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Thief 2 fan missions and campaigns

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by SCO, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    The first one that springs to mind is "The Sun Within and the Sun Without", but thats' more unreal than surreal. You start inside what appears to be a mine, but once you get outside you'll see what I mean. Oh, and try not to stand too long in one place while outside... :) To complete this FM to its fullest, you'll actually have to do some out-of-game-metagaming.

    Earlier I mentioned "Rebellion of the Builder". That certainly qualifies for the "surreal" tag, but it's hard, cheesy and unforgiving.

    A recent FM tried something new, called "Fables of the Penitent Thief". This changes Thief into something more akin to a Dizzy game, with colourful graphics, cheery music, interacting with NPCs and puzzles straight out of old adventure games.

    I remember one called "The Acid Trip". Title speaks for itself. Expert difficulty on that one is nail-bitingly hard.

    There was also a FM collabaration project called "The Chain Project". Several modders each were given a section of the level to work with. The result was a very bizarre mish-mash of areas, objectives and difficulty.
     
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  2. Calem Ravenna Scholar

    Calem Ravenna
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    "Nightmares" and "The Elevator Mission" (despite the title, it's a campaign) were both surreal-ish if I remember correctly. Both were also quite infamous for their difficulty back in the day.

    "Ganbatte, Thief-san!" was a strange mission, but haven't played it enough to say.

    "Left For Dead" also springs to mind, but I'm not quite sure if it's surreal/weird in the slightest. Same goes for "Lord Fishkill's Curse".

    "Bloodsport" and "Children of the Future" had some weirdness, but they were both quite crude and I don't remember if they were really that weird overall.

    "Right up there in the mountains" might qualify, although it's more of a horror FM.

    There is a mission/campaign that had a black-and-white color scheme, but I can't remember its title.

    Also, "Osama Bites The Dust" :smug:


    Again, this needs some confirmation.
     
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  3. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    The Japanese missions are surreal by default. I never made much sense of them, and never bothered to play them through.

    "Relic: Left For Dead" is weird, but not surreal. You wake up dead as a skeleton rising up from your damp grave out in the swamps. There were some other neat features, like how you use your head as the Scouting Orb.

    I don't recognize the other FMs mentioned, but I do remember that b/w FM. At least, one such FM. Several of them copied it since, but I can't recall there being a whole campaign like that. If only I could remember the name...
     
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  4. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
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    I was playing the first "A Night in Rocksbourg", expecting it to be just another nice and well-done city theft mission, and found it funny that the mechanist factory looked so rusty considering how they usually were clean-looking in Thief II, when, after certain mission objectives were accomplished in a place and I'd rather not spoil, suddenly:

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    That part is epicly creepy and scary. Modern game designers, take note.

    Just you wait 'till you get to A Night In Rocksbourg 3... :twisted:
     
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  6. Cassidy Arcane

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    I discovered the hard way there are mostly three kinds of FMs for Thief games, quality aside:

    1) Those that follow mostly or totally the classical formula of the original games. Basically the ones featuring nonlinear mission design, lots of loot with usually at least two different approaches to reach an objective. T2x: Shadows of the Metal Age is probably the best example as a whole of this.

    2) Those that feel like Gabriel Knight 3, with hunt for secret switches, sometimes located in completely illogical places, replacing pixel hunting and obscure and linear puzzles that many times the author left no hint about and force you to do a very specific set of actions in sequence to be able to reach new areas. Too many examples unfortunately to list.

    3) Those that are completely fucked up and/or cheesy that the author most likely just did for the lulz and thus could deliver anything. The Acid Trip falls here.

    Because the idea of an entire level within an airship looked as an unique concept with great potential(the train level in T2x being an example of something unique done right IMO), I decided to try a FM series called "Thief the Flying Age".

    It was somewhat of a disappointment and made me conclude I better not try anything not mentioned in this thread again. So I'll put it here for you what it is all about:

    The first mission is just a short introductory mission. I'm no graphics whore but the Hangar outside felt a bit dry. I searched for a covert means of getting inside the airship which is the goal of the mission, only to realize that there is none and that it features one of the things I most hate in games: forced "you got caught and now must break out of jail" moments.

    The second mission starts in the jail. It is a plain breakout involving luring a rat to bring you the key with cheese and then moving through the gutters of a morgue. Then it came to what seemed to be a typical mansion robbery part, only a bit smaller compared to the usual. It was here that I raged hard about this FM. Why? Because it is a very extreme case of the #2 kind of Thief FM. One that made me certain I'll never dare to try "A King's Story" which was mentioned here.

