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Hexameron
24th Jul 2009, 06:51
This is the seventh thread in the series of Ghost/Perfect Thief results for FM's. The prior threads have been archived at:

Part 1: http://forums.eidosgames.com/old-ubb...ts_Part1_1.htm (http://forums.eidosgames.com/old-ubb/FMs_Ghost_Perfect_Thief_Results_Part1_1.htm)
Part 2: http://forums.eidosgames.com/old-ubb...ts_Part2_1.htm (http://forums.eidosgames.com/old-ubb/FMs_Ghost_Perfect_Thief_Results_Part2_1.htm)
Part 3: http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthr...&threadid=1178 (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1178)
Part 4: http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthr...&threadid=6112 (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=6112)
Part 5: http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthr...threadid=13309 (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=13309)
Part 6: http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=47700

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This thread will be used to post the results of players' attempts at ghosting fan missions (FMs) whether wholly successful or not. The Official Rules for Ghost and Perfect Thief modes of play can be found here (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=30310).

Each post of ghost results should record the FM name, the FM's game (T1 or TG, T2), the user's play mode (Ghost or Perfect or Supreme), the end-mission statistics, and any comments regarding the ghosting of the fan mission. Well written comments are appreciated. Examples of the format may be found in previous Parts.

WARNING: Discussions regarding how the mission was ghosted (or not) probably contain spoilers. Please do NOT use spoiler alerts in this thread. Everyone reading should be aware of that fact. If you want to simply know if a mission was ghosted successfully or not, just read the statistics portion of a post.

Occasionally, when these treads becoms excessively long, by whatever standards prevail at the time, the moderator(s) may be requested to move the old thread into the Thief archive to close it so it is retained as a lookup reference.

Replying to a reported ghost result is appropriate, but hurrah messages should be kept to a minimum. Discussing how to ghost a mission not yet reported here should be done in a separate thread. The idea is to report ghost attempts and perhaps to discuss failures and possible solutions but not to produce a lot of fluff within this thread. Off topic posts will be deleted.

Please note that nobody requires a mission to be ghostable. Ghostable missions are not necessarily a good thing. When made so deliberatly, they tend to be too easy. Comments about whether or not a mission is ghostable do not reflect negatively on the mission. Ghosting is just a means of raising the level of difficulty in the play.

Hexameron
24th Jul 2009, 07:50
FM: First City College
File: T2GP-FCCollege-1.0.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:23:27
Loot - 2005/2595
Pockets Picked - 10/12
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - The author of this FM states that it is loosely "based on the unfinished Thief 2 Gold Museum mission," but I haven't looked at this in Dromed to say how much the author was inspired. Regardless, the mission and the AI behavior were confusing. The outside of the college is reminiscent of First City Bank and Trust, but inside is replete with brightly-lit and gigantic empty rooms, excessively long corridors, and a mixture of friendly and hostile AI. This latter AI aspect confused me. All of the human guards and nobles on the bottom floor did not alert to Garrett's (or Darius, the protagonist's) presence. However, some guards on the top floor and nobles in their bedrooms did. Mechanist guards and bots were also aggressive.

-The objectives in this mission are to find out what happened to Alun, "a fellow agent," and acquire 2000 loot. On expert there is an optional objective to find a special loot item. This item is just a Rosary on the floor in the training room upstairs.

-A number of guards and nobles carry papyri with them that can be pick pocketed. A couple of the papyri have valuable hints about progressing in the mission, one specifically told of a secret door in the gallery. There is a switch under the desk in the headmaster's room that opens a bookcase leading to a necessary key.

-Getting the scroll from the corpse of Alun in the annexed mechanist building outside of the college can be done in two ways. First, if one is fortunate enough to have found the bundle of 5 moss arrows by the nearby tree, one can enter from the outside and moss the metal floor around Alun. The mechanist guard patrols in a rectangular pattern around Alun and from this route of entry, it is impossible to sneak fast enough on the metal and snatch the scroll. The second way is to enter the mechanist building through the back via the college. From the back of the room with Alun, it is possible to get the scroll without the use of moss. I opted for the second method because I needed moss for a later situation.

-Finding 2000 loot ended up being a desperate affair and one that nearly crushed my chances of ghosting this FM. Here are the reasons why: (1) There is around 255 of loot in the pub upstairs, but sneaking through it is impossible. The room is so bright that even entering it immediately alerts the servant behind the counter. (2) There are two brightly-lit guest rooms each with 200 loot that cannot be ghosted either; each room contains a noble facing the door and both rooms are too bright for sneaking. So that is 455 unobtainable loot out of 2595 total when 2000 is needed to complete the mission.

-I barely found a tiny gold ring next to the gold wine bottle outside (on the white banister separating the archer and noble lady). I also needed to use 2 moss arrows in the mechanist chapel next to the priestess for reasons of grabbing loot. There are two statues behind her altar and one needs to jump onto the altar to get it, but the metal floors necessitate using moss.

-The greatest threat to failing the mission is this large and bright room (look at my light gem) with 700 worth of gold plates, which are required to complete the mission:

http://64.136.20.22/2278894_m.jpg

I tried so many ways of hugging the walls, creeping, or running and jumping, and there's no way to get all of the plates without alerting the female servant. So thank Sneak for nudging because that's what I had to resort to in order to satisfy the loot requirement and claim a successful ghost:

http://64.136.20.22/2278896_m.jpg

Hexameron
24th Jul 2009, 19:23
FM: Bloody Flounder's Inn
File: BloodyFloundersInn.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:24:12
Loot - 1500/1500
Pockets Picked - 1/2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing Taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - A small mission with little to no challenges.

-The objectives are to find the valuable crystal, special cheese, 1300 loot, and escape to the sewers.

-There are two routes one can take to get into the inn and I happened to initially choose the wrong one. I gained entry via the secret passageway into the nobleman's room. This guy has an erratic patrol, but fortunately it involved him standing idle at a few spots. But once I got out of the bedroom, I realized that I would have to go all the way back to the mission start because I failed to shut off the lights inside the inn. Only by entering the front door of the inn and moving to the left, could I avoid being seen and then descend into the basement to shut off the lights.

-It took me a while to figure out (after reading the innkeeper's journal) that the key to the vault was on the female servant upstairs. However, the key was not on her belt but in her hand. I've never tried picking a key from someone's hand before, but it worked.

-There is a lever in the inn's fireplace that opens up a secret wall behind the bar. This is where the special cheese (objective) is kept.

-To achieve Perfect Thief, it's necessary to grab a purse floating in the river outside of the inn. There is a ladder that helps facilitate quiet submersion into the water without making a splash, which would have alerted the two guards.

-There are some pieces of loot that can be mistaken as junk and are hard to see. First is a wax cylinder recorder lying on and blending in(!) with the metal pipes in the basement. Second is a small bronze piece of junk (almost looks like a Mechanist gear key) lying on the frobbable electrical box that shuts off the inn's lights.

-Reading the hammerite's journal in the guest room creates a New Objective to find "Master Edmund's deck of cards." This is easily accomplished. The deck is in the same room behind a frobbable banner above the sleeping thief.

Hexameron
24th Jul 2009, 19:31
FM: Defense Assassination
File: Defense_V2.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:56:27
Loot - 2006/2006
Pockets Picked - 9/10
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing Taken - 0 Kills - 0 Others killed - 1 (Defense Minister)
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - Another straightforward mission for the ghoster with a few minor troubles.

-The objectives are to kill the defense minister, avoid killing his wife and guards, acquiring the battle plans, and finding 2000 loot.

-There are two options for entering the fort. Both involve using a rope arrow on the thin vertical wood beams built into the two towers. Scaling the tower closest to the mission start was beneficial because of a footlocker containing some loot. Getting down was tough because I kept getting SHAS when trying to drop onto a well-placed rope arrow. Eventually I landed on an angle of the rope which violently propelled me against the nearby boulders, but I received no damage.

-I found and picked a lot of keys from guards, but I never used them. There were only two doors I could not pick and that was the armory and the war room containing the battle plans.

-The Defense Minister is the bluecoat patrolling the two tiled-floor rooms at the top of the manor. I used a gas arrow on him and dropped his body into a nearby bathtub causing him to drown.

-The greatest challenge of the mission was finding all of the loot, which is required to even finish the mission on expert: I searched for almost an hour in another game. What eluded me was a small hole in the ceiling next to the double doors leading into the tiled-floor rooms at the top of the manor. This hole is inconspicuous and leads to an attic with 150 loot and three tiny spiders. I was able to sneak by the one spider in the corridor without any trouble. Had he been facing the other way, I doubt I could get by him and the mission would be unghostable.

Hexameron
24th Jul 2009, 20:05
FM: The Obligatory Prison Mission
File: ObligatoryPrisonMission.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success (Chemical)
Time - 01:35:37
Loot - 1624/1624
Pockets Picked - 6/7
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing Taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 1/1

Comments - This is not a large mission, but it requires taking one's time: there are plenty of mechanist guards, bots, and watchers all patrolling in a cramped renovated Cragscleft Prison.

-The main objectives are to destroy Cragscleft Mountain, get 1000 loot, and escape from Cragscleft Prison. There is an optional objective to recover Garrett's equipment from the armory, which is easy enough.

-Some of the mechanist guards patrolling the cell blocks would spot prison inmates and vice versa; both the mechanists and prisoners would go on second alert but never find each other.

-A bizarre incident occurred in which I backtracked to Cell Block C (starting point) and spotted a pagan girl's corpse in a corridor that I had previously explored. I later noticed that another pagan girl spawned next to the entrance of Cell Block C and just stood there safely in the shadows. I don't know what this is about, but it explains why I found the dead pagan girl's body: the mechanist guards obviously found and killed her, but does she continuously respawn?

-The haunted mines were not as dangerous as the mechanists let on. Initially there were no AI at all, but I was still unsettled by the eerie silence and ambient haunt whispers. In fact, there was nothing down there, which subtly suggests a "haunted" atmosphere better than a cavern full of zombies.

-Further through the mines is a network of metal catwalks above a subterranean sea of lava. One of the catwalks was destroyed and severed. I was able to get across to the other side of this catwalk because the landing, although slanted, was within jumping distance. However, once I landed, I had to continuously jump and mantle until I was able to get off of the slanted portion and onto the catwalk proper. This catwalk leads to the one secret area with loot, vine arrows, and a speed potion. I could not get back to other side of the severed catwalk because the slanted end could not be run on; therefore, I needed to use a speed potion to boost my jump.

-Destroying Cragscleft Mountain is completed by turning on both power generators in the haunted mine. Once the final power generator is on, a haunt spawns above the generator chamber next to the metal hatch. It was no doubt prudent to snuff out all of the frobbable light mushrooms next to the hatch before turning the power generator on. All I needed to do was wait for the haunt to walk across the hatch, dash up the ladder, and then follow him as his back turns.

Hexameron
24th Jul 2009, 21:21
FM: Niggsters Erste FM (Niggster's First FM)
File: Niggsters_erste_FM.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:14:49
Loot - 7447/7447
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 20 Damage taken - 0
Healing Taken - 0 Innocents Killed - Some (Nobleman)

Comments - This is a German FM and a product of a layman dromeder. The mission is extremely short, the architecture and design technically unimpressive, and frankly plain. The author even admits this is a training mission.

-I guess studying German for a year paid off, as I could make sense of some of the readables and especially the objectives, which are all in German: find a sword, 7000 loot, kill the nobleman, and return to the mission start.

-The guard at the starting point does not alert to Garrett's presence.

-7000 loot sounds like a lot, but there is 6250 worth of loot in the footlocker next to the sword. This author loves to place loot literally on the floor in corners. There is a tiny gold ring on the ground in the corner to the left of the guard at the beginning. A single silver stack of coins can be found in another corner; there's also a blue crystal jutting out the side of a wall under an electrical light. How'd that happen?

-I waited for the nobleman to enter his bathroom and then assassinated him with a single broadhead. This way the patrolling guard who frequently enters the nobleman's bedroom wouldn't see the corpse.

Hexameron
25th Jul 2009, 01:52
FM: Off the Record
File: OffRec_v10.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:44:03
Loot - 1895/1895
Pockets Picked - 3/4
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing Taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 3/3

Comments - This is a fantastic gem of a mission; small but visually stunning. There are only four AI to deal with, but it was an engaging ghosting experience because the four guards have such a sophisticated and unpredictable patrol pattern. Each floor has a single patrolling guard and I think their patrolling pattern was one of the most complicated I've seen in an FM; they wandered through multiple areas, stopped, entered rooms, all in random order. This is a refreshing change from the typical and linear back-and-forth patrols I most often encounter in FM's.

-All of the guards did not like having the lights tampered with and often went on second alert if they noticed a light turned off.

-The objectives are to obtain Garrett's file, the Feldstone Art Museum Plans, the "minutes" to the city council meeting, 1500 loot, and gain access to the confidential records room. All of this is straightforward, but requires a heightened snooping sense. Checking for frobbable cabinets and reading all parchments and notes is necessary. There is an optional objective to ghost the mission, too.

-Perhaps more difficult than anything else in the mission is finding loot. I wanted it all so I really had to investigate every inch of every room. The author clearly prefers placing small loose or gold coins under couches, tables, chairs, and in-between crates. Many of the bookcases often conceal a purse or statuette and there is a small ring in the basement under the lift.

-The three secrets:

1. In the basement: button in the corner beside the workshop table causes the nearby painting to slide away, revealing a purse.
2. On the third level: in one of the offices, a button on the wall bookshelf reveals a locked box behind the desk.
3. On the second level: button on Ducat's desk reveals a locked safe.

Hexameron
25th Jul 2009, 04:24
FM: DarkStone Mine
File: darkstonemine.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:31:18
Loot - 650/650
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Causes of Failure:

1. Must destroy large boulder using a powder keg and a fire arrow to get to Cecil's body.
2. Cannot get the fire arrow without alerting big spider.

Comments - This was not a pleasant mission to play let alone ghost and I almost quit because the mission has virtually no light sources at all and I got tired of not being able to see. As Vanguard would say, "Might as well turn off the monitor and play Blind Thief mode." To be fair, the mission is totally dark for a reason and the author at least makes the player appreciate flares, which were provided in abundance both at the purchase screen and in the mines.

-The objectives are to acquire Cecil's mining equipment, discover information about Cecil, obtain 550 loot and food, and proceed to the mine exit.

-There are only two AI in the mission: a tiny and large spider. To even move through the mines, I often needed to throw a bunch of flares around and then light some of the torches that were away from the spiders. The only good thing about total darkness was that I could bump right into the spiders and not alert them.

-I managed to find the caved-in ceiling by the first tiny spider and was able to crawl up and find a shack with the food (objective) and locate the mission exit.

-Once I read Cecil's diary, I realized my so-far-successful ghosting would be busted because it hinted at blowing up boulders. By this time I had reached a dead end in the mission anyway and guessed that the boulders were blocking my path.

-I found a key on a large rock ensconced into the wall; I had to use a rope arrow on a nearby wood beam to grab it because it could only be reached by falling into the water below, which alerted the big spider. As it turns out, I didn't need the key...

-The large drill on the ground near the big spider is actually an item that satisfies the objective of acquiring Cecil's mining equipment.

-I noticed a fire arrow on another rock and had trouble getting into the water without alerting the big spider. I could drop into the water, but each time I leapt out, making a big splash sound, it alerted the big spider.

-Alerting the big spider was inevitable, though, since I knew I was going to use a fire arrow on the boulder right next to him. Sure enough: using a fire arrow on a powder keg alerted both spiders. The large boulder was reduced to small frobbable ones and cleared a path to find Cecil's body, some loot, and a note (which I didn't bother to read) that satisfied the last objective. I didn't try to make a dignified escape: I scurried back to the lift and towards the mine exit.

Hexameron
25th Jul 2009, 22:52
FM: Mine Affairs
File: MineaffairsEngIt.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:25:28
Loot - 850/850
Pockets Picked - 4/4
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 2/2

Comments - This is the sequel to the DarkStone Mines FM and much more enjoyable to play. Like its predecessor, there are only a handful of AI, but the mission's atmosphere was surprisingly immersive and compelling.

-The main objectives are to find Cecil's ledger and a composition from Rebecca.

-Rebecca's composition is behind a curtain in the music room.

-Upon entering certain rooms of the manor, a strange disembodied voice communicates with Garrett. Besides being a tad eerie, the voice, in Cecil's study, informs the player of a secret switch nearby. The switch opens a wall panel behind the red curtains over the desk. The curtains belie a regular window, but there is actually a secret compartment behind them with a safe containing the ledger and a crawl space leading up to the attic.

-Peppered throughout the mission are four elemental essences: earth looks like a small boulder; air a breath potion; water a holy water vial, and fire a fire arrow. A book in the library explains how to use these essences to exorcise a restless spirit (which I presume is the source of the voices).

-In one part of the attic is a body lying on a mattress. If the player moves to the right of the bed, a ghost spawns and initiates a New Objective to release him from his imprisonment. It is in this case that one would need to drop all of the essences onto the mattress (like dropping the golden bones into the sarcophagus in T1's "Bonehoard"). As I mentioned, the fire essence is not an item but a fire arrow. Shooting the fire arrow into the mattress completes the sequence, but alerts all AI, even the nude female servant in the shower (yes, I said nude).

However, it's not necessary to trigger this New Objective whether ghosting or even perfect thieving. There is a large chest of loot near the mattress, but it's possible to move to the left through the crates, jump onto the mattress, and lean forward to open the chest without spawning the ghost. It may be cheating to avoid a scripted part of the mission, even if it's only to receive a New Objective, but I wanted a perfect thief and had no desire to use a fire arrow to alert nearby AI; in my opinion, fire arrows are the most ridiculous weapon in the Thief series and a professional like Garrett should never need to use them.

-The two secrets:

1. Switch in trophy room reveals a niche of loot behind the burrick head.
2. Switch in the back of the library opens a small compartment with loot.

Hexameron
26th Jul 2009, 21:20
FM: Jenivere De Ja Vu
File: jenivere.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 02:39:08
Loot - 2009/2539
Pockets Picked - 10/16
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 2/2

Comments - A few years ago over at the TTLG forums, Dafydd claimed (http://www.ttlg.com/FORUMS/showthread.php?p=1024604#post1024604) that this FM was "definitely not ghostable," citing necessary property damage and a troublesome watcher as the reasons. But these two issues were the least of my problems here. I had a very difficult time with this mission, which was both challenging and tedious. Finding loot to complete the 2000 objective and generally progressing through areas is what frustrated me. I don't want to make a list of grievances, but rather illustrate what made this FM so difficult.

First, there are a lot of locked and false doors that remind me of the early Silent Hill games where 90% of the doors were locked or had broken locks. Second, loot and keys are often concealed from Garrett's view. For instance, the armory key was under a couch in the police station lounge, but you couldn't see it unless you were blindly frobbing everywhere. Similarly, I found the master key copy by chance while checking for loot under the conference room table. It's interesting that there are so many empty and pointless rooms where one expects to find loot, and yet many of the loot items are not in rooms, but inconspicuous ledges and corners.

Third, there is no obvious linear path and I ended up taking unconventional routes that had me scratching my head and asking, "Is this really what the author intended players to do?" :scratch: Probably not. At one point I had climbed to the highest building and scaled the rooftops a la "Life of the Party." From the rooftops, I found an alternative route to the sewer entrance outside of Bafford's manor. I didn't try the conventional path through the manor, but that might not have even worked, as those archers overlooking Bafford's compound had superhuman sight. I even had to douse the pagan torches near the sewer hatch so they wouldn't see me. I doubt the author had scaling the perimeter of Bafford's walls in mind because where I was walking had no sound propagation and accidentally falling would damage or trap the player in an unfinished area. Incidentally, I had to drop onto the metal fence and then to the grass so I wouldn't take damage.

Ghosting Problems or a Proposal for Thief 4 Equipment: the Potted Plant

1. Right near the start of the mission is a trouble spot that could have busted my ghost completely or caused me to use the invis potion from Garrett's apartment. Without rope arrows at this point there is no other route to take but through the street with three guards and a patrolling servant. I tried countless times to sneak by them and almost made it, but the bright area emitting from the electrical lights foiled me each time. My solution was a simple one: use the potted plant from Garrett's apartment like a crate to leap over the metal fences and sneak behind the three guards; moss was used to help soften loud landings:

http://64.136.20.22/2278897_m.jpg

http://64.136.20.22/2278898_m.jpg

2. Dafydd encountered problems with the single watcher in the interior foyer of the police station and I did, too. I assumed getting through the area was impossible, but I had reached a dead end at the station. I even thought that the author intended players to alert the guards on the second floor so that they would open the locked doors barring the way. At one point, I heard a guard walking on a metal floor above me; it sounded so close and when I looked up I realized that the ceiling was in fact a metal bridge on the second floor. Then I noticed the ceiling did not end at the walls and that I could perhaps climb up. There is a metal shelf that afforded me leverage, but not quite enough, so I went to the lounge and retrieved a potted plant. Once again, the potted plant helped me overcome an obstacle:

http://64.136.20.22/2278899_m.jpg

http://64.136.20.22/2278900_m.jpg

However, dealing with that watcher was inevitable, but the foyer is brightly-lit with two pagan torches. In addition, the watcher had a limited view and pivoted quickly:

http://64.136.20.22/2278901_m.jpg

I almost resigned to using an invis potion and thought that dousing the torches was impossible... and I was wrong; it is possible. At first, I could only douse the right-side torch with a water arrow and it required careful aiming at just the right spot on the wall; the splash of the water was enough to douse the torch. Yet I couldn't repeat the procedure for the torch on the left. So I brainstormed for a bit and loaded my single gas arrow thinking its particles upon impact would be larger. I actually tried firing the gas arrow directly into the wood wall in front of me and the torch on the other side sputtered out. Now I could CCC around the wood wall with only a few chirps. Thankfully, the room to the right contained a lever to shut off that pesky watcher for good.

http://64.136.20.22/2278902_m.jpg

3. Rescuing Jenivere is not as straightforward as it sounds. She isn't even in the police station and some readables in Truart's office mentioned she was relocated to the "Auxiliary Holding Cells." Great... now what? :mad2: It turns out that the master key copy I found opens nearly every locked door in the mission (even a locked footlocker in the kitchen). I eventually found the auxiliary cells and randomly opened prison doors until I found her. However, if she notices Garrett she will go on second alert! :eek: So much for being cooperative like in T2's "Running Interference." The objectives state to find and release her. Well, I released her by opening the door and she just stood there. Apparently, I needed to physically be in the cell, but it was well-lit. I was about to begrudgingly pull out an invis potion yet again, but instead tried to dart into the dark patch of the door frame and it worked. I was then able to CCC until I was a few inches into the room and hit the objective completed trigger:

http://64.136.20.22/2278895_m.jpg

Fulfilling the last objective of escaping through the police station main gate was irksome. I had to go all the way back, but least I didn't have to literally walk through that gate with three guards watching; I just needed to circle around and walk in the general proximity of the gate to check the objective off and, at last, finish the mission.

Loot Notes

I never did find all of the loot, but I know I couldn't get about 350 in the store with the glass displays. It was possible to frob all of the items in the display except the gold ring, the gem, and a gem ring. If I wanted those I would have to break the glass, the property damage Dafydd lamented. There is also 25 loot in a safe next to the sleeping nobleman in Bafford's office. Picking the safe wakes him up and the room has no shadows. I also couldn't get a gold coin behind a banner in the police station kitchen. But even without this loot, I found just barely enough elsewhere in the mission to satisfy the 2000 objective:

-Two statues resting on the slit windows of the aforementioned store.
-A purse on the guard sleeping in the locker room of the police station; had to be careful not to wake him while being quick enough to avoid the patrolling archer.
-A silver nugget on the window sill in the attic of the police station near the pesky watcher.
-One small gold coin lying on the large hole in the wood wall near the pesky watcher.
-Ramirez poker behind vines on a window sill of the apartment with large deck.
-Purse lying on the ground under a window near the river (between tower and wood
catwalk).
-Statue on rafters above conference room table.
-Blue crystal near two tiny spiders in the sewers.

The two secrets:

1. Button on crib in house at the beginning moves the dresser, revealing a hole in the wall.
2. Secret passage under tall awkward bed in the police station storage basement.

Hexameron
28th Jul 2009, 08:35
FM: Orthodox Wedding
File: Ortwed.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 01:12:20
Loot - 1371/1496
Pockets Picked - 6/16
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 5000 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 1
Secrets Found - 2/2

Causes of Failure:

1. Must destroy rock wall behind Sorrow Springs.

(2.) If the player has not yet been to the Church/Sorrow Springs area and drops the photo on Marta's bed, it is impossible to sneak by the newly spawned hypersensitive guards patrolling the path up to the church.

Comments - This is one of those FM's that depicts a fantasy world quite alien to the Thief universe: a village redolent of Transylvania and a Byzantinesque church. In my opinion, this FM is a difficult one because of the fluctuating objectives and puzzles. By puzzles, I mean that there are hidden items and unconventional routes that took me hours to find.

If it hadn't been for the property damage to the rock wall behind the spring, I could have claimed a successful ghost and perhaps perfect thief. Or perhaps not... I indicated a second cause of failure in parentheses because if the property damage was a non-issue, the mission would only be ghostable if the player saved the Marta objective for last. I actually did not do this at first and reloaded an earlier saved game after I saw the consequences.

Dropping the wedding photo onto Marta's bed (main objective) creates a New Objective to find and place the marriage certificate onto Marta's nightstand. The certificate is at the church and if the player already went there and grabbed it, he/she could complete this new objective in a few seconds.

The major consequence that I mentioned when the photo is dropped on the bed is that two new guards spawn in different locations. The first spawns near the inn and follows the other two guards from the stables to the inn and back. The second spawns near the path up to the church and follows the two guards there. These guards are hypersensitive to Garrett's presence and what would normally put an AI on first alert triggers a second even third alert with these guys. This is clearly intentional and along the guards' patrol there is a scripted sound file of Garrett expressing confusion.

In essence, one must Supreme Ghost them to avoid any alerts. I was able to sneak by the first contingent between the stables and the inn, but not the three guards on the path towards the church. I deem it impossible because if any of them make a first alert, the hypersensitive one always goes to second or third alert. To avoid this, I reloaded an earlier game before I dropped the photo on Marta's bed and spawned the new guards. Ultimately, it didn't matter since I would fail to ghost anyway.

-After fulfilling the objective to find information about the village's history, there is a new objective to investigate the Sorrow Springs and discover the figure named Sava. I looked everywhere around the church and the supposed Sorrow Springs, but had no clue what to do. It was only by frustration that I used my sword first on the boulders and then the wall. I was stunned when part of the wall vanished instantly from a sword strike. I don't know how the author expected the player to know to do this and I was lucky.

-Reading the note in one of the dilapidated houses creates a new objective to find a Hawthorn Stake and kill (the vampire?) Sava, who has just spawned nearby. It took me a good thirty minutes of scrounging to finally bump into one of the leafless trees and begin climbing it like a ladder. Whether or not it makes sense for wooden stakes to be at the top of a tree, I did not expect to be able to climb it. There are a total of 11 stakes and they function like projectiles. I fired one at Sava and it instantly killed him; there was no corpse, no alert, no animated death; just erasure. A gentle and anti-climactic death for 5000 damage! :p

-I must note that there is a false banner seemingly blocking a required pathway and it cannot be slashed. Perhaps the author meant for the player to jump through it because I could easily jump into it from the house. However, getting back proved troublesome and required quasi banner transmigration techniques of leaning and jumping. I almost gave up because it took me over ten minutes to finally wiggle my way out of that banner.

-Assuming there was loot upstairs in the vampire manor, I once again accidentally discovered a new path. Crouching along the upstairs bedroom wall, I suddenly walked through the painting on the ground into a tunnel! This tunnel led to a place with four vampires and the "Hidden Treasure" required for one of the new objectives.

-The two secrets:

1. Frobbable ceiling panel in one of the houses that can only be accessed via an open window using crates.
2. Switch near two sleeping nobles opens a banner revealing loot.

Hexameron
28th Jul 2009, 20:02
FM: Unbidden Guest
File: Unbidden_Guest.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 01:54:49
Loot - 2991/2991
Pockets Picked - 1/2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - One of the best short FM's I've ever played; a veritable mini "Life of the Party" with a brilliant rooftop level design. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of this mission, which tipped its hat to some T2 cultural elements. I thought the two dead archers between Master Willey's and Lady van Vernon's houses a funny touch. I encountered only a few ghosting challenges, mostly on the street with numerous hammerite watchers (as in T1's "Cragscleft Prison"). Finding all of the loot took a separate blackjack run and there are some secret areas of loot that really test the player's skill at examining rooms.

-The objectives are to sabotage the iron machines in the mechanist seminary, find 2200 loot, don't trigger alarms, and as an option, acquire the old hammerite book.

-Reading the tome in the necromancer's lab spawns a patrolling zombie. It can be stealthily bypassed, but I reloaded before reading the book because I would have to use a fire arrow nearby, which would surely alert the zombie.

-There is another zombie in a flooded basement. This basement is accessible only from one side of a building next to a large horizontal wooden beam. I was on the street when I noticed it and had to climb two separate rope arrows to compensate for the distance. The zombie is scripted to attack what looks like a damaged wall, trying to claw its way out, but it can still notice the player. However, it faces away from the loot in the basement and is not difficult to avoid alerting.

-Getting into the wax merchant or candle maker's apartment is absolutely required, but difficult because of the two watchers that are not visible from across the apartment. I relied purely on chance in my blind leaps towards the window, hoping both watchers would be looking away at the moment. There is a very necessary workshop key in the cradle and a chisel on the table. Both are needed to complete the mission. Jumping back without alerting the watchers proved easier because I could see them all from this vantage point.

-There is an optional objective to find the special hammerite tome. It is located in a secret cavern accessible from the crypt. One has to stand on a pedestal and then run to avoid a barrage of fire traps. Standing on the pedestal opens the door to the cavern. Inside the cavern is a strange-looking creature that utters burrick sounds. All it takes is time and patience to carefully move behind him while he makes his rounds. The tome counts as loot and can be obtained by using a rope arrow. Escaping the area can only be done by opening both gates and entering the red mist. Walking into the mist transports the player to the necromancer lab where a bizarre AI made up of skeletal remains and two hands of glory spawns. Like the zombie, it can be stealthily avoided.

-The workshop key opens one of the locked mechanist seminary doors leading to the machines that must be sabotaged. I thought the "machines" looked like 1950s sci-fi movie robots. One of the machines has a vault door on its chest that can only be opened with the chisel.

Loot

-In Lady van Vernon's room: an invisible switch behind the dresser opens a compartment behind a painting. The switch is impossible to notice unless the player constantly frobs, which I just happen to make a habit of whenever I enter any room in any FM.

-In the Necromancer's Lab: a silver nugget behind an inverted door high up against the
wall a la T1's "The Sword." Had to use a rope arrow to retrieve it.

-In the crypt there is a barred off room with a floor tile that reads "Pazar." To the left in the interior of the room is a gong, barely perceptible, that can be frobbed. Doing so opens a nearby secret wall with 200 loot.

goldsla
28th Jul 2009, 21:18
Awesome work! Esp. Jenivere De Ja Vu.

Hexameron
29th Jul 2009, 02:14
Thanks goldsla. Have you been ghosting anything lately?

goldsla
29th Jul 2009, 02:46
Just the missions I have been beta testing. I'm primarily spending my time working on my own mission instead.

Hexameron
29th Jul 2009, 05:03
Excellent. I look forward to playing your finished mission some day!

Hexameron
29th Jul 2009, 05:04
FM: Heist Society
File: HeistSociety_v10.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 02:42:04
Loot - 3340/3340
Pockets Picked - 13/15
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 6/6

Comments - A large-scale and non-linear mission with virtually no substantial ghosting challenges. Once I found the security key in the room with the sleeping mechanist priest, I could turn off most electric lights and watchers. The swimming pool room was valuable because of the multiple windows, accessible from the rafters, that lead to various parts of the mansion; getting into Horath's room behind the watcher's view was particularly easy thanks to this access point.

-I frobbed an electric box in the basement kitchen and a blue light turned on, but I don't know what this indicated.

-The six secrets:

1. In upstairs room with pedestal displays and sleeping nobleman: switch
behind pedestal with blue vase opens a crawl space with loot.
2. Lever under nightstand in Captain Horath's bedroom opens a secret floor compartment.
3. In basement kitchen: frobbable unlit torch in darkened alcove where servant wanders and stands idle opens a secret wine cellar.
4. Hall of statues near small library on bottom floor: lockbox and lever open Geller's secret recording room.
5. Outside of Lord Geller's room: frobbable ceiling panel accessible with a rope arrow leads to the attic.
6. Geller's private library: frobbable painting of child in red clothing opens the secret passageway (objective).

Hard-to-find loot:

-Purse on floor in the front foyer with the recording device.
-Blue/gold vase on wall above Lord Geller's bed.
-Gold wine bottle under the glass table in upstairs sitting room (outside is the balcony with a watcher and idle archer).

Hexameron
30th Jul 2009, 19:38
FM: Mysterious Invitation [Version 2]
File: invitationv2.0.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 02:00:27
Loot - 2805/3245
Pockets Picked - 8/10
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - On expert difficulty, the author seems to enforce ghost mode or at least the spirit of ghosting. After meeting Cripplewood and being transported to a prison, Garrett loses his blackjack and lock picks and can never recover them. One of the objectives after being transported to the prison is to avoid being noticed; essentially, the player needs to ghost the mission now.

However, there may be one technical ghost bust as part of the mission design, but I managed to circumvent it. Throughout various parts of the mansion are readables that hint at an important key (the captain's key) being lost. One note in the servants quarters mentions that a strange animal on the balcony ate it. Another note outside of the entrance to the balcony warns the unwary to stay away from the beast. This "beast" is no more than a patrolling frogbeast and killing it with a broadhead does not make it explode, but rather disappear after visible blood splatter, leaving behind the lost key necessary to finish the mission.

Killing the frogbeast would be a ghost bust, but I discovered that one does not need this key at all to get into the captain's office. I managed to avoid killing the frogbeast by simply following one of the servants who occasionally enters the captain's room. Letting them open the locked door and frobbing it before they close it behind them is how I gained entry. In the captain's rooms are two vital keys. One is lying under the staircase and is easy to miss.

-This mission relies heavily on scripted objective changes and a great deal of backtracking. I cased the entire place first, floor by floor, but often had to visit the same floor at least three times.

-With the key from under the captain's staircase, I could enter the security room on the third floor and shut off the watchers guarding the three galleries. The "personal asset" of Lord Duncan is a heart-shaped trinket behind a portcullis in one of these galleries. There is a secret switch near one of the pillars that opens the portcullis.

-I entered the mechanist priest, Nestor's, guest room window with the key I found on the third floor and could access all of the adjacent guest rooms by finding the hidden switches and secret doors in each room. One of these rooms has five rope arrows, which are required to complete the mission.

-Once I finished all of my objectives, I was rather confused on what to do next. I remembered after escaping from the prison that I came across a few collapsed bridges in the caverns below the mansion. Above the bridges are horizontal wooden beams and when I first saw them, I thought how nice it would be to have a rope arrow then. Now that I found them, I went back to the underground area and used them to get across the collapsed section. Oddly enough, I received a text message on the screen that said I hadn't finished all of my objectives, which is incorrect; I had. I proceeded across the bridge and ultimately did escape and complete the mission; I guess I encountered a bug with the text message.

-Getting through the submerged cavern without taking damage or using a breath potion is tough, but it can be done. I took advantage of the momentum of my fall into the pool of water and was able to swim through the cavern, foregoing the two silver nuggets at the bottom, and make it to the surface with about four or five little bubbles of air left.

-There were a lot of areas I missed or didn't inspect thoroughly. I thought I searched meticulously for loot, but I missed a good 400 worth. Without a blackjack or ability to alert anyone, I didn't have the option to go on a blackjack run and search for the remaining loot. There are two invis potions, but I had no reason to use them.

Hexameron
30th Jul 2009, 22:02
FM: Ultima Ratio
File: UltimaRatio.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 04:24:53
Loot - 6075/7780
Pockets Picked - 7/11
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 90 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 2
Secrets Found - 5/9

Causes of Failure:

1. Must kill the demonic sorcerer at the top of the undead tower to remove the forcefield surrounding the holy crown; doing this alerts two haunts.

2. Must kill Nestor, which alerts two other AI.

Comments - This FM is a large-scale city mission and sequel to "Mysterious Invitation." Like its prequel, new objectives are frequently added, original objectives change, and a lot of backtracking is required. While the mission can't be ghosted, I did have some fun with this one and enjoyed the various challenges. After having now played two missions from this author, I really appreciate his ambitious mission designs and challenging loot placement. Indeed, the author is merciless in hiding loot and keys under stairs, on obscure ledges and shelves, and in places I generally wouldn't think to look. I missed a hefty 1700+ worth even though I thought I explored the mission thoroughly. Apparently I missed half of the secrets, too.

-The city section beyond the hotel near the beginning can be dangerous because some of the bluecoats are scripted to go on second alert and chase a female thief. Waiting until all of them calm down is necessary, but I learned the hard way the perils of saving and reloading at this juncture. If one reloads here, the patrolling guards stand in place wherever they were walking and do not move again. Considering they are a little more sensitive after having been on second alert and the streets are bright, it's best not to save here at all and quickly get into the graveyard.

-Although I explored the hammerite factory, I forgot to set the explosive charges during my first visit. But I had great need of the two explosives (sunburst devices) as stacking material in later parts of the mission.

The Undead Fortress

After descending into the tunnels below the construction site, I found an underground castle surrounded by a moat of lava. I don't believe there is any other way to get down except by using the small cliff formations attached to the walls. The player has to drop down onto each cliff to get to the bottom. However, the distance between one of the cliffs is too great and falling to it causes damage. Using a rope arrow initially seemed impossible as the cliffs had no sides; they are cone-shaped with flat surfaces. But with a precise shot onto the dirt surface, one can get a rope to extend if the arrow sticks to the far edge:

http://64.136.20.22/2284929_l.jpg

For the life of me I could not figure out how to get into the tower at the center of the fort. There is a locked door and I assumed I either missed a well-concealed key up in the city, or the door couldn't be opened. I noticed three crates on one of the fort walls and that with leverage, perhaps I could mantle up onto the top of the outer walls and get to the tower.

With two archer haunts circling the outer walls, there isn't a lot of time to stack. But I managed to use the three crates and various items from my inventory including an explosive device to help me mantle onto the top of the fort:

http://64.136.20.22/2284931_l.jpg

That gray stone appendage to the left looks like it could easily be mantled, but there is actually an invisible barrier with a height measuring about two crate sizes. The water arrow splash demonstrates where the translucent barrier is:

http://64.136.20.22/2285066_m.jpg

Nevertheless, I kept stacking and finally got onto the top of the outer walls. From there I could walk on the invisible barrier above the gray stone appendage connected to the tower; the tower can then be infiltrated with a rope arrow:

http://64.136.20.22/2284932_l.jpg

I inevitably learned that the strange demonic wizard in the tower would need to be killed to dispel the damaging forcefield surrounding the crown. I threw all of my flashbombs at him and hacked him four times with my sword until he died. Consequently, my ruckus alerted the two regular haunts on the ground.

During one more search of the fort, I went back to where I retrieved the three crates and look what I saw! :eek:

http://64.136.20.22/2284930_l.jpg

The key I needed to get into the tower had actually been under the very crates I had picked up in my zeal to climb onto the fort. :mad2:

-After finding Gustav's key, I needed to return to the hotel at the beginning, but I had trouble getting through the abandoned building on the rooftops. Once again I needed to stack all of my inventory and explosives to get back into the broken window.

-To kill Nestor without drawing third alerts, I doused all candles upstairs in the cafe with the piano player. It's not possible to kill Nestor without alerting the bluecoat and barkeep. I even tried knocking out Nestor, but his body cannot be picked up. I used a broadhead arrow to finish him.

-After the objective to kill Nestor was checked off, I noticed the bluecoats in the main sector of the city preceding the clocktower were no longer aggressive and passed by without attacking. This makes retracing one's steps much easier. If the mission could be ghosted, I imagine I would have spent more time looking for loot.

Hexameron
1st Aug 2009, 21:50
FM: The Seven Shades of Mercury
File: 7SoM_v11.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 03:49:03
Loot - 9634/9634
Pockets Picked - 13/13
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 5/6

Comments - Before I get to the ghosting details, I feel compelled to write a mini review of this mission.

Like most FM enthusiasts, I eagerly anticipated this mission when it was first announced back in 2002. I put off playing it until I had ample time, although it turns out the mission did not take as long to complete as I thought it would. Neverthless, this FM was well worth the wait and surely raises the bar for the DromEd community. Like Calendra's Legacy, T2X, and CoSaS, nearly every aspect of this mission is on an epic scale. Everything appears new and unique to its environment; new textures, objects, animations, and voices for AI. While the story is totally remote from the Thief world as we know it (no Garrett or relatable timeline), the Hammerite environment convinces me I'm actually witnessing the apex of Hammerite power and decadence in some long ago past before the events of Thief 1. Textures and objects are reskinned to feature Hammerite insignias and symbols; innumerable readables and new AI mutterings ("I am brick, I am mortar, I shall bring to the heathens slaughter") achieve the flavor of Hammerite culture. In short, this mission gets everything right about them.

Of all the FM's I've played, this one is surely the most aesthetically astonishing. Entering parts of the cathedral is like walking into Westminster Abbey: I often had trouble concentrating on stealth because I wanted to stop and view the gorgeous architecture, art, and resplendent textures. Indeed, so many of this mission produces visual sensory overload that one must stop to take in all of the details.

Despite the above praise, I found the whole color-schemed team concept rather confusing and out of place. Incidentally, the only break in the nearly impeccable Hammerite atmosphere is this team concept. It seems so uncharacteristic of the Hammerite faction to pit rival graduation teams against each other, which apparently leads to countless deaths of team members. And why colors to designate teams? I realize these are Hammerite students, but "Red Team" suggests dodge ball tournaments in elementary school gym class. As I watched the intro movie, I found it difficult to take the story seriously when my enemies are dubbed "Gold Team" and "Purple Team." I half expected a Thievery UT or multiplayer game where I see various encounters between teams and must defeat them, but thankfully it didn't turn out this way.

Another small gripe I have is with the first alert voice acting. Many of the AI use impassioned and provocative statements that are simply first alerts. For example, upon encountering the Silver Team, I noticed after briefly stepping into the light, which by all indications triggered a first alert, that a Silver responded loudly with "There is a Thief in the building" and continued his patrol. The Reds and Blues also did this. It took much familiarizing with each teams' sound files until I could distinguish between first and second alert phrases.

Ghosting Problems

It didn't bode well for my ghosting efforts when I started the game and triggered a scripted battle between a couple Gold and Blue members. It took many reloads until I could sneak through the room where the battle occurs. The Gold team invariably wins against the Blue. The problem here is that once they kill the Blues, they are hypersensitive and what would cause a first alert ends up instigating a second or third. I thought I was permanently busted until I found the light switch above the tool box. Even with the light off, though, it is difficult to move down the corridor without alerting them. The only solution I saw was reloading and retriggering the battle until the surviving Gold duo stand with their backs facing the corridor. It took several reloads to get them where I wanted so I could enter the well-lit corridor behind me and not upset them:

http://64.136.20.22/2288082_m.jpg

-To avoid the trip wire gas trap in the basement, I waited until the patrolling Blue was furthest away and merely jumped over the wire.

-From the looks of it, I thought getting the Blue icon from the water near the two Blues with erratic patrols would be tricky if not impossible. One needs to make a large splash sound and the proximity of these two Blues was precarious, but I did it in one attempt without any trouble.

-I'm embarrassed by how long it took me to figure out where to progress from here. I read the scroll about the rope arrows being thrown into the waterfall, but I assumed they were somewhere at the bottom. Facing out of the opened sewer pipe, I had difficulty jumping to the left into the water basin below. But it was there that I found some rope arrows required to escape the sewers.

-I needed to use my one single water arrow found under the ice floes at the beginning to sneak by the Blue guarding the entrance into the academic grounds. I could see no other way to sneak by him since he was so close to the door and the light emitting from the torch behind me was too great:

http://64.136.20.22/2288075_m.jpg

http://64.136.20.22/2288077_m.jpg

Hours of exploration later, I noticed that I could have bypassed this guard by using a rope arrow to ascend through an opening in the ceiling near the surviving Golds.

-In the upstairs hallway of the academic grounds (near the staircase and small library with secret passage leading down to the kitchen), there are two Golds that make sneaking around the hallways difficult. It is necessary to either douse all torches in the hallways or use a moss arrow to facilitate speedy sneaking. Not knowing how vital water arrows would be later, I used one moss arrow and quickly darted from room to room until I retrieved all of the loot.

-Having later acquired over 30 water arrows, I had no compunction about using them liberally throughout the Silver Team catacombs. I doused all torches in the room with the Silver icon and around the large vertical vault with ramps. One needs to be careful dousing these, though. Sometimes near the bottom of the vault, a few Black Team members would go on second alert after I doused a torch. Hearing let alone seeing these Blacks is problematic and it's easy to alert them without knowing it.

-The shadowy appearance of the Black Team members is executed marvelously. They're reminiscent of but surpass the stealthy keepers from the T2 FM "Equilibrium" in that they appear almost invisible in the shadows. Gradations of their visibility change depending on the amount of light they're walking through.

From my experience, the Blacks weren't too bright ;) and had trouble surviving in their own hideout. After entering the room with the pool of water, I saw one Black stuck in a circular patrol around the edge of the pool until he fell into it and drown. I witnessed another walk right through a tunnel and trigger a gas arrow trap:

http://64.136.20.22/2288079_m.jpg

-I had a terrible time figuring out where the Black Team icon was. I searched for over an hour until I finally doused that purplish torch in the side-room, thinking maybe it would be frobbable if unlit. Imagine my surprise when I immediately saw the black hand icon appear on the sarcophagus. I never douse torches unless I need to, so this puzzled me that dousing a torch causes the hand to spawn when there are no readables mentioning this.

-There is a section of the Silver-controlled catacombs that look just like the golden bone sarcophagus room in T1's "Bonehoard." Before even getting into the cathedral, I had already found the secret Excantium Innocenti tomb in the graveyard that hinted at dropping a body into a sarcophagus and firing an arrow at something. So with memories of T1's "Bonehoard," I dropped the nearby corpse into the gold coffin just as I would the golden bones and heard a wall open behind me:

http://64.136.20.22/2288089_m.jpg

I had to use a moss arrow on the metal steps that connected the metal catwalk to this room with the gold coffin. The steps and floor are not aligned evenly and any amount of moving onto them instantly produces a loud dropping-onto-metal sound. I remembered the text about firing an arrow somewhere and tried shooting a water arrow into the wall indentation across the pool of lava; doing so made a satisfying click sound.

I later went back to the graveyard with the text and read that there should be a secret room somewhere on the second floor of the cathedral. It took some time to find (above the carpeted strips surrounding the hammer altar on the first floor) and contains the preserved body of St. Excantium Innocenti and well over 700 loot.

Obscure Loot and Secrets

-Courtyard of the Gold Team academic quarters: small coins in the large metal hammer fountain.
-Outside of the Red Team cathedral: purse on snowy ledge next to the waterfall.
-Blue Team basement with thin corridors: silver nugget behind small metal gate.
-Purple Team tower: gold hammer on top of hammer crate next to the desk.
-Black Team catacombs: silver nugget between wall and pillar in room with idle Black member.

And two more that really baffled me:

-Blue Team basement with thin corridors: loose coins on ground near the chasm down to the bottom of the basement.

-Outside of Gold Team academic quarters in the snow: loose coins.

http://64.136.20.22/2288095_m.jpg

I thought I found all of the secrets, but my stats only mention five.

1. Magister's office: frobbable book opens stained-glass window panel leading to two gold coin stacks.
2. Father Bangor's office: switch near desk lamp opens panel behind desk.
3. Switch behind St. Mari tombstone leads to small crypt with the Excantium text and loot.
4. Room above the hammer-shaped pressure plates in the Silver catacombs above gold coffin; must use a rope arrow to get up there, but the single gas arrow up there is not worth the effort.
5. Dropping corpse in the gold coffin opens secret cavern nearby.

Hexameron
3rd Aug 2009, 04:54
FM: Disorientation
File: Disorientation.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 03:06:22
Loot - 3320/3500
Pockets Picked - 3/12
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - Released in the last month, this T2 FM may be new, but it plays and looks like a T1 mission. Most if not all of the textures, objects, and AI look as if they came from DromEd 1. The author clearly adores the classic TDP atmosphere and even reskinned the AI for authenticity. Like a T1 "Life of the Party," this FM is very non-linear and the areas are infiltrated via the rooftops. There is an abundance of secret areas and hidden levers, not tallied as literal secrets in the stats (there are 0 secrets), all of which require imaginative exploration and a bold use of rope arrows to discover.

I encountered no substantial ghosting issues to contend with except for the increased range of sight that each AI possesses. At times I would be so far away that I couldn't hear a guard up ahead, but he could see me keenly. I don't think I used a single water arrow, but I used nearly all of my moss arrows to prevent loud sounds when walking onto certain metal surfaces not aligned evenly.

-Sneaking by the big spider near the lift for the first time can be difficult and I accomplished it only by chance. The problem is the room's electric light flickers off and on for a few seconds at a time while the spider patrols (randomly?) in a small T-shaped room. The player starts out at the bottom of the T and must pick lock a door to the left. It took about five reloads until I was fast enough and lucky enough to pick the door in time before the spider walked in my direction.

-I never figured out what to do with the four valves and the big red lever. They can be frobbed and perhaps turning them in correct sequence solves a puzzle leading to more loot. I tried various combinations for a good ten minutes and never figured this thing out or came across any hints about it. :scratch:

-The instructions in my starting inventory mention having to find a corpse and dropping it on a bed in a specified pub. The directions stated that once this was done, I was to rendezvous with someone at St. Tennor's statue. I never found a corpse and these intructions had nothing to do with my two main objectives: find Lady Azamlarg's scepter and 2400 loot. I don't know... :confused:

-Moving on the horizontal chains connected to various buildings can be hazardous; it's easy to fall off or make a loud sound when merging onto them.

-Some of the vines in this mission can be climbed like ladders and one in particular (in the park near Bafford's estate) is essential to get over the fence and into Lady Azamlarg's palace. However, the drop into the palace courtyard is too far and it seems impossible to get down without taking damage:

http://64.136.20.22/2290273_m.jpg

There is only one trick I discovered to get down without a scratch. First, I needed to be on the large building facing the fence:

http://64.136.20.22/2290274_m.jpg

Second, I ran and dropped onto the thin edge where the fence meets the wall; one can't stay on here without holding the forward key and letting go will cause the player to fall:

http://64.136.20.22/2290275_m.jpg

Third, I positioned myself directly above the statue below and simply fell onto its head:

http://64.136.20.22/2290276_m.jpg

Loot and Secret Areas

Finding loot is the only major challenge in this mission. I gave up my quest for perfect thief after spending an additional three hours, in a separate blackjack run, searching for loot. I have no doubt this mission can be perfect thieved since most areas with guard activity can be stealthily traversed, but I lost steam towards the end and still wonder what I missed.

-Remove loose stone from wall in one of the shops to find Alchemist's key.
-Two large gold/purple vases on top of the gargoyle heads protruding from the ceiling inside a storage room.
-Serpentile torc on pedestal can be retrieved without taking damage from the energy traps. Simply take the torc and face the diagonal edge of the door frame. There is enough space between the barrage of energy darts to crouch and avoid being struck.
-Small green/gold vase on ledge outside of the attic and across from the serpentile torc room.
-In Lady Azamlarg's chambers: frobbable gargoyle head on bookshelf opens secret door.
-Lever behind gargoyle head on bookshelf in Lady Azamlarg's scepter room.
-Top of bell tower: diamonds in birds nest.
-Generator building with thin wood platforms resting on metal framework: frobbable orange wall plate leading to secret area; need a crate or stackables to get inside. In this secret area, there is another frobbable orange wall plate leading to more obscure and isolated areas with loot.
-Above the walled-in yard with dead woman: cup and wine bottle on the horizontal wood beam accessible with rope arrow. Towards the end of the beam one can mantle to another secret area on the rooftop.

To get to the Keeper's compound, one needs the Tarnished Key and access to what appears to be the sewers (the area before the big spider). A small lever in the room with the four valves slides open the mattress on the floor. Using the Tarnished Key on the lockbox opens the Keeper library (which is really well done, I might add; looks similar to the prophecy cutscene in T2).

It took me quite some time to notice a break in the fence on one of the rooftops and realizing I could get there with a well-placed rope arrow. Of course, there's a cache of loot here:

http://64.136.20.22/2290277_m.jpg

There is a Thief's hideout that is quite difficult to find, let alone get into. The hideout can only be entered by jumping onto the tiled-roof of a house. Jumping and landing didn't seem to bother the two guards nearby:

http://64.136.20.22/2290278_m.jpg

Once on the roof, I had to move slowly and steadily so I wouldn't fall from the incline. A frobbable window is visible only from the other side of the roof:

http://64.136.20.22/2290279_m.jpg

Note the gem ring adorning a hand of glory mounted on the wall of the hideout:

http://64.136.20.22/2290280_m.jpg

There are serpentile torcs dangling like door knockers from the mouths of several gargoyles in one building. They are easy to miss and the author intended the player to retrieve them by ascending to a higher area (note the square-shaped panels behind the gargoyles). Getting here is more trouble than it's worth, so I saved time by stacking all of my scrolls and some fruit under the gargoyles until I was high enough to nab the torcs:

http://64.136.20.22/2290272_m.jpg

Hexameron
14th Aug 2009, 22:39
FM: The Tower
File: TAC_Tower,The.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 01:02:05
Loot - 3844/3844
Pockets Picked - 5/6
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 4/4

Comments - This is one of the better contest FM's available and it's a real gem. The author packs quite a lot into a 64x64x64 cube and my time stamp is no indication of how long I actually played this mission. I went on a BJ run to find loot and secrets and spent an additional hour doing so.

I got a scare when I first started the mission and heard what sounded like multiple second alerts: a few guards and thieves shouting. Seeing as how none of the nearby AI were in search mode, I realized that this was just a scripted audio file and wasn't even voiced by the AI themselves. Ghosting was a challenge because it seems no matter where the player is in this mission, making a noise will alert at least one AI in the vicinity. Without moss arrows, I might not have been successful: jumping to ledges and back again is precarious and I made liberal use of my moss supply.

-There is nothing of importance in the pregnant lady's apartment; it's not even necessary to enter it, but the author saw fit to trigger a new objective not to harm the pregnant AI in anyway. I found that peculiar. Are we players really so sadistic that Garrett needs to be told to stay his cruel hand?

-Getting (quietly) onto the balcony with the sleeping female noble is difficult and not feasible with rope arrows or dropping from above. I got there from the sloped base of the tower. From here, I was able to jump and hold (so I could mantle) onto the balcony. The balcony ledge proper is too thin to be mantled onto, but aiming for the edge of the L section of the [ shaped balcony makes mantling work.

-Sneaking through the apartment where Blaine, the neanderthal-looking guard patrols, takes trial and error. Marble floors, cramped hallways, and little shadow caused me a lot of reloads. Getting the loot in the bedroom cannot be done fast enough before Blaine enters the room, and there are no shadows to hide in. So I stayed parallel with Blaine's profile and took advantage of his absent peripheral vision:

http://64.136.20.22/2312945_m.jpg

http://64.136.20.22/2312946_m.jpg

-The "Master" at the top of the tower appears to be a sitting haunt. Indeed, one can cause a first alert and hear a haunt gasp, but when that occurs, an apparition appears and stands still. It is this guy and not the sitting haunt who can see and hear. I don't consider it a bust causing him to spawn after triggering a first alert; it's just like someone waking up from a sleep state only to stand still:

http://64.136.20.22/2312948_m.jpg

-Once I had access to Leonora's body, I carried her to the second floor of the tower and safely dropped down from an open window (not the balcony). I stowed her body in a patch of darkness and came back when I completed all other objectives.

-To get the box of loot in the rafters of the guard tower, I simply used a rope arrow and stayed close to the ceiling; the patrolling archer couldn't see me up there.

-Some items in this mission look like junk but actually count as loot: glasses on the notary's table and frobbing a tin can adds loose coins to inventory.

Secrets:

1. In Alf's apartment; switch on metal shaft opens wall compartment behind banner.
2. Basement of the shop; switch opens gate blocking area with barrels and coin stacks.
3. Notary's building; frobbable wall under lift.
4. Top of guard tower; locked box in the rafters.

Hexameron
16th Aug 2009, 02:03
FM: Greenbay
File: Greenbay.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 01:30:55
Loot - 5159/5159
Pockets Picked - 9/10
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 1/0 :confused:

Comments - A nice medium-sized city mission with no major ghosting problems.

Here is an interesting room, replete with a birthday cake and balloons, in celebration of the release of Thief Gold. The male thief, I assume to be Garrett, is in a drunk state and ignores the player. Each Thief Gold box is worth 400 loot, so the loot count in this mission is deceiving. Essentially, this secret room contains about 2200 loot.

http://64.136.20.22/2314544_m.jpg

This one(?) secret area is accessible with a well-placed rope arrow on the wooden exterior of Flint's house. The placement of the rope arrow is important. If it's too low, one can't jump to the metal balcony; if it's too high, the player will make a loud foot noise on metal, which alerts multiple AI on the streets. I relied on trial and error until I could jump onto the metal balcony without making a noise. Exploration from the rooftops in this FM tends to crash the game, but it's only necessary to be up there for the secret room.

Loot

-A tiara and necklace on top of the large bookshelf-textured wall in the Mechanist library.
-Purse under one of the lifts in Mechanist library.
-Coin stacks on interior beam of the house near the cafe overlooking water.
-Gold cup on a window sill overlooking the streets.
-Gold mask on desk in a room above the streets; need a rope arrow to climb up; it's possible to mantle over the fence of the balcony while still on the rope.
-There is a cache of loot behind a banner next to the sleeping thief (Zack). All loot can be frobbed without slashing the banner.

Hexameron
16th Aug 2009, 22:12
FM: From Beneath the Sands
File: FromBeneathTheSands.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 01:24:25
Loot - 2140/2240
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0 Bodies Discovered - 2
Secrets Found - 4/4

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot sneak by two haunts after taking Staff of Nyar.

2. Dropping Emperor Daihotep's remains in lava kills all haunts; nearby mummies notice the haunt corpses.

Comments - I have mixed feelings about this FM. It was more Indiana Jones/Tomb Raider than Thief and there are some difficult if not enigmatic puzzles that took me an additional hour of playing time to solve. On the other hand, the tomb is interesting and full of surprising challenges and situations; the whole place is like an Egyptian version of the Bonehoard.

-In the High Priest tomb there is a vast shaft with a sunburst device at the bottom. Exploding the device will destroy the bottom of the shaft, which reveals a submerged area with two loot statues. Although the author intended the player to destroy this sunburst device, I got down there by cheating: I was able to frob the lever on the other side of the secret passage where one returns to the High Priest tomb. The lever is of course not visible from outside of the passage, but it's close enough near the bottom of the secret wall indentation that it can be frobbed.

-Picking up some of the levitating levers on the pedestals leads to an annoying maze that can't be ghosted. The area doesn't appear to be a maze at all, but there is an enforced linear path and deviating from it will transport the player back to the beginning. It's not possible to follow this path and avoid alerting the mummies. Once alerted, these mummies rush forward at a super speed and then disappear. I avoided this dreadful place by taking only the correct lever:

http://64.136.20.22/2316002_s.jpg

-At the Shrine of Rahotep, the author probably meant for the player to use a fire arrow to light the torch, but I tossed a flare up and achieved the same results. Using a fire arrow would have alerted at least one of the nearby mummies. However, for some reason, using the flare can still alert them. The Shrine is some distance from the pool of lava, but I noticed that if any mummies were lingering around the lava when the torch is lighted, they go on second alert. I waited for them to be at other locations before lighting the torch. And even then I checked up on them to see if they were alerted and they were not. Perhaps a loud sound occurs when the lava is transformed into water.

