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Saudi Arabia - Episode One (Deluxe Edition) by Dnf Productions

CC 10 9 9 9
Cuqui 9 8 9 8
Dimpfelmoser 9 9 9 9
DJ Full 8 10 9 8
Doug E 9 8 8 9
Dougsan 8 9 9 7
Drew 8 7 8 7
eRIC 9 9 10 8
eTux 7 7 7 6
Freeman Porter 10 10 10 9
G.Croft 9 9 10 9
Gerty 8 10 10 9
Ivan 5 7 8 7
janachorider 7 8 7 7
JoeTheCrazyGamer 10 10 9 10
Jorge22 10 9 9 8
Kristina 10 10 10 9
Loupar 9 9 9 8
manarch2 7 8 9 8
MichaelP 8 8 9 9
Miguel 8 9 8 9
Phil 9 10 9 10
Qwendo 10 10 10 9
RaiderGirl 9 9 10 9
Ravenwen 10 9 9 9
Ryan 9 10 9 9
Samu 9 9 9 9
Sash 10 10 10 10
Scottie 8 9 8 7
Sheevah 9 9 10 10
Tombaholic 9 9 9 8
Torry 10 10 10 10
Treeble 8 8 8 8
Whistle 7 8 8 9
Xxenofex 10 10 9 9
release date: 31-Mar-2002
# of downloads: 176

average rating: 8.79
review count: 35
review this level

file size: 122.00 MB
file type: TR4
class: nc

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
"Here's another one I steered away from simply due to its sheer size. Eight whole levels. Along the way the author even returned to this levelset to release a revised version, which is the one I got to play now, nearly two decades after the original release. I've played this in small doses over the course of a week, so while I feel knackered, I also found plenty to enjoy here and was caught by a number of surprises along the way. Most of the levels in this set are generally open and will have you running back and forth trying to figure out your next move. In fact, at times it was easier to stumble upon secrets instead of the actual destinations I was looking for. There are a few things that aren't quite handed out to the player as they should, such as the pullchain sequence in level 2 or the four lever puzzle for the water pits in level 7, but generally speaking the levels are rather linear once you realize what goes where. A few too many maze-ish areas (including a larger one in scale that was navigated with the bike), sometimes it relies too much on buttons, but there are a lot of great ideas here, such as the builder's take on the four element challenge rooms. There are also very nice custom objects and textures, and when I first reached the city square just outside the labs I was quite impressed - especially after making a mental note of how few windows there were inside, with long winding corridors. The highlight truly is Dark Dungeon for its dark and heavy atmosphere, although the use of Phatt Bass (it felt nostalgic to me, but that was a different time) as skeletons rallied up seemed rather random and really came out of nowhere; the original Tomb Raver lol. The final level is also worth a special note for its creativity and rather uniqueness as the author managed to build a credible city environment and having Lara jump across rooftops. Of course, in the TR grid this means the buildings themselves were awfully small - and you even run through some floors with nothing but elevator lobbies because of the weird scale - but still, it was quite a fun take. 5h30min, 24 secrets. 05/20" - Treeble (12-May-2020)
"Donald Forges is a Master Builder. This level has many interest locations, Gameplay is top notch, however, it gets very creepy in the infamous dark dungeon level." - JoeTheCrazyGamer (27-Dec-2018)
"What a fantastic game. We have eight levels here, encompassing different areas of Saudi Arabia. From the title, you would expect a fun but mediocre desert raid. No, sir. We get to visit an underground metro station, a pet cemetery with those old "It's a Madhouse" textures, a harbour with a ship and a lab. Gameplay is fun and constantly entertaining and the atmosphere was well done too. My only gripes were that there were a lack of camera shots at times, that the gameplay got a little switch-pulling fever at times and the fact that it was a bit dark in some spots. Also, the walkthrough notifies of a potentially fatal bug. In Lab 42V, do NOT save and reload once you turn the lasers safe otherwise you can't go on. I felt that could have been avoided. Still worth playing, though." - Ryan (19-Jul-2016)
"The first level is a better remake of The Stolen Coffin with much improved texturing, better lighting, lamps added in the maze and all original flaws removed, however the camera bug now occurs so you might get a bit confused if you didn't play the previous part - this series seems like another you should play in order, and in fact is there any you shouldn't? After this brief revisit we infiltrate a metro station but predominantly a storage and another sewer headquarters I see after Reign of Chaos: Venice so I wonder why people get this weird idea to build bases in such places. I know sewers are less visible and more secret than for instance military skyscrapers, but imagine that humidity forcing extra money to isolate all the electricity, and that smell displeasing the crew all the time before Lara ends their misery. Normally I would think this location was inspired by Bouchard's Hideout but DNF's thing predates TR6 by three months. The level also includes a motorbike maze, both quite interesting and quite long since I always decide to explore such places on foot in search for potential secrets. What could be definitely fixed in this location is initially disturbing lack of grid and the escapable elevators, because what if a novice plays the game and saves after the lift is gone. Then we go through a VCI maze, the only one I remember and not that good as these corridors all look similar to each other. When we finally exit the building into the streets of Kuwait it's like if we crossed an invisible line between two different qualities - the earlier part is nothing compared to what unfolds now: a surprisingly well crafted nightscape city harbor with a ship floating on the canal, a jeep loaded on the ship, loading machinery above, storage houses around and a bit of casual architecture nearby make you imagine the whole sequence of events which has happened here before you arrived. It's just like if some idle channel has suddenly unlocked in the author's mind, rapidly expanding his imagination [here you can play explos2.wav to express this gameplay evolution]. The whole tasking done in this level is also more varied, even the pushable is remarkable apart from vehicle and revolver usage. The following unit resembles the Madhouse of TR3 Gold and handles immersion even better. The tasking variety drops but it's more theme-oriented and organized, and the author eventually managed to seize both puzzle design and atmosphere, with organic settings, plenty of cage bar foreshadowing and a lot of life included - this level is just never boring and if I missed anything it was stronger uniqueness and greater care taken about the visuals. The next segment isn't that pleasant as it starts in an underwater maze and proceeds through a cave, but these are still a good maze and a good cave - the general corridor structure and the flaming oil room with nicely bent floor make you feel the rock pressure - though I found no flares provided at all. Here we eventually get a non-linear item hunt like we did for the knot and pillar of the first level, but this time it's expanded into themed elemental challenge corridors, a much more interesting variant. If you return to the scarab room you hit a progress blocker and another one might occur in the escape passage with falling ceiling where you can get trapped behind a rock, but this part of the game is the only fragile in permastuck aspect (pretty nice ratio). From the elemental rooms we retrieve three missing stars, unless you also missed the first one in the previous level. This is the same faulty design which has ruined the original star puzzle in Last Revelation and luckily I found that remote place here but how on earth element is anyone who didn't supposed to figure that out? After placing the four elements we also need a fifth and I love the reference. The majority of unlocked palace gets covered with a separate level. At the initial door of that one, I reached a neat state of immersion when I felt like eagerly pushing that door open with my own hands to see what's behind. I wasn't wrong - what follows is one of the most unexpectable tunes introducing a horror setting which makes the whole place filled with pentagrams and skeletons feel like a kind of dark comedy. What is remarkable we have two boss fights in this segment and both of them altered like I haven't seen anywhere