    First there are eight secrets in this level. Rather than optional bonuses with extra loot and/or shortcuts that allow you to bypass guards like in most Thief levels, you're forced to find all of them to progress. I've managed to find most of them without help, but eventually I got stuck because of one particularly obscure switch. Also you're forced to find a ghost, kill a person that can only be killed with a different sword split into three fragments that can be found only in secret areas, and then(the worst offender), bring the body of this NPC to a very specific area which there is absolutely no hints about.

    And then you get to a lovable Zork-grade puzzle that also requires you to find several secrets and use 5 combinations of 3 symbols each at a correct order to solve. After all this fuss(which I ran to ttlg forums so I could just get over it), then the level ends in a cool but ultimately gimmicky segment where you take-off in a very steampunk-ish biplane to reach(at last) for the airship itself.

    From here, then, the rest of the FM is very easy to describe: the author seemingly realized the second mission was too hard, and suddenly decided to made the rest of the pack way too easy. Most of the difficulty of the pack comes not from the real core of a Thief level that is sneaking and looting, but from finding switches and solving obscure puzzles, and after the second mission it became mostly a piece of cake.

    It would've been far better if instead of several relatively small missions, including some that are merely gimmicks, the author had created a single one in a "Flying town" sized airship, an entire facility and its surroundings(like the Mechanist level with the Submarine in Thief II) plus the airship, or even along a closely-knit formation of aircrafts with ropes connecting them as radical new take on "thieves highway" styled levels.

    It was an interesting idea but unfortunately the author decided to focus on elements that aren't really the core of Thief gameplay, ending with levels that, with the artificial difficulty from forced linear events removed, were completely piece of cake.

    tl;dr don't bother with FMs that lack a "Unkillable Cat's Seal of Approval".
     
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  7. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    The Flying Age is made by Sterlino, an Italian FM designer that is somewhat known at TLLG. The only really clever thing I've seen him do with the Dark engine is create Portal arrows that come pretty close to the portals used in... well, Portal. He also made the aforementioned Flying Age and a couple of other FMs called Dragon's Claw, IIRC. These are big sprawling FMs with a lot of thought and effort put into them BUT... they follow the #2 formula mentioned by Cassidy. I tried playing Part 1 once and came across a Death Trap almost right off the bat (don't try to swim in the river) but the real kick in the nuts was the shop.

    Yes, there's a fully functional in-game shop in this FM, but the problem is that you start off with almost no equipment and must make your purchases with loot. Sounds alright, until you realise that there's also a loot objective and a fixed amount of loot available, so you must decide very wisely what to buy. And that's when the realization hits you that you have absolutely NO IDEA what gear you will need for the mission. This can only lead to two consequences: A massive bout of Trial and Error (plus molesting the Save/Reload feature like it's going out of style) to slowly crawl your way through the mission, or just give up outright and consult a walkthrough. Just to make things even more annoying, there are difficulty-based obstacles, like a secret door in a house that cannot be opened in any way on the hardest setting. I actually had to find that out by looking that up on TTLG. That's when my tolerance for this FM ran out. I haven't even tried the second part, I don't see a reason why I should based on what I've seen.

    I also had a go at the Flying Age, and I liked various parts about the second mission in Flying Age. But I agree with Cassidy that it got really tedious by the end, constantly running back and forth to solve the FM and then needing a Special Weapon to kill an uppity servant!
     
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  8. poocolator Erudite

    poocolator
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    Started playing A night in Rocksbourg: Part 1, yesterday.
    Today, found cellar key; thought, "finally! nice"

    ...

    "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU--"

    quit game. To be continued.

    :)
     
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  9. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
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    That part is a tribute to a certain game ghostdog recently did a Let's Play of, and it is not the only part of A night in Rocksbourg FMs that nods to it. The solution is to stay calm and run around the tight space in circles to avoid being hit, while something will be opening to allow an escape route.

    A Night in Rocksbourg features some borrowed Silent Hill SFX that fit perfectly. Not that the original Thief SFX is lacking in creepy ambience either.
     
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  10. poocolator Erudite

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    I found a dark corner of the cell to hide in, but didn't last long. I had to run in circles while the gate opened.
    I'm glad that the entire sequence didn't last long. I don't do too well with scares. I'm playing part two now. Damn I love this shit.
     
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  11. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
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    Nothing I've seen so far can really be compared to one T1 level which happens to be my favorite: Constantine's Mansion. Maybe it is for the better because nothing could ever compare to this kind of "Eh, another mansion, just tighter security" and then reaching somewhere that involves swimming in a sink and using rope arrows to climb a chair, and having multiple rooms with fucked up orientation and all the wtf factor of that level.

