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Temple of Darkness by Tim Panienski

alan 7 7 8 7
Casual Raider 7 6 8 8
ColeMoles 6 5 7 7
David 6 5 6 7
Dimpfelmoser 8 7 8 8
Ejecta 6 6 7 7
eRIC 7 8 8 6
Gerty 7 6 8 7
Jay 7 7 8 8
Jose 7 6 7 8
Kristina 7 7 8 8
Mehrbod 9 8 9 8
MichaelP 7 7 8 7
Orbit Dream 7 5 7 8
Phil 7 8 8 8
RaiderGirl 7 7 8 8
Ruediger 8 7 7 8
Ryan 7 7 8 8
Sakusha 8 8 8 8
Sash 7 6 7 7
Scottie 9 8 9 9
Sheevah 6 7 8 8
The Aussie Adventurer 6 5 6 4
Torry 7 6 8 7
Treeble 7 8 8 8
Yonatan 9 8 9 10
release date: 05-Jan-2001
# of downloads: 88

average rating: 7.30
review count: 26
review this level

file size: 14.43 MB
file type: TR4
class: Egypt

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"The Tomb of Seth is a wonderfully gloomy setting in the original game, and I'm pleased that those vibes were maintained in this level - not quite as dark as its name suggests, but just dim enough to keep a spooky atmosphere. The goal is evident from the beginning, after a sweeping flyby of the main room: in order to open the door, you must piece together the Eye of Horus. The rooms are generally well-built but can feel cubed and boxy, like they're bigger than they need to be; they could've been improved easily with some decorations and variations in geometry. The texturing is decent enough, technically wallpapered on but the lighting is kept low enough that it's usually difficult to notice. Gameplay is straightforward and linear, with no true head-scratching moments (aside from a cheeky invisible wall) and a lot of switches, platforming and corridors involved (perhaps too many, if you ask me) - it's entertaining enough, although the pace does slow down at times. You get more or less enough pickups to survive the challenges you face, which are unfortunately uncommon and unevenly spread throughout the game: Personally, I was rarely surprised at any point, since you can often hear the enemies (exclusively jackals) before you see them, and most of the traps are obvious when paying attention; it's almost a pleasant surprise when they're not (although I'm sure Lara would disagree, as she lays chopped to pieces on my screen!). With all that being said, this is still a solid effort that doesn't overstay its welcome and certainly stands out from other releases at the time, and I'm sad to see that the builder never made anything else." - Ejecta (03-Oct-2022)
"Another nice addition to the early TRLE catalogue of levels. This release by the developer is a delight to playthrough, the textures and lighting are good and create a lovely atmosphere. The enemy's and traps are timed to perfection and work well with the level structure, especially getting a jump when dogs come round the corner or spikes pop out at an unexpected point! only small downside is the rooms seem a bit boxy and some of the textures are repetitive in a few of the rooms but apart from that an enjoyable playthrough. Definitely worth a play." - ColeMoles (25-Feb-2022)
"One of the best classic TR4 games on TRLE.NET I have ever played. I must admit the builder had done a really great job in using textures and placing objects. I definitely recommend to you play this level. Thanks a lot!" - Mehrbod (07-Jan-2019)
"This is quite well constructed for its age. It takes place in a settomb setting which are known for their gloomy lighting but thankfully it's not too bad here. The title doesn't refer to literal darkness and there are worse offenders out there. It's quite short at around half an hour, but is entertaining enough while it lasts with some good trap and jumping sequences, some nice revisits to earlier levels and I liked how you could mostly only leave the rooms if you found the artifact you came for. The enemies are only dogs, which probably explains why some weapons can't be found here. The ending was a bit abrupt though, with Lara diving towards a pit of lava and...boom, back to the loading screen." - Ryan (22-May-2018)
"Very entertaining level. It uses textures and objects from the Tomb Of Seth level. The atmosphere is nice, it gives the sensation of being in some spooky and rocky caves, especially the passage behind the Eye of Horus door. Enemies are dogs and they are well placed. Found 3 secrets, but the third one should count as a secret because you can't get it if you don't find the second one. There is a ghost wall somewhere, but it won't be very difficult to locate it. There are some series of jumps to perform, rope swinging, not very confusing mazes, puzzle items to find and traps to avoid. The ending was a bit sad, though, as Lara's only exit is to kill herself by dropping to a pit of lava. Everything she did for nothing! 42 minutes, recommended." - alan (31-Jul-2017)
"Level with a good design and nice environments with well worked lights and textures except in some wwal panels (flipped room in the timeless sands room and more). This is the temple of darkness then, why don't place more flares? Only a pack for all the level was insufficient for my exploration. Also I expected more variety of enemies, and specially, more guns; if you don't find one of the secrets you are forced to shoot the jackals with the pistols all the level. Good use of the cameras even when they're not very useful for the gameplay, which have not puzzles and no tricky tasks too, but always are shortcuts to get back to the main room when you finish a task and that is always appreciated. Recommended." - Jose (16-Apr-2015)