else. Unfortunately some misleading fake combo receptacles one should never build are used here, and the ending is another cave which, though very convincing, contains no flares again (all other pickups are provided so why not the light). I really liked the brief resurface in the gardens, a much desired breath which also allowed me to explore a place inaccessible on previous visit. When it appeared the way out of this place and back to the city leads through a shaft I spotted two levels ago, the solution was further intensified and I play for such moments. There's just one question what happens if laboratory key is overlooked? Even if it can still be obtained, it would mean going through the dungeon again, wouldn't it? I also think such a major key could be obtained a more convincing way, because killing a random guy just doesn't feel like a vital reason for invoking all five elements in a buried dungeon. Anyway we enter the laboratory which again uses a lot of transparent materials, but here they happen to fail - some rooms are provided just for looks so certain expectations based on previous foreshadowing are left unfulfilled, for instance we're unable to fight the giant chicken behind the terrarium glass and we can never die in the tank filled with dissolved human skeletons (you know it would be awesome to join them). The final puzzles are smooth lab infiltration consisting of classic card, flood and lever puzzles building up to the climax - we can obtain some kind of mystic artifact, but we can also ignore it and finish the game with a mutant sample instead, great option if we don't plan industrial replication but rather are into home experiments which only need a ready product suitable to try on our own chickens. The pickup gets a getaway highlight in form of rooftop escape and kill me more but I couldn't make it without a medi, one sentry also tends not to turn properly so we may need some luck to aim for the tank with our invaluable sixshooter. I also have no idea what was the correct deal with the elevator switches, which unnecessarily slow down the action and operate another lift you can escape. But somehow I still had plenty of fulfillment when Lara hopped into the chopper. SUMMARY: Since the coffin demo the author has improved a lot, peaking in the zoo level where atmosphere and enemy usage matches the quality of Lost Artifact. We only get a small clue what the game is about but it's enough for us to fit in the mood. Some flaws remain but nice touches and occasional surprises compensate especially in object usage and scenic immersion while the bulk is usually varied, well balanced and fairly solvable except one or two doubtable points. Good and sometimes great work." - DJ Full (17-Apr-2016)
"I was dissapointed with this adventure,which vanished my excitation for play it.first of all, This is arabia saudi isn't it? the only levels that remind me of it are the first and the last one.the other ones are completely diferent levels,french signs?,a medieval-like dungeon?.second due to saving while falling i had to use the DOZY cheat to continue so i admit it was my fault but well.overall not a bad adventure but not that great either." - janachorider (19-May-2015)
"This is a massive epic from the early years of the editor, and it has aged well and there were a lot of interesting features, but also both minor and bigger faults the game suffered from and would maybe have found its way into the Hall of Fame without those. Already the title flyby is very interesting with showing the ambience (but not the exact rooms) of the levels about to be explored.
The Stolen Coffin (7-8-8-7) - 50 minutes: Positive aspects: better looking outside areas (in comparison to the previous release), not so dark mazes, nice retextured soldiers, good gameplay elements from the demo release (cage room near start, rope session, jump area near end). Negative aspects: Still not very solid texturing (squeezed and stretched), underwater door puzzle still too tight, there still are too many mazes.
Underground Metro (5-7-8-7) - 50 minutes: Positive aspects: alarm trigger at the start with light going on, grinder room was fun, elevators, nice usage of TR 2 ship and TR 3 Lost Artifact textures, good interconnection between rooms and windows showing later parts of the level, well- designed metro station. Negative aspects: Really bad gameplay - too many buttons at the start and to-and-froing, at places too dark, chain puzzle was not very player- friendly as the first part of it was a trial-and-error puzzle and the second one was cruel as you had to use the chains while inhaling gas, dropping down a pit first on foot and then with the bike costed a lot of health, not much fun bike session as the areas were labyrinthine, too many enemies without much health reserves.
Kuwait City (7-8-8-8) - 40 minutes: Positive aspects: office areas looked mostly good, good usage and switching of lasers very clever block puzzle, nice huge outside area with a canal, several buildings and a TR 3 reminiscent ship, object usage like the hedge and the traffic signs, classic sound when entering the jeep was quite nostalgic, great use of the jeep and clever secrets. Negative aspects: incoherence of the setting (I thought we're raiding in Saudi Arabia?), gameplay at start a little bit dull - too many crawlspaces, buttons and items to get -, windows leading outside showing a black wall, as well as black walls at the edges on the city, thus created end-of-world factor, strange collision of windows, too well hidden fuse box.
Pet Cemetery (7-8-10-8) - 40 minutes: Positive aspects: very nice setting with textures from"It's a Madhouse" and"Angkor Wat" that fit well together, good background audio, loved the different cages and their inhabitants, spooky atmosphere in cemetery and in the wolves' hideout, some nice objects like the gravestones, the house and the tents, block puzzle, challenging timed runs, a few demanding acrobatics in the bird cage and in the caves at the end. Negative aspects: bit too monotonous gameplay - altogether too much exploring, trees in bird cage partially with wall textures, too dark underground areas with too many enemies.
Grotto's Dark Palace (8-7-9-8) - 40 minutes: Positive aspects: Tinnos reminiscent textures and gameplay style with three side quests in theme rooms, nice atmosphere, well arranged tasks in the side areas with a lot of fun jumping and swimming parts and some puzzles, good breakable ledge challenge, block pushing through the timed fires, nice extra secret to be found after finding one in the previous level, nice surprise after placing the fifth element. Negative aspects: painful underwater maze at the start with two crocs chasing you (somehow reminds"Emerald Lakes"), same textures for deadly and non-deadly textures on the slopes and missing ladder textures, partly obscure reach-in switch puzzle, terrible earthquake area with not so well applied textures.
Dark Dungeon (7-8-9-9) - 40 minutes: Positive aspects: nice custom texturing and great enemies like the demigods (even if borrowed), very good box puzzle, hard triple timed run, usage of classic enemies such as the knight, the horseman and the giant dragon, atmospheric setting from start to finish. Negative aspects: too many skeletons at the start (three or four would have been enough), a few mazes throughout the level, not well marked shootable box, odd texturing in the caves, shooting the lion's head behind the dragon was very hard, bug at the end of the level prevented me from entering the cemetery level so I had to use the level skip to the next level.
Lab 42V (6-7-7-7) - 30 minutes: Positive aspects: light switch at start, nice jump tile puzzle, mirror room, shoot/jump sequence at the very end. Negative aspects: boring base setting, pool lever puzzle nice idea but boring because of no camera hints and too much backtracking, too dark crawl maze without many left flares, highly buggy laser room - not saving in this and the previous room does not always help turning the red lasers green - they often stay deadly for whatever reason.
Rooftop (7-7-8-6) - 20 minutes: Positive aspects: shooting sentry guns and barrels, well hidden secret combined with a nice usage of the elevators, works fine as the last level. Negative aspects: textures a bit wallpapered, too sneakily hidden grating, missing a real end fight as there is too much ammo left (alone for the Uzis around 900 rounds).