-Getting to the Book of the Dead looks precarious. Indeed, the author places two haunts in front of burning pyres. Notice that the haunts emit their own light source:

http://64.136.20.22/2315987_m.jpg

Dousing the flames will kill the haunts and the area is very bright beyond the two rectangular slates. However, it's possible to inch up to the furthest patch of darkness next to a slate, and then run quickly in between both haunts. Strafing to the right while running seemed to help my chances of getting by:

http://64.136.20.22/2315990_m.jpg

-I was pleased that I ghosted everything up to the Staff of Nyar, but the author (or Emperor Daihotep?) wasn't going to let me off with a success. Stealing the Staff of Nyar (objective) turns on all of the lights in the tomb, spawns several haunts throughout both levels, but most irritatingly, opens these false walls in the corridor leading to the staff:

http://64.136.20.22/2315994_m.jpg

Needless to say, it is impossible to sneak through here, although I was able to run quickly back into the crawl space without taking damage:

http://64.136.20.22/2315998_m.jpg

-I continued back to the upper levels trying to avoid the newly spawned haunts, but it took me at least 45 minutes of exploring until I realized how to destroy Emperor Daihotep's remains. I had hoped for some hints about destroying the remains, but none of my readables describe what to do. I tried destroying the Emperor's remains with a fire arrow and dropping it into the pit. It was only when I looked at the map that I noticed a strange "symbol of death" demarcated in the hall of kings. This symbol is carved into the floor above visible lava; lightbulbs went off in my head. So I got behind the haunt guarding the symbol and chucked the Emperor's remains into the lava. I was shocked when I saw the haunt fall and an "Objective Complete" message.

-Solving the eight-lever puzzle was a pain. Frobbing the levers adjusts two rows of pillars blocking the doorway. The object is to remove enough pillars to squeeze through the doorway. I can't even explain how I managed to do this; just a lot of random frobbing and it took about 20 minutes!

http://64.136.20.22/2316004_m.jpg

I was hoping it would lead to an area allowing me to destroy the Emperor's remains. All I found was a chest with some loot, but I was still happy because it satisfied my 2000 loot requirement.

Secrets:

1. Entrance Hall: purse near dead thief in an alcove; need a rope arrow to retrieve.
2. Chamber with eletrical-box that needs lever: use rope arrow on ceiling to climb onto the passage; gold candlestick in alcove near rafters.
3. Passage up to the levers on the pedestals: frobbable torch near stairs opens sarcophagus.
4. Vault with ramps leading down to lower levels: diamond in vents accessible with rope arrow.

Hexameron
17th Aug 2009, 09:33
FM: Whispers in the Desert [Version 1.2]
File: WhispersInTheDesert_v12.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:22:48
Loot - 2355/2540
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Relics Found - 3/5

Comments - The author calls this FM a "sequel/complete remake of [his] earlier mission From Beneath the Sands." Indeed, the story, characters, and objectives in this FM are nearly identical with its predecessor. The only major change is the tomb layout, puzzles, and AI. Having recently played From Beneath the Sands, I knew to expect traps, unconventional puzzles, and an ambush from Daihotep's minions at some point.

-There is no expert difficulty, only "Easy," "Normal," and "Hard."

-I encountered a very problematic area that any potential ghoster should be aware of and it's right near the beginning at the entrance hall. Below the room with the required gear key is a pitch black labyrinth with a bizarre and totally hypersensitive AI. He has the physical model of a translucent male thief and makes no sound except footsteps; not even an alert vocalism. This shadow is unbelievably sensitive and outclasses AI altered from the Ultimate Difficulty Mod. He would frustrate any ghoster since his only audible indication of a second alert is slow footsteps. He can only be stealthily defeated with CCCing. Walking slowly on the stone floor above the labyrinth is enough to put him on second alert :eek:. Therefore, I have a feeling anyone who has played this mission invariably alerted the shadow. I avoided the labyrinth entirely by reloading and CCCing through the gear room; I leaned forward to grab the gear so I wouldn't fall into the labyrinth.

-Scattered throughout the mission are five relics (a nifty substitute for secrets). It is not possible to get all five without a ghost bust. One of the relics is beneath Daihotep's sarcophagus in the Burial Chamber. Below the sarcophagus are two thin corridors with sleeping mummies. Their bodies block the width of these corridors and it is impossible to sneak or even physically move by without waking them and triggering a third alert. I tried using moss near their bodies and leaping over them but to no avail.

-Like the author's earlier mission, the player must deal with two flaming haunts, or flaming skeletons in this FM, to get the Book of the Dead:

http://64.136.20.22/2316785_m.jpg

Although in From Beneath the Sands, I could merely sneak by the haunts, in the present FM, the skeletons must ultimately and indirectly be dispersed. Dousing both of the flames behind them causes them to vanish and lowers the invisible barrier protecting the book. When I doused the flames, these skeletons simply disappeared with no death animation or damage dealt; they just vanished. It is a required procedure to remove the barrier blocking the book. So this is a difficult call for the ghoster. Did I kill them or did they simply disappear because I doused the flames? If the reader thinks it's a bust, I will change my outcome as a failure.

-I knew the author wasn't going to let me take the Staff of Nyar without spawning an ambush, but I'm glad I didn't have to deal with two haunts in a bright corridor again (see previous post). Instead, the author gives the player a sporting chance to sneak by unscathed. After taking the Staff, a slew of weird undead creatures with AI properties comparable to the treebeast spawn throughout the mission. The thickest cluster of these creatures occurs in the throne room where I had to deal with about nine of them.

http://64.136.20.22/2316784_m.jpg

They frequently pivot in a couple directions and dousing nearby flames is vital, especially in the throne room. CCCing slowly along the scarab's path is how I got by undetected. Beyond the throne room is a false floor that can be avoided by using a rope arrow on a beam and jumping across. Otherwise, one has to work their way through a maze below the false floor and take a longer route to escape.

-Having played From Beneath the Sands and knowing how to deal with Daihotep, I immediately went for the area on my map marked with the "symbol of death." Placing Daihotep's heart on the pedestal in the Hammerite room makes all of the undead creatures collapse to a zombie sleep state. They can still awake and be alerted if one walks too close to them, but other patrolling mummies will not notice them as slain corpses.

-I failed to perfect thief this FM simply because of a lack of desire to search for loot, but I'm sure it can be done. It's possible to grab the cup in the labyrinth with the hypersensitive shadow, but I never figured out how to get out of the labyrinth. All I found was a lever that turned on the lights... and why would I want the challenge of making no foot noise in absolute brightness with a fast hypersensitive AI? I'll leave that to the supreme ghosters ;)

Hexameron
18th Aug 2009, 06:51
FM: Wicked Webs We Weave
File: wickedwebs_final_update.zip

Ghost - Success {Chemical}
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 02:19:29
Loot - 2457/2559
Pockets Picked - 7/10
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0 Bodies Discovered - 1

Comments - This FM is a slightly revamped version of T2's "First City Bank and Trust." Besides newly designed areas outside and in the basement, nearly every portion of the bank is intact and identical to the T2 OM. Minor changes have been made to the amount of loot, types of AI, and secrets. The greatest alteration is in the objectives, the main one being to return the voice recorder (of Truart) to the vault, but this is ultimately cancelled. At one point, the player is pummeled with New Objectives at virtually every turn. By the end of the mission, I counted at least 17 completed objectives! :eek: Backtracking became common place and predictable after the 10th New Objective.

I hadn't played any T2 OM's in over four years, but I think it's a testament to the excellence of the classic Thief OM's that I still remembered intimate details about the floor plan, loot placement, and AI patrols of "First City Bank and Trust." Even though I ghosted it years ago, I readily knew exactly where I needed to go. I went in through my preferred route via the rooftops and onto the rafters above the meeting hall. For about an hour and a half I played this mission as if it was the T2 OM, heading for the watcher control on the third floor, and then gathering all loot floor-by-floor.

I was disappointed when I explored the basement expecting to find the buttons to lower the pole blocking the vault door; the author had erased the button panel and I ended up wasting my time skulking through the basement. To lower the pole and open the vault door, I needed to decipher a combination, which is described in a papyrus that can be picked from a mechanist.

-There are two areas with statues and plaques that contain cryptic clues about the combination. One plaque reads, and I'm paraphrasing, "We two are the beginning; our brothers in the hall make us whole; in the end we are divided." The other plaque says, "We are brothers of eight that follow our sisters; they are one; we are two; the pillars beside us are three and four." I figured out that the latter plaque suggests a four digit combination and the digit itself is the number of objects (in this case, statues and pillars). Thus, the first plaque is near two statues and so the first digit is 2 ("they are one"); the other plaque is near eight statues, so the next digit is 8 ("we are two"). There are two rows of five pillars in the Hall of Statues ("the pillars beside us"), so the final digits are 5.

-Once I triggered the scripted entry of the bank president and his arrest, I needed to find the book of treasures accessible from the rooftops where a band of thieves were preparing to steal it. The ensuing scripted battle was surprising and posed a major problem for the ghoster:

http://64.136.20.22/2326577_m.jpg

http://64.136.20.22/2326578_m.jpg

After the archer destroys the wall, a spider leaps out and attacks the thieves. A patrolling mechanist joins the fight, but is eager to attack both parties:

http://64.136.20.22/2326579_m.jpg

I reloaded numerous times to witness various outcomes. Sometimes only the spider survived, and then other times only the mechanist or archer:

http://64.136.20.22/2326580_m.jpg

By the end of the battle, I could hear numerous second alerts all around me. At least two human guards and two bots inside the bank heard the explosion. But it's the surviving spider or human that becomes a ghosting obstacle. I must enter the crawl space, but approaching it is impossible without instigating a third alert. Even if I waited for things to calm down, the surviving AI always face the crawl space, and apart from my safe position in the shadows, the entire rooftops are well-lit. My only option was to use one of my two invis potions taken from the armory in the basement. I downed a potion from my safe position and raced into the crawl space without alerting the surviving AI.

-There is another ghosting obstacle in the basement. One needs to make a wax copy of a key, but this mechanist worker is blocking the entry:

http://64.136.20.22/2326584_m.jpg

I could have used my last invis potion, but I presumed I might need it later. As an alternative to chemical stimulants, I nudged him. If he is nudged far enough to the left, one can dash towards the wax machine with only a first alert:

http://64.136.20.22/2326585_m.jpg

-Another potential ghosting problem occurs at the mission end after opening the door to the lair. The lair in this mission is only a descending thin corridor with a haunt at the bottom. Entering this corridor triggers a script causing him to rush forward, not to the player, but to a newly spawned lever so he can close a gate behind the player:

http://64.136.20.22/2326582_m.jpg

If all other objectives are completed, the mission will end after the haunt closes the gate. Interestingly, if I crouched and positioned myself deep enough in the corridor, the haunt would run right past me, close the gate, and walk by me again without noticing my presence:

http://64.136.20.22/2326583_m.jpg

Hexameron
19th Aug 2009, 06:56
FM: Hunting Treasure: Part 1 Unrest
File: Hunting_Treasure.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - N/A
Time - 00:41:54
Loot - 0/4519
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - A very odd mission. Garrett travels to the planet Neptune(?) in search of holy items at a Temple of Bullmastiff (maybe Mars has a Citadel of Dachshund?). This isn't a large mission, but it's certainly intimidating for any kind of Thief player. Garrett has no weapons or lock picks; only a compass and water arrows. Ghosting is therefore a necessity unless one wishes to explore with a haunt on their derriere. This FM is oozing with AI, perhaps the most AI I've seen in a single mission. Just for fun, I tried to alert and drag as many as I could to a single location; the following screen shot displays perhaps not even half of the total AI count in this FM:

http://64.136.20.22/2326576_m.jpg

Throughout the temple halls are various tips from a Keeper who directs the player to the right path. I ignored them and just explored. Unfortunately, all of the loot is unfrobbable; no chance for perfect thieving :(.

The entire mission looks great and challenging at first, but there are so many torches that the author might as well have named this FM "Dousing the Flames" because that's all I did. Garrett starts with 50 water arrows for good reason. There must be at least a hundred torches in this temple, although I managed to explore every part of the mission including the crypts until I was down to 10 water arrows. There are about 50 other water arrows that can be taken from a couple of rooms with unlocked doors, too. By the time I found this water arrow supply, I had already returned from the crypts with the key I needed. So I just doused every torch in my path until I found the barracks and ended the mission.

Hexameron
20th Aug 2009, 06:40
FM: Garrett's Young Years
File: GarrettsjungeJahre.zip

Ghost - Failed?
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:43:45
Loot - 3762/3872
Pockets Picked - 13/22
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/1

Cause of Failure:

1. Cannot steal necessary loot without triggering a script that puts two AI on alert who subsequently instigate a battle with other AI.

Comments - I really enjoyed this mission and found the author's meticulous style and humor refreshing. Sure the architecture isn't as refined and sophisticated as it could be, but half way through the mission, I started to believe I was actually playing as a young Garrett on one of his early thieving excursions before TDP. I was pleased the author did away with any weapons including the blackjack, as it wouldn't make sense for an immature Garrett to be so equipped. This could have made the mission very challenging, but I encountered no problems. Half of the AI in this mission ignore Garrett or initiate small talk anyway, and most of the city is dark enough that I could run around carelessly.

Claiming a ghost success in this mission is a tough call, though. I'm inclined to believe it could be either a success or fail depending on one's interpretation of a scripted event. The situation is as follows. In the secret pagan temple there are four AI: a sprite, a slim treebeast, and two pagan apparitions. All of them ignore each other and stay idle:

http://64.136.20.22/2326574_l.jpg

One of the objectives is to collect 3700 loot, but the mission only contains 3872. Note the cache of colored diamonds in the ground. These diamonds amount to 500 loot and must be taken. But doing so triggers a script causing the treebeast and the sprite to rush forward to the location of the diamonds and go on second alert. It's possible to move back and remain undetected while they search, but something else unusual happens. They notice the two pagan apparitions and a melee breaks out:

http://64.136.20.22/2326575_l.jpg

I guess the worshipping pagans had a change of heart about the Woodsie Lord? It's not clear to me if the treebeast and sprite go on second alert because they see the pagans or if their alert status is a result of the scripted event after Garrett takes the diamonds. Whatever the case, I'm at a loss to judge it as a bust or not. It could be reminiscent of stealing the Eye in RTC or it could be an obvious bust because no objective is explicitly completed after taking the diamonds.

Another similar scripted event occurs in the Hammerite compound. Stealing this vase (and the gold hammer nearby) causes an apparition to race forward to the location of the missing loot and stand idle:

http://64.136.20.22/2326571_s.jpghttp://64.136.20.22/2326572_s.jpghttp://64.136.20.22/2326573_s.jpg

He never enters an alert state, so perhaps the aforementioned treebeast and sprite would also stand idle if it weren't for them noticing the pagans.

-If the mission can be ghosted, I don't believe it can be perfect thieved. In the prison of the City Watch building there is a ring in a cell that cannot be reached without alerting an AI. This AI, the moaning woman wearing a mask, stares out of her cell against a portion of the wall brightly lit by a torch. The space between the wall and prison cell is too narrow and Garrett has no water arrows; I couldn't sneak by.

-There are some New Objectives that can be avoided and I made sure not to initiate the objective to kill the beasts in the pen. The new objective to carry Sergio's body to the pagan cemetary is vital and completing it would bring about relief for most players: the reward constitutes three gold nuggets and a blackjack!

Hexameron
22nd Aug 2009, 05:28
FM: Garrett's Young Years II
File: GarrettsJungeJahre2.zip

Mission 1: Again that damned Talisman!

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 01:20:01
Loot - 2500/2500
Pockets Picked - 9/16
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 2/2

Comments - Another fine mission from a promising author. Like its prequel, Garrett must once again find "Aunt Bea's" coveted amulet and pilfer as much loot from the city as possible. On expert, the latter goal is quite difficult.

I have no major ghosting difficulties to report, but finding the required 2400 loot was the greatest hurdle. The author of the GYY series prefers altering and in fact diminishing the default value of loot. In addition, loose coins, single coins, and copper coin stacks are the favored loot type, making the total of 2400 more difficult to reach than it would seem.

-In the High Priest's room of the Hammerite compound is a woman being held (hostage?) behind a banner:

http://64.136.20.22/2326566_m.jpg

There is a switch under the door frame that opens the banner, but this activates a script causing her to run out and inevitably become alerted. It is possible to frob the jeweled cup at her feet without opening the banner itself, though.

-Getting into the hole of the abandoned house is most irritating and requires a precise rope arrow alignment and position on the rope from which to to jump. Once in the opening, the player is stuck in the hole for a time. Continuously pressing forward and crouching will eventually wiggle Garrett through, but not without some foot noise on the tiled surface. Fortunately, the room brush around the opening is either absent or malfunctioning; the spider cannot hear outside noise or even foot noise on the tile-textured surface of the hole.

Loot

As I've said, loot is what really foils the player in this FM. It took me an additional two hours to find all of it and I almost gave up. One has to inspect every crevice, every niche, every piece of furniture in every room to sniff out loose coins and coin stacks difficult to frob.

-There are various purses on the pub gamblers that aren't easy to see.
-A necklace dangling on the bedpost with the two sleeping pagans.
-Loose coins on gambling table in City Watch building.
-Loose coins on purple dresser near Safety Deposit Box.
-Coin stack between two bags in the butcher shop.
-Coin stack in niche behind dresser in room with barechested male thief.

-And a purse on a windowsill accessible with the single rope arrow. From the street, the open window is deceiving. It appears as if there's no viable surface to shoot a rope arrow, but one has to aim for the outer edge of the building.

http://64.136.20.22/2326567_m.jpg

Secrets

1. Three-story building with workshop table and coffin: frobbable torch in basement opens secret area with loot.

2. Apartment with strange wallpaper border: lever between dresser and wall opens the doormat above a compartment with loot.

Peter_Smith
22nd Aug 2009, 05:52
Good job, Hexameron, and thanks for keeping the tradition alive. Hat's off to you for ghosting Whispers in the Desert. I did so up to the end in the throne room, but I panicked and just ran out of there with all the AI chasing me. That was fun, too.:)

I'd like to mention that quite a few of your screen shots, in particular the recent ones, are too dark for me to make out. If you edit them and apply a gamma factor of 1.8 or 1.9, they will probably all look fine to everyone. Page 1 of this thread is generally OK.

Hexameron
22nd Aug 2009, 06:14
FM: Garrett's Young Years II
File: GarrettsJungeJahre2.zip

Mission 2: Ordeal

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:25:15
Loot - 1335/1360
Pockets Picked - 0/10
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot enter hole in abandoned house without alerting the tiny spider.
2. Cannot exit thieves hideout without alerting a zombie blocking the path.
(3). If one initiates the "new objective" to free the people from the Hammerite compound, killing multiple undead becomes necessary.

Comments - I was not expecting this kind of a mission! Apparently Garrett's actions in mission one brought about a cataclysm in the city; buildings are damaged, human AI dead, and every piece of furniture is violently upturned. It's an undead mission and the author presents a fascinating plethora of re-skinned apparitions, haunts, and skeletons.

I must note that I finished this mission without triggering the "new objective" to free the people from the Hammerite compound. I avoided this objective after playing for about 30 minutes and realizing what "freeing" them entailed: killing zombies and in accordance with an explicit objective, making sure the path was clear of undead so they could escape unharmed. Picking up the key on the dead nobleman's belt at the mission start is what triggers the "new objective," so I restarted the game and left the key untouched.

-Stealing the purse and coins from the dead husky nobleman causes the haunt in a nearby building to walk out and patrol. It appears he reaches a heightened second alert state, but shows no physical signs of searching. If the haunt has the player in his view and the light gem is anything but the darkest (even a single tint above pitch black), he will notice and charge fully third alerted. I've never encountered this kind of alerted behaviour: he does not enter an active search mode, patrols around normally, although laughing maniacally like a haunt who is second alerted, and is quick to spot from any distance the player not in pitch darkness. Odd... :confused:

-Stealing the mask at the end of the street causes an apparition to spawn in an alcove. It's impossible to sneak by even with the torches doused.

-Reading Alwine's note on the windowsill of her room cancels the objective to find Garrett's cousins.

-Perhaps the author fixed the room brush around the hole in the wall of the abandoned building. Unlike in mission one, I could not even lodge myself into the hole without making a foot noise and alerting the tiny spider inside.

-The abandoned area is now full of undead, but there is a vital cache of loot (about 500 worth) on the ground. Additionally, there is a skeleton blocking the entrance to the thieves hideout that might have been a clear bust:

http://64.136.20.22/2326568_m.jpg

I managed to nudge him a little bit and squeeze by so I could fall down below:

http://64.136.20.22/2326569_m.jpg

If I could have gotten into that hole without alerting the spider, I would be primed for a ghost success at this point. But then there's this guy:

http://64.136.20.22/2326570_m.jpg

He is standing in front of a ladder and a trapdoor leading to the streets; the trapdoor can only be opened from inside the thieves hideout and I couldn't sneak by.

-Entering the Hammerite compound triggers a scripted battle between undead and hammerites in the graveyard. I avoided entering the sights of any AI alerted from the ruckus by going right into the church. There is a button above the altar in the church that opens the banner behind the two large metal hammers (I used a water arrow to hit the button above the hammerite novice). This leads to the catacombs where the staff must be replaced.

-Without the extra new objective to free the captives in the Hammerite compound, the mission ends after placing the staff on the pedestal.

Hexameron
22nd Aug 2009, 07:22
I'd like to mention that quite a few of your screen shots, in particular the recent ones, are too dark for me to make out. If you edit them and apply a gamma factor of 1.8 or 1.9, they will probably all look fine to everyone. Page 1 of this thread is generally OK.

Weird. All of my screenshots are set to gamma 1.8. I edited the gamma of all screens on this page to 2.0, but they don't appear that different to me. Thanks for the feedback about that.

Hexameron
22nd Aug 2009, 07:45
FM: Walkin' on Mars
File: WalkinOnMars-1.0.zip

Ghost - Failed
Perfect Thief - N/A
Time - 00:05:14
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 1 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 30 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 1

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot sneak by mechanist outside of spacecraft.

2. Cannot sneak into spacecraft without alerting another mechanist.

Comments - One of those space thief missions and not very sporting for the player who prefers stealth. There is only one objective to get the precursor mask.

http://64.136.20.22/2326608_m.jpg

I couldn't sneak by the idle mechanist observing the metal hatch; the area is too bright. I gave him a backstab when the patrolling bot and mechanist were far away. I could have taken about 30 minutes to nudge him aside, but why go through all the work when I have to face the following when I open the hatch?

http://64.136.20.22/2326610_m.jpg

There's no chance of stealth with this mechanist inside. It's also difficult to get off of the ladder and into the spacecraft. I had to close the hatch behind me so I became sandwiched between it and the ladder. Only with the metal hatch as a support could I jump off of the ladder without falling back outside.

Hexameron
22nd Aug 2009, 08:46
FM: City Conflict 1
File: City_Conflict_1.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:22:05
Loot - 1795/1795
Pockets Picked - 1/2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This FM utilizes the Utlimate Difficulty Mod; at least, the author modified the gamesys to match the level of difficulty that comes with the UDM. I've only tried the T2 OM's with the UDM and I'm not a great fan. With AI intense missions, ghosting with the UDM can really be a pain rather than an enjoyment; I tend to reload more than I would if I was supreme ghosting. Nonetheless, this little mission gave me no problems.

-Picking the key off of the mechanist priest disrupts his patrol. When he realizes he can't enter the locked office, he stands still. One has to unlock the door and reload to get him moving again. No matter where he is during his patrol, as soon as the door is locked, he stops dead in his tracks. I found I could use this to my advantage. It certainly helped the first time I got to the top floor and picked his key after he entered the assembly room: he goes back to his office and stands at the door. Having one less AI patrolling up here while I snuck to the far end of the balcony was helpful, maybe even vital.

-To get the loot at the end of the balcony, I had to crouch and walk slowly to the far end, jump onto the rails, and stay crouched while the patrolling mechanist made her round; I couldn't simply stay on the balcony floor or else she would bump into me and notice my presence.

Peter_Smith
23rd Aug 2009, 02:00
They look much better now too me, on the whole. A few could be just a little bit too light, but not annoyingly so. They are fine. Formerly there were some dark ones, in Garrett's Young Years II. The figures are now clearly visible to me, but the background is still black.

You are embarassing me with all your rapid fire exploits. ;)

Peter_Smith
24th Aug 2009, 02:27
FM: Garrett's Young Years
File: GarrettsjungeJahre.zip

Ghost - Failed
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 04:18:07
Loot - 3792/3872
Pockets Picked - 14/22
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 1/1

Cause of Failure:

I repeated Hexameron's run, thinking I might find a way to beat the sprite and tree beast. Nope. My experience was even less ghostly than his in two respects, but I did get more loot, one more pocket, and the secret, which had no loot.

Regarding the hammerite ghost that comes out of the tomb when you steal a gold vase or hammer at the Hammerite Monestery, my experience is that he came for me in a bee line every time. I tried to pick up the gold vase on the run and circle around to get the hammer. On one occasion and only one, he stopped some distance from where I picked up the vase. I have no proof whether he saw me or not.

Regarding the sprite and the tree beast, I tried all kind of angles and reaching moves, but the sprite always came for me in a bee line to wherever I was. No hiding. I tried pacing objects in front of him, hoping to block his view. All I could find that was handy, or seemed worth trying, was one hammerite body, found in the water, and three purple fruits found in the area. I stacked the fruits right in front of him and the body behind the fruits. I could not see the sprite. But he saw me. Every time. I think that is the script. He adjusts his running angle to correspond to Garrett's position.

Now, if there had been any frobbable crates in the mission or boulders, I would have made a huge pile in front of him, hoping to block his motion. I would have claimed success with that move if I could have done it, but there were no frobbable crates or boulders.

So, for me, it was clearly a bust. The reason for the bust is two scripts. But these are scripts where they obviously attack the player, so I think it is a bust. This is a different situation from the scripts in Life of the Party (the fight) and Return to the Cathedral (taking the eye), where the AI do not see Garrett (if done right), so the only complaint is whether Garrett started a melee. The ruling was that he didn't. That may be debatable, but in any case I think there can be no success if the AI attack Garrett, whatever the reason.

I picked up the loot in these places plus the ring in the jail, just to see if I could get all the loot. I am still 80 short and not highly motivated to keep looking, having done the nose to the ground grid search 2-3 times (note time). Another factor in the time is that I always try ghosting the first time through, so no practice to find optimal routes in advance.

Hexameron
26th Aug 2009, 21:41
Interesting thoughts there, Peter. From my perspective, the hammerite haunt, treebeast, and sprite, are scripted to run towards the position of the loot, not to attack the player. This creates the illusion that they're charging right for you. And if you're not fast enough to move out of the way, they will run right into you and notice you sure enough.

To deal with the haunt, I first looted the gold vase and backed away quickly while crouched. He stopped near the missing vase and stood idle. Then I stole the gold hammer and he raced towards that location, too, but I backpedaled invisibly; ultimately he stood still for the remainder of my game and showed no external signs of an alert state.


Regarding the sprite and the tree beast, I tried all kind of angles and reaching moves, but the sprite always came for me in a bee line to wherever I was.

I don't think the sprite is coming for you but like the haunt, to the position where the loot once was. The sprite and treebeast behave similar to the haunt except they go on second alert for some reason.


Another factor in the time is that I always try ghosting the first time through, so no practice to find optimal routes in advance

I was surprised by your 4 hour timestamp, but I see how you reached that now. I always ghost the first time through as well, but if I get stuck or short on loot, I'll go on a BJ run. When I figure out how to progress, which might be three hours later, I'll reload my earlier ghost save.

Hexameron
26th Aug 2009, 22:10
FM: Bathory - Part II
File: bathory_part2_v1.1a.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 02:14:06
Loot - 7350/7350
Pockets Picked - 9/16
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 20 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0 (1) Innocents Killed - Some
Secrets Found - 5/5

Comments - The Bathory series is an epic campaign of high-quality FM's with a dark medieval setting. The fictional plotline is about the infamous 16th century Hungarian "Blood Countess" who bathed in the blood of virgins. Like CoSaS, all traces of Garrett the player have been removed, including mantling grunts, cries from being wounded, and even sounds that the player makes on each walking surface. I found the latter aspect a little hard to get used to, but it's refreshing all the same. I did not care for the new light gem, but again, it just requires familiarization.

This mission is quite large, but I had no problem ghosting any of it. The stats indicate I had 0 kills, but I did kill the bailiff (objective). He is standing in a large bathroom next to Rozi, the nude woman taking a shower. I couldn't knock him out with my walking stick (substitute for BJ), but I could assassinate him with a single broadhead. The bailiff's deathcry didn't alert Rozi, even though he was very close to her.

Ever the perfectionist, I spent so many hours searching for all of the loot, but still ended up 20 short after five hours! I got so desperate I asked for help about this missing loot on the TTLG boards and the author gave me a loot list. The missing loot was indeed loose coins on a bench outside the conference room where the Notary is.

Other hard-to-find loot includes:

-Attic alcove: gold wine bottle lodged in stacked-log wall texture.
-Servants' quarters: tiny ring on floor near bloodstain in one of the rooms.
-Crypt with Ouroboros trinity pedestal: gold skull in niche above doorway.

Hexameron
26th Aug 2009, 22:19
FM: Bathory - Part III
File: bathory_part3_v1.2a.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:50:18
Loot - 6070/6370
Pockets Picked - 16/20
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 3
Damage dealt - 3 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 1/2

Comments - Nothing too difficult for the ghoster here. I played this mission right after I finished Bathory - Part II and I got a little burned out towards the end. I gave up trying to find the remaining 300 loot and the missing secret :(

There is an objective to knock out three guards outside of the mausoleum and hide their bodies in the garden, which explains the knockout count and damage recorded in my stats.

The guards in the garden outside of Elizabeth's residence are sensitive to doused torches. I could only extinguish two without alerting them.

Hexameron
27th Aug 2009, 04:57
FM: Carkess Revenge
File: Carkess-Revenge.zip

Ghost - Failed
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 02:29:53
Loot - 7091/7341
Pockets Picked - 5/7
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 105 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 1

Cause of Failure:

1. Cannot progress to a required area without killing and dealing damage to a rat.

Comments - It always fascinates me how some of the smaller and marginalized FM's contain more ghosting challenges and conundrums than the large-scale and famous ones. My previous reports on two of the Bathory missions are fine examples: they are epic and enjoyable missions that require hours of exploration, but the ghosting is straightforward and there is nothing remarkable to note. Not so with the present FM.

The objectives in this mission are to find five golden bones, a sword, 4500 loot, and kill Sir Moore. With the exception of one scroll, there is in fact no hints about where these bones are scattered. It's up to the player to judge what room looks important and scavenge every nook and cranny. Indeed, the author loves to put things in out-of-sight niches and compartments. I spent an additional hour of a BJ run looking for the golden bones; some are so well hidden that I really wish the author gave the player some clue. One bone is concealed inside a small slit cut into one of the ceiling beams of the mask collector's bedroom (top floor of factory); the bone is almost impossible to find unless you were frobbing everywhere in that room, even the ceiling.

Ghosting comes to an end as soon as one reaches Sir Moore's estate. To gain entry to his mansion and escape from the basement, one needs a particular key that is only spawned after killing a rat (who ate it according to one of the readables). Killing the rat in anyway causes damage and is not permissable. When I killed Sir Moore later on, I surely didn't inflict more than 20 damage, as a typical assassination broadhead shot will do. Thus, the extra 85 damage came from killing that rat. I tested this by reloading to an earlier save, killing the rat, and then pressing ctrl+alt+shift+end to observe the stats; a taut broadhead shot did 280 damage that time! Poor rat:

http://64.136.20.22/2335537_m.jpg

Attempted Ghosting (or Perfect Thieving) Challenges

Before reaching Sir Moore's estate, I tried for a perfect thief success. But even if ghosting was possible, perfect thieving is not. There is a pub with loose coins scattered on the counter and a jeweled cup that can be stolen from a drunk guard's hand. However, the female servant eyeing the entire interior foils any possibilities for sneaking except around the perimeter of the room. Getting through this pub in order to get to the outside cafe looks hazardous enough:

http://64.136.20.22/2335468_m.jpg

What I did was rush into the pub and crouch to the left against the tables close to the wall, instigating a first alert from the servant. By CCCing very slowly around the chairs and tables, staying as close to the wall as possible, I finally got to the other end of the pub without alerting her:

http://64.136.20.22/2335469_m.jpg

The next difficult situation for the (attempted) perfect thiever is in a darkened room with a sleeping mechanist priest. Once you open the door to her cramped room, she awakes from her sleep state and stands on the bed. This makes getting the gold nuggets near her mattress seemingly impossible:

http://64.136.20.22/2335460_m.jpg

The problem is that the player cannot reach the gold nuggets from the floor. And jumping onto the mattress doesn't work because she always notices. My solution was to retrieve a potted plant (ah, those handy-dandy potted plants) from the factory and use it like a crate:

http://64.136.20.22/2335461_m.jpg

The potted plant provides enough elevation to CCC onto the corner of the mattress proper. Then all I needed to do was hug the wall and lean forward until I could reach the nuggets:

http://64.136.20.22/2335464_m.jpg

Getting into the crypt appears impossible because of the mechanist priest blocking the way:

http://64.136.20.22/2335465_m.jpg

I nudged him towards the door until I could get by. Nudging him to the left does not work because he gets stuck between the pedestal and pew:

http://64.136.20.22/2335467_m.jpg

Other Notes

-The male pagan in the City Watch prison cell acts goofy when the player is around. After the patrolling bluecoat passes by his cell, he goes on second alert. When the guard makes another round, the pagan goes on third alert, which subsequently alerts the bluecoat, who then goes on second alert. :nut: Eventually they both calm down, but the cycle will continue endlessly as long as the player is in the building. This makes it difficult to get the loot in the torture room upstairs. The floor is metal and there are two loot items on the ceiling beams. With only two rope arrows in the mission, I really wanted to save them in case I needed them.

To get the gold dice, I planted a rope arrow on the wooden panel with shackles and then one from a ceiling beam. This way I could Tarzan jump to each one and still be in reaching distance to collect all of the rope arrows once I was done. Getting the statue on another ceiling beam necessitated a little more grace. I could only rely on one rope arrow in the beam, but after taking the statue, I leapt onto the soft edge of the pillory stocks so I would make no foot noise. Standing on the stocks, I could retrieve my rope arrow and crouch and drop down to the metal floor with no noise.

-To get through the hotel undetected, I needed to dash into the right-side corner of the lobby and brace myself against the furniture. Only from this position could I aim properly and douse the fireplace. Extinguishing the flame is difficult; it requires leaning and aiming in between the gold knobs. That is the only spot where a water arrow splash will douse the fire.

Hexameron
27th Aug 2009, 20:17
FM: Midday Escape
File: C5_Midday_Escape_v1.1.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:29:09
Loot - 40/2050
Pockets Picked - 0/39
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - A small contest mission that takes place during the day in a desert town. Perhaps I didn't do something right in this FM or perhaps my GayleSaver's scripts are not installed correctly, but I could not pick any purses off the guards in this mission, which leads me to believe there was a problem with my game. Why else did I collect only 40 loot when every guard (about 39 according to the pick pocket stats) in the mission had a purse? The author does love to scatter single coins worth 1 gold all over the mission, but I only found 40 of them.

The mission enforces sneaking: archers are around every corner and one shot from their bow kills the player. Most of the mission is linear and once the player reaches the locked shutters, he must backtrack to the beginning of the mission to get a key. This wasn't so bad and I managed to find a couple of gold coins I hadn't noticed previously. Still, I wish I could understand why I missed so much loot and if what I missed is indeed the unfrobbable purses on the archers.

Something puzzling happened when I hit the South Alley portion of the mission; if I kept running after my final objective was complete, a "new objective" message would appear and I would die. The final stats indicated that the "new objective" was X'ed off as failed. Interestingly, the failed "new objective" said Garrett had a heart attack! Hmm :scratch:

Hexameron
28th Aug 2009, 01:46
FM: Ice Base 1
File: IceBase1v4.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:35:07
Loot - 1040/1255
Pockets Picked - 2/4
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This is one of the few FM's that made me pine for a map. I'm not sure the mechanist flavor was really captured in this "Ice Base"; much of the inside looks like something from Star Trek rather than Thief. Regardless of the interior aesthetics, the base is a huge labyrinth where each room contains multiple doors to more rooms. One of my normal playing habits is to close doors behind me, but I had to leave them open to help me remember if I had been to an area previously.

-Taking "the plans" (objective) causes a keeper note to spawn near the vents. The note contains invaluable information for completing the mission: the four-digit code to exit the top floor of the ice base.

-Perhaps the mission can be perfect thieved, but I didn't even try to look for the missing loot. 1000 loot is the objective and once I satisfied that, I was done. The author isn't one to hide loot, but psychologically, the task seemed too intimidating because of the sheer size of the base; I felt it would be like searching for the cliched needle in a haystack.

Hexameron
28th Aug 2009, 01:57
FM: Cold Feet
File: ColdFeetA.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - N/A
Time - 00:04:34
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/9
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0 Bodies Discovered - 1

Comments - Sequel to "Ice Base 1," this FM is very short and plays like a transition from one mission to the next. Garrett finds himself crash landed in between snowy cliffs and there is only one objective to find a way out. A couple of melees between mechanists and icebeasts ensue along the way, but there's enough darkness to sneak by undetected. At a few points, a barrage of missles (exploding like fire arrows) will hit some icebeasts and then the cliff wall. This alerts two mechanist archers behind a portcullis, but they're too far away to notice the player on the catwalk. The mission ends after entering a mechanist building.

Klatremus
29th Aug 2009, 16:58
Hey nice reports over the summer Hexameron! :thumb:

I've been away from ghosting for a few months, but thought about picking it up again. It surely is encouraging to see others enjoying the same playing style. Proper reports are always interesting. :)

Hexameron
29th Aug 2009, 17:16
It would be great to have you back Klatremus. I miss your reports and reading about your supreme ghosting efforts.

Hexameron
30th Aug 2009, 03:36
FM: Assault at the Gas Station
File: GasStationAssault_1.9.Gold.zip

Ghost - Failed
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:50:09
Loot - 4730/5000
Pockets Picked - 11/12
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 1
Damage dealt - 1 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 7/7

Cause of Failure:

1. Cannot get required key without incapacitating an AI.

Comments - I had a lot of trouble with this FM, mostly because I couldn't figure out how to progress, especially in the labyrinth. There are at least three optional objectives that I did not satisfy; some entailed setting up timebombs and experimenting with a certain type of gas. I focused on the main objectives only: find the primal node, 4500 loot, and escape.

-Any ghoster will undoubtedly be challenged with gaining entry to the gas station. There are two ways to enter: through the front door or around the back garbage chute. The front door can be ruled out as the inside foyer is bright, contains metal floors, and a cluster of three AI. The back is the only viable option, but it's still problematic because there's a chance of alerting one of the mechanists after dropping down the metal chute and into the water. I found that only the chute at the bottom left corner gives the player a chance to drop down without alerting anyone. Dropping down any of the other chutes will invariably alert the patrolling mechanist. The problem is that the bottom of the metal chute is slanted and the momentum from dropping onto it causes the player to make foot noise. With a few reloads, I managed to fall down the chute and avoid any alerts. Falling into the water apparently can't be heard from above.

-My one ghost bust occurred in the laser-beam protected room where one of the primal node key's is located. Touching the laser beams causes a watcher to turn on and the mechanist worker to become alerted. The lasers can be deactivated by flipping the large lever across the room. Of course, one has to get through the lasers first to even reach that lever. I don't know if there's another switch somewhere, but I decided to stack my inventory items and leap over the laser beams. Having the X green or red cylinders greatly helped my boost upwards:

http://64.136.20.22/2341530_m.jpg

http://64.136.20.22/2341532_m.jpg

http://64.136.20.22/2341524_m.jpg

Once I was on the other side next to the mechanist worker, I thought things would go smoothly; at the worst, I would have to nudge the mechanist forward to get the key beyond. So I thought... I actually could not nudge him forward or jump over the pipes. Nudging him simply pushes him against a wall of nothing; he is clearly stuck on something. I tried stacking my inventory until I touched the ceiling and I still could not jump over him. I think there is a definite invisible barrier and it only disappears when he is rendered unconscious, either with a gas arrow or flipping the big lever, which turns on a blue electrical charge that incapacitates him:

http://64.136.20.22/2341526_m.jpg

-Dealing with the labyrinth took time, but I was more upset about one of the patrolling mechanists who suddenly stopped his patrol and stood still for the remainder of my game. If I hadn't been busted by the mechanist worker, I would have used an invis potion to get by, but I BJ'ed him instead.

-If ghosting was possible, perfect thieving is not because of the loot glasses behind a glass display; they can't be taken without breaking the display.

-I never did get into the room behind the keypad in the construction zone area. I found a crumpled note with some kind of pictorial clue about the "cryo room," but this probably pertains to the other optional objectives.

-Once I dropped down the vast chute near the captain's/lieutenant's offices, a fight broke out with pagans and mechanists. But I snuck through to the mission end without being seen.

Hexameron
2nd Sep 2009, 04:59
FM: His Own Medicine
File: HisOwnMedicine1-1.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:25:26
Loot - 2034/2579
Pockets Picked - 12/12
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 1/2

Comments - A small city FM with a few surprising challenges for the ghoster.

-To get across the wall at the beginning, I shot my single rope arrow into the parapet where the archer is positioned. I couldn't mantle onto the top of the parapet without alerting the archer, so while standing on the wooden block, I leapt over to the right of the parapet. From here I had a choice. I could either use my rope arrow in the wooden block facing the other side of the wall, in which case I would have to forfeit retrieving the arrow (the drop is too far), or I could slink by the archer towards the lever that opens the gate. I accomplished the latter by moving on the top of the parapet and leaping across to the other parapet. It took a few reloads because the archer is facing the lever and I could not sneak by. Only jumping across without foot noise worked for me. Once I opened the gate, I leapt into the moat below so I wouldn't have to worry about leaving my only rope arrow behind.

Lord Goodheart's House

There are two trouble spots in Goodheart's house: (1) Infiltrating the house and (2) getting out with Lady Goodheart's corpse.

1. Getting into Lord Goodheart's house (with the singing nobleman) is very difficult. There are three possible entrances to his house: the front door facing the large fountain cradling a blazing fire, the left door across from the warehouse, and the balcony.

I suppose if I had crates or other stacking materials, or if I returned to the parapets to scale the rooftops, I could get to the balcony. But I was already on the street level. Opening the door on the left across the warehouse immediately triggers a second alert with the nobleman. I reloaded and reattempted to no avail. My only choice was the front door, but the interior is lit by a couple of torches and running or CCCing into the room always alerts the nobleman. Dousing any torches also puts the noble and sometimes the guard next to him on second alert... most of the time.

I was able to douse the torch to the right above the broken horn of quintus only after dousing the blazing fire above the fountain. I don't know how to explain why that worked. It may have been luck, a random outcome, or extinguishing the fire on the fountain did indeed make it possible. This area will no doubt foil many impatient ghosters and may lead some to believe the mission itself can't be ghosted, so I submit the following screenshot as proof that I got into the house without alerting the noble. The front door is in between the torches:

http://64.136.20.22/2347039_m.jpg

2. Leaving the house with Lady Goodheart's body cannot be done without numerous reloads and a refined strategy. Here's the situation. If the player enters the bathroom upstairs, a "New Objective" message comes up and a few seconds later a brief in-game cutscene of three cops rushing towards Goodheart's house occurs:

http://64.136.20.22/2347040_m.jpg

These three running cops are approximately 6-8 seconds away from entering the house and reaching the cramped staircase to the top floor. They are scripted to run into the house and upstairs to the crime scene, the bathroom, and then go on second alert. The ghoster must be downstairs (with Goodheart's corpse) before the cops move upstairs or he'll be trapped by AI blocking the hallways. It took me a handful of reloads to understand what I needed to do. First, I entered the bathroom, triggering the "new objective," grabbed the lady's corpse and walked outside of the bathroom. Second, I waited for the brief in-game cutscene to be over and moved to the top of the staircase. Third, I crouched and dropped down silently on the stairs below. Fourth, I moved against the closed door of the kitchen and remained in darkness while the guards raced by towards the crime scene. All of this has to be done quickly and there's no room for error. My fastest run was still only 2 seconds before the guards came into view:

http://64.136.20.22/2347041_m.jpg

It's not over yet... As soon as all three guards reach the top floor, they are scripted to go on second alert, which upsets the guard downstairs and sometimes the nobleman. The three cops will eventually hunt downstairs, so it's necessary to sneak through the kitchen and get out of Goodheart's house immediately. Just an aside, I don't know if a perfect thief is possible, but I missed a goblet near Lady Goodheart's submerged body. I didn't think I had time to grab the gold cup and then her corpse, but after finishing the mission, I went back to a save right before entering her bathroom and successfully got the cup and downstairs with a second to spare.

Other Notes

-Sneaking around that crowned frogbeast in the garden is not as easy as it looks. The little guy has excellent peripheral vision. I ended up CCCing very slowly around the hedge maze. After I waited for the patrolling archer to be away from his post overlooking the garden, I creeped up to the frogbeast and pickpocketed the crown it was wearing.

-Sneaking through the Hammerite church can be problematic if one hasn't conserved water arrows. I managed to sneak through it once without water or moss, but upon leaving, I had too much trouble with that randomly pivoting priest. I had no choice but to use a gas arrow on one of the chandeliers to reduce the degree of light in the area.

-I actually explored as much of the mission as I could before instigating the cop script and "new objective" to carry Lady Goodheart's corpse to Taffey's place. I had no idea where the mask was until I went on a BJ run. Entering Goodheart's bathroom and triggering the "new objective" spawns a large nobleman back at the Hammerite church library. He is holding the mask, which can be picked.

Hexameron
3rd Sep 2009, 20:34
FM: Tales from the Cleft: Vandal
File: Vandal.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 01:59:41
Loot - 4771/4871
Pockets Picked - 5/5
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 4
Damage dealt - 1 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot reach loot requirement without destroying a crate containing a purse.

2. To prevent Nathan from being killed, one must knock out Lucy.

3. Cannot end mission without disabling a searchlight with a water arrow, but I'm not sure if this technically counts as property damage.

(4). I also could not accomplish my loot objective without knocking out the archer following the guard with a lantern who has a purse on his belt.

Comments - This was a decent mansion FM with a gripping story, although the amount of inevitable "New Objectives" is a little extravagant. By the end of the mission, I had about 14 total objectives checked off. The stats are wrong to indicate 4 knockouts. I only recall two, one of which oddly did not deal damage.

-The loot requirement in this mission is extremely high on expert: 4750 when there is only 4871 loot in the mission. That brings me to my main ghost busts. There is a purse worth 250 that either spawns or is placed inside a crate that cannot be picked up. I tried leaning around in an attempt to push the crate aside or frob the purse inside of it, but the crate is wedged into the ground and the purse cannot be highlighted. This purse must be taken to satisfy the loot objective, so I had to destroy the crate with my blackjack.

I never did find the missing 100 loot, but it's possible that I missed something back at the mission start before I dropped to the ground from the mechanist supply depot. Without that 100 loot, I was forced to retrieve the purse from the guard patrolling outside of Lord Hunter's mansion. The guard is carrying a lantern and is followed by an archer. I saw no feasible way to get close enough and snatch the purse without one of them noticing me. Thus, I had to KO the archer and then pick the lantern guard's purse.

-I never did solve the frobbable book combination puzzle in the library. Instead, I accidentally cheated by frobbing the lever of the secret door to the rare book collection from within the library. In other words, I hit a lever I could not see on the other side of the wall; something the author probably did not intend.

-At one point, I received "New Objectives" to follow Nathan and prevent his death. I entered the secret basement below the bedroom adjacent to the kitchen. Once there, I triggered a script involving Lucy assaulting Nathan with offensive spells. If the player merely watches the event, Nathan will die and the objective to keep him alive will be failed. I had no choice but to KO Lucy. I didn't try killing her, as that might have conflicted with my "no killing of innocents" objective. Here is a situation I'm not sure how to judge adequately as far as ghosting is concerned. The objective does not explicitly say "disable, kill, or knockout Lucy," but that is the only option to prevent Nathan from dying, which is the clear objective.

-After saving Nathan, I needed to escape the basement by entering a room that gradually fills up with water. I still don't understand that part of the plot. I just saved the guy's life and he has me exit not conveniently back to the bedroom above, but through an enclosed room with a rising water level? He even says, "I hope you can swim Garrett." I was a little ticked off; maybe I should have let Lucy finish him off :rolleyes:. Like a scene from the movie Titanic, I had to jump up and keep my head above water so I could preserve my air supply. Once the room was totally submerged, a metal door slowly moves open and I could swim out to the docks. The silver nuggets in the underwater tunnel must be collected, and I could not do so and reach air without using one of my breath potions.

-Before being able to untie the rope of the rowboat and end the mission, I had to disable the searchlight at the top of the light tower. The only way to do so is by firing a water arrow at it, which makes a cracking noise followed by a thump (sounds identical to dropping a flash bomb on a wooden surface). I didn't see any physical external damage to the searchlight and I didn't really destroy it, but the water arrow certainly put it out of order. Is this still property damage?

Hexameron
4th Sep 2009, 20:36
FM: Ranstall Keep [Thief 2 Version]
File: ranstv2_b.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 01:27:43
Loot - 4248/5883
Pockets Picked - 1/4
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 3/5

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot acquire lock picks without breaking glass skylight of weapon shop.

2. Cannot infiltrate abandoned house without breaking a glass window, which alerts three tiny spiders.

3. Cannot reach thief friend in crypt below church without destroying floorboards, which alerts multiple Hissie's in the vicinity.

Comments - This is the first FM I ever played about seven years ago. It probably wasn't the best introduction to the world of Thief Fan Missions, as I remember being stuck and unable to finish without checking the TTLG boards for help. Still, I have fond memories of Ranstall Keep because it showed me something I never imagined back in 2002: more Thief beyond the original missions. It's something we in the Thief community today take for granted, with over 900 FM's available for download, but I can remember when the emergence of just one new FM was fresh and exhilarating.

Strangely enough, in all the years since its release, I don't believe this old mission has been reported in any of the now seven-part Eidos Ghost Report threads. But the mission is certainly unghostable because the author places many physical barriers, namely glass windows, in Ryalla's way. Clusters of ents, trains of haunts, or rows of watchers: they're not as terrifying to the ghoster as glass windows or wooden planks barring the way.

No Corpses or Unconscious Bodies: Just Shattered Glass

There are two instances where glass windows must be broken to gain entry to a required area. The only route into the weapon shop is through the glass skylight on the roof. Breaking the window with the blackjack does not alert anyone nearby, not even the pivoting Hissy a few feet below. Although the display cases in the weapon shop cannot be picked, it is possible to frob all of the water arrows (the only items I wanted) without breaking glass. I could also snatch the fire arrows and broadheads, but not the gas arrows or potions.

The next situation of forced property damage occurs at the abandoned house. I saw no other feasible way in except behind the inn where one glass window is located. Breaking it alerts the three tiny spiders in the attic. Since getting up there to read the note on the table satisfies an objective, the spiders will invariably see the player. Before moving up there, I went to the wondrously attractive display case full of loot. I frobbed almost everything except two cups behind the displays. I also accidentally destroyed a couple glass panes by leaning left and right. After snatching the loot, I ran upstairs, read the note, and raced back downstairs. The three spiders were in pursuit until I leapt out of the window.

-There is in fact one more case of necessary property damage. I can still remember seven years ago when I had trouble completing just one objective: finding the thief friend. All I could remember (from reading the TTLG boards years ago) was that he was somewhere in the village below floorboards. For the present attempted ghost run, I read a note which hinted at a secret in the church. Sure enough, I investigated the church and discovered that the floorboards of the confessional can be destroyed with the blackjack. Below these floorboards is a crypt with a lot of loot, Ryalla's friend, and a note which triggers a "New Objective" to find a magic rock. The ruckus I made after destroying the floorboards alerted at least three Hissies: the two patrolling crossbowmen and the sword-wielding one walking outside of the church.

Ghosting Ranstall Keep

-To access the Lord's private chambers, I needed to nudge the apparition in the foyer away from the book he watches. Reading the book causes it to slide open, revealing a button. I could not frob the button without nudging the apparition a little bit forward.

-The next button to be pressed is above a fountain where another apparition is present. Reaching the button is difficult without upsetting the apparition, so I shot a water arrow at the button instead.

-I was very careful to conserve water arrows: I used one in the gardens, so I could acquire the ladders (I ended up not using them, however). I used three in the Lord's private room because of the randomly patrolling apparition, one in the magic rock chamber, two in the practice dummy room, and one outside of the keep near the bridge with a pivoting Hissy. By the end of the mission, I had two water arrows remaining.

-I had trouble using the ladders in the room with lava flows. For some reason, although I thought I picked up two ladders, I only had one in my inventory. Placing the ladder in its appropriate slot above the lava didn't really help me. I could climb the ladder, but I could not jump off or mantle onto the metal catwalk easily, and even when I did, I made unacceptable foot noise. So I refrained from using the ladder and just Tarzan jumped with a series of rope arrows.

-To sneak through the practice dummy area with the training Hissy, I doused all torches and CCC'ed carefully around him. Opening the door to the room with the note explaining what kind of creature the Lord is causes problems. Depending on where the training Hissy is positioned, the one inside the room can be alerted because he hears the noise outside. I found that if the Hissy in the practice room is facing the player and furthest away from the room, the one near the desk won't hear what's going on outside:

http://64.136.20.22/2351683_m.jpg

Not that any of this matters since the mission can't be ghosted... :hmm:

Hexameron
18th Sep 2009, 07:02
FM: Vagabond
File: Vagabond.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 01:50:03
Loot - 2425/2425
Pockets Picked - 1/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 1/1

Comments - This FM is the sequel to "Nostalgia" and involves a new player character named Darren and his recruitment into the Night Masks. This is a city mission and one that is almost virtually non-hostile to the player. However, it's worth mentioning that the guards' default aggressive tendencies are controlled by a script. For example, each time a guard notices the player, he makes a recoiling gesture as if he's third alerted, but is scripted to quickly resume his patrol or return to a standing position and ignore Darren. It's impossible to avoid triggering this, especially in the Seagull's Nest.

One of the objectives is to kill the dayport assassin and carry his body to a crate. The assassin can be killed with the poisoned dagger, which didn't deal any damage or register as a kill in my stats. However, carrying the body out of The Rusted Hook tavern is not possible without alerting the patrons downstairs. So I merely dropped the assassin's body out of his room window. Only by doing that could I exit the tavern without upsetting anyone.

http://64.136.20.22/2376560_m.jpg

Carrying the body around in the streets is also dangerous because of the one guard that patrols around the Rusted Hook and the Seagull's Nest. He acts very strangely if the player is carrying the assassin's body in his vicinity. If the guard was visible on my screen at all while carrying the corpse, he would make a third-alert charge even if his back was turned. Obviously I could only sneak around by waiting for the guard to be totally out of sight. There is one exception to this: being in pitch darkness while the guard is nearby is okay, but any light gem hue other than the lowest black will provoke him.

-Opening the path to Tunnel C takes some practice, careful but hasty sneaking, and maybe luck. The hammerite in the sewers has a troublesome short patrol and he moves erratically in the lever room. Sometimes he gets stuck moving in circles and will stop for short periods of time and then resume his patrol. The main hurdle here is getting across the metal floor and there are no moss arrows in the mission. The maneuvers that gave me success are as follows: stay against the false door next to the lever room; wait for the hammer to exit the lever room; move quickly into the room; sneak as fast as possible without making foot noise on the metal floor; frob the lever and get back outside to the false door. All of this was done in less than ten seconds and still resulted in getting a first alert from the hammer.

-Swapping the poisoned wine with Rynolf's wine will initiate a script that causes him to drink the wine and die a violent death. Again, his death doesn't appear in the stats as a kill and his screaming doesn't alert any of the thieves outside his room.

-I fulfilled all of the optional objectives involving John's apartment... and I'm still recovering from the shock of seeing that little black gremlin run by and disappear into the chimney; just eerie.

Peter_Smith
21st Sep 2009, 03:28
Vagabond

Well, it is quite hard to find a recent mission that Hexameron hasn't ghosted (or found impossible), so I thought I would give Vagabond a try because it sounded like fun. It was. I had essentially the same experience as Hexameron, perfect thief and all, and I did / discovered everything independently. There was one blemish in my case, however.

On entering Rybolf's room, I found him standing on the table nearly staring at the wine bottle. I couldn't get past him, and I couldn't get him to move, so the only way to complete the objective was to BJ him. I went back a seccond time to see if I could unstick him. I managed to do it with an alert in which he did not see me - he eventuall dropped off the table and resumed his normal patrol, which was easy to work around.

According to some old rule interpretations, a temporary lapse to free a stuck AI is acceptable, so I'll claim victory.

Hexameron
1st Oct 2009, 19:53
FM: Amoral Dilemma
File: amoralfinal.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 03:00:34
Loot - 2829/2829
Pockets Picked - 15/15
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Bodies Discovered by Enemies - 1
Secrets Found - 5/6

Comments - This FM kept me busy off and on for about a week. My total time reflects only my pure ghost run, not the blackjack runs and 30-minute intervals of time spent trying to progress in the mission. Besides having difficulty accessing certain areas or being stumped about what to do, there were only a couple of ghosting issues for me.

I explored the Hammerite compound early in the game, which was a mistake because I would have to return there anyway to achieve a new objective. However, when I returned to the Hammerite section, I encountered a slight problem... Before I get to that, here is what the entrance to the Hammerite compound looks like:

http://64.136.20.22/2376584_m.jpg

Very manageable as you can see, as there's enough space to sneak behind these guys.

When I returned, though, after an hour or so of gameplay, here is what I found changed:

http://64.136.20.22/2398048_m.jpg

For some reason, the hammerite on the left decided to pivot to his right and face a new direction. No amount of reloading or exploring and coming back fixed the problem; he's stuck that way. Fortunately, I could CCC by slowly, making sure to keep my back against the statue pedestals.

http://64.136.20.22/2398050_m.jpg

You can see just how close the player must be at one point while CCCing, but it did not instigate a second alert. I was lucky - if that hammerite was standing any closer, I wouldn't have been able to sneak into the compound.

-I had trouble getting into the police station and assumed there must be an underground tunnel or key I had missed to enter it. No, there wasn't. I had to use a rope arrow in the wooden palisades located at each corner of the station.

Blackfyre's Estate

There are two problem spots here and a number of areas that make sneaking a little rough and intense. It's the combination of that patrolling archer and the marble floors around the fountain and the museum displays that make sneaking difficult. I doused as many gas lamps as possible while in the fountain section. When the archer entered this area, I walked slowly into the display room and leapt onto the case containing the skeleton. Now I had enough time to wait for his patrol again and move to the wall to turn off the lights.

There are three possible routes to the mechanist basement and only one is viable for the ghoster. A combat bot observes two of the routes and it's impossible to sneak by, although I suppose if one found the Keeper apartment before getting to Blackfyre's estate, he would have the option of using a keeper medallion (equivalent to invis potion), but I didn't find the apartment until later. So I had to enter the mechanist basement through the generator room with two archers. Initially, it looks too hazardous, what with the metal catwalk and brightly-lit areas. However, the author saw fit to offer the player a better way of moving through the generator room: in the flooded pit beneath the catwalk.

http://64.136.20.22/2398042_m.jpg

Climbing out requires moving to the far left of the ladder, mantling, and running towards the mechanist basement door. With that I only got a first alert from both archers:

http://64.136.20.22/2398073_m.jpg

The next problem occurs after the player returns to his apartment and learns that his friend, Jeanette, was kidnapped by Blackfyre. Her unconscious body is in the mechanist basement, so I had to go back there yet again. Picking up her corpse and moving towards the basement exit causes some kind of a scripted AI battle or alert outside. I really don't know what happened, but it sounded like hammerites were attacking Blackfyre's estate. Everyone in the vicinity of Blackfyre's courtyard, including the combat bot and the two archers went on second alert. The combat bot and mechanist priestess must have entered the melee because I never saw them again. I was actually able to escape through the courtyard after waiting for things to calm down. The city portion of the mission was also disturbed and most of the bluecoats were gone. I don't know if they ran off somewhere to fight or were searching elsewhere, but it made my escape to the mission end quite easy.

