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Skeleton's Palace by Blacksheep

CC 7 7 6 6
Dimpfelmoser 8 6 7 7
Doug E 7 7 8 8
Engelchen Lara 8 8 8 7
eRIC 7 6 8 7
eTux 7 6 7 6
Freeman Porter 8 7 8 8
G.Croft 7 6 8 7
Gerty 8 6 7 7
Jay 8 7 8 8
JesseG 8 8 6 7
John 10 7 8 7
JohnC 9 6 7 6
Jose 7 7 8 8
Kristina 8 8 8 8
MichaelP 8 6 7 7
Miguel 8 7 8 8
Momster 8 6 7 6
Mulf 7 8 6 6
Necro 8 5 7 7
nerdfury 8 7 7 6
Orbit Dream 8 6 9 7
Phil 8 8 8 8
RaiderGirl 8 7 8 8
Ryan 7 7 8 8
Sash 7 5 7 7
Scottie 8 7 8 8
Sheevah 7 6 7 7
The Aussie Adventurer 8 7 7 7
Treeble 9 8 8 8
release date: 31-Aug-2002
# of downloads: 98

average rating: 7.29
review count: 30
review this level

file size: 22.51 MB
file type: TR4
class: Coastal

author profile(s):

Reviewer's comments
  • After picking up the trident it is not clear what to do, I don't know how the player would guess to backtrack to certain doors that decide to open upon approach after the trident is obtained.
  • The visuals are a bit on the crude side. Lighting is often flat, and the architecture is often simple, although the texturing is decent.
  • Although the gameplay is on the shorter side, it is filled with quite a few fun traps to avoid, including timed flame pillars, boulders, and spikes, often in various combinations.
  • There are a few interesting puzzle moments such as the target practice, the reflected room, and a game of follow the flames.
Time: 28 minutes | Difficulty: Medium | Rating: 7.25/10" - JesseG (02-Oct-2023)
"(8) Gameplay & Puzzles: This short level (~30 min) was heavily trap-focused, fairly linear, and a lot of fun to play. I would say it's medium difficulty. The builder had some fresh, innovative ideas, and I particularly enjoyed the tricky target shootout, the "chasing the flame" dark puzzle room, as well as the puzzle room where the player needs to look at the floor to determine the safe path. I thought it was a little weird that in the flame pillar room, flames would burn Lara even when she wasn't very close to them, but it's not a big deal. I also think the last 15% or so of the game is rather insubstantial gameplay wise, lacking creative "oomph" which was prevalent in the earlier stages. I'm probably not making much sense, using "oomph" as a word to describe TRLEs. (7) Enemies, Objects & Secrets: While there weren't many enemies, they were used effectively, particularly the 4 skeletons near the end of the game. One warthog did appear out of thin air, though. Given the amount of shotgun ammo that is provided, I was hoping there would be some kind of final fight, and the ending feels anti-climatic. Static object decor is minimal and needed more care, with the tree object being the only one I can remember. It's a shame that there were no secrets. (7) Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: While the gameplay was certainly the highlight, the atmosphere wasn't so strong, with some end of the world moments as well as many overly-boxy areas (particularly the starting beach). The room design is focused on being functional, with very little focus on being visually engaging or memorable. Music cues and cameras were used very well, however, particularly the immersive flybys. I do think there should have been a guidance camera after picking up the trident, though. (6) Lighting & Textures: This category needed more attention and care; misshapen textures, wallpapering and lack of any lighting effects were common. Overall, this was an enjoyable, creative level that I would recommend to any fans of trap-based gameplay. I was impressed by the creative ideas that the builder demonstrated and will check out his/her other levels, looking for ones that are more difficult. 8/7/7/6." - nerdfury (17-Feb-2021)
"Now we're talking! Following up on a solid but unexciting debut, this level presents itself rather more assured, offering interesting, inventive and reasonably challenging gameplay in a well-constructed Coastal environment that is admittedly functional rather than beautiful; but its functionalism benefits the flow of the gameplay in that it avoids empty spaces that serve no purpose and greatly reduces the amount of backtracking. Still, in the outside area the end of the world is within easy reach and always within view, and when you later look down on it from above, the map looks rather like screenshot of the Level Editor with Draw Doors on; so a few additional rooms to make it look less like a sandbox wouldn't have gone amiss. (I didn't happen upon the invisible walkway mentioned by other reviewers, as it was pretty clear where the gameplay would be taking place, and I didn't go out of my way to look for secrets; of which I believe there aren't any.) There's also this odd pillar with a (useless) shimmy crack near the beginning. Its function is that of a door, though why the builder chose to prevent early access to the area beyond by means of this pillar and a flipmap rather than by simply placing another door instead is a bit of a mystery to me (the limitations of the Coastal wad didn't prevent him from using a crowbar door as a regular door elsewhere).