Summary: This is, despite all things I didn't like, a quite well arranged levelset seeing these levels working together as a whole. While it would have been better to not include some of the levels in my opinion (Underground Metro, Lab 42V), some others (Pet Cemetery, Dark Dungeon) were quite atmospheric - unfortunately only one level (Grotto's Dark Palace) also convinced me gameplaywise, partly also the epilogue. The secret locations were mostly predicable and there were only around four that required more thorough exploration. All in all it maybe would have been better to not create such a huge levelset but maybe one consisting of 2-3 levels but concentrating on more concise gameplay elements and correct texturing instead of prolonging the game so immensely. Spent 5:10 netgame hours in here and found 28 secrets." - manarch2 (20-Apr-2012)
"I've played this level for a long time and I can not even remember whether he liked it or not. But what am I talking about? There are still only about 5 years ago. That's not a long time. Well, but it is at least as much time has passed that I do not remember really. So the best conditions to play this level again.
The stolen Coffin: It had to happen the usual one once more. Many loose ends and no plan, as it goes on. So must hold out, as usual, in such cases, the WT. As usual, in such cases I have also overlooked here something. But I must also say to the fact which had the trapdoor the same colour like the rest of the ground. There I can look hours around hours for something useful one. Such things are a real play fun killer, because where from should the player know which exists exactly at this point a trapdoor? Another problem are the camera hints. Since sometimes one sees the suitable place only for the fraction of one second. This is irritating of course a little bit because one does not know then where a door has open. The underwater time run with the grid doors and the coloured niches properly gives fun. Though the time is scarcely calculated a little bit, but with a few approaches he is to be made quite good, actually. Apart from the problems with the camera hints this was quite a good level. The Level Builder could have formed the outdoor areas, however, a little better, they did not look so nice. And the lighting could also have been better.
Underground metro: Well, at some places this level is badly dark. And one does not find Flares in every corner. From there it is sometimes advisable to use the Pistols. And if I use, however, sometimes a Flare, a dog who loved me like food comes guaranteed. And it is also not particularly fair if one cannot put down the hot steam at both pull rods. This forces up only the Medipack consumption. But apart from the fact this level is well built and has some interesting riddles. The underground metro and the tunnels could have been formed a little more nicely. And that one had to drive with the motorcycle down in the hole, has also not liked me so particularly well. But, nevertheless, on the whole it has given fun.
Kuwait city: Two souls alas! dwelling in my Breast. Basically this level is a successful Base / Lab-Level, would not be there the outdoor area. Inside of the building it looks really good. There are some well formed offices, a few halls, good riddles and a few opponents. As soon as one goes, however, outward, quite an other picture comes up. Though it looks rather well-arranged partly, but sometimes I had the feeling as if the level builder had worked slovenly and then would have had no more desire to form the whole area rationally. Thus the level limitations were recognizable too clearly as those. The buildings in the level edge had no reasonable roof. And the underwater area also did not look so good. The level builder could have made this substantially better.
Pet Cemetery: Some places are formed quite well, as for example the lumberjack's camp, or the cemetery. But these are the only outdoor areas that look good. The Inside Areas are much better.
Grottos Dark Palace: This level starts really badly. I hate mazes. And if I still have an underwater cave labyrinth in front of me, than the oven is completely off. It has not been absent a lot and I would have swept the level from the harddisk. Particularly this stupid crocodile has irritated me. Then, however, anyhow I have made it. However, then it became substantially better. The hunt for 4 elements has properly given fun and many well built rooms were to be seen.
Dark Dongeon: This level is up to now the best. Well, up to the irritating dragon, but he bothers Lara luckily only for a short time. But otherwise this level is a clear increase concerning the previous level. The rooms and the caves look good and the duties are not too difficult. Merely the lighting could be better.
Lab 42 V / Rooftop: Base / Lab-Level are one of the kind of level that I like to play very much. I rather walk around in well built and with interesting riddles to crowded rooms, than somewhere in the jungle or in the desert where I get lost then anyhow. Hence, this level was exactly after my taste. Though the lighting could be better, but one cannot have everything. Then in the end there is still an interesting and well formed run above the roofs to the helicopter.
All together I am a little bit disappointed about this level. I had had a look before on TRLE and the Base at the evaluation and had read some Reviews and had expected accordingly more. For example, the lighting could have been substantially better. There were nearly everywhere no Sun with which Lara looks better. The outdoor areas looked clearly poorer as the inside areas. It was too often too obviously that one was at the "End of the World", i.e. that the Map here stopped. By contrast I have liked the inside areas exceptionally well. The opponents were as a rule no problem, because one could find enough weapons, ammunition and Medipacks. Summarised I can say that this was a good level in which, however, still a lot of potential is for improvements." - Scottie (07-Apr-2011)
"This was a great game just like all the other games of Donald Forgues. The environment is designed very well and every level has different kind of areas to explore which makes this game very interesting. Author hasn't forgotten good gameplay either because this game is full of different kind of challenging puzzles and other tasks. There's always something to do in this game and it doesn't let you bored any time. Despite this is a great game overally it has also some bugs like the lazer bug near the end of laboratory level. For some reason I wasn't able to deactivate the lazers and that's why I had to use fly cheat which is never fun. However, this was an enjoyable game which is definitely worth playing." - Samu (19-Jun-2007)
"Cheryl (the legendary Momster) once started a thread in a forum asking which are the levels you've always wanted to play, but were afraid of? (lol) For me one level (set) in the list was Saudi Arabia. I like getting through levels on my own, but I was always stuck in level 2 when replaying it 2 or 3 times already and that majorly put me off, or got me scared (lol) to carry on, and so it ended up on that list of mine. This time, courtesy of Dutchy's walkthrough, I finally got through this 4 hour long adventure, and with needing a walkthrough constantly (well, ok, that might be exaggerated, but I did use it quite often) that does tell something about the level. Now really - a dozen more camera hints thorough the series wouldn't have gone amiss. The areas might not be so big to be utterly confused, but even in their compactness I was often left running around clueless as to what I just did, and what I have to do further on. Besides the occasional moments of obscurity, I was annoyed by walkthrough walls, constant darkness thorough every phase of the game (well, except for Kuwait city maybe), unclearly marked trap/non-trap tiles (for example - a bush meant spikes, but then again, another bush was safe to walk through - do the zoo workers set up these traps for the monkeys only in certain areas?), blatant end of the world areas (underground metro and Kuwait city, but annoyed would be a strong word here - it just was a pity the author didn't work on it to make the setting more believable), lots of beginners mistakes texture/architecture-wise (paper-thin walls, stretched, chaotic textures, simplistic lighting effects), oh and did I mention darkness? Despite all of this, I don't really think the level was bad, but I thought the author was a bit overambitious for his first long level series. It has some moments - for example the colourful timed swims in level one are memorable, the start of dark dungeon, the whole rooftops level, which I found to be the best in the set in every way, all the timed runs, especially the ones for the secrets. Also some settings are very interestingly constructed - liked the Kuwait city with the canal in the middle, or how the cemetery, dungeon and the city tie together, I also liked very much how Grotto's dark palace was set up with the various elemental puzzles, also rooftops are pulled off rather masterfully, and thus is such a good level, though there are some nuisances, like for example the stubborn machine guns, or being able to dispose of the helicopter prematurely, before even the turrets appear. Well it all may seem negative and for me it was due to 1) the darkness, 2) the obscurity - lack of camera hints, when there should be, or clues in general and 3) the author's over-ambitiousness - though he has had some great ideas along the way as can be seen, maybe with lower goals in making this huge series he had actually achieved more? Many others have enjoyed the series as can be seen from the scores and praising comments, so don't let my review put you off, I don't think this is a bad level, I just didn't like it as much as the others did." - eTux (18-Mar-2005)
