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Thief 2 fan missions and campaigns

nicked

Educated
Joined
Feb 7, 2017
Messages
78
Location
Lincoln, UK
The sound propagation problems are down to bad roombrushing - looking in Dromed the roombrushing is very slapdash and lazy, which is a real shame when you consider how much detail and effort has gone into the terrain-brushing. There's even some parts in the burrick tunnels that aren't roombrushed at all, so the burrick sounds just drop out entirely.

But other than that (and a few dodgy patrols where I would be hiding in the only appropriate shadow, only to have an AI patrol into me and get stuck), I really enjoyed this one. Lovely and atmospheric and with a lots of different routes to explore. I get what you mean, cowking, about the climax of the story coming a bit too soon, but it didn't bother me at all as I was just excited to get some more city exploration.
 

Semiurge

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What is the best horror/supernatural themed mission with zombies?
 

Scrounger

Novice
Joined
Mar 26, 2018
Messages
42
If I'm not mistaken, there's one called Among the Ruins or something similar. Ive played it one year ago but I remember that it was very atmospheric and creepy. For TG only...

Edit: It's called Lost Among the Forsaken
 
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Unkillable Cat

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I second "Lost Among the Forsaken". It's very hard to come up with a horror-themed FM that features zombies more prominently than that.

But as I write this another one pops to mind, though it's very scarce on the zombies - "Happy New Year. Mr. Lambert." It's much smaller in scale, and relies more heavily on suspense than horror and supernatural elements, but the build-up is worth it.
 

Unkillable Cat

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"Whispers Under the Cobblestone" just got a v1.1-update which addresses, among other things, the hard-to-spot platforms in a certain area which many players found to be a detriment to the FM.
 

Mikeal

Arcane
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Dec 19, 2016
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Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
What is the best horror/supernatural themed mission with zombies?

Eclipsed. Walking through empty streets never was scarrier.
 

Scrounger

Novice
Joined
Mar 26, 2018
Messages
42
There's also Evil Thievery, a nice suspenseful Halloween-like mission with it's own quirks. On the second note I have to add that I really like playing and treating all these missions as the episodes from an old series.
Even some odd ones, because sometimes I have a feeling that I'm playing a Special or a Halloween episode from Simpsons. Or a twilight episode...
 

Unkillable Cat

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"Reverse Robbery" by RippedPhreak (who I suspect is Phil_Solid here, so I'm including them here.)

Garrett is in a pickle; someone has broken into a bank and he's involved - but as a customer and not a bank robber. The City Watch will conduct a thorough search in the morning to check if anything was stolen from the bank, which will inevitably lead to them finding Garrett's illegally-gained stash in one of the safeboxes. That can't happen, so Garrett sets out in the middle of the night to rob the bank of his own possessions - hence the title.

I was unsure what to make of this one at first, but the more I progressed, a single word emerged dominant to describe this FM - and that word is "annoying". The starting area is closed off, and precarious platforming is needed to open the path, and to get past the next gate the player will need to squint high up to see whether a certain surface is wooden or not. (Get ready to do a LOT of that as the FM progresses.)

Another gate in the opposite direction requires not only some more precarious platforming, but to suffer another of the FM's annoying 'features' - frobbable and unfrobbable items looking identical. Doors, candles, windows, crates, chests and wall bricks - there's really no way to know if they're frobbable or not unless you approach them. (Yes, there are two instances in this FM where you have to spot and frob an 'odd one out'-brick among its mates, and one of those is plot-essential. Good taffin' luck with that one.) This will seriously hamper progress later on as the player will not be able to tell whether venturing along narrow ledges or making risky jumps will pay off or not, leading to the FM devolving into a series of 'trial and error'-events.

Speaking of 'trial and error', the tomb of St. Stefan has three puzzles in it, of which two can seemingly only be solved via brute-force trial and error. (Fortunately the third one is more lenient.) Combine that with elevated antics involving narrow ledges, hair-precision jumps, doors that cannot be unlocked and need to be circumvented in other ways (think crates) and lots and lots of mantling and you end up with an FM that is brilliant in many ways, but also needlessly dragging itself down with annoyances.

Of particular note are the 17 (!) secrets - these are devious, even by Thief-standards. I took my time scouting out all potential secret spots, and only found five of them on my own. (The FM being so damn annoying hindered me from finding several more. My thanks to the TTLG-community for helping me find them all.)

Rating: 7/10. Seeing as this is the author's first FM there's much here to commend, but the overall annoyance imposed cannot be ignored. I hope to see more from RippedPhreak in the future, with improvements.
 

