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BtB2011 - Ghost of Professor Belshazzar by Yoav

afzalmiah 7 8 8 6
Akcy 7 8 7 8
Blue43 6 6 7 7
Diz 8 9 9 8
DJ Full 4 5 4 5
dmdibl 7 8 8 8
EssGee 6 7 7 6
eTux 4 5 4 3
Jay 8 8 9 8
Jerrod 5 4 3 6
JesseG 5 5 5 4
Jorge22 7 8 8 8
Jose 6 7 7 7
Josey 10 10 8 8
Magnus 3 3 3 3
manarch2 5 7 6 5
Matie 6 8 5 4
MichaelP 6 6 5 5
Mman 4 5 5 4
Mulf 3 2 1 2
Mytly 6 7 6 6
Phil 9 8 8 8
requiemsoul 6 6 7 6
Ruben 8 8 8 8
Ryan 5 6 5 5
Scottie 9 8 9 8
Sethian 4 3 2 3
Shandroid 6 6 7 7
Soul 6 3 4 3
TheStig 6 6 6 6
Treeble 6 7 6 7
release date: 24-Aug-2011
# of downloads: 155

average rating: 6.08
review count: 31
review this level

file size: 52.75 MB
file type: TR4
class: Steampunk

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Nope, I'm sorry, this didn't work out for me. The music sounded kind of glitchy at my end, the backtracking got tedious about halfway through and there weren't any real puzzles. Nice try, but it didn't work out for me." - Ryan (20-Mar-2016)
"OK, then. Let's say it straight: this is something unbelievable achieved here - a BAD Steampunk level, with some really nice ideas killed by unfinishment. How could it have happened considering Nadine's stuff used, I can think about the only one reason of - lazy or missing betatesters. Where have You been? Were You testing levels of authors You expected more fun from? Well then you got what you wanted: a pushblock and You can move anywhere. Flat, wallpaper cliffs. Endless, dismal corridors. Hard to believe that void full of nothing is lagging. Yes - lagging, due to enormous amount of repetative objects (good point they're at least spent on nice glasshouses I gave an extra point for). But the most of fun's already gone in the beginning, if only You miss - and I think You will - a crowbar. The walkthru says it is cleverly hidden - and of course it is! An advantage to force players to think, it would be - but the point is that You can travel across almost whole level - as in many long corridors and empty rooms, and then BANG - reach crowbar doors and switches with no crowbar collected, followed with necessity to backtrack like crazy. Several dozen minutes of such performance and You have enough. The frustration is even powered by switches and puzzle holes mostly hidden in places where they DON'T BELONG at all - let's say... on a metal fence (!!!), or hanging on the edge of a train station platform. And, the final nail in the coffin: I killed the dragon without even finding the switch that opens a door to it, because of shortcuts and unintended paths. I think I enjoyed Midnight Express more, all simpliest and therefore wiped out of beta version flaws we can find in this Steampunk attempt. Those alternative paths was only useful once, when I decided to lose some health and just jumped on a distant target rooftop instead of doing a lot of unnecessary traversing towards it. SUMMARY: I think Yoav should attempt a kind of 20x20x20 or One Room Challenge, to force packing as much action on as little space as possible, what - I think - would finally cure him from oversizing. Because if only this problem is solved, this guy will finally build a nice level. You can see it could have been done here: surely an ambitious plan, but it shouldn't have been released with those beta scars uncured, as they damage gameplay so seriously that I had enough of getting stuck in places it shouldn't happen at all. I finally lost my motivation and kept using the walkthru here and there, till the very end, also in places where it wasn't necessary at all. I of course will still recommend this game - as it has a lot of potential, no matter that wasted - but I'm warning You it might be really exhausting, so play it with a walkthrough, as there's no point to download anything just in order to wear yourself out. If this game was betatested at all, then shame on betatesters who allowed it to end up this way. Two more days spent on polishing it would surely boost my scores by 2-3 units in most of rating categories. Aaarrrrhhhh..." - DJ Full (08-Oct-2012)
"In just over a year Yoav's levels have come along a long way. In his back to basics release he shows further refinement with the editor. Ok so this level is not going to be up there with the leaders just yet but each time I play one of his levels you see progress and that is always positive. Ghost of Professor Belshazzar is spread out quite widely. If you miss a few subtle clues early on then you'll probably find yourself hopelessly stuck like I did! Thank-goodness for the walkthrough or I'd of never found the crow-bar (though I do have to say nice touch for hiding it where it is!). Lighting varies but is generally good, some of the darker spaces are perhaps overly dark. Texturing and room structure definitely needs some more work. Some of the spaces are quite nicely finished and others have a very large, flat wallpapered feel to them. The puzzle elements (raising and lowering of platforms) is pretty good though. I suppose the only other thing that I would say is that it does feel a slightly lonely level at times. I think there's three birds and a dragon to interact with but otherwise you're on your own. All in all I netted 1 hour 31 minutes from Ghost of Professor Belshazzar. Keep at it Yaov you're definitely getting better with each level! Stiggy :)" - TheStig (25-Aug-2012)
"My second BtB'11 adventure left me with even more mixed feelings than the first one did. I felt the layout was ingenious, but the execution felt a bit on the poor side, with some design flaws (end of the world, wafer thin walls, some oversized boxy areas etc) and perhaps too little guidance for the player. I ran around the entire map at least twice, seeing as I went through all of it without never ever spotting the crowbar (which I suppose if picked up earlier on would have improved my experience). Gameplaywise it's basic but also solid, with plenty of item scavenging, blocks to push around and the ever present lever-door progression. 90 minutes, 3 secrets. 09/11" - Treeble (11-Aug-2012)
"Textures: This was the worst part of the level. Every surface that was smaller than the texture size simply had squished textures. The environments are wallpapered, especially outside with the cave textures. No textures are used for the water, and the lighting is bad in some places, using the way too bright default ambiance.