    Is there any FM that similar in atmosphere, feel and style to Constantine's Mansion?
     
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  12. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    Several, but the only one I can recall (and recommend) at the moment is Memoirs of a Dead God.
     
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  13. Cassidy Arcane

    Cassidy
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    I'd like to recommend Eclipsed unless you hate haunted missions. It is much better than that "Rose Cottage" that was mentioned earlier in this thread, better than Deceptive Perceptions in the scare factor, and also tougher and pretty much one of the scariest FMs out there. It involves exploring and looting an abandoned town after some unknown disaster involving unknown horrors that has nothing to do with zombies this time.

    Initially it involves only exploration and looting, finding some written clues on what happened to to city, and it has really that tense climate similar to the one in A Night in Rocksbourg 2, or, in this case, specially as it involves a mysteriously abandoned town, Silent Hill.

    The only real, significant problem with this FM is that it is really resource intensive but I heard applying the widescreen patch for Thief can improve this. Another nuisance is that it requires you to look around carefully(or if you're cheap like me, search for spoilers in ttlg.com). Some important items tend to be not really in plain sight, specially late in this mission.

    Also, I am trying to not spoil much, but it features some really tough enemies that have a very peculiar ability to make it even tougher to avoid or backstab them.

    One more thing, I tried "Rebellion of the Builder", and trying to play it ghosting is pure masochism, but it is playable if you go blackjacking everything that can be put down and backstabbing everything the mission objectives don't restrict you from killing. It is like those crazy Doom WADs and speaking about Doom, on normal difficulty it plays like a Doom with medieval-ish weapons and stealth.

    Mission 1 "Yo Dawg, we herd u like swords so we put a sword on your sword so you can shoot swords while you slash " was cheesy, but not as bad as what followed later, and alone, it can be fun for a seasoned Thief player as long as you aren't too set on fulfilling optional Goals.

    Mission 2 was set in a forest. It is considerably less difficult than the first mission featured by moments like having to fight or evade 4 treebeasts simultaneously because there was no place with enough shadows to avoid being seen, but had some obscure and difficult to find things.

    Mission 3 has Garrett going to da Hood and facing Mechanists with revolvers after using a time machine, and in one segment you'll have to use a noisemaker arrow to draw them to a dark corner beneath a viaduct so you can put them down, but what really annoyed me were the obscurely located keys.

    Mission 4 needs not comments other than:

    Show Spoiler
    Features Cyberdemon Cybertrickster as a final boss, and you can't defeat him only using stealth


    It is like a rollercoaster. There is no difficulty balance, no balance at all, actually, and sometimes you'll be in awe while others you'll be raging about it. Were it not for the unbalanced difficulty curve, cheese and
    Show Spoiler
    Forced boss battle
    , it could have been one of the best FM packs in Thief 2. As it is, it is decent if you have enough patience.
     
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  14. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    You pretty much nailed it there, though I find it strange that since you went so far in describing it, that you skipped on mentioning the fifth mission. But the term "scripted events + unkillable enemies" goes a long way towards describing that one.

    I'm trying to remember what Eclipsed was like, I recall at least two other similar FMs involving abandoned towns, one of them being "Rodamill", the second part of an unfinished trilogy called the Greyfeather Gems. That FM will make you think Cthulhu came and threw up all over the town, it's all... green. It's worth playing, except for the fact that there's no follow-up... :/

    It's been very quiet on the FM front lately, with only one real FM release lately which was a Amnesia: Dark Descent homage. Then suddenly the Thief Reloaded contest rolled round, where the goal is to use an original Thief mission as the base for a new mission. One of the most original ones has you playing as a Haunt named Haunty von Joinus (get it?) who's trying to escape from the Hammerite Seminar. Worth a play just for the "WTF?" factor.

    EDIT: Re-played Eclipsed until I remembered it. Man, how could I forget this one? It's everything you say, and more. I faintly remember some really harrowing moments playing this one, and the ending is a bit twisted. The suspense build-up in this one is unmatched, but its flaws start to show towards the end where critters appear out of nowhere... conveniently exactly where you need to be. Add this one to the "must-play" list, folks.
     
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  15. Calem Ravenna Scholar

    Calem Ravenna
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    Thanks for recommending Eclipsed. Finished it just now and I've got to say it's the best 'pure' horror FM I've played. Outstandingly atmospheric and tense without relying on any cheap scares like they usually do. Of course, it went downhill after the enemies were actually encountered, but the translucent haunts still provided a bit of tension.
     