Phil_Solid

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Joined
Feb 24, 2021
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6
You can find a book of riddles that helps with the tomb puzzles. But yes, this one is hard on Expert. There is only one gate that really requires a crate to get over, and it's not essential to the plot (the one leading to the small alley and a ladder).

The mention of the "concealed brick" is certainly fair since many people have had trouble with that one. If I would change one thing it would be to put that key under a flower pot or something instead. Overall it's a mission that requires really good jumping and searching skills....
 

Unkillable Cat

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In true octavius -style, I've been going through the Thief 1/Gold Fan Missions in chronological order, starting with "Poor Lord Bafford" (the oldest FM on record) and progressing onwards.

Obviously there are a lot of 'first steps' here in an untamed frontier, so I can't be too harsh in criticism. That said, when one of these early FMs forces the player to choose between buying the sword (200g), the blackjack (200g) or the lockpicks (150g each) while having a budget of 300g, one can only hope that there's a valid, gameplay-based explanation behind it. I then started playing, and 30 seconds later I find one of the lockpicks out 'in the wild', so to say. To get to it I had to mantle a bit, and this unnamed FM went the extra distance to change the default SFX with custom sounds.

Custom sounds that made the mantling-ordeal sound like a sex scene from a gay porno film.

'Nope' I exclaimed as I quit and erased the FM from my archives. I have standards.
 

Unkillable Cat

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I may have found the biggest 'tryhard' FM ever made.

"Turning the Tables" stars Garrett as the target of a failed assassination attempt, with the assassin pining for the fjords. Garrett recognizes him as one of the lackeys of a certain Lord Bifford, so a plan is quickly formed to infiltrate Bifford's mansion, dump the former assassin into the Lord's treasury (along with the Lord's freshly-created corpse) and make it look like they killed each other in a fight over money. The only problem is, that for this to work (on Expert difficulty) the guards must not spot Garrett as he enters the mansion while carrying a body, no guards can be knocked out and no loot can be stolen - nothing is to cast suspicion upon Garrett.

What that means is that we have a forced ghosting mission where we must get Garrett and a corpse through a sizeable garden (complete with a large hedge maze) into a room in the basement of the mansion, without being spotted by the guards. To make it even worse, the treasury only has two entrances, one which is blocked by a guard, and the other is hidden in the Lord's bedroom on the second floor, past a two-step secret passage. The garden alone has eight guards, the ramparts surrounding the manor have at least that many guards again, and the mansion interior sports around 16 guards, including two at the door to the Lord's bedroom. The garden guards are conveniently placed and assigned patrol routes to make things extra tricky, and there's also a blocked passage that needs cleared first. About the only saving grace in this whole ordeal is that we get a whole lot of darkness to work with.

The above information is provided to you after I spent a few hours of taffing about in this FM, lugging the corpse around until I found a safe spot for it, then using trial and error to find a path to the treasury, then trying to figure out how I'm gonna get a dead body in there. This FM lays down quite a challenge, so I put in extra time to explore my options. Turns out I can knock out servants, merchants and Hammerites without a care in the world, and it's even possible to gain access to and empty out the armory - arrows and mines don't count as loot, so they're ripe for the picking!

It's a trap.

Lord Bifford set it all up so he could kill Garrett in person. The treasury is full of armed guards, and he launches into a well-voiced, but far too lengthy villainous monologue. During his speech the guards just stand around like taffing idiots, so by the time he's done I've already disposed of the guards (thanks to the gas arrow from the armory) and my objectives change; I'm now free to rob the place and don't need to hide from the guards anymore (I never even needed to lug that body with me to begin with!). And Bifford is still to die, and he's just standing there without all his guards, so down he goes. But unfortunately Lord Bifford turned on ALL THE LIGHTS in the place and set off the alarm, so all of those guards all over the place are on high alert and I'm left with a lot less darkness to work with. Good thing I had already found the master light switch in the attic, but that's on the other end of the mansion. Fortunately the basement passage gets me most of the way unseen.

After that the mission pretty much resolves itself. For the effort of laying down such a ludicrous challenge, with all those obstacles in the way, and then raising the stakes half-way through, I dub this 'King of tryhards' and uninstall it, never to be played again.

Rating: 5/10. Be my guest if you feel like taking on the challenge of beating this, but don't expect any satisfying reward for the effort.
 