Some hard-to-find loot:

-coin in the garbage bin outside of Garrett's apartment
-coin in Blackfyre's fountain
-gold ring on the table in second-floor lounge above Blackfyre's museum
-spice bag behind a book in a Hammerite locker
-coin under table on the balcony overlooking pub

Hexameron
1st Oct 2009, 20:33
FM: Mission 1 - Dawn of a New Age
File: Keeper_Investigations_Campaign.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 02:08:49
Loot - 2384/2404
Pockets Picked - 5/5
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This mission is pretty easy to play and ghost, except for the mechanist church and finding loot. The loot requirement is 2200 and 400 in gems. It's not hard to miss the balcony apartment with 75 worth of gems across from the two-windowed house at the mission start. I only found that during a blackjack run, but I still didn't find all of the loot. Before I discuss the mechanist church, I do need to mention some trouble with the unarmed thief at the beginning. It's necessary to scale a rope arrow up to a window, but doing so incurs a very bright light gem and upsets the thief. I kept trying, though. I shot the rope arrow at different angles and eventually made it to the top in pitch darkness without upsetting the thief.

Tarzan in Church

The obvious problematic area in this mission is the mechanist church. Getting the mechanist plans requires the player to enter the church, but the patrolling mechanist, idle mechanist worker, and the bright interior were not an encouraging sight. I tried mossing and jumping over the pews to no success; the idle mech worker saw me each time. With six rope arrows in my inventory, though, and a high vault ceiling, I wondered if I could move above the mechanists... So I planted a series of rope arrows, all six of them in fact, into the wooden vault ceiling and attempted to tarzan jump across:

http://64.136.20.22/2398052_m.jpg

It worked:

http://64.136.20.22/2398054_m.jpg

Staying near the ceiling and jumping across to each rope didn't upset anyone, but the idle mechanist worker remained on first alert while I was up there. It took me about 20 minutes to position the rope arrows correctly. It's not easy because each rope arrow needs to be close enough together but also spread out far enough to reach the wall. There is very little darkness inside this church. I tried lowering myself down on one rope in front of the altar, but that put the mechanist worker on second alert.

So the trail of ropes must reach all the way to the back wall where the mechanist angel statue is. I later learned that I would need to retrieve some rope arrows, too, in order to get up to the bell tower. After many reloads, I perfected my strategy and placement of arrows. I also needed to fire two moss arrows across the altar before climbing the ropes because the ropes do not reach to the floor. Falling off onto tile is unacceptable and the moss prevents a loud landing:

http://64.136.20.22/2398056_m.jpg

On my way out, I was able to retrieve all but one rope arrow.

Some hard-to-find loot:

-coins on beam above bell in bell tower of mechanist church
-coin on ledge surrounding mechanist angel statue outside of the Hammerite temple
-gold ring and LC scroll on top of bookshelf in house near Western gate
-statue behind large crate in shop across from guard barracks
-tiara behind banner in bedroom with nobleman (tiara can be frobbed without slashing the banner)

Hexameron
3rd Oct 2009, 06:12
FM: Mission 2 - Ocean Freight
File: Keeper_Investigations_Campaign.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 01:03:21
Loot - 3320/3320
Pockets Picked - 8/8
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - There's not much to say about this FM. I liked it and although there weren't any particular trouble spots, the abundance of AI made ghosting fun. I also opted not to use any water arrows, which can make things a little intense with the steady traffic of lantern-holding guards. Finding loot isn't too difficult because the author is consistent: loot behind or between crates and under furniture. I did go on a blackjack run in order to find two missing loot items: spice bag behind a large crate out on the open docks (far left side of the docks where the sail boat is in view) and a coinstack and loose coin in between two large crates beyond the smugglers' den.

The author intended for the player to remove some frobbable obstacles like a large crate or wooden panel that appear as if they're blocking a path. I found picking these obstacles up more trouble than it's worth. Because of their awkward size, they don't drop softly like the typical crate, which means I would have to carry them long distances to find an area where I could drop them without alerting AI. However, I didn't even need to remove the obstacles; they had no mass so I could simply walk right through them.

Tannar
4th Oct 2009, 00:17
FM: His Own Medicine

The ghoster must be downstairs (with Goodheart's corpse) before the cops move upstairs or he'll be trapped by AI blocking the hallways.Another way is to go into the little library, up the ladder and off the roof.

Hexameron
4th Oct 2009, 03:40
I must have missed that. I remember trying to exit through a ceiling window in one of the rooms upstairs, but I couldn't get through.

Hexameron
4th Oct 2009, 06:17
FM: Mission 3 - At the Wrong Party
File: Keeper_Investigations_Campaign.zip

Perfect Thief - Success | N/A
Time - 00:18:28
Loot - 300/300
Pockets Picked - 0/0
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - A very brief mission that takes place out in the middle of the ocean! There are no AI to contend with and it's simply a matter of looking in every room of both ships for readables that trigger new objectives. Perhaps the hardest part is finding the Captain's key, which is on his corpse in the Argonaut.

Peter_Smith
4th Oct 2009, 22:45
FM: Mission 1 - Dawn of a New Age
File: Keeper_Investigations_Campaign.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 03:31:06
Loot - 2404/2404
Pockets Picked - 4/5
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - I am proceeding again in Hexameron's footsteps. What choice to I have except to be vigilant, stay up late, download a mission when it first comes out, and play it on the spot?;)

I thought this mission was loads of fun to play with the up and down routes. The routes were pretty obvious for the most part except for the hop to the balcony to get the gem, which I found late in the game, independently.

There were many places where the good hearing of the guards plus minor thumps after a mantle forced a reload. No matter. When I found myself going back and forth several times to look for loot, however, I placed some strategic moss to help out.

I agree that, except for the mechanist church, the ghosting was straightforward but fun. I tried to forget what I saw in Hexameron's post, but after suffering in the church jumping pews for a half hour or so, the word "rope" jumped out of my subconscious. The ceiling there did not look like a candidate for rope sticking, but I tried it and it worked. I first tried three, then four, and finally five arrows to be able to swing over to the altar, which was dark. I figured out early on that I needed to shoot moss beneath the starting arrow and the ending arrow in the sequence. To moss under the ending arrow, I just shot the moss arrow at the ceiling where the final rope was sticking and it fell down onto the altar. I retrieved my ropes going both ways, because I did not know I would have to come back. So much of the mission consists of one-way routes, and I did not want to chance leaving them behind.

I don't know where I found the final loot to make PT. I just picked it up as I went along and didn't make a list. No BJ runs, either. I confess that I ran short of loot and came back to look at Hexameron's post concerning hard to find loot. A few items in that list completed it. They were: coin near angel statue; tiara behind banner; gold ring next to LC scroll on bookcase. The latter was a little irksome because I had spotted the scroll from below, and it did not occur to me to rope up to see if any little things remained. Just laziness. I had, however, checked the top of many other bookcases and come up dry, so it fooled me.

So, it was not entirely original, but I did have fun playing it. Congrats to Hexameron for leading the charge.

Hexameron
5th Oct 2009, 01:13
It's nice to read another ghost report from you, Peter, especially of a mission where you did a little better than I by obtaining a PT.


I am proceeding again in Hexameron's footsteps. What choice to I have except to be vigilant, stay up late, download a mission when it first comes out, and play it on the spot?;)

It's not my intention to hog the newest FM's - I'm simply working from the most recent down to the oldest listed on Thief Missions (http://www.thiefmissions.com/search.cgi?search=%2Bgame%3Dt2&sort=release#m). There are still hundreds of T2 FM's that haven't been reported yet :).


To moss under the ending arrow, I just shot the moss arrow at the ceiling where the final rope was sticking and it fell down onto the altar. I retrieved my ropes going both ways, because I did not know I would have to come back.

That's a much more efficient and polished execution than I pulled off.

Hexameron
5th Oct 2009, 05:16
FM: Mission 4 - Tanis Station
File: Keeper_Investigations_Campaign.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:58:32
Loot - 1610/1755
Pockets Picked - 14/14
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - I found this mission rather odd and not very consistent with the Thief world. This campaign is supposed to be a transition between T1 and T2, but I'm not seeing it and I don't know what the inhabitants of Tanis Station have to do with it. Still, it's a fun mission, even if it feels like I'm James Bond sneaking through a Soviet submarine station. Ghosting was easy - the main challenge was making sure to read all of the readables. A few of the objectives are to "gather information" about certain topics and that entails reading every book lying around, particularly in the library and the labs.

For reasons unknown to me, this guard died in one of the experimental rooms:

http://64.136.20.22/2402953_m.jpg

I remember seeing him patrol this room before, but after skipping the room and coming back, I saw his body here in the corner. I can only speculate that he either brushed by those vats of lava or got stuck walking into them and then died from taking too much damage.

Hexameron
7th Oct 2009, 20:31
FM: Mission 5 - Returning Home
File: Keeper_Investigations_Campaign.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:41:16
Loot - 3332/3509
Pockets Picked - 6/9
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This final mission of the Keeper Investigations campaign is appropriately epic in design and scope: a large rooftop mission with many objectives, some optional, to collect rare artifacts hidden around the city. I found this mission to be very difficult but fun because the author doesn't make scaling the rooftops user friendly like T2's LotP. Many ledges can't be mantled onto and thus for the sake of being quiet, necessitate pre-planted moss arrows to soften foot noise. I must have used at least 6 moss arrows, all of which were absolutely necessary. Exploring the rooftops also requires awkward acrobatics and strategic placement of rope arrows.

Clear evidence of this can be found right at the mission start. The player begins on a metal platform overlooking the city. Tannar informs me that it's possible to jump onto the roof of the house without taking damage. But during my playthrough I could see no other way down except to fall to the wooden rim of the building below. However, falling down causes a lot of damage:

http://64.136.20.22/2407720_m.jpg

Although the author gives the player a slow-fall potion, I tried other ways to get down unscathed. Firing a rope arrow into the outer rim of the building seems logical, but falling onto the rope is problematic. For some reason, Garrett just does not want to stick to the rope. I tried falling onto the rope, but kept bouncing off and sometimes catapulted into the wall, after which I fell to my death. I did eventually figure out how to stick to the rope arrows. The problem was that I tried hitting the rope where it adhered to the wooden rim of the building. The key is to fall and touch the very tail end of the rope that is not flush with the building:

http://64.136.20.22/2407721_m.jpg

Notice how the wooden rim juts outward. Falling and touching the area of the rope parallel to the gray brick wall is how to be successful. I used two rope arrows as a precaution in case I missed my target when falling. I don't know if placement of the rope arrows needs to be exact, but this is how mine appear:

http://64.136.20.22/2407719_m.jpg

There are of course other awkward areas to climb or gain access with rope arrows. Many are not obvious, like using a rope arrow to pick up a key from a window sill or get to a ledge hidden behind the corner of a building. I'm not complaining because I like the challenge, but I reloaded many times in this mission due to accidentally falling to my death or making noise and alerting AI on the streets after trying to jump somewhere.

-There is one instance in the Hammerite catacombs where the player must make a choice between looting two frobbable chests. Opening one chest causes the other to be unfrobbable. A cryptic message nearby explains that one chest ensures "safety" and the other "wealth." If you loot the "safety" chest you get a flashbomb. The "wealth" chest has about 300 worth of loot. You can't have both, so I reloaded after opening the "safety" chest. Incidentally, I didn't find all of the loot, but owing to the difficulty of moving about in this mission, I'm not that motivated to scrounge for what I missed.

Tannar
8th Oct 2009, 15:04
FM: Mission 5 - Returning Home

Clear evidence of this can be found right at the mission start. The player begins on a metal platform overlooking the city. There's no other way down except to fall to the wooden rim of the building below. However, falling down causes a lot of damage:
Actually, there is another way down. And you can do it with no noise, no damage and no potion. Take a running jump from the ledge you start on and land on the roof of the greenhouse, then drop to the parapet and the lower roof from there. It may take a bit of practice but it isn't difficult. I did it successfully many times during testing. You can moss the roof but it usually isn't necessary as you land right on the edge and it usually doesn't make a sound.

Hexameron
8th Oct 2009, 17:04
It never would have occurred to me to try jumping onto that house. Thanks once again for your insight :)

Hexameron
9th Oct 2009, 00:31
FM: The Book of Prophecy - Part 2 (The Hidden City)
File: Proph2v2.zip

Ghost - Success {Chemical}
Perfect Thief - Success {Chemical PT}
Time - 02:05:01
Loot - 5624/5624
Pockets Picked - 13/22
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 5/6

Comments - This is one of the finest FM's I've played this year; brilliantly designed, atmospheric, and memorable. Before playing, I assumed that this mission would be Lost Cityesque what with "Hidden City" as part of the mission title. I was pleasantly surprised to find instead a setting reminiscent of and even better than TG's Thieves Guild. It takes place underground where some famous T1 figures (Bafford, Ramirez, Donal, and Reuben) have their own residence. The mission felt rich and the underground layout strikes me as being unique. I rarely digress to praise FM's in my report, but for a number of reasons this mission "did it" for me. I also had a thoroughly good time ghosting it, although the usage of two invis potions are required.

Gaining entry to Ramirez' residence is not straightforward. There are only two entrances and one is physically blocked by a pivotting guard who cannot be nudged aside. The other entrance is brightly-lit with a single guard observing the door:

http://64.136.20.22/2409509_m.jpg

Thankfully there are two invis potions available in this mission. I think the player starts with one (I could be wrong), but there is definitely another hidden in a niche under a crate. Both invis potions are needed for this area: one to get into Ramirez's place and one to exit.

-For the sake of obtaining a perfect thief, I needed to nudge two guards in this mission. The first one is standing outside of Ramirez's bedroom upstairs. I wanted to get the purple goblet in the room beyond the doubledoors, but I couldn't move inside without upsetting him. Nudging him forward against the hallway wall solved the problem.

The second guard is in the brothel. To get a gold ring on a window sill, I needed to jump onto the brick ledge behind the guard. However, I couldn't get off of the ledge and around him because he stood too close. Therefore, I needed to nudge him forward a bit.

-Stealing the blue crystal in the spider pen is very difficult. The problem is that the spider in the pen has an erratic and perhaps random circular patrol concentrated in a small vicinity. To make matters worse there is another patrolling spider and a patrolling frogbeast moving about outside of the pen. Running into the pen results in a bright light gem and thus trying to get the blue crystal seemed futile. I persisted, though, and kept reloading and making random dashes into the pen and back out until I finally succeeded with only first alerts. It just takes timing and luck to run in quickly as the spider in the pen turns his back, frob like mad until the crystal is taken, and run back out to the safety of darkness.

Hard-to-find loot:

-Hammerite chapel: gold hammer ensconced in a stained glass window next to the altar.
-Ramirez's upstairs bedroom: silver bracelet on window ledge.
-Pub: silver bracelet near skeletal remains in the pit.
-Storage room in cavern area: small statue behind a barrel.
-Randomly patrolling noblewoman in a blue dress has a purse on her belt; she can be easy to miss as she makes an extensive journey through various areas in the mission.
-Shadow Guild's weapon shop: loose coins on the counter.
-Shadow Guild: sound recording (metal cylinder) between wall and alarm control box.

And the hardest loot placement, I think, is the gold ring on a window sill in the brothel:

http://64.136.20.22/2409507_m.jpg

It's a clever and appropriate location for it, but still too difficult to spot; I was lucky I saw it and I only found it during a blackjack run.

Peter_Smith
9th Oct 2009, 03:40
FM: Mission 2 - Ocean Freight
File: Keeper_Investigations_Campaign.zip

Perfect Thief - Success


I have been playing this one for a while, and I am stumped by a missing 20 loot. Evidently a coin. Any idea where it is?

Tannar
9th Oct 2009, 04:23
On the first floor of Gamver's warehouse, in the room with the crates (between the bunkroom and the room with all the bots) there is a coinstack and one loose coin between the large crates. On the second floor, in the hidden alcove behind the large crate, there are 4 loose coins and in the guard house next to Lord Porter's there are 5 loose coins on the gaming table. Those are the only loose coins I remember offhand. There is a loot list included in the mission zip.

Peter_Smith
9th Oct 2009, 07:45
FM: Mission 2 - Ocean Freight
File: Keeper_Investigations_Campaign.zip

Perfect Thief - Success

Thanks, Tannar. The loose coins in Gamver's warehouse between crates did the job. So, that makes it Perfect Thief with a little help. The Ghosting rules say that it is frowned upon and a point of honor not to use a loot list, so I couldn't do that. It is OK to ask for help in the forum. The rules don't say anything about a walking loot list.:)

Tannar
10th Oct 2009, 08:14
Yeah, I wasn't thinking regarding the lootlist. Glad it was one of the ones I mentioned. Nice work.

Hexameron
11th Oct 2009, 01:02
I must have been lucky in noticing the loose coins and coin stacks between the large crates. The author kept putting loot on the floor behind barrels, crates and furniture that I just got in the habit of looking behind everything. It did take me extra work to find the spice bags out on the pier, though.

Hexameron
13th Oct 2009, 18:01
FM: The Lost Castle
File: Lost_Castle.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 01:35:09
Loot - 4830/4830
Pockets Picked - 17/18
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 1/1

Comments - A very tough mission to ghost. In the same vein as his other mission "Hunting Treasure (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showpost.php?p=1131281&postcount=27)," the author loves to create large brightly-lit areas and sprinkle AI over every corner and hallway. Keeper Orland's credo in T1's Training mission, "Stay in the shadows - avoid the light" is not applicable here. Most of the sneaking that needs to be done in this mission does not entail being in darkness, but rather keeping a distance with a yellow light gem. In this FM, stealth involves running quickly past a guard's peripheral vision and hugging the walls while a guard walks by and utters a first alert. I can't recall a single room or open space that offered any safe shadows. Thankfully, many of the idle guards will pivot, but sneaking undetected in this mission is still quite difficult and I recommend it to anyone wanting a challenge.

The player starts with 8 water arrows and can eventually collect upwards of 12, not counting the bundle of 20 needed to get the Emerald of Life. Of course, I had no idea how conservative I should be when starting out. I did need to use one right at the beginning where the single guard stands. It's not possible to sneak to the staircase without dousing the torch. I used at least three water arrows in the spa with the nude woman and her servant in order to collect the loot. I needed to use two in one of the guard tower barracks with the sleeping archer. Two more had to be used on the highest level so I could get the purse on the stairs near a false door. Others were utilized at various points only when I needed it. Essentially, I expended almost all of my water arrow supply even with a conservative attitude.

-The Emerald of Life is locked away behind a series of puzzle rooms. The first room contains five locked vault doors and the respective keys are strewn about the mission. The next room has a keypad where the player must enter a four digit code. Notes about figuring out each digit are also hidden around the castle. I only found the notes for the First, Second, and Fourth digit. I searched everywhere in this mission on a blackjack run and I would be stunned if the Third note does exist. The notes read "how many tables are in the dining room," "how many chairs other than the King's are around the dining room table," and "how many musicians play for the King." All of this information can be deduced in the dining room. By trial and error I learned that the missing third digit is 8.

The next puzzle room is a little tedious. It involves firing broadheads at small buttons visible across a deep pit. When each button is struck, a vault door will close behind it. All of the buttons need to be hit in this way. The last puzzle is very similar but involves dousing a number of torches with water arrows (good thing the author placed nearby a footlocker with 20 to get the job done).

Hard-to-find loot:

-Small food storage room: purse on wooden floor beam in corner.
-Highest level hall: purse on slope leading up to false door.
-Lower level: purse on a slope leading up to higher level.
-Bottom of one guard tower barracks with empty cart: statue behind barrel.

Tannar
13th Oct 2009, 19:50
Another nice report Hexameron! I enjoy reading about your exploits.

I ghosted this mission several times while testing it but was too busy testing to take the time to write up a report. Maybe one day. It is possible to ghost this one without using any consumables but it does take some time. You need one water arrow for perfect thief though.See this post (http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1817631#post1817631).

Hexameron
13th Oct 2009, 20:35
You ghosted through without using water arrows? Tannar, I am impressed. You're a Ghoster Elite - you should be writing up reports, too! You can probably out-do my efforts on everything. I should refrain from ever saying "it's impossible" in my reports since you've proven me wrong on numerous occasions.

I can't imagine how you got by the guard in front of the Emerald of Life door at the beginning. I tried running quickly and CCCing against the wall and he still goes on 2nd alert. What else works? I guess I could have nudged him.

And the spa with the nude woman and servant? How can you creep up to the wine bottle without dousing anything?

I also could not sneak by one guard facing the ramp up to the false door --I don't know how else to describe the area, but since you tested this FM you probably know what I'm talking about-- without dousing two nearby torches.

What about the sleeping archer in one of the towers? If you pick one of the footlockers he'll wake up and the room seems too bright, at least to get back down the ladder without him seeing.

I read your TTLG post and I'm not sure which fireplace you're speaking of. Do you mean the one containing the secret and LC jar? I don't think I extinguished that one; I could just walk over it.

Hexameron
13th Oct 2009, 23:04
FM: The BathHouse
File: bathhouse.zip

Ghost - Failed and {Aborted}
Time - 00:50:38
Loot - 1750/1900
Pockets Picked - 0/2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 11
Damage dealt - 11 Damage taken - 3
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Iron Beasts Disabled - 1
Bodies Discovered by Enemies - 1

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot drop into water without alerting male thief patrolling the platform.
2. Cannot enter bath house without alerting either the helmeted guard, combat bot, or watcher; one of these AI will have to be alerted.
3. Cannot get to secret room (obj) without alerting two AI.
4. Cannot get required loot in thieves den without alerting at least one AI.

Comments - I played this mission once about seven years ago and never finished it; I can see why after playing it again. It is at best an experiment with dromed and at worst a buggy and raw mess. I expected Vanguard to tackle an early T2 FM like this, but no one has ever reported it.

I had problems immediately from the start: at the docks with the three thieves. I couldn't sneak by the two idle thieves near the roaring fire and I couldn't drop into the water without alerting the patrolling thief above. I even jumped onto the large octagon-shaped wall and waited in the corner until the patrolling thief was furthest away before dropping into the water; no luck.

Things got more complicated with the bath house itself. There are two possible entrances: through the work shed and through main entrance. The door to the bath house in the shed doesn't reveal a welcome sight:

http://64.136.20.22/2417840_m.jpg

The helmeted guard invariably notices the player and since I cannot kill anyone or knockout this guy, I left him alone. The sewers didn't lead to any where significant except a servant's room with 100 loot. I couldn't mantle onto the metal roof, so my only option for entry was the main entrance guarded by a combat bot:

http://64.136.20.22/2417838_m.jpg

But with the marble floor and combat bot so close, there is not enough time to walk quietly into the lobby without being spotted by the watcher. So I disabled the bot with water arrows.

Other problems included obtaining necessary loot from the thieves den:

http://64.136.20.22/2417837_m.jpg

I couldn't get in the open window without KOing one thief, but then there's the thief inside who can't be avoided either. It's a mess and I ended up KOing all three thieves. Another problem is getting into the "secret room," which is an objective. One guard faces the player coming down the alley and must be alerted. The one inside the secret room will also become alerted after falling down the chimney and grunting from taking damage. By this time, I gave up trying to be stealthy and KO'ed everyone; really, most AI need to be knocked out to even get by.

-There are some loot bugs that I came across. The first is in the thieves den: I scratched my head when opening the two pirate chests because they were empty. In fact, the author physically placed the loot inside and under the bottom of the chests so that they are invisible. I frobbed wildly until I got everything.

But then there is the other major bug that prevents the loot objective from being checked off. The loot requirement is 1700, but there are two pieces of loot (two paintings) whose sum of 250 is collected into its own separate loot count, which means that I could never fulfill the objective of meeting 1700 when my original loot inventory had only 1500. I read about this on TTLG where Nightwalker and others had similar problems. The mission stats say there is 1900 loot available, but I couldn't find anything else and it looks like no one else on TTLG did either. With the loot objective impossible to complete, I pressed ctrl+alt+dlt+end to abort the mission.

Tannar
14th Oct 2009, 00:25
You ghosted through without using water arrows? Yes. It took a looong time. :eek: I try to ghost every mission I test to be sure it can be done before it is released. Usually the authors are very responsive to making their missions ghoster-friendly.


...you should be writing up reports, too! You can probably out-do my efforts on everything. Between testing and dromed and real life I never seem to have the time. I would like to write some up. Maybe one of these days I will manage to. But you have some impressive reports here yourself and I am enjoying reading them. You do a great job. Keep up the good work. :thumb:

As for the loot and guards it's been too long since I played it and too many missions in between. I just can't remember all the details. I'd have to do it again. But now that I think about it, I didn't manage perfect thief, just a clean ghost. If I ever get time I will go through it again and try to answer your other questions.


I read your TTLG post and I'm not sure which fireplace you're speaking of. Do you mean the one containing the secret and LC jar? I don't think I extinguished that one; I could just walk over it.That's the one I meant. I never tried just walking past it. See, you did that one better than me. ;)

Hexameron
15th Oct 2009, 21:16
FM: The Ritual
File: ritual.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 01:40:22
Loot - 1690/1740
Pockets Picked - 5/7
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 8
Damage dealt - 10 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Bodies Discovered by Enemies - 3

Causes of Failure:

1. Falling down into the well alerts a submerged haunt.

2. Cannot take Seliquary (obj) without causing an AI to continuously chase the player.

3. Cannot sneak through town with Merimee in pursuit; too many agitated AI.

(4). It's very difficult if not 90% unlikely to sneak through the Hammer church to retrieve the Well key.

Comments - I remember playing this mission so many years ago and having trouble with the Hammerite church. Dousing a torch is required to sneak into a room and get the Well key, but the AI are hypersensitive. I tried lowering myself down from the far side of the balcony overlooking the pews; the hammers always saw me. I tried dousing both torches from various positions, but they kept going on second alert. Finally, I lowered myself down behind the hammerites and doused the torch on the right side of the wall. Astonishingly, everyone went on first alert but nothing more. I doused the other torch and waited a few seconds - success! I have a screenshot to prove it but I wonder if I could repeat my results... I can't figure out why no one was alerted this time. Perhaps if the hammerite patrolling the balcony doesn't hear the water arrows, none of the other hammers lingering around the pews are affected?

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1255639268093/screenshots/theritual/theritualhammers1.jpg?height=317&width=420

My joy was short-lived when I finally got the Well key and dropped down the well. The splash from the fall alerted a haunt standing in the water at the bottom! What is this guy doing here? I didn't hear him and I almost didn't see him. Imagine my shock when I look down and see him peering around in the water. I could see no logic or purpose from a plot standpoint of this haunt being here:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1255639279444/screenshots/theritual/theritualhaunt.jpg?height=315&width=420

I could do nothing to prevent his second alert mode since he stands so close to where I fall straight down.

Getting the seliquary generated an AI problem I've never encountered before. Picking it up causes one of the nearby patrolling cultists to run into the pitch-black room to my position. He is still at zero alert status and is only running because of a script:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1255639290776/screenshots/theritual/theritualseliq1.jpg?height=317&width=420

I guess the author intended him to run right into the player and become alerted. The room with the seliquary is dark, though, and I found I could just crouch and he would continuously run into me:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1255639301812/screenshots/theritual/theritualseliq2.jpg?height=318&width=420

The problem is that I couldn't get him to stop chasing me. If I moved to a location he couldn't reach, he would stop in mid-stride and remain stuck in that position until I left my safe place, at which point he would run after me again. If I could have ghosted the haunt and other areas, I would try to loot the seliquary and then make a run for it out of the catacombs with him in zero alert pursuit. Instead, I took the seliquary and leaned forward to BJ him as he ran towards me.

-Meeting the loot requirement in this mission is tough on expert. I absolutely needed to get by the spiked wall near the two chests behind the portcullis'. Moving by the spiked wall onto a pressure plate causes it to fling forward and crush the player. I found that if I ran onto the pressure plate and jumped once, the wall would start to move and recoil back into position before making its final trajectory. That gave me just barely enough time to run and shoot a rope arrow and climb up out of harms way.

-To pick up Merimee's body undetected, I needed to douse all flames around the altar because of three cultists observing her. Once I took her back out of the catacombs, her corpse disappeared and a fully conscious Merimee started following me. But the town is now crawling with cultists who have started melees with the bluecoats. There is one patch of three or more cultists with an oval-shaped patrol in front of the hammerite church. There was no open gap between the patrols for Merimee and I to dash through. I resigned to KO these cultists in addition to a few others in the town. The bluecoats at the mission start were on second alert, having fought and killed a cultist, so I dropped a flashbomb in their faces and raced to the mission end.

Hexameron
15th Oct 2009, 21:39
FM: Curse of the Carnival
File: carnival.zip

Ghost - Failed and {Aborted}
Time - 00:41:24
Loot - 275/305
Pockets Picked - 0/2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 4
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 1/0

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot reach required puzzle piece without triggering a script that alerts multiple AI in monster house.

(2). I had trouble figuring out the green light puzzle and gave up my ghost run. I looked on TTLG and learned that my version Beta 1.3 doesn't have a clue about solving it.

(3). Even after consulting a TTLG thread for clues and solving the puzzle, I could not proceed and finish my last objective of putting the cursed vase back after falling into the room below the wagon.

Comments - This is another really old T2 FM that no one has ever reported. Perhaps I have an earlier version of the FM because according to the author on TTLG, there is a completed version. I downloaded mine from Thief Missions, so I expected after eight years, the final version would have been uploaded there.

I was fine ghosting up to the point of the big spider in the monster house:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1255641070066/screenshots/curseofcarnival/carnivalspider1.jpg?height=330&width=420

I needed to get a vital puzzle piece lying near the spider's legs, but walking close to the spider causes the bottom wooden beams to break, making a loud noise and alerting everyone inside the house. Subsequently, the spider starts searching:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1255641087999/screenshots/curseofcarnival/carnivalspider2.jpg?height=345&width=420

I used a gas arrow on it and retrieved the puzzle piece.

The green light puzzle is just horrible. I liked this mission up until that. No amount of random frobbing of lights worked. If I really wanted to solve it without the clues that are apparently given in a scroll in another version of the FM, I would have to write down on a grid what lights are affected by each mushroom button. That might take me an hour, so I ended my game and searched on TTLG. There I learned that others had similar problems, but one version of the FM includes a hint scroll. I read on TTLG what I needed to do and finally got all of the green lights to flicker on the board.

I still couldn't finish the mission, though. After falling down below the wagon (and taking damage), I was trapped in a room with rainbow-colored hues of light. I tried using rope arrows to get out, but per the plotline of this FM, none of Ryalla's equipment works correctly. I used my maze bag that sprinkles little stones to express my desperation before hitting ctrl+alt+shift+end:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1255641051674/screenshots/curseofcarnival/carnivalhelp.jpg?height=316&width=420

Peter_Smith
21st Oct 2009, 04:17
FM: Greenbay
File: Greenbay.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 03:28:47 (+ 4 hour BJ run :eek: )
Loot - 5159/5159
Pockets Picked - 9/10
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 1/0

Comments - As Hexameron says, this is a medium city mission with no significant ghosting challenges. That does not begin to tell the story.

This mission was right up my alley. Lots of nooks and crannies and lots of ups and downs. I really like DrK's style. This mission offers a huge amount of exploration and fun for only a 3 MB download because it purposefully uses only original Thief 2 resources.

The mission was made quickly as a tribute to the 10th anniversary of Thief. Although some people thought that the Easter egg was too easy to find, I found it reasonably challenging to get there. I found two routes, neither of which were obvious. The Easter egg was the tribute, as shown by Hexameron in his screen shots. I liked the touch of several boxes of Thief Gold counting as loot.

I liked the AI numbers and timing in this mission. There were lots of AI, and one had to be patient. A non-ghoster might be intimidated. But once their patrol patterns were clear it was easy to get around them.

Loot was a challenge in this mission, and I had a problem with it, as did many other players. People did not get it all during beta testing, and most players could not get close to all of it. Nobody that I know of has prepared a loot list, not that I would have used it, of course. I stopped ghosting at 3:09 and did a long (4 hour) and extensive BJ run in which I visited every room and corner 3-4 times. Loot that gave me trouble was:

A purple goblet in plain sight on a table next to the mechanist building. I got this once, and evidently I lost it in a reload, so I didn't go back there until late in the game.

A purse in a shallow water area with metal railings, not far from the easter egg.

And, last, but definitely not least in terms of effort, three coins in a fountain. I felt like breaking into song after finding those.:whistle:

The thing that threw me off on the last bit is that I went to TTLG to ask DrK about the last 15, and he indicated that they were probably a coin stack on a beam or behind a bed. I checked all those places many times and almost gave up. Came back for the last time tonight and found it. I feel better now.

Tannar
22nd Oct 2009, 05:54
Nice work Peter. I love that mission too but never did find all the loot. Finally gave up. Glad you stuck with it.

Hexameron
22nd Oct 2009, 07:54
TDM FM: The Chalice of Kings

Ghost - Success Failed
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:51:05
Loot - 2741/2956
Pockets Picked - 6
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Kills - 0 Knockouts - 0
Bodies Found - 0
Health Restored - 0
Stealth Score - 3

Comments - Well, The Dark Mod is finally available after five or more years of development and the end product is quite astonishing. I haven't played the FM's built from earlier versions of TDM, such as "Thief's Den" and "The Tears of Saint Lucia," but the three FM's released in conjunction with TDM 1.0 demonstrate amazing work and promising potential. TDM is what T3 should have been. Lockpicking, flashbombs, blackjacking, mantling, and inventory management are infinitely better than T3. Additionally, TDM's textures, art design, atmosphere, game mechanics, and engine get everything right that T3 got wrong. And TDM has rope arrows and swimming; 'nuff said.

But I can't really evaluate TDM adequately after playing the three FM's released with it. Obviously, it's not perfect and I could mention some grievances, especially with AI behavior and voice acting. One thing I didn't like about T3, which TDM also suffers from, is that the light gem's gradations don't really matter. In T1/T2, the nuances of the light gem had a huge impact on gameplay and the player can avoid a first alert even with a fairly yellow-colored light gem. TDM's light gem is not so flexible. A few hues above pitch black will put an AI regardless of distance on first alert. Of course, this is only the first version of TDM and I expect it will undergo many improvements. Regardless of any minor gripes I have, TDM is an enormous success and a genuine work of art: it demonstrates beautifully what a Thief game is all about, where T3 failed, and what Thief 4 should aspire to be.

"The Chalice of Kings" despite its small size, is immersive and fun, although it posed no great challenges for me while ghosting. I'm still new to the gameplay and controls, but I had no problems with getting around undetected except when stealing King Aldreth's crown. Here is a classic case, reminiscent of T1's RTC and T3's Sunken Citadel, of stealing an item to satisfy an objective that inevitably puts AI on second alert. The player does start with a false crown in the inventory and the "steal the crown" objective suggests using it to "delay" any alerts. To get the crown, I mossed the tiled floor and doused most torches around its pedestal. There is a lantern above that creates a small aura of light around the pedestal. Therefore, I couldn't move too close to it or the guard on the left would notice. So I crept up and leaned forward until I could loot the real crown. I then dropped the fake one onto the plush pillow of the pedestal. I couldn't avoid a first alert when doing this:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1256178265023/thedarkmod/TDMchalice1.jpg?height=319&width=420

Either I didn't do it right or the fake crown doesn't fool the guards. I backed away from the area and observed a patrolling guard notice the missing crown, which upset everyone in the vicinity:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1256178279417/thedarkmod/TDMchalice2.jpg?height=316&width=420

There is enough darkness in the hallway to escape without anyone seeing me and I went back to the mission start with no problems.

I played this again and went on a blackjack run and I still couldn't find all of the loot! :confused: Here's one example of how authors could really be clever when hiding loot. Frobbing and removing a loose brick reveals a purse:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1256178289805/thedarkmod/TDMchalice3.jpg?height=316&width=420

The "stealth score" of 3 in my final stats confused me. According to the author who explained it on TTLG (http://www.ttlg.com/FORUMS/showthread.php?p=1920598#post1920598): "The stealth score is going to be reviewed and hopefully rewritten. At the moment it starts at 10 and 1 point is deducted for even tiny alerts that you might not even notice. Think extreme ghosting then double it. Also remember these AI can see further than in Thief so they might mutter something far down a corridor that you don't even hear. "... thought I saw something ... must have been rats" kind of thing."

So I guess I didn't do too well with 3/10 :( I bet Sneak and Klatremus would get a perfect 10 on their first playthrough.

*Edit* According to Peter Smith's report, it is possible to avoid alerting the guards after stealing the crown, so I've changed my status to failed. The original content of my report will remain unchanged until I replay this and mirror Peter's success of replacing the crown.

Hexameron
22nd Oct 2009, 07:59
TDM FM: The Crown of Penitence

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:21:59
Loot - 1115/1486
Pockets Picked - 2
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Kills - 0 Knockouts - 0
Bodies Found - 0
Health Restored - 0
Stealth Score - 9

Comments - For its brevity, this mission is probably the most difficult of the trio of FM's released. The AI patrols in the kitchen and marble-floored hallways can be intense. I was really careful about avoiding some loot because it would upset AI. The guard observing the builder icon in a hallway notices if it's taken. I think but can't confirm that the red-shirt guy who enters the dining room can notice when loot is missing from a table.

The nobleman upstairs also notices missing loot (the two cups by the chessboard). He even cried "Thief!" when I moved a junk vase away from the wall and placed it on his bed. As with the "Chalice of Kings," this guy will go on second alert when the required crown is taken.

To illustrate what happens:

1) I hit the secret switch to open the painting hiding the crown and other loot. The switch can't be activated again to close the painting and the compartments have their own light source. It's pretty impressive how the nobleman, after standing in front of the dresser for some duration per his patrol, will suspiciously look in the direction of the painting because he notices missing loot:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1256185802382/thedarkmod/TDMpenitence3.jpg?height=316&width=420

2) He calmly continues his normal patrol until he gets to the plant stand, after which he diverts from his patrol path and inspects the secret compartment:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1256185781719/thedarkmod/TDMpenitence1.jpg?height=316&width=420

3) After about ten seconds he suddenly draws his sword, but he doesn't search in any apparent second alert mode. He just resumes his normal patrol while carrying his sword. In the event that more TDM FM's are created, the ghost rules might have to address this. AI drawing swords in T3 denotes a second alert, but I'm not so sure for TDM.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1256185794197/thedarkmod/TDMpenitence2.jpg?height=316&width=420

Hexameron
22nd Oct 2009, 08:03
TDM FM: The Outpost

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:32:20
Loot - 946/946
Pockets Picked - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Kills - 0 Knockouts - 0
Bodies Found - 0
Health Restored - 0
Stealth Score - 8

Comments - Not much to say as far as ghosting. I had no problems at all. I did douse a torch above a builder icon in the Bishop's room so he wouldn't notice it missing.

I thought this was interesting: in the storage room there are a few barrels that can be mantled onto. I managed to fall inside one and I'm excited to think of the stealth possibilities if AI can't see through the barrels.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1256185822604/thedarkmod/TDMoutpost2.jpg?height=316&width=420

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1256185847586/thedarkmod/TDMoutpost3.jpg?height=316&width=420

Peter_Smith
25th Oct 2009, 20:22
TDM FM: The Chalice of Kings

Ghost - Success (first time)
Perfect Thief - Success (after a BJ run)
Time - 04:17:43
Loot - 2956/2956
Pockets Picked - 6
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Kills - 0 Knockouts - 0
Bodies Found - 0
Health Restored - 0
Stealth Score - 0

Comments -- Well, I have no idea how Hexameron played this in 51:05. My time does include some time sleeping with head planted on the keyboard, so I suppose it is possible. :) The Dark Mod and this mission were entertaining enough that I wanted to finish it last night, but I was forced to go to bed and continue this morning.

Anyway, bravo to the TDM people for developing this great mod and toolkit, and thanks to Fidcal for the mission. As Hexameron said, this is what T3 should have been. I hope TDM will be supremely successful.

Hexameron's report is unclear about one thing. If there was a second alert at the crown, then how can the ghost be successful? That part could use some editing.

Anyway, I completed the crown replacement successfully as follows. I found some extra water arrows in the armory, so I was able to douse all torches in the room, leaving only the electric light above the crown. Then I went to the outside wall of the room, where the notch in the crown stand was facing me.


http://i38.tinypic.com/2h4fa4x.jpg

By creeping up close to the stand (no moss - just the creep key) and leaning forward, I could take the real crown and substitute the fake one. Substituting the fake one took some experimentation to figure out how to place an item taken from inventory. You scroll through inventory until it shows, hit the R key to bring it up front, position it, and hit the R key again to release it.

The creep key is a little different in TDM. In T2, when you hit creep, you move forward. So, with my settings of always run and shift as slow (the way I like it, to facilitate jumping), a crouch plus pressing creep and shift makes a very slow forward motion. I have creep mapped to CTRL, so it is easy with one hand. In TDM, creep is just a modifier, so I need to press creep, shift, and forward arrow with one hand, which is a awkward but doable.

I found that if you leave the stand vacant long enough, say 10-20 seconds, the AI get all excited about the missing crown. So, you need to be quick about replacing it. Then they never alert.

As for the stealth score, I figured 0 was a perfect score until I read Hexameron's report. Thanks for clarifying that Hexamon. I had no idea I was being penalized for mutterings. There were plenty of them as I dashed around looking for loot. But there were no alerts in the sense of breaking the ghosting rules. So, the stealth score is not of much interest for ordinary ghosting -- only supreme.

As for the loot, I searched quite a bit and could find no more. Haven't done a BJ run yet. If I do and find more, I may edit my post.

EDIT. Found all the loot with a BJ run and went back to get it in ghost mode. Items I had missed in my previous post were:

A small gray bowl in plain sight on a middle shelf in the kitchen storage room. This bowl looks like a junk bowl found frequently in T2. I also saw goblets and bottles that look like loot counterparts but which weren't loot. The lesson is, you need to pick up everything and be quiet about it.

A statue of an animal found on the top shelf of a bookcase in the Library. This was very hard to see as it was in a dark corner and could not be seen standing close to the shelf. I finally saw it by carrying a candle around and jumping. Carrying a candle is a good thing to do in TDM that cannot be done in T2. It could be a problem if you are ghosting. In this instance, however, the candle was already in the library, and the doors could be closed, so there was no risk. Only experience is needed.

Hexameron
27th Oct 2009, 02:42
Well, I have no idea how Hexameron played this in 51:05.

I played it through once before my official ghost run.


Hexameron's report is unclear about one thing. If there was a second alert at the crown, then how can the ghost be successful?... I found that if you leave the stand vacant long enough, say 10-20 seconds, the AI get all excited about the missing crown. So, you need to be quick about replacing it. Then they never alert.

Peter, are you saying that you replaced the real crown with the fake one and the patrolling guard didn't go to second alert? For me, it wasn't the two idle guards around the pedestal but the patrolling one that notices the missing crown. I painstakingly dropped my fake crown on the pedestal not three seconds after looting the real crown, and when the patrolling guard made his round, he went on second alert. You didn't have this trouble?

I thought the fake crown simply doesn't work and taking the real crown causes a second alert for everyone. I suppose it's different than stealing The Eye in T1's RTC, but since taking the crown per an explicit objective will eventually alert nearby AI, I deemed it okay. Apparently I'm wrong since you replaced the crown successfully - I will cross out my success status and replay the mission. This is why I like seeing multiple ghost reports of the same FM: I learn when I've made mistakes and how others solve them.

Peter_Smith
27th Oct 2009, 05:02
I didn't have that trouble. The only trouble I had was being clumsy initially, dropping the crown in the wrong place, and being caught in the act. But when I correctly placed the fake crown on the cloth part of the stand, about in the center, nobody ever noticed. I exchanged the picture in my report so you can see where I placed it. That is a picture of the fake crown. Maybe it matters where you are standing when you place it. You can see my point of view. I just slid it into the slot using my mouse wheel.

An explicit objective to take the crown does not mean that it is OK to cause a delayed alert by the action.

The only reason the explicit objective rule is there concerns a somewhat frequent requirement to kill the bad guy. That was ruled OK by the group provided nobody, including the bad guy, is alerted in the process. In other words, a sword fight would not be a success. It would be a success if you BJ'ed the guy and took him to a quiet spot to finish him off.

Peter_Smith
3rd Nov 2009, 07:39
TDM FM: The Crown of Penitence

Ghost - Failed, maybe
Perfect Thief - Failed, maybe
Time - 01:32:10
Loot - 1486/1486
Pockets Picked - 2
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Kills - 0, Knockouts - 0
Bodies Found - 0
Health Restored - 0
Stealth Score - 0

Comments

I didn't have any trouble ghosting this mission for the most part or with taking any of the loot. There were a couple of places I had to watch my step, but neither water nor moss were necessary.

When I took the crown, the Lord of the manor always came to the shelf it was on and remarked that something was stolen. Then he drew his sword and went to look in the corner near the secret switch and lit a torch. He kept his sword drawn for the rest of the mission. I interpreted all of this as a bust. This is a debatable point because it is unlike the behavior of T2.

I have noticed that in TDM an AI may be act slightly alert and not go into hunting mode. But he will depart from his normal patrol and walk around. Then, when he gets close enough to the player he may see him when right on top of him, and then the AI immediately begins a melee.

An unfortunate thing about this particular mission design is that it is not possible to close the painting door over the shelf after taking the crown so as to avoid the alert-type behaviors.

In my first run through the mission I missed three loot items: a ring on the upstairs desk (I was preoccupied with the crown), a gold plate in a corner of the dining room (very easy - just careless), and a coin on the floor worth 1. The latter was a little difficult to find, but I knew what I would be looking for so I went for the gambling table. It was under the table and could not be frobbed without moving a chair. I liked that. I found this missing loot in a BJ run and went back for it in ghost mode.

While going back for loot, I could not read the loot total at the bottom of the screen. I saw only the first three digits. Not realizing even that, I had to go back to the exit several times to see my stats. One feature I like in T2, even though it momentary destroys immersion, is CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-END. It is a quick way to get a current stats report without having to play the mission to the end. I use it a lot when loot hunting or ghosting and trying for Perfect Thief. That handy feature is missing from TDM.

During this loot hunt, Doom3 kept crashing on me while I was saving or loading a save-game. It crashed a couple of times as I approached the exit grate. The crash was not repeatable.

Peter_Smith
6th Nov 2009, 08:39
TDM FM: The Outpost

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 01:29:52
Loot - 946/946
Pockets Picked - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Kills - 0 Knockouts - 0
Bodies Found - 0
Health Restored - 0
Stealth Score - 0

Comments No ghosting problems, as Hexameron said. The mission was a little on the small side, although I liked the design and atmosphere. I entered the Bishop's room from the church by rope, thinking this would be clever, only to find out that there was a direct route. I didn't dowse the torch in the Bishop's room. I went back to see if there was some problem there, and I did not detect one.

Peter_Smith
7th Nov 2009, 09:21
TDM FM: Patently Dangerous

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success (with help)
Time - 02:27:29
Loot - 1762/1762
Pockets Picked - 4
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Kills - 0, Knockouts - 0
Bodies Found - 0
Health Restored - 0
Stealth Score - 0

Comments

In my opinion this is the best TDM FM to date. It is small but has good game play. It has lots of well hidden things, lots of roof hopping and vertical elements (but no rope arrows), challenging exploration, and worthwhile ghosting. The ghosting was not difficult, but there were AI swarming all around some key places, and they had unpredictable patrol routes. Sometimes I just had to charge out there and take my chances.

There were a number of routes that bypassed some of the AI. I usually found them after ghosting the tricky areas. These routes were helpful when back-tracking. Examples are a ladder to bypass a tunnel and Soren's house, which goes from one side of the map to the other.

I took an unconventional route over the roofs and found a better way later (as usual). The way I did it at first was to take a crate from the attic of Harlan's house and use it to mantle onto a flat roof in the adjacent street. I placed the crate on a wagon wheel to gain extra height I needed. This route took me to Damuddy's house. Once out of there, I took the crate back to the attic and went out on the roof to get to other places like Soren's and Fressard's. At the end of the mission, I went on a BJ run to try to find more loot and found a back route from a window in Soren's laboratory that, had I found it in time, would have made a much easier route to the flat roof and made it unnecessary to carry the crate all around.

Some of the loot was tricky, too. One of the trickiest bits I found was in Damuddy's office. There is a bookcase there which, if you stick your face into it and frob, you hear a clicking sound. I did not realize it at first, but on my 2nd or 3rd trip there I realized that I could blind lock pick a door behind the bookcase. Then when I went to the side of the bookcase, I could barely see a crack in the door I had opened, from which I could take four pieces of loot. This seemed strange. I thought that it should have been possible to move the bookcase to the side for all of this, but I could not find a way to do it. Another tricky bit was an item that looked like a cotton bale in the warehouse -- 200 goods.

Missing only 15 -- I'll probably keep hunting for it, but it is too late to continue this evening.

EDIT: Thanks to piln at TTLG for pointing me to the bookcase switch, which was located behind a table leg at floor level. There was a tiny gem worth 15 at the right side of the safe that was too far away to blind frob with the bookcase in place.

Fidcal
7th Nov 2009, 20:07
Hi, this is Fidcal aka YeeHar. Only just found this thread. Some good reports here and I'm pleased to read the FMs are being played how I think they ought to be played - slow and stealthy!

Just to clarify the fake crown alert situation in Chalice of Kings: The display stand was designed to obscure the direct line of sight of the two standing sentries so they will not directly notice if the crown is missing. The two patrolling guards go around the front of that stand so they will notice (I am unsure if sometimes they might not but in every case I tested they did.) The guy who patrols through the banquet hall can also just about see the crown. So, you need to get into position and wait until you judge the two patrolling guards are at their furthest (timewise) and also the banquet hall guy (who goes randomly to either door so some luck involved.) You then have a small time window to remove the real crown and replace it with the brass one before any of the patrolling AI come back. Once any of those alert of course then the standing sentries will join in so you need to be on your way before that because these AI can see better into shadows when alert. Or rather, when alert they are more likely to notice you just as you might not notice a guard standing in deep shadow if you weren't particularly looking. :) Yes, it can be ghosted without moss or water and no alerts.

Meanwhile I continue to work on another mansion mission but much bigger and with lots of ghosting fun to be had; hopefully early in the New Year.

Fidcal
25th Nov 2009, 14:26
In my next Dark Mod FM I've realized I can set up an optional no alerts objective. What this means is if you cause an alert then a message shows 'Failed Objective' or similar and the objectives screen now shows that objective marked with an X. The mission continues however so it's not irritating to non-ghosters or semi-ghosters.

Question: what level to set the alert on? We have 5 levels. I'm unsure without checking the exact specs but something like: muttering, muttering with casual scan, search, agitated search, full alert.

I'm even wondering whether to have two such objectives, eg,

"Try not to be seen (optional)" - this would only fail on 5, full alert.

"Try to make sure that nobody thinks there might be someone there (optional)" - this I think would fail on 3: search, but allow muttering with casual scan.

Need to word that better.

And of course it could be done differently on different difficulty levels. But I see no reason to omit it because it is optional. :)

There are also non-human alerts, spiders, rats, zombies, belchers, but I'm doubtful these should fail the objective.

goldsla
25th Nov 2009, 17:05
My opinion only: Any searching activity is a bust. Muttering with casual scan, is a bust. All creatures which can attack or communicate an alert to someone who can attack should be included. Traditionally, rats are the only critters, I believe, which are not included in ghost busts. You should read the offical ghosting rules (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=30310).

Fidcal
25th Nov 2009, 17:50
Yes, since posting the above I already reduced the low alert to 2.

Peter_Smith
28th Nov 2009, 20:33
T2 FM: Eclipsed

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed miserably
Time - 06:33:57
Loot - 2341/2970
Pockets Picked - 0 of 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Kills - 0, Knockouts - 0
Bodies Found - 0
Secrets Found - 0 of 0

Comments

This mission by HipBreaker was released for Halloween because it is scary. In the first half of the mission, you approach a town through some nice marshy areas, and then you wander around in a deserted town by the sea. You find that there has been a lot of destruction and killing by unknown monsters. You find many notes about how frighting, dark, and depressing it is. The ambient sounds help set the mood, too. Pretty soon, the player (I) starts to get anxious and depressed.

The mission is very well designed in terms of the mood, atmosphere, textures, sound, and scenery. Exploration in the horizontal direction is challenging. Objects and some routes are hard to find. In essence, the design is a key hunt, and you have to search diligently to get throught it.

In the vertical direction, the design has some some limitations. There are no rope arrows. If you can find a way to climb to the rooftops, as I did, you find some scene complexity errors that cause crashes. To prevent that problem, the author has placed transparent barriers in many places, which can be a little frustrating. It is necessary to climb up in at least one place to find necessary things. Since things are very well hidden, you run around bumping your head on barriers, you stack crates to no avail, but sometimes the climbing pays off. That is really the only problem in an otherwise very well done mission. But it is a minor problem and did not detract from my fun.

After a while, you find a key that takes you to the "mountain", where you find all the monsters are holed up. Then the ghosting starts. To leave that area, you must find some "relics" and activate a transporter. The relic hunting is a challenge, too. One of the relics is accessible only by figuring out an obscure code puzzle. On your escape through the transporter, you find that other transporters have allowed the monsters to re-enter the town. Then, anything (like loot) that you did not find in the empty period becomes harder to find with the monsters around.

One of the nicer transporters is shown below.

http://i50.tinypic.com/33a9pnb.jpg

The rectangles are circling around. It reminded me of "2001, a Space Odessy".

The ghosting is straightforward for the most part. One ghosting challenge is that some of the AI are partially transparent, as in Equilibrium, so unless you stay on your toes it is easy to be tripped up by them. Another class of AI are tall and skinny modified tree beasts. These guys are very fast and nearly silent, so it is hard to predict when they will come wheeling around a corner and nail you. Although this adds to the startle factor, it makes for a lot of reloads while ghosting.

There is one place near the end where you must use a "station key", which turns out to open a police station. I mention that because the name on the key is misleading, and the police station has no sign. There is also an electric power station with an obvious sign that you cannot enter at that point. In the police station you find the "access key" to the electric power station -- another confusing name. In the electric power station, there is a metal bridge that gave me some ghosting problems. It turns out that the AI below have sharp vision but very poor hearing. Not knowing this, I spent a lot of time trying using moss to run across the metal bridge. I kept alerting the AI below. Eventually I got the idea that vision was more important than sound. Without using any moss, I could observe the AI patrol below, time the run just right, and run across the bridge without being seen.

I spent a fair amount of time trying to increase my loot total without success. My problem was not the ghosting but being unable to find any more. I also was unable to complete an objective to piece together some information. I assume this means to read a certain set of readables, but evidently I missed one or more. Maybe there is an area with both a readable and a lot of loot that I missed entirely.

Peter_Smith
5th Dec 2009, 06:57
T2 FM: Quelle Galere (What a Drag!)

Ghost - Success (based on LOTP interpretation)
Perfect Thief - Success (based on RTC interpretation - maybe)
Time - 01:47:35
Loot - 1300/1200 (counting error - 1300 is max)
Pockets Picked - 2 of 10 (error in stats - probably AI keys)
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Kills - 0, Knockouts - 0
Bodies Found - 0
Secrets Found - 3 of 3

Comments

This mission first came out in November 2005 as a French-only mission. An English translation was added about a year later. Owing to the difficulty caused by non-French versions of Thief not displaying any texts, the mission did not get the attention it deserved initially. I played it once some time ago, but I don't think I finished it. Since I saw a recent posting at TTLG, my interest was piqued again.

This mission is really a very nice ghosting mission and a lot of fun to play. It has good, detailed architecture, varied territory, fun, scripted events, and some nice puzzles and route finding problems. A screen shot of the pool area shows the above average architecture.


http://i48.tinypic.com/5x6etz.jpg
the pool

I highly recommend this mission with one caveat....

The mission is complicated, with a large number of semi-secret buttons and switches, some of which have remote action. It is intended to be played in a certain order. If you can figure that out, the game play is not too hard. However, it is easy to stray from the intended order, which can cause some confusion. I played it yesterday in the wrong order, and this made ghosting more difficult but more fun. The planned route smooths things out considerably. At the end of this first attempt, I finished the mission (Success message) with 1100 of 1200 loot, failing ghost by tripping an alarm, with the last objective (save Agnes) unchecked. More on that below.

Optimal route

In my second attempt, with stats reported herein, I tried to find the optimal route. In case you get confused by this mission, as I did, and want to know my route, I'll list it below under spoiler tags. This is a very abbreviated walk through.

1. Induce guard to drink wine -- passes out leaving door open.
2. Flip a switch that opens a secret (unseen) door behind a painting (secret 1).
3. Place a statue in the empty pool alcove (secret 2) to open a passage that leads to a dead researcher. Get blue key.
4. Find rope arrows under crate.
5. Go to end of the passage. Rope up or climb crates to find a switch that opens up additional areas.
6. In Zyk's apartment, find a copper-colored key and a passage to a large bookshelf.
7. Open the bookshelf, revealing another passage.
8. Get the gear key + find Agnes. Get new objectives.
9. Take the passage to a transporter and re-enter the pool area.
19. Go into the painting door. Switch off watchers. Open 1st gate with the blue key and 2nd gate with the gear key.
11. Solve the statue code puzzle to activate a small lift.
12. Go up the lift and turn off the turret on rails.
13. Go down and jump onto the central beam (moss it first).
14. Go to the end of the beam and flip a switch activating a ramp.
15. Turn off the electric gate to the security hallway.
16. Go into the security hallway and find a room at the end with a combo switch to activate the elevator.
17. Take the elevator up, solve the kitchen puzzle, and find the hand of glory.
18. Take the elevator down, and place the hand of glory on its pedestal (past the elevator combo).
19. Proceed to several new areas, which end with rescuing Agnes.

False starts

I took a non-optimal route initially in three ways. These things did not affect the end result. It only made ghosting more difficult and disclosed a bug in the ending objectives. The false starts were actually more fun than doing it right, so I'll tell you about those.:)

One false start was near the beginning, when I attacked the security corridor prematurely.


http://i45.tinypic.com/2u75dg2.jpg
electric fence at start of security hallway

I mantled over the electric fence (not supposed to do), and got onto the central beam and finally the exit ramp while the turret on tracks was still running. This was a real kick, actually, and required lots of practice to get right. I chased the turrett down its ledge, jumped over the turret when it was returning, found a spot where I could jump over to the beam (which is barely possible), and crawled to the ramp switch. Then I turned off the turrett, too late to do any good.

The second thing I did wrong was to find the hand of glory (completing that objective) before finding Agnes for the first time. I missed the bookcase route completely. As a result, when I finally found Agnes and the gear key, the mission ended abruptly because all current objectives had been completed, but the new "save Agnes" objective that popped up simultaneously was unchecked and unachievable. By not opening the bookcase route before going to the end (which is easy to do), I locked myself into the ending area with no escape, unable to return and find out what was behind the gear lock door. This is a minor design defect, but that is OK. It was fun anyway.

The third thing I did wrong was near the end, in a room where the urn is lifted to the room above. Much had been written about the urn, so I naturally thought it was an important part of the game. When you activate a switch to lift the urn out of its display case, an alarm goes off, and the ghost is busted. You can prevent damage to yourself by going upstairs first and reversing some security gates, which keeps the goosey guard from killing you. I think this is the intended play, but there are two things wrong with it. First, it busts the ghost. Second, there is no requirement or advantage to lifting the urn. It is a red herring. Again, this is a minor design defect but OK. It was a pleasure to see that I could preserve the ghost simply by not doing it.