"Saudi Arabia has it all: tombs top secret headquarters an underground station a sunken palace catacombs a zoo puzzles mystery laser traps... There' s a variety of locations and thus many different textures moods sounds effects all brilliantly combined together to create a full multi-aspected adventure. There's a lot of Tomb Raider feeling too underlined by the use of some of the most memorable music pieces of the games. The one puzzle follows the other and some of them can be really tricky (the room with the numerous slanted pillars in the first level is genially constructed; also the puzzle with the crates in the third level requires some hard thinking!) The good thing with them is that you can figure them out at last but without having the feeling that they were too easy (because they weren't!). There are a few but really good timed events and enough enemies to make you lose your head! Favorite part? The Grotto's Dark Palace... The reign of traps dangers and puzzles! Also Kuwait City mainly for its exterior settings and Rooftops - the peak of the adventure at the end. And I couldn't leave out the imposing Dark Dungeon with its unexpected and thrilling techno beats adding a modern touch to some gloomy skeleton-filled catacombs!" - Ravenwen (10-Aug-2004)
"After finishing this epic I couldn't remember most of it as everything is sort of a blur. Lots of base like texture so that is why I do remember the Pet Cemetery and the Dark Dungeon the best. I am not saying that the other levels were boring far from it. Donald made a great mini game I liked this one much better than his later one Russia. This is a bit what Tomb Raider is all about and I had to look up the walkthrough a couple of times (easier than go through all the posts that are made in the Stuck Section) as I for sure got stuck more than I liked. There are very nice puzzles in here some great jumping and also doable timed runs at least I thought so. What I did lack however was some camera work and there are also some paperthin walls. Some levels were quite dark but I made it with the flares I found. There are more than enough weapons to find and in some cases I counted my third shotgun and also three uzi. But hey who is counting apparently only me LOL. Also counted about twelve wraiths exploding although I only lured two to the cross underwater. It took me more than 5 days to finish this one and do take your time as it is well worth it. Found 19 secrets. 02-06-2004" - Gerty (06-Jun-2004)
"1-Stolen Coffin didn't impress very much a lot of problems with textures and I didn't like the huge almost empty boring rooms with floor levers to pull and vases to shoot. A very annoying thing was the split-second flybys I got which were useless in showing what happened. I loved Lara's outfit. There's a good underwater boulder trap room and a great jumping sequence on sloped columns. The highlight in this level is an underwater puzzle of opening different coloured doors to get the knot. 2-Underground Metro is an exercise in 'spot the switches on the walls' and back and forth running between rooms and crawlspaces. But at least it's all done in a compact area so it doesn't become tedious and I liked the lifts. The main puzzle in this level is the rooms with chains to pull 8 altogether some while being scalded by steam. Onto the metro track itself which you have just blown an enormous hole in and you need to get the bike down into that hole and around the huge and very dark underground tunnels. Textures are improved in this level but there are still some problems. 3-Kuwait City looks like a huge VCI building brown walls glass vertical-opening doors. There's a very clever block pushing puzzle. Outside to a beautifully created city port with a ferry boat docks an iron bridge warehouses streets. I would have liked to spend a lot more time here. It was great driving the jeep off the ferry but after a very short drive on the streets you have to abandon it! From here on the levels improve greatly with textures and atmosphere. 4-Pet Cemetery is a great level. It's the familiar Madhouse zoo in a little town. Very well done monkey cage a nice block pushing puzzle to get the first element key (star badge on the wall to you and me) and very tight timed run that lands you in with the crocodiles! Over the wall in the pet cemetery itself is a great spooky place where wolves roam but strange to say there are lots of little one-man tents beside campfires! Entering the 5-Grotto's Dark Palace is a beautiful underwater cave network. Beautiful and very confusing I was stuck there for ages with those invisible walls. That was a tough timed run from the big crank wheel through the door to breakable tiles get the element and get out during an earthquake and falling debris. This is a finding four elements level which is completely different to the original game. A lot of swimming and underwater levers and doors. Very impressive entrance into 6-Dark Dungeons great new textures and sinister atmosphere with skeletons. You need the crossbow but to get it you have to do a timed run. Another very tough timed run later on from a big crank wheel onto breakable tiles and fall into a crocodile infested but brilliantly done river cave. Here also is the dragon and this is very well done. An excellent level. Through Pet Cemetery and Kuwait City and the door is open to 7-Lab 42V. I loved this level. It's kind of like a marine base/offshore rig/alien setup. That mirror room was a confusion the only hint that it was a mirror was the signs are reversed when you've finally figured out one side of the room had patterned squares. I'm not sure if this was probably going a bit too far in the enigma stakes. The second mirror room was perfect with a Lara reflection. Draining and flooding rooms to access levers etc. That really tough timed run was a huge disappointment. I thought at least this would have given an essential item to finish the level. As it is if anyone is not too happy with timed runs then I'd suggest they forget this. An unusual action here of dragging a radar screen we get to see Big Bird and mutants Lara copys from the original games. That was a nasty jump out of this level Donald. And finally we come to the 8-Rooftops. What a sight great stuff. Great fun blowing up the machine guns and climbing about this small town to get to your escape helicopter. The green soldiers are you're friends (at least they didn't bother me in this level) so you only need to shoot the others. Donald is most definitely in tune with what raiding is all about he has great ideas for puzzles/actions and has built a lot of great rooms around them. All these things could have been put into a smaller set of levels say two or three so we are really spoilt by the amount of work he has done to entertain us. My score increased with each level." - CC (17-Sep-2003)
"This was probably one of the first mini-games that we were lucky enough to be graced with and I absolutely adored it. You are given a wide variety of environments atmospheres and tasks to perform and for me they were utterly involving and I was just swept away. As there are 8 levels to play in this game I will give you just a brief overview of what you will find. The Stolen Coffin: Setting: A town in the desert. Gameplay: Timed runs/swims and large block jump. Enemies: Scorpions Middle Eastern guards ninjas harpies and mummy. Secrets: I found 4. Time: 50 minutes. Underground Metro: Setting: Underground train station. Gameplay: Levers and chain pulls. Enemies: SAS and dogs. Vehicle: Bike. Secrets: I found 3. Time: 70 minutes. Kuwait City: Buildings and street around a jetty with ship docked. Gameplay: Really nice block moving puzzle. Enemies: SAS dogs and sharks. Vehicle: Jeep. Secrets: I found 1. Time: 35 minutes. Pet Cemetery: Setting: Zoo and pet cemetery. Gameplay: Timed run and movable block puzzle. Enemies: Crocs warthogs wolves and giant scorpions. Secrets: I found 2. Time: 30 minutes. Grotto's Dark Palace: Setting: Palace. Gameplay: Timed run and torch puzzle. Enemies: Giant wasp and beetles. Secrets: I found 1. Time: 30 minutes. Dark Dungeon: Setting: Castle. Gameplay: An unobvious movable block puzzle timed runs and target shooting. Enemies: Lots of skeletons sprites ahmets demigods Seth crocs horseman giant serpent and locusts. Secrets: I found 1. Time: 40 minutes. Lab 42V: Setting: Lab/base. Gameplay: Timed run a 4 pool draining and filling puzzle and collect the Mystical Power the reason for this adventure. Enemies: Guards. Secrets: I found 2. Time: 50 minutes. Rooftops: Setting: Series of skyscraper rooftops. Gameplay: Jumping from roof to roof. Enemies: Guards and automatic machine guns. Secrets: I found 2. Time: 20 minutes." - Sash (16-Sep-2003)
