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Tarragona 4 - Devil's Lair by Josep Borrut

alan 8 8 8 8
Albert 10 10 10 10
CC 10 8 8 8
Cuqui 10 10 10 10
David 9 3 4 8
Dick 9 8 9 8
Dimpfelmoser 10 10 10 10
DJ Full 7 6 8 7
Dougsan 10 10 10 10
eTux 10 9 9 10
G.Croft 10 9 9 8
Gerty 7 8 9 8
gfd 9 7 10 9
Jay 8 8 9 8
Jbc21 6 8 7 7
JesseG 8 9 10 8
Jorge22 8 8 9 9
Jose 5 6 8 7
Josi 8 8 9 8
JRaider66 9 10 9 9
Kristina 9 8 10 10
Loupar 10 9 10 10
Magnus 10 9 9 9
manarch2 8 7 8 9
Mehrbod 6 5 6 5
MichaelP 10 7 8 10
Miguel 9 9 10 10
Mman 8 8 8 8
Momster 10 8 9 10
Navi 10 9 10 10
Nomad 8 9 9 9
Phil 9 8 9 6
Qwendo 10 9 10 10
RaiderGirl 9 8 9 10
Relic Hunter 10 9 9 9
rtrger 9 10 9 9
Ryan 9 9 9 8
Sash 10 9 9 10
Scottie 9 8 9 10
Tombaholic 10 9 10 10
Tombraidergirl 9 9 10 9
Treeble 9 9 10 10
Xela 9 8 10 9
release date: 07-May-2001
# of downloads: 139

average rating: 8.73
review count: 43
review this level

file size: 101.15 MB
file type: TR4
class: Mystery/Horror

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"The whole setup of this game for me personally was not entertaining at all. Not that many enemies involved and not much colour used in this adventure. Only exploration, exploration and exploration. An ordinary debut to its core... Thanks anyway." - Mehrbod (09-Apr-2020)
"This is another part of the Tarragona series. It's long and complex. The level is about jumping, climbing, swimming and finding some puzzle items. There are more enemies, they are red ninjas and they often drop some vraeus (in the script they are called other way). Music tracks are placed very close to the other, so a track will play even if the current one hasn't finished first. I kinda liked it; obviously I had to read the walkthrough, otherwise I wouldn't know where to go in this huge inferno!" - alan (05-Dec-2017)
"The devil's lair is quite aptly named, the level is a creepy mess of lava, tile and metal with the occasional bone pool. The atmosphere is very good but I wished for a more creepy ambiance music in the background. Music is a major downside of this level not just the general soundtrack, music triggers very often one track starts playing and the other one begins a couple of steps ahead. I am amazed how an author with so much talent made this simple mistake, it is really off-putting and kills the impact the music is supposed to make. Coming to the gameplay, the level is generally difficult but good. The initial room is very confusing and I had to climb up and down continiously to grasp the surroundings of it and it stopped being fun towards the end. The structure of the ramps is very weird and items are located on places hard to access (even seeing that grenade launcher should count as one secret.). Soon after that horrible room is over a big room comes up which is a lot of fun. That timed run with the flames was very enjoyable. The end area is enjoyable too, I got confused at the end with the useless doors and stars but it seems the author put those for story telling not gameplay. Overall a challenging level and a weird one at that, you will have to see for yourself. I liked it." - Nomad (06-Nov-2017)
"After completing the first two levels, you can choose to fully complete Level Three, or complete part of Level Three and then go to Level Four. I did the latter and for this reason I am choosing to review Level Four first. It's definitely more enjoyable than the first two. The lighting is less irritatingly dark (although it still is gloomy in places) and the gameplay is more varied. The jumping sequences are fun this time around, as were the challenging timed runs and swimming sequences. Ninjas abound, so don't be afraid to gun them down as some carry necessary items." - Ryan (17-Apr-2017)
"For me, this is surreal gone wrong - a series of platforming rooms rather than any landscape, the lava part as the lowest point of the whole series. The temples of the first location and the pyramid of the last have more of that "something". The puzzles are very on-topic and show how much of it lies in the name. Following that I don't condemn the underwater maze, as the very thing I would expect to find in hell." - DJ Full (24-Mar-2017)
"Fantastic atmosphere in a gloomy, fire and lava filled sort of way. There's a great deal of exploring to do in this occasionally rather confusing section of the game, so keep the walkthrough close at hand. Initially, some of the backtracking seemed a bit extreme, but overall the feeling is excellent and some of the jumping and manoeuvring would have been extremely challenging on first release - not one for inexperienced players. There are some good ideas on display and I especially liked the inventive water labyrinth with its camera angles for once being ingenious rather than annoying. Looking forward to part 5 now." - Jay (11-Jul-2016)
"The theme here is very surreal and makes great use of eclectic texture sets and objects to create a hot and alien feel. It's on the simple side by modern standards but it holds up via interesting designs and unique thematic aspects. Music is overused though; basically every small accomplishment has a cue with it, and they quickly override each other at times, plus the default TR4 tracks mostly aren't especially fitting in the first place. The only enemies being Ninjas is odd, but outside of that it makes good use of objects given the limits of the time. The final part also has some detailed texture misalignments that are so blatant I wonder if they're intentional for theme purposes, but if so I don't think it really works.
