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Complex Simplicity 2010 - The Princess and the Nasty Dragon by masha

Andzia9 10 10 10 10
Bene 10 10 10 10
Blue43 8 8 10 10
Diz 9 9 10 10
DJ Full 7 8 10 9
dmdibl 9 9 10 10
eRIC 7 9 9 9
Gerty 5 9 9 9
Jay 9 9 10 10
Jose 10 9 10 10
Magnus 9 9 10 9
manarch2 9 9 10 10
MichaelP 9 9 10 10
misho98 9 10 10 10
Mman 9 10 10 10
mugs 10 8 10 9
Mytly 8 8 10 10
Phil 10 9 10 10
Raymond 10 9 10 10
Ruben 10 10 10 10
Ryan 9 9 10 10
Scottie 9 9 10 10
Shandroid 10 10 10 10
TheStig 9 9 10 10
Treeble 10 10 10 10
wrebbit 8 9 10 10
release date: 01-Jul-2010
# of downloads: 359

average rating: 9.44
review count: 26
review this level

file size: 141.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: Castle

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Wrapping up my CS-Castle run, what an amazing set of levels. This is probably the one with most pecularities in the set, I think, as for instance the swingpoles in particular seemed much trickier than usual. Not just having to swing around once or thrice to build the proper momentum, but it seems that letting go at the wrong moment will result in Lara hitting her head into an invisible ceiling and falling short. Quick saves are more than welcome as there are quite a few swingpoles in this level, one particular nice sequence revolved around two timed trapdoors so you had to time it right (protip while sliding sideways on the swingpole you don't build momentum). There was also a rather unusual pushblock sequence in which you step on tiles on the floor instead, senet style, and you're under the pressure of a timer, must have been pretty wild to figure it out back in the day but alas I'm too old for that. I myself experience the issue in which Lara wouldn't grab the key from the winding key in the cabinet, but fortunately closing the game and launching it back up did the trick when a simple reload didn't. Phil's excellent walkthrough will see you through the end with all six walkthroughs, but he doesn't take you to the promised bonus reward - before going up the princess' tower, make sure you hop over the wooden fence and head into the north courtyard (behind the horse statue in the central one) to retrieve a magical helmet. Visually this is also amazing and quite enthralling, which coupled with the experience as a whole might put it right on the top of my personal list for this small competition. 65 minutes, 6 secrets. 08/22" - Treeble (14-Aug-2022)
"Another favourite of mine. This begins with a nice flyby showing the opening area. A timed run later, we enter the castle where the core of the level takes place. Great gameplay, lighting and textures. I did have an issue with Lara not being able to pick up an item but that was fixed after a reload. Great fun." - Ryan (12-Mar-2016)
"In the beginning when I got the bug with the scarab (not the be able to pick it up) I though "this is overrated!" but later on I really started to like the gameplay more and more. Some torch puzzles, pushable puzzles and the final one was just great and you really need to be quick if you're playing the hard version. But I didn't understood why we get the crossbow as a secret in the end of the level? And what do we need the laser for? Anyway, I found all the secrets. The dragon fight was easy - 3-4 shots whit the shotgun while it gets ready to split fire and it's dead. The architecture was perfect, lighting and textures too, the atmosphere as well. A good spent 1 hour I must say, I think it's the best from the hole competition. Recommended!" - misho98 (29-Mar-2012)
"A level that deserves to score highly in all areas. Excellent gameplay, with some innovative and different ideas. A proper puzzle element to the end (which was sufficient to tax me into a state of confusion for a while!). Lighting and texturing are all pretty much exemplary. Perfectly chosen musical cues. Playing this is a bit like peeling an onion. You slowly move through different layers, starting by having to get past the moat outside by lowering a draw-bridge and then slowly work your way to the centre from there. Unfortunately I did experience a few minor issues, most notably the push-block bug that some other players noted, but this didn't detract from the experience :) I'm very pleased that I finished CS2010 on this level, and it's definitely one that I will keep for my replay list in the future. All in all I got 1 hour 45 minutes of gameplay. Highly Recommended! Stiggy" - TheStig (18-May-2011)
"At this point it almost seems pointless to point out Complex Simplicity levels being beautiful, but this is quite possibly the most amazing looking so far; there's a jaw- dropping vista or great view over parts of the level around almost every corner, and the lighting and texturing is pretty much perfect. The level has a nice daytime atmosphere (outside of a couple of more gloomy interiors) that pretty much exemplifies the "fairytale castle" feeling, and pulls it off just right.