"Ten hours later over the course of three days 'Saudi Arabia' and I part company. Many of the puzzles were fun some were challenging too many were in areas too dark to be either fun or challenging. The enemies fought were numerous and always very well placed. I needed all the supplied weapons and almost all the ammunition I found. I don't recall how many secrets there are in 'Saudi Arabia' I found 18 without looking too hard but didn't trip over any of them. Each of the environments is well drawn and I did not encounter any bugs worth going on about. IMHO puzzles are what TR is about and Saudi Arabia offers lots and lots of puzzles. The timed puzzles are the most challenging I think but none of the puzzles should hold up a seasoned Raider for very long. I believe the designer set up some of the timed runs so that it is not possible to save in the middle of a run (I couldn't). Well done! I sometimes feel I'm cheating when I do that - and I do it a lot. And now what I didn't like - the game was MUCH TOO DARK FOR NO REASON. I took off at least two points for darkness. I never knew where I was going or why. I always felt lost. (Is this the same as not knowing where I was going? I don't think so.) I took off one point for this. The big ending left me flat for a number of reasons; I could aim and shoot further than the machine guns the human sensing machine gun doesn't sense Lara when she jumps back to the window from which she began Lara could kill groups of bad guys by blindly shooting grenades over the sides of buildings (they should disperse since it takes more than one grenade to kill them all). This cost another point. Tough grading but Donald appears to be on the verge of greatness and I offer criticism for constructive purposes." - Dougsan (23-Aug-2003)
"I'm coming to this excellent series rather late (8/03) but I'm certainly glad that I dusted it off my cache of downloads and gave it a whirl. This is an eight-parter that's every bit as engrossing and varied as what Eidos was charging us $29.95 for in Lost Artifact. In fact I found these levels reminiscent of what we've seen before in the commercial releases but they were still fresh enough to provide hours of unabashed entertainment. There were timed sequences the first (Stolen Coffin) and fourth (Pet Cemetery) levels that I felt were a little unfair to the average (like me) gamer and I even exhibited a little male PMS in the forum over the first one. But then on each occasion I went back the next night and knocked out the sequences in relatively few tries. Anyway without Dutchy's outstanding walkthrough I wouldn't have made it as far as those timed sequences. An outstanding work one that deserves to be remembered as a classic." - Phil (17-Aug-2003)
"Interesting game long light levels in all several different places to visit a good balance between puzzles and traps baddies and exploring. I played Russia - Episode 2 first and I started playing Saudi Arabia with some sense that I would have to make some kind of an understanding effort in order not to be disappointed. Well I didn't really have to because this is another amazing adventure! An interesting thing is in Russia Donald's know-how of the level editor is already very solid. In this game (he warns us about it anyway) we can follow his brilliant evolution from the The Stolen Coffin with its Egyptian similarities and its paper thin walls at times (which are also visible in the second level Underground Metro) to the grand finale on the rooftops. As so happens in Donald's levels I got stuck several times but not as many as in Russia. Sometimes we complicate things and overlook what should be obvious and that's what happened several times. It's all about exploring... I should have already learned that if I search enough eventually I will find what I'm looking for. I have no complaints about this great set of levels except for a couple of weird bugs I happened to find along the way. The first at the end of Pet Cemetery: after killing two small and two huge scorpions Lara is supposed to hang from a crack in the rock thus passing to the other side diving and entering the next level. Well my Lara started out by hanging letting go and falling into what I thought was mud impossible to maoeuver after that. Then out of the blue the floor became solid and I was able to let Lara fall and proceed from there. Secondly in Dark Dungeon in a place with two skull headed demigods and two shootable werewolves (this was the first game in which I was able to kill them and I couldn't find out what to do for a while) there was something which was also weird. I'm not checking out Dutchy's walkthrough right now but from what we spoke in the forums Dutchy said there were two werewolves there both to be killed - one would drop a large medipack and the other would drop a red gem. Well my medipack was dropped by one of the demigods. As for the gem dropped by the second werewolf there wouldn't be any unless I shot the dreaded creature in the first right turn after entering the building there. That was strange and could occasionally lead to someone being unable to complete the game... Throughout the levels I only found 15 secrets - how many were there? Sometimes I wish there had been a clearer indication of what had happened as you used a switch or a lever but that's alright in most cases the indication was there. I specially enjoyed the timed runs (Yep I like those despairing timed runs and the sense of achievement that comes as we've finally made them) and the water puzzles namely in Lab 42V with the pools that you have to fill and dry out in order to find some items (by the way I thought shooting the computer was a nice touch even though I only understood I had to do it after getting back to the room). And now I remember something else that was kind of weird but not really a problem... I did shoot the grate that leads to the room with the above mentioned shootable computer before filling it with water and afterwards when I got back there it was all in one piece again so I had to re-shoot it. I really can't say which level I liked best since I liked them all and had a great time playing them. Can't wait for Donald's next set of levels! Hopefully they won't be his last as he has already announced... Maybe he'll just take a well deserved vacation and later come back with more of his amazing Lara's adventures. You see we really can't afford losing all of the very best creators!" - Jorge22 (24-Jul-2003)
"In a word fanbloodytastic. This is what raiding is all about. I found this wonderful eight level set to be far superior to the highly vaunted Sanctuary of Water Ice and Fire. I played the revised and updated version of this and therefore many of the 'bugs' and texture problems that were discussed in early reviews were not in evidence in this version. The title is deceptive as you would believe this to be another trudge through the deserts but apart from some similarity to this in the first 30 minutes or so it is anything but. The game (and yes it deserves that title) morphs from desert environs to hi-tech offices to harbour frontages and city utilities to underground caverns and finally a rooftop flight. The textures and inanimate objects have been taken from a plethora of Tomb Raider games. You will come across the Chunnel and Zoo textures from Lost Artifact the Lara Atlantean clone from Tomb Raider 1 the huge bird boss from the end of The Golden Mask just to name a few and the enemies have been redone so that whilst they are still the same old foes they look fresh and new and it is for these reasons that I rate this game so highly. Not once was I bored in this eight hour adventure but rather the opposite as I finally dragged Lara's tired sore butt to the waiting helicopter I was somewhat disappointed that it was over so soon. I loved the search for the four elements which were some familiar old objects renamed and revamped. The 'Fifth Element' key was a nice touch and something not often seen. Later the 'Mutant Sample' was another interesting approach but what was it exactly? Mutant pee? Just a guess. The overall search is for the 'Mystical Power Artifact' and although I am unsure as to its exact properties it did give Lara the ability to defy fire in the last minutes of the game. In places the game was deceptive and had me scratching my head on a number of occasions but once the answer was revealed it turned out to be more of a case of me looking for something that was not there. Some of the timed runs took a few tries and the timed doors that you were required to negotiate in the chamber with Seth were extremely difficult. Hint. Lure Seth into the corridor you initially came from and trap him in there. Then you can tackle those timed doors without him trying to crush your neck all the time. Overall though this is a masterful production and deserves these scores. Well done and thank you Don." - Torry (09-Mar-2003)