Although you do eventually encounter a few skeletons, if you came here to blast loads of them off ledges or blow them up, you've come to the wrong place and would be better served with Rogério Silva's Chiclayo Caves. (There's also not much of a palace to be found in this level, it has to be said.) Enemies don't play a major role in general, and only some of the crocodiles pose any kind of threat. The level's focus is on traps and puzzles, and these the builder often designs quite ingeniously. From the underwater boulder chase near the beginning to the hectic escape sequence at the end, rollingballs figure prominently, and the builder makes excellent use them. There are also spikes and fires to avoid, a timed jumping sequence with a twist (involving a rollingball), a floor mirror puzzle (pre-TRNG, so not an actual mirror, but a very good approximation of one), and - particularly inventive, this one - a very dark room in which tiny flames light up to show you the way.
Only one of the puzzles can't be called a success: the target shooting is quite literally hit-and-miss, and once the spikes are activated in the room where it takes place, you're either stuck or dead. Either way, you'll have to reload (unless you figure out whichever trick it was that allowed José to continue regardless). Also, the level loses its steam somewhat during the repetitive task involving four pillars, four gems and four skeletons near the end, and the finale is abruptly cut short by the finish trigger; but otherwise it is a very enjoyable level with a high degree of originality despite the standard wad, and a huge leap upwards and onwards from the builder's debut." - Mulf (15-Feb-2021)
"This is definitely a fun coastal adventure if you like imaginative traps. I always enjoy the coastal atmosphere and this is nicely done. If you're a bit apprehensive that, being a Japanese builder, there may be difficult, pixel-perfect jumps to master, fear not – it's all very achievable (unlike some of his later levels). Recommended." - Jay (18-Jul-2019)
"This is a pretty entertaining little Coastal level. It's mainly trap-based rather than puzzle-based, but it's quite entertaining in this case since a couple of them have a couple of creative spins put on them (especially the flame blower pillar). There are skeletons in this level, but only at the very end and they can be fairly easily dispatched. The surroundings are also quite attractive, so it's worth a try." - Ryan (30-Dec-2017)
"Good work. Here we notice the progression from this author in a level basically based about avoiding all kind of traps: boulders, spikes, fires... There are some puzzles too, but easy to solve. I noticed a high invisible room above the initial lake Lara can walk on and also an invisible floor in the room with three stars. Unfortunately, there's not a gun with sight to shoot the blue target, and it's very difficult to shoot it without break the red one below, so I had to shoot both, activating the spikes and later use a trick to avoid them when climbing the ladder, but not so hard at all. The flybys haven't musics, but there's a good use of the cd tracks to create a good atmosphere. The first shotgun appeared too late, and it's totally unuseful 'cause the second one is enough to shoot the four skeletons in the final room. All in all, an entertaining and solid level worth to play. Recommended." - Jose (04-Aug-2016)
"This builder had a fairly prolific early career, with all his levels getting high marks. He dropped out of sight for a while until a recent BtB competition, and I'm grateful for these signs of renewed activity. This early level is fairly predictable but has some engaging moments that require good timing and dexterity, especially when you have to evade spikes and a boulder in close quarters. It's a bit short at 40 minutes, but it provides a good, scenic raid that wears well after all these years. Recommended for a nostalgic change of pace." - Phil (07-Jan-2015)
"First I thought, it must be called crocodile palace, because the first what one sees are a few crocodiles. But they stayed luckily only outdoors on the coast. Lara needs 4 stars which opens a trapdoor. Then with a key she opens the door to a big room where she must find four Horsemen Gem. Then the way to the requested artefact is free. Then Lara has to go only along two crocodiles and is again on the coast and at the level end. In the palace she has really found four skeletons. But with the shotgun they were no problem. Playing time was about 35 minutes. And these 35 minutes have been worthwhile, because the level was really good. There were some interesting riddles and a small time run was also not absent. If you search a good Coastal level, here you are exactly right." - Scottie (16-Jun-2009)
"This was a pretty decent level with plenty of action/gameplay. A lot of it relied on puzzle solving and trap avoiding. It was a well designed level based on a coastal, greek theme. Very enjoyable." - Necro (04-Jun-2009)
