things to spend your money on anyway (a stadium full of life size Belgian chocolate Brad Pitts to nibble on or even the real Mr. Pitt himself to nibble on paying someone to clean the shower in your house every hour on the hour for the rest of your life or getting enough youth rejuvenating cosmetic surgery to make you look like you just stepped from the womb) so why not do the next best thing and steal one from a museum. Okay maybe that isn't the most legal or moral thing to do but hey if it allows you to play five really enjoyable intermingled levels then what's the harm. The levels revolve around a town square where 4 Neptune states await their tridents outside and inside a two storey hotel a one room planetarium a museum and another area of the museum with a large glassed off area. Some players may think that the gaming was a little repetitive in spots as you get quite a few movable blocks raising blocks and timed moves but I felt that each and every puzzle had such a nice personal touch and were also quite smartly conceived that when I came across each I always looked forward to solving them. There is however one spike run that you have to time very precisely that had my frustration levels rising but I somehow made it through only to realize I had to then go back through it (slightly easier than the former thankfully) but there was a great sense of success when I made it through both times. No level was ever too long with an accumulated time of nearly 3 hours and neither did they feel ever too short I even loved the idea that the Planetarium level was actually one big puzzle in itself that had an ingenious and helpful enemy inclusion. All up these are some really finely produced and satisfying levels that allow players of all grades to have some fun. I found 7 gold rose secrets 2 in the first 2 in the second and 3 in the fourth the last three allow you to collect the Faberge Egg." - Sash (23-Oct-2004)
"Saint Petersburg... There's one place I'd like to visit. More precisely about the game it's medium-hard depending on what we're speaking of and uses well applied textures even though not overly original. There are many levers to be used a couple of discs to be found four tridents one egg and here's one positive thing I can say about all that: you always get a flyby when something happens so if you get lost it's really not Masha's fault. I lost a lot of time near the beginning because I couldn't find the revolver which I knew I needed right in front of my eyes. You get to explore a little of the city plus the New Hermitage museum in two parts. I liked the baroque music in the first part of the museum it suited the place well. The Planetarium is also very interesting with its Foucault's Pendulum and the undead KGB that will help Lara get out of there (but before I understood that!...). When I said the level was medium in difficulty (or medium to easy well not too easy anyway) I was referring to the general gameplay the way the game flows as Lara visits different places and even as she passes some traps which are perfectly surmountable once you think about them. When I said it was hard I was referring mostly to the second part of the museum and all the very tight timed runs it contains (fortunately no lava anywhere I think I'm begging to hate lava and what would it be doing inside a museum anyway?). God it was tough both to get the third picture and to understand what to do in order to get the fourth trident while jumping from timed raising block to timed raising block! And what about the secret rose at the end of a multitude of spikes is it really reachable? Anyway after Lara places the fourth trident a gate opens she goes in and you're back in the main screen. Is that really how it happens? I mean I thought she'd still go back to the museum and get a second egg which was visible behind bars... But that's ok. The adventure is worth for what it's worth. And it's worth it. Do come and visit the Northern Star! (October 10 2004)" - Jorge22 (12-Oct-2004)
"Ye gods you have to work hard to get the crowbar in the first part of this level but it is a very special crowbar. There's a nice looking city area with a central courtyard containing four Poseidon statues so unless you've been living under a rock for the last few years you will immediately realise that you need to find four tridents. To achieve this goal there are block puzzles to solve timed runs to master and guards and dogs to dispose of. The timed run in the library initially seemed very tight but once I got the rhythm of it I found there was actually time to spare. I really enjoyed the planetarium with its well thought out globe puzzle novel use of a KGB guard with a baton and the gorgeous setting. Watch out for those ghastly jumping spiders in the Hermitage; they will poison you if you're not careful. The spike run in this section completely defeated me but luckily it was only for a secret so it was optional really. Apart from that I managed all the challenges and some of them were quite tricky so I felt an immense satisfaction at the conclusion of this excellent level. Highly recommended." - Jay (09-Oct-2004)