At it's release I recall this being regarded as somewhat of an "expert" level, and there's some tricky jumps and exploration, though the toughest parts probably come from the semi trial and error segments like the underwater part. The first part has too much backtracking, but past that there's a variety of interesting challenges, some of which I imagine were pretty rare this new in TRLE's life (like the slope gauntlets and side-view water area). It does oddly get more sedate towards the end though, and, while arguably the most appealing visually, the last segment ends up feeling somewhat anti-climatic after all the build-up of working through this place. A great level, although it has certain flaws in each area." - Mman (09-Feb-2016)
"Another long and complex level from this author. In the first room I had to run around repeating the same movements and jumps a lot of times 'cause the author lets you advance even if you have not the items you need so I decided continue playing following the walkthrough. The ambience is too dark and the enemies are only red ninjas. The rooms are well textured, but I had to play always with a flare in hand. The best: the musics and the well worked cameras and flybies. Now the third level awaits..." - Jose (23-Nov-2015)
"This level is linked with Level 3, and in fact is completed long before Level 3 is completed. The two should therefore be reviewed together, just as Levels 1 and 2 are. In any event, since I still have much of Level 3 to play, I've decided to submit my review for Level 4 now while the details are still fresh in my mind. This is another one I started several times over the years but gave up on, chiefly because it's so dark in here, and the level is so trap-oriented, that the player can't see what he's doing with sufficient clarity to negotiate the many traps. However, unlike the situation when the levels were downloaded individually, the flycheat can be enabled in the bundled download, which considerably levels the playing field for those who choose to take advantage of this feature. So assisted, I was able to complete the level this time. If it had been sufficiently lighted it would have earned top marks from me. As it is, it reflects a dramatic improvement gameplay-wise over the Escipions levels that began this series. While difficult, the tasks would be within the reach of most raiders had the lighting been more player-friendly. More attention has also been given to providing eye-pleasing environs, although the benefits of this are largely swallowed up in the darkness. Now, on to complete Level 3 so I can finally say I've played the entire series all the way through." - Phil (08-Jun-2015)
"Do not dare to miss out on this bonus level since it's easily one of the best levels of this series, and actually the longest for me at about 55 minutes of net playtime. The setting is not exactly realistic but this time it's not needed and the builder obviously made something very nice of this freedom. Very surreal hell setting with quite clean and nicely eclectic texturing and decent, if sometimes flat, lighting, the three stages of hell each have a different feel and seemingly take forever to complete. The gameplay is quite varied and complex this time with many, many nice and often challenging tasks to solve, I especially liked that timed run later in this game that takes some planning and the 2D underwater maze. Sometimes the progression is a bit disoriented and lacks a certain goal (even in the end I didn't know what this level was all about) and there are quite confusing moments, but overall the time in here was enough fun even if there could have been more of a built-up storyline that results in a highlight (a battle with the devil?) and thus the level felt a little too long for its own good. While the atmosphere mostly works nicely on its own the sound work could've been a bit better at times; on the one side there are too many sounds used even at the same time and on the other side the mood of the level isn't quite well caught by the music tracks, there are also a few missing object sounds. Cameras are again professionally used, though. The enemies are solidly placed but there's nothing special to say about the use of objects; the three secrets are again nicely hidden though. A memorable game that still had the potential to be even better." - manarch2 (23-May-2015)
"This is a phenomenal level for many reasons. First and foremost is the spectacular atmosphere, which gives off a very hell-ish feeling throughout, while still being varied and interesting to look at. The textures are well-chosen, and even though a few segments feel a little out of place, they more of add to the charm of the level, rather than detracting from it. The first large room in particular has an apt infusion of surreality, with its blue walls and what looks to be a sun sitting in the middle of the area. Gameplay and puzzles also demonstrate a great deal of level-building prowess, as each room becomes a well-crafted mystery to work through. The main rooms are certainly large, but every centimeter of them is put to good use. Overall, the puzzles are just challenging enough to keep you on your toes, while not being punishing or unforgiving. They are also made easier by the helpful camera cues that remind the player of where they should focus on going next. If there are any negatives to the level, it is probably in that the enemies are sort of useless and awkwardly implemented. Ninjas in hell? Ah, well, the limits of the time. My conclusion is that this is one level that you should not miss. It is a wonderful, clever, lava-filled, hour and a half adventure." - Xela (30-Aug-2014)