"A rather simple raid through coastal settings, that won't really stand out for anything looks-wise, which as said are traditional Coastal Ruins type of settings pretty much all the way through, but more for the tasks offered. While there's nothing overly extraordinary about them as well - they show early signs of the author's regular creative approaches I'm used to, like a boulder chasing Lara underwater, a timed fire run up a steep slope and some target practice among other things are what make up your quest for the 4 stars and 4 gems, that eventually allow you to get the Trident. There aren't that many enemies, and you're well supplied with goodies even for the few that are there, so adding that up to the tasks offered, makes this a relatively easy level to play, but that's of course hardly a fault, and creativity has always been a more deciding factor for me, and there's a fair share of it here! Of course the level isn't spotless - I unintentionally found an invisible path you could walk on above the first lagoon - and you can easily reach the end of the world in most outside areas, but that doesn't detract too much from the level's overall appeal - and I'd recommend it to anyone still willing to give levels based on the standard wads a go!" - eTux (20-Apr-2008)
"Level two from the author, which is a pretty good effort all round. One thing I loved about this level is that the puzzles were well constructed and a lot of thought had gone into them, well done. Have good puzzles meant that the game play was fun to play. A couple of problem arose when I played this level however. First of all, Lara could get outside the level and into the blackness outside, not very good. Textures were a bit bland and the scenery throughout this level was non existent. Apart from these couple of things, everything was fine. If I had to give this level a grade, I would give it a B, a distinction." - The Aussie Adventurer (03-Jun-2005)
"Great level right from the start. Very much a coastal one but not large white walls everywhere. I liked the intricacies of some of the things you have to do like swimming past the boulder at the start. Actually boulders feature prominently throughout the level. There is a clever underwater system to negotiate with boulders you have to try and trigger to get higher up past them. One nice water room has a tower to place four stars on and I loved how we get each star. Later another room with another kind of tower shows you have to get four gems and here I had great fun shooting skeletons off the top. I've played levels recently with underwater systems that were very complicated this one is not it's just fun all the way. I loved the dark room where tiny fires show the way across and the room with mirror effect floor. The ultimate aim is to get the trident which you leave with after yet another underwater swim to avoid more boulders and crocodiles back to the start of the level. Great fun." - CC (01-Nov-2004)
"Construction bugs; let's get that over and done with first shall we? The lagoon at the start would have worked much better as a Lake and would have avoided the silly 'end of the world' problems. There were a few other 'invisible platform' bugs elsewhere as well. Apart from those this was a thoroughly enjoyable always fun and surprising adventure. The outdoor scenery was well constructed and vivid; the challenges original; the pace extremely fast and the pleasure factor high. For 40 minutes of sheer enjoyment I honestly doubt this can be bettered." - Orbit Dream (12-Jun-2003)
"There are some really nice inventive ideas in this fast paced 40 minute level. You get a couple of timed runs a mirror room with a difference a fire trapped pillar climb and more boulder traps than you could poke a stick at. The latter of these things is what you are going to really remember about this level and with good reason they are just everywhere and they are used quite effectively. What I found a little unfortunate or maybe it is fortunate is that there are only 4 skeletons to be found and they are all in the one room where you can easily dispose of them without even thinking about it. I really would have liked a few more skeleton fights throughout to make the mostly easy tasks a little more challenging and a lot more thrilling but as this is it is still a lot of fun." - Sash (24-Dec-2002)
"This level is one of those that are not very original and have the classic coastal environment therefore considered not good. I disagree I have played lately some of those levels and I enjoyed them very much I could say even more than the levels that have new enemies objects and are so complex that make you frustrated at times. The beginning is simple a swim to find the first set of keys and a gem. After that the real fun begins I loved the little fires that showed me the right path to a crawlspace in a dark room the traps in each room are well done with spikes and boulders. All together you will need four stars five gems and you will have some skeletons wild boars and crocodiles chasing you in the process. I would say definitely play it it's a simple level but very enjoyable." - Kristina (23-Dec-2002)