Atmosphere/Cameras: Camera cues are badly needed in some places due to the convoluted structure of the level. The rooms are large and empty and there are end-of-the-world spots in several places. The only plus here is the airship docking bay that you run through for a bit.
Objects: The audio triggers are messed up and cause audio to constantly start over again. The tr3 theme seems to be treated like an ambiance track so it keeps looping. Even though that is my favorite tr3, it was still too much to handle. And then there's the crowbar. It was hidden in a spot where, if it were just needed for a secret, I would have applauded the author. Instead, with over nine thousand crowbar switches and doors to use in the level, the crowbar was way too necessary to hide in such a hard to see place. This level also gave me nightmares of windows. It was like the author had a fetish with these windows, because they were everywhere. There was even, horror of horrors, a maze made out of the windows. The only good they did was make some nice looking greenhouses.
Gameplay: It is possible to get stuck in pits with lowered raise blocks, not a good first impression. There is no sense of direction or goal, and there is too much switch-to-switch gameplay. That means you find a switch, lower a raising block, then use the switch there to lower another block, and so on. Every area is its own maze and there is lots of backtracking required. Overall it feels like much of the time spent playing the level is a waste.
Overall: The author should have stuck with a smaller scope when building this level as it is way too convoluted. Finished in 1:18:13." - SSJ6Wolf (14-Nov-2011)
"Some defects I found in this level like the no-tinted objects shining in the dark or the stretched textures in small surfaces, but nothing serious. Gameplay is not very good 'cause involves a lot of backtracking to look for items you don't have yet; also the last buttons were very difficult to see. It could be placed a camera target to better spot the crowbar so players have not to run around and around for years. The best, the lights and the atmosphere." - Jose (16-Oct-2011)
"Reading the story after having played it, it's hard to see any similarity. What seems to be Belshazzars home is more a stringing together of huge rooms that are normally typical for beginner- levels (that said I have to admit it's really hard to create small rooms at first, as a tiny block in the editor is 2 meters in the level). There were some nice elements such as the glasshouses, the train-station and also the last area with it's great glass-labyrinth, but most of the things you get in this level were already done better in many other games. I know this might have been a bit harsh but I think most of the builders will feel this way - and "sadly" I am a builder now who knows the LE and thus sees all the flaws this game has. I did however still enjoy this level and liked the gameplay it provided: The raising-blocks-puzzle in the train station was innovative and the mentioned glas-labyrinth was also very nice. It would have been even more enjoyable though, if the flaws in design (wallpapered textures, flat lighting, unlit objects) and also the technical flaws would have been avoided. Recommended in terms of gameplay." - Soul (16-Oct-2011)
"I've been picking levels at random for this year's Back to Basics, and ended up playing this level right after Tower of Power. And while they both seem to be by inexperienced builders and they're both far from perfect, I ended up enjoying one way more than the other. The author of Tower of Power seemed to know his or her limitations and limited the scale of the level. The thought process of the author of Ghost of Professor Belshazzar, meanwhile, seems to have been closer to "Huge level! Doors and pathways in every direction! Hidden items! More! MORE! HIDDEN ITEMS EVERYWHERE!". As a result, it's significantly less fun to play. There's very little gameplay here. Hide-and-seek is the order of the day, and the author seems to think that hiding things is a good substitute for actual gameplay. The very last thing you need to do in the level is to make your way through a glass maze, where the only challenge is spotting the dark buttons that have been placed on dark walls. And that's one of the less-annoying examples - I dare anyone to find the crowbar without help (the walkthrough calls it "cleverly hidden", but that's not the word I would use to describe it). There's a key hidden in a patch of grass. One key item is really easy to miss if you don't explore every corner of a small maze before making your way to the next area - it's really easy to not realize that there's anything worthwhile to find in there. Buttons and switches are usually hidden in dark corners, making for an agonizing forty-five minutes as you search everywhere to make sure you're not missing anything, and then you're still going to end up having to use the walkthrough because you're not going to find the crowbar on your own. It's a really confusing level, and often a path will split in two and you have no idea which way you're supposed to go. Pick the left path and you'll spend five minutes going through rooms until you make it back to somewhere you've been before, at which point you've forgotten there was another path you could take. But it doesn't matter, because you need a key that you're not going to find for another fifteen minutes to open a door there anyway. At which point you're not going to remember how to make it back there even if you remember that there was a pathway you hadn't explored. As for any other gameplay... there isn't any. Not really. The glass maze is basically a repeat of the only other puzzle in the level, where you pull a switch that gives you access to another switch that gives you access to another... well, you get the idea. There are only a handful of enemies, and you get a ton of medipacks and the revolver (it's a secret, but seems to be needed to finish the level), so they never pose any threat. There's a lack of attention to details as well as a lack of consistency. There are several places where you can get stuck forever (including at least one illegal slope), missing textures, misused textures, the end of the world... In one place the wrong opacity was used for a see-through floor/ceiling, so you can jump through it from below. In another place you have to push a block to be