"I'll just get to the point: this level has great atmosphere, from the upside-down buildings to the well-crafted lava room and crazy but fun slides twisting into each other. What's almost even better than that are all the helpful camera cues. Some of them will remind you where a puzzle hole is after you find an item. Others appear when you're about to leave an area and scream "Hey, you forgot something!" This carries over to the gameplay, making the simple exploration of the environments pretty enjoyable. But there are some odd moments, such as when you set yourself on fire to collect a key, encounter cracks that you cannot grab (bottom of lava room next to the black door), and wading through opaque water to stop and press action every two steps to find one of many stars in the level. It is also possible to get stuck in the pyramid room if you drop down before opening the first set of double doors - thank goodness dozy was not disabled. There is a bit too much backtracking in the first area, wasting time. The objects are well used and I felt accomplished finding some of the pickups, however some of the inventory items were unnamed. The lighting is a bit dark and bland, and the texturing, while good in most places, has some accidently mis-rotatations in the final pyramid room. Overall it is a challenging level that I had a lot of fun with, and I'm glad I gave it a look. Finished in 1 hour and 7 minutes." - SSJ6Wolf (04-Apr-2012)
"Home Sweet Home. So this is the hiding place of the devil. There he has prepared it, however, comfortably. The first part is booked guaranteed for the many small sinners, because differently I cannot explain it to myself, why the devil must torment his poor lambs so. Here there are many slopes. A lot of slopes. And some monkey swings. And even more slopes. And constantly one must pay attention that one gets the right slope, otherwise one lands in the infernal water and will be roasted and cooked for the rest of his miserable existence. In the connecting piece I could have use the help of the Mariner (you already know, Kevin Costner in Waterworld). Because he could have shown me the way out of the underwater maze. Unfortunately, there was nobody who could help me. And thus I had to drown several times, before I had found the right way. Then in the last part it becomes really nicely warm, because the devil needs suitable surroundings to feel fine. But where was the devil? He had apparently been hiding, because I have met only his accomplices.
Summary: Apart from small sound problems this was an excellent level with great riddles, interesting Gameplay and good Flybys." - Scottie (22-May-2011)
"I must note that I've played this without playing the other Tarragona levels. I have to admit, I really liked this setting. Quite remarkable, and unique. The arhitecture makes the gameplay complicated, it's easy to end up wandering around, for example, in the first room, searching for where to go. The lighting is absolutely okay, not pitch black, not too bright. The only downside is the music. The TR4 musics, every time, some of them are even repeated 2 or 3 times. But, all in all, this is a suprisingly original concept. Recommended." - rtrger (01-Jul-2010)
"While this is somewhat more of a level 3.5 in the Tarragona saga, the journey in the Devil's Lair is one worthy of undertaking. This is a fantastic level with a surreal, floating islands vibe and very clever design, aided with some smart, well thought-out gameplay, excellent surroundings, and a wonderful atmosphere to boot. This level does have fairly tricky gameplay, yet it's all quite exhilarating and fun. There are good jump sequences, a lot of sliding, and a great deal of exploration to do in order to get along well here. On a good note, while the initial setup does look rather intimidating, being able to remember taken routes and looking carefully resulted in a nicely flowing adventure for me. This is all set within three stages of hell, and the first room alone takes quite a while to get through! It's worth it though, the design is fabulous for each zone. Floating islands in the first one, a lava-spanned aqueduct with lava ceiling in the second, and an interesting VCI pyramid in the third which felt a bit odd, but it still looks awesome, especially with the view of the lava pools from the second zone. The only enemies in the entire level are red ninjas, though they are used very effectively with their surroundings. Many of the puzzle objects have fitting names for their level, such as the Capital Sin hands that one must collect, and I found that touch pretty amusing. Pickups are provided at good moments, though I couldn't find any secrets. I guess they were too tricky for me, heh. Atmospherically it's a masterpiece, despite the rather weak audio placement. The audio is well chosen, but it's placement is not as great as a music cue starts before another one ends typically. As far as lighting and texturing, while there is some technical wallpaper effect in the level, it did fit due to the level's abstract nature, so it's considered stylistic here. Overall, the blend of textures in this level works out fantastically. A big, rewarding challenge in itself, it has me pumped to see what else Tarragona has to offer." - Relic Hunter (16-Mar-2009)