"A great improvement in gameplay terms in comparison to this author's first level. A lot of puzzles here first you need to get four stars so you must solve four different puzzles in one out of these the fire would show your way - that was a big novelty for me! Then you go deeper and finally you will find skeletons in this so called 'Skeleton's Palace'. You have to collect four gems use them to flood a room and get the Trident then you simply have to go back to the beginning through another path - which was very fun too! I don't need to say it's worth a download do I?" - Treeble (21-Dec-2002)
"This is a typical coastal style level with all the skeletons crocs and boulders you'd expect so you won't see any new textures or enemies. What makes this a lot of fun though is the very clever puzzles that use fire tiles flame emitters some jumping and climbing spikes boulders targets to shoot and my favorite was the room with the great mirror effect. Overall a linear level with some very entertaining puzzles." - RaiderGirl (29-Nov-2002)
"This is a fairly short game but I found it a delight to play. Getting started is a little slow and there are one or two 'illegal' slopes about but after that it just gets better. I liked the boulder underwater trap-and a safe path through a room that was lit by lights. Excellent stuff. The camera work throughout was really good. This is one to download---very good." - Doug E (28-Nov-2002)
"A nice coastal level for traps- and puzzle-lovers with a small download of 0 81 MB you get a good custom level which lasts about one hour. A lot of falling stones spike- and fire-traps and not so much enemies are awaiting Lara. The level structure is well-thought-out the title is misleading no panic in the whole level are only 4 skeletons to kill. Some crocodiles are very hungry that's all with the enemies. There is a shooting stand to solve with the normal pistols the handicap is that you should hit only of from the three targets the other two are deadly. After finding the crowbar Lara has to visit 4 different areas searching for the 4 stars each area with different traps and puzzles. Recommended difficulty medium." - Freeman Porter (13-Oct-2002)
"The beginning didn't look that promising as it looked if the level wasn't put together properly as there was a major horizon problem and you even could swim to the end of the world. But once finding the cave my mind changed and I had an enjoyable time. Beware loads of boulder traps which had me reloading quite a few times. Apart from all the boulders there are spikes as well and a timed fire trap with boulders thrown in for good measure. Main goal is getting a blue gem 4 stars and then 4 gems again and Lara came away with the trident in her backpack. You'll find a shotgun and the enemies are no problem. That underwater gauntlet had me puzzled as I could dodge the boulders and luckily had some medpacks spare to outswim the crocs but Lara kept loosing heath till she surfaced although I had barely any health left I was glad I made it. 05-09-2002" - Gerty (16-Sep-2002)
"WOW! was all I could say when I finished this level as I really had a lot of fun playing this due to all the puzzles and traps I encountered on the journey you start off up high on a cliff with a nice view of the water below and then you make your way into the caves and then into several buildings and outside areas. In terms of traps and puzzles there is loads which keep you busy like underwater boulder chases timed trapdoors falling spikes a range of other spike and boulder traps invisible platforms and what I really loved was the dark death square room with the little flames (lighting up on the floor as you make your way through) point out the safe squares which I have never seen done before and was great! Mostly the textures and lighting was good except from the first outside area where there is several texture mistakes and bugs. The camera work was great and added a bit of more fun to the level as for enemies there was crocs and warthogs to kill your main objective was to collect 4 stars and then the 4 gems at the top of several stories of blocks with tricky jumps to get all four for the finale there was great swim with bolder and crocs to avoid. Some of the views were great the gameplay was fun and I recommend it highly!" - John (11-Sep-2002)
"A nicely built level with a lot of rolling balls some warthogs crocodiles and the obligate skeletons...A linear gameplay with beautiful rooms and known textures - I am not sure if I had a bug - I entered through a closed door and some doors never opened for me. I got back having a trident with me without use...After 40 minutes I got to the end - but it was something challenging to me and I saw good ideas like the mirror room..." - Miguel (11-Sep-2002)
"A rather good level with easy gameplay. Lots of traps - fire spikes but mostly boulders that comes down well in time so you can move away. Sometimes the flybys seem a little much since they show you what happens just close to where you are. The four skeletons you meet (I thought there would be many more...) can easily be shot over the edge with the shotgun. There was one room I just adored and it was when Lara entered a very dark room and one by one little flames came up - that was very cosy and I had to stop and turn around to see them again :) . All in all a fun level not to be played for a challenge." - G.Croft (08-Sep-2002)