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  16. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    So, any more recommendations for missions similar to Art of Thievery? That was a really awesome FM and probably the best Thief mission I played, including originals. What I generally like are missions that are large and non-linear, like Art of Thievery, Thief 2's bank and angelwatch, Thief2X's grand hotel and brothel missions.

    Basically some large building with lots of rooms and stuff to steal.
     
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  17. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    Sadly, no new missions have emerged, nor can I recollect any lost-in-memory FMs that fit your criteria. CoSaS: Mission X is what I can think of that most closely fits your desires. A huge 4-story hotel with TONS of rooms to steal from. No Mechanists, but some very clever mechanics. No Undead either. There are a couple of timed objectives, but none of them are game-breaking, only optional. Loads of voice acting, which, surprise, surprise, is actually quite good.

    Earlier in this thread I mentioned some other FMs for you to try out, you can have a look at those and see if you like anything in particular.

    If you want something small and interesting to try out, try The Burrick's Head Inn. It's tiny compared to Art of Thievery (or almost every other FM ever released) but it's very well made and full of small details.

    If you're okay with breaking into a museum, try the Mystic Gems FMs. The first one is short and in a warehouse district IIRC, but the second is a full-blown museum on 3 floors. Oh, and both of these are beautifully made, with great care to detail. The third part is currently in production.

    And even though I don't like it personally, you may enjoy Lord Alan's Mansion.
     
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  18. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

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    Thanks for the recommendations, I'll be sure to check them out.

    While I generally dislike undead missions because I'm a pussy and Thief missions with undead can be fucking scary, I'm currently playing Thief Gold (only played normal Thief before; I actually liked the Thieves' Guild mission and didn't think it was too confusing in its layout) and enjoyed going through the Bonehoard. Also I'm noticing now that the one gameplay element I love most about Thief is the exploration. I love getting a mission goal (get items X and Y, get out again) and then basically just being set loose on the level with only a semi-accurate map to help me out, and that's it.

    What I like less are more linear missions with lots of scripted events - of which there are quite a few among the fan missions. They can be fun, but they're not what I love about Thief. So generally, what I'm looking for is relatively large levels with no clear path to the goal but lots of exploring around.
     
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  19. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    Melan's missions are propably what you're looking for in that department. Bad Debts and Disorientation are large cityscape missions that have you looking in the oddest of places for stuff, while still leaving the main objectives easy to complete. I personally reckon that Disorientation was the best FM of 2009, despite the stiff competition that it received.

    Exploration will also reward you well in the Lord Alan missions. Each of the 3 missions (Basement, Mansion, Factory) is mind-boggingly huge - and I don't think there's even a map for the Basement one.

    And of course... Ruins of Originia. :)
     
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  20. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

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    Well, I finally had a go and playing these missions, particularly as I noticed that it took players 10 YEARS to find all the loot! The author has a knack for hiding things.

    My opinion? Must-play, through and through.

    It's an epic attempt at making a storyline, with 12 parts planned, but only 8 parts out as of today. Currenly no plans are around for completing the rest, which leaves the whole thing kinda in Limbo, but it's still worth playing.

    The first mission (which was made in 2000) is called Errand Boy. It's a city mission that has you dodging the coppers (must ghost them) while trying to find a map for the next level. The thing is, the objectives just keep piling on from there. You'll have to find a lost Keeper, break into a small bank vault, hunt down some keys and maybe get a neat magic sword if you're really clever. For such an old mission, the production value is high, and it's very open and free-form about how you go about things.

    The second mission is called Shore Leave. It's a warehouse mission where your goal is to find passage to reach an island across a channel. The thing is, there are TWO ways to complete this objective, either stow away on a cargo ship, or find and activate a teleportation system. This one is pretty much "more of the same" as the previous mission, though the warehouse setting actually narrows the gameplay field down instead of broadening it.

    The third mission is called "Up Shit Creek". Instead of reaching your objective, you find yourself in a pirate hideout in an underground complex. This mission reminds me a lot of the early Tomb Raider games, as it's more action-oriented than can be considered normal. Some hair-raising climbing through a large cavern and a quick run from the pirates lands you in some old ruins populated only by blue apemen. Get past them and you find yourself following a strong current before reaching the surface at your intended destination.