"If you like jumping with a twist and a turn go for it as this is your level. Most of the part I was happy just doing that and it isn't easy no not at all. I got a bit fed up doing some jumps over and over again not that I couldn't make them but more precisely that you had to take that route again. On the other hand it is rather a small download and Josep had crammed it with action. Here you are in hell and there are three of them. I needed the walkthrough as some jumps weren't that obvious and even then I had to reload quite a lot to finally go where I needed to go. And it is dark so either using flares (which I had to add) or the binoculars and that is not really my game. But I made it took me 3 days and I was glad this was over and done with. The best I thought was the fixed camera when swimming as that did made it somewhat easier to find your way. I think I missed one secret and found two crossbows. 21-05-2004" - Gerty (27-May-2004)
"[Josep sorry this review (and those for 5 6 7 8 and 9) are so late. I played these levels at the same time I last played level 3 but had some difficulty that prevented posting reviews. By the way I could never get level 8 to flow directly from level 7. Has this problem been fixed or was the problem with the player? On to a very tardy review.] Are you an experienced Raider or do you want to see what makes the heart of this somewhat experienced Raider exceed 90 bpms? If yes try the first section to section and a half of the Devil's Lair. In order to advance Lara must test her agility and athleticism in ways that bring to mind Lieutenant O'Neil training to be a Navy SEAL (Demi Moore's character in 'GI Jane') - complete the seemingly impossible and then face the really difficult. To Josep's credit Devil's Lair is a level that looks and feels at first to be so physical (again I reference the movie) and yet it is every bit a thinking person's level. Lara accomplishes her task if and only if she thinks through what she has to do before jumping off into the ether. When you try this marvelous level and I do hope you do since it will surely be in the Hall of Fame remember the camera is your friend. The camera will explain what is going on what Lara must do. There are three distinct sections in this Devil's Lair (I am waiting for the remaining four and am convinced Dante helped Josep with these three). One of them contains a good maze. All of them are more fun than Spock with a room full of Tribbles. And please don't seek outside help too quickly. You will be challenged but the answers are in front of you!" - Dougsan (04-Feb-2004)
"One of the most atmospheric levels I have yet played. Brilliantly realised texturing coupled with generous amounts of cinematic cameras and helpful sound effects made it all so memorable. This level is just so darn weird! Everything in it is strange and just walking through it is interesting let alone playing the thing. The gameplay was very good indeed although some of the jumps were insanely difficult. I know I said the level was strange but meeting ninjas was even stranger - why on earth were they there? They seemed out of place. But never mind that just play this level! It took me 2 hours 45 minutes to complete but I didn't find a single secret :(" - gfd (08-Dec-2003)
"This is the mid-part of level 3 a kind of a bonus level and much much better. Most of it takes part in a surreal ambiance full of lava and strange devilish ambiances. It is divided into three different parts in fact. A lot of daring jumps which (I can only guess for I did use the walkthrough which I usually prefer not to do) many times are simply impossible to anticipate. In result you might end up killing poor Lara more often than you'd like to. There was one particular timed run in the second part which I liked a lot and which is easier than it seems at first if you manage to do it all without giving it any breaks. It may be a little too complicated to find one's way around this game at times but I did enjoy it and I'll still give it a good rating which I believe to be well deserved. As for the useful walkthrough just a call of attention to the walkthrough makers: please stop confusing north and south east and west unless you just want to give us a hint and let us find all the rest for ourselves... Well it still was a good help and I must say I had some fun trying to figure out for myself all the little things that became incomprehensible in the text... Hopefully everybody will feel the same way... Anyway if you're playing Tarragona 3 do take a break to play this bonus level. I believe it's worth it." - Jorge22 (26-Sep-2003)