able to reach a door, but only one specific block will work because you can't stand on any other block - even though they're all identical otherwise. That's not a puzzle - it's just bad design. Likewise, in another room you need to jump on chandeliers to reach a key, but out of four chandeliers, you can only stand on the two you need to stand on to reach the key. While you can easily jump to the other two, you'll just fall straight through them. There are several (presumably) unintentional shortcuts, which make it even harder to figure where to go or what to do as you end up doing things and going places out of order. Texturing is patchy and the lighting isn't very good (as an example, I was making it deeper into a cave when the lighting suddenly turned a lot brighter for seemingly no reason). Overall, this is the kind of beginner level that I don't like at all. For the builder: if this really is your first level, pretend I was more constructive in my criticism and take some of it to heart, because you can do better if you just try. For the players: don't bother." - Magnus (15-Oct-2011)
"This is an admirable effort by an inexperienced builder. The positives are some interesting room design and interconnectivity and an effort to create some thoughtful gameplay. However some of the basics of level building have been overlooked. The loading docks platform puzzle presents the player with a not alive/not dead dead-end situation if one ventures down into the metal pits that house the raising blocks. You can't get out and a reload is the only option. Whilst there has been a good attempt to create lighting atmosphere there is absolutely no balance between room ambient lighting and static objects placed in these rooms. As a result, the objects just glare and look very out of place. Texture application is Ok, but there is much evidence of lazy wallpaper texturing, and many areas look 'band-aided' together, as there is poor texture transition between rooms. My feeling is that this one deserves an encouragement award - it has some nice ideas but either lack of time or experience sees it fall a bit short in several aspects of level design." - EssGee (14-Oct-2011)
"This level builds upon redundancy after redundancy. It is the pinnacle of tedium. The gameplay consists of having absolutely no clue of anything really and wandering and backtracking for hours on end (... yes I kid you not when I do indeed say HOURS). It seems to have taken me four hours to figure out what on earth was actually going on here. The rooms and areas seem to have no logical design. You will find yourself backtracking and wandering about aimlessly more than ever, primarily also due to the fact that you'll sometimes even forget certain areas you've already been to early on and now get to use"whatever" object in. There is a raising block puzzle in one area that isn't very complex, however is made complex by the fact that we can't see half the switches due to bad to almost no lighting. Some pickup items are placed very strangely (such as on high wall lanterns) the most infamous of these being the crowbar, which you need quite often, but if you miss it early on, you are screwed with lots of aimless wandering. It's also in a spot no one would ever think to look, which isn't"clever" or"well hidden" but simply stupid. One is required to be psychic for this, and sadly most players won't have this"sixth sense" the builder's storyline in the readme reports Lara to have. There are also a number of areas (loads in fact) which you can fall into and get stuck without being able to get out again without reloading. Not too many enemies... I remember seeing a giant Mutant snake in the first courtyard of the game, and then it disappeared again (?), and then I found one again alive later on in a completely different area (?). Secrets are also badly placed I'd say in that they are easier to find then the things you need to complete for the actual gameplay. The gameplay itself (if there is any) is the actual secret. Then there is the issue of the chandeliers... it appears the builder made some stand-able and others not... this once again is bad, mainly because I jumped at one earlier to try my luck, and when Lara fell through, I gave up with that area to try to wander to another area, only to come back later in desperation and try my luck again, and lo and behold: two chandeliers can be stood upon, yet they look the same like all the rest and no hints to this are given. The level has virtually no good atmosphere. I don't see what the story of a ghost has to do with anything in the actual level. Nothing is built up: no sense of direction, story, or tension... it's all just aimless room after aimless room. Some music tracks here and there, but mainly it's the tr3 theme that gets stuck on loop... and it accompanies you throughout the whole level. I never thought that that piece of music (which I like) would get on my nerves so badly. The use of cameras is also pretty bad and virtually non-existent until the end. Texturing is pretty abysmal and makes no sense half the time or is littered with wallpapering. Lighting is also poor and sometimes not even present. In fact, due to bad lighting and object choices, you sometimes won't get to see any switches, and so miss them entirely for a few hours. Make sure you use a flare in the glass maze because that is about as bad as it gets when it comes to the wrong choice of switches paired with the wrong choice of wall textures. And by the end of it all we slide into a dead end... yay... and what happened to the ghost of the Professor? No clue. Playing this level was like being trapped in a bad love relationship: You know you need to stop. You know you need to give up. You know you are not right for each other. You know it's time to break up and end it. And yet, because you already wasted so much time on the relationship itself, you stick with it, simply because you've stuck with it this far. Then it finally ends. Thankfully." - Sethian (12-Oct-2011)
"This level is mostly exploration-based, with just a few fairly simple puzzles, several of which can be skipped. Enemies are mostly absent as well - something which I would not generally complain about, but here their presence could have filled a void. The secrets are not hard to find - a good thing, because one of the secrets (the revolver) is actually needed to progress in the glass maze at the end.