After a few tasks to bring down the drawbridge the gameplay is quite non-linear, with various tasks to do. There's perhaps a little too much emphasis on block-pushing puzzles at first, but they're mostly pretty short. Beyond that though there's stuff like some great twists on standard objects like lighting a cannon, and an interesting tiled puzzle near the end (with an easy and hard version provided). The game is mostly pretty logical but requires some careful perception at times to not miss stuff. The biggest issue is the bugs, while I only encountered one (not being able to get an item off a shelf until I reloaded a few times), it's obvious a lot of people have had major issues, including game-breaking ones, and I can't really let it off for that. Without those I would probably give gameplay a ten. Another level that could easily be the favourite for me." - Mman (21-Feb-2011)
"What can I say? This was one of the best levels I've ever play. Nice rooms, beautiful courtyards. Good idea was to give energy indicator for dragon." - Andzia9 (27-Nov-2010)
"This level was off to a bad start right away when I couldn't figure out what the switch halfway over the drawbridge did. Twenty minutes later, after finally giving up and checking the walkthrough, I find out that I'd come across a bug and that the switch did something really obvious. Replaying the level up to that point only took three minutes, though, and it was smooth sailing (well, more or less) from that point on. The gameplay actually flows really well for the most part, and the only time I got a bit annoyed with the author was when he or she was a bit too clever with hiding that switch behind the fireplace. There are a lot of fun tasks in this level, but the most impressive one was the well-executed suits-of-armor puzzle near the end. Some very clever scripting there. The level looks great and the author has managed to create a castle area that is very pleasant to explore. The fact that you can see into the final room from the first area in the level is a very neat touch and gives you something to work towards. There are some minor issues, like the aforementioned bug and hidden switch, as well as a pickup that's only possible to pick up if you're standing in exactly the right spot, but overall this fifty-minute level is probably my personal pick for first place in the Complex Simplicity competition." - Magnus (30-Aug-2010)
"The only thing I can say as one of the testers, the level had been thoroughly tested and I could fully enjoy this superb, creative level without any bug in the final version. You can't fault anything about texturing and lighting. Alltogether this level has a very believable, atmospheric castle setting. I`ve highly enjoyed the creative gameplay elements like the mirror room with all it's tasks and especially the excellent knitght-ghost puzzle. Si I highly recommand this level to everybody. Don't fear possible bugs. This one is certainly my favorite in the contest." - Raymond (19-Aug-2010)
"I still have no idea who built what but I did had a great time playing this level, mind you, that was when I played it the first time around. When I tried it second and even the third time, I hit every bug there was in this level and then some. Reloading a save didn't work, starting over and doing things a tad different didn't work. Reading in the stuck forum that quite a lot of other gamers were not able to push the block over that raising block makes me wonder about the testing of this level. That is more the pity as I played this level with the others at the same time but I cannot remember that much anymore. I vaguely recall a push puzzle and I also recall that I had a hard time locating the winding key (no luck in getting that in my other attempts). Then there is another pushable with a trapdoor; that is also a game stopper if you don't get it right. Sorry to say that now, trying it for the third time I am mighty peeved, as I am still standing trying my hardest to push that block." - Gerty (18-Aug-2010)
"This level has such a breathtaking setting and atmosphere and the textures are like all other levels where I gave 9 but these are making the level so impressing I gave full points for them. I would probably have given perfect 10 but I had to save and reload ~30 times to make Lara get the scarab. I also heard of the sandbox bug but this didn't occur to me. The gameplay contains every single task from timed runs and quite complex puzzles to searching very tricky hidden key items and levers. The mirror room was a bit confusing for me because I didn't see the invisible platforms here so I had to use the WT for it. I have played all Complex Simplicity levels now and this last and now I have a personal winner of the competition! Congratulations to the unknown builder and very well done!" - manarch2 (17-Aug-2010)