"What an extraordinary and daunting looking place. I suppose you could call it hell with fire and almost impossible slides to death. That grenade secret took a lot of goes to get it right. You see a lot of steps slopes ledges and slides to nowhere - well not nowhere more like all of them are designed so you fall into the fiery pit below. Some very strange looking structures transparent ledges and a temple floating high up. Very dramatic colouring and architecture. I tried and managed to do most of this myself but I just had to look at the walkthrough to get the scroll (Faust's Contract) in fact I didn't even know it was there it's completely hidden. Do yourself a favour and use all savegame slots. You pick up stars (capital sins) and when you shoot the ninja's they leave behind vraeus (wraith's souls). The next part of the level is even more surreal. Lava ceiling and floor with a column of lava from top to bottom what I can only describe as a castle/fortress that you get to climb jump shimmy around and through. This 'castle' contains a disgusting putrefied skeleton soup pit you have to wade in to find another capital sin. And finally a puzzle wall of water behind glass. A most extraordinary sight. On the floor of this room lava of course is a hut where you pull a lever and begin the best timed run I've ever done in a custom level. I've thought of it so often since the first time I did it that I even forgot what level it was in but I never forgot the timed run. All this leads to caves with flowing lava and another extraordinary pyramid/temple type structure with four doors to open with the (big brother) eyepiece and escape. An outstanding level deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Time taken 8:35 hours mainly because I spent so long trying to figure out what to do before reading about that scroll and running around that pyramid like a madwoman." - CC (11-Aug-2003)
"The fourth level of this series and even better than the previous. The textures are colourful and a great mix as for the atmosphere it does remind hell I would say. It is a difficult level though with hard jumps especially the ones in the middle of the room and one for the scroll if I remember correctly. In search for vraeus keys on fire and some ninjas in the way this level was unique for the date it was released but still holds even today. This level is brilliantly made and my favourite from the entire series. The first time I played it I remember being impressed by the room with the burning floor until that time the use of safe and fire tiles was new to me and the first time I encountered such a thing. I have nothing more to see just that it's a wonderful level and every player should try it." - Kristina (10-Jul-2003)
"I found this level very difficult. You have to do a lot of acrobatic climbing and jumping. It's far more difficult than in Josep's other levels. You have to be very careful at which route you take or you will end up in the lava. Everything is hidden very well and you might feel a bit lost at the beginning. When I first entered from another Tarragona Level I decided to go back and finish the other levels first. You will be looking for stars in the whole level at the beginning you also have to find a scroll. This level consists of three parts. The first is a floating temple a lot of ramps and a hut with lava on the ground. Basically you have to find your way up to the temple and you have to do so a few times. The second part is another lava lake with a lot of platforms there are not as much slopes as in the previous level. You have to climb and dive a few times. In the last part you have to find the Eye of Horus or here it's called Big Brother and you have to open a few doors. This part is quieter than the others you have to look around and fight a few ninjas. In the whole level you will find a lot of weapons Uzi Revolver Crossbow... some of them more than once. Far too much for the few Ninjas but just enough if you are playing it as part of the Tarragona Series." - Tombraidergirl (27-Apr-2003)
"First of all this level was huge and meticulously built to give even the best raiders a good challenge. I admit I was hoping to see the devil in there somewhere but it doesn't diminish the quality of this work. I was pulling my hair out checking the ceiling for the safe jumps in the first room and still getting burnt (VERY limited run up area lava squares) but otherwise it was great. I'll be sure to give myself a good three hours to find everything in the next levels as I was more than anything amazed at the size. Can't wait to play the rest!" - JRaider66 (28-Jan-2003)
"Living up to its name this level is a real devil. It's split into three main sections linked by various walkways and underwater tunnels and you move from one to the other. The first part is near impossible unless you know what you're doing (there's a walkthrough on the author's site). It had me foxed several times and I wasn't keen on the need to re-traverse tricky paths several times to achieve the object. Of particular difficulty was finding the music scroll - hidden up high over various slopes that you need to flip-flop over to reach (and you can only see it from one position in the level as well). I was not keen on the high room where the floor all looks the same but only some of the tiles are safe as determined by different tiles on the ceiling ... to try and cross this floor without burning is very tricky. From there we go to another area of flaming floor and a trip around various platforms to find the two star things you need for the ending. Then there's a timed run which is very hard. The final part is really quite simple and one suspects that the author was running out of steam and ideas by this point. The level ends with a sudden flood and a swim up a passage. There are numerous ninjas all over the place and not many objects and secrets (or at least none that I found). Overall an enjoyable level which starts hard and gets progressively easier as you go on. I'm not sure many novice raiders would get past the first section though. The marks I gave just reflect what I thought: I liked the gameplay a lot - very tricky and demanding. A lot of thought had gone into the first part and then as I said each successive