There is some good and creative use of objects - the placement of the crowbar and other items on lamps, for instance (though a camera clue would have been helpful the first time), and the use of arch objects as bridges. Other times, it's arbitrary, such as the chandeliers which are climbable or unclimbable as per the builder's whims. If there is a coherent story being told via the official storyline, the title, and the places and objects in the level, I'm afraid I don't get it at all.
There are several shortcuts that you can take through the level, which can reduce the playtime by about a third, and enable you to miss what is probably the most interesting part, the glass maze at the end. This is because you can jump over or climb through almost all fences, which the builder does not seem to have realized at all. Even the dragon can be ignored completely.
The texturing is monotonous, and mostly in shades of grey and brown, while lighting is practically non-existent except for some rooms that have a darker ambience than others. The various greenhouses do look pretty, but that's more due to the intrinsic beauty of the window and plant objects in this wad, and not really much to the builder's credit. There are spots where textures are missing altogether.
Overall: Though this level has some moments of creativity and fun, it's mostly rather dull in terms of gameplay, looks and atmosphere. Not one of the best of BtB2011, I'm afraid." - Mytly (10-Oct-2011)
"I guess the scoring range from 2 to 9 (!) for this level shows how much player tastes are different, but thankfully it all evens out in the end to what I tend to believe a fair average for the builder. I have to say though that it is quite beyond me how this adventure can be scored at either of the extremes, especially the low one, which would put it at par with 'masterpieces' like Cain on a Bus - just to name one. Ah well, reviewers are indeed an odd bunch of people at times. Going back to my own review, I played this as the second to last of this year's BtB and had an enjoyable raid in general, even though it seems like a bit of a careless build, with beginner mistakes like invisble ceilings you can hit, illegal slopes, an (easy) secret you have to find in order to progress at the end, rather annoying use of repretitive audio loops and in general too many too large and square empty rooms with poor lighting and repetitive texturing. Looking behind those flaws, you do get a decent run though, searching for many items and then searching for where to place them, lots of use of the rather too sneakily hidden crowbar, a bit of block pushing and very few enemies. Even the dragon was a quick kill this time round. What I liked most was the greenhouse area and the glass window maze with buttons at the end. [1:02, 3/3 secrets]" - MichaelP (09-Oct-2011)
"It's a bit hard to rate this level as it doesn't show the same standard throughout, there are some pretty good parts in it and also some not so good ones. Some of the rooms are very nice-looking, the others are empty and boxy with wallpapered textures. It reminds me of the growing skills of a builder, it gives the impression that the last-mentioned rooms were done first, then during the process of level building the builder gained more skills and created better-looking rooms. In this level several items have to be found, you better remember the keyholes and puzzle receptacles, otherwise you can easily get stuck and you find yourself running around, looking for one of them for quite some time. And especially because of this the gameplay can be confusing at times, the map is huge and you can access many bigger areas at the same time. There are nice gameplay elements, I loved the way you get the crowbar, it is an original idea and hasn't been seen anywhere else. The raising block puzzle was fun to do, too. On the other hand there are areas, where you shouldn't go to, at least not the way you can access them. The gameplay at the gazebo was something you could easily skip. The geometry is mainly simple, this simplicity was nicely hidden with objects sometimes. Some areas also have some leveldesign faults, where parts of the geometry disappear and there are places, where you can get stuck. In rooms where the top was just 'cut' some scenery would have looked good, so you don't get to see other parts of the level through the missing textures.