"A level obviously made by a competent builder , a castle which resembles to something, good looks and architecture , good choice of audios and smart use of the objects to disposition. That is why it was strange to have such a buggy puzzle as the one with the movable object that Lara can't push below. I mean , come on if a puzzle has a chance to not work , (and here it makes the level unplayable without external help) change it or give a plan B to the player. Aside from that a good level" - eRIC (08-Aug-2010)
"This level approaches perfection in my mind. I'll have to give it a tie with Fortress of Fear, with PND representing the daytime level and FF representing the nighttime level. If I didn't know better I would swear that both levels were the work product of the Core Design/Eidos team. The stuck thread reported a number of gamestopping issues, but I didn't experience any of them, and I therefore hesitate to call them bugs. Chalk it up to luck, or good fortune, or whatever, but I spent a number of very pleasant hours trying to figure out the complexities of this level, even though I had Tom's notes to guide me along. Perhaps the piece de resistance of the level is the timed sequence near the end involving the colored suits of armor. I spent a couple of hours trying to figure it on my own, but with Scottie's shorthand solution I made the Hard Gameplay run with 41 seconds to spare. It's all documented in the walkthrough, so don't be bashful checking it out if you get stuck. The quality of these CS levels is amazingly high, and I'll be most disappointed if we don't have a second installment next year. Bravo to the builder of PND." - Phil (25-Jul-2010)
"This was my favorite CS level. It really had everything, except a whole lot of enemies, but that suits me fine. The castle was just beautiful, inside and out. The puzzles were quite unique, but had I not used the walkthrough on the colored knight puzzle, I know I would have pulled my hair out trying to figure out the solution. Forget about that secret, you only have three minutes! I actually tried to get the secret, but must have inadvertently moved a knight wrong and dashed my secret dreams. I was not doing it again, that's for sure, such stress! Nonetheless, I loved every aspect of this wonderful level. Very good job!" - Shandroid (25-Jul-2010)
"A very interesting level with a beautifully built castle with lots of details, great lighting and atmosphere. Textures look pretty flawless. The game play is a mix. Some push block and a couple of levers, a pole-swing over a piranha pool and there was good progress at first. It almost seemed like a very easy level at first, but then at one point it got suddenly very complex and I had to resort to read the stuck level thread in order to move on. I didn't encounter any bugs as others reported, but I found a laser sight and never saw a weapon to mount it on. The enemies in this level were not too bad. I found the game against the ghost quite confusing at first until I figured out all the rules. Had to reload many times here, either because I ran off, jumped by mistake or overlooked a boulder. I thought the use of the cannons was great, also the use of the mechanical beetle to trigger the spike traps. One of my favorite part were the cut scenes. This was one of the best in that series. Highly recommended." - Blue43 (17-Jul-2010)
"This is my first review on this website because this is the first level I downloaded that kept me interested from start 'till the end. From the first moments in the game you realize you're into something special. The atmosphere is immediately right, and I truly felt like being in a beautiful medieval castle. Some of the puzzles were very ingenious, like pushing the bin of grain over the top and shooting the canon, not to mention the splendid knights puzzle at the end, which even comes in an easier and harder variant. The major downside in this game however were the several bugs I encountered, forcing me to using the discussion thread on this website to look for answers. I was stuck in the level because of a knight I wasn't able to move, and it becomes quickly tiresome to run around in circles because there's literally no thing to do