    The fourth mission is called "Making Tracks". This one has a little bit of everything in it. What at first looks like a warehouse-style mission at a train depot quickly unfolds into a large mine and an underground village! This one is quite large and also free-form like the first two missions. It actually has THREE ways to complete the main objective, and it's quite easy to get lost trying to figure out what item is needed for which path. This one alone will have you going for hours. (I actually managed to find all the loot in this one on the first go, without consulting a lootlist. :D )

    The fifth mission is "The Trickster's Rift Gem Mine", the goal of the whole ordeal. It's a mix between "Lost City" and a mine mission. You'll be dealing with "four elements" puzzles, while trying to find a way to reach something called a Displacement Palace to lift a curse that's fallen upon the area. Oh, and the whole FM is dark as crap, and it's bursting at the seams with Undead.

    The sixth mission is "Elsewhere". Frankly, this is the worst mission of them all. You find yourself in the Displacement Palace... 300 years in the future. Cue System Shock 2 textures and SFX, lots of mechs and sneaking through Bio-Domes. No, I'm not kidding, this is where the shark gets jumped good and proper.

    The seventh and eight missions are "Chasm of the Lost Parts 1 and 2". Finally free from the Trickster's Gem Mine, it's time to get... home, I guess, but the journey will not be easy. You reach what can only be described as the ruins of a University dorm for Mages. Loads more "four elements" puzzles await you here, as you must search the ruins for the items needed to progress further. The highpoint of the first part are the readables, as not only are everybody quite dead, but you get to read (and see for yourself) how most of them met their end, including how an Inversion spell went horribly wrong.

    The second part is... well, quite dull. There are only two places here, an old and ruined Hammerite complex (with zombies), and a return-ticket to the Trickster's Maw. Those who remember that one, sigh now. LOTS of "four elements" puzzles, spiders, treants, water hazards, fire hazards, and a lich.

    As a whole, The Trickster's Gem Mine has its ups and downs, but is generally consistent and above average. There are lots of readables (though the author could use a spellchecker) and the story stays consistent, with some recurring characters and items (including a dwarf called I. Jones, a self-claimed archeologist whose notes and assistance will prove invaluable to you). Humour is never too far away, but even that doesn't stop TTGM from getting... long-winded. By the time most of you will reach "Elsewhere", you'll be wishing this would end quickly. But considering that these missions were made between 2000 and 2004, they really stand out compared to other FMs made at the same time. It starts out great, and then slowly and slightly downgrades from there, but it's still worth your while if you're into big epic missions.

    As for new FM's released... it's been a very slow time, but "The Last Lighthouse Keeper" is a mansion mission where you must solve a murder mystery, while "Tower of St. Moira" is a Thief Gold mission that will be released later on as a Thief 2 mission. Features Hammerites, Undead and some puzzle-solving. Both are worth a look, but don't expect anything awesome from them.
     
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  21. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

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    A question to our resident Thief expert: is the L'arsene campaign series any good?
     
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  22. Darth Slaughter Arcane Patron

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    I played throught this series about two years ago, and what I recall the most is how varied the themes of each mission are (in fact, each part, though a sequel, feel very much like stand alone), like mission one being a city mission, the last being an escape prison type of level, and there's hints of supernatural along the way.

    Other thing I tremember is ho each chapter improved over the previous ones, concerning level design and architecture. The 1st one looks terribly blocky, but I remember the story and setting being quite compeling, mostly because of the fact that you're competing with fellow thief l'arsene.

    What I can't remember is if it is tin the korrigans that we have some goblin like creatures...
     
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  23. AlaCarcuss Arbiter

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    Huh? That would be a reward for failing.

    I used to jerk off everytime I defeated a boss in zelda. Now I don't see so well so am restricted to slower TB games. :oops:
     
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  24. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    I just dug up my old text about L'Arsene:

    In short: Yes.

    Some new FM's have been released, which for me have redeemed two known FM authors. The guy who made King's Story went and made an FM called Upside-Down, where you play the guard and must protect the mansion from the group of thieves who're robbing it. This one has to be played to be believed.

    But the real gem is Sensut's "Being Thief". It's a cityscape mission + Mechanists. It's right up there with "Errand Boy" and "Disorientation" when it comes to quality. It tries to capture the feeling of the old Thief, and succeeds perfectly.
     
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  25. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

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    Secret Lab of the Warrior-Magus of Esoteric RPGism
    Played Saturio Returns Home last weekend and it was a pretty good mission, went through the crypts and came out in the chapel from where I had easy access to the mansion. There was kind of a bug/glitch though that made one of the guards stuck in a piece of furniture (I think it was a large vase) so I could just ignore him and run around right in front of his face :lol:

    I'm currently going through this thread and trying all the FMs that look interesting. Might post some opinions/mini-reviews about the various ones I'm trying.
     
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