There were just a few enemies: some crows, flying machines and also a dragon. (Note: in the beginning I could shoot the first dragon before it could come alive, I'm not sure when it was supposed to be activated.) The glass maze looked pretty interesting, I also liked the greenhouse area and the station looked nice, too. The objects were used well for decoration and gameplay, there were some very empty areas though. Two of the secrets could be found relatively easily, I haven't found the third one, however. There weren't many music tracks used from what I can remember. At the station area the background audio got changed to a TR3 music, it was nice to hear for the first time, but it kept repeating all the time and, no matter how nice that music is, it started to annoy me after a while. The triggers seemed to have been placed improperly, too. At some points camera hints would have come in handy, though at some places the cameras were present and were helpful. In most parts of the game there is some lighting, mainly just to give the general ambiance, but none for decorative reasons or whatsoever. In some rooms the lighting is completely missing. Object lighting is also missing at some points, it's especially visible in the room where the Bundle of Keys can be found. Texturing is very repetetive in most rooms, I have seen badly rotated textures and also spotted a missing texture. The water texture was completely missing from the surface of the water in the station area.
The level seems to have been done in haste, there are some pretty nice-looking areas, but also some that wasn't worked on so accurately. The geometry is usually simple, in some rooms the scenery is missing, there are places where a part of the level geometry disappears in certain angles. The strongest point is probably the object placement, which really spices up the look of the level sometimes. If all parts of the level were done in the standard of the good-looking rooms, I could've certainly given higher points for the looks. I had fun playing the level, if only some areas were worked on a bit more! All in all, it's a pretty good level overall." - Matie (07-Oct-2011)
"The prof's mansion offers fluent gameplay, unless you miss the crowbar like I did progression is logical and takes us through the various areas with the occasional backtracking to open up more areas. The level layout is very well designed, and it was quite enjoyable to romp through. So what's there is not bad at all, unfortunately rather simplistic; the usual switch and item hunt, no agility test or what could really be qualified as puzzle. Except perhaps that sneakily hidden crowbar for which I had to resort to the walkthru to find, the simple hint of Lara looks at it would have been welcome. Twice we have a sequence where we have to push several buttons in order, they should've been designed in a more puzzle-like fashion, to turn some of them back off along the way, or something. Several areas are a bit oversized for their own good and along with the general absence of enemies they made the place feel empty. Textures and objects are mostly well applied. The big cogwheels turn the wrong way on each other. There was some problem with sound triggers. Extensive usage of the beautiful glass objects, especially effective in the greenhouse area. Nice and easy, almost relaxing raid." - Akcy (26-Sep-2011)
"Can kindness be cruel? Can a level be exempt of some of the scrutiny it would receive just by being part of the Back to Basics competition? Answers to these and similar questions may not be found in the level per se, but when reading some of the ratings/reviews it receives. I imagine the 10's, 9's, 8's... and even 7's and 6's won't come to the chagrin of the author and it is a testimony to Horus' object and texture set that some parts of the level on occasion looked fairly passable even to me, but there has to be some objective measure of fairness when rating these levels or else what is the point for other builders to construct intricate, detailed settings to the last windowsill with complex, sometimes never-seen-before gameplay when you can clearly get away with doing the rudimentary basics of room geometry, texturing, lighting, object placement and some trigger application? You could say that's more of an objection to the response the level has received, and it fares differently in the eyes of the player when evaluated by its own merit. I'd agree that to be a fair point, but unfortunately the level doesn't do much better on its own as well. It took me about 90 minutes to finish, but considering that most of it was just running around, activating the occasional lever and stumbling upon a needed puzzle item, doesn't really flatter it to say the least. The placement of the crowbar (and the key for the book later on) on top of lanterns was a neat, creative touch, but on the flipside sometimes you can take unintended shortcuts (jump through the ceiling of the room where the book is placed, jump over fences) and other gameplay elements blatantly contradict themselves throughout the level (you can stand on some chandeliers, but not on those that would be inconvenient for the level's intended flow) or you can be stuck for good if you happen to fall into the pits by the switches before raising the blocks. Efforts to carry or explain the storyline are almost non-existent or cryptic at best (Are the blackened rooms supposed to have burned down? Are the two dragons the manifestations of the professor's ghost? What did his book and artificial heart have to do with anything?). The best that can be said about the looks is that the author has not left the lighting untouched, that the settings generally resemble what they are supposed to represent (even with sometimes only 1 to 3 textures being used per room), and some areas actually turn out really nice, with special notice of the greenhouses, but that again does not speak well in favour of the level. I can admit as much, that with more effort put in to it, this could've been a really enjoyable game, and the author might have been guided by the deadline more than other concerns when submitting the final version, but as Sideshow Bob of Simpsons said about rewarding the potential instead of the results: "did they ever give anyone a Nobel prize for attempted chemistry?"" - eTux (25-Sep-2011)