"Well what a lovely adventure this was indeed in the search of the 4 missing tridents and also having to cope with some very tough timed runs to progress further in this wonderful adventure. Which I might add I just could not do them myself and had to resort to the save game pages to get a d/load to get past those tricky timed bits. I only well nearly managed to complete the first level by myself as I knew I was missing a power CD and for the life of me I had no idea where it was hiding. The textures layouts lighting was superbly done which gives you an absolutely great atmosphere during this wonderful adventure. Enemies are not that hard deal with shooting a few guards dogs & small spiders can be very easily disposed off the spiders just seemed to jump on you when you least expected it though and gave me a few bites in the process. And yes the KGB man in the Planetarium well he's quite easy to dodge as he walks around like zombie which gives you plenty of time to get away from his evil hits. I had plenty of fun with him having him chase me around the room trying to tire him out and lose interest in me trying to get the puzzle done with those goblets. Oh I must mention the spikes bits in the New Hermitage level this totally got to me I managed to get across the breakable tiles bit but had no idea I had to run back through those spikes again Yikes I only managed to get 3/4 of the way back and ended up dead all the time. Thanks to those saves again I could proceed on further. On the whole this adventure is well worth the d/load and playing these beautiful and well laid out levels and would recommend it too all players. Many thanks Masha for a most enjoyable levels of game play." - Gill (03-Oct-2004)
"The level starts in a small city and the hunt is on to find the four tridents. But first you have to find a way to lower the cages. It starts easily enough but gets harder and harder as there are many timed runs in here and I surprised myself in doing the toughest myself and I had help (from my southern neighbour) with two other ones. Never got the secret with the popping up spikes though so I am one short. It took me the better of three days to finish this and I am a bit tired as of lately there are so many big levels out there for a download. Probably have an overdose of them. Apart from that it is a nice level to do. Enemies are not in abundance and you sort of can expect them barring Lara the way at least you know you are in the right direction. There are puzzles in here and I thought they were great and the revolver and sight are also used for some practice shooting. Be aware that Masha used a flip map so there might be suddenly a lever in the room that wasn't there before that threw me off big time the first one I encountered. Still wonder about the rope as that was kind of awkward and the reaching the finishing trigger was rather abrupt. 15-09-2004" - Gerty (27-Sep-2004)
"This is a great game with such a wonderful setting that depicts St. Petersburg. There are three levels in which you are called to complete different tasks such as solve a puzzle with moving blocks where I had a bug that caused a door not to open a torch puzzle and items to collect. You will visit the Hermitage in which you can find two Eggs but one of them is accessible only if you find the three golden roses. The paintings on the walls were very nice and I liked the colourful textures throughout the entire game. Watch out for a switch that appear after a certain action and for moving blocks that blend perfectly in walls. The main puzzle is the four tridents that need to be placed in the fist level which are scattered in all the levels. The music was great one of the themes is among my favourite classical themes and I enjoyed playing this very much. I found six secrets and I would recommend this beautiful game." - Kristina (23-Sep-2004)
"This is a brilliant adventure. Lara heads off to the city of St. Petersburg to look for the Faberge Egg that's in the Hermitage. What Masha has been doing with these levels is doing her best to recreate her hometown of St. Petersburg. Although I have never seen it myself I'll say that she has done a pretty good job. There are new textures and also many neat new objects. My favorite of them was the Foucalt Pendulum because that has never been done in a custom level and I thought that it would be impossible to do. The gameplay is a bit confusing at first because of the sneakily hidden switches and the pushblocks that blend in with the environment but once you figure out your way the adventure is not that hard. The Hermitage was my favorite part because I enjoy that piece of symphonic music playing in the background and the rooms were beautiful and they were filled with some neat tasks although some of them were rather difficult the first time. Finding the Faberge egg isn't that easy since you need to find the three secrets of the Hermitage and some of them are hidden rather sneakily. The timed run over bookshelves in the second level wasn't the least bit difficult for me but for the other players it seemed rather hard to do. This adventure is more puzzle based and doesn't have that many enemies that cause much trouble except for those dogs in the narrow hallways and the small fast and poisonous spiders were a nuisance to me. I recommend this adventure to everyone." - Relic Hunter (12-Sep-2004)