There were quite a few ghosting challenges that required some attention to detail but nothing super heroic. Overall, it was a fun mission to ghost.

Ghosting

One area of ghosting interest was in the security corridor. There is a very goosey guard in a room near the end. When you extinguish the light in his room, he says "Ah!" but never moves or shifts. I interpreted this as allowed. Anyway, after that, with all lights extinguished throughout, and the light gem black, he seems to have his night vision goggles on. He spots the slightest movements (slowest possible creep) when entering the door to the room with the elevator combination lock. I got busted there many times. The solution is to realize that there is a narrow path crossing the hallway that you can creep inside and not be seen. That path extends from the guard's door jamb to the light switch opposite. Then you have to do a careful creep from the light switch around the door jamb of the combination lock room.

Another place of interest was the kitchen puzzle. Somewhere there is a readable which states that people will come to dinner when the gong is rung. That is an important clue that something will open up. When you do ring the gong, you need to time it so the kitchen maid does not alert, and then dash to a nearby doorway, which you have previously darkened. Then you watch there for another guard to appear from a previously closed wooden gate and go to the kitchen. Then you must time it again to run through the wooden gate into a new area (before the guard closes it) not disturbing either the guard or the maid. Oh, and you need the kitchen key, which is another nice little puzzle, before you can do any of this.

Another place, which was more frustrating than interesting, was the room with the urn lift.


http://i47.tinypic.com/2z5vrxf.jpg
urn lift room

You need to go in there anyway to unlock a lock which, while it is locked, prevents a wall switch from opening a passage to the end of the mission. I said there were lots of switches, didn't I? Anyway, the room is watched by a guard who detects any amount of light easily, and it is hard to prevent the light gem from flickering. You start by dowsing the lamp in front of the door. Then you dowse two braziers. Then you can poke into the room just far enough to dowse a lamp above the ceiling -- through a grate, no less. Then you can poke in just a little farther to dowse another lamp above. So now it seems kind of dark, but when you move off station, there is that gem flickering again, and the guard is on you. The trick here is to put some moss on the floor and dash to the opposite door jamb on your right. About a 50% chance of success here. If you make it, then you can enter the room with the lock. But, it is extremely difficult to get back out. It is made easier if you take the lantern on the table and throw it in the far corner, so less light is coming out the door when you exit. A lot of saves and reloads are needed here. I suggest a slot save before you start.

Finally, after completing the mission with a clean ghost and 1050 / 1200 loot, I went back to tackle a problem area, the last loot I needed for Perfect Thief. Above the end of the dead researcher's passage (step 5 above), there is a not-so-obvious higher area. In that area, you will find a drill bit worth 250.


http://i46.tinypic.com/25gfalt.jpg
drill bit room

On taking the drill bit, the banner door on your right opens, and a skelly comes out, already in alert mode. I mossed the floor and dashed into a dark side passage, so I am quite sure the skelly did not see or hear me. Anyway, he came out alerted at the beginning. I think his behavior is analogous to the haunts in Return to the Cathedral. In RTC, when you take the eye, it sets off a scripted silent alarm. All the haunts go on alert, but the haunts do not see you if you do it right. This scripted alert in RTC is allowed by the Ghost Rules. This situation with the skelly is essentially the same. It is harder to verify because you cannot just stand there in the dark and observe. You are dashing into the hallway at top speed, watching the left edge of the banner and never seeing Mr. Skelly. So, If you can't see him, can he see you? Is that a success? I think so, but you be the judge. Once hidden in the dark hallway, the skelly wanders in (not seeing or looking for you), and you can run around him, flip a switch, and escape. That part is definitely clean.

/ghosting

Ending

The end is interesting, as are many other places. I found the room into which the urn can be lifted, the room containing the lamps above the grate, which I had previously dowsed. Then, after flipping some switches, a script executed in which a kind lady helped me by giving me a pet fire elemental. The fire elemental opens a door and an entry gate. I went through the gate and the door, hit a button, and I and my pet were transported to a jail room. In there, the fire elemental kills three bad guys and (maybe) a zombie that spawns from one of them. Results vary, so you may need to reload and repeat the transport to compete the job. No damage appears in your stats, and you didn't cause the event (my opinion on that situation, which resembles the archer fight in LOTP). Then you can open the cell door and save Agnes, finishing the mission.

It is possible to go to that same jail area in the early part of the mission without using the transporter and without your elemental pet in tow, but if you attempt to extinguish the lights, thinking you can sneak down to the cell area, the bad guys are alerted, which leads eventually to a mission failure. Try that, too, but save first. You will enjoy the script.

Loot

The loot stat is interesting because I got more than the advertised total (1300 / 1200). The most likely cause is a counting bug. Nightwalker has confirmed that 1300 is the loot total. So, Perfect Thief really requires 1300 / 1200.

An amusing aspect of the loot (to me) is that I "cheated" (broke the game) in one spot. There is a room with a large loot stash that is a trap.


http://i45.tinypic.com/2uzbaz9.jpg
loot room

A lady thief sets a trap door that drops you in the water as you try to enter the loot room. Then she takes all the loot and thanks you for doing her work. I avoided the trap and got into the loot room by skirting counterclockwise around the region that trips the trap door. I found I could take two purses that rang like loot but did not add to the loot total. The other stuff had 0 value. Since the total didn't increase, I just went on, thinking that it didn't make any difference. Evidently it doesn't.

Hexameron
9th Dec 2009, 05:31
Wow, Peter. I applaud you for that epic ghost report of "What a Drag!" Of course, I agree that your ghost and PT successes are justified. Seeing that screenshot of the fountain with the pink fish jogged my memory that I have played this FM before. I probably played the French version and never finished it owing to all the secret switches.

I like your phrase "goosey guard" to describe the one who screamed "Ah!" but didn't go on 2nd alert - I've certainly had my fair share of those.

Hexameron
10th Dec 2009, 01:18
FM: The Builder's Hammer
File: thehammer.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:02:55
Loot - 0/50
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 2 Damage taken - 6
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 1
Bodies Discovered by Enemies - 1

Cause of Failure

-Cannot sneak by any of the apebeasts in the cave

Comments - This is a very small and old FM and one that I found frustrating. The player is trapped underground with no weapons (apparently the Builder stole them from Garrett). The exit to the surface is blocked off with an invisible barrier that deals damage when touched. There is a teleportation pad nearby that takes the player to a cavern full of apebeasts. It is this cavern that really annoyed me. First of all, the brightness of the cavern is fixed and there are no shadows, which means no sneaking is possible. The apebeasts do not pivot and are positioned in such a way that makes confrontation unavoidable:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1260405213048/screenshots/thering/thebuildershammerapes1.jpg?height=438&width=642

For the longest time, I could not get through without dying. I really didn't know what I was supposed to do in the cave anyway - loot all of the chests? Okay - I loot one with a gas arrow and a wine bottle while taking numerous blowdart hits. I loot the next one with a blackjack - what good is this going to do me when it can't be retrieved without alerting everyone? Another chest ended up being empty. I made a lot of random charging and dodging and could not get to every chest and back to the teleportation pad without dying.

I needed a game plan!

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1260405226904/screenshots/thering/thebuildershammerapesfootball.jpg?height=517&width=709

So I drew up a Maddenesque football plan in my head: where I would run to first, which chests to loot, and how to take advantage of the terrain. It worked best to run to the first circle on the left and then towards the chest to the far right. Once at the chest, I would have everyone in a synchronized 3rd alert. Synchronization is important because I could duck when two apebeast blowdarters fire simultaneously. The trick to surviving is knowing when to crouch after the apebeasts fire their missiles. I managed to hide behind a boulder and gas one blowdarter. I used my blackjack as a club on one meleeing apebeast who actually ended up dying via friendly fire. Once I picked up the explosives, I ran back to the teleportation pad with only a few health shields left. This isn't Thief, it's rugby.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1260405243888/screenshots/thering/thebuildershammerapes2.jpg?height=450&width=652

Once I was back to the safety of the mission start, I could tinker with the explosives, which work like fire arrows. I shot one at the invisible barrier, destroying it and completing the mission successfully.

Hexameron
10th Dec 2009, 02:06
FM: The Ring
File: ring.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 01:02:18
Loot - 7250/7350
Pockets Picked - 16/23
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 29
Damage dealt - 89 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Bodies Discovered by Enemies - 3
Secrets Found - 4/4

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot sneak by servant in Truart's house
2. Cannot sneak by patrolling archer on balcony of Truart's house.
3. Cannot sneak by idle archer near portcullis leading to Truart's.

Comments - I put a lot of effort into trying to ghost this one. I was able to successfully thwart all difficult ghosting spots outside of Truart's estate. Getting into Truart's estate without alerting multiple guards is a rub. There's a pivoting archer in the foyer and two patrolling guards outside, one of which who enters the foyer. With precise timing, I was able to run inside Truart's foyer and use the double doors to block the archer's view so he couldn't see me:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1260408505856/screenshots/thering-1/theringarcher1.jpg?height=301&width=400

I could then moss the floor, wait for the archer to look the other way, and run to the door leading upstairs moments before a patrolling guard enters the foyer:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1260408517222/screenshots/thering-1/theringarcher2.jpg?height=300&width=400

Unfortunately, this female servant ended my success streak:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1260408574889/screenshots/thering-1/theringservant.jpg?height=301&width=400

I nudged her into the chair on the right, but it wasn't enough and I couldn't get beyond the door without her seeing me. Ultimately, she wasn't the real problem - the patrolling archer in the next room was. His patrol is too short and I couldn't get by him without being seen or heard.

I ended up KOing everyone in the mission because of my desperate search for loot. The mission requires 7000 and the author is a sadist when hiding items. For me, this was probably one of the hardest missions vis-a-vis finding loot. The author liked putting tiny rings inside totally inconspicuous niches often in illogical areas. Additionally, it was difficult to frob the loot in some niches, so the loot hunt was extremely taxing; I almost gave up and aborted.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1260409055548/screenshots/thering-1/theringniche3.jpg?height=222&width=320

Hexameron
10th Dec 2009, 02:31
FM: Mr. J's Ring
File: mrjrng.zip

Ghost - Failed and aborted
Time - 00:44:28
Loot - 1427/1427
Pockets Picked - 0/2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 177 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 8
Bodies Discovered by Enemies - 5

Cause of Failure

-Cannot sneak by 80% of the AI in this mission

Comments - No blackjack and no chance of sneaking... Not a winning combination for any Thief player, hence Komag's old FM rating of 2. Nearly every AI in this mission was placed in such a way that the player could not avoid being detected. I really don't understand why some authors do this. If you're going to put a guard facing the only direction a player can approach from, at least give us a sporting chance by having the guard pivot.

-I did well for the first two guards: the one in front of the gate and the female cop outside of the rich house. I nudged them both forward, but they would have to be alerted and killed eventually. Other guards nearby were just impossible to deal with.
-The sound propagation was so bad that AI on the other side of the mission heard noises happening seemingly a mile away.
-Hallways were cramped and the lighting was awkward with strong contrasts of bright and pitch black. Essentially, if I wanted to do anything in this mission, I needed to slaughter everyone.
-The pub contained over 500 loot worth of wine bottles and 1000 loot is required, so I had to kill everyone inside.
-I had to find a key to open a small box back at the mission start; taking the key inside the locked box is an objective, but it was never checked off.
-There's no way to sneak by any of the zombies in the crypt. At least I had holywater and water arrows.
-I looted what appeared to be Mr. J's ring (obj) lying on a sarcophagus. Frobbing the ring put it in my loot inventory, but no objective was checked off.
-I checked one of the few TTLG threads (http://www.ttlg.com/FORUMS/showthread.php?t=20202) on this FM and it appears no one has ever completed all of the objectives, so I had to abort.

Tannar
10th Dec 2009, 02:42
Thanks for the reports Peter and Hexameron. I enjoyed reading them. That's a lot of frustration, Hexameron, one after another. :hmm:
Really nice job on Quelle Galere, Peter.

Hexameron
11th Dec 2009, 23:47
FM: The Wickerman
File: wickerman.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:14:23
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 2/4
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 1
Damage dealt - 35 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 3
Bodies Discovered by Enemies - 1

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot sneak by green spider in cave

2. Cannot exit cave without slashing a spider web

3. Must destroy wickerman structure using powder keg and fire arrow; doing so kills at least two AI and alerts at least one other

Comments - I seem to remember this FM being reported many years ago, but I can't find the report. I was busted right from the start with this green spider blocking my path. A single broadhead was my only option. I also needed to cut down the spider web, which I assume is the equivalent of slashing a banner, in order to progress.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1260572008512/screenshots/wickerman/thewickermanspider.jpg?height=301&width=400

The little girl I was supposed to save is standing at the top of the wickerman. My objective is to ensure she survives and bring her to the cave where I started. To do that, I needed to knock her out Brother Cavador style. Once I dropped her body back at the cave, I placed the powder keg in the wickerman and used a fire arrow from a nearby hill. The explosion killed three cultists and alerted one other.

I had trouble earlier finding the personal effect of the cult leader. The objectives weren't clear if I were to steal it from the cult leader's belt or from somewhere in the mission itself. It was difficult to distinguish who the cult leader was, so I checked each cultist carefully and noticed this small signet ring on one of the guy's fingers:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1260572019237/screenshots/wickerman/thewickermanring.jpg?height=134&width=200

Hexameron
12th Dec 2009, 00:09
FM: Cragscright Prison
File: paweuek.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:18:34
Loot - 615/695
Pockets Picked - 3/4
Backstabs - 3 Knockouts - 14
Damage dealt - 101 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 4
Secrets Found - 1/1

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot sneak by prisoners or archer in main cell block

2. Cannot sneak by female cop guarding special prisoners

3. Cannot kill the special prisoners (objective) without alerting them and other AI

4. Cannot sneak by mechanists in small chapel

Comments - This is a polish mission and the objectives were incomprehensible. One objective was blank and it checked off after I looted some gold dice. I figured out after a long BJ and killing spree, that my objectives were to kill Truart, the Karras lookalike, and a hand brotherhood mage. Stealthily killing the two special prisoners can't be achieved and the female cop sees you enter the cell block.

I was able to get into the prison past the two guards at the gate with no problems. I could even follow and ultimately circumvent the patrolling bluecoat down the very narrow hallway. The trick is to follow his short patrol down the hallway, start picking the door on the left, run back to the entrance as the bluecoat turns, and repeat until the door is picked open. It took 5-6 attempts. Getting into the picked room without alerting the watcher in the opposite room is difficult, but it can be done.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1260575671775/screenshots/cragscrightprison/cragscrightpicklock.jpg?height=301&width=400

Unfortunately, that's as far as my ghosting went. There's just no way to get through the main prison cell block undetected. The room is bright, an archer is watching a necessary path, and the prisoners are facing different directions and can see most of the cell block.

I also couldn't enter the mechanist chapel without alerting everyone inside - I KOed a lot of them. I think I ended up KOing everyone in the mission.

Hexameron
12th Dec 2009, 01:23
FM: D
File: d.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:15:58
Loot - 1110/1110
Pockets Picked - 3/4
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 2
Damage dealt - 86 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 3

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot sneak by apparition overlooking toilet and lavaflows

2. Cannot sneak by male thief that spawns above lavaflows

3. Cannot exit without either alerting a treebeast or having to alert the guard by the waterfall

4. Cannot sneak by apebeast at the mission end

Comments - I tried playing this Japanese mission many many years ago and never finished it. Playing FMs created by JIS are always interesting but frustrating. I look at his missions and wonder if he was on drugs while dromeding; they are just bizarre. The objectives text appeared to be Japanese transliterated to the Roman alphabet. As far as I could make out after completing the mission, the objectives are to collect 743 loot, kill the male thief, carry the dead keeper to the mission end, and escape.

The first trouble I had was lowering myself down to the marble-floored platforms over the lava pool. An apparition in the window always saw me climbing down the rope arrow, and falling down caused enough damage that Garrett's grunt alerted both the apparition and haunt. It's a clear bust. I was able to KO the haunt for some reason and then promptly dispatched the apparition.

I picked up the key on the toilet over the lava... and I think this is where I got stuck last time I played. It took me 30 minutes to finally realize that the two lavaflowing walls are actually water disguised as lava. Once I moved into the waterfalls, I noticed a lockbox to use the key on.

After looting the safe, I checked the belt of a dead keeper and accidentally picked his body up. Imagine my surprise when after picking him up I got an "Objective Complete" message. I carried his corpse back with me and noticed a male thief had spawned in one of the corridors. There was no way to sneak by him, so I shot him with a broadhead and then beat him to death with my BJ.

On the way to the mission start, I saw a treebeast had spawned. It was impossible to sneak past him, especially while carrying the dead keeper. So I took another route: up the waterfall with rope arrows. I decided to KO the guard to make things easier; he probably would have seen me going up the waterfall anyway.

I used the blue key from the male thief I killed to open a locked door at the mission start. Beyond this area was an apebeast I couldn't avoid alerting and the mission ended before he could attack me.

Hexameron
12th Dec 2009, 02:03
FM: Chon Migoroshi ver.2
File: chonmigorshiv2.zip

Ghost - Failed and aborted
Time - 00:16:20
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Bodies Discovered by Enemies - 1

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot sneak by any AI

2. Mission is incomplete and/or objectives do not work

Comments - Another weird Japanese FM with an indecipherable objective. The player begins with no weapons on a modern-day street with cars in broad daylight. I took the sewer route and startled a bunch of servants and pagans on the other side of the street. They ran to a house, alerting a bunch of bluecoats including a mutant cop that looked like an apebeast and Lieutenant Mosley spliced together. All of the servants and pagans died from the ensuing melee.

According to an old thread on TTLG, the objective is broken and no one managed to complete this FM; needless to say, I aborted.

Hexameron
12th Dec 2009, 02:16
FM: MainShock T2
File: mainshocktv2.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:48:50
Loot - 0/250
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 660 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 5
Iron Beasts Destroyed - 1

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot sneak by the guards at the mission start

2. Cannot sneak by frogbeasts in pool with stepping stones

3. Cannot sneak along metal catwalk without making footnoise and alerting the mechanist, treebeast, and pagan child

4. Cannot sneak up to pirate to get his key

5. Cannot sneak by zombies in boiler room

6. Cannot sneak by spider bot in crawlspace

7. Eh, let's just say you can't sneak by 70% of the AI in this mission

Comments - Another crazy JIS mission, but this time it's large and labyrinthine. It reminded me of an FPS level because all I did was race through long empty corridors and into bland rooms looking for keys. The player is given no equipment to start with, but there are a few areas where one can find flash mines, gas mines, explosive mines. I ended up using them whenever I needed to. I used my flash mines on the zombies in the boiler room. I used mines to kill the kungfu mechanist worker, pirate, spider bot, and ran out in an attempt to dispatch the treebeast. I had to use speed potions to get by him unscathed.

Hexameron
12th Dec 2009, 02:28
FM: L'Anniversaire de Joelle
File: lanniversairedeJoelle.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:10:44
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot sneak by haunts on ledges

2. Jumping across ledges alerts spiders in maze and zombies in key room

3. Cannot sneak into zombie key room

Comments - A small French mission. I thought I was doing well by traversing the maze without alerting any of its denizens, but ultimately these haunts on the ledges busted me:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1260584535536/screenshots/lanniversairedejoelle/lanniversairedejoellehaunts.jpg?height=301&width=400

Leaping to each ledge alerted the spiders below and zombies in the key room. I just ran past the zombies to get the key, dropped down onto the labyrinth walls, and then made my way to the mission end.

Hexameron
12th Dec 2009, 02:40
FM: L'anniversaire de Yan
File: lanniversairedeYan.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:4:12
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Cause of Failure:

- Cannot sneak by any of the zombies or haunts

Comments - The mission can only be played on normal difficulty. Upon starting, this is what I see: basically one room - a brightly-lit underground crypt filled with zombies and haunts.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1260585146474/screenshots/lanniversairedeyan/lanniversaredeyan.jpg?height=302&width=400

The objectives are to find all of the golden bones. What the player needs to do essentially is jump from sarcophagus to sarcophagus to pick up the golden bones without taking damage from any AI. At times, it's necessary to run across the floor, but I had to be quick to mantle onto a sarcophagus before the speedy haunts got to me. This is a silly mission, but hey, at least I had sarcophagi to safely stand on. I'd hate to be thrown into this mission and then have to collect the golden bones with nothing but zombies and haunts in tow.

Hexameron
13th Dec 2009, 00:01
FM: The Hashishans V2
File: hashishans1c.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:56:58
Loot - 3032/3732
Pockets Picked - 21/27
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 5/5

Causes of Failure:

1. Must prevent a prisoner from dying (objective) by using a gas arrow on him

2. Cannot sneak by turret in corridor

Comments – I was so close to ghosting this one. I managed to sneak through the mission undetected and completed all objectives except one without incurring a ghost bust. In spite of my overall success, there are still difficulties brought on by unpredictable situations where AI exhibit quirky behavior. For example, in the starting prison cell, if I waited a couple minutes, one of the patrolling archers in the main cell block would notice a prisoner. As a result, he would attempt to shoot the prisoner (who is behind a metal door), causing massive 2nd alerts; disastrous for the ghoster:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1260657005850/screenshots/thehashishans/thehashishansmaincell.jpg?height=301&width=400


I reloaded and observed that the archer sees the prisoner after 2-5 minutes of game time. With all of the torches in the main cell block, I wondered if the conflict couldn’t be averted by dousing all of them. So I explored the prison until I discovered any water arrows and then I reloaded when I knew where they were. By retrieving the water arrows and promptly dousing all torches in the main cell block area, I was able to thwart the archer’s seemingly inevitable 2nd alert. Indeed, when the archer passed by the prisoner, he only emitted a 1st alert.

Saving Lives with a Gas Arrow

The major ghost event of this mission occurs in the corridor with the turret and pagan prisoners. One objective is to prevent any of the prisoners from being killed. Here is the scenario: the player enters a corridor and triggers the turret to open fire on a prisoner.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1260657043301/screenshots/thehashishans/thehashishansturret1.jpg?height=301&width=400

Doing nothing causes the prisoner to die and the mission ends in failure:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1260657057694/screenshots/thehashishans/thehashishansturret2.jpg?height=301&width=400

There is a button in an alcove that looks like it would deactivate the turret. However, frobbing the button had no effect on the turret. I tried racing into the corridor and hitting the button before the turret opened fire, but that had no effect. Did I miss something? Is there really a way to take the turret offline?

My solution as I saw it was to use a gas arrow on the prisoner(s) before the turret barrage can kill him. I can’t help but wonder if the author intended for this; I mean, there is a gas arrow conveniently lying on the ground right outside of the cell! So I reloaded, opened the door to the corridor, and leaned forward to grab the gas arrow. Then after careful timing (to ensure the pivoting female cop near the button was looking away), I ran in and fired the gas arrow on the prisoner. The gas cloud of my arrow impacted both prisoners and the turret still got off one shot before they fell:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1260657069604/screenshots/thehashishans/thehashishansturret3.jpg?height=302&width=400

Incidentally, the turret can only see one of the two prisoners, so it’s really just one prisoner whose life is in danger. It goes without saying that I could not sneak by the turret without it spotting me. I could make a mad dash through the corridor without the turret firing, but it was plainly rotating and aiming for me as I passed by.

Other Notes

-I had to nudge the mechanist worker in the bathroom a little bit so I could reach the lockpicks on the sink.

-There are two rooms where the player can activate a friendly combat bot to go on patrol. Doing so results in noisy AI melees.

-If the player reads a particular book, a new objective to save a treebeast is added. Freeing the treebeast leads to another inevitable melee, so I avoided reading the book.

-I was often short on water arrows and used them sparingly. However, there are a few rooms where using water arrows are a must: (1) Two gaslights in the basement. Sometimes the patrolling guard would turn on the gas light after it had been doused, but if I reloaded, this didn't happen again - strange randomness. (2) Two gaslights in the pub. I couldn’t use a water arrow to douse the one over the counter without alerting a bluecoat; I was, however, able to use a gas arrow to extinguish the gaslight without any problems.

-I had to use moss in the basement kitchen so I could get into the room with the safes. I also needed to use moss on the lift because I couldn't simply step onto the left; I had to jump on it.

-Exiting the prison into the outside is difficult because of the bluecoat archer by the campfire. Dousing the campfire will cause a 2nd alert. Fortunately, there is a tiny patch of darkness against the building to the left of the double-doors. Running and sinking myself against this back wall worked fine; I only got a 1st alert in the process.

-When I got back to the main cell block after 45 minutes of game time, two archers were yelling and screaming at that same troublesome prisoner I mentioned earlier. At least they weren’t firing broadheads into the metal door.

-Releasing the Hashishans is a random affair. They are supposed to run out of the cells and open a locked door for you and then disappear. But this happens 30% of the time. During one game, they ran into the room and locked the door behind them. Another time they opened the door and left it open. After one more reload, they opened the door and closed it without locking the door. Although the Hashishans must be released to satisfy a particular objective, it’s not imperative to follow them into the room. They leave a key to “The Pit,” but I saw no reason to explore the pit. It’s possible to sneak around down there, but I only found 400 loot. 300 in diamonds are located in the pit itself where an arena melee ensues. It wasn’t worth the trouble since I already met the 3000 loot requirement.

Hexameron
13th Dec 2009, 00:12
FM: Run thief... RUN: Director's Cut
File: run.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:10:09
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/3
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Cause of Failure:

-All AI in this mission cannot be stealthily avoided

Comments - Clearly this is not a serious Thief mission; it's a race through a maze to avoid AI and reach the mission end. The player is dropped into a pool of water, which alerts two guards. There's no way to leave the water without them seeing. Then there is a maze with a series of levers that need to be hit in order to open a door. Out of this door is a drawbridge with two archers that must be alerted. All of the floors are marble, by the way.

Things got intense towards the end with all of those combat and spider bots. I'm lucky I was able to jump and strafe to avoid all the projectiles. I didn't take any damage during my play through.

Hexameron
13th Dec 2009, 00:20
FM: Makiko ver.0833731
File: makikover0833731.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:30:12
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/3
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 3644 Damage taken - 70
Healing taken - 69 Kills - 12
Bodies Discovered by Enemies - 1

Cause of Failure:

-Cannot accomplish objective (kill one of the AIs) without alerting her and every other AI

Comments - Why do I put myself through these JIS missions? :nut:

I couldn't understand the objective, but this is a melee fest. The player is given hundreds of frogbeast eggs, mines, fire arrows, broadheads, etc. About 5-7 AI with insane amounts of HP become alerted after starting the mission. They run around and attempt to attack the player. I saw the apebeast mutant on the tower and assumed I needed to kill this thing. I spent a long time slashing it with my sword until the thing fell off the tower to the ground below. It was then I realized I had more destructive weapons in my inventory. I used all my frogbeast eggs and mines. Then I hid under a staircase and repeatedly used fire arrows until nearly everyone was dead. The person I was supposed to kill, however, was a maid that kept running in place because she was stuck in a railing.

Hexameron
18th Dec 2009, 03:02
FM: MISTR: Efekty Specjaine
File: mistrzFX.zip

Ghost - Failed and aborted
Time - 00:05:12
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Cause of Failure:

- Cannot sneak by zombies in tunnel

Comments - This is just a Polish demo mission demonstrating various and impressive effects that can be produced in Dromed: a moving statue that crashes into a wall and causes parts of it to crumble, a statue that falls through the ceiling, lightning effects, a floating body in a pond, and a moving cart that obliterates zombies.

-It's not really worth reporting this mission, but it can't be ghosted because of the zombies in the tunnel. The author intended for the player to activate the mining cart which propels forward into the zombies making them explode.

-Once I found the square lockpick in the burning house, I lost my triangle lockpick. Did I even need my lockpicks for anything here?

-Moving down one hall causes a portcullis to fall. If you're fast enough you can get by before the portcullis reaches the ground, but that leaves you trapped in an empty room. If you're too slow to make it, however, the portcullis still falls and bars your way. I had no idea what to do in either case, so I aborted.

Hexameron
18th Dec 2009, 03:30
FM: Island of Iron pt 2: Confrontation
File: IslandofIron2-Confrontation.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 01:18:35
Loot - 1577/2127
Pockets Picked - 1/11
Backstabs - 1 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 48 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 1
Bodies Discovered by Enemies - 6

Cause of Failure:

- Cannot kill Arbez (obj) without alerting him and multiple AI

Comments - Ghosting went fine up until I spawned Arbez. Other than that, I had no problems ghosting this large fortress with plenty of shadows and areas to explore. Although I missed quite a bit of loot, I believe at least 400 worth of gold candlesticks are on an altar that cannot be ghosted due to a mechanist priestess observing it. The loot requirement is 1500 and I barely satisfied it.

Brother Arbez and Exiting the Fort

The two main ghosting issues here are killing Arbez and leaving the fort afterwards. Arbez spawns after the player reads a scroll on an altar above the lab. His hitpoints and vulnerability have been altered because a single backstab will not kill him and attempting to knock him out with the blackjack only causes him to recoil as if taking damage. I had no gas arrows or gas mines, so I was out of luck. Additionally, two mechanists spawn along with Arbez, making it hard to kill him without bringing about a melee. Three mechanists downstairs in the lab can also hear the commotion if I attempt to kill Arbez.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1261105454972/screenshots/islandofironconfrontation/islandironconf1.jpg?height=302&width=400

Fortunately, I had collected two invis potions in the mission. So I downed one and just kept overhead-slashing Arbez until he fell. Then I raced to a pitch dark corner just in time before the invisibility wore off. When Arbez dies, some mechanist announcer broadcasts that the undead are attacking the fort. I waited for Arbez's retinue to calm down and then used my last invis potion. Since I now had the book room key from Arbez's corpse, I could rush through the lab and get to the book room while invisible. Interestingly, the book of dark magic that I had to acquire was titled "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." :D

I didn't see any undead until I made it back to the second floor. I had no problems slinking around the melees that were occurring everywhere. It seems like the mechanists and undead were even matched. In some areas, the mechanists won and in others the undead overwhelmed. What worked in my favor was the prevalent darkness of the fort's interior; I was able to skulk around while most of the melees were still happening. I just needed to douse more torches along the way to ease the sneaking, but exiting was rather painless. I will say I was startled when I reached the end of the long sewage pipe and found that a previously dead mechanist worker had transformed into a zombie - a nice little scare.

Hexameron
18th Dec 2009, 03:51
FM: The Gallery
File: Galleryv1.2.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:25:01
Loot - 4860/4860
Pockets Picked - 6/8
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 30 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 1

Cause of Failure:

- Cannot sneak by apebeast in order to reach the mission end

Comments - A small mission that takes place at an art gallery.

-I had to follow a long train of patrolling guards outside until I could get close enough to snatch a key from one of their belts. That was the only difficulty in the art gallery part of the mission.

-To get the loot in the main lobby, I had to circle around one of the pivoting guards and hide near the gallery's front door. I used moss so I could run across quickly and snatch the loot on the front desk.

-I was able to frob a purse and pick the locked box without slashing the banner in the office.

-The pagan realm under the gallery is where my ghost bust occurred. I just couldn't get by that apebeast near the vine; too many light mushrooms. I couldn't plant my rope arrows anywhere useful and the ceilings ate them up. Moving slowly or quickly along the grassy inclines surrounding the apebeast's lair didn't work and he still saw me. So after an inevitable 3rd alert, I slashed the apebeast to death.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1261107309063/screenshots/thegallery/thegalleryapebeast.jpg?height=301&width=400

Hexameron
18th Dec 2009, 04:35
FM: The Hole
File: TheHole.zip

Ghost - Success (Chemical)
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:01:18
Loot - 2605/3130
Pockets Picked - 0/4
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 7
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 1/1

Comments - Hmm. I'm almost disappointed that my ghost fail streak is over: the previous 16 missions I reported were all failed. But I'm also proud because this mission is tough and the AI are very strange. Some are normal and others are so sensitive that you can barely leave pitch darkness without instigating 2nd alerts.

-I couldn't help but taking damage after falling down the chimney to get into the prison, hence the 7 damage taken in my stats.

-The craymen in the lower prison cells are hypersensitive. What would normally cause a first alert puts them on second alert. Therefore, supreme ghosting them is what I had to do. I took the left path around the cell block. I made a habit of leaving the shadows only when the two patrolling craymens' backs were turned or they were not visible from my vantage point.

-The bugbeasts in the eyeplant field were normal it seems and I had no trouble getting by, although I did make a number of eyeplants stop and gaze at me. If I recall, the ghosting community decided this was not a bust back when the T2 OM "Trail of Blood" was reported.

-The two haunts in the undead area were a nuisance. They were just like the craymen: hypersensitive and must be supreme ghosted. The one who patrols the strange library/mausoleum is a problem because of the bright areas. Moving around the perimeter is the only possible way to avoid alerting the haunt. To get to the church doors, I had to wait at the upper left corner until he approached and turned his back. I also mossed the marble platform in front of the mausoleum so I could collect the loot. Taking the goblet sets off an arrow trap, although this doesn't alert the haunt or apparition. Getting close to the apparition wasn't too hard and I had the large bookcases shielding me from the patrolling haunt's view.

-Getting into the church was even more difficult because I not only had the aforementioned patrolling haunt and idle apparition to worry about, but another hypersensitive haunt patrolling inside the church. It goes without saying that I reloaded dozens of times until I figured out how to get into the church alert-free. First, I needed to watch for the haunt in the library/mausoleum to make sure he was out of sight. Second, I had to wait for the pivoting apparition to turn his back to me. Lastly, I had to enter the church only when the haunt inside was far enough away with his back turned so he wouldn't see me. That's a lot of required variables, but it can be done. Once inside the church, I crouched and hastily followed the haunt's backside so I could get the loot on the altar and then make my way to the crypt.

-The zombies in the crypt behaved normally and could be first alerted.

-I had one dilemma in escaping the mines: the exit was guarded by two mechanists and two robots. The area preceding the exit is permanently bright and the ground made of gravel. Ghost bust, I thought... However, I found an invis potion in a nearby footlocker and I still had 4 moss arrows left. What I did was create a trail of moss patches extending from the entrance of the room to the exit door. There isn't enough moss to generate a seamlessly connected trail - I had to plant the moss patches in such a way that they reached all the way to the door, which means there had to be some spacing between a couple islands of moss. All I needed to do was my drink my invis potion and hop from one moss patch to the next:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1261108457734/screenshots/thehole/theholeescape1.jpg?height=285&width=400

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1261108471110/screenshots/thehole/theholeescape2.jpg?height=284&width=400

Hexameron
18th Dec 2009, 21:45
FM: Safe Haven
File: SafeHaven.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:13:03
Loot - 935/1665
Pockets Picked - 1/4
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 2/2

Comments - A short mission that can only be played on Normal difficulty. It can also be completed in 2 or 20 minutes depending on how long it takes to find the wax key copy. There is only one objective to find a copy of a key to the hotel. Once you know where the key is, you could probably get to it in less than a couple of minutes.

There is one potentially major ghosting issue, however. To ghost this mission, the player must get into the water hole outside of the apartment before the patrolling guard reaches the metal fence. If he reaches the metal fence, he will get stuck and continuously walk into it forever. Reloading doesn't fix him and I restarted the mission three times to see if he is always destined to get stuck; he is. If this happens, the mission cannot be ghosted because he is too close to the water hole (which is the only route to the hotel):

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1261171896524/screenshots/safehaven/safehavenguard1.jpg?height=301&width=400

And I tried. I attempted every conceivable way to get into that hole by mantling on the fence, creeping behind that little tower building, trying to nudge the guard away from the fence, and it's probably impossible. The only choice the ghoster has is to gather as much equipment as possible and quickly rush out of the starting apartment and into the water hole before the guard gets close. By having to race to the water hole, the player can't explore the other parts of the city or achieve a perfect thief.

With only one objective, there is really no incentive to collect loot, but I still went around the hotel gathering as much as I could. The wax key copy is in the stock room to the left of the hotel lobby. Frobbing a lever under the shelves reveals a compartment behind the sword display.

Hexameron
18th Dec 2009, 22:22
FM: Graduation Day
File: GradDay.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:14:58
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 2/2
Backstabs - 1 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 30 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 1

Cause of Failure:

- Cannot complete "Improvisation" test without alerting a haunt

Comments - This mission is akin to T1's "A Keeper's Training" OM. There are six objectives and five of them are individual tests that must be completed: Observation, Improvisation, Creeping, Agility, and Death.

The Observation test entails using a vine arrow on a very thin strip of wood to reach a switch that shuts off a nearby watcher.

The Improvisation test is where I got busted. The player must drop into a pit with a haunt and a key.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1261171945510/screenshots/graduationday/graduationdayhaunt.jpg?height=302&width=400

I saw only one way to get out of that pit: shooting a vine arrow at the lift button, which lowers the elevator and opens the white-hued wall panel revealing buttons that send the elevator up. Equipment is sparse - unless I missed a water or moss arrow in the Observation test, the player should only have one vine arrow and one noisemaker. Shooting the vine arrow at the red button alerts the haunt, and getting onto the lift puts him on a definite 3rd alert.

The Creeping test is easy - just move slowly on the marble floors in the shadows and pick the speed potion from the pagan's belt.

The Agility test is certainly the most difficult and frustrating of them all and I reloaded a lot. The test area is a long vertical chamber filled with awkward ledges, slopes, and platforms that the player must skillfully traverse. One wrong move and you could be stuck or unable to get back up and retrieve vital equipment. Compounding this difficulty is the fact that a mechanist bomb turret is constantly lobbing bombs against a wall (thankfully not at the player) and two other traps are set to fire at a wall. It took me some time to figure out how to collect all of the equipment needed to satisfy the objective.

First, I had to run, jump, and mantle onto the highest metal structure with machinery. Then I looked down to the small ledge where a fireball trap repeatedly explodes. During a pause between explosions, I jumped onto the ledge with a vine arrow ready. I aimed for the small faucet-looking structure which has a barely-visible wood texture. I shot the vine arrow there, jumped onto another pre-existing rope to collect the sword. When the fireball hits the wall, it makes the rope and vine ripple violently, but I didn't fall off. I then leapt from the rope to the vine and then mantled onto the faucet structure so I could get the lockpicks. With that done, the objective is complete.

Getting down without taking damage is tricky. I waited on the faucet structure for a pause after the turret lobs its bomb. I dropped onto the vine arrow, turned my facing 180 degrees, and climbed down to the bottom level just in time. Any other path and I would have taken too much damage from falling.

The last Death test is interesting. The player must navigate through a crawlspace and out one of the floor holes into a room with a patrolling haunt. I was able to hide in the hole closest to the door. I thought I could leap out of the hole and try picking the door for a few seconds while the haunt faces away and then go back to the hole before he turns. The problem is that the lock is complex and it normally might take 30 seconds to pick it. Considering I could only pick the lock for a few seconds at a time, it seemed like it would take forever. The objective "Death" is clearly vague. Just out of curiosity, I decided to backstab the haunt and see what happens... "Objective Complete" is what I got.

The final room contains the Keeper medallion and diploma with piped in music of Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance." Considering the door could have been picked, I find it funny that if I had the patience, I could have gone through to pick up my diploma without killing the haunt and completing the Death test.

Hexameron
19th Dec 2009, 22:47
FM: The Two Towers [Thief 2 Version]
File: twotowersT2.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:31:27
Loot - 2250/2250
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This is an old Thief 1 FM converted to Thief 2. What struck me about the mission is how, despite looking so unfinished and empty, the interior architecture is so distinctive - I've never seen anything quite like it. I'm just a layman who occasionally dabbles in dromed, but it appears the author sculpted the towers out of solid brushes only. The sound propagation is consequently off in a lot of areas, and the interior is riddled with beams, rafters, slanted room shapes, and messy blocks jutting out of the ceiling. I spent and wasted a lot of time exploring the towers, which are filled with strange empty rooms, closets, crawlspaces, and alcoves that hint a little at Constantine's mansion from T1's "The Sword." There are only two places of real interest in the tower as far as loot is concerned: the upper library and the cabins.

Ghosting is a no brainer - the AI are few. The objectives are straightforward as well.

Hexameron
20th Dec 2009, 00:40
FM: The Haunting
File: c5Haunting,The.zip

Ghost - Failed or N/A ... I'm not sure
Time - 00:55:56
Loot - 0/845
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Possible Cause of Failure:

- Manipulating objects can be interpreted as alerting the nobles, but they are not technically alerted at all.

Comments - I say ghosting is either failed or not applicable for this mission because you cannot perform an action that will make you succeed or fail at ghosting. This is not a real FM because there is no way to technically alert or affect anyone other than what is scripted. The player is not Garrett, but a ghost who has no health bar, light gem, weapons, or inventory, and can move through walls with no clipping. There is only one objective to scare the two nobles until they leave your house. The options for scaring the AI are quite interesting and the custom animations and scripted events are impressive to behold.

None of the AI exhibit normal alert behavior; the animations are all scripted and you can't instigate a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd alert of any kind. Still, as the old ghost debate about the FM "The Cistern" has proven, some ghost busts aren't technical, but can be interpreted from the story. Yes, the nobles aren't technically on 2nd alert saying "I'm worried - strange things are afoot," but they do react to manipulations by running over to the disturbances. And ultimately, they run away from the house.

Each night, the player can manipulate objects in an attempt to frighten the nobles. Pouring salt into the soup while the nobles eat is one option. Turning on the victrola disturbs them enough to run over and turn it off. Similarly, frobbing the piano produces banging tone clusters or a performance of Chopin's "Funeral March," and wherever the nobles are, they will rush to the piano and close the lid. Other pranks the ghost can do: move the telescope, turn pages in a book, change the time of a clock, throw papers on the ground, open a locked safe, and walk through the nobles giving them a chill.

It took about five nights of doing all this until the nobles finally contacted a hammerite priest. I don't know if the player has any influence on the number of nights in the mission. When the priest comes, he performs an exorcism in each room and emits a fan of white mist that can damage and kill you. The priest can't see you, though. The trick to surviving him is to be on the opposite side of the house in a corner to avoid the white mist that passes through the walls. For the next two nights, the nobles call the priest back to try again. On the night following that, the nobles can't persuade the priest to help them anymore. Finally, on night 8 (after you keep manipulating objects in their presence), the nobles have had enough and leave: "objective complete."

This is certainly one of the more original Thief FMs I've encountered and I love the idea of being a real ghost. I just wish the mission wasn't so long and spectator-like. You really can't fail at this mission unless you do nothing or let yourself be killed by the priest. As such, the FM is more like watching a movie. Also, the number of objects to manipulate gets monotonous after five nights. Can I say I ghosted it when I was a genuine ghost? Ironically, no.

Hexameron
20th Dec 2009, 01:56
FM: Amnesia
File: Amnesia2.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:30:54
Loot - 1757/1757
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - A small FM that takes place in a thieves guild-type building. The player starts with seven health shields and apparently has no idea how he ended up there, hence the title "Amnesia." I found the brief throbbing blackouts realistic, although sometimes annoying. I couldn't understand any of the auditory hallucinations either. At one point while I was crouched in shadows observing a patrol, a new objective popped up directing me to destroy the evidence about "Merle." I already found an envelope that had Merle's name written in it, so I dropped the envelope in a nearby fireplace and that did the trick.

To ease the sneaking throughout the corridors, I removed many lanterns and shoved them in an obscure corner. Overall, this mission was easy to ghost. The only cause for reloads I had was with one keeper-looking thief in a room. Entering the room is vital because of a required key. But the keeper-thief is quick to see anyone in the door frame. He pivots occasionally and faces two directions: the bookshelf and the table. Based on my attempts, it's not possible to get the key when he faces the table; only the bookshelf.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1261175202146/screenshots/amnesia/amnesiakeeper.jpg?height=301&width=400

I waited for him to face the bookshelf and ran towards the table right past his profile. I got a first alert in the process. Running back out while he's on a sustained first alert won't work. You have to wait until he goes back to zero and then run out, which might seem easy, but it can be a problem if the patrolling thief outside walks by.

Then there is the thief guarding the way out:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1261175193859/screenshots/amnesia/amnesiaexit.jpg?height=301&width=400

At first, I thought I might need to nudge him, but you can get close enough to the door with only a sliver of his body in view. Note: My back is facing the exit door in this screenshot.

Hexameron
20th Dec 2009, 03:29
FM: A wonderful reception
File: Une_merveilleuse_reception.zip

Ghost - Failed and aborted
Time - 00:05:46
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Cause of Failure:

- Cannot satisfy objectives without alerting zombies

Comments - I really didn't try very hard in this mission. My objective is to blow out the candles on the birthday cake. I do that and a new objective is added to say "farewell" to my party guests; at the same time, a zombie rises out of the cake and starts attacking others. Apparently, when he attacks them, he turns them into zombies and they're all alerted to my presence. Even if I get behind the glass door where the gifts are without alerting anyone, I still didn't know how to proceed.

Another curious thing is the gifts. They can be picked up and the names of the presents should spell out a sentence, but how is the player supposed to know which order the gifts need to be picked up? I did a quick search over at TTLG and found out that I needed to pick up a key on the floor and then activate some switch back at the mission start. Well, seeing as how this is not a serious mission and the zombies will certainly notice me if I try to go back to the cake room, I decided to abort.

Hexameron
20th Dec 2009, 03:48
FM: Masque of the Red Death
File: masque.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:19:55
Loot - 4541/5651
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 2
Damage dealt - 2 Damage taken - 192
Healing taken - 189 Kills - 2
Secrets Found - 0/2

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot get through tunnel without destroying a barrel blocking the path

2. Cannot stealthily approach or kill the Red Death AI without alerting it

3. Cannot exit without blowing open a door with a fire arrow

Comments - This mission is small and visually arresting. It's obviously based on Poe's work of the same name and involves the player stealing items from Prince Prospero's party. I had to laugh when I saw the haunt dancing to the music. At some point a noxious red gas fills all the party rooms and kills the inhabitants. Initially, the player suffers some damage visible by the absent health shields. But after that, Garrett only coughs and gags as if taking damage, but no additional health shields are deducted. Judging from the stats, it looks like the player does take damage, but somehow instantly recovers it (compare the Healing taken stat).

It took me some time to figure out how to exit the party. Since I had to push my nose real close to lots of items in order to frob them, I inspected the little fountain very closely until I noticed a button inside. This opens the passage leading out of the estate. But a spider is down there along with a barrel blocking my path. I tried nudging the barrel all the way down the L-shaped path, but I would still get stuck. If I really wanted to push the barrel out of the tunnel, I could, but it would take me 30+ minutes. Also, it wouldn't change my ultimate ghosting fail because the Red Death can't be stealthily killed. So I KOed the green spider and destroyed the barrel with my blackjack.

This alerted another green spider stuck in a crevice. In the crevice is a web (reskinned banner I guess) blocking access to a holy water vial. I had to break the web with my blackjack and then I KOed the alerted spider. Just outside from this area, the Red Death is standing in a graveyard. He always sees me when I exit the tunnel; I suppose he heard the barrel bashing earlier. No matter. With the ability to use holy water arrows, I quickly dispatched Red Death. Now what? A fire arrow crystal drops when Red Death is killed, so I assumed I needed to use it. I fired it at one of the large hammerite doors, which blew it open.

I still hadn't completed all of my objectives though. I needed to find Prince Prospero. It dawned on me that he should have been killed at the party, so I raced back there and checked the corpses. Sure enough - he was the dead nobleman in the dark room. Picking him up checks off the objective, so I carried him back to the mission end.

Peter_Smith
20th Dec 2009, 04:31
T2 FM: Out for a Revenge
Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed (missing loot and secrets)
Time - 06:15:49
Loot - 2045/2200
Pockets Picked - 24/25 (presumably all)
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Kills - 0, Knockouts - 0
Bodies Found - 0
Secrets Found - 2 of 5

This mission came out in 2004, but it has never been described in a ghost report. I never would have noticed it except for a suggestion by Hexameron.

"Out for a Revenge" was designed with ghosting in mind. This is evident both in the design and in some comments by the author in the mission thread at TTLG. In my opinion, that practice often results in a mission that is too easy, since the AI can be avoided by most testers, and the significant challenges that are often present in unplanned missions are absent. This mission was not too easy. Instead, challenges were introduced, it seems, simply to make ghosting harder. In the end, I think it made ghosting more tedious. Overlooking this fact, the mission has lots of good aspects including some fairly decent architecture, a TDP quality, lots of areas to explore, and a complicated map that will keep you busy for hours.

I started out badly by not reading the Darkloader readme file in its entirety. The readme says that in Expert mode the only way to get a blackjack is to use all your money and buy one at the loadout screen. I picked up my usual water and moss arrows and went on my merry way. Several hours into the mission, when I became lost and stuck, I wanted to do a BJ run to find what I was missing. No dice.

It turns out, in my case at least, that I did not need to use any water or moss arrows, so the BJ would have been a wise purchase.

Another clue in the readme concerns the fact that the Lord Ramsden is alerted when he "sees" a metal cover to a safe compartment open. That fails the mission. I toyed with that situation for over an hour, not realizing the cause of the alert.

So, if you play this mission, be forewarned: read the readme. :)

The mission starts in a town with lots of buildings to explore. One of the first buildings contains a lockbox that cannot be picked in one shot without being seen. There is no place inside the building to hide. So now we have a lesson in ghosting 101: go far enough away (outside the building in this case) so you aren't seen and dart in and out, making a few picks on each trip. That is fine, and it is doable. The problem is, the author used this trick 6-8 times. It wears thin after a while.

Another thing you find immediately is that there are many dark niches outside the buildings and along exposed passages to hide. To compensate for this easy aspect of the mission (or vice versa), the AI are swarming all about, often in criss-crossing groups. So, you have to time your moves and sometimes you are lucky. With practice you are lucky most of the time because you have the hiding places and you learn the patrols. Initially, though, the fairly dense AI do present a ghosting challenge. Nothing is extremely difficult in itself, but there is constant pressure.

The author plays a semi-dirty trick by having a servant, who is carrying a key to the "restaurant", head immediately to the restaurant at the start of the mission and lock himself in. Thus, an easy way to navigate to other parts of the mission is lost unless you realize what is happening and pick-pocket the key before he makes it inside. I was relaxing in the early part, sniffing out the AI, and missed that servant, so I had to take the harder route.

The harder route involves finding a black key on a thief in town that opens a door labeled "To Where?" on the map. "To Where?" is the rest of the mission, which is most of the mission. I was just being stupid, so I played the whole town 2-3 times, repeating all the ghosting moves and not finding the key. That is when I wanted my BJ -- badly. Hexameron came to the rescue in a PM.

The town was actually a substantial area in itself, but after I got the missing key many new areas opened up. One objective is to enter Lord Ramsden's mansion. To get there, you need to travel through spider caves, a thieves den, and sewers. There is something for everyone in this mission, folks. Actually, I enjoyed the variety and the exploration at this stage. There is lots of sneaking to do, but none of it is particularly difficult.

The only significant ghosting challenge to me was to open a safe in Lord Ramsden's library. In the end, that was not so much a ghosting problem, per se, as understanding the requirements of the game play.

http://i47.tinypic.com/20hkjti.jpg

Unbeknownst to me, but described in the readme, Lord Ramsden alerts whenever he sees that the metal cover to the safe compartment has been opened.

To open that metal door, you need to do one of those dash-in-dash-out sequences. There is a handy secret passage behind the library that makes it easier to circulate around and do your picking without being seen. I thought I had made it without being seen several times, but Ramsden always alerted. When he alerts, he says "Help! Thieves!" and the mission ends with a failed objective, "Don't let Lord Ramsden die or know of your presence in the mansion." In retrospect, maybe it should have been obvious, but I never connected that remark with his seeing the safe cover opened. It is not a typical reaction in Thief. In fact, he was not looking at the safe when he made those remarks, so I thought it was a script that automatically activated, as when taking the eye in Return to the Cathedral. I spent over an hour trying to avoid that reaction. Finally in desperation, and without much else to do, I pressed a button that looked like an alarm button to see what would happen. It was not an alarm. It was a light switch!

http://i50.tinypic.com/j73l05.jpg

There are four such switches in the room. Each switch turned some lights on and some lights off. It was a light switch puzzle! Then I found that by hitting the switches in a certain combination the one light over the safe would go off, and that stopped the alert. Bingo.

Finding the loot in this mission is a problem. On leaving the mansion and finding everything I could in every area I knew about, I was still 75 short of the 2000 total I needed. And, I should say, that 75 is a huge gap. The author chose to give most loot items reduced values, so that 2000 required loot represents nearly 100 items with an average value of just over 20. A coin stack may be 5. Most purses were worth only 20. Strange as it may seem, this devaluing of loot had a depressing effect on my morale. 2000 seemed at first to be so simple, yet, after finding many, many items, it turned out to be a large effort with a goal that was just out of sight.

The breakthrough came when I finally found the restaurant with Hexameron's help. There are lots of ups and downs in the sewer, the mansion, the thieves den, and the spider cave. Most of them provide a means to go somewhere that might be a little challenging with the AI on patrol. I had missed a down ladder in the spider cave (I was focused on spiders) that went to a part of the sewer that was otherwise inaccessible, behind iron grates. That was the route, and that was where I found the necessary loot. Still way short of Perfect Thief, but that could partly be in the three secrets I am missing.

I'll post back with an update if I manage to Perfect it later.

I think that "Out for a Revenge" is quite good for architecture, mood, ambient sound, route finding, and AI interaction. I'll say again that the ghosting seemed a little repetitive and tedious. I think that playing in Hard with a BJ might be more fun.

Hexameron
13th Jan 2010, 21:24
FM: Out for a Revenge
File: outforrv.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:55:35
Loot - 2160/2200
Pockets Picked - 23/25
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 3/5

Comments - I came so close to perfecting this one, but ultimately 40 loot still eludes me. Like Peter, I did not purchase the blackjack at the loading screen, which forfeited my chance to go on a BJ run and search for the remaining loot. My ghosting experience is not unlike Peter's, but for some reason I enjoyed this mission and found it a pleasant challenge. The mission is AI-intensive and sneaking around without using water/moss arrows certainly keeps the player on his toes.

-Getting the loot in the first building near the mission start is somewhat tedious. A merchant patrols behind his counter, walks upstairs, and comes back down. There are no shadows on the bottom floor and the patrolling guard outside adds to the difficulty of entering the building at the right time. To get the moneybox behind the counter requires patience and timing. I had to wait for the merchant to walk upstairs and then I dashed over behind the counter, picking the moneybox for a few seconds, and then racing outside into the streets again, making sure the patrolling guard was facing away. It's only a matter of rinse and repeat until the box is picked.

-To get the gold hammer on the hammerite altar, I roped up to the beams and scooted over to the far edge overlooking the altar. Dropping down and getting the hammer can be tough because of the two hammerites and their unforgiving patrol routes. What I did was place a rope arrow in the wall, as I was afraid of taking damage from the fall. I fell onto the pre-placed rope, climbed down quickly and looted the hammer, and then shot a rope arrow back to the beams and climbed back up. It took a few reloads:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263416302717/home/aogvol1/outforarevhammer.jpg?height=301&width=400

-As Peter discovered, leaving the vault door in Ramsden's library open will cause problems, specifically Ramsden noticing and yelling "Thief!" followed by a mission fail. When I picked the vault door and left it open, I hadn't yet found the key to the safe. Mere moments after picking the vault door, I turned about 180 degrees to see Ramsden heading back to the bookshelves. Since I saw him recoil when facing my direction, I assumed he saw me, but soon realized it was the sight of the open vault that upset him; I actually caught on quickly to what had happened. So I left the unlocked vault door closed and returned when I had the safe key. Also, turning the middle light off is essential, as it provides darkness over the vault and helps keep the player undetected whenever Ramsden or the guard makes his pass. Once I had the safe key, I could nab the evidence and close both the safe and vault door without alarming Ramsden.

-I didn't have the same issue as Peter with the restaurant servant. I found the restaurant late in the game after I finished with the mansion. I will say that finding loot in this mission is a chore since many items' loot values are decreased. Since 2000 is required on expert and only 2200 is available in the mission, the loot hunt is the most tedious part of this mission... and the author is good at hiding loot. I still missed two secrets and I thought I explored thoroughly. It pains me to leave a mission unperfected by 40 loot, but I have to draw a line between healthy ambition and unnecessary obsession: ghosting a large mission in order to scrounge for 40 loot crosses the line, I think. Normally, I would assume I'm missing two loose coins, but with the devaluation of loot in this mission, I wouldn't be surprised if I missed five or more separate pieces of loot.

Hexameron
13th Jan 2010, 23:18
FM: Just Take a Look
File: JustTakeALook.zip

Perfect Thief - Success {Chemical}
Time - 01:22:44
Loot - 3639/3639
Pockets Picked - 5/7
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 9/9

Comments - I didn't realize until finishing this mission that Dafydd (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showpost.php?p=323783&postcount=156) had ghosted and reported his success back in 2004. I'm certainly in awe of his report because there are a few spots in this mission that are insanely difficult. At times, I was close to resigning and accepting a ghost fail. I perservered, though, and if I had even more patience, I could have succeeded without using an invis potion. But more on that later.

What makes this mission so difficult is the loot requirement, quirky AI, no moss arrows, and a limited water arrow supply. Opening doors in some cases will put AI on 2nd alert. Dousing torches in many areas also results in a 70% chance of a 2nd alert occurring. And yet in order to ghost this mission by obtaining the required loot, the player must use just about all of his water arrows sparingly and systematically. There is no room for error by wasting a water arrow. Essentially, all or at least 90% of the water arrows must be used to achieve perfect thief.

Ghosting the Downstairs

(1) The kitchen. Sneaking around the kitchen is important only for obtaining loot in the cupboards. The kitchen is impossible unless a number of gas lights are extinguished. It's not only that mech servant who is at issue, but a patrolling maid not seen in the screenshot. I probably used more water arrows than I needed to, about three or four:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263418516980/screenshots/justtakealook/justtakelookkitchen.jpg?height=301&width=400

(2) The dining room. To get the loot in the dining room, all four gas lights must be doused. Since the electric lights by the fountain can't be turned off, there is only one viable entrance into the dining room: from under the lobby staircase where I'm currently crouched in the following screenshot,

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263418458975/screenshots/justtakealook/justtakelookdiningroom1.jpg?height=303&width=400

Of course, the guard and servant in the dining room do not respond well to doused lights. They will go on 2nd alert about 70% of the time. To make matters worse, the guards upstairs can sometimes hear the water arrow splash and go on 2nd alert as well. Ugh! :nut:

In the dining room, I discovered that it is possible to avoid 2nd alerts as long as the AI are not on 1st alert. That is, if you try to douse another gas light while the guard (to the left and not visible in the screenshot) or maid are on a sustained 1st alert, they will always reach 2nd alert. So my solution was clear: douse one gas light at a time after everyone settles back to zero. For mysterious reasons and just when I thought I had discovered a repeating pattern, the AI wouldn't always behave the way they should. Sometimes when they were back to zero, dousing a gas light would still upset them. I just kept retrying different arrow trajectories and bow string tension until it worked.

Ghosting the Upstairs

There are four problematic areas upstairs.

(1) Opening doors when any of the patrolling guards are on earshot is a recipe for a ghost bust. They hear doors open and go on 2nd alert. Obviously, the only solution is to wait until they are far away before opening a door.

(2) Moving past the foyer. The noblemen on the steps of the foyer will always go on 2nd alert if I move across the hallway past the lobby. The trick is to stand, not crouch, when running past. It's hard to tell when the noblemen are alerted because their bodies are obstructed from view; you can only see the the tops of their heads in the foyer, but they can still see you just fine. Darting by and instigating a 1st alert is the only method to use here.

(3) The two noblewomen in the bedroom are a major pain. We all know the kind: AI that go berserk when a torch is doused.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263418539078/screenshots/justtakealook/justtakelookladies2.jpg?height=302&width=400

To even enter the room undetected, I chose to the come the back way through the gambling room. The player must douse the gas light in the alcove, which doesn't cause problems. Two other gas lights must be doused to enter the room. A strange situation occurs here. I could douse one gas light fine and get only 1st alerts from both ladies. However, once one of the ladies sees the doused light and says "Hmm, strange," the other one screams and goes on 2nd alert! Good thing I didn't quicksave after thinking I successfully doused the lights...