"This large and spacious level is a strange mix when it comes to map layout and looks, as there are tons of long hallways and oversized rooms that are really bland looking, a hole where you can't get out, illegal slopes, blocky and boxy areas but on the other side there are areas that are really nice, like that glass houses or the puzzle area with all the glass walls. That glass wall puzzle area was actually my favorite part of the level since it was unique and clever. The game play was fairly easy and straightforward in general but if I have to complain about one thing - it would definitely be the crowbar placement which probably was the one area in this level where most everyone will get stuck until they getting the hint from the stuck thread. The secrets were easy to find and there weren't any enemies until Lara encountered a huge dragon, which was shooting locusts. The texturing was far from perfect and there was plenty of repetitiveness and misalignment. The lighting department could have use a little more work but wasn't too bad. Overall this was easy, fun and relaxing, compared to some of the other levels in that competition. I enjoyed it! (1h 23min, 2 secrets found)" - Blue43 (18-Sep-2011)
"Even if the starting rooms were relatively ambient and the greenhouses looked good, I think this is the less elaborate level of the contest. The first minutes felt quite OK, with a decent block pushing that maybe was a bit long but bearable, a way too easy secret and a raising block, but afterwards this level more and more turned out to be a constant running around and searching levers and keys job. I liked how objects were placed on lamps (like the crowbar), but it was quite hard to find without a help from the forum or walkthrough, and also placing keyholes on fences. The longer this level lasted, the worse texturing got, and sounds also were a bit strange as the button sound was not fitting. Rooms got bigger and bigger and didn't look real anymore, the vast room with the dragon that couldn't be killed was maybe the worst one in this level. The airship area at the end looked better but you could completely skip the tedious button puzzle that only was there to prolong the gameplay by climbing through the fence to the stairway into the ship, which I found not that good. After around fourty minutes this level ended - it had some ideas, but it has to be polished and also much has to be done to create more fun, as this got boring after some time." - manarch2 (17-Sep-2011)
"I started this level straight after I finished Last Train To Paris but then GeckoKid's new level came out and I had to play it. After I finished it I went back to this level and finished this. I actually enjoyed this level. I do understand why it's the lowest rated btb2011 level because there were some missing textures, tight textures or stretched textures. It was mainly the textures that took some points away but I still enjoyed ir because nothing else was too bad. Where the builder put the crowbar for me was so smart and brilliant! There was also a dragon later in the game but it was easy to defeat. The place is very big and it is complicated to know where to go but eventually you will know what to do. In the end I found 3 secrets and it took my about an hour and 10 minutes to finish (I know it's bad). Nice enjoyable level and recommendable." - afzalmiah (14-Sep-2011)
"Well, I'm a bit divided here because this entire level is a rather tiresome maze while still very nicely crafted at that. In my opinion, it could have benefited from a little less of the "I'm forever lost" and "How many kilometers have I ran already?" feelings. I liked the use of the TR3 music and I guess the objects were all well used albeit quite intriguing, including the very unique idea of placing the crowbar on top of a lamplight. I'm also divided regarding the settings, for many rooms look a bit poorly designed with perhaps too much space in them and maybe slightly amateurish textures while other parts are quite consistently designed. The dragon's fire isn't very deadly but the locusts do an excellent job as they keep chasing you long after you've left the beast behind, until you're totally out of medipacks. The game ends after a rather good-looking but highly difficult glass maze with a bug that saved the day for Lara could climb to the stairway leading to the end like a ghost, which is great since there was no ghost in sight. The true ending, Lara sliding down a ramp, is classic. All in all, a nice work, just not exactly my cup of tea." - Jorge22 (12-Sep-2011)
"I'm coming to the BtB competition a bit late this year, and I attribute this to an early September vacation and the fact that I'm also nursing along The Jerusalem Project at the same time. This is the second BtB level I've played thus far, and it so happens that these two are currently the lowest rated of the bunch. I must therefore be in store for a wonderful treat indeed as I continue playing the remaining levels. That being said, I've found little to fault in the two levels I've played thus far (the other being Last Train to Paris). I found both to be eye-pleasing, challenging in the puzzle department and a thorough delight to play. I took a glance at the scores before starting this review, and I'm struck by the extreme numbers that have been awarded Professor Belshazzar. It's almost as if two different levels are being reviewed. I note in passing that we appear to have picked up a new Wet Blanket Reviewer who now sports the laurels handed down by a more notorious member (one who hasn't been seen much in these parts lately, for better or for worse). Me, I'm just a plain ol' country boy gamer who's fairly easily pleased, especially by free entertainment that's been provided the community by amateur builders for little reward other than the satisfaction of having others enjoy their work product. Professor Belshazzar, whoever he is, gave me a bit more than an hour of gaming pleasure. There are three well-spaced secrets, the first of which is the revolver. Usually finding secrets isn't required to finish a level, and I'm not sure this one is an exception to the rule. I do know, however, that you're provided a generous helping of revolver ammo along the way, and after you've found the laser sight near the end, those two artifacts certainly help you shatter a few high windows that are in your way as you climb a ladder. Maybe it's possible to shatter one or more of these windows by climbing the ladder, jumping off with a roll while drawing pistols, and quickly firing as you drop, but I didn't take the time to try this. Enemies are notably scarce, although you do have to engage a locust-spewing dragon about halfway through the level. After reaching the safety of the shield, I jumped up and down between fireballs and fired my pistols at the dragon. After not many minutes of this repeated activity, the dragon exploded, allowing me to continue my quest in peace. There's a lot of lever pulling and button pushing, but not to the extent that it became tiresome for me. Solving the labyrinth near the end by locating and pushing six buttons was, to me, well conceived and executed. In short, let the naysayers have their fifteen minutes of infamy. I had a good time here. Recommended." - Phil (06-Sep-2011)