section seemed to get simpler. I thought it was well done overall. Enemies Objects Secrets: This is low as I felt there was not enough made of any of these. For enemies there are only ninjas - easily killed. There's no variation - some skeletons might have been interesting with a shotgun and/or grenade launcher but no. Objects very few to pick up and I've no idea if there are any secrets or not. Hence the low score here. Atmosphere Sound Cameras: Although a tricky level I found the overall atmosphere very basic. There's no mood music not much in the way of sound at all. Everything is evenly lit there weren't any dark corners or more spooky areas. Cameras were what I would have expected but nothing special. Hence the low mark. Lighting & Textures: However I did like the way things had been put together the textures were nicely combined and were not jarring and although all a little samey the lighting was OK." - David (27-Dec-2002)
"The fourth Level so far was the best for Lara had to fight very prettily. It was not easily designed. The many tricky jumps and the water maze. What especially impressed me how it was represented. Lara was accompanied almost always by a sound. Lara had to find here some stars. She had to do with some baddies. The camera guidance was also good and came suitably. The atmosphere was exciting. Therefore a level that really is worthwhile playing. Something for a pro. High praise to the builder." - Navi (27-Dec-2002)
"What a fantastic level! 3 stages of hell and each one unique in it's own way not forgeting about the small parts that connect the 3 stages! The first and the 2nd stage tried out some impossible architecture like a tower coming out from a wall normal bridges and ones that are upside down and all this into one stage! If it would be possible to edit the gravity in trle I can only imagine what wonderful puzzles we could expect in these areas! The parts that join the stages of hell are magnificent too a greenish looking chamber of water that you feel might never end and the rocky caves with lava stream reminded me somehow of Madubu gorge (one of my favorite original TR levels). The Pyramid surprised me the most I never knew how good the VCI textures could look till I saw the pyramid probably even better than in any base/office level I've played before! And let's not forget the gameplay - a thrilling timed run on metal platforms a lot of fun jump sequences and lots of more things to do! You won't ever get bored here! The secrets are great and the enemies are not too much so they wont spoil the fun. Harpies would have been perfect for this level too but I didn't mind the ninjas either (maybe they were just too greedy sometimes and took Lara's ammo away). The secrets were great and the names of the items made sense. The atmosphere truly stunning but I couldn't rate this category maximally since I think the audio placement was a bit weak - that is one audio track started while another one hadn't finished playing. Otherwise nothing to complain about with this level get it now!" - eTux (20-Nov-2002)
"I have a feeling that this is one level I won't be forgetting any time soon. Just seconds after starting you get a glimpse of the tasks ahead of you - the slides monkey swings difficult jumps climbs - all from high in the air and all over a large pool of hot lava. Then after cooling down a bit by drowning a few times in a huge underwater labyrinth it's on to another large room full of lava and a really cool swimming maze with a transparent wall - really cool looking! Then finally the third area is a large pyramid with areas around it to explore. The areas in the level are all huge which makes it that much harder to find all the objects that are required - objects with cool names such as Capital Sin Faust's Contract or Souls. As there are few enemies this really is a level of exploration and it's really something you have to see for yourself as besides being a fun level to play this one is also a work of art. Secrets: 3" - RaiderGirl (13-Nov-2002)
"What a unique and fantastic adventure this was. It boggles my mind to think of Josep building this with all the slopes traps and pitfalls awaiting with a wrong step and to make them work the way they are supposed to! I must confess and I am sure this holds true for many that I would never have accomplished this great feat without the handy-dandy walkthrough. As it is it took me all of 2 and ½ hours (and the better part of 2 days) finding 3 secrets. In part 1 with its difficult maneuvers and jumps I had a particularly hard time getting to the first secret in fact by-passed it and had to re-do that bit but I decided if I was going to refer to a walk through I should do it all. When I read that there was a timed run in part 2 I figured I'd be there a while but somehow I lucked out and got it on the first run. The 3rd part was not terribly difficult once you got it figured out. Enemies are not a big threat for which I'm thankful as you needed to concentrate on the excellent gameplay you didn't need to be constantly battling several foes and then lose your perspective." - Momster (02-Nov-2002)