I figured out how to beat this problem, though. The trick is to have your water arrows equipped and move forward quickly enough to cause a 1st alert in one lady. In essence, you are provoking a 1st alert on purpose. Once that happens, I doused one gas light, which puts the other lady on 1st alert. Nanoseconds after she goes on 1st alert, the one already on 1st alert says her "Hmm, strange" remark. For some reason, this sequence works and doesn't result in any delayed 2nd alerts. I wish I could explain the science behind this. Why did I have to provoke a 1st alert before dousing the torch in order to avoid 2nd alerts? Nevertheless, I performed this maneuver twice on two gas lights to complete success. To reiterate, I intentionally put one lady on 1st alert, doused the gas light and 1st alerted the other, and voila - no problems. It doesn't make sense, but I'll take it. :cool:

(4) Two Mechanists in Library

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263418559600/screenshots/justtakealook/justtakelookmech1.jpg?height=302&width=400

These two mechanists constitute the greatest hurdle in this mission and one that Dafydd had trouble dealing with too. He was more capable than I was in the end, but we both shared the same frustrations. Upon first glance, this doesn't look so bad does it? Looks like lots of shadow and sneaking room, right? Wrong... The problem is that there are two electric lights that brightly illuminate most of the floor around the mechanists. It may look like there are dark patches of shadow, but they're not enough to sneak by while on the floor. Dafydd reported that he did sneak by while remaining on the floor. I couldn't and I tried for hours. Just a reminder: there are no moss arrows in this mission, which would have helped the situation.

If these guys were standing just a few feet or even inches away, everything would be significantly easier. I just could not sneak by them in any direction without one of them seeing. Whether circling around their right flank and hugging the bookcases, or staying to the left and keeping my back against the plant table, nothing worked. I couldn't CCC slowly and I couldn't run quickly without them seeing.

I thought if I could nudge them away, maybe I could have a chance. So I found some potted plants and tried to place them at their feet, thinking the plants, which are really like crates, might gradually crate-hook and nudge them away a la Sneak's Golden Child success in LotP (http://forums.eidosgames.com/old-ubb/Thief_2_Ghost_Perfect_Thief_Results_3.htm).

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263418597920/screenshots/justtakealook/justtakelookmech2.jpg?height=302&width=400

I left the mission running for several hours and came back to check. I'm no Sneak - it didn't work :(. I tried one more time with two potted plants hooked to one guy's feet and it still didn't work. I reloaded after leaving the mission running for eight hours and tried to think of something else. Bear in mind that the player is given an invis potion and can use it to sneak by them, which is required to complete the mission. A huge cache of loot (700) is beyond the library behind a locked door. Sure I could use an invis potion and run to the loot, but how would I get out again? That's what tripped up Dafydd - he used the invis potion first to get into the room and then had trouble getting out. It was the reverse for me.

I almost considered the mission failed from this. This single area troubled me so much that I did cross the boundary into neurotic obsession. It was one of those problem spots that irks you so much you just can't leave it alone - you ghosted everything with much effort up until this point and you can't accept defeat.

It occurred to me to try and get up on the walls dividing the room. I used a rope arrow, but the source of the electric light is situated on these walls - it's a no go. I knew my only chance of success was staying in the darkness surrounding the walls. I noticed the table and plant to my left and wondered if I could mantle onto it.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263418617535/screenshots/justtakealook/justtakelookmech3.jpg?height=301&width=400

Progress! I mantled onto the large vase. And with only a 1st alert I could crouch and lower myself down to the crack between the desk and the table. However, no matter where I moved to from the crack to the desk, I hit a bright yellow light gem spot. It's enough to set off one mechanist, but I kept trying until I only instigated a 1st alert. I then carefully CCCed to the edge of the desk. Moving off the desk still resulted in a bright yellow light gem long enough to get a few 2nd alerts. Reloading and trying again finally got me to the floor:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263418668725/screenshots/justtakealook/justtakelookmech5.jpg?height=301&width=400

I knew I was home free and I finally made it to the back office behind the locked door:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263422990943/screenshots/justtakealook/justtakelookmech6.jpg?height=302&width=400

Unfortunately, I was exhausted at this point. Dafydd managed to escape from the office without using an invis potion, but the task of climbing the furniture or trying to skulk around the floor was too daunting for me. I used an invis potion and ran past them. It's interesting how Dafydd problem solved to get out and I figured out how to get in without using an invis potion, but we couldn't do it both ways :D.

Hexameron
13th Jan 2010, 23:46
FM: Close Encounters V2
File: closeencountersv2.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:38:04
Loot - 8350/8350
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 51 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 2

Causes of Failure:

1. Could not sneak by large spider at bottom of ladder

2. Could not sneak by tiny green spider at sewer bend

Comments - There is only one difficulty (Normal) for this mission. This FM is a little bizarre. It's a large abandoned town and Garrett says in the briefing, "If people fled this old town in a hurry, they may have left behind certain valuables in their rush to get out. I guess I will have to pay a visit to this old town, see if I can find myself a few extra Christmas presents." Well he couldn't be more wrong. I found barely any loot in the town and most of the buildings were empty. I remember 2 gold cups, a gold nugget, and some gold coin stacks. The many footlockers scattered about the town were filled with useless junk and equipment like scouting orbs and healing potions. Much of the loot count, 8000 to be exact, is collected in the crashed spaceship.

There are two entrances into the sewers, which lead to the crashed spaceship. Unfortunately, one entrance is only one-way. It is a large slit window that you could crawl into and drop into the sewers, but you couldn't jump back out. The other entrance is blocked by a large spider at the bottom of the ladder. I couldn't get down and detach myself from the ladder without having to jump and make foot noise; I had no moss arrows to soften my fall:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263425313662/screenshots/closeencounters/closeencspid2.jpg?height=300&width=400

I had no choice but to kill him and move on. I was busted again when I found a brightly-lit bend in the sewers with a tiny green spider observing the walls. Needless to say, he's impossible to sneak by so I killed him:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263425293749/screenshots/closeencounters/closeencspid1.jpg?height=300&width=400

There is another ladder with a tiny spider at the bottom, but I could actually leap over him and when coming back, I could descend to the bottom and detach myself from the ladder without disturbing him.

I have an observation about traversing the top of the walls to get into blocked off areas in this town. There is a damaged house accessible via planks and rubble. Inside the house is an orange key, which allows you to escape through the hammerite church once you make it over to other side of the town. I may be wrong, but it seems to me if you make it over the other side of the town without getting this key first, you will be stuck and unable to escape and complete the mission. :scratch:

Hexameron
14th Jan 2010, 02:33
FM: Firefly
File: fireflyv1a.zip

Ghost - Success
Time - 00:47:10
Loot - 3809/5124
Pockets Picked - 6/10
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 2/4

Comments - This mission can be ghosted only if certain "New Objectives" are not triggered. The only new objective I accepted was to find Bruno's diary. I reloaded whenever I triggered any others. There is one new objective (after reading a book) to "Rescue Kevel" from the jail, but the jail looked impossible to ghost: I couldn't sneak by the prisoners or guards on any floors, so I avoided it. In another saved game, I figured out that I could let a conscious Kevel out of jail, but letting him out alerts the guards.

Other areas I avoided are the Healer's house (I didn't find any loot there anyway) and the bunny-infested grounds and ogre cave. Those rabbits are a hassle to deal with. They are non-violent and act blind, but it's still possible to alert them. If they bump into you, they stagger back without making any noise and continue hopping about. Since there's so many of them in addition to frogbeasts, I gave up trying to collect all of the silver nuggets lying around the grassy areas. Dousing the pagan torch in front of the passage to the healer's house puts the patrolling guard on 2nd alert, so I had a further incentive to stay away from this area.

I found Magrin's Torc, which satisfied an optional objective, by exploring the rooftops of the village near the drunk guard and small pond.

Hexameron
14th Jan 2010, 04:26
FM: Fletcher's Final Mistake
File: Fletch_Low_V1.0.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 01:24:31
Loot - 3581/6170
Pockets Picked - 4/5
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 10
Damage dealt - 190 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 3

Causes of Failure:

1. Could not sneak by thieves in the gambling den of the Dragon guild

2. Could not obtain secret stash (obj) without alerting numerous undead

Comments - This is a fun mission to ghost and I was fine for over an hour of gameplay - I just happened to be double busted during the last 15 minutes of my game.

-Guard in front of casino is quirky; what would normally cause a first alert puts him on a weird fleeing 2nd alert state. Making the slightest foot noise or appearing out of shadow for a fleeting moment makes him stagger back and yell "Guards, this way!" He then proceeds to run away - this is a guard we're talking about. Is this a script of some kind I wonder? Regardless, he prevented me from even approaching the casino.

-Fletcher is the male thief patrolling in a short circle in an apartment accessible only by rope arrow and locked shutters. I removed the mushroom light above the window and picked the shutters. Fletcher can see through the shutters, so it's important to be in darkness while dangling on the rope. After I maneuvered through the window, I BJed him and carried his body out of the apartment:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263435150229/screenshots/fletchersfinalmistake/fletchersfinalbody1.jpg?height=302&width=400

I took him to a secluded place and beat him to death:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263435177196/screenshots/fletchersfinalmistake/fletchersfinalbody2.jpg?height=301&width=400

-My only ghost busts occurred in the Dragon guild, where I resorted to KOing all of the thieves in the guild hideout. Here is the situation: I cannot sneak through the gambling area, which is the only viable path to finding the key that leads me to the secret stash (obj). Dousing torches in the gambling den is a must, but doing so causes delayed 2nd alerts. Indeed, it takes twenty or more seconds for the thieves to finally react to the doused torches. I tried many times and even dashing into the room does me no good.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263435229322/screenshots/fletchersfinalmistake/fletchersfinalthieves.jpg?height=302&width=400

There are too many of them to deal with, so I lured them to my vicinity and knocked all of them out. Even if I found a way to avoid alerting them, once I open the door to the secret stash, I'm greeted with this:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263435250139/screenshots/fletchersfinalmistake/fletchersfinalzombies1.jpg?height=300&width=400

The undead are blocking my path to the chest containing the secret stash (obj). I think the zombies have augmented hitpoints because I dropped all of my flashbombs, used all my holy water arrows, and fire arrows, and still one zombie survived the onslaught. After my final objective was satisfied, I made my way to the exit, and some guards on the street were alerted from all the commotion I made in the Dragon guild.

Hexameron
14th Jan 2010, 05:01
FM: Unfinished Business
File: Unfin_Biz_V1.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:32:50
Loot - 4307/4701
Pockets Picked - 17/25
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 1
Damage dealt - 1 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This FM is the sequel to "Fletcher's Final Mistake." I had a lot of framerate slowdowns in this mission, which is a shame because it's well-designed and fun to play. I loved the multiple entrances to just about every building, the amazing implementation of textures and use of architecture, as well as the fecund opportunities for rope arrowing. My only gripe is the bad framerate issues I had when in open spaces or
staring out from the rooftops.

-Frobbing the coffin in the cemetery causes two zombies to spawn nearby. They will inevitably see the patrolling guard on the street and attack. The chain of events that follows are lengthy AI melees and a trail of guard corpses; those zombies seemed indestructible. So I refrained from frobbing the coffin and I could still loot the artifact under it in the open grave.

-Dousing torches is precarious. Many guards get upset when it happens and subsequently go on 2nd alert.

-The quiet wandering nobleman in the streets is hypersensitive. A 1st alert action puts him into 2nd/3rd alert fleeing mode. This was very annoying to deal with because he emitted no audible remarks; no humming or alert mutterings. So if I was simply running by on a wood surface, I might not know that I had alerted him until I saw him running around the streets five minutes later. Thus, I really had to be mindful of his position at all times wherever I was on the map. He bothered the hell out of me. I felt like he was the worst type of AI I ever had to deal with. Haunts, combat bots, treebeasts.... they're not as antagonistic as this mute nobleman!

-I never found the key or access to the citywatch building at mission start :confused:

-The main objective aside from finding the mayor's artifact and 3200 loot is to bring Cooper Barlett to a Downwind thieves guild contact in the sewers. Once I found the gambling room with Cooper Barlett and friends, I had some problems darkening the room. Dousing the gas lamps put the AI on 2nd alert about 50% of the time. Where I was standing when attempting to douse the lights seemed to make a difference. If I stood in the gambling room when firing my water arrows, I always got alerts. When I shot my water arrows through the open cracks of the wall while standing outside of the room, I managed to get all but one gas light extinguished without alerts.

-I had no idea which one of these guys in the gambling room was Cooper Barlett, so I KOed them all and read their names when picking up their bodies. I reloaded once I identified Barlett as the green-clad Ramirez-looking fellow. Was there a hint about his appearance in any readables? I don't recall.

-Some guards inside the warehouse by the large crates act very weird and are undoubtedly hypersensitive. On my way out with Barlett's body, I dropped him on the incline down to the gambling den, hardly a place where the guard could see and the whole area is black... But the guard screamed "Ah!" as soon as I dropped the body, as if he had heard the thud of the corpse hit the ground! Similarly, I reloaded and tried standing next to him and equipping my bow. The sound of my bow being equipped was enough for him to yell "Ah!" and go on 2nd alert. What the :eek: !! I have never experienced this where the mere sound of me changing equipment alerts an AI. I took my rope arrows out in the first place because I wanted to make a more stealthy exit by sneaking on the crates rather than the metal floors. Oh well. I ended up creeping quietly in the dark across the metal floor and made my way out the front door.

-The red spiders in the sewers are hypersensitive too. I was shocked when the following happened: back at the gambling room, I dropped Barlett's body on the floor so I could pick up some more loot I missed. As soon as his body hit the floor, I heard a spider hiss. The more I listened, I realized somewhere a spider was on 2nd alert! I can only presume this spider is one from the sewers (perhaps the sewer area is close by and the sound propagation is off?). I never imagined that the thud of a body hitting the ground would be enough to alert an AI in a different room. And yet everyone else in the gambling room exhibited no reaction.

PotatoGuy
14th Jan 2010, 15:02
Hey guys,

I was wondering if someone managed to ghost 'Under Templehill' by The Pixie, or tried to do it. Instead of going through all those pages, I thought I ask it instead. I'm still a bit new to ghosting, but this mission is fun to try it, I think.

Edit: I don't think, after playing Thief for years, I agree with the title 'New Player'. :p

Hexameron
14th Jan 2010, 19:57
Hi PotatoGuy. I've created the thread FMs - Ghost/Perfect Thief Status (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=74580), which lists links to all Eidos ghost reports. The final post on that thread thread is a separate list of T2 FMs that have not been reported and "Under Templehill" is one of them. I've never played it myself.

If you end up trying to ghost it, feel free to write a report here :)

Hexameron
16th Jan 2010, 06:31
FM: Lady Lisa's Harbor
File: LadyLisaV2.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 01:40:18
Loot - 14002/14377
Pockets Picked - 7/14
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 6
Damage dealt - 176 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 4

Causes of Failure:

1. Could not dip into rushing waterfall without alerting nearby red spider

2. Could not retrieve key from dead craybeast without alerting two red spiders

3a. Could not retrieve key from chest guarded by two red spiders

3b. Picking the aforementioned chest spawns five spiders nearby that immediately alert upon seeing the player

Comments - There is only one (Normal) difficulty in this FM. In spite of the many causes of failure I had, I successfully ghosted this mission for well over an hour. It was those ridiculous caves at the end that spoiled my chances of getting a clean success. I suffered a lot of lag and slow framerates while in the harbor sector; sometimes it was so bad that any bodies of water in the game would just disappear.

Ghosting the Harbor

Overall, the city streets and buildings that constituted the harbor section of this mission were not that difficult to ghost. There were just two areas that proved to be challenging.

(1) Lady Lisa's bedroom. Entering possibly the brightest room of the mission triggers a guard downstairs to run up to the room and back again. Without a doubt, every player will be surprised when this happens and, if ghosting, will have to reload. The guy scared me the first time I entered the bedroom and proceeded slowly towards the sleeping lady - I turned around to inspect the furniture for loot and out of nowhere I see a guard bearing down on me. To avoid the seemingly inevitable conflict the author intended, I had to be outside of Lisa's room in a safe patch of shadow before the guard comes upstairs:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263610027205/screenshots/ladylisasharbor/ladylisaharbor1.jpg?height=301&width=400

He is not alerted while running upstairs. He rushes into the lady's bedroom and then runs back downstairs. This is basically a guard who runs, not walks, to his patrol points and back. It's funny to see him frantically running back and forth while whistling or clearing his throat, all indications that he is not even 1st alerted. Even with this hasted guard, I still had time to loot the lady's bedroom a few treasures at a time. It was also easy to slip behind the running guard and leave the area undetected.

It took me a separate BJ run to locate the Royal Statue collection, which is hidden behind a fireplace on the bottom floor. I don't know why this was so difficult for me to find.

(2) Lighthouse power generator station. Here is the most tedious and appropriately challenging portion of the mission. One main objective is to "cutover the generators to feed the lighthouse." There are directions for achieving this - turn off generators 5,6,7,8 and turn on 1,2,3,4. Sounds simple, but the generators are located in an open-spaced two-level building with metal floors, very few shadows, and two problematic guards. I defy any player ghosting this mission not to use at least five moss arrows here. Indeed, I used all of my moss arrows to soften every inch of the metal floors. Really, it's the only way to move about stealthily.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263610046200/screenshots/ladylisasharbor/ladylisaharbor2.jpg?height=303&width=400

The patrolling guard on the top level is not bad, but the guard on the bottom floor is. Getting to the bottom is difficult enough: the only choice one has is the single ladder, and that means descending slowly while one of the two guards have a chance of spotting you. The bottom floor guard is difficult to sneak around, but thankfully he pivots three ways:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263610064129/screenshots/ladylisasharbor/ladylisaharbor3.jpg?height=300&width=400

I found I could crouch behind him and remain unseen even by the guard on the top level. Another problem with this bottom floor is the necessity for using moss between the generators. There is simply no time to sneak anywhere: running to the generator switches is what must be done. What fouled me up even more was that once I got to the generators, I had only two choices of returning - I could run back behind the guard immediately after frobbing the switch, or I could stay put in the shadows near the generator and wait. If I chose the latter option, I would have to randomly dart out from the generators and hope to get behind the guard's flank again. The guard can see through the generators, but I can't. Thus, I had no way to observe which direction he faces at a given time. I had to wait and hope that he had pivotted before making a run for it. Needless to say, this was frustrating and caused me dozens of reloads. For once in my eight years of playing Thief 2, I would have loved to have a scouting orb! I mean, this would have been the perfect situation to take advantage of one.

Ghost Busts

I thought everything was fine until the passageway to the lighthouse via the caves. First up is the rushing waterfall beyond an underground chamber with a red spider. The player must use a rope arrow to reach an open slit in the wall and then drop into the rushing water, making a water splash. As soon as you hit the water, you are forced downstream quickly with no ability to swim back against the current. Therefore, I had a few seconds to listen and determine if the red spider was 2nd alerted by my splash. I definitely heard what could be a 1st alert spider screech, but I had to turn the volume up and listen attentively for any further auditory indications of a 2nd alert... I reloaded a few times until I heard it distinctly: a spider hiss. Busted.

The other busts occur in the caves at the bottom of the rushing waterfall. Although an AI melee between three guards and a craybeast is scripted to happen, I didn't need to approach them for any reason. I did, however, need to find three keys scattered about the caves so I could unlock the gate to the lighthouse. One key is on a dead craybeast in a bright cave crammed with green and red spiders. These spiders war with each other until the reds invariably win. I had no chance of sneaking by them, so I killed them with broadheads:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263610083874/screenshots/ladylisasharbor/ladylisaharbor4.jpg?height=335&width=400

Then there is another key locked in a chest guarded by two red spiders in an extremely bright room impoverished of any shadows. Once again, I had to kill them and used my fire arrows this time:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263610099581/screenshots/ladylisasharbor/ladylisaharbor5.jpg?height=366&width=400

If that's not enough spiders, five more spawn right on top of you when you successfully pick the chest!

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263610116958/screenshots/ladylisasharbor/ladylisaharbor6.jpg?height=286&width=400

I killed one who was close to attacking me, and then jumped over the rest and ran away. At this point, I had alerted everything else in the vicinity including the three guards, a couple craybeasts, and bugbeasts. I gave up trying to be stealthy and KOed anyone in my path.

Once I unlocked the gate to the lighthouse, I was close to finishing the mission. The frogbeasts inside the lighthouse are oblivious to the player, but it took me a long time to figure out what to do at the lighthouse. I was definitely stuck and had to check the FM's TTLG thread to discover that I needed to use a rope arrow to ascend to the top of the lighthouse. Up there is the switch for turning on the warning lights (obj). Following that, I opened the portcullis separating the lighthouse and harbor section and returned to the mission start.

Hexameron
16th Jan 2010, 06:48
FM: A Servant's Revenge
File: ServantR.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:38:19
Loot - 2003/2003
Pockets Picked - 12/19
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This is a small FM conducive to ghosting. The player starts with no equipment, although there is a guard thwacker or BJ substitute behind some barrels in a barn. Ghosting was straightforward and pleasant.

-I thought sneaking by the maid in the basement might be a problem because she faced one alcove that had some loot. All I had to do was dart quickly into the alcove and I got only a 1st alert.

-I frobbed the loot behind the locked cabinet upstairs... I never found the key to open it :confused:

-I found a small purse and a note from the author in a niche above the bunkbed in the basement. I guess this is an easter egg?

-Some guards had two pockets to pick such as keys and purses. Perhaps that's why my pick pocket stat is wrong.

Hexameron
16th Jan 2010, 23:07
FM: Damsel in Distress
File: Distressv2_3.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 01:47:58
Loot - 2407/3117
Pockets Picked - 9/12
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 8
Damage dealt - 8 Damage taken - 4
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Iron Beasts disabled - 2
Secrets Found - 2/2

Causes of Failure:

1. Could not sneak by mechanist blocking entrance to watcher control room

2. Could not sneak by watchers on third floor of mechanist estate

3. Could not sneak around combat bot watching Elayne

4. Escaping from scripted trap necessitates breaking wood planks

5. Could not sneak beyond the fountain to mission end while carrying Elayne

Comments - Although the AI in the streets are initially non-aggressive, by the mission end when numerous mystical beasts spawn and start melee attacks, the AI will turn hostile towards the player.

-I was ultimately busted in the mechanist estate. In order to enter a room with a required "Elevator Key," I needed to turn off two watchers. The watcher control room, however, is guarded by a mechanist standing in the only door frame of the room. I managed to turn off the electric lights by shooting a water arrow at the light switch. But even with the lights off, the door frame is not dark enough to wiggle through and remain unseen. I ended up KOing all three mechanists in the area:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263680217260/screenshots/damselindistress/damseldistress1.jpg?height=301&width=400

-I disabled a combat bot observing a brightly-illuminated safe. I wasn't sure if something important was in it or not. Once I found what was inside, I shouldn't have bothered with it: a blue sky gem that adds a checked-off "New Objective."

-The combat bot guarding Elayne cannot be avoided:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263680253291/screenshots/damselindistress/damseldistress3.jpg?height=300&width=400

The room is bright and the floors are metal. To avoid a direct assault, I had to dispatch the mechanists in the preceding chapel so that I would have room to draw the combat bot out of the large chamber. I KOed all mechanists in the chapel and then lured the combat bot there so I could use water arrows on its boiler.

-To complete the "Find Elayne" objective, the player must stand near her pen and frob the locked gate. When this happens, a barrier of metal fencing instantly appears, trapping the player while the antagonist of the mission (a mechanist servant-looking fellow) gives his bad guy speech.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263680273294/screenshots/damselindistress/damseldistress4.jpg?height=302&width=400

The only way I saw to escape was to break a couple of the overhead wood planks and use a rope arrow on a ceiling beam. The key to Elayne's cage is on the control box. Pushing a red button causes her to fall, but I reloaded instantly when that happened, thinking maybe the button kills her. Just to be safe, I KOed her myself.

After the aforementioned scripted event, some weird mystical treebeasts spawn throughout the mechanist estate and city streets and attack the AI residents. I don't know what else to call these monsters. They are clearly treebeast models, but are reskinned with a translucent white-dotted texture, as if they are made out of stars. They emit their own light source and are annoying to encounter because they appear invisible from afar.

The secret passage that got me safely into the mechanist estate was blocked when I returned with Elayne's body. I had already pinpointed other possible exits and knew that carrying Elayne while trying to get out would be dangerous. I dropped her into the walled-off secret passage so that enough of her body was frobbable from the other side of the barrier. This way I could easily return for her once I was back in the streets:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263680234978/screenshots/damselindistress/damseldistress2.jpg?height=301&width=400

-I escaped through the front doors with no problems, especially with the watcher disabled. Being on the streets again was now troublesome. Lots of AI were alerted from the mystical beasts. I could not reach the starting house without being seen. I ended up carrying Elayne to the house with at least two guards and two mystical beasts in tow. As sluggish as I was running while carrying Elayne, I avoided taking damage until the last few seconds when I got to the ramp of the house; one hasted guard slashed me before the mission ended.

Hexameron
17th Jan 2010, 01:39
FM: Simple Enough
File: simpleenough.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:59:15
Loot - 2320/2804
Pockets Picked - 4/5
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 1/3

Comments - Most of the mission was straightforward and I had no ghosting problems. I did get stuck, however, and could not find Clarkham's wine collection. After many hours of searching in vain, I checked the FM's thread (http://www.ttlg.com/FORUMS/showthread.php?t=92162) on TTLG and discovered that I had to frob some keys of the grand piano in a specific pattern. I never found a readable that hinted at this. The grand piano has four separate clusters of frobbable piano keys. Frobbing each of the four sections produces a dissonant sound.

On the easiest difficulty, there are pencil markings on the score that suggest the code of 3422. So that means you frob the third cluster of keys, then the fourth, then the second two times. To figure out this code on other difficulties, and this is according to the author, you are supposed to read the score on the piano and "guess [the code] by which staff is carrying the theme" from a movement by Mahler, which plays in the background. I could barely hear the music; it was always faint and didn't seem to have a source. So here we have a code based on which staves of the score the melody is notated on? Yikes! :eek: I'm a music graduate well-versed in reading and analyzing music scores, but I would have never figured that out. I would not think to memorize the theme of the faint music and then examine the score to determine which staff is carrying it.

This should have been alluded to in a readable. All it would take is Clarkham to have a diary that says something like, "I have hidden my wine collection well. The servants shouldn't be able to guess how to find it unless they can read the music score on the piano. I've managed to rig the piano so that when four groups of keys are played in the right order, the passage will open... The melody starts on the third staff, fourth staff, second staff, and then..." I really think this puzzle called for a detailed hint or specific instructions in a readable. Otherwise, it's too esoteric and difficult to solve let alone understand. I suppose I could eventually open the passage after randomly frobbing the keys, but still...

Once I found the wine collection, I had to complete my explicit objective to taste the wine. Doing so teleports the player to a large and bright dining room where a nobleman stands alone. The player cannot move and has no equipment while this teleportation (or hallucination?) is in effect. I reloaded and replayed the scene several times and noticed two possible outcomes:

(1) The nobleman stands still with his back to you and does nothing until you are transported back to the wine collection room:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263680399067/screenshots/simpleenough/simpleenough1.jpg?height=301&width=400

(2) The nobleman turns around and screams with a hammerite voice and casts a purple projectile in your direction; you transport back to the wine collection room before the projectile can hit you:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1263680495089/screenshots/simpleenough/simpleenough3.bmp

These two outcomes are clearly the result of a scripted event, but I reloaded until the hallucination ends before the nobleman turns around and sees me. This happens about 50% of the time.

-There were many keys in the mission, but just about everything was pickable, so I feel like I didn't use them.

-To exit through the main gate, I had to position myself so the pillar by the side door blocked the guard's view. I waited for him to pivot to his right and then I raced along the wall and through the gate before he pivotted again.

Hexameron
17th Jan 2010, 02:02
FM: Frobable Cause
File: FrobableCause.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:20:52
Loot - 2489/2489
Pockets Picked - 1/2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 3/3

Cause of Failure:

- Must slash banner to retrieve an essential key

Comments - A small FM with nothing too difficult as far as ghosting is concerned. All loot in the mission must be obtained on expert.

-I had to douse the gas light in the nobleman's house so I could move over to the footlocker in the darkness. Once the bedroom is dark, I could CCC very close to him and circle around the bed.

-I was busted by having to slash a banner in the accountant's office so I could get the key for progressing further. The key is not contained in the footlocker, but rather under the footlocker itself. I can't remember if I had a rope arrow or not, but I don't think the ceiling could receive an arrow or I might have tried banner transmigration.

-I had quite a few surprises when sneaking around the vault area. I could not figure out why I kept triggering an explosion and dying when hugging the right wall. Finally, I inspected the floor with Garrett's mechanical eye and saw an armed mine concealed in the shadows. I was able to disarm it with the lockpicks and move to the number pad next to the vault.

-Earlier I found a readable that suggested the vault door combination was too easy to remember. So I thought to myself, what is the easiest four-digit code to remember... 1234 maybe? Yep! It worked. I stepped into the vault and died again from more mines. Good thing they could be disarmed with the lockpicks. There was another mine on the floor of the treasure room hidden under the lip of the door frame. Having died five times already from these mines, I was cautious enough by now to see it before stepping on it. Since the floor was metal and some loot was shoved far back on the upper shelves, I had to lean in various directions to nab some of it. I also stacked some scrolls and other inventory items for the elevation necessary to reach other loot; normally, I would just jump to reach it, but the metal foot noise would have alerted the patrolling combat bot and thief outside.

Hexameron
17th Jan 2010, 02:51
FM Campaign: All Torc
File: alltorc.zip

Mission 1: Welcome to Robington

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:59:08
Loot - 735/735
Pockets Picked - 5/6
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This is not a very large mission, but it took me a long time to complete because there is so much to explore and yet loot is so scarce.

-I was almost positive that I would be busted getting into the "staff only" room of the inn. Picking the two doors preceding the staff only room makes a guard scream "Hey!" but not go on 2nd alert. Then there is the "staff only" room door, which is locked and well lit with a guard watching. Picking this door will cause the guard to yell "Hey!" and this time attack. Before reloading, I went into the "staff only" room and saw the button that opens a secret passage out. I wondered if there wasn't a secret switch elsewhere to open this passage from the outside. Well, it's not quite a switch, but there is a little pressure plate in the corner by the inn's side door exit. Standing on it will keep the passage wall open briefly. It was a nice touch on the author's part to place a chalk arrow decal on the wall. It's tiny, but it helped me find the pressure plate.

-Many of the AI in the streets are not alerted to Garrett's presence. The loot hunt in this mission is what kept me busy for 45 minutes. Hard-to-find loot includes one loose coin on the floor in the inn diner, two loose coins on a window sill with one open shutter, gold and loose coins on the ground by the podium in the mechanist church, and a purse on a guard near the police station; there is no loot to be had in the industrial section.

Mission 2: Are We There Yet?

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:08:45
Loot - 935/935
Pockets Picked - 1/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This is a spectacular albeit short mission that takes place on a moving train. I was really impressed with the technical execution of the mission. Just for fun, I tried jumping off the train, but of course I died as if I was falling into lava. The only thing to do in this mission is find food and one piece of loot, an amulet worth 200 in a niche by the bunkbeds in one cabin. It seems the loot count for this mission carries over from the previous mission, hence my 935 total.

Mission 3: Fort Montoya

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:53:18
Loot - 2714/2814
Pockets Picked - 11/14
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - Ghosting is pretty easy; I didn't use any water or moss arrows. Idle guards tend to pivot a lot and there is at least one shadow in every hall and room.

-As soon as the player emerges from the starting point basement, an alarm goes off, but no one is alerted to it. I found out later from reading a note that the alarm is supposed to go off every once in a while. Turning it off is okay and also deactivates a couple of watchers in the mission. You can still bypass the watchers while they're active.

-I could not retrieve the loot in the crypt of the abandoned lower levels. I would have to destroy mounds of dirt and debris with a fire arrow in order to get the loot.

-There is a strange trap in the abandoned lower levels that confused me. When following the yellow wire through the lower levels, suddenly a huge wall closed behind me and I heard zombie body parts squish around. Then Garrett said, "Heh, I think I deserve a pat on the back for that one." Huh? :confused: I never saw a zombie in the first place and I reloaded to watch the wall extend outwards again. When it hits the wall, the zombie parts go flying, but was the zombie even a threat? Well, I didn't get it, so I reloaded and refrained from triggering this trap.

Hexameron
17th Jan 2010, 22:44
FM: Ack! There's a zombie in the basement
File: ack_v11.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:20:03
Loot - 1348/1348
Pockets Picked - 1/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 1/1

Comments - A short and pleasant FM that takes place in a single house. This mission is probably only ghostable if the player refrains from reading the house owner's diary and triggering the new objective to "get rid of the zombie." I did not attempt to kill the zombie, but I doubt it's possible to dispatch it with a single holy water arrow and thus avoid alerting him. Thankfully, one can still complete the mission without triggering the new objective simply by satisfying the loot objective (1250) and returning to the mission start.

-Getting upstairs is difficult if you are already in the house. I had to plant my only moss arrow in the center of the marble-floored foyer. With three guards in the vicinity, at least one is guaranteed to be viewing the foyer while the others aren't, so I had no time to sneak across. If I tried to go upstairs right from the beginning while outside at the front door, I would have been fine. Once I was already inside, though, I couldn't get back outside through the ventilation duct since it was a one-way trip.

Hexameron
17th Jan 2010, 22:51
FM: The Cell Next Door
File: celldoor.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:15:58
Loot - 524/524
Pockets Picked - 2/2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - A short and very TDPesque mission. I wish the author had decided to make a larger FM because I like his style. Playing on expert (renamed to "Ghost") basically enforces ghost mode, as the player has no equipment. There were no ghosting problems. Once I looted the purse behind the barrels under the pub, the mission ended. So to obtain perfect thief, even though the loot objective is 500, it's probably necessary to find all other loot, particularly any coin stacks/loose coins before retrieving this purse.

Hexameron
17th Jan 2010, 23:12
FM: Balfour's Secret
File: Balfours_Secret.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:54:37
Loot - 3241/3341
Pockets Picked - 8/9
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 3/3

Causes of Failure:

1. Dropping into pool of water below secret crypt alerts nearby spider

2. Gaining access to the Hand of Glory chamber requires destroying a vase with a broadhead; is that really property damage?

Comments - I really liked this German FM, even though the English translation is a little questionable.

-I used two rope arrows in the city portion of the mission. One to enter the apartment near the archer watching the streets from his perch. Dousing both nearby torches and waiting for him to pivot before ascending the rope is necessary. The other was used to get to the balcony overlooking the fountain. I had to shoot a moss arrow over the balcony beforehand - jumping off the rope and onto the balcony was the only option and any landing foot noise would alert a nearby nobleman.

-There are two inevitable ghost busts that occur in the secret crypt. Dousing one torch inside the mausoleum opens a passageway down to the secret crypt. Continuing through the passage means pressing a button that makes the player fall downwards into a pool of water. The resulting splash puts a spider a few meters away on 2nd alert.

The other potential bust happens when you shoot the non-frobbable vase on the sarcophagus in order to open the Hand of Glory chamber. A riddle contained in one readable implies that shooting the vase will achieve something. Shooting it will result in a sound effect similar to glass breaking and the vase subsequently disappears. Is this actually property damage? I could argue no, but since I was already busted for another reason, I'll add the vase destruction to my causes of failure.

-Navigating the fire projectile obstacles in the Hand of Glory chamber is not that hard. I just jumped over a few of them and made it across okay. Picking up the Hand of Glory causes the chamber doors to close. You have to press a button well-hidden in the hand pedestal to reopen the doors. It took me ten minutes to find that! Anyway, pushing the button makes three zombies spawn, but the chamber is dark enough that they pose no threat. And with the fire obstacle deactivated, I didn't have to jump anywhere.

-Reading Balfour's note had triggered the new objectove to find the Hand of Glory, but it also adds a new objective to give Balfour a proper burial. So I picked him up and exited through a corridor that revealed itself after taking the Hand of Glory. I then dropped Balfour in the open grave of the cemetery and returned to the mission start.

Hexameron
23rd Jan 2010, 21:13
FM: Delford Abbey
File: delfordabbeyv2.5.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:37:04
Loot - 2415/2615
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 15 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 1

Cause of Failure:

- Could not kill undead raiser without alerting him

Comments - This is a very buggy mission. I experienced about a dozen crashes in the crypt for all sorts of reasons: picking up a body, quicksaving, going up steps, and trying to restart the mission. At one point after killing the undead raiser and finding the builder's scepter, I went back up the staircase and pressed quick save. The game crashed and when I restarted game, my quicksave slot was gone! It's fortunate for me that I routinely save in new save slots.

-Reloading while in the crypts causes numerous problems that can make or break a ghost run. After reloading, many of the patrolling zombies stop in place and never start moving again. I was lucky that the zombies halted in areas that would not obstruct my sneaking.

-Sneaking through the hammerite abbey was straightforward, although I had some trouble in the church due to the electric lights and marble floor. Getting into the church area is tough because of the patrolling hammerite and electric lights. I had to wait behind the wall next to the door frame with the door open. Then I started creeping forward when I guessed the hammerite had turned his back during his patrol. I could not avoid at least a 1st alert upon entering the church. I was able to retrieve the key at the altar and the loot from all four tables in each corner. It just took a lot of slow creeping and weaving in and out of the pews to avoid the patrolling hammerite in the center.

-The undead raiser who must be killed busted my ghost. I was able to get behind him without alerting him. I could even knock him out:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1264222571059/screenshots/delfordabbey/delfordabbey1.jpg?height=301&width=400

I would have been home free if I could have picked his body up. As you may know, there is a bug in Thief 2 that won't let you damage an unconscious person that you knocked out without picking up their body and dropping them. Picking up his unconscious body in this FM always crashed the game. I think this happens because once you kill the undead raiser, he returns as a frobbable zombie! That's right, you can frob and pick him up when he is in a zombie state. You can even drop him again and he will remain a very active and alert zombie. If I could have picked his unconscious body up, I could have clubbed his corpse to death and then remain in darkness to avoid his zombie reincarnation. Instead, I had to run up to his face and strike him repeatedly with my hammer until he fell. I got out of there once his zombie self emerged. As I looked back, I saw that he managed to get stuck in the floor.

-I didn't complete the holy sword objective until last. I had earlier spotted the creases and cracks of what looked like a secret passage near the staircase of the crypt entrance. After finding the builder's scepeter, completing my 2400 loot objective, and killing the undead raiser, I went back and found the passage. I frobbed part of the crystal light source and the door opened revealing mines, plenty of water crystals and a holy water vial. The holy sword appeared there, too. Since all my objectives except getting back to the mission start were satisfied, I picked up the sword... and the mission ended! The objective to get back to where I started was checked off even though I clearly did not go back.

It occurs to me that if I found the holy sword niche earlier, I might have been able to kill the undead raiser with the holy water arrows...

Hexameron
23rd Jan 2010, 22:17
FM: The Kindred Vault
File: TAC_KindredVault,The.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:21:52
Loot - 1575/1625
Pockets Picked - 2/2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 2/2

Comments - A short crypt FM with lots of dangerous traps.

-The tiled floor room with two chests has a couple of traps that need to be avoided. One pressure plate will generate a swarm of flies. Another plate triggers a trap with two broadhead arrows hitting the wall, which will alert the zombies outside. By moving over the two square-shaped pressure plates where their right angles meet, I avoided tripping any of the traps.

-I could not obtain perfect thief because of a mask on the upper level in the pagan room. Looting it causes fire arrows to come out of the walls and make enough noise to alert the zombies below.

-Opening the lid of the sarcophagus containing the ring of invisibility opens two doors and lets some zombies out. I was able to frob the lid and back up before the zombies could see me. I stayed in the darkness just before the sarcophagus room while the zombies moseyed out and then went in to retrieve the invisibility ring.

-Either opening the sarcophagus or taking the ring causes all kinds of undead to spawn througout the crypt including two skeleton archers an additional zombie. Since the ladder in the shaft leading to the exit is too high to be jumped on, I stacked a healing potion and dewdrop, which gave me enough elevation to reach the ladder. I suppose the author intended for the player to approach the two skeletons on the upper level in order to climb the ladder.

-I didn't need to use the invisibility ring (acts like an invis potion) at any time. Was there a purpose for the master key resting besides the ring? I took it, but found no use for it.

A few hard-to-find loot items:

-Upper level of crypt: two tiny diamonds in the eyelids of a mural face
-Surface outside of mausoleum: lever near doubledoors that opens a niche with LC jars

Hexameron
23rd Jan 2010, 22:31
FM: Sinful Opportunities
File: sinful_v10.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:22:38
Loot - 1017/1017
Pockets Picked - 1/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Cause of Failure:

-Must destroy wall with powder keg to gain entry to the shop; doing so alerts a nearby thief

Comments - This FM is the sequel to "Ack! There's a zombie in the basement." As such, it is short and sweet.

-It did take me some time to get through the inn basement because of the five crates blocking my route to the shop. With the patrolling thief in the basement, I couldn't afford to make the slightest noise by dropping these crates anywhere. I had to carry each crate one at a time upstairs to the inn staircase and drop them gently.

-The mission design entailed blowing up a wall with the powder keg found in one of the inn rooms. I used a fire arrow I picked up from a fireplace and, property damage aside, it alerted the thief in the basement. All the while I was thinking, "Come on Garrett - blowing up a wall is what those amateur thieves were planning to do; you're better than that."

-The four-digit code for unlocking the ankh display case is, judging from a readable, 0 with one number away from the number of the beast. The aforementioned readable in the shop owner's bedroom has information about the beast, but no mention of numbers. So I relied on my real life knowledge and assumed the beast is 666. I tried 0667 and 0665 and I guess the latter worked. I didn't see the ankh display change when I entered the code, but I was able to frob the ankh afterwards.

Hexameron
23rd Jan 2010, 22:48
FM: A Water Arrow in the Fire
File: AWAITF.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:36:57
Loot - 54500/55250
Pockets Picked - 22/23
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 6/6

Comments - The setting of this FM is a very large mansion bustling with AI in brightly-lit and endless corridors. The buying screen was interesting in this mission. I had 3000 to spend and had the choice of 6 invis potions, 10 gas arrows, but only 4 water and no moss arrows. I bought the meager 4 water arrows and 3 invis potions. I later found about 30 moss arrows around the hedgerows and there is enough water arrows strewn about in every body of water (including sinks and toilets) that you could douse every gas light in the mansion.

-I will say that I really liked the non-linearity and copious number of entrances into the mansion, which reminded me of "The Art of Thievery." I entered through the second floor, which is desolate compared to the busy activity of the first floor.

-I do have one personal grievance with this mission and it's the excessive amount of loot. It took me ten minutes to explore the grounds outside of the mansion, but I picked up about 2000 worth of gold nuggets around the hedgerows. I mean, that's the sum Garrett would normally get from looting an entire section of the city plus a three-floored mansion. 50,000 just seems like overkill - I bet Garrett collects less loot from T1, T2, and T3 combined. Just to illustrate, here's what I found in the vault; each large bag is worth 1000 loot! :eek:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1264222702348/screenshots/watterarrowinfire/waterarrowinfire2.jpg?height=301&width=400

-It was to my advantage that picking the black keys from several guards made them stop in place. I think what happens is that with the keys picked, they can no longer unlock locked doors barring their patrol, so they stand in place with no where to go:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1264222692122/screenshots/watterarrowinfire/waterarrowinfire1.jpg?height=301&width=400

-I missed some loot, but the mansion is so huge with so many rooms, that I couldn't muster the energy to look anymore. Also, there are some gold coins in the large fountain that might not be retrievable with so many guards around it.

Hexameron
23rd Jan 2010, 23:13
FM: Turn of the Tide
File: Turn.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:49:56
Loot - 5986/7256
Pockets Picked - 11/15
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 1/2

Comments - A very atmospheric port city mission. The rooftops are stunning. :thumb: In fact, the rooftop area with its gritty architecture and smoking chimney stacks is more reminiscent of the TDP intro movie than any other portion of an FM I've played.

-I found it frustrating to get the chests at the bottom of the sunken boat at the beginning. The water is murky and the current keeps pushing the player towards land. I kept trying to dive and reach the sunken boat to no avail. I really didn't understand how I kept missing it. I even lined myself up so that I could swim to the ocean floor and let the current push me directly into the sunken boat. And still I missed it. I ended up using a flare, which helped me spot the boat in one try. It may not even be possible to frob the chests without having a flare lit because I tried at least twenty times to frob the chests in that boat.

-I found it difficult to find the storage room key. Based on hints in one readable, I inspected the upper portions of the church where a hammerite is supposedly hiding out. I knew something must be up there and I kept searching for ten minutes until I finally noticed an inconspicuous lever in the upper corridors. The lever opened a secret passage to where the dead hammerite and the storage room key are located.

-I don't know what the purpose of the rooftops encircling the graveyard was, but I did activate a lever near the window to the rooftops that opens the way to the catacombs. The catacombs are a huge labyrinth and each tunnel and chamber are deceptively uniform. Approaching one room in the deeper recesses of the catacombs triggers a melee between a haunt and three thieves. The thieves always die, but since the haunt was on 2nd alert, I needed to douse the pagan torch so I could escape the room safely. All of this for a 15 loot statue :p. I probably missed more loot in the catacombs, but once I retrieved the builder's hammer, about a dozen haunts and skeletons spawned throughout; I had no desire to continue a loot search dodging literally a train of six haunts.

-Perfect thief is not possible in this mission. In the church, there is loot behind a banner which must be slashed.

-After exiting the catacombs and cemetery, I saw a note lying on the ground that was not there before. It read in all caps that the hammerites are called to attack the pirates and thieves in the harbor. On my way back to the mission start, I never encountered any melees between hammerites and thieves. :confused:

-The key on the nobleman in the gambling room of the Mermaid tavern unlocks Bolial's cottage. It is there where the scepter (obj) rests on top of a burrick head trophy.

Hexameron
23rd Jan 2010, 23:26
TDM FM: Business as Usual

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:11:24
Loot - 2063/2078
Pockets Picked - 0
Damage dealt - 8 Damage taken - 0
Kills - 0 Knockouts - 1
Stealth Score - 0

Comments - A short and pleasant TDM mission. I don't think it's possible to obtain a high stealth score in this mission unless you avoid entering the tavern. Even though the tavern patrons are non-aggressive, my stealth score was probably effected just by being in their presence. It's not necessary to even enter the tavern, but I did just to explore.

-I say perfect thief was failed, but really, I obtained all possible loot in the mission. I had to avoid 15 loot in the tavern cashbox because one objective tells the player not to steal from it. If you do, the mission fails.

-Another objective is to knock out the guard on the tower, hence my damage and KO stat.

-The secret chest in the hotel is behind a frobbable dresser. It's easy to miss - you have to be very close to see it highlight:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1264222792600/thedarkmod/businessasusual/business1.jpg?height=301&width=400

Some hard-to-find loot:

-Sewers: bracelet underwater next to wheels
-Hotel attic: goblet next to rubble

Hexameron
23rd Jan 2010, 23:30
TDM FM: The Parcel

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:36:48
Loot - 1193/1193
Pockets Picked - 2
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Kills - 0 Knockouts - 0
Stealth Score - 9

Comments - Not much to say except it's a fun FM with no ghosting challenges. Loot is fairly easy to come by, but there is one secret niche revealed by frobbing a piece of a fireplace that took me some time to find.

Hexameron
23rd Jan 2010, 23:43
TDM FM: The Thieves

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:30:58
Loot - 2042/2142
Pockets Picked - 6
Damage dealt - 140 Damage taken - 0
Kills - 1 Knockouts - 0
Stealth Score - 9

Comments - The thieves hideout looks harder to ghost than it is. I think getting to the thief boss is the greatest challenge here. The patrolling thief with a torch and the thief who enters the hideout from the pub basement tended to meet up at bad moments for me. Other than that, the ghosting is pretty easy. I will say that what's difficult here is supreme ghosting the hideout in order to keep the stealth score high, which is what I tried to do.

To avoid 1st alerts, I thought about using the bunkbed as a safe place:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1264223070241/thedarkmod/thethieves/thieves2.jpg?height=302&width=400

While crouched on the bed, I still got one 1st alert from the thief with torch. It seems the better place to hide in this area is near the broken generators. You can actually hide in the thief's shadow and move behind him towards the thief boss' room. But when I did this, I still got a 1st alert from the other idle thief at the table. It seems no matter what route you take to get to the thief boss, a 1st alert from somebody will be inevitable.

Once I got to the thief boss's room, I closed the door and proceeded to assassinate him per the objective:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1264223065216/thedarkmod/thethieves/thieves1.jpg?height=302&width=400

I'm perplexed about the missing 100 loot. I went on a separate BJ run and still couldn't find it...

Hexameron
24th Jan 2010, 01:02
TDM FM: Too Late

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:37:39
Loot - 1450/1450
Pockets Picked - 6
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Kills - 0 Knockouts - 0
Stealth Score - 1

Comments - Another straightforward TDM mission, but ghosting is a little hard in some areas. I aimed for no 1st alerts to try and get a high stealth score, but I failed miserably. The thieves in the warehouses are positioned in such a way that it's pretty difficult to get through without a handful of 1st alerts, especially when trying for a perfect thief. Outside of the warehouse is one case in point. I couldn't avoid a 1st alert with the thief by the docks. I swam in the water to get a builder icon and getting out is troublesome owing to the bright area. The patrolling thief with torch who exits the warehouse occasionally doesn't help.

Once inside the warehouse, I stayed on top of the crates. I found one interesting hiding place. Inside the largest crate in the first warehouse is some loot, but to get inside you have to remove wood planks barring the top:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1264223121531/thedarkmod/toolate/toolate1.jpg?height=302&width=400

Trying to ghost the second warehouse without 1st alerts can be challenging. Getting into the tent with the thief inside is hard because of the lit candle. I had to reload a few times, but the trick is to run quickly to the candle and snuff it out before one of the thieves is 2nd alerted. Whether it's the thief in the tent or the one standing by the brazier, somebody uttered a 1st alert when I went for the candle.

Hard-to-find loot:

-First warehouse rafters: loot in footlocker
-Second warehouse: coins in desk drawer
-Second warehouse: purse on rafters

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1264223126882/thedarkmod/toolate/toolate2.jpg?height=302&width=400

Hexameron
24th Jan 2010, 01:29
TDM FM: Return to the City

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 02:09:31
Loot - 1525/1615
Pockets Picked - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Kills - 0 Knockouts - 0
Stealth Score - 6

Comments - This is one of the best TDM missions I've played, owing to the spectacular city and builder church design and the exciting rooftop exploration. However, there are a few areas where the framerate is intolerably slow. The beginning is just horrible - I had to lower my settings just so I could have a chance of moving away from the portcullis. Still, once you're beyond the mission start, things get immensely better.

-I didn't have much trouble ghosting this one, but moving around the rooftops of the builder's church can be precarious. One thing I've noticed with TDM is that the AI are capable of seeing you from miles away. While on the roof of the builder church, I was mantling onto the gargoyle so I could reach the window sill of the tower. I immediately noticed that one of the guards back in the city was rushing into the builder courtyard because he saw me up there! Essentially, I had to move into the tower only when no one on the streets below, who appear like little ants to my bird's eye view, was visible on my screen.

-To reach the explosives in the builder dungeon, I first thought I needed a key to the cell where it was kept. Upon further inspection, I realized I could pick up the explosive and move it through a hole in the cell bars. Very clever solution on the author's part:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1264222883870/thedarkmod/returntothecity/return2.jpg?height=302&width=400

-After I finished all of my objectives and returned to the mission start during a loot search, I saw that two guards were stuck walking into a wall near the portcullis. I hadn't yet been in the building there, but I couldn't approach the door with them walking in place in front of it. I'm sure I missed some loot there.

Hard-to-find loot:

-Above long cement staircase in city: ring on a windowsill next to the potted plant
-City rooftops above market: gems ensconced in gargoyle eye sockets
-Builder church attic: loot under wicker baskets
-Storage room in city: look under all the crates to find a crawlspace with a surplus of loot:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1264222888794/thedarkmod/returntothecity/return3.jpg?height=302&width=400

Hexameron
24th Jan 2010, 01:58
TDM FM: The Sons of Baltona Part 1

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 01:02:14
Loot - 2087/2087
Pockets Picked - 6
Damage dealt - 140 Damage taken - 0
Kills - 1 Knockouts - 0
Stealth Score - 8

Comments - The highest difficulty in this mission is labeled "Ghost" and basically enforces ghost mode with its no knockouts objective. There is an optional no alerts objective, too. I had to ask for help on TTLG about finding loot and the key to the library. The loot requirement here is 1900 and I was 41 short until I was told to look at a few particular guards' belts.

-Sneaking around the perimeter of the mansion may be the toughest ghosting challenge I've yet had in a TDM mission. I've made a habit of trying to avoid 1st alerts when ghosting any TDM mission, so that increased the difficulty. There are several guards with torches who patrol often in opposite directions around the mansion. There are very few places to hide when a guard with a torch is approaching. The whole exercise of getting to the garden was intense, especially when I have to worry about two guards carrying torches walking towards me from two directions:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1264223005339/thedarkmod/sonsofbaltona1/sonsbaltona2.jpg?height=302&width=400

-Once inside the mansion, ghosting is easy. Sometimes a guard noticed an open door and walked over to inspect it, but this can be avoided by opening doors when a guard is facing away from them.

-A new objective is triggered after finding Eduardo's corpse: kill Lord Nelson. This is easily accomplished with an arrow to the back of the head:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1264222999516/thedarkmod/sonsofbaltona1/sonsbaltona1.jpg?height=302&width=400

Hard-to-find loot

-Outside foyer entrance near fountain: purse on guard's belt
-Outside barracks entrance: purse on guard's belt
-Kitchen: wine bottles in waste basket
-Lord Nelson's bedroom: loot behind books on bookcase
-Elizabeth's balcony: coins on gaming table
-Library: button under desk reveals loot niche behind painting

Klatremus
25th Jan 2010, 02:28
FM: The Affairs of Wizards [Thief Anniversary Contest]

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 42:58
Loot - 3847 out of 3847
Pockets Picked - 4/4
Locks Picked - 8
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 1/0?
Consumables - None

See the entire report with screenshots here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/hn.htm) (FMs).
Loot list here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheAffairsOfWizards_L.htm).


Comments:

After a couple of heavy missions I decided to go for some lighter action. 13 new missions had just been released for the 10th anniversary contest, and I was in the mood for some quick thieving. The most random and unbiased way to play was in alphabetical order, and thus ‘The Affairs of Wizards’ was first up. An interesting aspect with contest missions is that the authors aren’t disclosed to the public, meaning you have no idea what you’re in for, except from looking at the file size and the mission description. This can lead both to pleasant surprises or heavy disappointments, or somewhere in between. Luckily, the former was the case with ‘The Affairs of Wizards’. :)


Snatch and grab

My objectives were simple. Retrieve a map from Lord Velleme’s, copy it, get 2,500 in loot and leave. Nothing to it.

The dumbwaiter in the kitchen was locked, but I could still reach the golden goblet on the bottom from outside. Nothing much to report from the ground floor except when entering the barracks. The guard watching the front entry heard me rattling the door, so I had to wait for the patroller to come down and then block the door as he entered. I waited in the shadows underneath the stairs for the right moment (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheAffairsOfWizards_files/image001.jpg)). This patroller also had a tendency to get stuck around the various floors. Anyhow, I robbed the guards’ quarters, bringing along the hard-to-see pair of lucky coins by the gambling table (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheAffairsOfWizards_files/image002.jpg)).

Two guards protected the second floor. I therefore used the dumbwaiter to reach the Sir’s chambers. Received new objectives in the process. I still needed to reach the library past the aforementioned guards, and that couldn’t be done without spawning some comments. Supreme went down with a thud. Both picking the locks and traversing the lit hallway past the corner made them grumble. 6 comments total going back and forth. Velleme’s personal key was found underneath a statue in the library. Streaks in the floor boards gave it away; nice touch from the author there!


To the portals

The middle portal on the top floor took me to a pirate ship. One thief patrolled the upper deck, while another was stationed in the bedroom carrying a key to the cargo hold downstairs. A few tricky moves had to be made in order to avoid any alerts here. The patroller stopped for a few seconds outside the bedroom, then entered and stopped for a little more just inside the door, then turned and left. I kept the door from closing as he came out. The other guy had two angles, one of them facing away from the door. I snuck in, stole his key and the coins off the floor, and mantled the bed to the left. This was the only dark place in here, and the only hiding spot from the thief who was on his way back (see image below).

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheAffairsOfWizards_files/image003.jpg

The key luckily stuck to my inventory, as it would have been impossible to replace without raising havoc. I could close the door from outside without any comments if I closed it as the patroller went in. If done correctly, he would reopen the door as it swung shut, then close it again on his way out. This is a nifty move that can be utilized if AIs patrol doors close to sentries.

Nothing more to tell except for a hidden purse on a crate in the cargo hold (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheAffairsOfWizards_files/image004.jpg)).

The fire realm was no problem. There were only two patrolling burricks in total. The secret tomb had a tiny ring in the coffin quite hard to catch (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheAffairsOfWizards_files/image005.jpg)).

The trickiest place was at the mages’. The earth mage held the key, but he was positioned in the brightest spot, facing south. Dousing any of the two torches set them all off to hunt mode, so that was out of the question. Nice touch to let the fire mage relight the torches; don’t think I’ve seen that before. The fire mage was also the only one who shifted position. All the other mages stood their ground firmly. I had to circle the room clockwise to avoid a plain Ghost bust. Supreme received more comments, but that mode was already done for. I could also reach the last piece of loot this way, a purse off the northwestern mage. I had to time the turning fire mage to lift the key, but in the end it was without hassle (see image below).

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheAffairsOfWizards_files/image007.jpg

I took the lift down to the kitchen, and the dumbwaiter key couldn’t be dropped back. I heard some of the guards alerting to the boggles upstairs, but I was safe to end the mission clean.


Notes & Busts:

- Received 6 alerts total from the guards outside the 2nd floor double doors. Most of them spawned from the doors being picked or opened/closed, but some from entering the library through the bright spots. Busted Supreme.
- I could not obtain the earth key from the mages without traversing the room and getting comments. Busted Supreme again.
- The body discovered is probably from the mage fight at the end. But I was long gone before they even showed up.

Klatremus
25th Jan 2010, 02:36
FM: Ashes and Dust [Thief Anniversary Contest]

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Success
Perfect Supreme - Success :D
Time - 27:33
Loot - 2897 out of 2897
Pockets Picked - 5/5
Locks Picked - 7
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - None
Consumables - None

See the entire report with screenshots here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/hn.htm) (FMs).
Loot list here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_AshesAndDust_L.htm).


Comments:

My second anniversary mission was ‘Ashes and Dust’. The main objective was to find a special book called the Codex of Ashes and Dust in Lord Desmond’s manor, plus 2,400 in loot. I was restricted to two knockouts and needed to use Desmond’s secret exit when done. Sounded like a challenge, so off I went.


Reading the terrain

The basement had numerous patrollers, but was nicely set up for sneaking. A lantern guard circled the rooms clockwise, so I had to move in the same direction to stay out of sight. Found a hidden mask early on in one of the storage rooms. A switch behind one of the crates opened a panel in the top corner revealing the item. The two guards finished their little chat before I looted the quarters. One footlocker was locked, so I’d have to get back later. Arrived at the next floor through the kitchen hatch.

The first floor was also scattered with enemy patrols, although none too tight to handle. The layout of the map was nicely done, with low ceilings and tight hallways, just the way I like it. The guards’ lanterns I haven’t seen before either (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_AshesAndDust_files/image001.jpg)). Some hard to find loot on the south side of the foyer: a ring on a windowsill and some spectacles underneath the hallway couch (see image below).