"The main difficulty of this level is certainly the orientation issue inside a big and complex map. Each passage, each corner, leads to another big and different area. Initially confused, the player comes slowly to understand that all these areas are interconnected, and that in this game nothing is fortuitous or deprived of sense; truly, this is a level that demands intelligence, close observation and putting the memory to good use. No time sequences almost despairing, no enemies very, very tough, no mortal innerving traps; instead a crowbar, a key and a fuse skillfully hidden, the instigating puzzle of interlacing all the map areas by opening closed passages, the unending appeal to the intelligence in the identification and utilization of items and objects. I loved the enemy posing as a piece of statuary that afterwards leaves its plinth and shows itself as a fire and locust spitting dragon! I loved finding all the passages without aid, and devising what to do at each one of the multiple and instigating areas of the game. And, last but not least, the level is beautiful... very beautiful, and Tomb Raider's original music was skillfully used. Good job, I loved it! The only drawback was the fact that I could finish the game without solving the glassy maze puzzle, because I didn't open the last two doors. This was my first level of the Steampunk series, and I hope the other ones are as good as this one." - Josey (05-Sep-2011)
"Ghost of the Professor Belshazzar. The author had an error in texturing and lighting. Could have been a little more work to create a more intense atmosphere. The station, both playable and artistic design is the best from this level." - requiemsoul (05-Sep-2011)
"This level looked nice in many areas, especially the beautiful botanical gardens, but the rooms were way too vast and totally meaningless in so many places. This is only the second BtB level I have played and maybe they weren't allowed to use lots of "things" to spruce up the place, but if they were, this builder chose not to. The level worked best in the areas that were less devoid of objects. I very much liked the areas with trees and steam engine/cog wheels. However, the gameplay was pretty lackluster and kind of boring. It was a fairly quiet level, which could have been made better if the boss-like creature would have been better developed with more to do using this enemy. I don't know if everyone noticed this, but the dormant creature was in full view at the start and missing from that spot once you meet it later. I thought that was great. I also liked the "hiding in plain sight" crowbar placement. I'm not exactly sure what the title has to do with the level and that question was never answered, at least I didn't think so. More creativity was needed here and more to do in such large rooms, or having smaller rooms would have been better." - Shandroid (02-Sep-2011)
"Given the size of most areas, I think that level must be a tribute to "Toy Story"... The gameplay consist mostly to search pieces of puzzles, keys, doors, switchs and the ultra very well hidden crowbar. No need to be an expert, except near the end, the jump key is as it were useless. The graphics are correct in some rooms, very poor in some others and for the ambiance, I hope you like the main theme of TR3." - Jerrod (01-Sep-2011)
"A pretty straight and enjoyable raid with lots of tasks to do. The crowbar , however , was hidden so well from the eyes of a regular human player that the hint to get it was probably leaking from the good book of one of the testers . Who on earth would ever dare to pull a crate beneath a lantern light expecting a tool like this on top of it ? Big level was fun to play." - Ruben (31-Aug-2011)
"Be careful what you wish for! I'd barely finished thinking 'hmm, this is pretty enemy-light' when I got a great big dragon in the face, plus attendant steampunk locusts. This is a huge area and exploring is the main focus of gameplay. As usual, I could have done with a map, but since I have a dreadful memory and STILL haven't got into the habit of making notes, I've really only got myself to blame. The builder has made very pleasant use of the available textures and objects, especially in the beautiful greenhouses. Perhaps greater variety of gameplay would have been welcome as this is devoid of timed runs or puzzles, the only real challenge being where to go and what to do next. Having said that, it's still highly enjoyable and the glass maze towards the end was particularly well designed." - Jay (30-Aug-2011)
"This is a scavenger hunt, as if through a gigantic house--well, come to think of it, this is the late Professor Belshazzar's curious house. The professor had a talent for horticulture (black art herbs no doubt), so he had lots of greenhouses, and went so far as to construct glass mazes for visitors' enjoyment. In practice this means that Lara gathers objects such as a heart, a glowing fuse, and a red plug, only to find that what she really needs to open a door is the book. It probably helps to have played a few steampunk levels, to be familiar with objects and their receptacles. The opening felt crude, a few rooms large and barren, so I had initial doubts. The most maddening part is the crowbar placement that makes it impossible to find without aid of some sort. But the lighting is good around the colorful greenhouses, the rooms and map gain complexity, and by the end, after two hours, I found this had grown on me. Not the most elegant or polished entry in the contest, but the steampunk objects jazz up the rooms. Who knows what Professor Belshazzar was up to, but I did note that if there are three enormous horizontal gears interlocked in a row, and the two outer gears are turning clockwise, then the center gear ought to be turning counterclockwise. Just saying. And one raising platform is set two boxes deep, so that when Lara fell into this hole she wasn't able to climb out again. Soon Lara adapts to the surreal environment, and she can find all three secrets. I liked the greenhouses and the glass maze. Play may require patience, but it is not demanding, so just relax and enjoy the hunt." - dmdibl (29-Aug-2011)
"This is obviously the work of a beginner, although it shows potential. Most areas are large-arguably to the point of over-scaling-lighting is frequently flat (although it has its moments) and a lot of wallpapered textures are present, along with mesh lighting frequently not matching the ambient lighting at all. Music triggers are also incorrectly set-up sometimes, which resulted in me playing most of the level with the TR3 theme tune playing (great as it is, it doesn't fit the level as a whole at all). However, some of the later rooms (where the author presumably gained some more experience) show interesting use of objects to create some impressive sights.