"This level has several remarkable points aesthetically speaking, between the dark passages concealing switches, the red squares with lighting resembling lava flowing through rocky walls, and the breathtaking flight of stairs in the main room. While enemies mainly consisted of jackals, they were very well placed and posed a significant enough challenge for Lara, who only had a pair of pistols to deal with them. The main goal is to get the timeless sands, pieces of the Ra and Ba cartouches, and the eye of Horus, but there are mazes to go through and traps to negotiate along the way. While the traps can sometimes be surprising (the ceiling spikes come to mind), they are not too difficult to overcome. The Guardian Key may not have had any use, but I treated it as an artifact. The one issue I had with this level was the hidden passage through a see-through wall that resembled all the other solid wall blocks because the door closed from behind, and I wasn't sure how to get out without a walkthrough. The end of the level was surprising, I didn't expect to have Lara jump towards a lava pool." - Sakusha (01-Mar-2015)
"Anyone familiar with my disdain for dark custom levels will surely think I'm crazy for downloading and playing a level named Temple of Darkness, but actually it's not that dark at all. A lot less dark, in fact, than many levels I've played where other reviewers have gushed forth with lavish praise for the "excellent lighting." It's a one-shot from the earliest years of the level editor, and it's rather short at 40 minutes. Still, a reasonably entertaining raid of the Egyptian old school is provided, and Kris of the late and lamented Lara's Home has given us a readable and thorough walkthrough. Play it when you have some spare time between the current releases." - Phil (23-Dec-2014)
"I think the title must refer more to spiritual than physical darkness since, for the main part, it seems fairly bright. It stands the test of time quite well compared to a lot of the old levels and is also rather better built and lit than many of them. The gameplay is not overly complex although it does involve a fair bit of maze exploration (and killing jackals). It does seem to fizzle out at the end though, with no end trigger, lots of crossbow ammo but no crossbow and an unused guardian key in Lara's back pack." - Jay (13-Nov-2014)
"Really climatic level and thankfully not so dark as I expected and no need to have tons of flares :) Textures are well done, only at times can be a little monotonous (as in end room) and I think one of fire pools was bugged as it didn't kill Lara and she could swim through it. Otherwise really interesting level with some traps, logic level structure." - Casual Raider (24-Jul-2013)
"This level was one of the first I downloaded on TRO-online back in 2001 under the name Temple of Finsternis which may be a mix between English and German. Temple of Finsternis sounds good and mysterious. The level although made with the basic materials of Tomb of Seth do not disappoint , the atmosphere and progression are pretty good, only the walk-through wall was a bit upsetting. [ 45 minutes - 3 secrets ]" - eRIC (05-Aug-2010)
"This went off well! Lara is in a room with black walls, black ceiling and has no idea what she should make now. But after which she had a little more exactly looked, she had nevertheless seen the hole in the wall. And I have seen a really good level during the next 45 minutes, whereas the title is only partly right. It was less a temple-level, but rather a Caves/Catacombs-level. And it was indeed darkly, but not so dark which one has not seen the hand before the eyes, but rather dark-gloomily. Lara must find here the sand of the time, two cartouches and the eye of the Horus. There are many good riddles, several Spikeballs and some dogs who make the life difficult to Lara. But luckily one finds the shotgun. Shortly before level end one still finds the pyramid plug. Then the level ends in a room with a lava hole. Because there was no use for the pyramid plug, I can well fancy which was intended for a succession level. Only unfortunately, this is the only level of Tim Panienski. And this is really pity, because this is a very good level." - Scottie (15-Jun-2009)
"This is one of the levels that got overlooked simply because of their title. Well, don't be afraid to enter the Temple of Darkness because it's very bright actually, with the occasional dark chamber, but nothing too big. In fact, this is a pretty fun Egyptian level featuring the settomb wad - now, there's a wad which isn't used very often, but in this case, it's very well used. It's got a fairly obvious gameplay and very linear, but it's still a joy to play because the setting is crafted so nicely. There is a walkthrough wall as mentioned by other reviews, but like dimpfelmoser says - once you get there it simply dawns on you what to do next. 30 minutes. 01/07" - Treeble (28-Jan-2007)
"This level is pretty much your run of the mill crypt level. It has all the features of a egypt level, being that it's underground, looking for artifacts and fighting though the undead. The best part would have to be the level playability and the design. It plays well and is fairly straight forward. There are some nice trap which are a bit different from the norm. I liked the fact that there was some good camera use and I would say that the music was great as well. There were parts when I think a fly by would have made a huge impact on the game. The dull part of the game is the textures and the light which there does not appear to be enough of. This appears to be the only level by the author which is a shame because I could see some potential. If I had to give this level a grade, I would give it a C+, a high pass mark." - The Aussie Adventurer (19-Aug-2006)
"This was among the first custom levels I played in 2001 and replaying it 2004 it's turning out to be still the same fun. Best proof that it's classic raiding. Impressive lights and good textures (a few stretched or squeezed though) music and cameras could be better and as for the enemies it's mostly dogs. But the whole point is to find your way through the sometimes maze-like temple open the doors and collect the goodies and that's really done in an interesting and logical style." - RĂ¼diger (02-Mar-2004)