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_AshesAndDust_files/image002.jpg

Frederick roamed between the top three floors. He came by as soon as I ascended the foyer stairs, so I snagged his key and kept on looting. The captain of the guard was stationed on the third floor (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_AshesAndDust_files/image003.jpg)), and the key on his belt opened the locked footlocker in the basement. It contained Marcus’ dagger, which needed to be sanctified from the holy water in the southwest bedroom on the second floor. Also in here was a very hard-to-find switch (see image below) opening a wall-panel with another mask. The rest of the second floor was simple.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_AshesAndDust_files/image004.jpg


Closing in on the codex

The captain didn’t mind me unlocking the third floor door, but he commented when I closed it. Strange behavior, but I had to deal with it to avoid a Supreme bust. I knew Frederick would come up the stairs eventually, so I waited in the dark by the gallery. As I heard him arrive, I timed it so that I locked the door as he was about to enter. With a little luck, he’d reopen the door before it shut entirely, preventing the alert. Guards will comment on noise caused by Garrett, but not on noise from fellow AIs. I could freely clean the rest of the top floor.

As I thought I had finished the mission, the tables turned and Desmond appeared reincarnated and ugly. Two more hideous creatures had also spawned in the library (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_AshesAndDust_files/image005.jpg)). The codex was floating in the air above, ready to be slashed. But I had to make my way up the stairs. Desmond, although never having spotted me, still did hunt moves on the walkway. He was turned slightly to the right, so the left stairs were the most approachable. He didn’t comment like normal enemies, but instead headed back to the bed chamber. I managed to avoid that by sneaking as close to the stairs as possible, then ducking in behind the railing before anybody had time to spot me. I could ascend the stairs and approach the codex from behind (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_AshesAndDust_files/image006.jpg)). That was it. Bye bye Desmond!

Klatremus
25th Jan 2010, 02:42
FM: Bad Intentions [Thief Anniversary Contest]

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 23:27
Loot - 2700 out of 2700
Pockets Picked - 2/3
Locks Picked - 3
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - None
Consumables - None

See the entire report with screenshots here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/hn.htm) (FMs).
Loot list here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_BadIntentions_L.htm).


Comments:

My third 10th Anniversary mission was ‘Bad Intentions’. The objectives this time were to enter Lord Jonstone’s manor and steal his precious gem ring. 2,500 was the required loot amount, and the objectives already demanded Ghosting procedures. In addition, I had to find a way to make Jonstone unsuspicious of me.

The first stop of trouble was passing the guarded storage room in the basement. The door in the opposite corner led to the 1st floor, so there was no way around it. A patrolling swordsman from the hallway had this room as part of his route also, making it even tougher (see image below).

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_BadIntentions_files/image001.jpg

For plain Ghost it wasn’t a problem, but eliminating all comments without dousing either of the two torches was a pain. The sentry had three facing angles, and turned quite frequently. As I entered he was facing away, and I snuck towards the dark nook with the barrels on my right, hoping he would stay turned. After about 10-12 tries he finally stayed turned long enough. Reaching the door to the stairs was easier, as I could move swifter without getting spotted. The key from the patrolling guard disappeared upon use. After all the hard work passing the basement unseen, I found it very anticlimactic to bust Supreme in the first room of the next floor. A lady servant stood her ground in the kitchen, immediately commenting on the basement door opening. Frustrating, but inevitable.

I moved my way upwards without further problems. The mission design was ok, but lacked some detail to pass for a realistic manor. By far the prettiest area was the living room on the second floor (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_BadIntentions_files/image002.jpg)). The girl here had a longer patrol route going back and forth from the downstairs kitchen.

Lord Jonstone’s loot was hidden behind one of his bedroom paintings. Cleverly, there was a hidden switch within this secret nook (see image below).

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_BadIntentions_files/image003.jpg

It opened a crawlspace behind the dresser with information on his stolen gem. This spawned some items in the downstairs study, including a money box unlockable with the well-hidden key from the attic (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_BadIntentions_files/image004.jpg)). This was the only key that could be replaced, so I made my way back up one last time to cover my tracks. Had to drop the confession note onto Jonstone’s nightstand anyway.

Passing the basement storage room to exit the mission wasn’t as hard as before. The kitchen lady still gave a comment when I descended the stairs though. Overall, a decent contest mission.


Notes & Busts:

- Got a comment from the old lady servant in the kitchen when opening the basement door. Had to return to the basement later also. These two comments busted Supreme in the end.
- The body discovered is probably from the mage fight at the end. But I was long gone before they even showed up.

Klatremus
25th Jan 2010, 02:49
FM: The Homeless Dude [Thief Anniversary Contest]

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 17:57
Loot - 1223 out of 1223
Pockets Picked - 1/3
Locks Picked - 3
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - None
Consumables - None

See the entire report with screenshots here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/hn.htm) (FMs).
Loot list here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheHomelessDude_L.htm).


Comments:

My run through the Thief Anniversay Contest had come to ‘The Homeless Dude’. It was undoubtedly the shortest entry so far, but not the worst by a long shot. My objectives read as follows: steal a weapon from the store, aquire 1,000 in loot, and obtain the Serpentile Torc.

I started in the streets close to the store. I could reach the blackjack by standing on top of the lamppost base timing the guard’s patrol. The first real challenge came in the sewers, when needing to pass two stationary spiders. Most players know that spiders see with their rear ends, so the exiting tunnel was well-covered by one of the critters. I found one way to stick to the shadows without causing any alerts (see images below).

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheHomelessDude_files/image001.jpg http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheHomelessDude_files/image002.jpg

I hopped across the lit gap and landed silently on the sloped piping foundation. From here I could creep along the path as shown, without getting spotted. The side of the tunnel closest to the spider was dark all across.

The rest was standard Ghosting. Dodged the patrolling archer when he made his turn, lifting his purse in the process. The guard in the store basement had a short, but annoying route. I had to enter the bedroom to get the key, unlock the front door upstairs, then come back down to replace the key (and pick the safe). A little tedious, but all in a day’s work.

Unfortunately, picking the door to the house across the street alerted the thief inside. The guard also commented unless I waited for him to move away, but the thief’s mumbling could not be avoided. Supreme busted there I’m afraid. The thief further commented on opening the bedroom door, and again when picking the footlocker with the torc. The guard in the streets also heard this, although I can’t imagine how. A short mission, but with several fun and challenging situations.

Oh and the mission wouldn’t end after taking the Serpentile Torc. Something is messed up with the objectives, so I just ctrl+shift+alt+ended it to get the stats.


Notes & Busts:

- The thief in the house across the street from the store commented on me picking the front door, opening the bedroom door and picking the bedroom footlocker. The latter was also commented on by the guard patrolling the streets. Supreme busts.

Klatremus
25th Jan 2010, 02:54
FM: Falling Down [Thief Anniversary Contest]

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Supreme Ghost - Not Attempted
Perfect Supreme - Not Attempted
Time - 16:51
Loot - 400 out of 420
Pockets Picked - None
Locks Picked - 3
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 1/0?
Consumables - 1 Moss Arrow (coffin at start)

See the entire report with screenshots here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/hn.htm) (FMs).
Loot list here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_FallingDown_L.htm).


Comments:

Perhaps the most unique mission of the bunch; in a good way! The initial objectives didn’t reveal much of the story. In fact, the mission as a whole didn’t provide much of a story at all, which was kind of a downer. From the start I had to avoid any “unwanted delays”, whatever that meant. No knockouts or kills either. Didn’t go for Supreme in this one, only plain Ghost.

Ghosting challenges started right off the bat though. Plunging down the grotto I somehow managed to step onto a ledge right above the coffin. I can’t give a proper how-to, as it was sort of a fluke, but it kept me from losing health. I repeated the move several times. Falling from this height made me break the coffin and alert the nearby crayman to hunt mode. Actually it wasn’t the break but the skeletal remains dropping to the ground that alerted him. I circumvented this by mossing the coffin from the ledge first (see image below).

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_FallingDown_files/image001.jpg

The situation was now deemed an unwanted delay, so that objective got marked red. Instead I had to find my way out of the cave system. There was also an optional objective of getting all the loot.

Found I could sprint out the first cave without getting spotted by the crayman (the one that alerted from the coffin breaking). He gave a high-pitched chirp indicating a first alert, but that was allowed. The spider nearby had a rather peculiar patrol route, involving a leap and some on-the-dime rotation. I could grab the loot inside its cave quite easily. Inched back behind the sentry to reach the caves above. Had to dodge a mushroom-carrying patroller to reach a narrow side cave with a dead beast. It had a retrievable claw stuck in its belly (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_FallingDown_files/image002.jpg)). Figured it’d have some purpose later.

Had no further problems until reaching the top cave, past the idol worshiper. A beast patrolled a partially flooded area with bottles dropping from the surface. I could hear the culprit above. Two pieces of loot lay in the pool, but I couldn’t get to them without alerting the crayman. His patrol was so short he heard me wading in. Initially I thought he might have alerted to the falling debris only, but after waiting him out and trying to go for the loot again I still found it impossible without further alerts. He might have been more on edge after all the rattle. The coin and the fine wine were therefore skipped. Only 20 loot so no biggie, but the optional objective was screwed.

This meant I couldn’t get the doorknob from above either. The traditional way out by means of the gate was thereby out of the question. Had to get the necklace from the deposit box by means of the idol below (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_FallingDown_files/image003.jpg)). A rather funny situation indeed. The creatures nearby went haywire, but I figured it was ok since they alerted to the crayman’s actions, not mine. If people want to deem this a bust that’s ok. I finished the mission both with and without the necklace anyway. The stats would be the same, only 125 gold less.

Took a while for me to find the hidden exit. There is no hint regarding its location (or existence) anywhere in the mission, at least not that I found. I was pretty sure it involved the claw, and after some thorough searching I cashed out, no pun intended (see image below). Fun mission!

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_FallingDown_files/image004.jpg

Notes & Busts:

- Had to skip two pieces of loot from the flooded area in the topmost cave. The crayman alerted when wading in to grab the loot.
- Making the crayman break the deposit box to retrieve the necklace inside alerted the beasts below. I accepted this as it was the crayman’s doing, but I finished the mission without too, just to be safe.

Klatremus
25th Jan 2010, 02:59
FM: The Kindred Vault [Thief Anniversary Contest]

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Supreme Ghost - Not Attempted
Perfect Supreme - Not Attempted
Time - 39:06
Loot - 1575 out of 1675
Pockets Picked - 0/2
Locks Picked - 3
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - None
Consumables - None

See the entire report with screenshots here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/hn.htm) (FMs).
Loot list here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheKindredVault_L.htm).


Comments:

My sixth mission in the anniversary contest was up. I was to break into a haunted crypt situated outside of town. During the night I needed to obtain 1,500 in loot and an invisibility ring. I hadn’t robbed the dead for a while, so this could be a good one. Supreme was way out of reach, so I kept it to plain Ghost.


Top crypts

The initial burricks were easy to dodge. Found some hidden artifacts in a compartment by the double doors. Took my way into the crypt by way of a hidden lever under the brazier. The rolled up rug spawned a spitfire trap, but that is allowed in Ghost. I ascended into the depths.

A zombie and a mummy were my only concern in the main part of the crypt (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheKindredVault_files/image001.jpg)). Smaller chambers were spread around a central foyer. The two patrollers had predictable routes, and waiting them out usually provided small windows of opportunity for safe movement. The middle of the room was dark, despite the four surrounding torches. The side chambers has light sensors that triggered on entry. The doorways however was dark and I could reach most of the stuff leaning in.

Snuck upstairs to grab the second keystone. These unlocked floating bridgeways accessing the eastern area of the upper floor. Two cages had floor panels outside the gates. I could leap by without spiringing any traps. The loot in one of the cages also sprung a gas trap, but I got out of there in time. Supreme wouldn’t have been close to the loot requirement due to all of the traps. Two tiny gems were hidden in plain sight in one of the wall paintings (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheKindredVault_files/image002.jpg)).

After using the pagan keystone I got access to the last caged chamber upstairs. Taking the mask here set off a fire arrow that alerted both of the patrolling undeads. Needed to skip it to keep Ghost intact. Perfect Thief was thus unattainable, but it cannot have been intended from the author’s side either.


The deeper the better

The last gate downstairs was now open. It gave me access to the tombs below. The innermost chamber held the final casket with the invisibility ring. When opening the lid, three zombies were set loose to patrol around the floor. They all gave a growl initially, but I think that was part of the trigger, as I was totally out of sight. They never went into hunt mode as far as I could see. I could wait in the dark hall until they passed (see image below).

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheKindredVault_files/image003.jpg

There was a ‘master key’ in the casket also, but it didn’t unlock anything that I could find, so I left it. I always try to replace objects and return conditions to their previous arrangement, even when not going for Supreme Ghost. I guess that mode has rubbed off on me a little too much throughout the years. Another lever provided the exit back to the main floor.

I emerged in the southeast chamber. A new stationary zombie had now spawned in the middle of the foyer. It could see me quite clearly through the doorway. I had to cross the caskets and inch into the doorway for the lights to go out and avoid the zombie’s looks. Then crossed the casket outside to the stairs. Two skeleton archers had also spawned upstairs (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheKindredVault_files/image004.jpg)). They blocked the intended way out through the metal door. I could have used the invisibility ring to pass them, but they function kinda like potions, and that would label my stats ‘chemical success’. Others might disagree on the ring’s function, but there was an alternate way out regardless. The ladder could namely be reached from the lower level by the use of a stackable object. I fetched the healing potion from the northwest chamber upstairs to complete the job. Had to leap from the ramp to avoid the skeletons. This way I could even close up the gate leading to the downstairs tomb. The small height addition provided by the vial was enough to reach the ladder and exit the crypt.


Notes & Busts:

- Had to skip a mask in the northwestern upper chamber. It set off a fire arrow trap that alerted the zombie and the mummy below.

Klatremus
25th Jan 2010, 03:05
FM: An Old Friend [Thief Anniversary Contest]

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Supreme Ghost - Not Attempted
Perfect Supreme - Not Attempted
Time - 34:20
Loot - 2200 out of 2623 [Chemical: 2348]
Pockets Picked - 0/3
Locks Picked - 2
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - None
Consumables - 1 Water Arrow (in sewer worker’s hideout), [Chemical: 1 more Water Arrow & 1 Invisibility Potion (the pub)]

See the entire report with screenshots here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/hn.htm) (FMs).
Loot list here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_AnOldFriend_L.htm).


Comments:

My seventh ghost run of the anniversary contest brought me back to good old Lord Bafford. Apparently he’d been moving down in the world, now residing among the town’s less fortunate. My job was to steal his beloved scepter, plus 2,000 gold worth of loot. The objectives said I needed to return to the starting position, but the readme.txt informed me this was a mistake. The mission would end as soon as all the other objectives were met. From my first playthrough I knew Supreme was far beyond impossible, so I kept it to plain Ghost for this one.


The streets

The map has some unrealistic sound propagations. I noticed this right off the bat, with two nearby guards going straight to hunt mode. I was still inside my quarters when it happened, way out of sight. I waited for them to settle down and went on with my business.

The initial streets contained three guards of worry. One stationary archer up the stairs by Bafford’s main entrance was extremely wary. He was probably the one who triggered earlier. As long as I stayed east of the bridge I was fine. Another guard was stationed by the pub, an area I needed to deal with later. The last guard was circling the canal, with a pit-stop by the recently mentioned sentry. The armory was tempting, but had an insanely hard front door to pick. I knew of an alternate way in through the sewers, so I headed southeast to the only unguarded area of the streets. Underneath a pile of crates was a manhole leading me to the stinking depths.


Underground

The home of the sewer worker posed somewhat of a challenge (see image below). He gave a first alert upon opening the door, but didn’t see me enough to start hunting. The doorway was dark with occasional flickers, I think from the mushroom just outside. He did a strange pivot after a second or so, providing enough time for me to leap onto the bed behind him. I couldn’t leave without nudging him off the bed though, so I opted out of that move entirely. Instead I doused the torch behind him and stole his possessions without any mutters. I needed the key from his desk to access the wizard’s tower later.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_AnOldFriend_files/image001.jpg

Further down the sewers I passed a patrolling archer and found a secret thief’s den behind a sliding panel (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_AnOldFriend_files/image003.jpg)). The hidden lever was on the backside of a metal pillar at the far end of the walkway (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_AnOldFriend_files/image002.jpg)). The den’s owner was dead, but he’d kindly provided access to the weapon’s shop above. In addition, there was another key to the wizard’s tower on the desk. I cleaned the store, including an annoyingly hard-to-pick lockbox under the counter.

Now I could pick the main door from the inside, which obviously made the job a lot easier. I was aware of the outside patroller, so I listened for his footsteps while working the lockpicks. For some reason, the footsteps remained absent and the door opened without any patroller in sight. I soon realized the numbnut had fallen into the canal and drowned (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_AnOldFriend_files/image004.jpg)!). I know this “breaks” the intended street situation, but I was in no mood to start over.

The wizard’s tower was now accessible. I cleaned the upper floors without trouble. The underground study had a barrel covering the opening. It was backed too far into the corner to be pushed out. The only way to get rid of it was to break it, but that’s considered property damage. I had to skip the coin stacks down there worth 75 gold. Perfect Thief busted.

The pub was a different story. The guard outside made it impossible to Ghost conventionally. I started by dousing the alley torch; that way I could approach the doorway and peek inside. The customers reacted like normal enemies. There were no removable light sources and a total of 148 gold on the counter. An additional 200 were hidden downstairs, way out of reach. None of the loot in here was needed to make the mission requirement, but I wanted to see if it was possible nonetheless. The only way to reach any of it was by the use of the invisibility potion from the wizard’s tower, and even then it was a tight call. After a couple of tries I got my moves right and left with the loot and a couple of grumbles only. Keep in mind that this renders the status ‘Chemical Ghost’, a mode less favored by most thieves.


Bafford’s

Bafford’s was my last stop. With the patrolling swordsman “conveniently” out of the way, my only task was to elude the archer in the stairs. He ended up being easier than first anticipated. I rushed to the stairs from the east corner and ducked down, only spawning a comment. If applying enough speed, most AIs can be tricked this way, if going from bright to dark. He quickly settled and I could plan my next move, which involved using the same tactic past the west corner. This was more difficult, as I now was going from dark to bright. It took about five tries before I got it right.

The side door led to a servant’s quarter with some loot and a key. The key unlocked Bafford’s kitchen door, which opened straight to a stationary guard and a patrolling maid. Like before, I could rush across the hall without stirring the guard’s attention. I slipped through the curtains behind his back and cleaned the upper floors. Nothing to report except for Bafford who woke up when going for the key on his nightstand. Actually, it was the commotion from the door that woke him. No worries though, the room was dark and it only counted as a 1st alert.

The area below the kitchen held more loot. It also had a hidden lever behind some old crates (see image below). The lever opened a hidden crawlspace under the kitchen stairway (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_AnOldFriend_files/image006.jpg)). I passed the maid easy enough and grabbed the secret loot. The key from Bafford’s bedroom unlocked the footlocker holding the scepter.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_AnOldFriend_files/image005.jpg

Overall, this mission is a very good contest entry. Unfortunately, there are too many bugs and shortcomings to win a competition like that, but this is one of those missions I really wish would be rereleased as an expanded version. The map has a good layout with a nice background story. You see various interconnected parts of the city, with some interesting readables and informationals spread around. I hope Lost Soul finds it worthwhile to elaborate on this gem’s potential.


Notes & Busts:

- The cointstacks in the wizard’s underground study was skipped. The barrel blocking the entrance could only be removed by means of property damage.
- Getting some of the goodies from the pub (148 gold) solicited the use of an invisibility potion. The success status is then depicted as ‘Chemical Success’. I opted out of this method, but included the possibility in my report for completion.

Hexameron
25th Jan 2010, 03:22
Great reporting there, Klatremus! Your solutions are very interesting to read. I hope designating your recent reports as # _ of 7 doesn't mean you're not going to contribute more :)

For "The Kindred Vault," I think it's possible to sneak by those two skeletons. Like you, I opted to stack my healing potion (and dewdrop) so I could reach the ladder. Dafydd noted a long time ago in the TTLG thread for this FM that he was able to sneak past the skeletons without using the invis ring. I would link to the TTLG thread if I could find it, but ever since their forum changed, I haven't been able to find a bunch of old threads through keyword searching. Either some threads have disappeared or TTLG's search functionality is handicapped at the moment.

Klatremus
25th Jan 2010, 05:12
Glad you enjoyed them :)

The numbering was more to remind readers multiple reports were recently submitted. I guess it also confirms my ocd-like behavior in being overly systematic. I am in no way shape or form done reporting.

I don't really see how those skeletons could be Ghosted, but I can't say I tried a whole lot once I discovered the other way out. I guess if dousing whatever there is of torches it could be done. Kinda makes me wanna go back and retry ... I might just do that.

Hexameron
27th Jan 2010, 01:54
FM: The WaterWay Tunnel Part 1
File: ftb-thetunnel1-2.zip

Ghost - Failed / Incomplete {and aborted}
Time - 00:14:28
Loot - 91/1524
Pockets Picked - 0/2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Cause of Failure / Incompletion:

-The mission may be ghostable, but I could not fulfill my objectives and find what I needed to, so I aborted

Comments - This may be one of the worst FMs I've ever played. Frankly, I don't know what the author was thinking - a mission that basically puts the player in a bland labyrinth of underwater tunnels with no distinguishing landmarks, very few pockets of air, and only a couple of breath potions? What Thief player would find this fun?

The way I played this mission was to explore as much as I could while consuming my only breath potion until I found an area above water. Then I would reload and try to swim to the newly-discovered location without using a breath potion. There is just not enough air pockets or breath potions to make it to one area and back. Death from drowning in this FM is a given. I tried drawing a map of the underwater tunnels, but gave up on that quickly.

The surface areas I found:

-Gas plant area with frogbeasts (that do not alert) and dead thief
-Cabin with apparition (there's a switch near the mattress on the first floor; I heard something open after frobbing it, but I searched high and low and could not find the source!)
-Interior hammerite quarters with a locked door that I found no key for
-Interior room with diving helmets; is this the mission end?
-Navigation globe at the end of a tunnel with a forest-textured wall blocking the path

This mission is really puzzling and I have a lot of questions that not even its TTLG thread could answer, although I'm glad I'm not the only one who had trouble: practicaly everyone including the indefatigable FM player, Nightwalker, said they couldn't figure out how to complete the mission. A number of people said they couldn't get the objectives to check off, so I assume the mission is bugged. Many couldn't find enough loot, too, and that plagued my game experience as well.

Hexameron
27th Jan 2010, 03:27
FM: The WaterWay Tunnel Part 2: Ground Guest
File: ftb-thetunnel2.zip

Ghost - Failed {and aborted}
Time - 00:27:12
Loot - 0/201
Pockets Picked - 1/2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 4
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Cause of Failure

-Could not fall into well near meteorite without alerting nearby zombies

Comments - Although WaterWay Tunnel Part 1 was a masochistic exercise, Part 2 did not turn out to be as bad. This is an undead mission with a lot of haunts and zombies in an abandoned town. I still ended up aborting the mission as I never found the key to the armory gate and I reached a point of no return by entering the sewers.

-The frogbeasts at the beginning do not alert to the player.

-In the first section of the town, there is a chimney access into a house. The fall down the chimney causes damage, but I found nothing of interest in the house; it seemed pointless except for a house key that lets you exit. Also, dropping down into the sewers causes damage; I later surmised that if I continued playing after falling into the house, it's possible that I would have died once I fell down to the sewer part. I didn't find any healing potions in the mission. So I reloaded and did not bother getting into the house.

-Getting past the pivotting zombie with the lantern is a real hassle. I had to wait for the patrolling zombie to make his way behind me and then make sure the lantern zombie faces either the left or right wall. I could then run behind his flank and jump onto the wall ladder and then onto the ladder leading out of the sewer; there are two ladders that must be climbed. What foils this easy maneuver is an invisible barrier between the zombie and right-side wall. I could mantle over the barrier and then jump onto the ladder, but it took a dozen reloads to get by without alerting him. It's also possible to move by his left flank, but the success rate for the left side seemed lower for me. The zombie randomly pivots and only faces one direction for a few seconds. I did manage to ghost him, though:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1264558582781/screenshots/waterwaytunnelpt2/waterwaytunnelpt2a.jpg?height=301&width=400

-Although I didn't complete the objective to find new equipment, I assumed the mission end is the underwater corridor accessible from a well. Dropping down the well results in a splash, but due to bad sound propagation, I could no longer hear the zombies once I was in the water. I did hear multiple 1st alert groans for an instant after my splash, but the sound muted immediately. Judging by the proximity of the splash to the zombies standing near the meteorite, I think it's safe to say that the groans I heard were 2nd alerts.

Hexameron
27th Jan 2010, 03:39
FM: Gladiator
File: Gladiator.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:01:25
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 10 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 1

Cause of Failure:

-Cannot reach nobleman without being seen by the arena combatants

Comments - This may be the shortest mission I've ever played! It takes place in a gladiator arena in broad daylight. Opening the gate to the arena activates a melee between a thief, haunt, apebeast, bluecoat, and two spiders. I avoided the ensuing battle by easily mantling out of the arena. The only objective is to kill the nobleman responsible for putting me in the arena. On my way towards the nobleman, the arena combatants had spotted me; the area is just too bright for any sneaking. The nobleman seems to be blind and deaf; I killed him with one horizontal sword slash.

Hexameron
27th Jan 2010, 03:45
FM: Powerslaves
File: power.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:05:41
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Cause of Failure:

-Could not reach powerslaves victrola without alerting a zombie

Comments - This isn't a serious mission. The objectives are to sneak past the guards and into the museum and listen to every recording. The recordings are sound bytes of songs from the heavy metal band, Iron Maiden. I started listening to recordings on the left side of the museum until I found one pedestal that didn't have a victrola on it. At this point, a new objective occurs to find the powerslave recording. It's lying on gravel in a bright section of the sewers. With no water arrows, I had no means of sneaking past the zombie who was staring at the victrola. He was alerted after I ran through.

Hexameron
27th Jan 2010, 04:04
FM: The City Square
File: CSv2.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:07:16
Loot - 180/327
Pockets Picked - 1/2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This mission should have never been released. It reminds me of some of the unfinished and raw amateur FMs released in 2000. With only one essential objective of finding 100 loot, you could probably finish the mission in two minutes, but ghosting this one is a little tough because the author clearly intended for confrontations with the AI. The ambient lighting is extremely high and most areas are way too bright.

Right at the mission start I'm faced with a dilemma of sneaking by three AI. The first is an archer to the left who thankfully pivots. The second is a guard with a short rectangular patrol around the lamp post. The third is off screen and is a mechanist patrolling around the church to the right:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1264564033991/screenshots/thecitysquare/citysquare1.jpg?height=301&width=400

The trick to even entering the streets is to wait for the archer and patrolling guard by the lamp post to be facing away. Then I made a sharp right dash into the narrow streets surrounding the mechanist church. This is the only feasible path because it's dark. However, the mechanist will soon come around the bend and the street is so narrow that she got stuck walking into me. I was able to move right through her by staying crouched, literally running into her, and leaning left.

-Inside the mechanist church is a tiara. It might be possible to ghost the church, but I didn't have the energy for it. I would need to moss the metal platform in front of the church entrance, wait for the outside patrols to be in my favor, and then run inside the church to douse the gas lights inside. Since two mechs inside face the entrance, it just seemed like I would be setting myself up for a reload fest and it's not worth the effort.

-Only one of the double doors of the bank can be picked; I found 80 loot inside.

-It took me 20 minutes in another saved game to find the signet ring in the pool. It's very difficult and I searched the entire grounds including the pool floor and still didn't find it. I knew it had to be there because a readable clearly said a ring was lost in the pool, so I searched very thoroughly until I found it. It's on a black tile near one of the corners. You have to be looking straight down at your toes to see the ring highlight:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1264564051957/screenshots/thecitysquare/citysquare3.jpg?height=301&width=400

-Thanks to bad sound propagation, it's possible to make the splash into the pool and not alert the patrolling maid and bluecoat. They don't even 1st alert when I splashed into the water.

-The warehouse is too hard to get into and the guard inside seems to be alerted by the nobleman or spider bot as soon as the mission starts. On my first time playing, the guard inside made some commotion and alerted the archer outside. I reloaded and this didn't happen again.

Hexameron
27th Jan 2010, 04:26
FM: The Mechanist Cathedral
File: MechanistCathedral.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:37:08
Loot - 1227/1242
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 6
Damage dealt - 117 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 4
Iron Beasts Destroyed - 3

Causes of Failure:

1. Could not sneak by two mechanists upstairs through concert hall

2. Could not get into elevator room without alerting two mechanists

3. Could not sneak through elevator room without alerting golden child

4. Could not sneak past two spiders in the crypt

5. Could not sneak by appartion in the deepest recess of the crypt

6. Could not sneak into chapel without alerting two mechanists

7. Could not reach hand of glory without alerting either spider bots or the watcher

Comments - Yeah, this isn't a mission for ghosting; it's not even a mission I enjoyed playing because the rooms are so huge and spacious that it killed my framerate. Every room was literally a gigantic square with marble flooring and AI blocking pertinent doors. There is only one difficulty (Normal) and a pretty hefty loot requirement (1200) considering there's only 1242 in the mission.

-I was able to ghost the combat bot outside of the cathedral, which I'll bet is not what the author had in mind. The outside of the cathedral is illuminated to the maximum and the entrance to the cathedral is locked. A combat bot patrols back and forth near the entrance, making a confrontation seem inevitable. Well, it took me about five minutes, but I defeated this situation by running up to the locked door when the combat bot is patrolling away, picked the door for a few seconds, and then ran away before the bot could see me. I repeated the process until the door was picked open:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1264565925836/screenshots/themechanistcathedral/mechanistcathedral1.jpg?height=301&width=400

-I might have been able to douse enough torches in the concert hall to avoid alerting the two mechanists by the stage, but I'm glad I didn't try since I would be busted by so many other things.

-I could loot everything from the pub counter without alerting the two servants; I also got past the spider bot guarding the two safes and doused one torch in the room, which enabled me to be close enough to pick the safes.

-In three instances, the author positions two AI at a few doors you need to get through, thereby mocking any hope you might have of sneaking through. I quickly gave up sneaking because of this and started KOing and killing anything in my way.

-The hand of glory is guarded by three spider bots and a watcher. If the floor wasn't marble, I could have ghosted the bots and watcher. But I couldn't move fast enough to evade the watcher's gaze without making noise on marble and alerting a spider bot:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1264565949065/screenshots/themechanistcathedral/mechanistcathedral3.jpg?height=301&width=400

I resolved to use fire arrows and mines on the spider bots and then retrieved the hand of glory with no problem.

Hexameron
27th Jan 2010, 04:53
FM: Happy New Year Mister Lambert!
File: Lambert.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 01:15:26
Loot - 3932/3932
Pockets Picked - 7/9
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 5/5

Comments - This is an excellent FM with an interesting story and hilarious little touches from the author, like the drunk guard carrying dewdrop and the party guest animations. The snowy city and christmas tree in the foyer makes this a very fitting FM for the winter season. Ghosting is straightforward with only a couple of issues.

-Sneaking through the party room looks daunting at first. The key is to douse both gas lights in the room; only then could I enter it without one of the partiers noticing me. They tend to dart quickly across the room and start dancing. The erratic nature of their movement makes sneaking a little intense at times.

-I used one moss arrow at the foot of the staircase in the foyer just to ease sneaking. Sometimes the one guard and servant who regularly patrol through the foyer get stuck in a door frame. I found that the third guard who comes by is able to eventually push everyone through the door frame:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1264566694359/screenshots/happylambert/happylambert2.jpg?height=301&width=400

-At one point, a noblewoman leaves the locked bathroom upstairs. She is important to find because she has the balcony key on her waist.

-Once on Lambert's balcony, a haunt (or supposedly an undead Jack) finds his way in and attacks Lambert. This scripted event results in Lambert being slain and Jack continues to hunt around. Once he calmed down, I picked the balcony door and was able to sneak through Lambert's quarters without alerting Jack. He routinely exhibits a 2nd alert animation even when he isn't hunting:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1264566684701/screenshots/happylambert/happylambert1.jpg?height=301&width=400

-It took me a separate blackjack run to find all of the secrets, loot, and especially the frobbable coathook in Lambert's bathroom. This coathook opens a niche with Lambert's code. With all four codes collected, I followed the formula described in Lambert's journal. I used pen and paper to do the arithmetic of adding and subtracting the four-digit codes until I got it: 7284.

Hard-to-find loot:

-Snowy city: goblet and plate on balcony
-Snowy city: two silver nuggets on ledge above the pub
-Mansion kitchen: gold plates under donuts; they appear invisible to the eye unless you pick up the donuts.
-Gold wine bottle in one of the hyperactive party guest's hands

Secrets

My mission stats count five secrets, but I thought there were much more than that:

1. Barracks outside of mansion kitchen: switch opens a compartment in the fireplace; I had to inch up carefully without being burned and lean forward until I frobbed the purse.

2. Servant room in mansion: switch behind curtains on upper window moves a painting with loot behind it.

3. Barracks inside mansion: frobbable crayman trophy opens niche with loot.

4. Locked bathroom: switch under sink opens an alcome above the bathtub with an amulet and tiara.

5. Library: switch on the right-side bottom ledge concealed by a potted plant; opens a metal plate inside the fireplace with Mazarin's key (this opens the portrait in Lady Mazarin's bedroom)

6. Foyer with christmas tree: frobbable statue makes a banner slide open revealing an invis and healing potion.

7. Lambert's bathroom: coathook opens compartment in his quarters with his code.

Hexameron
27th Jan 2010, 05:03
TDM FM: Trapped!

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:35:13
Loot - 2260/2260
Pockets Picked - 5
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Kills - 0 Knockouts - 0
Stealth Score - 10

Comments - It's not often that I manage to obtain perfect thief and avoid any first alerts in a TDM mission. I might call this close to being a perfect supreme, but I didn't supreme ghost this one because I failed to return the keys I took. The AI are spread thin enough throughout the thieves hideout and with plenty of dark areas to hide in, I had no trouble avoiding first alerts.

Hexameron
27th Jan 2010, 05:18
TDM FM: Living Expenses

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:16:17
Loot - 1848/2347
Pockets Picked - 2
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Kills - 0 Knockouts - 0
Stealth Score - 0

Comments - I'm disappointed with my zero stealth score, but I couldn't do any better with some of the AI I encountered. I think the dining room downstairs and the upstairs bar with skylight are what tripped me up. In the first case, there are two AI that routinely patrol through the dining room. I couldn't stay in any portion of the room without someone 1st alerting. In the bar with skylight, it's not possible to get in or out without one guard reaching 1st alert. The floors are marble and even staying on the carpet isn't effective because of the other guard's path. I must have gotten at least four 1st alerts here.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1264569144337/thedarkmod/livingexpenses/livingexpenses2.jpg?height=302&width=400

-The room with the diamond is impressive to behold. At first, I was confused. I went through the trouble of picking the complex lock and thought I had found only an empty room beyond it. By closing the door behind me, however, a portion of the room changes. A series of buttons and panels reveal themselves until the diamond display makes a grandiose appearance.

Tannar
28th Jan 2010, 23:56
FM: Under Templehill
File: templehill.zip
Ghost: Failed
Perfect Thief: Failed
Time: 2h 38min
Loot: 3020 out of 3070
Pockets picked: 16 out of 17
Backstabs: 0, Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt: 0, Damage taken: 0, Healing taken: 0
Innocents killed: 0, Others killed: 0
Iron Beasts Destroyed: 0, Disabled: 0
Secrets found: 9 out of 9
Hidden objectives: 4 out of 5
Karras Volumes: 7 out of 9

Reason for Failure: Unfortunately, this mission cannot be ghosted successfully. The principle objective requires you to destroy two devices and the mission cannot be completed until you do so. Even if the property damage itself could be subsumed under rule # 11, there is no way to destroy the devices without alerting numerous AI.

There is also one optional objective which can’t be completed since it calls for the destruction of a generator. It can be done without alerting any AI but as an optional objective it isn’t covered by rule # 11.

Comments:

This is all unfortunate because the rest of the mission is quite ghostable and presents a very fun challenge when doing so.

The police station:

There is not much reason to go into the police station. There is one purse that is easily obtainable on the fourth floor (the only loot in the building) and one optional objective that can be completed there. It is funny and certainly worth seeing once but I’m not completely sure it is worth the time it takes to ghost the station just for that objective.

You can enter the police station either via the rooftops and balcony over the courtyard with the archer practicing, or through the underwater secret entrance. The front doors at street level aren’t an option for entry with several guards and a watcher inside, nor is the street level door to the stairwell with a guard right behind it and facing the door.

I entered via the roof. There is a guard in a fourth floor office that may not appear ghostable at first glance but if you hug the left wall as you enter the room you can read the note and grab the purse from the desk without him noticing you.

There is an archer behind the third floor stairwell door to the room with the portcullis lever so there is no entry there without dousing torches. I had to resort to dousing a torch in the stairwell and one in that room in order to raise the portcullis. There is a spot on the stairs that has enough shadow to hide from the guard that patrols the stairwell:

http://i47.tinypic.com/2iu9pug.jpg

You can traverse the stairs without using any consumables. As long as you are in shadow the guards seem not to notice you. I had one walk into me and then around me without noticing I was there.

When you enter the second floor from the stairwell the archer that was practicing outside is now patrolling in and out of the door to the courtyard very quickly. This doesn’t give you much time to enter any of the rooms there without dousing torches. And there is no reason to enter any of the rooms on that floor unless you want to complete the optional objective or pick pocket the arrows from the archers. There is also nothing to be found in the cells on the lowest floor except one drunk that is best left alone.

Ironguage’s mansion:

Entered through side door. Found secret in wine cellar. Using the hiding place under stairs in the main hall, it’s fairly easy to ghost the watcher and the single patrolling guard, even without resorting to the fireplace passage.

Mechanist Church:

I entered the Mechanist area via the window at the north end of The Shamblings across from Jemola’s place. There are a lot of noisy surfaces here so I timed the guard/bot patrols and creeped across metal walkways and tile floors. There are plenty of shadows so being seen isn’t an issue.

The room with the two large bots is quite difficult to ghost. I was unable to find a way to ghost the bots without the use of a speed potion and two moss arrows. They are very sensitive and The Pixie arranged a setup that clearly did not have ghosting in mind. I tried riding the metal platform without being noticed but it is impossible. The only way to bypass the bots is to creep out into the shadow on the floor as close to the bots as possible and then use a speed potion to get past them without them noticing you. I was successful doing this once without mossing the floor but could never do it again without moss.

http://i50.tinypic.com/jaz808.jpg

If you’re going to creep around the first floor of the church it is best to avoid the central aisle. I found that I made slight tapping sounds when using that aisle no matter how slow I went. It seems as if Garrett’s feet sink slightly into the floor surface in that center aisle.

The Crypt:

The crypt is easily ghosted. You can avoid the flying eyeballs and patrolling zombies easily as there are plenty of shadows and hiding places. There are lots of arrows to pick pocket from the skeletal archers and it is simple to do so. But the mission requires you to destroy the upper and lower cones which are generating the energy that is imprisoning Jemola in order to free her. There is no way to destroy the cones without alerting the AI that are guarding them.

Hexameron
29th Jan 2010, 06:48
Nice report, Tannar! You mentioned having to destroy certain "cones" and alerting the AI; how did you destroy the cones? Were the AI triggered to alert when the cones were destroyed or was it the loud means of destroying the cones (such as using fire arrows) that caused alerts?

As for the unavoidable foot noise you described when you tried creeping in one area, it may have been due to a bad framerate; did you experience any slowdowns? On many occasions, I've had my creeping function severely broken when an area is laggy. Normally I can glide forward smoothly without making foot noise, but when I'm experiencing lag, I can't even press the creep key without making an instant foot noise or tap as you described.

P.S. What are the "hidden objectives" and "Karras volumes" you listed in your stats?

Tannar
29th Jan 2010, 07:09
Were the AI triggered to alert when the cones were destroyed or was it the loud means of destroying the cones (such as using fire arrows) that caused alerts?You have to use fire arrows to destroy them. There seems to be no other means provided.


As for the unavoidable foot noise you described when you tried creeping in one area, it may have been due to a bad framerate; did you experience any slowdowns? No, it wasn't lag that was the problem. I didn't experience any lag there. It was as if there was a problem with the terrain. This occured in several areas of the city as well, usually when there was sloping terrain (which is not uncommon with the dark engine) but the cathedral floor was flat. It just seemed that Garrett "sank" into that section of the floor a bit.


What are the "hidden objectives" and "Karras volumes" you listed in your stats? These are unique to this mission. There are 5 hidden objectives to discover and 9 books to read which The Pixie included in the stats page. I probably didn't need to include them in the report but since they were in the stats, I did.

Hexameron
1st Feb 2010, 20:09
FM: The Taffer's Bank
File: taffbank.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:14:10
Loot - 3550/3550
Pockets Picked - 6/7
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This is a short dromed training mission with no ghosting problems. Two of the large rooms upstairs were empty and pointless. Perhaps the only trouble I had was getting to the moneybox behind the counter next to the bank teller. I crouched next to the bench against the right wall and ran forward to the edge of the counter. The teller remained 1st alerted for a while. I waited for him to calm before leaving the counter area. Again, I could only crouch and run to the bench; standing was a sure way of being seen.

Hexameron
1st Feb 2010, 20:27
FM: Gearheart
File: gearheartv3.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:21:14
Loot - 1007/1007
Pockets Picked - 3/4
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 6
Damage dealt - 37 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Iron Beasts Destroyed - 1

Causes of Failure:

1. Could not sneak to the altar in the chapel without alerting at least one mech priest

2. Could not sneak by masked mechanist guarding way to crypt/dining room.

Comments - Regardless of difficulty, all loot in this mission must be taken to fulfill the 1000 requirement. The only loot I had trouble finding was 2 loose coins on the floor in front of some pews in the chapel. I could not sneak through the chapel with two patrolling mech priests. Once I picked the chapel key from the priest, he would get stuck in the door. I could use this to my advantage by locking the door behind me as I went into the chapel, but the illuminated interior and mech priestess inside conspired against me - I had no chance of ghosting it. Dafydd mentioned in the FM's TTLG thread that he couldn't ghost the chapel either.

-I had another issue with the mechanist guarding the way to the crypt and dining room. If I could have ghosted the chapel, I would try harder to deal with the mechanist guard. Over his head was a gas light and I could not enter the area with the guard without dousing the light. I should have been able to lean left while hiding behind the open door and douse the light, but it just wasn't working out for me.

-I had no trouble staying in the darkness of the door frame in the dining room and dousing the gas light in front of the watcher. I could also sneak by the patrolling mech upstairs in the barracks if I stayed to her left flank as she turns.

-Dousing the four gas lights in the lobby is essential, but sometimes dousing them puts the combat bot or mech priest on 2nd alert. I had to moss the marble section of the floor, wait for everyone to exit the lobby, and then run up to the switch controlling the gas lights. That way I wouldn't have to douse them with water.

-Owing to my two ghost busts earlier, I gave up sneaking and KOed just about everyone.

Hexameron
1st Feb 2010, 20:43
FM: Last Gleaming of the Rising Sun
File: risingsun.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:35:18
Loot - 1885/1985
Pockets Picked - 1/3
Backstabs - 2 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 167 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 9

Cause of Failure:

-The only way to progress to the basement is to bash the doubledoors leading there

Comments - This is an undead mission that would have been fully ghostable if I could have found a key to the basement. The basement key does exist, but it is in the basement and there is no way down there except through the locked doubledoors.

-Reaching the book about what happened to the colony is a little tough. One must use a rope arrow to reach it and there is a broken window pane on the floor. Once you climb the rope, the pane will be directly under the dangling rope and it is impossible to detach from the rope without making foot noise on the pane (equivalent to walking on marble). Instead, I had to place my rope arrow in such a way that the rope lowered to a section of wood flooring. I then proceeded to climb until I could frob the book. Although I still could not detach from the rope, I could remove the rope arrow itself and drop onto the wood floor without making noise - however, if I had been over that window pane and removed the rope arrow, I would make loud marble foot noise.

-As mentioned previously, the only bust I incurred was having to bash the basement doors in. This alerted just about everyone including two haunts and zombies. I used all my flashbombs on them and dispatched any remaining zombies with my sword. I could sneak by the two haunts in the basement, but I saw no point this late in the game, so I killed them with all my broadheads.

-Without lockpicks, the only way to traverse the tunnel leading to the vault is to avoid the mines on the ground. There's enough space to get through without tripping any.

Hexameron
1st Feb 2010, 21:13
FM: Saints and Thieves
File: saintsandthieves.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:24:41
Loot - 1867/4439
Pockets Picked - 7/9
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - A perfect thief is not possible to obtain here because it requires rescuing the child slaves and bringing them to a city gate. When they flee towards the gate, they drop the vault key on the ground, which makes enough noise to alert the patrolling thief.

I gave it my all to get that key without the thief alerting. Escaping with the children is bad enough. When you enter the slave pen where the children are being kept, the objective to find the smuggler's cache is cancelled and a new objective pops up: find incriminating evidence and let no harm befall the child slaves. It really is clever of the author to enable the player to frob the children to get them to follow you or stop in place. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work smoothly, and ghosting your way out of the hideout below the warehouse with these children in tow is very frustrating. At least I could douse every torch along the way. Still, if the children stop at any point in the light, most AI will see them. Also, if you bring them into any rooms, the children tend to never follow you again, so you are confined to move through the corridors. If the children remain in the darkness, guards will brush right by them and not notice:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1265053571848/screenshots/saintsandthieves/saintsthieves1.jpg?height=301&width=400

I was perturbed that after rescuing the children, the author deigned to position an archer on the steps leading up to the warehouse, which means my easy way of escape was foiled. Instead, I had to go all the way around through the barracks and deal with numerous thief patrols:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1265053655817/screenshots/saintsandthieves/saintsthieves2.jpg?height=301&width=400

Once I exited the warehouse, I had the children follow me to the city portion and towards a gate. Once they got there, they ran to the gate and dropped a key. No matter where the patrolling thief stood during his patrol, he always heard the key drop. I tried luring the children to the gate and waited for the thief to walk far away and it still didn't work. I even tried placing some scrolls and a healing potion on the ground where the key would fall. And still the key fell through the items and made noise:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1265053679333/screenshots/saintsandthieves/saintsthieves4.jpg?height=301&width=400

What makes the situation worse is that it's easy to break this scripted event of the children running to the gate and vanishing. For example, if I run in front of them before they get to the gate, they stop in place. Usually, if I leave the gate, they will resume their path, but often they don't and will remain stuck forever:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1265053667149/screenshots/saintsandthieves/saintsthieves3.jpg?height=301&width=400

Bottom line: I could not get the vault key from them without the thief hearing it. I discovered later that I didn't have to rescue the children in the first place; the objective merely states to let no harm befall them so I could have left them in their pen all along. And I found enough loot to satisfy the 1600 requirement and I had located the incriminating evidence without having to descend into the vault. So I let the kids stay in front of the gate for the remainder of the mission; the patrolling thief didn't see them. Yet without the vault key, I could not reach the rest of the loot in the mission.

-I found the incriminating letter in the safe behind a painting in the captain's office on the top floor. I dropped this in the city watch building to satisfy the objective.

Hexameron
1st Feb 2010, 21:29
FM: Rosaries Are Red
File: rosaries.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:33:32
Loot - 3581/3693
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This has only one (Normal) difficulty. It cannot be ghosted if a) the two haunts spawn in the office after reading the desk journal and b) the new objective to escape through the pump station is triggered by reading the scroll in the basement. I had to maintain my two primary objectives only: find 3000 loot and the rosaries from vault 8.

-Reading the journal in the office on the top floor causes two haunts to spawn and the office door to lock shut. You have to kill the haunts and then the door will open:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1265053858389/screenshots/rosariesarered/rosaries1.jpg?height=301&width=400

I didn't garner any useful information from the journal, so I reloaded and didn't touch it again.

-Reading the scroll on the floor in the basement triggers a new objective to escape through the pump station. To do so, one would incur two busts. The first results from dropping the node and bulb into the workshop machine chutes in order to create an explosive device. Dropping these items into the chutes is loud enough to alert nearby zombies, and mossing the chutes didn't seem to help. The second bust inevitably occurs when using a fire arrow on the explosive charge to blow open the pump station door. I reloaded and didn't read the scroll in the basement, thereby avoiding all of these busts. Once I had 3000 loot and picked up the rosary, the mission ended.

-To obtain the vault key and workshop key, I had to figure out the four-digit code that opens a compartment behind the bookcase in the top floor office. There are four statues in the mission with placards that have a single number on them. One might appear as "[3" and another just "8". I realized after I found four that the numbers comprised the code: "[3" "8" "3]" and "0". It made sense that the brackets designate which digits are first and last. Thus the code would either be 3803 or 3083; the latter one is the real code.

Hexameron
1st Feb 2010, 23:45
The following two missions are part of a joint FM. Even though the "Haunted Hospital" is a separate mission, it still has the heading "The Ghost House" in the objectives and save slot screens. At one point in the beginning the player chooses which mission to play. Once I completed one, I restarted to play the other.


* * *

FM: The Ghost House
File: Ghosthouse.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Probable Success
Time - 00:25:45
Loot - 1350/2405
Pockets Picked - 0/2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 50 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 1

Comments - I reported that I might have achieved a perfect thief because in the darkloader mission notes, the author says the stats' loot count is wrong, that the total loot is "about 1350." Considering he said 1350, I assume that's the real maximum and I did find all loot.

This FM reminds me of "Deceptive Perception" - very eerie and full of scary ambient noises and special scripted effects. Some effects made ghosting difficult. Walking into the kitchen causes a disembodied voice to say "Leave!" followed by a butcher's knife flying across the room that damages the player. It's possible to avoid the knife, but it took me a lot of reloads because the knife is quick.

I also had a terrible time getting safely beyond that annoying ghost in the walls. The effect is stunning really and I didn't know such things were possible in dromed: an apparition whose face and limbs appear in the walls, floors, and ceiling will swipe at the player, and it can be hard to dodge. I found that if I just ran away or backed up quickly into the lady's bedroom, the apparition would miss. Otherwise, simply staying in the hallway where the apparition hides in the walls is close enough to take damage.

I had some difficulty sneaking around the apparition guarding the bedrooms upstairs. It didn't help that on the way to him I had to worry about the wall apparition attacking me. I mossed the couch on the right and waited for the dimming lights to go black and then jumped across:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1265053899748/screenshots/ghosthouse/ghosthouse1.jpg?height=301&width=400

On my way back, I repeated the process, but once I entered the hallway, that apparition in the walls started up again. He really is irritating. One more reload and I managed to sneak by the idle apparition and ran downstairs before the wall apparition appeared. It's worth noting that this wall apparition is not an alerted AI.

-The objective to kill the undead in the basement really interprets to "kill the zombie." To do that without alerting the zombie, I used the holy hammer that was alluded to in a readable. It's lying on the ground next to a dead thief. I waited for the zombie to face away and threw it:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1265053911147/screenshots/ghosthouse/ghosthouse2.jpg?height=301&width=400

Upon impact, the zombie explodes and a dead thief apparition appears briefly before dissipating entirely:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1265053924329/screenshots/ghosthouse/ghosthouse4.jpg?height=301&width=400


* * *

FM: The Haunted Hospital
File: Ghosthouse.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:13:49
Loot - 1685/2455
Pockets Picked - 0/2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This mission may not have as creepy an atmosphere as The Ghost House, but it is a horror FM on steroids, replete with all kinds of spooky AI, ambient sounds, and horrible sights. I'm still unnerved by the randomly opening and closing doors - such a brilliant and eerie effect. The doctors are certainly the scariest custom AI I've ever seen. And the nobleman with a zombie head that turns 360 degrees a la The Exorcist is quite memorable too.

I also had quite a few scares that caused me to yell loudly in real life when I triggered the spider traps... My fright turned to glee, though, when I saw that the undead and spiders don't get along. It was hilarious to watch the skeleton and haunt futilely attack the spiders, never able to dish out damage while the spiders circled around them. Likewise, the spiders couldn't hit the undead and it was a stalemate that could go on forever. Obviously, I reloaded and avoided tripping the spider traps:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1265053956166/screenshots/ghosthouse/hauntedhospital3.jpg?height=301&width=400

-I had to use a moss arrow in one corridor after entering the hospital wing. It seems the author allowed enough room for the player to scale on top of the rafters, which I did, but once the rafters branch out to the first two corridors, there isn't enough space to climb back up after dropping down; essentially, for those corridors, the rafters are a one-way trip. With the haunt and zombie patrolling through the +-shaped halls, I couldn't get through fast enough without moss. It was only these two corridors that I couldn't squeeze through when climbing a rope arrow.

-I read about the mercury and snake blood and found them as two canisters in a laboratory. I used them on the lich Nemazidah's heart and then frobbed the death scroll I found next to a dead mechanist. The objective checked off and I can only presume the lich died instantly from that. I found him earlier in a ruined church surrounded by haunts. I think he would have been far enough away that none of the haunts would hear or see him die.

-There is an objective to save all patients from the hospital and it took me about an hour in another game to figure out how many patients there are. It's deceiving. Some of them are unconscious bodies lying around in rooms. I found one patient being operated on by a doctor, but there was no way to pick him up and I couldn't get in there without being spotted. I saw one guy hanging on to the balcony of the upper hospital ward, but he was a red herring:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1265053933793/screenshots/ghosthouse/hauntedhospital1.jpg?height=301&width=400

He moans "Help me" whenever the undead haunt and doctor patrol through. When I tried to frob him, he laughed and I was dealt damage... Forget him :mad:

I took as many unconscious bodies as I could find and dropped them off of the balcony near the mission start. I found two patients in the upper ward. There is one guy in a room in the last corridor on the left when entering the hospital wing. Another patient is in a room overlooking the garden with the weird legless zombie. I carried them both across the overhead rafters, which made ghosting this place much easier. The last patient was the unconscious pagan near the female zombie on the balcony. After I tossed him over and saw my objective complete, I realized there are just 3 patients that must be saved. By the way, dropping the bodies over the balcony doesn't seem to do any damage to them:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1265053973354/screenshots/ghosthouse/hauntedhospital4.jpg?height=301&width=400

-In the darkloader notes, the author says the loot total is 3330. I wasn't feeling energized enough to scour this freaky mission looking for more loot...

Hexameron
1st Feb 2010, 23:53
FM: A Nice Stroll
File: ANiceStroll.zip

Ghost - Success / N/A and aborted
Time - 00:5:31
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/7
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This is not a real mission - there are no objectives and one (Normal) difficulty. The FM is just an underground cavern with catwalks and waterfalls with nothing to do, so I aborted.

Hexameron
2nd Feb 2010, 00:03
FM: Borrington's Castle
File: borringtonscastlev4.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:19:54
Loot - 2328/2328
Pockets Picked - 3/5
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 2/2

Comments - A small straightforward mission. I needed to turn off the lights in the main hall so I could sneak by the guard next to the staircase. Ambient lighting in this mission is set low, so turning off lights makes things pitch black, requiring you to move around blindly, or as Vanguard would say, play in "Blind Thief mode." At least the darkness is appropriate for a castle and there's enough light in other areas that I never felt disoriented feeling my way around. Additionally, only two lights must be shut off to ghost the castle.

-The 1000 loot objective is incorrect. I collected 1600 and it still wouldn't check off. It's only after finding the hidden compartment behind the stables (frob torch and remove crates) with the LC jars and artifacts that my loot objective was satisfied.

-I was able to pick the safe behind the banner and frob all loot inside without slashing the banner. I just leaned forward and frobbed until I had everything; I slashed the banner to check and then reloaded if I missed something.

Hard-to-find loot:

-Servants barracks adjacent to kitchen: loose coin on top of middle bunkbed. To get there, I needed to go around to the side door by the stables; I couldn't sneak directly in there from the kitchen because the servant faces the door frame.

-Unfinished baby room: gold coin on bed and statue under bed.

Peter_Smith
3rd Feb 2010, 06:20
FM: The WaterWay Tunnel Part 1
File: ftb-thetunnel1-2.zip

Ghost - Success / Perfect Thief (cheating with a loot list)
Time - 00:21:36
Loot - 1524/1524
Pockets Picked - 0/2 (there were none)
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments

As Hexameron reported above (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showpost.php?p=1258888&postcount=158), this is a difficult and frustrating mission. I checked at the TTLG forum and found no record of anyone completing it. The reaction at TTLG was basically outrage. The author Yohny C. Liar (Jan Hlad*k) apologized for the difficulty but insisted that it could be done. So, I took that as a challenge and decided to give it another try. I had previously given up on it when it came out about 5 years ago.

There are two challenges with this mission. The main challenge is difficult underwater exploration. The terrain is an elaborate 3-D set of underwater tubes with a few air bubbles, a few open areas, and three breath potions that I could find. The exploration consists mainly of swimming fruitlessly through the underwater maze and drowning. Needless to say, this puts off almost all players except some truly dedicated and, ahem, dare I say masochistic types.

The second challenge is loot. Some of it, in particular two rings described later, is quite difficult to find. Combined with the underwater aspect, this makes you want to run screaming into the night.

It is a short mission and can be completed in 20 minutes. I spent three days on it initially and came up 81 short of the 1400 loot needed to fulfill the loot objective in Expert. So, I started a new thread (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?p=1264463#post1264463) to ask for help.

Hexameron came to the rescue. He kindly came up with a Dromed loot list which immediately disclosed what I was missing: two rings and a coin. I found one ring and the coin fairly easily using the coordinates in the list. I don't do Dromed, but I used the loot I had already found (and in my own list) to establish locations and coordinate directions, which I used to form an intuitive map. The one ring and the coin fulfilled the Expert loot objective. I could have quit there, but I wanted it all.

One ring, called the Ramirez signet, was nearly impossible to find. My rough direction and map system failed me - it was actually on the other side of a barrier or wall from where I thought it should be. Hexameron came to the rescue again, saying he had found it (presumably in Dromed), giving me directions. Even with those directions, the signet ring was nearly impossible to see even when I was right on top of it.

Well, obviously, using a loot list such as this is cheating according to the Official Ghost Rules. I don't mind. This mission is so difficult that cheating is almost mandatory. There is no honor at stake. Finishing it is enough to redeem myself. I am not aware of anyone else who has completed the mission.

The Route (SPOILER ALERT)

I think it is necessary to follow exactly the right route, in an overall sense, to complete the mission. I think that if you deviate from the right route, you do not have enough breath potions to complete it. Below is the way I did it. I did not just stumble on this by accident. I worked my way around using all my breath potions, trying this and that, drowning and reloading, finding different places, figuring out some relationships between places and passages, and restarting the mission three times to get the right sequence.

From the start, go to a nearby room with a bubble. Find two breath potions.

Taking the right passage, travel from the start bubble to the log cabin, using 1 breath potion (left with 1)

From the log cabin, go some distance to a bubble at the end of a passage, near the frogbeast / gas plant area, using 1 breath potion (left with 0).

Go a short distance to the frogbeast / gas plant area. Find another breath potion on the thief (leaving 1).

Go back to the bubble near the frogs.

From that frog bubble, swim back to bubble near the start (a long and difficult swim) without using any breath potions. Much practice and reloading is needed. The breath potion is needed in the next step.

Take the left passage from the starting bubble room to the ending area, using 1 breath potion (leaving 0). There are two possible bubbles in the ending area you might find. One with a visible side passage and one without.

The ending area includes: (1) a room with three bubbles, a helmet, and a pillar; (2) a secret tomb (frob lever behind pillar); (3) the tunnel administrator's office, and (4) the emergency exit. All of these are within swimming distance, and no breath potions are needed or available once in this area. So, you can't go back to the beginning if you have already visited the cabin and the frogs.