because of the bug. This forces me to give an 8 for Gameplay&Puzzles. If the bugs weren't there I would have definately given a 10. Another downside was the lack of enemies. While I prefer exploring over shooting enemies, it's still good to have more than a dozen enemies. The secrets were cleverly hidden but what's the use of getting some of the more powerful weapons when there aren't any enemies to shoot! The objects were beautifully crafted though. This is why I give a 9. Like I said the atmosphere of this game is the highlight. From the bright heavenly church to the dark dungeons beneath the castle, I thoroughly enjoyed the careful attention the builder has given to craft his level. The sound only enhances the experience and is perfectly suited for the surroundings. The camerawork is good though, altough I didn't have a wow-effect with any of the fly-by's. A well deserved 10. The lighting and textures category is also top-notch. All textures look sharp and crisp, and they're all very good applied. I didn't have a feeling any of the textures were in a wrong place. The lighing was also very good and very natural. I give it a straight 10. Overal this is one of the levels that one has to try out. Beautifully crafted with much care, but be aware of the bugs that could ruin your experience pretty quickly." - wrebbit (15-Jul-2010)
"From the starting flyby you know you will be in for a treat with this one. The setting is simply breathtaking and feels very authentic throughout the entire adventure that will easily keep you busy for 90+ minutes. You start by letting down the drawbridges and then explore the castle room by room and level by level. There are many, many puzzles designed around pushable objects and while not a single one is tedious in itself, it did end up being a bit much pushing all in all. It also felt a bit odd that the shooting of the knights triggered things to happen, but I guess that is just what Lara's world is like. So, the bulk of the gameplay is really engaging and very original - be it the use of the torch in several places, the shooting of the cannon, the revolving balls / trapdoors, the series of easy timed runs, the dragon (that can be killed if you are very patient) and of course, the main highlight of the level: a wonderfully inspired knights puzzle that has to be seen to be believed. Yes, it appears that the TRNG engine is a bit 'buggy' in places, as people have had trouble pushing objects that had to be pushed, but for me it always worked after a few tries or a reload of a save. Oddly, Lara was able to actually climb almost every single wall in the level. Clearly not intended by the author and would allow for several shortcuts which I had to consciously avoid. But at the end of the day, this remains a truly unique experience - visually as well as from an entertainment factor and it is a clear contender for winning the competition." - MichaelP (13-Jul-2010)
"I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with this level. In some ways, it is magnificent, especially its looks and atmosphere, as well as some innovative puzzles. But in other ways, it is also terribly tiresome, with multiple bugs, too much non-linearity, and frustrating gameplay in general.
First the good stuff. From the beginning to the end, the architecture is marvellous and realistic: a castle with a moat, drawbridge, battlements, towers, chapel, stables, cellars and living areas, all done in beautiful detail. The place oozes atmosphere from every corner. If you're looking for a quintessential castle experience, you can't go wrong with this one.
Sadly gameplay does not live up to this perfection. Once you enter the castle, there are many tasks to be done, which apparently can be done in any order - but beware of bugs if you actually do that! I ran into two game-stopping bugs: one which could be resolved only by restarting the level, and another which fortunately went away after reloading a previous savegame. The saving grace of the gameplay is the superb 'chessboard' puzzle towards the end. After completing the hard version of that puzzle, I felt such a sense of exhilaration that I could almost forgive all the previous frustration!
The secrets are a bit illogical - for example, the two secrets (which include a weapon and lots of ammo) in a place that you don't need to enter until the very end, when there are no more enemies! Similarly, one of the secrets is a laser sight, but there is no discernible use for it. The eponymous nasty dragon is more boring than nasty.
