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The Pagan Reaction - Chapter 1 by Franco Bula

Charles Kane 3 7 7 6
DJ Full 5 8 7 6
Jose 3 6 7 6
manarch2 4 6 5 6
Phil 5 8 7 7
Ryan 4 6 6 7
Treeble 4 7 7 7
release date: 25-Mar-2020
# of downloads: 176

average rating: 5.96
review count: 7
review this level

file size: 97.60 MB
file type: TR3
class: nc

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Someone hacked Franco and uploaded this game from his account. There is no other explanation to this. My favourite TR2 builder of old days would never build such a nightmarish thing. Combat is still enjoyable but the paths are bent and folded to make duration as long as possible, and entire thing feels like one big brain-straining maze. Even with the walkthrough I took like 8 hours of stream to make it through, and if you don't take well such type of gaming I absolutely recommend you to stay away from here for your own sanity." - DJ Full (16-Nov-2023)
"So that's why this level got so few reviews: Labyrinthine rooms, dark rooms, timed-runs, pixel-perfect jumps, few pickups. Worst of all, sometimes it all happens at the same time. Not even Phil and Treeble's walkthrough and map can help many players from finishing either of those levels (me included). Franco, if the 8+ year gap between this and previous level are spent significantly to build those ungodly labyrinthine rooms, then both you and the players are losing. For the Chapter 2, please, PLEASE, banish all of those things I just complained to make a decent and enjoyable level." - Charles Kane (03-Apr-2021)
"After several hours I was able (thanks to Phil's walkthrough) to finish these complex levels. The starting was not so bad, but once you advance you'll find a lot of tricky tasks where you'll need to save hundreds of times, a lot of backtracking, tight timed runs, too much darkness in many areas and a lot of labyrinths. I recognize the effort of this author to build such a long and solid adventure without bugs (except the missing textures), but the gameplay was not good for my taste. Sorry. Recommend to download the walkthrough first if you are going to take a try." - Jose (16-Jul-2020)
"Now that all is said and done, I must say that the best thing about this two-part release is the battle scene that appears each time you fire it up. I must also say that everything has been set up quite meticulously and must have required a great deal of mental preparation. However, these are probably the most player-unfriendly levels I've played in a long time. There's too much darkness, too many mazes, too much crawling in tight places and too much backtracking. Still, while I was playing I felt this strange conviction driving me onward that was intermingled with my groans of agony each time I had to replay an area or make my way through some labyrinth. The timed runs were quite ingenious, once you realized you were dealing with a timed run and mapped out the route before making the attempt for real. The two levels have little in common other than their player- unfriendliness, and each one consumes an hour or more of playing time. A couple of the pickups were so difficult to get to that I felt they should surely be counted as secrets. Now that a written walkthrough is available, together with a splendid map of the hedge maze provided by Treeble, hopefully more players will give this two-parter a try." - Phil (03-Jun-2020)
"What an utterly confusing game. It doesn't start off too badly, with peaceful exploration within a charming cityscape setting, but soon devolves into a miasma of maze upon maze and crawlspace after crawlspace, which made level progression ridiculously boring. The worst gameplay offender by far is the trigger tile labyrinth in the first level. You would do well to have the walkthrough and map to hand or Lara could be stuck there for all eternity unless you give up in frustration. Textures are adequate, but lighting is very bland and dark in places. You have limited ammo, but there should be enough surplus to see you through, provided you don't squander it. Speaking of weapons, there is a fatal bug associated with the MP5 gun (or at least the access to it and one of the secrets). If you miss pushing the block onto the trigger tile, DO NOT go back into the lower area intending on trying again, as the trapdoor that requires two buttons to open only cycles once and you could become seriously stuck, so I wonder why this issue wasn't picked up by the builder or testers. Overall, probably for maze fans only, others will find it too painful to go through." - Ryan (03-Jun-2020)
"Treeble's review is already a highly accurate description of this level so I really don't wish to add much more here. This game starts decently in a city-at-night atmosphere, but quickly ends up in mazes inside mazes inside mazes with a few decent traps and puzzles but overall a lot of boring progression through ever the same looking hallways and repetition of tasks that might drive crazy at times. Some timed runs are decent, but the extremely long timed run was not particularly fun because it is not hinted as such and so it's too miss the door. Textures are applied decently but the architecture is just cubic and boxy (in the maze parts texturing is also becoming wallpapered and flares are also rather few despite a few fairly dark parts. I think there are some good ideas here and there in every aspect but it simply doesn't work so well together. Spent 1:35 hours here and found 10 secrets." - manarch2 (30-May-2020)
"I honestly don't understand this level. The author has provided us with good Cambodian levels in the past and the very first impression of this City level was actually great, exploring a few streets and alleys, but it quickly descends into a vast multitude of different labyrinths that's devoid of any fun or purpose. Plus it's dark, excessively so, I am sure everyone will crank the gamma up to 10 (bless you, TR3 engine). The sad part is that there are absolutely no landmarks so you never really have any sense of orientation, running around in circles trying to stumble onto new paths. Level design is uninspired, lots of high and low crawlspaces spread out through blocks placed in checkered layouts, plus lots of jumping sequences in which the ceiling is too low, that makes navigation not only boring but also a pain. On the first level you even have a timed run that spans a lot of jumping to get to, then crawling, climbing and one pixel precise jump off a slope to reach the timed door. How fun. The way the room is setup, the exit door would have made perfectly for a shortcut instead, so I'm not sure what the author was trying to prove here. As you move from one labyrinth to the next, you are never really sure whether you are actually making progress or simply lost, the only way to keep track of things is the general color of the maze you're in. For instance, when you reach the green maze, surprise, quicksand! In that sense, lots of quicksaves and quickloads will help you mitigate the frustration, but not nearly enough I'm afraid. The author is also pretty cruel when it comes down to pickups. You start with a single medipack, no pistols, and I only ever spotted one medipack towards the end of the second level, which I decided not to go for as it'd require a lot of jumping to get back to where I was. There are a few Health Crystals spread around the levels, but it's still rather unnerving. I also ran out of ammo at least once, despite always crawling the lenghty distances for the pickups I'd spotted along the way up to that point. The author has included two different cdaudio.wad files in the download, only one is used but the second one has different tracks in different IDs. Franco, for Chapter 2, please revert to your previous building style. Aim to reward your players with a fun experience instead of punishing them with a test of mettle such as this one. Bottomline is, in a lot of ways this felt like Extravaganza Level cubed and on steroids, and I'm not sure anyone will think that's a good thing... 2h30min, 2 secrets. 03/20" - Treeble (05-Apr-2020)