There isn't too much to speak of gameplay-wise, it mostly involves wondering across large rooms looking for objects and switches (with heavy backtracking at a couple of points if you miss something), with few puzzles to speak of beyond a maze and a couple of simple block puzzles. The crowbar is also near-impossible to find without help. With some of the later rooms I can see the author making some great levels if they work on adding more gameplay and polishing visuals." - Mman (26-Aug-2011)
"This is almost totally an exploring level, no enemies apart from a dragon (avoid), some bat shaped locusts (re-load), two crows and a couple of beetles (shoot). No agility tests, no timed runs and little puzzling. If you are thinking"Well, what's left?", you might be pleasantly surprised. There's an awful lot of finding well hidden keys (usually seen but not gettable), artefacts and push-blocks. It might be the way I played it but there was a lot of back-tracking, but, for once, that didn't matter as the game is anything but linear so back-tracking never became tedious (in addition, the builder thoughtfully added some shortcuts - thank you). The areas were well made, especially the industrial areas, although there was a slight unfurnished look to many large rooms together with a couple of missing textures. One hour thirty-ish with all three secrets found. If you want a fairly stress-free run around finding things in pleasant surrounding (dragon excluded) then you'll like this one." - Diz (25-Aug-2011)
"Pretty much a disaster, in terms of gameplay as well as design. As for the latter, it looks pretty much a newbie effort—most rooms are oversized, many empty, and all too often they are wallpapered with but a single texture or two; badly lit too of course, which, all taken together, occasionally reminded me of the original Doom. In a bad way though, because (technical issues aside) Doom was great fun to play, and this level was decidedly not. Of course Doom had its rooms filled with hosts of enemies, while the only thing that this level has in abundance is dead space. Dead space and puzzle items, I should say, because such gameplay as there is consists nearly exclusively in collecting any number of puzzles and keys and then finding out where each one goes. In an earlier review I praised a different level for incorporating 'vast amounts of backtracking never before imagined' into its gameplay, which, although it wasn't meant as such, appears to be a hyperbolic expression when retrospectively compared to the way that this level makes it its very principle to have the player run about its jumbled mess of rooms for hours on end while the TR3 theme is being repeated ad nauseam, mainly by means of 'cleverly hidden' items and refusing to give hints as to what a given switch may or may not have done. Players may make an educated guess that something's amiss when the first thing they come across is a secret revolver—which, incidentally, shouldn't have been a secret in the first place, because you need it later on, very much later on, near the end of the level in fact, in order to finish and thus, at long last, put it out of its misery. If the level fails to connect with its title or story (such as it is) other than by way of renaming one of the many puzzle items, or to make effective use of the props provided by the wad other than in the case of the greenhouses, these are minor issues when held against the exercise in aggravation that it otherwise is." - Mulf (25-Aug-2011)
"So this is a level completely after my fancy. Well, one could recognise here and there some texture mistakes, but this was not so bad and has not affected the play fun. Even I have liked the maze, indeed even, because it was a glass maze and because there were enough camera hints. It was very nice which there was here no opponents, apart from a few bats. Though it disturbs me basically if a dragon fires constantly these locusts on Lara, but the visit at the dragon lasted only briefly, thus one must save and reload only a few times if one wants to avoid the locusts. The crowbar was a bit too well hidden, there it would have maybe been better if Lara had automatically looked to the finding place. The Flybys looked good and above all they were accompanied by music. I am basically of the opinion that a level builder should link up a Flyby with music because such a Flyby is a little bit dull without nice music. On the scale of things this was a very nice level with many well built rooms, suitable sound and varied tasks." - Scottie (25-Aug-2011)