"This isn't just a level - it's a whole game that takes you through many environments and challenges including timed doors spiked boulders explosions searching for well hidden switches circulating blades laser walls and floors movable block puzzles searching for keys lots of drowning earthquakes torch puzzles collapsible tiles spikes and openings or crawlspaces that are easy to miss plus touch enemies like the dragon. My favorite levels were Kuwait City with its brilliantly built outdoor area complete with a ship to explore Pet Cemetary with its zoo (too bad I had to kill most of the animals) and then Rooftop that has you exploring a small city block for a key that will give you access to the rooftop with the helicopter. The last place I expected to find it was on a dead body. There were many tough areas in these levels but they were brilliantly done and very rewarding to finish. Each level was full of atmosphere with their perfectly done textures and use of great music." - RaiderGirl (07-Feb-2003)
"A great series to play without a doubt there is a lot of different places to raid districts of a town with laboratories and offices underground caves and temples a zoo and a gothic castle. Lara is searching for an artefact called 'The mystical power' it is hidden in the Lab42 and she will find the key of the Laboratory by pure dumb luck. There are some puzzles which are really puzzling some thin walls in the 3 first levels and not enough flares in the two first ones. Nevertheless there are enough great moments in the series to justify a high rating. My favourite parts are Pet Cemetery / Grotto's place where Lara finds the 4 elements of fire earth water and wind and the puzzles of the Lab42 / rooftops. I had good moments too with the rather challenging timed doors and the great enemies of the dark dungeon. Only 8h30 of net gaming for 8 levels is not a lot but actually I have played the series in 2 days." - eRIC (05-Sep-2002)
"This will be only level which I not liked very much because its every level so different and sometimes not logical timed trouble and time traps which I hate most in all Tomb raider levels. And for some next time I will continue to play when I have more patience and more normal cooler nerves." - Ivan (13-Aug-2002)
"This is a huge project of eight levels with a very nice title flyby added and would deserve high marks for the effort the author put into it alone. If I add up all the rooms the converter told me that would be 1455 (!) that I played through in my total net game time of 6:45 hours. Note that I did play the 'remastered version' of the series. As a habit I do however rate this level by level and then average the scores so here goes: The Stolen Coffin (7/8/8/7 0:55 hours): This is a great example of how the author kept the good things of the originally released single level and got rid of some of the bad things. He kept Lara's black cat-suit there are still a pillar a knot and two cartouches to find the very nice timed and coloured underwater door puzzle and the room with all the slope jumps. Not sure if I missed all those secrets last time - this time I found four and especially the one with the timed run was fun. Quite a few enemies around (the Arab SAS is cool some ninjas scorpions a mummy and harpies at the end). Definitely too many pitch-black areas - very annoying. Sound and cameras are not spectacular but well used but the long climbs at the end and the unmarked monkey tiles are still around. Underground Metro (7/8/8/8 1:10 hours): You enter an industrial/warehouse area and it starts out a bit tedious with many many levers and very few guiding cameras. The lights-on/alarm effect is neat. Enemies are only some 20 SAS or so throughout the level. On your backwards and forwards running you will collect two Silver Keys a Waterfall Key a Metro Card a Motorbike Key and an elevator fuse. In fact I thought the elevators were well designed and the motorbike trip through the underground is fun (good camera on the jump). Very painful chains puzzle with the steam. Some explosions help you to progress and I thought the actual train area is maybe a little underutilized. Darkness again is a bit of an issue but not too bad this time. There are five secrets but actually four of them towards the end and they are not overly rewarding with only small pickups. Kuwait City (7/7/8/9 0:35 hours): While being rather short I actually enjoyed this part. It starts in a typical VCI building with Code discs a fuse and a lab key to find. Good use of red and green lasers the squishing blocks make an appearance and there is a very nice movable block puzzle. The outside area with the streets houses the blue bridge and the ship looks very nice. A few SAS and dogs to kill and two sharks in the water. Also some climbing and air duct crawling and shootable windows around before you drive a short street with the Jeep and move on to the next stage. Found one secret. Pet Cemetery (8/8/9/9 0:45 hours): The series is really picking up now - a gem of a level set nicely around a rather small area with a piazza a zoo with a huge monkey cage the cemetery and a camp site while the moon is shining and the grilles are chirping - great atmosphere. There is a tough timed run some blocks to move and a variety of not so challenging enemies (scorpions boars crocs dogs bats and two giant scorpions near the end). I found one secret two keys for the cemetery the wind element and had a chuckle about the 'Planet of the Apes' poster near the entrance to the monkey cage - a nice touch. Grotto's Dark Palace (9/7/8/8 0:40 hours): Get wet! Before gameplay picks up nicely with your quests for the three other element keys (water earth and fire) you need to do some serious diving here so hold your breath. The side adventures are really fun with a timed door and subsequent break-away-tile jump sequence (nice prehistoric texturing there) and an earthquake a climb-avoid fire-avoid boulder passage with a little torch puzzle and a spikes and swinging chains sequence with yet another bit of breathtaking diving. Very few enemies here (a bat some beetles a wasp two scorpions). Using the 'Fifth Element' (another nice touch) allows you place the four element keys and advance through the castle doors into the next level. Dark Dungeon (9/9/9/10 1:10 hours): Definitely my favorite level of the series. The Quake textures help create a spooky atmosphere the dozen or so skeletons keep you on your toes at the start and then the room where you battle three of Psiko's demigods and Seth to music from the movie 'Blade' while mastering target shooting and a sequence of timed doors - brilliant stuff! Further on you meet a reworked tinman with a really nice horse (not the ugly metal one we all know). Mastering some swinging blades and swimming with the crocs is next before a final confrontation with the locust-spitting dragon. Found two secrets here. Lab 42V (8/7/8/8 1:05 hours): Before actually getting here you make a quick detour through 'Pet Cemetery' to pick up a Lab Key and 'Kuwait City' where the actual entrance is. The you enter the Lab environment which looks pretty much like any other we have seen in many custom levels by now (a dozen soldiers included). You collect a few ID cards two fuses the mutant sample and eventually what you came for: the Mystical Power artifact. I found two secrets and the one with a 30 second timed door run was quite a thrill. The fill and drain pools exercise was nicely designed but a little much running/climbing to and fro there. Had a smile at the 'bird' (looked like King Kong) and the 'Lara-look-alike' aliens. In the second part you need to out-maneuver a few laser barriers before you exit the level with a tricky slide-shoot the grate-jump-grab move. Rooftop (8/8/7/8 0:20 hours): The classic Getaway! From the moment you start you hear and then see the helicopter which awaits you but you need to smartly manage your way killing another dozen soldiers and eliminating half a dozen sentry guns. Do not blow up the helicopter too early like I did or you will be in trouble soon after when the sentry guns materialise there. Found another two secrets here liked the elevator and after shooting and jumping through a few windows it's over quickly. Bottomline I am rounding up my total average score on the atmosphere category because this is such a thrilling adventure in its entirety and seeing how the author improved along the way here Episode 2 will be even more enjoyable. Now I found 17 secrets - how many were there in total?" - Michael (01-Aug-2002)