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octavius

Arcane
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
16,968
Location
Bjørgvin
Damned, I wish I had written about this FM when I completed it.
I know I played it, and on my play list it says just "Completed", but not the expected "Completed on Hard". And changing mission loader has deleted some of the records, this one among them.
I must have played it on Hard, since I don't have the patience for so much ghosting, and watching it on YouTube brought back memories of me actually enjoying it.
So play it on Hard, use you blackjack and just enjoy it. If you have to do massive save scumming to complete it it's no longer fun.
 

Unkillable Cat

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I don't mind a forced ghosting challenge, as long as the layout of the place isn't clearly designed with the sole intent of making the ghosting harder. One of the more enjoyable things I've done in Thief recently is get a body across town without being seen, that felt amazingly satisfying because it didn't feel forced at all, there were multiple paths available and people were just going about their business. By comparison this is just an obstacle course. The FM laughably boasts that there are numerous ways into the mansion (I counted four viable paths) but there's only one way to get to the mansion.
 

Unkillable Cat

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I may perhaps have been a little premature in dubbing "Turning the Tables" as the 'King of Tryhards', because along comes a challenger in the form of "Trial by Night".

An unnamed cutpurse seeks entry into the Thieves' Guild, but to do this he must pull off a night of larceny, housebreaking and general taffiness. As to be expected, however, things go Wrong in a manner of ways.

"Things go Wrong" is the understatement of the month here. It's been a while since I've seen a FM made with such a mix of malevolence and ignorance just bubbling under the surface. The previous sentence doesn't do it justice, you really have to get into the details here.

Let's start with the map. The first objective involves meeting up with your taskmaster, who provides you with the laundry lists of loot that must be nicked in order for you to pass the test. His location is clearly marked on the map - but at first my position clearly wasn't. It too me a while to realize that my location is only roughly indicated by the grey color over the part of town that I'm currently in. What's worse, the map is facing the wrong way as North is Left, and there are no signposts or obvious waymarkers about until quite a ways later.

Then there's the part about getting to the meeting. The correct path is straight forward, but it's blocked by a portcullis. For plot reasons you don't start with your lockpicks (but you don't find that out until later) so you can't pick open the door right next to the portcullis, nor the portcullis itself. Time to look for another route. While scouting out an alternate path I noticed that all the streets are watched over by guards conveniently located standing up against a wall, under a strong light source, meaning they can't be snuck upon and dealt with. This is the prevalent theme for the entire FM, I counted close to 20 guards/Hammers doing precisely this.

Anyway, the 'correct' way past the portcullis is to get into the house on the left (the one with the locked door) via the second-floor window... the one with a convenient wooden windowsill in front of it... but is actually not a wooden windowsill, as your broken rope arrow will tell you. The 'correct' way to get through the 'correct way' is to shoot the rope at the wooden pole holding up the banner next to the windowsill. Once inside you can make your way through the house, to the kitchen and out the back to reach the other side of the portcullis. Mind the sleeping noble who instantly goes from 'asleep' to 'running to the guards' if he wakes up. Mind yet another guard standing up against the wall, under a strong light source, facing towards you. Your only saving grace is that you can turn off the light here, triggering the guard's script, as he saunters over to turn it back on, putting him within reach of your blackjack. Once you reach the portcullis from the other side, you'll notice that there's a lever right next to it, and it's frobbable from the other side.

Then there's the meeting. It's in a cul-de-sac, under a lit lamppost, up on a platform on the right-hand side. At the other end is an archer guard stationed up against a wall, underneath a strong light source. No, you can't get to the lamppost without alerting him. (Be grateful there are flashbombs available.) Once he's out of the way you realize that there's only a puddle of blood where your taskmaster should be, but there are scribblings present which point to a ledge above you and across the alley. This ledge is conveniently placed so that it looks like you could jump up and mantle it, but you can't. The 'correct' way to get up there is to keep looking up until you find the hard-to-spot wooden beam. The tricky part isn't hitting the beam with a rope arrow, nor is it the somewhat dodgy jump you'll have to make to reach that ledge. No, it's getting the rope arrow back without breaking your neck, because you will need it.

(Before continuing I have to touch on the readable that you find up there. It's from Drannor the taskmaster, telling you that he can't be there as he's been captured by the authorities (past tense). And yet, somehow, Drannor had time to be spotted and injured by the coppers, evade them, climb up here and stash the things you find here, then make the scribblings, then climb back down and be carted off to a hammer dungeon and find the time to write you a note. Unless he can predict the future or has access to a time machine, I'm seeing a gaping plothole here.)