Difficult Loot

A gold ring under a stool in the log cabin. It cannot be seen without being right on top of it, and looking there is close to alerting the ghost at the table.

A stash under a tree that is moved by pressing a button behind a bed in the log cabin. It is not easy to tell what has moved.

In the three-bubble room, a gold nugget under a rock. It cannot be seen except from just the right angle, and you must then go around to the other side and blind frob it.

Items in a secret tomb, opened by a lever on a pillar. Then you must hunt for the room, which is some distance away.

Ramirez signet ring, almost impossible to find and almost impossible to see, even when you are on top of it. It is in the ending area, not far from a bubble in which you can see a side passage that goes to the right (to the tunnel administrator's office).

A strange objective

There is one objective, to find a way to Lord Exechiel, which cannot be completed without property damage and alerting a priest. If you blast open a locked door in the tunnel adminstrator's office with a fire arrow, you can find a handkerchief on the floor. This satisfied the objective. Fortunately, that objective can be bypassed by finding a book near the three-bubble room, which says that the passage has been blocked. It is kind of strange, but that is the way to ghost it.

Ghosting

Is this supposed to be a ghost report? It isn't, really. There is only one ghosting challenge apart from the above objective, which is to start the mission. You drop into the water from some height, and you fall past a guard who almost always alerts by the sight of you (but not the splash). It may require 20 restarts to avoid it. It's blind luck.

All other AI contact, a priest and a ghost, is easy to avoid.

Hexameron
3rd Feb 2010, 06:53
http://www.clark.edu/Library/Images/clapping_hands.gif

I applaud your efforts here, Peter. I'm amazed that you not only legitimately completed this impossibly difficult mission, but achieved a perfect thief as well. I couldn't even bring myself to play the mission again, which is why I decided to look in dromed in order to help you. It's something I normally shun from doing, but I don't see how anyone could have found that signet ring without scouring those wireframe brushes in dromed.

Tannar
3rd Feb 2010, 08:29
Nice reports, Hex! Enjoyed reading them all. And congrats, Peter. Very impressive work on The Waterway Tunnel. :thumb:

Hexameron
4th Feb 2010, 10:25
FM: Children of the Future SE
File: ChildrenoftheFutureSEv2.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 02:05:59
Loot - 4970/5987
Pockets Picked - 4/11
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - The SE part of the title means second edition. Apparently, this is a revamped version of the original Children of the Future FM, which I did not play. It seems this SE version is not at all popular and was mentioned in TTLG's "Least Favorite Missions" thread. I don't know why - the only major negatives I noted are its bizarre plot, incomprehensible and immature readables, wacky interior architecture/design, and a few tasteless oddities like the custom painting with a photo of a nude playboy model. Other than that, it felt like an epic TDP mission. This may be a T2 FM, but it plays like T1; it even seems to employ only T1 textures and objects.

There is only one difficulty (Normal), but you can still select the other two difficulties and play the mission. In other words, Hard and Expert are retitled N/A, but you can select the last N/A (substitute for Expert) and play the mission. I did this so I would have the Expert number of health shields.

While sneaking is generally not that tough, there are four significant challenges, all of which could be construed as potential ghost busts. These four sticky situations and several other rooms with unforgiving AI patrols make it clear the author did not have ghosting in mind. Owing to the non-ghosting environment of the mission, I avoided triggering new objectives. The only one I had to accept was the objective to find a sample of tunnel dust; this occurs when you complete a core objective to "find and read information" about the secret place Garrett discovers. If I had triggered the new objective to collect Salvador's dice, I would have inevitably encountered a ghost bust for reasons I'll explain later. I don't know if I can say the same about the purse objective or any others I missed. Suffice it to say, I maintained the core objectives only: find information, 4500 loot, tunnel dust, and leave.

Ghost Challenge No. 1: Watcher and Patrolling Thief in Basement Corridor

Once in the basement of this secret place, there is a difficult obstacle I had to deal with: sneaking by the patrolling thief in the corridor with the watcher. You know, I thought this would be a bust as soon as I observed the corridor. There are two AI who patrol this corridor - a thief and a keeper. The keeper has an extensive patrol throughout the entire length of the corridor, but the thief has a shorter back-and-forth patrol. There are no shadows in the corridor and a watcher that pivots to observe both directions:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1265227762600/screenshots/childrenofthefuture/cotf1.jpg?height=301&width=400

In the above screenshot, I'm standing as close I can to the watcher (which is facing away) without being seen. The thief is one second from turning around. There is no place to hide and bypass the patrolling thief whose patrol is very short. I came up with the solution of running behind him and circling around his left flank as he turns. All of this needed to be done while the watcher was facing away and the patrolling keeper was elsewhere. When I had all of these variables on my side, I ran up and hugged the left wall as the thief turned:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1265227778641/screenshots/childrenofthefuture/cotf2.jpg?height=301&width=400

I got a 1st alert and then immediately darted under the watcher just in the nick of time. I was lucky to pull off this maneuver...

Ghost Challenge No. 2: Archer Watching Staircase to Basement

Reaching the top of the staircase a few meters away from the aforementioned watcher, I came across this daunting sight:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1265227791831/screenshots/childrenofthefuture/cotf3.jpg?height=301&width=400

In this screenshot, I was standing at the very edge of shadow, but clearly that large spot of light on tile screams potential bust. If there were any moss arrows about, I wouldn't have to discuss this situation because I could just dart quietly across the light with only a 1st alert. Without moss, what could I do? I did try conventional sneaking and running quickly, but the archer saw me and the idle guard to the left heard me. It seems the sound propagation is slightly off because I was able to make substantial noise on the tile with a 1st alert from the archer, but the idle guard who was further away could hear me with his keen ears.

I thought if I could just soften my footsteps somehow, maybe I could get by without causing alerts. For some reason, I thought of the spiders and the footlocker in TDP's "Bafford's Manor." In order to achieve a perfect thief, RiCh C came up with the idea to arrange a row of crates against the wall so he could remain elevated and not alert the spiders. I employed the same tactic but for different reasons. I had to run into the light while crouched and drop each crate. I could only place two of them on the floor because I couldn't move farther into the light without being seen or heard:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1265227807015/screenshots/childrenofthefuture/cotf4.jpg?height=301&width=400

What I did was run and jump over the two crates and then land on the tip of the last crate. That way I would have the speed of a running jump without the loud foot noise. After landing on the edge of the crate, my momentum was just enough that I sank gently down to the floor and into darkness. It took several reloads, but I managed to pull this off with only a 1st alert from the archer and the idle guard didn't hear a thing.

Ghost Challenge No. 3: Entering the Red Light District

Gaining entry to the Red Light District is not required, although there is a ton of loot inside, and finding loot in this mission is hard enough. The real problem is the barkeep or hand mage watching the entrance. The interior is bright, especially with the two fires roaring by the counter. I only had four water arrows, so I was taking a risk using half of my supply just for this room, but it was necessary. I doused both fires and then ran into the room and hid behind the doubledoors against the wall. There was just the right amount of shadow that I could stay hidden and not alert the mage (nobleman is standing in front of him):

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1265227821895/screenshots/childrenofthefuture/cotf5.jpg?height=301&width=400

Running or sneaking anywhere from my position typically resulted in a bust, as the room is bright and the mage is close enough to alert. Through trial and error, I realized that I could jump on the edge of the couch against the wall and immediately crouch after landing and not alert the mage. He would be on a sustained 1st alert if I stayed still and crouched after jumping onto the arm rest of the couch:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1265227836296/screenshots/childrenofthefuture/cotf6.jpg?height=301&width=400

I found that if I CCCed very slowly, I could move across the couch and along the wall without the mage alerting. I did this until I was far enough away to move safely and collect all loot in the room. It's worth reporting now that a perfect thief is impossible because there are silver coin stacks on the counter right under the mage's nose. I wasn't able to get close to that counter since the nobleman faced the mage. The mage also has Salvador's room key, which is needed to complete the "Salvador's dice" objective; no chance of picking his key, so it's a good thing I reloaded and avoided triggering that new objective!

Further trouble awaited me in the next room of the district. Here's what I see after opening the doubledoors at the back of the bar:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1265227852134/screenshots/childrenofthefuture/cotf7.jpg?height=301&width=400

There is roughly 300 loot in the rooms beyond these two ladies, so I had no choice but to douse that fire. That left me with one water arrow remaining... This was early in the game and I started wondering if I was making a mistake; ultimately I didn't and had no use for the remaining water arrow.

Prelude to Ghost Challenge No. 4: Picking the Locked Cell Block Door in the Basement

Just to the right of the basement staircase (the one I mentioned earlier with the watcher) is a door that can be picked. I would have to expose myself by running up to it and picking the lock for one second at a time. With the patrolling thief (that I danced around earlier) walking through the corridor and close to the door, I couldn't be at the door when he approached the watcher. And I obviously couldn't be at the door when the watcher faced it. Unlocking that door took a long and repeated process of running out, picking the door for one second, running back, waiting for the patrolling thief and watcher to face away, and running back to pick the door again.

Ghost Challenge No. 4: Pivotting Archer in Basement Cell Block

Here is perhaps the hardest challenge of them all. It is essential to enter the cell block in the basement (after finding the appropriate keys) and go through the blueish-tinted hall. At the end of this hall is a room with another key that facilitates access to the garden with tunnel dust. The problem is dealing with a patrolling thief and an archer who thankfully pivots randomly, but mainly in diagonal directions:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1265227890910/screenshots/childrenofthefuture/cotf10.jpg?height=301&width=400

There are no shadows in the vicinity that would help me sneak beyond the archer - there is a dark and safe corridor to the right, and I did hide there whenever the patrolling thief came by. He patrols through the left corridor and turns around where the archer is standing. How would I get into the blue hall without at least one of these guys seeing? It seemed hopeless and I almost called it a sure bust and gave up. The archer pivots in three directions. At times he'll face diagonally to the right, to the left, and then squarely faces the door to the blue hall. There is only one direction that worked in my favor for sneaking to the door. I was busted when running to the room while he faces the left corridor - he must be facing to the right:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1265227957560/screenshots/childrenofthefuture/cotf13.jpg?height=301&width=400

Here's where things get even more difficult. Could I run through the door and down the blue hall safely? No. If I bolted into the blue hall, he would see me because the hall is bright with that blueish unnatural light. Fortunately, there is just barely enough shadow in the small slit of the door frame, and I mean the kind of shadow that produces a medium yellow light gem, that I could run to the blue hall door frame and crouch safely:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1265227900503/screenshots/childrenofthefuture/cotf11.jpg?height=301&width=400

Do things get easier now? Not yet... I have that annoying patrolling thief to worry about because at this point he is approaching the archer. His patrol is such that he literally walks into the blue hall door frame after turning around, so he would bump into me eventually. I found that out the hard way and had to reload. With all the moves I came up with so far, I had only a few seconds to get down the blue hall safely. Running down the left portion of the hall alerts the archer since he would be on a sustained 1st alert from seeing me dash to the door frame earlier. There was no chance of him returning to zero when I was so close and slightly visible to him in the door frame. It took many many reloads until I figured out that running down the right-side portion of the hall is dark enough to remain unseen:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1265227945647/screenshots/childrenofthefuture/cotf12.jpg?height=301&width=400

Of course, I had to leave the blue hall once I found a vital key, and it was not fun doing all of this over again. Nevertheless, I was able to run out of the door frame and behind the archer. Again, the archer must be facing to his right - that's the only direction that affords the player any chances of sneaking in or out of the blue hall. And there's still a slim chance of success because he's still on 1st alert and doesn't really face 90 degrees right - more like 45 degrees.

-A note about the last objective to escape to the train station: I was able to return to the mission start to complete this objective and end the mission. I did find a train station after exploring another city section. Since both areas check off the last objective, I didn't care to sneak through the entire mission again just to get to the train station. Once I had the tunnel dust and was already close to the mission start, I opted to end the mission there.

Peter_Smith
6th Feb 2010, 08:49
Good work, Hexameron. :) Interesting report.

Peter_Smith
8th Feb 2010, 06:35
FM: The WaterWay Tunnel Part 2: Ground Guest
File: ftb-thetunnel2.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:54:55
Loot - 1/201 (all of loot, per author)
Pockets Picked - 1/2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments

I could not give up after completing Waterway Tunnel Part 1, now could I?

Hexameron has previously described the mission, so I'll be brief in the description.

There are three one-way, can't-go-back aspects to the mission that I found a little objectionable. So, when I, too, failed to get into the armory I had to replay it. A check at TTLG disclosed where the armory key was hidden. I guess that is cheating, but I had already looked fairly hard and did not have the patience to keep looking. Another funny thing was that even if you have the key there is a chance the weapons objective won't check off. It depends on the order of picking weapons. I was lucky and took a broadhead first thing.

I, too, thought that taking damage from going down the chimney was pretty silly. I guess it was just a joke.

I did not take damage by going down the sewer. I did the first time, but on reload I did not. I saved and reloaded again. Again no damage. The deal is that there is a slanted ladder there, and if you stick on it you are OK.

Two parts that I found challenging were jumping over to the balcony and getting the sewer key and getting past the zombie with the lantern. They are both doable (obviously) with good timing.

As for the splash in the well alerting zombies, I tried taking an object with me hoping that it would reduce the noise. I took a skull. I have had that trick help me before, using a boulder. Maybe it did help or maybe not - I don't really know. I jumped into the well maybe a dozen times. On two occasions I heard no complaint after I had sunk in the water. I agree that the sound is muffled and hard to make out. But, I did hear muffled complaints most of the time and, rarely, I heard nothing. You cannot hear anything at the surface of the water owing to a sound design problem, so that is not a fair test. Anyway, I think that the two times I heard nothing I was successful.

When I had missed the armory key, I spent a lot of time at the end of the mission (the waterway tunnel) thinking that there must be a way to get through that locked door. I even hauled every rock to the other end and stacked them on shelves, thinking maybe if I cleaned out the rocks I could find the key in a niche or find a switch or something. Nope. The reason I could not get through the locked door is that the mission is supposed to end before you get to the door. The fact that you can get there and be totally stuck is bad design.

Finally, regarding the loot, Yohny made a post at TTLG where he said that he had made a mistake. The mission he had uploaded reported incorrectly 201 loot, but all the loot that was actually in the mission was a single coin (worth 1) behind some barrels in a wine cellar. You need to flip a switch to move the barrels.

Hexameron
8th Feb 2010, 06:58
You've done it again, Peter! A perfect thief for a mission I thought was a sure fail. If you've taken an interest in Yohny's missions, try "Old Bad Fellows," which is the prequel to the WaterWay Tunnel series. I think I ghosted it and there are a number of interesting situations for the ghoster, but I don't have access to my notes because I played it on someone elses PC. "Meeting" is another weird one by Yohny with objectives that must be completed in the right order. I'd be curious to see how you would go about ghosting this one - I finished it in 2 minutes only after playing for an hour and realizing it couldn't be ghosted the way the author intended...

Klatremus
15th Feb 2010, 04:38
FM: The Tower [Thief Anniversary Contest]

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 1:02:21
Loot - 3844 out of 3844
Pockets Picked - 4/6
Locks Picked - 16
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 4/4
Consumables - None

See the entire report with screenshots here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/hn.htm) (FMs).
Loot list here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheTower_L.htm).


Comments:

My time had come to ‘The Tower’ by Lady Rowena. A very talented Italian author, with former creations of epic proportions such as ‘Rowena’s Curse’ and ‘The Seven Sisters’. Despite this being a smaller entry, I knew I was in for a treat. Lady Rowena rarely disappoints.

Lord Witherdale’s jewel collection was my main target of the night. Along the way I needed to pick up the golden skull of Lord Balakin and 3,200 in loot.

Right off the bat it sounded like all hell was loose. Doors being bashed in and guards complaining. I didn’t find anyone searching or acting funny, so it has to be a sequence of scripts. I didn’t find any broken doors or bodies laying around either.

The initial streets had four enemies to look out for. Two of the patrollers were a normal swordsman and a thief. The thief covered the staircase to the central tower. Another stationary thief was positioned just inside the tower entry, doing random pivots. Then you had a maid doing a short loop on the south side. I later learned her name to be Melina. There was a convenient ledge circling the base of the tower that helped dodging the guards. From the back I accessed the main floor through a sliding metal panel. There were quite a few of those in various locations around the map; seemingly a common way to control the town’s airflow. I desperately needed Alf’s key to progress. I tried getting to the upper balconies with a single rope arrow from a multitude of angles, but alas they were all unreachable from the streets. I found his key was snaggable from the shade just inside the grate (see image below). I was already worried about how to replace it for Supreme. Normally you need something soft to cushion the drop, like a carpet or a grassy surface, or even a healing vial can do the trick. The rules don’t say how close is close enough, but I figure keys off someone’s belt should be put back by the person’s feet.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheTower_files/image001.jpg

I could reach Witherdale’s sitting room by the mentioned tower ledge. I had to mantle the balcony on the far left side to get up. Entered Alf’s apartment by dodging Melina’s rounds. Found a basement key in there and a couple of hints to a missing ring among the readables. Witherdale’s basement was just across the alley, and sure enough the ring was on the floor of the ceiling deck. I replaced the basement key at Alf’s and uncovered his hidden stash of loot from a small switch in the air shaft (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheTower_files/image002.jpg)).

There were three routes from inside the air vents. The first took me through Blaine’s apartment, the husband of cheating Melina. The floors of his house were tiled, but one of the hallways had some dark corners. I waited by the bedroom door until he emerged, blocked the door and rushed in to grab the loot. Getting out was the worst part (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheTower_files/image003.jpg)). He needed to pivot to his right, otherwise he’d spot me. He had a small stop but then exited. I followed and leaped out the window to the adjacent building. I monitored the thief and guard in the streets below not to get caught.

This was Amos’ mech shop. Not much to report except for some hidden loot in a canister on the shelf (see image below). Kind of a sneaky place to put it. I wish there was more of that in other missions also. Found a key for a mechanist hideout downstairs. Brought it along for later. The cellar had a half-secret switch on the pillar opening a nearby gate yielding some coin stacks.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheTower_files/image004.jpg

I could now reach the balcony of the tower’s second floor. Not much going on in there, except I could reach another building on the north side. From there I got to the roof. Dodging the patrolling archer by the control tower and the guards below was a little tricky, but highly doable. I snagged his purse and ran into the tower as he left. He had a short wait outside before returning, enough for me to rope arrow up the rafters. There I found his secret stash of life savings (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheTower_files/image005.jpg)). Not so secret anymore...

Traversed a pipe in the northwest corner to reach the notary’s. From here I could reach Witherdale’s roof with a mantle-hop across the streets 50 feet below. No way in hell you’d get me to do that in real life! Found a goblet and some coins on the ground. His patio door was unfrobbable, but the window downstairs was open, and there was a wooden rafter conveniently sticking out from the adjacent building. After cleaning his jewels I made my way back to the notary. I needed the elevator key to access the downstairs office. Both this and the cabinet key from the middle floor disappeared upon use, thus no possibility of putting them back for Supreme. I couldn’t relock the elevator door either, for the same reason. Could the elevator key be considered an “unnecessary pickup”, and therefore break Supreme rule #13? No, because without it I couldn’t have accessed the secret crawlspace at the bottom of the elevator shaft (see image below). I needed the key to enter the shaft after sending the lift up. If there hadn’t been loot down there to justify it, I guess I would have had to pick the lock on the outside door to get to the office. I know I’m nitpicking, but get over it.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheTower_files/image006.jpg

Made my way back to the archer’s roof and jumped the gap to the central tower’s third floor balcony. Got some new objectives to save and protect a noblewoman named Leonora from the underground dungeon. Couldn’t enter her cell just yet, but found a key to the top floor throne room where the perpetrator (Balakin) was located. There was a central light source that pulsed on and off regularly. I timed it and ran to the corner with the golden skull without any alerts. It seemed like it was just Balakin’s body in the chair, while his spirit would appear on a first alert. It gave the howling noise typical of a haunt’s comment, so I interprated that to be an alert and hence a Supreme bust. I managed to grab the cells key, the rings, the skull and leave down the hatch without the spirit showing itself (see image below).

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheTower_files/image007.jpg

I was now free to fetch Leonora and leave the tower from the second floor balcony. I returned the shaft key, but had to hang on to the cells key from the throne room. There was no way to replace it without stirring Balakin’s attention. In fact, I couldn’t even avoid alerting him to hunt mode. I had hopes of the carpet being silent enough, but it clunked like it was made of wood. I also couldn’t close the access hatch. The spirit appeared the second I frobbed it. Strange how it didn’t alert to me unlocking it...

After leaving Leonora in the alley I ascended the air shaft above Alf’s apartment. There was a mechanist hideout with the last two pieces of loot at the very top. The entire mechanist loot stash was found in one of the chests here, but it was locked and the only key was carried by a guard patrolling a metal walkway above. The sloped ramp was also metal and the guard was facing it for more than half of his route. There were a couple of spots close to the ramp with shade, so I monitored the situation from there for a while. I knew a moss arrow would have easily solved the problem, but I hate leaving such clear evidence of a thief’s passing. Instead I tried a different approach. This upcoming trick is extremely difficult and most players might be unaware of this chink in the dark engine’s otherwise impenetrable armor. Every ledge in Thief has an invisible outer edge, only noticeable if you slowly inch yourself towards the rim. If lucky, you might land on this narrow tip and find that you can actually traverse it along the line of the ledge. This hidden edge is 100% silent. As long as you manage to stay within its boundaries, you won’t make a sound. I’ve practiced the use of this technique many times, so I’ve gotten to know its possibilities. As the guard passed the ramp on the walkway above, I made a gentle leap towards the slope. After quite a few reloads I finally found the speed and angle needed to land safely onto the silent edge. I then quickly inched up the ramp to the shade at the top. From there I crouched into the far corner where I could snag the key as he came by (see image below). Dropping to ground level was no problem, comparatively speaking. The key luckily disappeared upon use.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_TheTower_files/image008.jpg

The last thing to take care of was a bonus objective in Louise’s place, a recently widowed pregnant woman next to the mech shop. It was accessible through the air shaft system mentioned earlier. One of the readables mentioned her being in danger of losing her house, much due to that scum of a notary. Leaving his title deed on her table would spawn the new objective. However, I couldn’t close either of the hatches in the air duct without waking the nearby worker. I left them open instead; more Supreme busts. On another note, I had to lean in and drop the deed onto the table from the air duct opening. If not, I would’ve had to exit through her main door which meant taking her key, replacing it and relocking the door. To much hassle, so I took the easier option.

Alf’s key also couldn’t be returned, as previously indicated. I tried putting it in various locations, but to no avail. A potion would muffle the drop, but when removed still left too much noise for either of the thieves. I kept the key for myself instead.


Notes & Busts:

- Couldn’t return the cells key to Balakin’s throne room. His spirit alerted to second level hunt mode. This was a bust to Supreme Ghost.
- Couldn’t close the hatch to Balakin’s throne room. The spirit appeared indicating a first alert. Another Supreme bust.
- Couldn’t close the two hatches by the sleeping air duct worker. The noise woke him up indicating a first alert. The choice is yours whether you want to leave them open or skip the bonus objective with the pregrant woman. Since Supreme was already busted, I gave Louise her title deed.
- Couldn’t return Alf’s key to the central tower’s main floor. There was nothing to cushion the drop, so I hung on to it. Another Supreme bust.

Klatremus
9th Mar 2010, 20:04
FM: Vampire Skull [Thief Anniversary Contest]

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 16:19
Loot - 245 out of 245
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Locks Picked - 2
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets - None
Consumables - None

See the entire report with screenshots here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/hn.htm) (FMs).
Loot list here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_VampireSkull_L.htm).


Comments:

The hammerites had gotten hold of a vampiric skull worth quite a bit of dough. I needed to cut their sermon short by stealing it, then make it back to the streeets. Soon after start I realized some thieves had beaten me to it. The key accessing their lair lay on the chapel floor.

Not much to report. A short, straight-forward sneak job is all. One tricky spot in the sewers had a stationary thief guarding the cave entrance. I passed along the side slope as he did his pivot. The two patrolling thieves further below posed no threats.

Fetched the loot and the key from the boss’ bedroom (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_VampireSkull_files/image001.jpg). The tomb entrance was a little tricky to spot. It was located along one of the darker walls in the sewers. Since taking the skull spawned several haunts around the thieves’ lair, I returned the key to the bedroom before venturing into the tomb. That way I didn’t have to deal with the thieves’ heightened senses. I simply pulled the old lock-‘n-block trick with the tomb door. They key couldn’t be returned to the alcove though, it made too much of a noise and woke the boss to hunt mode. I put it on the corner of his bed instead. I guess this is a small Supreme bust. Some players would say as long as you return it to the same room you’re good. I don’t say that.

One haunt spawned right by the tomb entrance, staring down the tunnel with the two thieves. To begin with they all gave some first alerts, but quickly blew it off. I think what made them fight were sounds from swordplay below. The haunt slayed the sentry before getting downed by the patrolling thief (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_VampireSkull_files/image002.jpg)). I could now close and lock the tomb door without spawning a first alert, which is what would have happened before the undeads arrived.

I replaced the sewer hatch key on my way back to the initial streets.


Notes & Busts:

- Couldn’t return the tomb key to the alcove in the thief’s bedroom. Had to put it on the bed instead. Supreme bust.

Klatremus
9th Mar 2010, 20:12
FM: Weak Links [Thief Anniversary Contest]

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success :cool:
Supreme Ghost - Success
Perfect Supreme - Success :D
Time - 39:06
Loot - 3224 out of 3224
Pockets Picked - 1/4
Locks Picked - 4
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets - 3/4
Consumables - None

See the entire report with screenshots here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/hn.htm) (FMs).
Loot list here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_WeakLinks_L.htm).


Comments:

‘Weak Links’ was my next to last anniversary mission. It had been a nice journey through the contestants’ creations, but I still had a couple of gems left. This was the 5th place entry, made by Ghost in the Shell. I had to steal Lord Victor’s exhibition valuables, 1,250 in loot and figure out what happened to my contact, honest Timmy. An optional objective to break into Victor’s safe was also included. The hardest difficulty was called ‘Noiseless’, due to the built in Ghosting requirement.

There were several ways into Victor’s manor. I started by way of the armory. Multiple patrollers covered the near vicinity, but gaining entrance wasn’t too hard. Both armory doors were pickable. I found the secret vault early on by frobbing an unlit torch, but I needed to return to complete that objective later. Unlocking it required a 4-digit code that I was sure could be picked up somewhere.

Made my way to the basement instead. Here, the kitchen was the biggest deal. Sporadic patches of light and two patrolling servants made it a fair bit troublesome. Flipping the light switch behind the crates would have helped, but Supreme doesn’t allow removal of light sources. Cleaned the barracks and found Timmy dead in the dungeon. That objective ticked off and a new one appeared. I was to avenge Timmy’s death, which ultimately meant killing Victor. Soon after I found some rat poison on the kitchen shelf. It didn’t take long to put two and two together. The kitchen counter had a couple of dark spots where I was safe from both servants (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_WeakLinks_files/image001.jpg)). From there I could calmly steal the various pieces of loot off the shelves.

The two patrolling guards at the top of the basement tended to get stuck. Either that or they really liked each other. Luckily they always untangled themselves after a while. I snuck upstairs between their patrols.

The dining hall at the top was rather intimidating at first. On the top floor was a plateau with a camera staring in my direction. From this distance it was tough to tell whether it gave alerts, so I skipped crossing the room from the west side. I knew of a different way around anyway. Instead I cleaned Hannah’s and Victor’s rooms. The Lord’s wine sat on the nightstand ready to be poisoned (see image below). Just beside it was a button uncovering an alcove with a diary, some loot and the armory key. I also found a dungeon key on the dresser. Seeing as I had recently picked open those doors, I figured these keys were needed to relock them. Supreme requires relocking doors even if they’re pickable. The readable also proved Victor’s involvement in Timmy’s murder.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_WeakLinks_files/image002.jpg

I got to the east side of the second floor by ascending the northern balcony. Stole the valuables from the dining hall fairly easily from this side (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_WeakLinks_files/image005.jpg)). The upper guard seemed oblivious to all activity below. I had a hard time even getting a first alert out of him. Sometimes he gave settling remarks, but overall he didn’t pose much of a threat. Perhaps the fence beam blocked his view or something.

My biggest problem upstairs was retrieving Victor’s artifact collection without alerting the security camera. The upper guard had a key that turned it off, but that isn’t allowed. I felt this was the last bump in the road towards a rare Perfect Supreme, so I wanted to experiment. I quickly realized the stairs to the gallery couldn’t be climbed normally. The camera had a fairly short swing to the south, so coming up around the railing was out of the question. Fortunately, I had 3 rope arrows in my possession, and the ceiling was deliciously wooden. I fastened two ropes as shown below and clutched on to the nearest while timing the camera. As it swung away, I climbed up and leaped forward. I could grab hold of the second rope and drop below the camera off the marbled table without any alerts. From here I could snag all the artifacts. Occasionally the patrolling guard below gave a grumble, but the sentry across the dining hall remained silent. I even repeated all the moves with the security system off just to listen for alerts, but he kept utterly quiet through everything. Returning to the stairs required a well-angled jump over the railing. With a little luck I got a soft landing. I ascended the ropes again to retrieve the arrows, but all in all I was home free.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_WeakLinks_files/image006.jpg

I found the vault code in one of the library books. The vault itself contained the rest of my loot. Relocked the armory and the dungeon before returning both keys to Victor’s bedroom. I even returned the rat poison to the kitchen shelf alert free!

Klatremus
9th Mar 2010, 20:24
FM: A Weekend Getaway [Thief Anniversary Contest]

See the entire report with screenshots here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/hn.htm) (FMs).
Loot list here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_AWeekendGetaway_L.htm).


Part 1
Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - N/A
Supreme Ghost - Success
Perfect Supreme - N/A
Time - 22:14
Loot - None
Pockets Picked - None
Locks Picked - None
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets - None
Consumables - None

Comments:
Jenivere and Basso had taken in at The Wishing Well Inn for the weekend. I started as Basso, hearing Jenivere’s cry in the distance. Following the objectives, I needed to shut out the lights, find a rosary and gather some info on what was happening. I also needed access to the attic.

The hotel interior was stunning. The second floor lobby I found especially appealing (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_AWeekendGetaway_files/image003.jpg)). The hallways posed no real threats in terms of sneaking, except for the occasional lightning bolt. Frequent quicksaves helped considerably. The staircase was unaccessable while the lights were on, so I utilized the dumbwaiter for general movement between floors. Downstairs had two patrollers, which made life a little harder (no pun intended). Probably because both the rosary and the attic key was located here, in addition to the required readables. They provided insight on the background of a hammerite cult in the area. I guessed they were the reason for this mess.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_AWeekendGetaway_files/image004.jpg

The attic key unlocked any of the five access points on the second floor. I chose the southwest bedroom, as it didn’t have any patrollers stopping by (see image above). The only thing of interest in the ceiling crawlspace was a metal screwdriver in a toolbox. I brought it all the way to the basement and used it to vandalize the breaker box. That killed the lights, so I returned the screwdriver to the attic immediately. The dumbwaiter sometimes alerted the patrolling haunt, although I couldn’t find any reason for it. It was hard to hear over the engine noise, but I reloaded if I had the faintest idea of an alert.

I feared the main entrance gate would alert the hammer priest outside, but he didn’t make a peep. Lucky, since all I had to do was ascend the rope in the alley to end the mission.


Part 2
Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - N/A
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - N/A
Time - 11:53
Loot - None
Pockets Picked - None
Locks Picked - None
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets - None
Consumables - None

Comments:
Part one was short but entertaining and the next chapter offered much of the same. The lights were out, so I needed to get them back on (for some odd reason). Required pickups were a holy book and something wet to bless. Also required was more background information on the current situation.

I knew my way around quite well by now, so maneuvering the hallways was easy. The first floor had added enemies, with a patrolling hammer mage and two lobby sentries. I saw that area being difficult with the lights on later. Found the holy book in the lobby upstairs and a sponge in the nearby bathroom. For some reason the bathroom ceiling hatch was already open, and I could easily fetch the repair crank from the toolbox in the attic.

When I was sure everything else was completed, I entered the basement by way of the stairs. The two patrolling hammers were unproblematic as long as the lights were off. Once having repaired the breaker box it was a different story. I only had to reach the dumbwaiter to be safe, but it took a couple of tries to get it right. The zombie turned around right as I leaped onto the ledge. I waited till they both cleared and rode to the top floor.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_AWeekendGetaway_files/image007.jpg

All I had to do before ending was return the repair crank to the attic toolbox. I then sent the dumbwaiter back to its original position and descended the second floor stairs. My last problem was passing the area between the lobby and the entrance gates (see image above). The light fixture lit up everythig but the corners. The patrolling mage did a side trip down the lobby as a part of his route. I waited in the staircase for my chance. I could reach any of the corners with only a gasp from the haunt, indicating a first alerts, but going for the end hallway would make him chase me. I figured the initial alert heightened his senses, so I had to go for the cross in one move. Run-jumping onto the far end of the carpet then sprinting out of sight did the trick. I needed 5-6 tries to get the speed right. As you can see from the image below, the haunt is in place and unbothered. I think I spawned a grunt from the stationary zombie as well. Supreme was busted, but to be honest, I was happy plain Ghost was still intact. I entered the cultist’s room and the mission ended.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_AWeekendGetaway_files/image008.jpg

Notes & Busts
- Spawned at least one first alert when crossing the main lobby to reach the cultist’s room. Inevitable, as the lights were on at this point. Supreme Ghost bust.


Part 3
Ghost - Failed
Perfect Thief - N/A
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - N/A
Time - 7:52
Loot - None
Pockets Picked - None
Locks Picked - None
Backstabs - 2, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 30, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 1, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets - None
Consumables - None

Comments:
The third and final act was a little different. I had to find and rescue Jenivere by breaking the cult’s seal. First though I had to find a holy weapon, and the last set of information regarding tonight’s bizarre events. I started in the cultist’s room where I left off before.

Right off the bat I had to find a hiding spot. A haunt would enter the room within 10 seconds. The corner by the couch worked well. Two patrollers on this floor had to be dodged to reach the lobby. No big deal. Found the sword on top of the pigeonholes in the reception. Blessed it with the holy book and the rosary first. Nothing else to do so I headed for the caves beneath the basement.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_AWeekendGetaway_files/image009.jpg

On the way I encountered a patrolling mage and a stationary zombie. The zombie was staring down the path I needed to go (see image above), but the glowing ‘shrooms were just dim enough to avoid his gaze. I had to creep-crouch to his right to stay hidden. And I had to do it fast, because the mage would soon return and catch me in the cave tunnel.

The seal could be broken by the blessed sword, but upon breaking it a haunt would appear and come chasing. I realized that lowering the sword immediately after the swing would spawn the haunt but keep him unalerted (see image below). I could therefore sneak in and take him out with an overhead blow. This kill was necessary to avoid face-to-face combat when breaking the skulls surrounding the portal. It was still a bust toward Ghost, as nothing in the objectives told me to kill anyone. The skulls needed to be broken with the sword, NOT with the blackjack, broadheads or similar weapons. First time around I thought there was a bug and started over, only to find it didn’t work the second time around either. I used the blackjack initially not to alert the patrolling mage. Turns out using the blackjack is just as loud, and the mage alerts regardless. I went to check a couple of times and he was always in hunt mode, even when located way up by the zombie. I guess turning undead boosts your sense of hearing.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/TAC_AWeekendGetaway_files/image010.jpg

After destroying the portal all the enemies were dead. I brought Jenivere to our room and ended the night there.

Notes & Busts
- Had to kill the haunt in the final cave to destroy the portal. It was inevitable, but not instructed in the objectives, so a clear Ghost bust.
- Alerted the patrolling mage when breaking the 10 skulls surrounding the portal. No matter how far away he was, he always alerted to hunt mode.
- The damage dealt and others killed are from backstabbing the haunt. The second backstab took me by surprise. I don’t know why this shows up in the stats. Perhaps the 10 skulls are considered an AI in Dromed, but I really couldn’t tell you. I only caused the one.

Klatremus
28th Mar 2010, 18:24
FM: Broken Triad, Part 1: Arkford

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Debatable, but I say success :whistle: (see bottom notes)
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 3:23:53
Loot - 2010/2010 (Supreme: 1850)
Pockets Picked - 3/4
Locks Picked - 25
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 2
Secrets - 7/8
Consumables - None

See the entire report with screenshots here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/hn.htm) (FMs).
Loot list here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad1_L.htm).


Comments:

I had been looking forward to this one for a long time. The sequel to perhaps the best single-mission release ever, Ominous Bequest. And a two-mission sequel to boot! If they were anywhere near the quality of the orginial, I was in for a treat.

I was in Arkford to steal a museum item called ‘the Sleeper’. Even if ugly, it was gonna bring me some dough. Looks don’t matter they say, it’s what’s inside that counts. Apparently the museum’s security system was tougher than usual, so I had a replica made to exchange for the original. In short, I needed to pick up whatever keys from Sheila Jennings, swap the sculpture and head back home. An additional objective was to “...reactivate the security measures around the sculpture exactly as [I] found them”. Supreme rule #8 says: “No turning off of watchers, or other security systems.” Does this objective imply turning off the security system? Here is my breakdown: First, even though it didn’t say so directly, it seemed explicitly necessary following the wording. How can you reactivate something without deactivating it first? Second, Supreme rule #8 is mainly there to prevent systems that observe you, the way a human AI does, from being incapacitated, much the same way a knockout blow would. Normally this means security cameras, or watchers. Third, I had a feeling the security system was an integral part of the mission’s story; it would be a shame to bust simply by following the author’s intended and inevitable route, especially given my first two arguments.

Two optional objectives were also given up front: steal the museum inspector’s security report, and avoid triggering any alarms. Recently discussed at Eidos’ Thief Forum, optional objectives provided in the loadout screen are not required for plain Ghost, only for Supreme. Contrastly, hidden bonus objectives discovered throughout the mission are not required for either mode. With all that in mind, I was ready to take on the world...ahem... Arkford.


Early Roamings

After some initial visions (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad1_files/image001.jpg)), things went back to normalcy. Having already done a blackjack run, I was familiar with loot locations and other necessary pickups. I had a pretty good idea of what route to take through the city. The northwest region was scattered with smaller establishments. Most of the street guards had long patrols and the shadows were plentiful. Civilians didn’t alert, but they still made me jump on occasion. A hidden purse was located inside an open window in the far west (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad1_files/image002.jpg)). Why anybody would want to leave windows open on a night like this is beyond me. I couldn’t enter the building, but the loot was snaggable from outside. A convenient set of icy ledges enabled me to reach it fairly easy.

A couple of tricky secrets were found furter east. One behind a pillar in a mechanist office (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad1_files/image003.jpg)); the other on the statue of St. Bernard close to Sheila’s house (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad1_files/image004.jpg)). Both revealed nearby loot. The latter required a high rope arrow, but it was retrievable without taking damage. Miss Jennings was decapitated, but I found the museum backdoor key under her desk.

Next door to Sheila was the entrance to the museum courtyard. It was blocked by a stationary archer though (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad1_files/image005.jpg)), so I had to circle the museum and approach from the east. This gave me an excuse to roam the northeastern parts of the city. I had some more items to pick up before heading for the museum anyway.

Found a single coin on a ledge across the canal at Mill Square. Had to mantle by way of the water wheel to reach it. This was near Stone Avenue, a tight set of alleys with a single patrolling guard. A control room here granted access to the sewer maintenance room, where I found the precious manhole key. It stuck to my inventory, so no way to return it later.

Several establishments in this area were unaccessible until getting Yarwick’s skeleton key. A single apartment northwest of Verain Plaza was available though. The owner inside had a simple route between the living room and his office, stopping for about 30 seconds at each location. I needed objects from both rooms. The hallway was marbled, with a runner down the middle. The office was carpeted as well. If it hadn’t been for a small dark patch near the coat rack (see image below), this house might have been unghostable. I waited for him to enter the living room, then rushed out to pick the lock on the office safe. I got it halfway, but then had to return to my hiding spot before the owner returned. To save time, I leaped from one rug to the next through the doorway. During the second round I had time to finish picking the lock and steal all the office loot. I also stole the bellows from next to the fireplace while the gentleman was away.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad1_files/image010.jpg

Getting Down to Business

Next up was the Bathing Burrick Inn. My target was the security inspector upstairs, whose room was well-guarded. The only way to enter his den was by cranking up the radiator, making the guard leave for the bar. The steam valve was in the cellar, which meant I needed the key from the innkeeper. Neither him nor the guests reacted to my presence, but all civilians alert when getting their pockets picked, if they have spotted you first. Coming from the basement would circumvent this. The basement entrance was heavily guarded by an archer and several patrolling swordsmen (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad1_files/image007.jpg)), but nothing that’d keep a taffer like me away. After turning the valve I returned the key and entered the second floor by way of the open window on the north side. It was accessible from the wall separating the museum’s eastern and western side. A total of five enemies were located in the near vicinity, but traversing the wall kept me dark for the majority of the stretch. The inspector’s guard left his post as I ascended the staircase and I could concentrate on my real target.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad1_files/image008.jpg

The inspector did a double-loop before stopping by the bed staring in the direction of the desk (see image above). He stayed there for about 10 seconds, then resumed his patrol. More often than not he didn’t alert to the door opening. There were two items of interest: the security report and a vase on the side dresser. The only time to enter his room without spawning a grumble was when he turned around and headed back towards the bed. For about 3-4 seconds the room was “available”. Both items were attainable by taking two steps into the doorway and leaning towards the dresser and the desk, respectively. The report was the hardest to retrieve, as it was a little further away and the inspector occasionally heard me stepping on the wooden floor. I closed the door and left, entirely alert-free.

Nothing further to report until reaching Hewitt & Sons Transports. It was located in a blocked off alley accessible by way of the sewers. I needed a key from the upper office to operate the wood chipper machine. It was placed on a bookshelf on the back wall. The traditional means of entry involved knocking out the guard by smacking him in the back of the head with a window, obviously against Ghosting rules. The alternate way in was through a metal ventilation shaft behind one of the larger crates (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad1_files/image011.jpg)). I could inch up the shaft and steal the key through the grate. I was real worried about being able to replace it for Supreme though, as the guard was only a few feet away. I tried a variety of angled leaning techniques, before finally stumbling upon what seemed to make the key float in mid-air (see image below). Somehow the book stack’s physical space seemed to extend above its apparent height. This was the closest and most logical place to put it, and the only spot where the guard didn’t alert. It was impossible under any circumstance to put the key back to its exact location. Another tough challenge passed with flying colors!

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad1_files/image012.jpg

I had to pass a couple of smaller tests to continue through the sewers. Propped a grate open with a boulder at one point; returned the boulder afterwards. Would later have to return to put the grates to their original configuration. The part where I had to fill the compartment with water to reach the upper passage couldn’t be undone, and the lower access door was permanently shut.

Found a nifty secret among the catacomb sarcophagi. One of the light fixtures was frobbable, revealing the Tomb of the Nameless Riddler (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad1_files/image013.jpg)). It contained various puzzles, rewarding me with the Staff of Far Reach, probably my favorite addition of this campaign. It could flip any switch from a distance. The shot had a straight trajectory as well, which was nice. Unfortunately, the shot would alert anyone in the near vicinity to hunt mode. Back through the catacombs I emerged in the museum cemetery.


The Museum, First Time Around

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad1_files/image014.jpg

I headed straight for Sheila’s office. Knew I’d have to come back later with the skeleton key, so I’d loot everything else then. As a part of signaling Ned, I needed to switch off the electric light (see image above). Strictly speaking, this is a Supreme bust. Rule #6 says: “Turning off electric lights, snuffing candles, or removing any light source including mushrooms is [...] not allowed.” However, the rule is obviously meant to disallow the removal of light sources that prevent movement through enemy territory. In this case, it was done as a part of a puzzle. No consumables were used, the lights were put back to their original state, no enemies were around at any point during the event, and no traces were left of any kind. Rules aren’t made for the rules’ sake, they all create a purposeful limitation, and I don’t feel this situation breaks anything the rules were meant to prevent. But I don’t want to make it seem like I’m excusing my way out of a bust. I am an honest player and want to report my thoughts on it; hopefully it can spawn some replies from other players.

I could now make my way through the city watch station. The tricky spot was getting down the end hallway to the cells. I had Ned plus two other guards to deal with (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad1_files/image015.jpg)); a pivoting stationary guard by the fireplace and a patroller covering the entire stretch from the break room to the end of the cells. There was a small spot behind the pillar where I could get ready. I had to wait for the patroller to come around, then follow him down the tunnel. I hid in one of the cells as he returned. The secret exit was easy to find, based on Ned’s description in his readable.

Only one problem in the catacombs, in a room with a randomly patrolling green spider. The exit was controlled by a big lever in the corner past the spider. The room was more or less dark, except for shiny windows on either side. I found I could reach the lever without ever passing the window, simply leaning in from close to the wall and frob it like that (see image below). It depended on the spider staying away from that side of the room long enough for me to do my deed. Not too big of a deal in the end.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad1_files/image016.jpg

The Elusive Skeleton Key

Cleaned Yarwick’s and Alarius’ with ease. There was a nifty switch on the back of the counter at the jeweler’s. Not the one that opened the glass cover, but a smaller switch in a tiny alcove very close by (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad1_files/image017.jpg)). It opened a hidden cellar with loot. I actually made my way back through the catacombs and the city watch station afterwards. That way I could close all the gates, panels and doors for Supreme.

On my way back to the museum I also put the sewer grates back to the original configuration. One section got filled with water earlier and there was no way to empty it. Nothing to report from Boleston’s tower either. I knew the code for the punch card machine, so I now had access to all parts of the museum.

The most difficult area in the museum was the main lobby by far. Two patrolling guards and a roaming civilian made sneaking tough. In addition, one piece of loot was located inside a locked safe in the reception. Luckily, I found a dark spot outside the counter, within reach of my lockpicks (see image below). The patrolling woman went by unbothered most of the time. It didn’t seem like there was much shade, but it kept me completely dark for the duration of my picking. When leaning I sometimes shifted position into the light, and the dark spot was hard to regain. It was a grueling couple of minutes, but I got away with Supreme intact.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad1_files/image019.jpg

The rest of the museum compound was fairly straightforward. The main gallery was only occupied by a single female patroller covering both floors. No problem to steal the objects while she was elsewhere. She had a small pitstop by the downstairs control room, enough for me to blow the horn with the bellows and grab the Solar Core without anybody noticing. A good example of Eshaktaar’s consideration for the Ghost mode. I fiddled some with the order of reactivating the red and blue security measures, but got there in the end. There was a single coin on the carpet in the upper west wing. It was under one of the couches, so kinda hard to spot. Nothing else to report really.


The Tables are Turning

Headed for my apartment and got news from Keeper Lennard on this Nyarsal demon. Received information on the nightshade juice and left for the cathedral. Picked up the chalice there and headed back for the catacombs. On my way I dropped off the Horn of Quintus, which actually was a fake, in a hidden workshop across the canal. A frobbable tile opened a panel accessing an underground stock of horns. Triggering the mechanism on the altar left me with only the real horn (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad1_files/image021.jpg)), which spawned a new bonus objective.

I put together the potion in the catacombs and drank it in the cathedral. Realized I was played by Lennard and that Nyarsal now was free to roam wherever. In the visions you actually foreshadow the location of Tempest Isle, the target for mission two (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad1_files/image022.jpg)). Don’t know how many picked up on that.

I ended up in the crematorium, with further instructions by Keeper Aleph. I had a real hard time with the ash spirits, not because they were tough to Ghost, but because I couldn’t distinguish between first alert gasps and idle noises. To be honest I don’t even know if they had first alerts. I did several tests to check their response level, but was unable to find any consistent alert sounds. Does a falling tree make a sound if nobody is around to hear it? I don’t know, it all depends on how you define ‘sound’ I guess. In the end I decided to play it safe. If I was even the slightest in doubt of being detected, I reloaded.

The first ash spirit spawned from an urn in the middle of the first chamber. It took around 10 seconds before he materialized, so I had some time to pick the lock on the next door before he’d start to patrol. He heard the lockpics unless he was close to the opposite end, so I kept my tools still for a few moments before resuming.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad1_files/image023.jpg

The next tricky spot came further down the hallway. The third spirit was the only stationary one, by the foot of a ramp close to a gurney lift (see image above). I could stay dark most of the way but rounding that corner exposed me too much. If I went slow he’d start hunting; if I rushed into the corner by the lift he gave a clear gasp every time. I figured this as a clear alert, so I needed to think of something else. Supreme was only holding up like a house of cards from before, so this was no good. My only chance was to reach the upper walkway by means of mantling. I had noticed earlier the door in the southwest guard station was possible to mantle. I used it to reach the loot on the upper ledges. Once I realized the crematorium doors were no different, I saw my opportunity. I could mantle the metal door by the first ash spirit as shown in the image below. Leaping for the walkway I had to jump and shut the door simultaneously (required for Supreme). Looking down, running forward, frobbing the door and jumping at the same time, ensuring no enemies were around to hear the door slam, and finally mantling the edge. I gotta say this was one of the toughest set of moves I’ve ever had to put together. But it also felt greatly rewarding once I got out of it clean. Every rose has its thorn I guess.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad1_files/image024.jpg

Sweeping the Remains

The city streets were deader than a doornail, Nyarsal had made sure of that. This meant a lot of the tough spots from before would have been a walk in part had I waited. Ah well, you live and learn. Anyway, I was free to pick up some remaining pieces of loot and return some of the stuff I didn’t need anymore for Supreme: the bellows, the museum backdoor key and the skeleton key. The hammer quarters key left by Keeper Aleph also needed to be returned to the crematorium. I could drop it from the walkway above when the spirits were absent. When dropping objects from higher ground, it seems you need to look down to lower the impact. If I looked straight, the key would make an extra clunk when landing and alert the stationary spirit nearby. If leaning and looking down the key made a single, light clunk and the spirit was left unbothered. Returned to the surface afterwards. The last object to replace was the white cathedral key.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad1_files/image025.jpg

I was pleasantly surprised to see a fair portion of the casino loot was actually obtainable for Supreme. Initially I had thought about skipping the entire building for that mode, but luckily I gave it a shot. I descended by attaching a rope to the wooden beam close to the circling ledge in the northeast corner (see image above). The reception lady was my main concern for reaching the floor. She gave me no trouble as I swung close to the dark eastern wall (where the doors were). From here I could get the stack of dollars from the reception table and the coin pile from the closest slot machine. To traverse the room as shown in the red path below, the girl had to be facing east. She shifted randomly between east and north angles, and the length of time she spent in each direction varied. I could crouch-walk through the entire move and with a little luck she wouldn’t turn north until I was safe. The gamblers were too far away to alert. The other slot machine and the coin behind the craps table were now reachable. The single coin could be taken from the south side in the corner. That was it for Supreme, so I left with what I had, 1850 in total.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad1_files/image026.jpg

Believe me, when playing Supreme, switching to plain Ghost many times becomes nothing of a challenge. I am not trying to slap those devoted to regular ghosting. Plenty of times I have had to revert to that mode and gotten my ass kicked, but as for the casino, the rest of the loot was fairly simple. I could basically sneak wherever there were some amounts of shade and steal the remaining four piece of loot.

The ring in Mrs. Wigglesworth’s apartment south of Boleston’s tower was my final target. Opening the door made her grumble, so I had to say no to this loot for Supreme. I got more comments when entering the room, so I didn’t think twice about skipping it. Made my way to the museum afterwards and entered the portal.


Notes & Busts

- I had to switch off the electric lights in Sheila Jenning’s office in the museum in order to signal Ned and gain access to the city watch station. Techinnically this is against Supreme rules, but I doubt this is a situation rule #6 was meant for. I switched the lights back on before any guards came around and left no possible traces behind. This situation is up for debate, but my vote is ‘no bust’.

- Turning off the museum’s security system is allowed in my mind for two reasons. 1) Its requirement is heavily implied in the objective that directs you to “reactivate the security measures”. 2) Supreme rule #8 was made with watchers, or other systems that alert and behave similar to live enemies, in mind. Discussion on this topic is encouraged.

- Had to skip four pieces of loot in the casino for Supreme: the coins in the safe (100), the purse on the female gambler (25), and the two single coins on the gambling table (10).

- Also had to skip the ring (25) in Mrs. Wigglesworth’s apartment south of Boleston’s tower for Supreme. She alerted with a comment when opening her door.

Peter_Smith
9th Apr 2010, 19:58
FM: Dyer's Eve
File: DyersEve1.0.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 02:37:23
Loot - 1805/1805
Pockets Picked - 1/3
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets 2/2

Comments

I was inspired to re-play this oldie-but-goodie when Manzanita stopped by the forum and asked a question about it. As has been reported by Vanguard (http://forums.eidosgames.com/old-ubb/FMs_Ghost_Perfect_Thief_Results_Part1_3.htm), Dyer's Eve is impossible to ghost, but I didn't know that when I started. I first played it 9 years ago. I remembered that I ghosted most of it, and I remembered killing all the AI and making a nice pile of bodies (see picture), but I did not remember what tripped me up.

http://i44.tinypic.com/5b8txl.jpg

First, it is a very nice undead mission. The AI are really freaky, making custom sounds. The best are the female zombies, who "make a pass" at Garrett, with lines and voice acting by Wynne. It is worth playing the mission just for that. :)

The general character of the mission is that there are a lot of undead AI in the house / monastery, they are quite accute, and getting past them is a real challenge. The author has left a way around the problem and the limited supplies by providing several magic statues that automatically kill the AI when you lure them in front of the statues. That is a huge amount of fun. The ghosting is also fun because it is challenging.

I ghosted it up to the time when you enter the keep, which requires four talismans to unlock the door.

http://i40.tinypic.com/256v75w.jpg

That mask thingy is an evil, goosey AI with its own light source. I am about to be killed by it. Not only that, if you kill one of the swordsman zombies (on the right), it spawns another one of those mask things.:eek:

Getting the talismans caused two small ghosting exceptions. One is that to find the earth talisman you have to find some explosive flour and blow up a rock pile to open a cave. That might be counted as property damage (whose property?), but I am not sure. Anyway, I timed it, and I did the explosion without alerting any AI. The explosive flour is a nice ghosting feature, because it does not go into inventory, so you have to keep dropping it while maneuvering.

The second problem is that to find the air talisman you have to cut yourself with a knife. It results in the loss of one health shield, but that was not counted as damage in the ending stats. I don't think the rules are clear on that, either.

Anyway, I got into the keep, but I could not get past two female zombies in the first room. So I alerted them and hid under the stairs. From that point, I tried to ghost when possible. I succeeded in getting all the way up to the transporter room in ghost mode.

http://i41.tinypic.com/jjuqfn.jpg

The transporter must be opened by four arrows, one of which is a fire arrow. As you see it above, only one of four barriers remains in front of the portal. I have used the other three arrows, keeping the fire arrow for last because it causes a big commotion. So now I can use the fire arrow, alert the female zombies in that room, and exit through the portal. Right? Not quite....

There is one problem here. If you are ghosting, you get to this point with one unsatisfied objective, which is to find information about the brotherhood. Then when you go through the transporter, you fall to your death. The only way to complete the mission is to either complete that objective or cancel it before going through the transporter.

I searched high and low, and I could not find that information. However, when you start killing zombies using the statue in the chapel, the objective becomes canceled. How to do this without killing AI was my main problem. I spent a fair amount of time in the chapel trying to find either the information or a switch that canceled the objective. In the end, I discovered that if you shoot a fire arrow at the statue in the chapel, the objective is canceled, so now you can complete the mission with zero damage. But the fire arrow alerts some AI, too.

http://i39.tinypic.com/15zlh09.jpg

Another problem is that you don't have any fire arrows to do the above when you first enter the chapel. You have already used the only one available to blow up the rocks in front of the cave. And, if you don't use the fire arrow for that purpose, you are locked out of the keep and unable to proceed. So, I had to go far up into the keep to get more fire arrows and then go back down to use one in the chapel, in a non-intuitive manner. Pretty tricky.

Anyway, this procedure canceled the information objective. Then I went back up, shot my fire arrow at the remaining portal block, went through the portal, and this time I fell down the same pit, but the mission ended properly. :)

So, I achieved no damage to AI with some effort, but ghosting seems to be impossible.

One final thing. There is a nice secret in the graveyard. I won't explain it in detail, but remember that this mission was released on October 18, 2001, shortly after 9/11.

Hexameron
23rd May 2010, 02:30
FM: Meeting
File: fbt-meeting4.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:07:26
Loot - 0/215
Pockets Picked - 1/4
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This FM is by the same author who gave us the infamous "WaterWay Tunnel" series ;). My ghost success here was only possible by resorting to cheating. I avoided all new objectives, which I don't think the author intended. Right at the mission starting point is a keeper journal. Reading this triggers a new objective to find all of the notes in a specific order that are strewn about the mission. For example, one note might hint that you need to go to the pub; there you'll find another note that says "now go to the garden" etc. Each time you read a note, a new objective occurs to find the next one. You can find them out of order, but once you find and read one note, you need to read all others.

If I had triggered this series of objectives to read notes, I would have to accept at least one ghost bust at the pub. The interior of the pub is well-lit by torches and inhabited by a barkeep and bluecoat. They are sensitive to torch-dousing and invariably become 2nd alerted to any splashes of water arrows. I could not sneak in and up the stairs unless the torches were doused, so this would have definitely busted me.

To avoid this dead-end bust, I restarted the mission and did not read the keeper journal or any notes. Instead, I went to the post office and frobbed the "??? Key" from behind the locked mail box. All I had to do now was go to the power supply building, frob the key from behind the upper wall pipe, and descend down the sewer hatch to meet the "man who knocked on my door". He's a mechanist who greets Garrett with a scripted monologue. After the conversation is over, the mission ends. Although I avoided twenty minutes of game time by not reading the keeper journal and going on the note hunt, I still completed the mission legitimately, albeit with the cheating clairvoyance of knowing where the "??? Key" was and being able to frob it without opening the mail box.

Hexameron
23rd May 2010, 02:39
FM: The Cloister of St. Lazarius
File: StLazarius.zip

Ghost - Success or N/A and aborted
Time - 00:07:55
Loot - 312/2137
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This is an entry for the Beauty Contest. The objective directs the player to "dance around the cathedral," so I explored every corner and nothing happened. There are no AI or areas of particular interest, although the architecture and textures are impressive to behold.

Hexameron
23rd May 2010, 02:44
FM: Ride the Butterfly
File: RideButterfly.zip

Ghost - Success or N/A and aborted
Time - 00:02:31
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - Another Beauty Contest mission, this time outside in an earthly paradise reminiscent of TES' Oblivion. The pastures are active with frogbeasts and bunnies that don't alert to the player. I did what the author wanted and hopped on the butterfly and then proceeded to the cave where the mission ended.

Hexameron
23rd May 2010, 02:48
FM: Hazelshade Cemetery
File: Graveyard.zip

Ghost - Success or N/A and aborted
Time - 00:03:53
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - Another gorgeous entry for the Beauty Contest - this time it's a moody and darkly beautiful cemetery. Like the other missions in this contest, there's nothing to do except explore and then abort.

Hexameron
23rd May 2010, 02:54
FM: Surrounded by the Metal Age
File: Surrounded.zip

Ghost - Success or N/A and aborted
Time - 00:01:37
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - Another Beauty Contest FM - a little gem that emphasizes the steampunk atmosphere of the mechanized city. Once again, the player can only explore before deciding to quit.

Hexameron
23rd May 2010, 03:01
FM: The Clocktower
File: TheClocktower.zip

Ghost - Success or N/A and aborted
Time - 00:03:24
Loot - 0/400
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This is the final and perhaps most impressive Beauty Contest FM. This Clocktower is a magnificent building and the amount of detail in the interiors, the furnishings, objects, and textures all rival TDM. I just have to say that all of these Beauty Contest FMs have proven not only how many talented and creative mission builders there are in the Thief community, but how versatile dromed is.