"I should have made notes while I was playing this as with 9 ½ hours of net gaming time my memory is a bit weak as to how it all started (What was the Metro like?). The more as I got stuck towards the end and gave it a rest for a couple of weeks. Mind you reading the titles of the various parts brings back fond memories of spooky dungeons beautifully textured streets happy shootings clever puzzles and exotic wildlife. If you consider all the various environments you pass in the course of this series it's quite amazing that the whole thing doesn't fall apart. From the Egypt inspired prelude to the sentry gun infested rooftops final you pass many classic TR settings that pay testimony to the authors interest in all the different styles available. It is frustrating at times with fuses to shoot/levers to switch that are cleverly hidden blocks to push that are unmarked lashings of skeletons to run from without explosives in your backpack and mazelike corridors in the lab that don't give you much of a clue how to proceed. However the whole thing is designed with such care and an eye for detail that you are desperate to press on and overcome all those obstacle in order to be able to say: I did it. There are rewarding secrets (some with their timed runs) a torch puzzle nice jumps mean traps a jeep to drive pools to flood and drain rope swings a great variety of enemies; you name it it's there. Some areas look kinda familiar others are most original. Needless to say that in a level of this size not everything is perfect but there is no point to list the few things that I found slightly irritating. All in all it's great entertainment in the best TR tradition and definitely a must for everyone who liked the original games. I'm really curious how the next set will look like." - Dimpfelmoser (23-Jul-2002)
"This tableau of levels is an ambitious undertaking for the author as well as the player. Imagine "TLC" or "The Rescue" - here's a series on the same scale (about 8 hours net gaming time). While very entertaining and thoroughly 'buttoned up' though they didn't quite have the subtlety of Ducey or the quirkiness of say Xeth. Overall I thought the 'Pet Cemetery' through 'Dark Dungeon' levels were the strongest with the grand finale on the rooftops providing an exciting ending. During the 'Stolen Coffin' and 'Kuwait City' levels I found myself slogging along a bit just to get through it. In the course of your odyssey you'll encounter many puzzles and traps. Some are quite clever while others seem to have no logic and are solved by trial-and-error. I particularly liked (and hated) the 'surprises' Lara finds after successfully completing some very challenging timed runs (like having a heart attack after running the 100M in 9 seconds!). Enemies cameras and the overall game map are delightfully done. Textures are skillfully used drawing from nearly every TR series. While I really appreciate all those TR2/3 textures it's a little too much after a while as if the author is trying to cram textures from every TR level ever created into these 8 levels. Still these are a terrific set of levels (some better than others) and they definitely deserve a place in the top 50 and the attention of any serious raider. That said I just couldn't award perfect scores in any category because as well executed as these levels are they don't break any new ground. There are a couple of nicely original skill sequences (like having to shoot out a grate then jump and grab it all while sliding down a ramp) but I honestly can't remember seeing much of anything I hadn't seen before in a custom level. This is after the first go around so take this review as pro-forma. I know I missed some things and after a little settling time this game is well deserving of a second try. If you haven't played it yet they are absolutely worth a first try." - Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)
"What a fantastic level series! A wonderful journey through 8 fabulous levels is certainly worth the download. The variety of the different locations and the balance of difficulty really make this an experience. Whether in the walkways of the Metro the harbour of Kuwait the secret labs (E.T. greatly textured) in a macabre zoo with pet cemetery and a giant monkey house in a subterranean dungeon (with skeleton dance) - everything makes sense and seamlessly fits the pieces into a whole. The moving block puzzles are quite tricky tactical and three-dimensional thinking required; the timed doors are all pretty tight to beat. The secrets as well as the pick-ups are nicely placed. I found 13 secrets but there should be a few more. Music and sound is used with excellence and help to build tension at times. My favorite level of the series was Dark Dungon. Oh yes most importantly you should take your time to enjoy the series. My net gaming time was 8 hours. These levels have a special place in my collection." - Qwendo (21-Jun-2002)
"This is a grand adventure! It reminds me a lot of the original games with a long storyline and different environments - city office zoo underwater caves. To mention some things: In level four you come too a zoo with its own pet cemetery (which they probably have to enlarge after Lara has been there LOL). The atmosphere is really great as you move along inside and outside the animal cages. In level six you come to the Dark dungeons that is the haunt of satanists and you have to fight one skeleton after another - it's really spooky. All along the way is puzzles and traps and some timed doors. Sometimes throughout the game it is hard to know where to go next as you don't get many hints what happens when you pull a lever or push a button so it is a lot of running back and forth to know where you're going. Unfortunately I had a little bug (Lara could not climb around a corner at one point) so I had to use the fly-cheat to be able to move on. The gameplay isn't too hard or too easy it's just "lagom" as we say in Sweden. 8 hours of statistic gameplay (and actual gameplay - well who knows) and a lot of fun is worth the HUGE download!" - G.Croft (21-Jun-2002)
"This is a monster of a level consisting of seven separate adventures. They are all very well done and the author must be very proud of his work. Now for the pros and cons - there are lots of new things to see and great original textures. Some of the places you have to get to are not always obvious due to the many many dark areas throughout. (Not a great favourite of mine) There is a timed door in the pet cemetery which was almost too hard to do. A couple of seconds more would have been better Mr Author! There were a few wafer thin walls but putting all that behind you the Labs level was superb in its originality. There were a few textures there that were outstanding. Yes this is WELL worth playing and one of the best I've played for a while." - Doug E (21-Jun-2002)
"First this is not a level but a complete game. You should take much time this is not a game for a small break after lunch :-) Technically almost perfectly up to a few paperthin walls which is no problem for myself. Also I would not recommend this game to a beginner it is definitely one of the hardest custom levels on the market and hardly to finish without help. Nevertheless everything is doable although connected with much expenditure of time. The locations are very different the opponents are really no cannon fodder high tension is guaranteed with a lot of sweat. Especially to mention is the skeleton army which run to technomusic as from the film "Blade" in a superb movie sequence on to Lara. Sensationally made! Also the way how to defeat these annoying contemporaries will decide everyone for itself: -). The serpent later on cost me many nerves but with patience and trying hard this one is also defeatable. With the puzzles sometimes don't expect the obvious to pay attention the timed doors are also very difficult to solve and the secrets are mostly real secrets. This means perfect gameplay and grind in one for hard core players who think for example 'Last crusade' was easy this one will be a large challenge and I recommend it. What disturbed me the most are a few dark places even if they fit well the atmosphere. Good one absolutely recommended!" - Freeman Porter (21-Jun-2002)