"This was an enjoyable 50 minute trek through the coastal.tom which is not terribly difficult in the sense of brainwork but skills. You'll encounter a couple of mean-tempered crocodiles and 2 wild pigs as you strive to gain entrance to the palace. There are lots of boulder traps in this level on your quest for first a token and then 4 golden stars to be placed to further your adventure. To collect these stars you must perform some not terribly arduous tasks except for one particularly nasty timed run and jump involving fire blocks. You will then be sent on a quest to acquire 4 blue stones and face 4 pesky skeletons but as you are offered a shotgun twice they are not problems. A finishing swim dodging falling boulders and crocs nipping at you made for an enjoyable level but I felt the first offering by this author was the better." - Momster (06-Sep-2002)
"While this is the good old standard coastal WAD the author managed to create a rather enjoyable adventure here. It starts badly with a great view of the end of the world and an invisible door block but once you swan dive down it picks up a nice pace with boulder spike and firetraps a plenty a few crocodiles and boars and skeletons to battle and you will need to get 5 gems two gate keys a coin and four stars to proceed and capture your prize - a trident. A few nice camera angles and flybys thrown in for good measure and I particularly liked the room where the little fires light your way and the mirror effect with a difference. After a cool gauntlet swim with boulders and crocodiles you surface again and the level ends after 40 minutes of net gaming time." - Michael (03-Sep-2002)
"Do not expect a lot of skeletons in this level there are only 4 (plus some crocs and boars) you can easily get rid of with the 2 shotguns you can find. No what you can expect is a nice coastal level with some nice traps and puzzles in a bright and clear setting. At the beginning Lara is on a beach and must find a blue gem she will get in a small fortress after exploring a cave and a good timed trapdoor. Then the she must find 4 stars in 4 different and quick adventures. Some of the puzzles recall those in the Coastal ruins in TR4 but with a different twist a shooting puzzle a mirror puzzle (the mirror is the floor of the room) you have also a column to climb with fire burners a timed run and some good traps. Nothing really difficult but the puzzles are well done and somewhat original. I should have preferred the quest for the 4 gems at the end a little more various though. A pleasant level to play and I should want it to be longer (40 minutes)." - eRIC (02-Sep-2002)
"A nice Coastal Level. It is Lara's task here to find all puzzle pieces among them 4 golden stars 5 blue gems..... One should better pay attention here as there are plenty of traps. Textures were standard and not applied so well but still sometimes the atmosphere was good. The riddles are different in each area once firetraps rolling balls diving. Something of everything. I did not find any secrets or did I miss them ;) ? There is only the shotgun to find but it appears twice. The opponents were only crocodiles and skeletons. All in all the Level is recommended." - Engelchen Lara (02-Sep-2002)
"This is a level of the coastal style and although Lara has to find four stars and four blue gems the level is based more on traps than on puzzles. There are (timed) firetraps spike traps and rolling balls the latter are a bit overstrained for my taste they come rolling wherever you go. There are only a few wild boars and crocs to get rid off near the end you finally meet four skeletons. The coastal-like texturing is okay lighting too no flares needed in any place. Rather short level but for the use of those traps not that easy in some spots." - Sheevah (01-Sep-2002)
"I didn't expect much when I opened my eyes to this coastal world as the setting is very basic and it doesn't inspire confidence when you can swim to the end of the world right at the start. However as this quest for the trident unfolds you'll encounter some good moments and thrills a plenty along the way. There is one timed hopping sequence that took me a while to master a very innovative boulder trap that involves spikes and shooting the four skeletons from the pillars is great fun. It all climaxes in a frantic underwater gauntlet where you find yourself dodging crocodiles and boulders while looking for an exit. I was really disappointed when this 192 room level ended after only 40 minutes." - Dimpfelmoser (01-Sep-2002)
"This was a very fun level! Nothing tremendously new as far as appearance goes and I was sort of surprised to do a swandive into an invisible ledge early on but the gameplay puzzles and traps were challenging enough without being frustrating. Good use of boulders (inside) and spikes. The chase through to the finish was a good ending for this very workmanlike and enjoyable level." - JohnC (01-Sep-2002)