Hi Raiders! April from Classic Croft here ( classiccroft.tumblr.com )
Today I’m gonna be writing a small review/recap on a new TRLE I came across yesterday, Dreaming Into The Past.
I’m sure most of you know, but for those of you that don’t, TRLE – Tomb Raider Level Editor – was released alongside Tomb Raider Chronicles on PC back in 2000. Since then, thousands of incredible custom levels have been released by TR fans around the world. People have been ridiculously creative with their levels, even going on to create Next Gen patches, including their own textures, animations, level objects, music, voice-overs…even additional moves for Lara! I’m always blown away by how much people have created and how advanced some of the levels are and it’s so awesome that people are still creating with the Classic TR engine all these years later.
Right, enough of my rambling…onto the level. This one was created by LoreRaider, with the story described as follows:
“Lara finally, after an exhausting day, returns home and can finally sleep, but even dreams leave her alone! Lara dreams of going back in time, when she decided to travel for her third adventure, in India, but this time, it was not like many years ago. It seems that she cannot get out of the dream until she finds the two statues scimitars to awake and kill them, killing also the spirit that keeps Lara imprisoned in the dream. Will she be able to kill the spirit and wake up from this nightmare?”
The level starts with a cutscene of sleeping Lara
and takes us into a dream of 1998…
The level is reminiscent of TR3’s India levels, albeit somewhat darker.
Lara’s aim is to find 2 Indra keys as well as 2 Statue Scimitars, and later a Skull Key as she makes her way through the jungle. Various goodies are scattered around the level, I found medipacks, flares, shotgun shells and shotgun, uzis and a desert eagle. There are 5 secrets in all, of which I found 4.
There’s some wonderful use of texture and lighting; I particularly like the greenery and sky!
There is a multiple lever puzzle in order to open an important door, as well as a boulder trap, a few tricky jumps and neatly hidden crevices.
Upon entering a temple-like structure, Lara discovers 4 Shiva statues…
I didn’t see how long I took on the level, but it took much longer than it should have since I got confused about whether I’d missed any levers and lost track of where I was due to back-tracking throughout the level. There was also a really sneaky way of reaching a particular lever which took me a long time to figure out!
The use of ornate textures was great and really made it feel like a shrine or temple area.
The underwater maze was fantastic and, although there were plenty of air-pockets for Lara to resurface in, I found myself getting stuck on floors and entryways occasionally, resulting in her drowning (oops…)
Not long after the underwater maze, the game would crash and go back to the title screen, so I’d thought I’d finished the level when I was only about half way through!
Eventually I got it to work and after a trap sequence akin to one in TR2, Lara swims through to some ruins, which she needs to scale in order to pull a lever for…a timed door. I hate timed runs but eventually got through it with a few seconds to spare. Great use of music during the lever run.
Once through the timed doors, there’s a spike pit and some buttons to press to open a door above.
We are treated to these beautiful views, as well as the company of some tigers and vultures (and piranhas, if you fall into certain parts of the water…)
This clever little room is hiding behind the waterfall…note the desert eagle.
After making our way though a cavern filled with jumps and a bit of monkey-swinging, leading to spikes, a jump-puzzle, another lever and coming cross more vultures and tigers, we find a doorway, hidden by a pushable block.
We are also treated to a room full of quicksand!
After making our way through the doorway and down some slopes, we find these platforms and a skull key to open a door above.
Outside, we come across some Shiva statues…coincidentally missing their scimitars…Lara places them in the arms of the statues, reanimating them.
Taking shelter occasionally in the doorway, she shoots them until they perish, opening the doorway opposite – the level end…and the end of Lara’s dream (nightmare)
Pros: Great cutscene, use of textures, weather effects and music, great atmosphere, great Classic-feel.
Cons: Dark in places, use of levers gets repetitive.
Anyone who loves TR3’s India levels should give this one a go. I thought it was great! Well done LoreRaider!
I’d give it a 4/5 overall.
Thankyou everyone who read through my first level re-cap! I’m admittedly not as good at describing levels as some people would be, but I thought it’d be fun to give it a go nonetheless.
All views and opinions are my own.
Have you played Dreaming Into The Past? If so, what do you think? Let us know in the comments!
If you haven’t played it, you can find it here: http://trle.net/sc/levelfeatures.php?lid=3027
Thanks for reading!
April Croft can be found collecting various Classic TR goodies when she isn’t working or sleeping. She first fell in love with Lara as a very young child when her Dad brought home a Playstation…needless to say, a life-long obsession started. April runs Classic Croft and is the creator of Croft Confessions – if you have a Tomb Raider related confession to make, or want to tell us how your Lara stories, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!