"A large set of levels which form me was best summed up as FRUSTRATING. Extremely tight timed runs and finicky puzzles quickly following each other both tended to stop the flow of the game play. Normally I might add I like puzzles to solve but not only the combination of puzzles themselves but also linked with enemies (often more than one type)and having to solve puzzles made for the frustration. The rest of the game features I found reasonably good with some dark areas but not overdone. I think every enemy type and trap/puzzle type is represented in one or other of the levels and a good variation in textures etc. Lastly definitely not a level for the beginner or for the easily frustrated or folks whose finger dexterity is some what lacking (Game pad users beware)." - Whistle (21-Jun-2002)
"This is not one level this is a whole game including 8 levels. And it is so exciting it chained me to my PC for several days. There are some weak points too like e.g. the paper thin walls and the long ways to run back and forth but regarding the length of the game and the gameplay itself it is fantastic enough to ignore that. I never played something like this before. So don't be afraid of the big download size - it's really worth it!" - Sheevah (21-Jun-2002)
"Donald's Saudi Arabia is a level full of changes: some parts I liked much better than others but this is normal in a serial level. Good challenge a lot of traps and first of all the timed-doors (that one in the Lab seems to hard to resolve) make this level one that for beginners is too hard. That holds down the fun of playing sometimes when you try to get through that timed-door the 84th time. What I was surprised by was that for a lot of good ideas I found a lot of errors that only a new builder would make; therefore I didn't give the whole points he could get (e.g. 1. Level has a stone-texture where you can fall through; unrealistic for me; there a no climbing textures and some of the pushable objects had no indicating texture on the floor where to take them - a lot of possibilities to push! Look a dark dungeons part. Then the paperthin walls; other builders got less point for even one wall like this. Then a green room - so dark that you have to use so many flares..... a bug in Metro-Part for the Motocycle - there was a place after you go through the smash-wall where you can stuck...) In spite of all this I found very good ideas - the challenge with the floor and the pushable blocks the objects from Tr5. There is a lot of work in it and I honor it but I am convinced that Donald can make it better next time because the fun of the game should be in first priority. A level that only can be resolved by the Hard-Core-Community of players for me it can't be one of the Top Level for all it would be a top level for exclusive....For that I give less points to it. But I found it worth to try even it was not possible to resolve it without the help of others." - Miguel (21-Jun-2002)
"A series of levels with many interesting puzzles. Starting the player has to replay a short version of a previous level by the same author 'The Stolen Coffin'. Although at first it seems a little boring further along you discover many magnificent sceneries from an underground metro with corridors to a pet cemetery laboratories cities and many more. Of course I don't have to say that the enemies vary new soldiers SAS guards animals skeletons you name it. It is not going to be a walk in the park though some parts of it are very clever and the puzzles need much thinking. A taste of the puzzles is in order. We start with the basic ones the knot and the pillar and we proceed with fuses one of them very well hidden no ordinary keys breakable windows moving objects that need observation to be discovered I think I will stop now there are so many I couldn't possibly name them all. One thing that's very commonly used is flooding and draining rooms. But what really impressed me was the underwater maze at 'Grotto's Palace'; it is just perfect and the shaft keys renamed as elements are rarely used so there is one more reason that made me love these series. The bike is present but its need is limited helicopters as well but of course you will not see Lara in them. The traps are fire related also used for puzzles and combined with a mirror it gives access to an item at the lab. Every level has a set of textures that match perfectly by my opinion lighting is very good although there seem to be a few thin walls and that's a pity considering the whole icon you have for these levels but because of their length we can forgive that. Obviously a lot of work is invested in them. The secrets are not easy to find but you don't have to worry about weapons they are wisely given at the right moment when needed if not acquired earlier. You reach the end by passing from a lot of crawlspaces and windows to jump not to mention the sentry guns firing at you. A ride with the helicopter you will never see sets Lara free. Don't be scared by the big download it's all worth it." - Kristina (21-Jun-2002)
"A beautiful level series! In 8 levels there was everything that allows to make the heart of a Tomb Raider fan beat faster: perfectly timed gates difficult jumps crisp puzzles hard opponents. Secrets were hidden so perfectly and to partly hard to reach just the things which Lara needed to get on: the crowbar stars laser-fuses etc. Besides one moved by the underground by a city by temple and dark gangways and it arose actually no boredom. A series has held me rarely as much on the go as 'Saudi Arabia' did. However with all that it was by no means too difficult perhaps the time gates. Light and Sound cameras were almost perfect even if it was not always shown which ways are now open after some of the extremely well set up switches and levers were pulled. It is a pity that there were 'paper-thin walls' so much otherwise one could not pause in the textures a lot. Sometimes they were used a little bit one-sided but on the whole I found them real good. Result: Whoever has a week to spare can present her/himself confidently to the level. But caution! Once one has started one also wants to get on and a real Tomb Raider also does not stop before he has reached the final helicopter." - Xxenofex (21-Jun-2002)
"I just have finished Saudi Arabia and I can't wait to review this game (8 levels). The first one (The Stolen Coffin) was in some aspects boring for me it has some technical problems like very short views when the player activate the switches the 'paper thin walls' and some others. I must admit that I skipped this level but... The rest of the game goes better in each level. I've enjoyed this game but in some parts the challenges are too hard to beat (the timed door in Pet Cemetery); the city of Kuwait The Cemetery the first scene in Dark Dungeon are great moments. The atmosphere is very well done. There are enough enemies to make up the action of the game; the items instead are only few (it's my impression). I got 12 secrets. Are there any more? I don't know but if there're more they are well hidden. Saudi Arabia is a very complete game is one of the best I've played." - Loupar (21-Jun-2002)
"An excellent level series. Not easy! But exciting and very well done. My favourite levels of the series are Underground Metro and Dark Dungeon. I found Stolen Coffin too dark. However this is definitely one of the best I ever played." - Cuqui (21-Jun-2002)
"SA is huge technically (77MB download) and literally (all 8 levels of the game)! Donald the creator seems to thrive on two dominant means of achieving difficulty here: darkness and timed sequence. So just a warning --- if you don't have 20/20 vision and hate timed runs or swims this game is not for you. I'd trade the grenade gun which I don't find any use for with the flares and aqua lung anytime! The timed puzzles are deceptively cruel! I mean that as a compliment though. Why deceptive? They are simple; some activators---switch or floor pad---are just a stone's throw away from the door. Why cruel? If you think it's a cinch try sprinting on dark narrow corridors or columns only to be met with another deadend or certain death within the timed rooms! And did I say some last for just 15 seconds or less? Whether on land or in the water (most of the swims in Grotto level are lung busting) this game is a showcase of all the difficult tasks in the classic tomb raiding sense. But like any custom multi-level this game is far from perfect. I discovered a possible bug in the Laboratory --- the breakable underwater gate that you can swim through and/or can't shoot open. Also in my opinion timed runs must offer a reward for the effort by way of say access to an important object or task. But if all we are going to get is a secret or a weapon we can do without maybe it shouldn't have been timed at all. But then that's just me. As far as aesthetics and originality I got a kick out of the Dark Dungeon level. That was different. That was an art. An MTV. A reunion of all the baddies in TRLR amidst an adrenalin-pumping techno music. It was simply exciting! No wonder it's the author's favorite level as well." - Drew Pizza (21-Jun-2002)