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Old 16-04-14, 03:02   #171
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Level 11 - Obelisk of Khamoon

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you... The Most Pointless Room in Tomb Raider History.

City of Khamoon's successor, in many ways, is an expansion upon the elements established in the first Egyptian venue. The color scheme and scenery of the Obelisk of Khamoon are very much similar to the City. Anxiety Mummy© was introduced in the predecessor, but this level gives us many opportunities to confront the mummies head-on (and often times, these encounters are quite intense). And more than anything, the Obelisk of Khamoon contains a grand puzzle that basically links all three of the Egyptian levels together. Whereas the City of Khamoon was simple yet serene, the Obelisk of Khamoon is complex.

Except for that first room... it's a bit of a head-scratcher.

The first section of Obelisk of Khamoon features one of the common TR "peek behind the random passageways to see if there's anything worthwhile in them" features. In this case, most of the passages mean more dead panthers and more jumping and shooting, except for one where we obtain a Sapphire Key and go swimming with a crocodile.

Mommy, can we bring him home?!

The central obelisk chamber of this level is a very striking and memorable room to me, for several reasons.

First, the scale. Granted, this isn't quite as impressive as the vertical mayhem of St. Francis Folly, but the Obelisk of Khamoon version feels... more welcoming, oddly enough. The pool of water at the bottom catches Lara if she falls. The greenery and the vibrant paint colors along the walls give an edgy feel to what would be an otherwise boring room (*glares at TRA*).

I also appreciate the multitude of paths available to the player. From the moment you insert the Sapphire Key into the doorway, you're already given two paths to proceed on. From the area with the drawbridges, it's perfectly easy to jump around to different areas and pretty much do whatever you want, when you want to. The goal is simply to attain all of the trinkets... there are no boundaries on how you're supposed to go about getting them.

Finally, the antechambers surrounding the obelisk manage to pull off various climbing exercises that all feel different than other ones. Some also include some heart-pounding encounters with Anxiety Mummy©.

God unleashes an 11th plague on the Egyptians: Lara's pistols.

Speaking of Anxiety Mummy©... damn were the designers being mean in this level! There are two circumstances where mummy encounters can be completely avoided yet are incredibly easy to fall into since a random hole or the ground level of a chamber looks totally harmless, yet triggers the appearance of two bumbling creatures (which can also potentially give you a heartattack...).

At this point, I'm pretty much going to go into a picture review until the very end.

Hey, it's a dark hole with a slope leading downward! This looks totally welcoming!

Not wanting to spend life without one another, Patrick Panther drinks the poison and Penny Panther gruesomely stabs herself. (Well, not really. This is actually just a lame Romeo & Juliet reference.)

It's the ultimate showdown between Lara's Shotgun© and Anxiety Mummy©.

I'm on top of the world!!!!! Well, actually it's just an obelisk.

Lara indulges in another Jumbo Tootsie Roll after a near-death encounter with none other than the one and only Anxiety Mummy©.


By the way, I totally never noticed the two Magnum Clip pickups on the ledge for like nine years...

The culmination of the Obelisk of Khamoon brings us right back where we started at the beginning of Egypt; the cavern with the mini-obelisk and the sphinx. And ta-da! The newly found items fit in the little slots on each side of the obelisk. The symbolism is really well-used here.


A lot of what I wanted to say about the Obelisk of Khamoon can't really be expressed in words, so I just used pictures to get my point across.

This level shines from top to bottom. It possesses some of TR1's best aesthetic qualities in its vibrant and diverse color palette. It contains a central chamber (which often signals a successful level) that branches off into several others, and the reason why this is so great is not because of the structure itself, but how much freedom the player has to traverse this structure. I could play this level five times and come up with five different ways to go about collecting the trinkets.

Gameplay-wise, it has a subtle sort of intensity. When you fall to the floor in a room and get bombarded by a pair of mummies, it's not because you expected them. Speaking of encounters with the infamous Anxiety Mummy©; whereas the previous level offered some degree of hand-holding with the bandaged beasts, it's much more difficult to shoot away at the beasts from safety in this excursion.

All of this together makes for a very grand central level of the TR1 Egyptian trilogy. Personally, I feel that it goes rather underestimated in the whole scheme of things. Obelisk of Khamoon easily makes my Top 10 for the entire TR series, and I honestly don't ever see that changing...

Rating - 10/10
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Old 16-04-14, 09:23   #172
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^Another awesome review Sheepman!
I recently replayed all the Egypt levels for the first time in years and was blown away by how good they are! Just pure genious level design and beautiful textures all over!
Looking forward to your review of my favourite Egypt level; Sanctuary of the Scion!
Lud's Gate = masterpiece level
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Old 16-04-14, 11:30   #173
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Just spent the last hour reading this thread. Loved it! Great reviews and best of all, your captions are hilarious. Made my evening. Now off to bed to dream of Lara and TR1
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Old 16-04-14, 16:42   #174
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Originally Posted by TRBabe View Post
Just spent the last hour reading this thread. Loved it! Great reviews and best of all, your captions are hilarious. Made my evening. Now off to bed to dream of Lara and TR1
I'm glad! Thanks for reading.

@ Trenton - Sanctuary of the Scion will more than likely be up this weekend. (Maybe even tonight or tomorrow if I get enough time...)
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Old 16-04-14, 23:06   #175
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I like your reviews sheepman. Keep up the great work.
TR's 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 1 gold, 2 gold, 3 gold, 4 times level the best
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Old 19-04-14, 23:27   #176
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It took me some time to read this whole thread but it worth it. Amazing reviews sheep. Keep it up.
Clown Movement 2019
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Old 21-04-14, 14:48   #177
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great work as usual sheep!
‎my first pick was Jack Bauer, but he is currently unavailable and overqualified
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Old 21-04-14, 23:08   #178
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I like reading your reviews! Keep it up.
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Old 22-04-14, 09:01   #179
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Great reviews!

I love Egypt section. When you're not dealing with enemies it feels so.. calm? Not sure how to put it, but there's something charming about it. The colours are great and the level design has some very clever and well thought out spots. Looking forward to Sanctuary of the Scion.
My signature was removed because it was vulgar. Now I can't choose my own till March 2014. If I edit this one I will be suspended till March 2014.
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Old 22-04-14, 15:23   #180
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Loving reading through all of these Great detail in the reviews.
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