ANYway, doing all that nets you a slew of new objectives waiting to be completed, and one lockpick. It's best to get the other lockpick first, which fortunately is located just a quick walk around the corner. Mind the floor which looks like reinforced stone, but is actually metal. Eventually you'll find yourself in Clickkey Yard. To the west is the locksmith's house, which is only marked so on the map. There are two ways inside (the locked front door is actually your exit) but both seem to involve acrobatics. You could fire a rope arrow into the beam high up and jump from there to either the upper story windows, or to the balcony. While this is the easy way in, it's also designed to cost you a rope arrow, as it's almost impossible to retrieve it without breaking your neck. If you enter via the balcony you will be greeted with a faceful of a guard standing right outside the room, right up against the wall, under a strong light source. (I hope you put that candle out.) At least this one turns on the spot sometimes, but he's still right in front of you. The 'correct' way to get into the locksmith's house is via the (unlocked) windows, except they open outwards, so you can't land on the ledge and open them. You can't reach the windows from the rope arrow, so what to do?

The 'correct' way to get to the 'correct way' into the locksmith's house is from the low roof on the house to the left of the locksmith, but to get there you need to climb up the pipes on the house across the yard - the one with the portcullis covering the front door, the second-floor balcony and the open window, through which you can hear (at least) one patrolling guard inside. BUT... once you climb up on the balcony and step in front of that open window, the unseen/unheard/unmoving archer guard on the ground floor of the building activates his script, opens the portcullis and starts patrolling Clickkey Yard... for no other reason than to send a 'Fuck You'-statement to the player. If you're thinking "that's OK, I don't need to step in front of that window anyway, you are Wrong. Did I forget to mention that the loot objective on Expert difficulty requires 99.34% of all loot found in the mission? Did I also forget to mention that you can't access a large part of the FM on Normal difficulty? Also, that metal pipe will make noise no matter what you do, so you might as well get in there and deal with the guards. Note the guard on the third floor (standing up against the wall, facing towards the stairs, under a strong light source) who's guarding absolutely nothing but his purse. Also note the totally empty basement.

ANYWAY, back to the locksmith. Assuming you've done all of the above and managed to get the drop on that guard inside, you now have access to the lower floor, where there are three doors. If you take the door on the right, you end up in the latrine underneath the stairs and may get trapped there by the architecture. The door on the left leads to an uninteresting storeroom, but the door forward leads to the shop itself. The back room has one torch acting as the sole light source, but even with that doused you're still lit up like a street lamp. And in the shop itself is a guard, standing up against the wall, under a strong light source, covering both exits, with your missing lockpick located behind him. Imagine my relief when I noticed that he turns around occasionally...

This is just the three first areas of the game, but the rest follows this formula down to a tee, especially the Hammerite chapel later on. If you try getting in from the front you're in for a hard time, but at least you may realize the place is trapped before you stumble upon the traps. If you go in through the underwater passage and emerge from the well, you'll stumble through all the traps before finding that one readable that mentions them.

There's also a sewer system running underneath, but if you fall into that cistern in the middle you'll drown as the water applies downwards pressure on you. The only reason to go in the direction of Lark's Yard is to grab a lone guard's purse - there's otherwise absolutely nothing there, but you'll need that purse to meet the loot objective.

The thing is, this FM reveals itself early on as some kind of trolling effort on behalf of the author, and what that did for me was to commit to finishing this FM... which I finally did after too many hours and finding all the loot. At least I feel a sense of accomplishment after having beaten this one. It's much harder than it looks, you'll need lots of water arrows and moss arrows will come in quite handy, but flashbombs will probably be your best friend here.

Rating: 6/10. Play this one at your own risk.
 

Melan

Arcane
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It was one of my first FMs. I could never mantle up that ledge, and didn't spot the wooden beam, so I had to learn crate-stacking (still an obscure art form back then) to get those lockpicks. The loot goal is merciless (it is actually worse on lower difficulties, where part of the map is blocked off), guard positioning is unfair, and much of the design is a wreck.

It is, however, moody, beautifully made, and the challenge is kinda fun. I remember it fondly.
 

Psych0sis

Educated
Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
53
Interesting and evocative at times but like most Sperry missions, kinda plays not well. Not as bad as Nightcrawler though.
 

Unkillable Cat

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What it did best was give me that same vibe when I'm playing an 8-bit game and I haven't read the manual so I have NO CLUE what's going on, but I keep playing to try to figure that out on the fly.

Massively atmospheric as well. I also played "Awaken!" afterwards and although similar in design it's nowhere near as 'interesting' as "Brainchild".
 

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