"One of the - for me - most interesting levels I played until now (after maybe 40 custom levels) A great ambience textures sounds cameras and light/shadows. First of all you have to find out where to start; then a lot of tricky jumps with backflips; water labyrinth fire-traps (with timer) enemies in red/black outfit climbing parts and things to take with you; wraiths capital sins big brother faust contract.... they make you open new ways or doors. Playtime more than 2 hours for me - challenging and so much time to intend the jumps or get your victory at the fire trap. There a 3 mayor rooms - all of them very different - first room with flying elements second a mix of stone metal water and lava; then the last room with a pyramid. All in all a great work by Joseph." - Miguel (02-Oct-2002)
"This 'bonus' level is very good it made me find out I actually like tricky jumps I didn't even mind doing some of them over and over again when usually I get quickly slightly annoyed by such things. I am very grateful for savegames I use them a lot in these Tarragona levels. The thing I don't like is that it's so dark (again) even if there are plenty of flares. I needed the walkthrough several times and I think I would not need it so much if the level was a bit brighter some things I just did not see because of the darkness. But don't let that stop you from playing this it's very good." - Josi (23-Sep-2002)
"Devil's Lair is a great and challenging level. Very hard for me but fun and exciting with these tricky jumps. The second secret was difficult to find! Top quality. This is the best level I ever played." - Cuqui (06-Sep-2002)
"I never got around to do play this as the first steps were always so jerky on my Mac that I thought it was unplayable for me. But now that I'm desperate for new adventures I gave it another go and fortunately the flow improves considerably after a few minutes. So now I know what Michael meant when he said that the degree of difficulty in The Underground Empire was moderate. Boy this is exactly the gameplay I favour. Tons of tricky jumps a brilliant timed run only a handful of enemies and levers and a great course that seems very non-linear but won't have you backtracking a lot. The first room alone took me almost an hour to master but you don't get stuck really as cutscenes give you useful hints should you have missed an item along the way. I don't really know where to begin in listing the great moments and fantastic settings of this masterpiece let alone the inventive camerawork and many surprises that awaits you in this two-hours quest. You start out in a huge area with lashings of slopes floating platforms a little temple high above and you really don't know what to try first but if you observe carefully you'll find places to go and jumps that are possible. That way you have to explore up down left right and center till you are permitted to the underwater area. The environment is unreal in a way yet the atmosphere is so gripping so convincing the whole way through I'm not absolutely sure how Josep did it. The second part is set in another huge room where you have to climb up through an intricate brickwork until you finally reach the ingenious watermaze that you can view from the outside. The third area consists of a marble pyramid that you have to climb around in order to find the two pieces of the Eye of Horus and then it's only a few minutes till you can swim towards the finishing trigger. The suspense never slackens you get such a variety of tasks and there are quite a few things that I haven't seen anywhere else. It's all top quality entertainment from beginning to end challenging yet never frustratingly so. But beware it's not for the weak hearted and inexperienced raider. Mind you I never got stuck nor did I have to consult any forums or walkthroughs. Am I getting better or what? It's been 250 levels since I gave four tens but this truly deserves them. Next stop Hall of Fame no question about that." - Dimpfelmoser (17-Aug-2002)
"This is an absolutely stunning exciting and intensely fun level with most of the nearly two hours of action happening in only three wonderfully large rooms. The first which is impossible to describe is an eclectic mix of so many different puzzles moves and just endless things to do where no doubt the first time round you are going to miss something crucial the second is a gorgeous lava filled room where you make your way around it by climbing jumping and swimming this room also held one of the most brilliant designs I have ever seen a large vertical swimming maze that has a glass wall and a great camera angle that shows you swimming through it from a fourth person perspective and the last room contains a giant pyramid where you have to reach the four rooms off its base the fourth holding the watery end. With three practically impossible secrets to find as well this level was simply superb and a must play." - Sash (21-Jun-2002)
"This for me is a very difficult level to review. On the one hand it is absolutely brilliant. It brings to your screen three awesome stages of hell in which Lara needs to take advantage of her full repertoire of movements in a uniquely crafted gameplay. It has very creative elements that I have not seen anywhere before and sometimes makes you hold your breath during the progression of the level. However it must be clearly said that this level for a novice raider would be full of frustrations because it is very very challenging and even with the walkthrough from Josep's homepage at hand (which I did indeed have to use occasionally) this statement still holds. In my opinion the object placement seemed to sometimes not really match the gameplay progression and while the intention to use sound and music to support the player was good I felt it was sometimes too much even one sound cutting off the next at times. Annoyingly the flare bug occurred in the later part of the level. Usage of cameras yet was perfect especially in the vertical water maze but also with a few nice fly-bys." - Michael (21-Jun-2002)