"Ahh they don't make 'em like this anymore! A good slightly scary Tomb adventure with an enjoyable smooth-flowing gameplay and well thought-out construction. There's nothing fancy here and only a few dogs to keep you company (although they're well placed) but the atmosphere will get to you and HA!; I completed this level in only 38 minutes (Michael say's it will take you an hour. Pfft. Amateur!) which has completely restored my faith in my own TombRaiding skills." - Orbit Dream (23-Aug-2003)
"Another gem I left laying on my hard drive because of the title. Well it is dark and the flares provided are not enough that is the only complaint I have. For the rest it is a fast paced level where there is no way to get stuck. Different tasks to perform to get both Cartouche and in the end of course the Eye of Horus. Even then the end is not there getting a Guardian Key and in the end the only way to go is jumping in the lava. There are some traps the hardest one was the one with the zillion boulders although the spike trap had me reloading quite a few times as well. Found 2 secrets. 11-12-2002" - Gerty (15-Dec-2002)
"I liked it besides the darkness. The gameplay is quite good although the level is not very long forty minutes. Walkthrough walls blades spikes spike balls are the traps all over the place. Well not exactly all over but often enough you stumble in one of them. Your search is for two sets of cartouches and the two pieces of the Eye. A couple of bats and dogs are the enemies you will encounter. There is also the timeless sands puzzle nicely done. After getting the guardian key the second secret and a dive in a lava pit the level ends. Play it it's fun." - Kristina (10-Dec-2002)
"This is actually quite an interesting level with multiple paths that always seem to lead you in the right direction. Some jumps are involved some lava to avoid (and Lara's death throes in this particular lava are strange indeed). You end up with two cartouche bars which will then allow you to gain access to the two halves of the eye piece and finally exit this level in a very very strange way indeed. The only enemies you will encounter are those skinny undernourished dogs." - Torry (01-Dec-2002)
"The looks and environment of this level are typical of the Settomb levels and includes the roll up doors jackals Hieroglyphic floor tiles etc. It's very well done and though linear it's quite enjoyable with some good puzzles and traps. I thought the location of one puzzle piece the second half of the Eyepiece was unfair though and it took me a while to figure it out. Right after placing the two cartouches I found myself trapped in a small room with a roll up door and no apparent way to open it. The answer is that one of the walls is walkthrough. I found two secrets only including one right after I placed the Eye of Horus and ended the level in about 30 minutes." - RaiderGirl (29-Nov-2002)
"It's no surprise that this is a darkly lit level but I would have loved a couple of rooms that were just a bit more brightly lit to give myself a rest from cracking flares or using the pistols to illuminate areas. This is quite an interesting level that uses traps often and very nicely but puzzles are not so common though for the time it lasted there was never a lull in the game play. I located 2 of the 3 secrets a load of jackals and lots of lava to end this level in a little over 35 minutes." - Sash (21-Jun-2002)
"A solidly crafted Egyptian style level which will keep you entertained for up to an hour with sort of standard puzzles a few levers a few dogs and bats and an overall quite believable atmosphere. I came across a few door bugs and did not quite like the way you had to 'stumble' across one of the Eye Pieces but the walkway towards the final area looks great. Worth checking out and maybe you can find more than the 2 secrets I got." - Michael (21-Jun-2002)
"This is the best most fun most beautiful level I have played ever! It is not the most visually impressive level but the texturing was superb! And the objects were great and added a lot to the atmosphere which was also great! There was action and puzzles both heart pumping and hard. This level is a great example of a level which will make you want more. It is not frustrating like many other levels I have played. One thing I did not like is that there was a little bit overuse of the dogs. On bottom line download this level immediately!" - Yonatan (21-Jun-2002)
"Not a bad level with some new ideas. I'd not seen the moving blade-thing before in a custom level and the rooms are nicely designed and integrated. A couple of problems with switches which can only be pulled once (make sure you save beforehand) but otherwise a good average level." - David (21-Jun-2002)
"Reading the title of this level I feared I would have to accompany Lara once again through pitch-dark rooms but fortunately it wasn't like this I even needed only a few flares. This level impressed me mainly by its atmosphere. The choice of colors (black brown red) and lighting made me feel a bit like 'being in hell' sometimes I even felt the heat coming out of the lava ;o). There are only a few dogs to shoot no other enemies so it's more a puzzle-oriented level. The puzzles are not hard it's mostly searching and finding switches and puzzle objects but after all it was fun to play this one. Needed 45 minutes to finish." - Sheevah (21-Jun-2002)
"The good thing about this level is: You can't get stuck. Even with the one walkthrough wall you get a room so small it won't take you long to figure out where to go. I liked the gloomy no frills atmosphere how the author concentrated on an overall theme making the best of only a few textures enemies and pick ups. Here for once we have authentic Tomb Raiding as I always imagined it to be. True quite a few levers and a lot of running through dark corridors but with a gameplay so fluent and fast paced I don't really mind. The puzzles and jumps are fairly easy but this way you get such a diversity of tasks crammed into this 50 minutes game that it results in an entertaining adventure from start to finish. The end is kinda odd though. You have to jump into the lava pit." - Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)