Overall: This is the kind of level that probably makes a better impression on replaying, when you know what you're supposed to be doing. But despite the issues I had with it, I still recommend it, albeit with some reservations." - Mytly (13-Jul-2010)
"I really tried to be as discerning as possible and not rate this all tens but try as I might there was no category that I found to be less then just about perfect. Firing a cannon to move boxes; the chess puzzle, complete with Black Spectres had the difficulty option and a secret pick up; the Nasty Dragon with an unexpected ending shoot-out, great music and audio and a closing animation of Lara and the Princess - all memorable and satisfying. Let's see, what have I not as yet mentioned? Secrets inside of secrets and the author actually stopped the annoying trap door sounds once it was completed and that's something rarely done and much appreciated. Yes, there were crashes, major ones - not those little annoying ones that send a polite message about the crash but really major crashes and Lara refusing to pick up an item or refusing to push a box, necessitating a reload but playing this became so immersive that nothing deterred me and I played well into the night and that is something I rarely do anymore and that, from me, is high praise." - Bene (12-Jul-2010)
"I really enjoyed this level and was sorry when it ended. The whole feel of the area was pure Hollywood medieval, I kept expecting Robin Hood to appear at any moment. Let's start on the down side, I'm going to be picky and say that I missed some decent agility tests, apart from some swinging on some bars these were completely absent - a pity. On the up side, the settings were marvellous, lighting was spot on (light outside and atmospherically gloomy in the cellars without needing flares all the time - thank you builder!), the use of music and sound effects were terrific, baddies few but well placed, gameplay varied with puzzles that made you think without being Times crossword standard. All in all, this was a cracking level." - Diz (09-Jul-2010)
"Gameplay & Puzzles In my opinion the gameplay is quite easy. From technical side, there is NO challenging jumps, so a player can't discover that something, what seems impossible, can really be done by Lara. I found a lot of puzzles obvious, but not boring. On the other hand, we encounter a series of pushables we have seen in dozens of levels before. Push this, push that, pull something else, let this fall, let that stay, pull again, push again... throw your PC outta the window... go for a walk... scream with frustration... push and pull several more times. Yes, this part is boooooo-push-oooooo-the-ooooo-another-ooooooo-armor-ooooooring. Also, the author prepared a long series of timed runs. After a third identical run I had to take a break. And that's why I give only 7 points for a gameplay. One puzzle is very special - a game of three souls and three knights. But one good puzzle is not enough to make a challenging and interesting gameplay. Finito. Enemies, objects & secrets 1. Enemies: How the heck did these dogs survive in the empty dungeon? And why does the dragon not guard the princess, but the pit of lava?? The dogs jumping out of the dungeon are more deadly than the dragon. But it's not the builder's fault. The remaining enemies are placed correctly. Archers on the top of the walls, a horseman near the stable (he's a bit challenging), and the spider in the cellar (this one's surprising, as well as the dogs). In one part of a game the TIME is your enemy. And you can choose if you want to beat it, or not. That's a good point. 2. Objects: I do not rate objects, as they were prepared by CS Team and aren't made by any builder who took part in the contest. I can rate: - arrangement of objects - this looks good. Every object is located in a place where it could be found in a classical castle; - relations between objects - that's a good job, because they create non-linear gameplay. 3. Secrets: Pre-intermediate. Like most of the secrets in most of the customs. Finding all took me some time as there are some misleading clues. What I liked a lot was a warning that appears when a player launches an irreversible part of the gameplay. Correctly understood, the warning prevents players from missing one secret and, to get it, starting one puzzle from the beginning. OK, OK, I was the one who didn't understood the warning :D. But it was a pleasure to do the puzzle one more time. Textures & lighting: A builder's skills are above average if he/she can make an environment that doesn't hurt player's eyes. Here the lighting does the rest and increases the graphics' reality. It's not a masterpiece, but it is very good and makes you admire the scenery. Atmosphere, sound & Cameras: An author has the musical ear - sounds of a village (birds, dogs and wind) change to the gloomy, dark background when you enter the dungeons. And there's a sad, elegical piece when lara dies. I laughed with appreciation when I heard it. This level was so immersive it made me sit in front of the monitor for a whole day. However, I once more stopped playing for a while - this time to lay down and listen to the chamber theme, which is one of the most beautiful music I've ever heard in a custom. I'm gonna keep it when I remove the game. It really speaks to me. And I listen to this spell. Carefully. Cameras are good. Final animation as well. Note for players: I mostly recommend this custom to beginner raiders, because the veterans may be disappointed by quite easy gameplay. However, if you are a veteran player, wait to a day when you want to rest from your hard work, surrounded by brilliant atmosphere and relaxing sounds - and PLAY AS WELL. This is well worth it. Even if you don't like lots of pushables." - DJ Full (07-Jul-2010)
