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Old 23-07-16, 19:13   #211
kacpy
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Originally Posted by sheepman23 View Post
I mean, I don't actually believe that, I am just blindly speculating different things that could have happened in between ToX and The Floating Islands, because it is not really clear.
Guess I myself don't find passing through a 'mysterious' archway in The temple of xian (next to a dagger that supposedly holds great power) into a floating islands realm that surprising. ;p

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Old 23-07-16, 23:16   #212
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You say it this level has no nitpicks — but how about, it's really creepy! I have to admit I always greet this level with a huge sense of trepidation!

I didn't know about that invisible platform, I must check it out.

As to where it is, the explanation was that there are some islands in China which (in certain weathers I think, perhaps fog banks rolling around them) really look like they are floating in the air, I think people who saw them thought they had caught a real glimpse of heaven.

So I think this is some heavenly realm that Bartoli has been transported to between his death and rebirth.
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Old 24-07-16, 08:25   #213
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As to where it is, the explanation was that there are some islands in China which (in certain weathers I think, perhaps fog banks rolling around them) really look like they are floating in the air, I think people who saw them thought they had caught a real glimpse of heaven.

So I think this is some heavenly realm that Bartoli has been transported to between his death and rebirth.
I've read quite a few interesting theories regarding what The Floating Islands level is supposed to be. I've come across this one quite a few times, and I do believe it was the "official" explanation.

Quite a while ago, I came across a web site (I wish I could find it now so I could provide a link to it) that said something about there being myths of "voids" being present inside Chinese temples. I haven't been able to verify if this is an actual myth or not, as there doesn't seem to be much information online about the topic (can anyone knowledgeable about Chinese myths and legends verify this?), but if such a myth does exist, then The Floating Islands could possibly be an amalgam of the two ideas: a void inside the Temple of Xian that was inspired by the real-life optical illusion of islands floating in mid-air in certain types of weather.

Anyway, fantastic review of what is easily the creepiest level (and one of the most difficult levels) in the Tomb Raider series. I agree with everything you wrote, from the jumping sequences to the enemies to the color scheme and level design. As a side note, I believe I plummeted to my death approximately nine bajillion times during my first playthrough! Add in the Xian Warriors with the spears and it was more like ten bajillion deaths in total.

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Old 24-07-16, 12:55   #214
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Gosh I'd reeeeally really like to see a remade version of Floating Islands.

Looking forward to your next review!
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Old 24-07-16, 20:15   #215
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The comments are all strongly appreciated, thanks guys!
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Old 25-07-16, 06:38   #216
indigo15
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Gosh I'd reeeeally really like to see a remade version of Floating Islands.

Looking forward to your next review!
We may actually get to see a remade Floating Islands someday! Nicobass is currently hard at work on his Tomb Raider: The Dagger of Xian remake, so it may just happen! Obviously, we're still at least a few years away from the game being finished, but what he's done so far looks very promising!
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Old 25-07-16, 15:22   #217
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We may actually get to see a remade Floating Islands someday! Nicobass is currently hard at work on his Tomb Raider: The Dagger of Xian remake, so it may just happen! Obviously, we're still at least a few years away from the game being finished, but what he's done so far looks very promising!
Oh yes I've seen that. Can't wait to see his final product! It looks professionally done! I'm amazed.
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Old 25-07-16, 22:54   #218
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It felt pretty out there for sure. It is really interesting just by the fact that you are thrown into this otherworld like area with no explanation.

Not sure if it tops ToX and BM, but it was a wonderful bizarre level. Enemy wise, it was a bit cool seeing some of the flying swordsmen coming out from the darkness.

Once again TR2's second half is just godly.
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Old 26-07-16, 04:23   #219
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Some flying enemies in the next game would be cool.
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Old 26-07-16, 16:57   #220
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Floating Islands is a great level and it totally deserves the high score. As much as I love this level though, it still doesn't top the experience that Temple of Xian gave. To me though, Floating Islands is one of the most intriguing TR experience in the whole series. I love how mysterious and otherworldly the entire level is. It feels like Lara is in some kind of purgatory trial to see if she worthy of the Dagger of Xian. The details in the level are breath-taking - walls made of fire, jade-colored structures, and the creepy architecture makes this level a haunting experience. I love the inclusion of the Xian Warriors too as I feel that every TR game should have some kind of supernatural enemy. They are by far the most creepy enemy in the series. Especially the ones that float in the air. Unless you have a keen eye, they might catch you by surprise when you first see them.

Floating Islands is the perfect challenge and a great follow-up to Temple of Xian. The one thing that it wins over ToX is that the enemies add a creepy extra touch to the level. Even the Fiama Nera priests that throw the daggers are pretty creepy too. I would love some backstory to the level though and why Lara is seemingly in another dimension of some kind. I might do a research project one day to understand the inspiration behind ToX and Floating Islands.
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