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08.21.2021

DJ's TRLE Corner: AOD

The sixth installment of the Tomb Raider mainline was Angel of Darkness, and "dark" is really the keyword.

A screenshot of custom level made with Tomb Raider's level editor called Midnight in Paris

Feder - Midnight in Paris

This gloomy vibe spreads outside of Paris, into almost every depiction of a dystopian city built in the level editor after the TR4 period.

A screenshot of custom level made with Tomb Raider's level editor called Dark City

Lima - Dark City

But AoD was complicated enough to start several trends in custom levels, One of them is museum levels, so many it's hard not to stumble upon them, so we talked about Delca's remake of Louvre Galleries, Bojrkraider's Budapest Museum and LePerk's Rome-styled Art History already. An example I didn't mention is Vinraider's Vatican Museum:

A screenshot of custom level made with Tomb Raider's level editor called Vatican Museum

vinraider - Vatican Museum

As usually, some of those levels also use these landmarks as a gateway to what lies below.

A screenshot of custom level made with Tomb Raider's level editor called The Dig

Dhama - Retro AoD - The Dig (Demo)

A screenshot of custom level made with Tomb Raider's level editor called Archaeological Dig

burt_ie - Archaeological Dig

Of course when the mood gets too apocalyptic for Lara, Kurtis steps in as a veteran in fighting the evil. Make sure you play those levels at midnight. A crucifix and a bottle of holy water might be handy as well...

A screenshot of custom level made with Tomb Raider's level editor called Guardian of Diablo

AngelOfDarkness - The Guardian of Diablo

A screenshot of custom level made with Tomb Raider's level editor called Fire and Ice

kevindatsun - Kurtis Trent - Fire and Ice

Marcos is that one builder who divided his work equally, making 6 levels with Kurtis and 6 with Lara. Those are more like horror comedy and note you will need to think really out of the box, always for an unexpectedly creative solution.

A screenshot of custom level made with Tomb Raider's level editor called The Eggs

Marcos - The Eggs

Since much of original content was never used, we get more supplements, plot fillers and alternate stories for this episode than for the other ones - like this level where Lara meets Kurtis in a sequel to AoD:

A screenshot of custom level made with Tomb Raider's level editor called Christmas in Prague

AgentXP07 - Christmas in Prague

Or this revival attempt of Castle Kriegler:

A screenshot of custom level made with Tomb Raider's level editor called Castle Kriegler

Ruu11 - Castle Kriegler - Part 1

Or this alternate route from Werner's apartment into Carvier's flat.

A screenshot of custom level made with Tomb Raider's level editor called A cold, wet day in Paris

sonnyd83 - A cold, wet Day in Paris

Speaking of Werner, a couple of levels has appeared to revolve around a murder scenario. One of them became a grandfather of all One Room Challenge levels.

A screenshot of custom level made with Tomb Raider's level editor called The Chamber

Michum - The Chamber

Another one ports a well-known board game "Cluedo" into the 3D world but sets it in a manor and a crypt to not lose the feel of Tomb Raider:

A screenshot of custom level made with Tomb Raider's level editor called Shalebridge Murder Mystery

Richard Lawther - Shalebridge Murder Mystery

In some of these, Werner is still alive and Lara is into interrupting his plans in her traditional fashion. Here she tries to break into Werner's mansion, but he's wary of this and tries to outdo Winston in making her life difficult:

A screenshot of custom level made with Tomb Raider's level editor called Werner's Mansion

tweetygwee - Werner's Mansion

But of AoD legacy in TRLE, the texturepacks are the most versatile and long-living. Never meant to be used with classic grid system, they always appear fresh. Among the most used ones are those from The Bio Research Facility.

A screenshot of custom level made with Tomb Raider's level editor called Hydroponics

Titak - Hydroponics

A screenshot of custom level made with Tomb Raider's level editor called Hell's Arboretum

Titak - Hell's Arboretum

Sometimes you see a blend which doesn't derive from a specific level but tries to mix little bits from various sources in order to create a feeling of unrooted, fresh, distinct world. And yes this is vinraider again because half of levels included in his flagship project are heavily rooted in AoD:

A screenshot of custom level made with Tomb Raider's level editor called Templars' Library

vinraider - Templars' Library

In the end, let's not forget about versatility and put a spotlight on one of the most versatile pillars AoD has supplied us with. It blends into almost every scenario and it's very likely going to be used forever.

A screenshot of custom level made with Tomb Raider's level editor called Symbol of the World

Max - Symbol of the World

The last level also has a sequel which loops us back to Paris. And mind you will probably do several loops like this, since there are many more AoD-inspired levels, including those still in the works. See you the next month :))

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