"Of the selections I have played so far, this game wins hands-down for gameplay, despite some real bumbling on my part. I loved the venue and all the exploring that it entailed. The village is very nicely crafted and the puzzles are so clever. I have to believe that this game is the work of a seasoned builder. The quest, of course, is to rescue the fair damsel in the tower. You will need to solve the puzzles, find the keys, fight the dragon, etc. to achieve Lara's goal. All well worth it in the end. Beautifully done ! Thanks !" - Mugs (07-Jul-2010)
"Excellent. A well-rounded attractive level with original puzzles and creative game play. This would be a wonderful introduction for anyone just starting the Complex Simplicity castle series, as it eases players into the new levers, the blocks that can be pushed off castle walls, and the pole swings. Starts in a lovely castle courtyard, with an initial task of lowering two drawbridges. The moat has goldfish swimming about, so Lara can take a cooling dip and--piranha!--the stupid fish are deadly. The author has a sense of humor of sorts. The timed run across the drawbridge takes a few tries and Lara is into the inner castle. But after Lara had fought the knight and looked after the horses, she hit an impasse and wandered aimlessly to and fro through this same area half a dozen times. There is a knight placement puzzle, with a closed door which prevents moving the knight. Since there is a keyhole in the center of this door, players might reasonably assume that Lara is looking for a key. I had to get help here, so I felt the camouflaged lever bordered on the unfair, and I was prone to grumble. Next, a good use of a mirror room, and of cannon, and trapdoor jumps in the church. Though I wondered why Lara had to spend so much time running around a basement, because those multiple timed runs are the sort of thing novice builders do. (See what I mean about grumbling?) There is a movable-knights-on-a-board puzzle at the end, and players may relax and enjoy it because after the nasty dragon is terminated this really is the conclusion of the level, with just the bit about the princess to round things out. Players are offered a choice of easy or hard mode for the knight's board, but there is no reason not to make a save game here, play first in easy mode, then complete hard mode for its secrets. A memorable level that is likely to take top honors." - dmdibl (06-Jul-2010)
"A great creation from this CS2010. A level with a great environment and very nice to play, with sneaky puzzles and marvellous areas. The only thing I missed were some more enemies in certain places, but remaining aspects are touching perfection like the beautiful background musics, the well placed cameras or the texturing. If you want extra weapons you must find some secrets. I loved the professional touch with the three knights puzzle, and the opportunity to solve it quietly or with more action. The piranhas in the water pit was a good idea too. One of the best I've ever played lately. Highly recommended." - Jose (06-Jul-2010)
"Great title and fairly accurate too - not a friendly dragon at all, but luckily not invulnerable either. There are otherwise not that many enemies to deal with, but they're effectively used. I did encounter problems on my first go at the level, as Lara refused to push a block or pick up an artefact, but on second playing everything went smoothly. If you experience similar difficulties, I urge you to have another go because this really is a very good (if occasionally confusing) level, with some delightfully inventive puzzles, magnificent surroundings and well used music." - Jay (06-Jul-2010)
"Second Level CS 2010 played and this one really made my day ! Embedded in those beautifully designed locations provided by Christophs wads and script the builder makes use of it in an excellent way . Mirror, mirror show me what you see seems to be a central feature of CS 2010 and again the reflections from the looking glass reveal some hints and mysteries beyond the surface. What a good-looking and well constructed game this was ! I can only bow my head at this excellent builder and recommend it to all TRLE lovers. Top Class Rating is understood !" - Ruben (04-Jul-2010)
"The opening flyby is formed very nicely and shows important points. I find it good which the level builder the player a little bit takes to the hand and facilitates him the life a little bit. That the fish now and again catch air or jump out of the water, is maybe only one interesting little thing, but in my eyes a real highlight. This is one of these moments where one is glad that we have so good level builders out there. I might ascertain also immediately which is no so good idea to jump simply thus into the ditch. The harmless fish are in reality Piranha and Lara was gnawed off very fast up to the bones. The inner courtyard of the castle looks simply first-class. He is formed very well and the music fits very well. However, less well it was which to itself the knight on his horse had maneuvered in a corner with a box and I had to destroy first this box, so that the knight could come out of this corner. And for my taste was this knight a little bit too tough. Another small negative point is a hardly sighted Jumpswitch. However, these are already the only criticism points. Otherwise this was an excellent level with very good riddles. Particularly one riddle was most interesting. There one had to push knights with the help of coloured fields on certain points. A specific feature was which one could solve this job either without ruffle or excitement, or had to finish it within a certain time. However, the level builder has given enough time to the player, thus, actually, nobody might have problems.
Summary: This was a great level and I hope that also the other levels have this class." - Scottie (02-Jul-2010)