"Lasting 80 minutes Devil's Lair must be one of the best levels I've ever played! You will get through the hell itself in three parts and I must say that I would take ages to create a level similar to this! I also think it is incredible the way the author puts the textures and lights in this level making it so real! To get through it you must collect the Capital Sins and the Big Brother eye but don't think it's going to be that easy - prepare yourself to raid the hell!" - Treeble (21-Jun-2002)
"The originality and visual artistry of this level is matched by the challenging gameplay. Lara has to use most of her extensive repertoire of moves to finish this one. The timed run/jump through a lava room and a swim through a vertical glass-walled water maze (with 3rd person camera view) are especially memorable. The first of the 3 big rooms is an amazing piece of eye candy and the rest of the level is great to look at as well. The only thing that keeps the level from getting a perfect score is the presence of only 1 kind of enemy (a limitation of the game engine not the author as explained in the notes). In summary this could be (dare I say it?) the best LE level ever!" - Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)
"What a fabulous level. Not for the standard or novice player as the difficulty is very high up. The level consists of three major sections which keep you busy for almost 2 hours of net gaming time. The atmosphere created by Josep is unique moody and gruesome and fascinating at the same time. It has some great fly-by cameras which are extremely helpful some devious jump sequences and you can reach almost every seemingly unreachable area. Especially in the first section which is the largest one there is a number of ways to reach the targets. Section two and three appear simple after that apart from the timed firetrap. Bottom line I was thrilled by this piece of work and if you are really stuck make sure you check the authors homepage and take a peek into the walkthrough." - Qwendo (21-Jun-2002)
"The name says it: This level is the Devil's universe with as much as lava as you could imagine. And you'd better be careful every second or you would end up burning to hell! Devilish also are some jumping and running parts almost impossible to achieve. It is then easy to get discouraged. In a word this level is huge and complex maybe too much. Some textures especially in the weird starting room are a bit flashy and incoherent but the design improves while progressing. The end pyramid level is so much nicer than the previous parts. The music triggering would also need some work (too many times the same tune or two CD triggers too close from each other). What I liked was the nice aquarium corridors with the camera angles showing Lara as a goldfish; also the renaming of the objects was great! I liked the Big Brother and the Capital Sins. In short this level might be discouraging for some (new) players and I would certainly redesign the first room! ;)" - Jbc21 (21-Jun-2002)
"In this level I have made jumps that I didn't think were possible! Devil's Lair is a great challenge and it's fun!" - G.Croft (21-Jun-2002)
"This is the second time I've played this level and it still took me about 75 minutes to finish! Just the second room takes 30 minutes to get through and that is if you know what to do! So if you haven't played this level before (and decide to play it) you will probably have more than two hours of gameplay to look forward to. The architecture in this level is very different (in the first room there's a temple that's upside-down in the roof for example) and the texturing is also very different especially in the first room. There's only one type of enemy but that's not a problem since they're well placed and often appears at places where you don't have a lot of room to fight them. This is a fun and quite hard level and I liked it and I think most people will." - Magnus (21-Jun-2002)
"This is a great level to play: 3 massive arenas full of multiple options and great platforming. Very daunting and not for the novice. Only criticism comes with the object placement in the first section - some of which is hidden to 'secret' standard and you don't even know you need them until much later - after you've busted a gut with complex and lengthy platforming. This leads to frustrating back-tracking and endless searching or the loading of an earlier savegame - if you have one. Make full use of your 15 save slots. Apart from that this level was outstanding fun." - Dick (21-Jun-2002)
"It is a fantastic level it should be part of an original game of Eidos. Congratulations Josep." - Albert (21-Jun-2002)
"The fourth level of Tarragona is one of the most originals that I've played. Certainly this is the idea of the Tomb Raider Hell. The chained jumps the timed fires the corpses pool... I only missed some flying enemies (harpies maybe?) to be complete. I like the way Josep helps with the cameras when you miss something that's necessary to the next step; and I like too the objects and its names (Faust's Contract Lost Souls...). The three levels of the Hell are like the Dante's Hell. Really good level." - Loupar (21-Jun-2002)