Hexameron
23rd May 2010, 03:15
FM: A Bank Job
File: ABankJob.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:44:59
Loot - 15573/15650
Pockets Picked - 7/11
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 15
Damage dealt - 15 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 2/2

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot sneak into the art gallery without alerting nearby guard.

2. Cannot sneak into bank or down one of the main streets without being seen by at least one of the three guards.

Comments - Much of the mission is ghostable. I did have to douse both torches near the mechanist at the beginning, but I had no problems moving about until I got to the other side of the portcullis. The loot objective for this mission is 15550 (maximum available loot is 15650), so virtually every loot item must be found. That means I would have to enter the art gallery, but doing so unseen is impossible - a guard observes the door and the outside of the entrance is too bright.

Then there is the task of getting into the bank, but an idle guard stands in front of the door:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1274579576365/screenshots/bankjob/bankjob2.jpg?height=300&width=400

There is no other way that I could see to get inside the bank except through the front door. In addition, I would also need to venture down this street so I could get loot from other houses. That wasn't possible: the guard always saw me as I tried to get by. Even if I doused the nearby gas light, I still didn't have a chance of slipping past or nudging the guard away from the door:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1274579588940/screenshots/bankjob/bankjob3.jpg?height=300&width=400

I gave up and knocked out just about everyone in the mission since I would have to spend most of my time in this game searching for loot.

Hexameron
23rd May 2010, 03:31
FM: The Bar
File: c4TheBar.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:2:59
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/7
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Causes of Failure:

1. Must destroy glass window to pick up key that opens the house door.

2. Cannot sneak anywhere as there are invisible AI in most rooms that always see the player.

Comments - This is a small and rather weird FM. To gain entry into the only building the player sees, I had to break a glass pane blocking access to the one key that opens the building. Once inside, I encountered invisible AI that might have been male thieves. I could hear hastened footsteps chasing me. I reloaded and tried various ways of sneaking, but I always ended up being discovered. It's not a pleasant thing to be sneaking quietly and meticulously and then all of a sudden I get slashed by an invisible entity. I could not tell if I was seen by technically alerted AI or if the whole thing was scripted.

Nevertheless, I could not stop running once I was seen or I would take damage from these invisible assailants. Some areas were too bright for sneaking, so I probably was actually seen by invisible AI. I ended up alerting everyone including other visible servants in my search for the scepter (obj). The mission ends once the scepter is picked up.

Hexameron
23rd May 2010, 04:31
FM: A Friend in Need
File: AFIN_V1.zip

Perfect Thief - Success (Chemical)
Time - 01:24:35
Loot - 1544/1544
Pockets Picked - 18/26
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This mission could probably be ghosted without having to use an invis potion, but I was unfortunate in having to do so for reasons I'll get to later.

-The necessary "information" (obj) is in the law office. There is a small niche embedded in the bookshelf of the large room with a patrolling nobleman. I was able to run up and get the information from the bookshelf before the nobleman turned around to see me.

-To gain entry to the prison via the gallows area, I had to rope up to one of the wooden structures and scale the stone wall of the perimeter. This was the only safe way to move around the idle archer without being seen. This may not be what the author had in mind because it looks like the stone wall is unfinished with an untextured blue barrier:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1274579814284/screenshots/friendinneed/friendinneed1.jpg?height=300&width=400

-Once in the prison, there is a guard watching the lift from behind a little window. Moving around in front of the window puts him on a sustained 1st alert:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1274579830197/screenshots/friendinneed/friendinneed2.jpg?height=300&width=400

However, since I would eventually be carrying Basso out of the prison, I wouldn't have enough running speed to get by without putting this guard on 2nd alert. So I had to nudge him away from his peep hole:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1274579845602/screenshots/friendinneed/friendinneed3.jpg?height=300&width=400

Down in the bowels of the prison cell block, a patrolling guard occasionally utters a 1st alert after seeing one zombie in a cell. I counted at least three 1st alerts during his patrol. But then as I was carrying Basso and opened the only door that leads back to the upper cell block, I saw him standing in an aggressive attack mode. He had finally seen the zombie and stayed in a 3rd alert state:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1274579859734/screenshots/friendinneed/friendinneed4.jpg?height=300&width=400

I reloaded and waited to see if it would happen again - it did. The guard blocked my path and even if I could eventually wedge my way through, he would immediately see me. I was fortunate that the author left an invis potion in Garrett's apartment because I absolutely needed it here. I had to wait until the guard made an evasive sidestep (most AI do this when in a frustrated 3rd alert mode), quaff my only invis potion, pick up Basso again, and slip through the door.

-With Basso in hand, I decided to douse all torches in the vicinity of the balcony where two archers overlook the barrel and crate-littered streets. That way I could drop Basso down there safely and quietly hop down myself without having to make a difficult exit via the gallows - I didn't think I would be able to get onto the stone wall again.

-I had to douse the torches outside of Rothchild's cabin so I could move close enough to the fountain and lean forward to get all the coins without being seen by the lady.

Getting back up to the suicide girl's apartment requires some careful rope arrow placement. First I had to shoot a rope arrow at the horizontal wood beam above the open window. But this meant that the rope would not reach all the way down to the water surface and thus the player cannot possibly get onto it. So I had to shoot another rope arrow right under the open window (thank God it had a wood texture!).

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1274579888413/screenshots/friendinneed/friendinneed6.jpg?height=300&width=400

Now I had a rope that reached the water and another rope that gave me enough room to jump through the open window. Here's how it all looked from afar:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1274579872821/screenshots/friendinneed/friendinneed5.jpg?height=300&width=400

The matter of getting into the canal with Basso is a delicate one. I left Basso on the street and moved into the water (the splash has the potential of alerting the guard by the toll booth). Then I picked him up and swam as quickly as possible to the rope so he wouldn't drown while I was in the water.

Hard-to-find loot

-Near front gate leading to prison: gold coin in small water hole under sewer grate
-Sewers: purse behind three spiders in an upper area; need rope arrow to get to.
-Outside of Rothchild's cabin: gold coins in fountain.
-Grocer store at starting point: moneybox on top shelf
-Apartment building: moneybox on top of dresser in one apartment.

Peter_Smith
24th May 2010, 04:21
Wow, Hexameron. I thought you were lost for a few months, and then a virtual torrent of Ghost reports. Thanks!

Hexameron
25th May 2010, 01:58
Hi Peter - I tend to get swamped during my graduate school semesters, so I have to take a break from Thief for a few months at a time :(. I'm glad to see that you and Klatremus contributed some reports. Reading them last week actually inspired me to post again.

Hexameron
31st May 2010, 05:29
FM: Snobs part 1
File: snobs-part1_fixed.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:47:55
Loot - 15285/26755
Pockets Picked - 6/24
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 1/1

Cause of Failure:

-Cannot sneak by frogbeasts in sewer near mission end.

Comments - Several of the guards in this mission are hypersensitive, but not all of them; indeed there was a randomness to the AI sensitivity that made this mission an unpleasant experience. The two guards outside of the mansion are quirky and dousing the torches above their heads can put them on 2nd alert. One guard inside of the mansion also has super keen ears; even picking a lock a floor below him sets him off. In addition, the guard patrolling the walkway towards the mansion is hypersensitive to 1st alert material: open a door near him or run too fast and expose yourself to light and he starts charging in 3rd alert fashion.

In all of the above instances, I was able to persevere and reload dozens of times to finally avoid alerts. For example, I doused the torches outside of the mansion only when the guard upstairs closed the door to the balcony. Also, I made sure to pick the moneybox behind the trophy only when he was patrolling on the balcony with the door closed. However, I could not safely get inside the shop with secret room and purple diamond worth 10,000 without upsetting one particular guard. As soon as I stepped inside the shop (with absolutely no shadows whatsoever inside), one or both of the patrolling guards outside started charging me in 3rd alert mode. I wonder if this might have been scripted or if the AI are tweaked to the highest sensitivity to provocation. Just look at the bottom screenshot - I moved silently into the shop while this guard's back faced me and he still turns around and starts charging from a long distance away:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275264181875/screenshots/snobspt1/snobs1b.jpg?height=301&width=400

And getting inside was necessary for that purple diamond worth 10,000 - if I was going to meet my loot requirement, I would need it. Fortunately, I had one invis potion, so I downed it and went in quickly and into the secret room without stirring up that guard. I couldn't get in, grab the diamond, and get out while my invisibility stayed in effect, though. What's odd and for reasons I can't explain is that I could sneak out of the shop while the guard's back was turned.

-If I could have snuck past the spiders using the lightfeather key I found in the fountain behind my house, I could have reached the pub from its basement. But there are two patrolling spiders and one spider guarding a door - a light mushroom illuminates the area and I couldn't sneak by. The only reason I would have to visit the pub is to get another 10,000 purple diamond. Either way, the player must collect at least one of these purple diamonds to meet the loot requirement. I suppose I could have used my invis potion to sneak by the spiders, but by comparison, the secret shop room seemed the better alternative.

-I had to avoid one new objective which would have me go into the jail and free the thieves. One glance of that jail and I thought to myself, "forget it" - it screamed unghostable.

Interestingly, I ghosted with much effort 99% of the mission. But I knew I was busted when I saw this appalling scene:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275264191381/screenshots/snobspt1/snobs2.jpg?height=301&width=400

Not even a sporting chance to sneak by here :mad:. Those frogbeasts guard the crawlspace that leads to a sewer gate and the mission end. I'm literally five yards away from completing the mission, but those two frogbeasts are impossible. I could not avoid being seen whether I climbed up the ladder or mantled out of the water. So I swam close enough to the edge until they saw me and exploded in aggression.

Hexameron
31st May 2010, 18:31
FM: Treason and Plot
File: treason.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:40:11
Loot - 944/944
Pockets Picked - 1/2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This little mission is a bit tedious to ghost owing to the many marble floors and surplus of patrolling thieves; indeed, the thief hideout is a very busy place. This main hallway of which the player must traverse many times is a case in point of the dense traffic of patrollers:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275328988916/screenshots/treasonplot/treasonplot4.jpg?height=301&width=400

There is a tricky situation of having to enter a room with a thief who pivots, but more often than not stands facing the door. The solution to entering safely is to open the door and watch the thief's shoulder:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275328819633/screenshots/treasonplot/treasonplot1.jpg?height=301&width=400

When he turns, I could then move into the shadowy patch of the doorframe and then proceed at my discretion into the room and onto the bed:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275328830182/screenshots/treasonplot/treasonplot2.jpg?height=301&width=400

-Dousing the gas light around the thief in the cafeteria puts him on 2nd alert.

-I had to trail the guard-looking thief in the office as there are no shadows in the room and the guard continously makes a circular patrol around the perimeter of the room.

-Although the darkloader mission text begins with a complete loot list, I tried not to look at it. Much of the loot is hidden in pitch black shadows, such as the gold cup on the floor next to the large ramp. One needs a flare to even see it.
-There is a blue gem behind a banner that can be frobbed without slashing the banner.
-The gambling room has one piece of loot that is a little difficult to reach. The floors are mostly marble with a thief who pivots very frequently and in a random manner. In addition, another thief enters the gambling room from time to time and the only safe place to hide is against the walls. I had to moss the marble floor, wait for the pivotting guard to turn away, and then run and jump onto the moss against the wall. Then I could lean forward and get the loot glasses:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275328840739/screenshots/treasonplot/treasonplot3.jpg?height=301&width=400

Hexameron
31st May 2010, 18:42
FM: The Auldale Chess Tournament
File: chess.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:40:46
Loot - 5692/5692
Pockets Picked - 3/5
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This is a breezy little hotel mission with no trouble spots. I doused a couple gas lights in the room with pivotting archer so I could get all of the masks on the wall using a rope arrow.

It doesn't look like the pivotting archer turns away from the wall very often, but when he does, that gives the player time to rope up and grab the masks:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275329052557/screenshots/auldalechess/auldalechess1.jpg?height=301&width=400

To sneak through the large suite with the chess pieces (obj), I had to douse a number of gas lights. Without dousing the gas lights, I would always be seen near the chessboard by the sentinel nobleman:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275329064000/screenshots/auldalechess/auldalechess2.jpg?height=301&width=400

-I found the information book (obj) under the nobleman's bed, and wow - this must be the longest readable I've ever encountered in an FM: it's a 20+ page technical treatise on chess. Reading just a couple of pages made my head hurt.

Hexameron
31st May 2010, 19:14
FM: Complications
File: complications.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:34:09
Loot - 2374/2489
Pockets Picked - 1/2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 1/1

Comments - Even though the third difficulty is named "N/A", the objectives are the same as normal, and I selected it so I would get the expert number of health shields. The AI in this mission have typically very short circuitous patrols that get annoying after a while. For example, lots of houses have one AI that just walks back and forth from one side of the room to the other. This challenged me a bit, especially in the undead dimension.

What's original about this mission is that the player first encounters the town in its normal state with human inhabitants. When you enter a magician's house, the door locks behind you and you must return to the town in another dimension in which the town is overrun by undead. This undead dimension allows the player to access areas that were blocked off in the normal dimension, but the undead dimension is harder to sneak through: the streets are illuminated by unnatural light sources and bonfires; a hustling and bustling contingent of haunts, zombies, and apparitions doesn't help either. It's quite a bear sneaking through this mess, especially around the town center.

-I got the loot in the house with the back-and-forth patrolling lady (across from Garrett's house) by circling around her flank as she turns.

-I couldn't get the copper coin stacks on the shelf behind bar; the barkeep has a very short back-and-forth patrol and the interior is bright as can be. I was able to get the wine bottles and purse on the table, but I couldn't get behind the counter:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275329132891/screenshots/complications/complications1.jpg?height=301&width=400

In the other dimension, the barkeep is absent and I can sneak into the pub, but the copper coin stacks do not exist in this dimension, so perfect thief is impossible:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275329142261/screenshots/complications/complications2.jpg?height=301&width=400

-Much of the mission involves lots of retracing of one's steps. One has to keep going back to each dimension to figure out what to do next. I used the shed key on the locked door behind Garrett's house. Under a bucket in the shed is Raphael's key, which is used on the door that locks you into the magician's house and keeps you from returning to the normal dimension. Once you open the door and return, a male nobleman holding a sword spawns in front of Garrett's house. A new objective is triggered to find a key that was apparently hidden by this guy. So I picked the box key off of his belt and then went back to the undead dimension. The key would unlock a moneybox in the pub containing another key. Now I could go to Garrett's house and open the locked door. It's a dizzying procedure :nut:

Raphael still blocks the door way, but once the door is unlocked, the mission ends. If I had to actually enter Garrett's house, I would be busted since Raphael bars the way.

-Interestingly, after I tried causing a ruckus and killed any undead, the dimensions got screwed up. After alerting all of the undead and killing some, I went back to the normal dimension and saw that wherever I had slain or disabled some zombies, their corpses would somehow teleport over to the normal dimension.

Hexameron
31st May 2010, 19:20
FM: February
File: february.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:13:36
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 1/2
Backstabs - 1 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 34 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 1

Cause of Failure:

- Cannot kill Ramford's ghost (obj) without alerting him.

Comments - There is no loot in this mission - just a few readables to find and a few trivial tasks to perform. I had to kill Ramford, the patrolling apparition upstairs, but I couldn't destroy him in one stroke. I only had a sword at my disposal, but an overhead slash didn't kill him instantly. One overhead strike and then another horizontal cut did the job. I couldn't tell if attacking Ramford alerted any haunts outside, but once Ramford's ghost vanishes, all the haunts disappear.

Hexameron
31st May 2010, 19:39
FM: Choose Your Own Adventure: Taffyski
File: cyoa.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:00:17
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Cause of Failure:

- Cannot maneuver through ski posts without being seen by all three guards

Comments - This Choose Your Own Adventure campaign includes three difficulty levels that are actually three different missions. Normal difficulty is called "Taffyski" and the hard and expert are "HauntGemA" and "HauntGemB" respectively. I decided to play Taffyski and the HauntGemB.

In Taffyski, the player is dropped into a bright snowy slope. Two archers overlook the slope and a guard immediately alerts to the player's presence:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275329218691/screenshots/cyoa/cyoa1.jpg?height=301&width=400

The objective is to maneuver through all three ski posts and jump over the ramp. Doing so without taking damage from the archers is I suppose the challenge here, but I did it after a few reloads. Once you get through all three pairs of ski posts, a button spawns and pressing it ends the mission.

FM: Choose Your Own Adventure: HauntGemB
File: cyoa.zip

Ghost - Failed and incomplete
Time - 00:02:55
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 12
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Cause of Failure:

- Cannot obtain precious diamond (obj) without being seen by haunts.

Comments - This mission is no better than the ski mission. The player must move through a maze of curtained chambers. Entering one curtained path might be a dead end and teleports you back to the beginning. It can be an endless labyrinth, but there is one way to defeat the whole thing: lean forward into the curtains and see where it leads. If there is a dead-end stone wall, the player should avoid stepping through it or else be teleported back. I kept leaning forward until I got to the last room with the precious diamond:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275329228980/screenshots/cyoa/cyoa2.jpg?height=301&width=400

Looting the diamond spawns two haunts which immediately see the player:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275329238799/screenshots/cyoa/cyoa3.jpg?height=301&width=400

What's worse is that there is another flock of haunts that spawn in the curtained maze. I tried many times to exit, but having five haunts in chase while trying to navigate that ridiculous maze left me enervated. I just couldn't get out without being killed. Here's my last sight as I fall dead from the swarm of haunts:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275329259659/screenshots/cyoa/cyoa5.jpg?height=301&width=400

Hexameron
31st May 2010, 19:48
FM: The Fever
File: Fever.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:10:16
Loot - 0/50
Pockets Picked - 1/3
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 46 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 4

Cause of Failure:

- Cannot proceed through portal and cure Christine's fever without killing three apebeasts and a little pagan girl.

Comments - This is a weird but well-done nightmarish mission. The hall of frozen zombies that don't alert to the player is chilling. Curing the fever of the little girl involves entering her dreams. There is one stage in which the player encounters a pagan sacrificial altar and a portal. The only way to proceed is to eliminate the apebeasts and pagan girl that step out of the portal:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275329347363/screenshots/fever/fever1.jpg?height=301&width=400

Once they're all dead, the objective to cure Christine's fever is completed. Back at the house, the mission ends when you read a note on the wall:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275329356711/screenshots/fever/fever2.jpg?height=301&width=400

Reading it causes two apebeasts and the little girl to spawn behind you. What I did to avoid being seen was to just hide in shadow and then read the note. That way they would just spawn and stand there - the mission ends a few seconds later:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275329365876/screenshots/fever/fever3.jpg?height=301&width=400

Hexameron
31st May 2010, 20:02
FM: The Night Shift
File: thenightshiftv1.1.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:43:11
Loot - 3474/3474
Pockets Picked - 1/3
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 5/6

Comments - This is an easy mission to ghost because virtually every light can be turned off. There are a number of materials that can be combined together to make things: the spring in the basement can make a gas bomb; the monkey's head in attic is used to make a scouting orb; the tool from Benny's toolbox repairs the broken arrows into assassin arrows.

-I was able to crouch and move through the room with the moving blue beams without tripping the alarm.

-There is a very well-hidden signet ring on the wooden structure that houses the lamp above the book of shadows; you need rope arrow to get up there:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275329423471/screenshots/nightshift/nightshift1.jpg?height=301&width=400

Although I said the mission was easy to ghost, ghosting may only be possible by tricking the mission to end before it really should. When you complete all objectives and enter the storage room, the lights turn on and the door closes behind you. A note is left by the closed door and in about 5-10 seconds, two bluecoats rush into the room (although they are running, they are not alerted):

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275329433648/screenshots/nightshift/nightshift2.jpg?height=301&width=400

After the 5-10 second timer, a new objective appears to find the "real book"; apparently, the one I looted is a fake. However, I had already been in the storage room and I picked the little lockbox that opens the grate leading into the sewer. Therefore, I was able to finish all my objectives, enter the storage room, and move as fast as I could into the sewers, which is where the mission exit is. In short, I tricked the mission to end before a new objective was about to trigger because I had completed all other objectives:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275329443707/screenshots/nightshift/nightshift3.jpg?height=301&width=400

This may be cheating the game, but hey, I completed it legitimately, even if I didn't do what the author intends. Also, it doesn't look very feasible to ghost the mission if you take on that new objective. Not only do you have to deal with those two bluecoats that run into the storage room, but also at least six more that spawn in the museum (and are alerted because the alarm trips after the new objective triggers). Sneaking around the museum with permanently 2nd alerted AI didn't appeal to me, so I'm fine with the cheating short cut I took.

Hexameron
31st May 2010, 21:26
FM: Sneaking Through Venice
File: WC_SneakingthroughVenice.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:32:28
Loot - 1245/1320
Pockets Picked - 3/12
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 3
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 1
Secrets Found - 3/3

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot kill Negretto (obj) without alerting him and two other thieves.

2. Cannot drop down into secret grotto with treasure chest (obj) without alerting a number of AI.

Comments - I encountered a lot of sound propagation issues in this mission; AI in different buildings or on other floors often heard me and went on 2nd alert.

-I couldn't pick the vault door from beneath the apartment at mission start without alerting the two thieves, so I had to enter the apartment through its window using a rope arrow. There is a hard-to-see switch above the door frame in this house that opens a compartment near the curtain.

-I entered the casino via the window at the bottom of the canal. To get in without being seen by the gamblers, I had to douse both gas lights inside. Even then, I had to drop down and dart quickly under the counter because of the lamp that still illuminates the room:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275263980560/screenshots/sneakingvenice/sneakingvenice2.jpg?height=301&width=400

Then I hugged the wall and zipped past, making sure to hit the light switch to the lamp. I also needed to douse two gas lights on the upper floor of the casino so I could lean forward and nab the purse from the nobleman by the gambling table. I couldn't move into the room any further to reach the coin stacks without being seen by the other gamblers.

-I had to use two moss arrows on the tile hallway that connects the gambling den with the kitchen. I couldn't sneak across in time before the patrolling female thief would have me in her sights; running was necessary.

-In the kitchen, I was able to get 2 of the plates on the wall near the servant; to reach the other, I would have to douse one of the gas lights; I didn't do this in case I would need to save my water arrows for a greater purpose.

-To get into the lady's room without being seen by the thieves guarding the landing, I could either nudge one or mantle onto the electric light. I opted for the latter:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275263989168/screenshots/sneakingvenice/sneakingvenice3.jpg?height=301&width=400

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275263999782/screenshots/sneakingvenice/sneakingvenice4.jpg?height=301&width=400

-There is a switch on the window frame in the lady's room that moves the pedestal revealing a secret hideout. I couldn't land on the vault door (in order to reach it with a picklock) without making metal foot noise, so in order to pick it, I CCCed to the very edge of the corner without falling onto it.

-In the secret hideout is where my ghost bust occurs. Before I get to that, I must say that picking the door down here tends to alert least one thief on the upper floor; I actually reloaded a bunch of times and did manage to pick it and get only first alerts, but it took so many reloads that the probability of success is low.

-Next is the chest surrounded by a fence. The floor looks like stucco, but has a metal texture:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275264008344/screenshots/sneakingvenice/sneakingvenice5.jpg?height=301&width=400

Opening the chest causes the floor to disappear and the player to fall into a pool of water, which alerts three newly spawned thieves. It is possible, though, to wiggle your way in between the chest and the light above. It's a delicate action because of the metal floor, but if you crouch next to the chest and jump, you'll stay stuck on the edge:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275264017663/screenshots/sneakingvenice/sneakingvenice6.jpg?height=301&width=400

Then, after opening the chest, the floor disappears and you won't fall into the water, but remain on the very edge:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275264029949/screenshots/sneakingvenice/sneakingvenice7.jpg?height=301&width=400

Now I could safely avoid the pool of water - it's a nice trick, but it didn't help me ghost this one. There are three thieves including Negretto (whom I must kill per an objective) that spawn in a nearby room and I could not sneak in there without being seen - the electric lights foiled me:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275264042724/screenshots/sneakingvenice/sneakingvenice8.jpg?height=301&width=400

So I lured them towards me and knocked each one out. I dropped Negretto into the pool of water and went down there myself to get the treasure chest. Falling into the water makes a splash that alerts the two thieves and noblewoman on the floor above. If the sound propagation wasn't screwed up, they shouldn't have heard me.

Hexameron
31st May 2010, 21:36
FM: A. K. A. Noah
File: WC_akaNoah.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:21:01
Loot - 1999/1999
Pockets Picked - 3/4
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 1/1

Comments - Nice and short atmospheric mission that takes place in a stormy seaside mansion.

-The two guards in the mansion are easy to sneak by, although one occasionally gets stuck on the banister at the top floor.

-Much of the loot consists of unusual items that looked like junk, so I got in the habit of frobbing everything.

-I had a choice of either throwing a bucket of water or using a water arrow on the elemental plate in Noah's study (frobbing book in the library moves the painting to reveal the plate). Throwing the bucket makes enough noise to alert the guards, so I opted for the water arrow alternative.

-I heard some crayman noises in the subterranean cavern, but never found the source. Instead, there are two bluecoats down there. All there is to do in this cavern is go into the room with the water elementals, read the diary on the table, and move to the unfrobabble gate a few meters away (it's apparently an exit).

-There is an optional objective to free the elementals, but I couldn't figure out how to do it. Plus, the water elementals are aggressive (they are reskinned fire elementals), so I didn't want to take the chance of alerting them.

Hexameron
4th Jun 2010, 00:43
FM: In These Enlightened Times...
File: WC_InTheseEnlightenedTimes.zip

Ghost - Success (Chemical) or Failed; I need a second opinion :scratch:
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:38:52
Loot - 855/1025
Pockets Picked - 7/7
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 2/4
Hidden Objectives - 3/3

Comments - I can't be sure if I can claim a ghost success on this one or not. After taking the staff (objective), three ghosts spawn in the ruins and patrol unalerted. In addition, a visible energy barrier is created that prevents the player from returning to the mission start. The only way to remove the barrier is to dispatch the ghosts. These ghosts carry ankhs on their belts, which can be pick pocketed:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275263655779/screenshots/inenlightened/inenlightened3.jpg?height=301&width=400

The ankhs can be picked without even drawing a first alert from them, and once the ankhs are frobbed, the ghosts vanish in a puff of smoke without even a death cry:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275263667069/screenshots/inenlightened/inenlightened4.jpg?height=301&width=400

I was able to pick the ankhs of all three ghosts without one first alert, and when all three ghosts are gone, a voiceover that sounds like The Eye moans something and the barrier disappears. No damage or kills are reported in the stats, but since there is no explicit objective to "destroy the spirits", I am unsure if dispatching them (even when it's necessary to eliminate the barrier and get back to the starting point) is an acceptable action for ghosting. Thoughts anyone?

Other Notes

-I could only access the ruins by jumping into the water at the mission start and swimming there; making a splash anywhere else tends to alert the patrolling thief.

-To get around the two thieves next to the Cthulhu statue, I had to carefully jump onto the horizontal beams and move across to the wall with the torch. Then I could land on the torch and subsequently the wooden platform:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275263632918/screenshots/inenlightened/inenlightened1.jpg?height=301&width=400

-Frobbing the sword in the archaelogist's corpse causes his spirit (a patrolling apparition that does not alert to player) to dissipate and a new objective to release his soul simultaneously triggers and checks off.

-I used a few water arrows around the place, but one is absolutely necesary above the submerged staircase. Since the patrolling spider invariably has the staircase in his view, one cannot move down there without being in darkness.

-I could not take a step down into the submerged staircase without making a splash noise. This almost always alerts the patrolling spider. There is, however, a way to enter the water unheard: wait for the patrolling spider to make his way into the room on the left. He must be at the very end of his patrol inside the room so that the sound propagation works in your favor. In my experience, if the spider is at any other point in his patrol, he will hear the water splash. This screenshot is murky, I know, but the arrow points to where the spider has completely entered the room and I have safely lowered myself into the water:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275263645048/screenshots/inenlightened/inenlightened2.jpg?height=301&width=400

-I needed to use two breath potions during my swimming expedition through the submerged part of the chapel. One was quaffed so I could have enough air to pick the locked door to the room with the staff. One more breath potion was downed so that I could get the staff and swim all the way back to the surface.

Hexameron
11th Jun 2010, 01:33
FM: Strange Meeting
File: SeltsameBegegnungV2.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:22:08
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 7992 Damage taken - 5
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 6

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot sneak by hammerite in library.

2. Cannot sneak by two thieves beyond the library.

3. Cannot sneak by pagan in grassy area.

4. Cannot sneak by combat bot in bright room.

5. Cannot sneak by zombie outside of cell.

6. Cannot kill treebeast or Garrett clone (killing one of them becomes an objective depending upon the player's actions) without alerting them.

Comments - This may be the worst FM I've ever played :hmm:. It's one of those missions that not only mocks your attempts at stealth with rudely-placed AI that must be confronted, but it features the most complicated puzzle I have ever encountered in any mission. I have no compunction in admitting that I had to search TTLG for answers to this puzzle, which I'll explain in a moment.

There is perhaps only one AI that the player can actually avoid alerting and that's the pagan woman standing in the white chamber with marble floors. All others will be alerted by the time the player makes it to the end. There is no sword, BJ, or any useful equipment except for some flash bombs, and they instantly kill AI when dropped, so I averted the inevitable frontal assaults by killing every AI in this fashion. I don't know if it's possible to sneak beyond the mechanist bot without taking damage: it patrols in a compact, bright, and marble-floored room that can only be entered and exited by mantling onto open slit windows. I purposefully alerted the bot and caused it to continuously shoot bombs into the wall until it disabled itself from the explosions.

Once in the prison, I was stuck. I also couldn't help but alert a zombie facing the cell that the player teleports into:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275264284709/screenshots/strangemeeting/strangemeeting1.jpg?height=301&width=400

There is no conventional way out of this cell. The puzzle of getting out is so insanely difficult, especially when there are no in-game hints or readables about it, that I cannot imagine anyone figuring it out unless they consult the TTLG thread.

Here is the sequence of actions the player must have the instinct to perform:

1) Pick up the wooden chair and the spoon that functions like a key when used;
2) Use the spoon on the little burrow in the ground and pick up the dead hand;
3) Drop the wooden chair on the planks of the camp fire;
4) Pick up the electrical device situated outside of the cell that is close enough to the bars;
5) Drop the electrical device next to the chair so that when you frob the device, it makes a clicking sound;
6) Pick up the boulder and throw it at the gas light on the wall! (:eek:)
7) The gas light is now frobbable (makes sense :rolleyes:) and you can drop the gas light bottle onto the chair and then you get a lit camp fire;
8) Then drop the dead hand onto the fire and you get a hand bone; but wait! There's more!
9) Now throw the boulder at the hand bone and it turns into a finger bone! (Of course, isn't that obvious? :rolleyes:)
10) Finally, use the finger bone as a lockpick to unlock the cell door.

I would have never gotten past step 6 without help from the forums. I am stunned that the author expected the average player to know to do all of the above without a single clue.

There's one more difficult puzzle once the player gets out -- oh, and there is no equipment to deal with the zombie, so one just keeps it in chase while exploring. The ritual chamber looked like a dead end to me, but the player must either drop the body of the pagan girl (found in a nearby cell) on the fire until the girl is killed, or step into the fire and take damage himself. Again, there are no readables to suggest this. How hard would it have been to create a book that details or implies that some kind of sacrifice or shedding of blood is needed to activate the portal? I opted to damage myself and even that worked only after I took multiple health-shield damage from the fire.

By now I had found all of the sword parts (parry guard is at the top of the white chamber; blade of hate is on the pagan stone; sword knob is available after escaping the ritual chamber). Dropping all parts into the blood water in the forge makes a spike appear; frobbing that teleports the player to a place with two doors. Only one of the doors will be accessible owing to the choice the player made back in the ritual chamber of either taking damage or dropping the girl onto the fire. So what's my final objective beyond this door? Kill a treebeast standing by a dead thief on a small ledge above some lava... :scratch:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275264293554/screenshots/strangemeeting/strangemeeting2.jpg?height=301&width=400

Hexameron
11th Jun 2010, 02:03
FM: Dangerous Conditions
File: WC_DangerousConditions.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:11:24
Loot - 180/270
Pockets Picked - 2/2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This is a short mission with one scripted event that could conceptually be a ghost bust. After dropping the powder A and G on a contraption in the lab, an explosive device appears. One of the objectives is to place it in the storage room and get out without being seen. Once I placed the device in the storage room and left the tunnel leading to the lab, a scripted explosion (not a real one that would alert AI) occurs with impressive visual smoke and debris flowing out of the tunnel:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275263400188/screenshots/dangerousconditions/dangerousconditions1.jpg?height=301&width=400

Afterwards, a bluecoat and the chemist from a nearby shack run over and begin a scripted conversation about the accident. "This isn't standard procedure" the guard says; a clever sequence of original Thief 2 sound files create a genuine conversation between the guard and chemist, and judging from their remarks, they don't suspect foul play:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275263425685/screenshots/dangerousconditions/dangerousconditions3.jpg?height=301&width=400

When the conversation is over, they walk away unalerted:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275263437328/screenshots/dangerousconditions/dangerousconditions5.jpg?height=301&width=400

One could argue philosophically that this is a bust since AI are seen to be reacting to a noise and deviate from their normal positions, but I saw no evidence of technical alerts. The explosion is not a real one or else the nobleman outside of the hut would have heard it, and the alert level of all AI remains at zero as if nothing happened.

What's weird is that there is an optional objective to not alert anyone before placing the explosive device in the storage room. If you fail that, a new objective appears to put everyone into the storage room before using the explosive device. I guess the author intends the player to KO everyone and drop their bodies in there so that no witnesses are left behind. But if you don't alert anyone and then place the explosive box in the storage room, a different new objective triggers that states that I really can't alert or harm anyone now that the bomb is in place - this new objective will be checked off when the game is finished, but the aforementioned optional one is cancelled out. At any rate, I didn't technically alert them -- even the new objective proves I didn't, but I'm open to disagreement.

Hexameron
11th Jun 2010, 03:30
FM: Relics
File: Relics.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:32:15
Loot - 1875/1875
Pockets Picked - 1/3
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Bodies Discovered by Enemies - 3

Causes of Failure:

1. Must break wood planks blocking door to crypt; doing so alerts a haunt.

2. Cannot retrieve loot in sarcophagi hall without alerting at least one haunt.

3. Cannot get Brother Aaron's hammer (objective) without alerting four skeletons.

4. Must kill and alert ten zombies in order to collect all loot (objective).

Comments - This mission can be an annoyance if one doesn't inspect every room closely since on expert difficulty there is an objective to collect all loot. So at the starting point, I made sure to rope up to the rafters in the chapel and my hunch was rewarded: there is a lootable mask up there.

I encountered a ghost bust very early in the game; the wood planks blocking a door must be destroyed. Incidentally, the noise alerts a haunt beyond the door:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275263764274/screenshots/relics/relics1.jpg?height=301&width=400

I waited for the haunt to calm down and proceeded to ghost the rest of the mission. I had to douse the torches in this corridor or else the observing skeleton would see me moving by:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275263772811/screenshots/relics/relics2.jpg?height=301&width=400

I found it impossible to move about stealthily in the tiled-floor sarcophagi hall. I had enough moss to carpet the area, but the problem is that this room is illuminated by an unnatural glowing light source that brightens the room at quick intervals. With one idle skeleton observing the entrance and two patrolling haunts, it was a challenging area to get through. I managed it only by entering the hall via the upper balcony. I shot some moss down to the sarcophagus and surrounding floor and placed a rope arrow above the hall:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275263793503/screenshots/relics/relics4.jpg?height=301&width=400

Even though I could get down quietly and quickly backpedal away from the haunts with a 1st alert, I wouldn't be able to sneak to all four corners of the hall to retrieve the LC jars. When one haunt is patrolling away, the other is moving in an opposite direction, so I knew this was a no-go. I decided to leave the loot for later.

-I got the rosary without disturbing the apparitions; I just roped up to the far left balcony and jumped quietly onto the wooden railing.

-I got the hilt with no problems. Once the hilt is taken, a stream of traps are set off and a number of fire and magic projectiles continuously fill the room, but I just crouched and moved by without being hit.

-Then there is the chamber where Brother Aaron's hammer is kept. Four skeletons guard a bright area with a checkered board of pressure plates that must be stepped on in a specific order. The skeletons do not initially alert to the player:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275263806049/screenshots/relics/relics5.jpg?height=301&width=400

It's only after taking the hammer that one skeleton is scripted to go on 2nd alert. It and the others will now recognize and alert to the player's presence:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275263816432/screenshots/relics/relics6.jpg?height=301&width=400

There is no way to get out now without being seen by all four skeletons, so I had to run with them in tow. I took the opportunity to go back to the hall and get those LC jars and consequently alerted two haunts and another skeleton.

The last bit of loot must be generated into existence by destroying the ten zombies in a dark dungeon pit:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275263784202/screenshots/relics/relics3.jpg?height=301&width=400

I've never come across this before where loot is spawned by killing foes. There is a panel of red buttons and pushing them activates a series of traps in the pit that eventually kill the zombies. After each zombie is slain or knocked down, a piece of loot appears on the table in the pit:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275263838415/screenshots/relics/relics8.jpg?height=301&width=400

Each zombie must therefore be taken out so that all loot will be manifested on the table.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1275263826980/screenshots/relics/relics7.jpg?height=301&width=400

Hexameron
12th Jun 2010, 00:22
FM: A Winter Holiday
File: ferie_en.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:25:38
Loot - 3420/3425
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot enter crypt below lighthouse without alerting haunt.

2. Must break icicle to retrieve scepter (objective)

Comments - This Polish mission takes place in a frozen swamp with a cabin and an old lighthouse. Entering the water of the frozen pond does damage to the player and there is only one AI in the mission. The objectives are to "ensure that my instructions have been carried out" (I never knew what that means, but I imagine there is something lost in translation) and find "as much loot as I can."

Reading a book in the cabin satisfies the "instructions" objective, but triggers a few more to get a keeper medallion, a scepter, an antique angel, and food. The key to the larder is on the floor in the old lighthouse. Underneath the lighthouse is a secret room with the requisite loot (3000), but I was stumped for a while on how to actually gain entry beneath. There is a lighter-colored wood panel in the floor that looks like a secret door, but I searched and frobbed manically until my right-clicking finger hurt; I could find no switch in the lighthouse:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1276286303572/screenshots/winterholiday/winterholiday1.jpg?height=300&width=400

The only solution to opening the panel that I discovered was throwing a nearby boulder at it. As soon as the boulder makes an impact, the panel slides away. Unfortunately, the noise from the boulder hitting the floor alerts the haunt patrolling below:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1276286333674/screenshots/winterholiday/winterholiday3.jpg?height=300&width=400

As for the medallion, it's located in a niche beneath the larder on an ice floe surrounding the cabin's foundation. Finding the scepter is more complex. There is a section of icicles hanging off the roof of the cabin that highlights when the player approaches; Garrett then says "Hmm."

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1276286371665/screenshots/winterholiday/winterholiday7.jpg?height=300&width=400

Breaking the icicle causes the scepter to manifest and drop to an ice floe. Although breaking ice is one of the more absurd examples of "property damage", it is a bust nonetheless.

Hexameron
12th Jun 2010, 00:43
FM: Mann Mansion
File: MannMansionV.1.1.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:07:23
Loot - 880/880
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - A very small mission - although there are little to no shadows, ghosting it is a mindless exercise. All idle AI face the walls and the one patrolling guard in the dining room is easy to get around.

The only slightly challenging aspect of the FM is getting 860 loot per the objective on expert. There is one well-hidden piece of loot: a ring underneath a potted plant on the dining room table:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1276287441372/screenshots/mannmansion/mannmansion2a.jpg?height=300&width=400

Hexameron
12th Jun 2010, 00:56
FM: A Wedding at the Bar
File: tnh-watb.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:10:49
Loot - 4229/4229
Pockets Picked - 0/15
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This FM is more like a demo of scripted AI behavior. The objectives are to swap the wine and water labels on their respective casks located in the backroom of the pub. That way when the guests are served water, they'll actually drink wine and fall unconscious from intoxication. I could only enter the backroom of the pub when the idle bluecoat looks away; otherwise, he would go on 2nd alert. Even then, the servant girl inside stands close to the casks, but I could lean forward enough to frob the labels. After this, one must simply wait for the scripted events to unfold. It takes a while - about 8 minutes of waiting and watching. First, the guests attend a music recital.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1276287688622/screenshots/weddingatthebar/weddingatthebar1.jpg?height=300&width=400

Then the bluecoat leaves the building and the guests gather in the pub and start drinking. One guest even sits down at a chair and plays a horn. Shortly after, the guests fall unconscious. The purses on their belts, which were previously unfrobbable when they were in the concert hall, can now be looted with impunity.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1276287703586/screenshots/weddingatthebar/weddingatthebar2.jpg?height=300&width=400

Tannar
12th Jun 2010, 05:35
Nice reports, Hex! I agree that Strange Meeting is a little frustrating. I was determined to figure out the puzzle in the cell for myself but finally had to give up and look for a hint on the forum.

Hexameron
12th Jun 2010, 17:26
FM: The Dream of Tyrus
File: TheDreamOfTyrus.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:53:13
Loot - 1145/1200
Pockets Picked - 10/18
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Cause of Failure:

- Cannot reach rooftops without being seen by at least one archer in the watch towers.

Comments - This is a bizarre mission with huge open areas, inaccessible places, and a confusing plot: the player is tasked with helping a woman have an abortion! I never thought I would see that in Thief. The only objective in this mission (other than not harming innocents) entails three steps: find an abortion arrow, use it on a woman named Julia, and go back to the starting point to pick up a "package." By the way, this mission can only be played on Normal difficulty.

I was able to ghost almost all of the mission, but the ultimate bust was getting to the roof. Here's the situation: I only found one way to access the top of the buildings and that involves ascending the tall clocktower with a drunk guard at the bottom. If anyone knows of another way, even if it involves climbing, I'd like to know. At the top of the clocktower is an opening with a horizontal bronze pipe that functions as a bridge between the clocktower and the rooftops. But as soon as I stepped onto the pipe, one or both of the two archers who patrol in their watchtowers immediately saw me and started firing:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1276289128108/screenshots/dreamoftyrus/dreamoftyrus9c.jpg?height=300&width=400

This isn't natural. Those archers are so far away that they shouldn't even utter a first alert to my presence. I noticed this also back at the hospital with the thief standing on the balcony. There is a potential to be seen by the nearby archer in his watchtower. I swear these archers can see in the dark. I even waited on the edge of the roof of the building with two inclines and everytime the archer made his round, he muttered a 1st alert even though my light gem was at its darkest.

Back at the clocktower, I reloaded a handful of times and tried to get across unseen, but never had any success. It may be possible to do this and if there is another way to get onto the roof, this mission could be safely ghosted.

Other than this one situation with the archers, I had no other major ghosting issues:

-In the large marble-floored chapel, I had to maneuver over the balcony and use a rope arrow to get back because the main entryway into the pew area is too bright and observed by two guards.

-The building with the two inclines across from the hospital with a thief on the balcony already presented a challenge with that archer who has infravision. But dealing with the thief himself is tough as well. I found that I could not run across the banner signpost without being seen by the thief. Instead, I used a rope arrow on the wooden ledge under the window with the telescope. I could then jump across and land on the rope and climb up with only a first alert from the thief.

-The drunk green guard at the bottom of the clocktower doesn't seem to alert to the player.

-I could sneak across the pipe leading to the sanatorium without being seen by the drunk archer (who is even closer to the pipe than the aforementioned ones).

-The apparition in the attic of the sanatorium isn't a problem as long as his back is turned. But he does seem to be hypersensitive.

-Once down in the sanatorium, I carefully searched one of the inmate rooms and found the abortion arrows on the floor under the table:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1276288792047/screenshots/dreamoftyrus/dreamoftyrus012.jpg?height=300&width=400

-I then proceeded to a large garden with apparitions and a very frightening child zombie in a shed. I only discovered how to reach Julia on the balcony by getting a scare from the child zombie. I opened the shed door and was startled by the 3rd alerted child with such unnatural speed that she could outrun a haunt. I turned towards the wall and started jumping to avoid being hit. To my great surprise, I stuck to the wall instead. It turns out that the vine, which doesn't look out of the ordinary, can be climbed. Obviously, I reloaded and avoided the shed entirely. But through that careless bust, I figured out how to reach Julia on the balcony.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1276288815570/screenshots/dreamoftyrus/dreamoftyrus013.jpg?height=300&width=400

Shooting her with the abortion arrow is like shooting an AI with a water arrow. It doesn't alert or cause damage. In this case, the result is a little disturbing: I shoot the woman with the abortion arrow and a bizarre scene unfolds with a baby cradle falling from the balcony to the ground:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1276288831797/screenshots/dreamoftyrus/dreamoftyrus014.jpg?height=300&width=400

Hexameron
12th Jun 2010, 17:51
FM: Annihilated
File: annihilated.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:03:24
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 1/2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 82 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 6

Cause of Failure:

- Cannot destroy the zombies (objective) without causing multiple alerts.

Comments - The mission starts with a noblewoman being slain in a hallway and a few zombies becoming 2nd alerted:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1276289318147/screenshots/annihilated/annihilated1.jpg?height=300&width=400

I was able to sneak by the zombie after he calms down. I could even slink into the foyer and get the footlocker key without upsetting the zombie with the blue lightsaber (yes, I believe it really is a lightsaber :D). The locked footlocker contains an arsenal of fire arrows and this is the only means of disposing the zombies in this mission. So what could have been an interesting undead mission with considerable ghosting challenges ended in a first-person shoot-em-up with fire arrows. Once all zombies are destroyed, the mission ends.

I just have to say that I'm disappointed and baffled by this enforced melee fest, especially when the mission design itself is superb. The interior architecture is gorgeous; the ceiling dome with a small bird flying in the sky is breathtaking; the textures, the meticulous attention to decor, and the light fixtures are all top-notch. But what does this very talented author have the player do? Kill zombies... That just seems so degrading to the quality of the dromeding here.

Hexameron
13th Jun 2010, 17:15
FM: Citadel of Wrath-Amon
File: cytadela_en.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:27:35
Loot - 7000/7000
Pockets Picked - 0/8
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - No ghosting problems - this is a fun little fantasy mission with an orc fortress for the setting. Although I wasn't challenged very much, the thick orc patrols in the narrow corridors necessitated a lot of darting around and moving from room to room. The orc downstairs gave me the most trouble because of his patrol up the long winding staircase which offered no space for hiding. Whether I wanted to ascend or descend the stairs, I had to either wait at the bottom or top of the staircase and wait for him to walk by.

It also took me a while to finally discover the money in the guards quarters (objective). It's found behind a secret wall that opens from frobbing a small lever. The lever is barely visible for being ensconced in the wall above the bunkbed at the end of the room:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1276289553287/screenshots/citadelwrathamon/citadelwrath2a.jpg?height=300&width=400

After reading a scroll in the officer's quarters, I knew to look for a vital key on the pyre at the top of the fort. The key is used on a lockbox that reveals a lever buried behind a wall of crates in the storage room. Switching the lever opens a wall in the chapel on the second floor. Beyond this wall is a chamber with Wrath-Amon's helmet (objective). A floor panel in front of the helmet reads "be quick or be dead", but when I expected a volley of fire arrows or some other deadly trap, I later discovered that the wall in the chapel had closed, thereby sealing me inside the chamber. So the warning actually alludes to the fact that the wall in the chapel slowly closes after the helmet is taken. This may be even worse than physical traps because if you quicksave after taking the helmet and don't rush back, the wall closes and you're trapped. If you don't have any other saved games, you would have to restart the mission:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1276289381313/screenshots/citadelwrathamon/citadelwrath3.jpg?height=300&width=400

I never tried to find out, but I wonder if there is a way to open the wall again if the player doesn't make it out in time. From what I saw, I doubt it, and thus reloading or restarting is the only option. At any rate, I didn't quicksave after taking the helmet. So when I didn't make it back through the closing wall in time, all I had to do was reload and know to rush out of the chamber after nabbing the helmet.

Hexameron
13th Jun 2010, 18:10
TDM FM: The Builder's Influence

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:21:14
Loot - 3750/4515
Pockets Picked - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Kills - 0 Knockouts - 0
Stealth Score - 7

Comments - I had only one difficult spot in this mission, but my main concern while sneaking through the building with predominantly marble floors was to keep my stealth score high. I would have had a score of 9 if I hadn't decided to get the loot from two footlockers with AI sitting a few inches away. The problem was the marble floors; I couldn't get close enough to the footlockers without making foot noise. In hindsight I didn't need to get the loot in these footlockers, but I chose to since there is a 3500 loot requirement and I didn't know how much loot was available in the mission (one of my wishes for improvements to TDM would be to allow the player to view his statistics after he dies or fails the mission, much like in the original Thief games. At present, the player has to wait until he legitimately finishes the mission until he can learn how much loot exists).

My only ghosting issue was in the office with Gerrard's tax records. There is an idle guard who stands close by the cabinet containing the records. Since I was trying for a high stealth score, I had to ensure that he would never be 1st alerted. What's odd is that he will stand in place permanently unless and until he is 1st alerted. In essence, 1st alerts break him free and causes him to carry out his routine patrol in the room, which would have made ghosting easier. I didn't know about this until much later.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1276289860072/thedarkmod/buildersinfluence/buildersinf6.jpg?height=300&width=400

I didn't dare move any closer to the guard without dousing the light to the left. Then I was able to sneak up to the chair around the corner and mantle onto the bookshelf. I couldn't get down quietly to the floor, though, without using a moss arrow:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1276289900019/thedarkmod/buildersinfluence/buildersinf012.jpg?height=300&width=400

I took the tax records (objective) without disturbing him. I was even able to mantle onto the bookshelf behind him and get the two pieces of loot on the small table in between the bookshelf and the wall.

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1276289910388/thedarkmod/buildersinfluence/buildersinf013.jpg?height=300&width=400

Finally, I hopped back onto the bookshelves and made my way back, but I needed to use yet another moss arrow (my last one) on the floor so I could drop down unheard:

http://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1276289922198/thedarkmod/buildersinfluence/buildersinf016.jpg?height=300&width=400

As I said earlier, it turns out that a 1st alert will make the guard start his normal patrol of moving to each corner of the room and even sitting down in a chair. But even when I had instigated some 1st alerts earlier, I always assumed that he was moving because it was a deviating investigation - that is, an alert level between 1st and 2nd. I insantly reloaded without giving it another thought. It never occurred to me to watch him carefully after he was 1st alerted, which I did do eventually. Bottom line: I didn't end up disturbing him or initiating his patrol because I stuck to the bookshelves that surround the room and used moss to soften my drop to the floor.

Hexameron
15th Aug 2010, 21:15
FM: CZSK Council
File: czskcouncil.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:17:10
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 2 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 109 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 4

Cause of Failure:

- Cannot kill Rogue Keeper (objective) without alerting him in the process

Comments - This mission was made by the same author who gave us the WaterWay Tunnel series. What's involved here is a lot of puzzles and assassinations. Four AI have to be killed and in a slightly specific order owing to the lack of equipment and weapons.

Killing the rogue keeper and maintaining ghost mode is not possible. Two fire arrows are conveniently located outside of his locked room; the key to this door is actually spawned by pressing the Ramirez button (the key appears in the water tunnels). Even with the keeper unalerted at a long distance away, a single fire arrow does not instantly kill him:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1281900232866/screenshots/czsk/czsk7.jpg?height=301&width=400

One more fire arrow shot did, but there is my only ghost bust in the mission.

One of the more enigmatic aspects of this mission is that a particular apple must be frobbed to open a shaft with a secret button. Since I rarely loot apples for any reason and they looked so innocuously displayed on the fruit stand, I didn't give it a second thought. It's only when I got stuck and then re-investigated every room that I finally noticed one apple opens a wall panel. I couldn't crouch and get into the tunnel to reach the button, so I fired a broadhead at it:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1281900123660/screenshots/czsk/czsk1.jpg?height=301&width=400

Once that's done, another secret area opens up where Aspirin, a male thief stands. I was able to slink to his right profile and kill him instantly with a backstab. Later, I dispatched Norbik (the hammerite) with a single broadhead without problems. In one room of the wealthy house is an empty chest; inside it is a button that opens a way to Karras. Per the objective, I killed him instantly with an overhead slash.

Getting to Yohny (haunt wearing thief apparel) is not intuitive. I just happened to notice after jumping onto a wagon behind the fruit store that part of the black sky texture below the brown fence is a crawlspace; it's not visible unless standing on the wagon. The passage leads to a maze where Yohny resides at one dead end:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1281900134563/screenshots/czsk/czsk2.jpg?height=301&width=400

Yohny cannot be killed instantly by any means. A will-o-wisp floats above him making a frontal approach impossible. I was able to lean around the corner and remain in darkness, but even firing a holy water arrow at him only hurts him. Fortunately, I discovered that Yohny does not need to be killed to complete the objective. Rather, pressing the small button inside Yohny's alcove is what transports the player back to the fruit store and ticks off the objective. But to reach the button, I had to carefully lean around the alcove entrance and continue frobbing until I touched it:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1281900204345/screenshots/czsk/czsk5.jpg?height=300&width=400

Hexameron
15th Aug 2010, 21:36
FM: The Creepy Temple
File: TheCreepyTemple.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:26:50
Loot - 1150/1300
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 2 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 96 Damage taken - 9
Healing taken - 4 Kills - 4

Cause of Failure:

1. Cannot sneak past apparition at top of staircase.

2. Cannot sneak to the masks on the wall at top of tower because of an invisible apparition.

3. Cannot sneak by invisible apparitions in the chapel in order to get the masks, eye, and key.

4. Cannot sneak by spider in tunnel leading to horn.

5. Cannot sneak by treebeast in crypt.

Comments - There is no reason to expand much further upon my experiences in this FM. It is a virtually a reskinned version of The Mechanist Cathedral (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showpost.php?p=1258925&postcount=163), which was not very pleasant to play: huge open spaces, sloppy AI placement, and very little consideration for stealthy options.

I had to use a healing potion because I took a lot of damage from gas plants blocking the way to the horn (objective). There is not enough room to get over the gas plants or wiggle through them. Towards the end, I gave up trying to sneak around and ended up killing a lot of AI. I have to say that the invisible apparitions may be one of the most challenging and frustrating AI I've yet encountered. Trying to sneak by something that you can't see and which doesn't move or make a sound is pretty hopeless...

Hexameron
15th Aug 2010, 22:52
FM: Broken Hammers
File: brokenhammersv2.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:44:13
Loot - 300/600
Pockets Picked - 2/6
Backstabs - 1 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 36 Damage taken - 6
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 2

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot sneak by haunt standing between house and wall.

2. Must destroy a wall with an explosive device.

Comments - This FM is intense and very frustrating. It has lots of pointless and unnecessary areas that are huge and jam-packed with AI. The abandoned city section is the worst. I haven't seen so many AI and potential ghosting problems since T1's "Escape." Many haunts with lanterns patrol the streets and dozens of haunts watch the streets from atop the city's buildings. The roofs are tiled, making sneaking too irritating to attempt. Compounding this is that walking too close to some buildings causes debris to hit the ground and make noise, potentially alerting haunts.

What exasperates me the most is that this entire area has no purpose that I could tell; the player could spend an hour sneaking around or just avoid it entirely and it would not matter. I did hear a scripted monologue where some guy was pleading for my help, but I couldn't see or find him. I suppose this might have lead to an optional objective, but I don't think any reward would have been worth the effort. After I explored this city for 20 minutes and realized there was nothing here, not loot, equipment, or anything to do except sneak into empty rooms and towers, I reloaded to an earlier save and left the whole city.

There is an optional objective to find a sword and my equipment, but I never did. It would be nice to know if that equipment cache exists and if there are any moss or water arrows included. Basically, I found only one rope arrow and it was mighty useful, but this is all I had at my disposal throughout the mission. By the way, the player starts the mission with only four health shields.

Ghosting Issues

The first problem I encountered was getting across the metal catwalk above the chapel. As soon as you walk over the catwalk, an electric light is triggered to turn on, which means the haunt archer below in the pews can see. At least he pivots, but even then, he didn't turn away long enough for me to sneak across. So I had to run instead of walk over the catwalk - I was high up enough that the haunts below didn't hear the footnoise:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1281900457679/screenshots/brokenhammers/brokenhammers1.jpg?height=301&width=400

The next big challenge is the haunt facing the opening in the wall. The opening is on an incline, but the haunt will see the player exiting and dropping onto the other side. This is a tough one and while I can't claim a ghost success for this FM, I'm proud to have figured out how to sneak by this one haunt:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1281900468375/screenshots/brokenhammers/brokenhammers2.jpg?height=301&width=400

As can be seen in the screenshot, the haunt stares at the hole in the wall and there is no darkness to take advantage of - at least none that can be readily seen. On the very left tip of the incline is a patch of marginal shadow. I was able to run up to this shadow patch and stop just before falling out with only a first alert from the haunt:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1281900477701/screenshots/brokenhammers/brokenhammers3.jpg?height=301&width=400

It might seem straightforward from here - just drop down right? Not really. Foot noise is unavoidable if you crouch and try to land on the coal pile; the momentum and ramp-shape of the coal is what does it. There is another place to land, though: in between the wall and coal. But I found that once I fell here, I became permanently stuck and unable to jump out. It took several reloads until I could fall against the wall and wiggle my way out of the crack.

My little victory here was short-lived, not a few yards beyond this haunt is another one standing in a narrow space, blocking my only way out:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1281900506239/screenshots/brokenhammers/brokenhammers6.jpg?height=301&width=400

Nothing could be done. The door next to the haunt is false and can't be opened by the way. So I attacked him, which alerted that other haunt I had spent so much meticulous effort to ghost, and ran into another house to hide.

As mentioned earlier, I came across a large abandoned city and wasted some time there without finding anything to help my progress. Ultimately, I made my escape after finding the explosive device and a key on an unconscious haunt in the catacombs. I set up the device against a wall of loose bricks and chucked a flare at the device. Property damage and ghost bust.

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1281900515843/screenshots/brokenhammers/brokenhammers7.jpg?height=301&width=400

Once outside, I encountered a hammerite camp. Upon entering the shed, a scripted conversation with the captain is triggered. A new objective comes up to kill the horde of undead waiting at the mission end. Forget that - I reloaded and avoided the entire hammerite camp and snuck around the horde by keeping my back to the mountain edge:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1281900526077/screenshots/brokenhammers/brokenhammers8.jpg?height=301&width=400

Peter_Smith
16th Aug 2010, 01:52
Hi Hexameron,

As always, I'm enjoying your posts. Seems like you are encountering a lot of failures on strange little missions. If you want a boost, try Escape Hammer Hill, winner of the Summer vacation contest. I also liked another one in the contest, A Night's Profit.

Hexameron
16th Aug 2010, 02:26
Thanks, Peter. I'm still trying to catch up to the newer FMs, but I think I will play those two you recommended just for a change. It would be great to see your ghost reports for them if you're so inclined ;)

In turn, I would recommend "Heart of Lone Salvation." I had a lot of fun with that one. It's probably the largest TDM FM yet released, the story and puzzles are top-notch, and it's very challenging if you're going for a high stealth score and all loot.

Hexameron
18th Aug 2010, 03:10
FM: Cryptic Cravings
File: CrypticCravings.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:43:45
Loot - 890/1200
Pockets Picked - 3/5
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 13/21

Cause of Failure:

-Must destroy glass pane to reach water talisman (objective)

Comments - Extremely difficult puzzles, lots of tiny switches, and thick haunt patrols best define this mission. Three times I had to check the TTLG forums for help. It never would have occurred to me to shoot a broadhead at the ceiling glass pane in the crypt and then use a rope arrow to climb up into the room above the pane. In addition to the property damage bust, the noise also alerts several haunts.

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1281900377853/screenshots/crypticcravings/crypticcravings2.jpg?height=301&width=400

Even though the area is pretty bright, I was able to ascend a rope and enter the ceiling without any haunts seeing me. Since the crypt receives busy haunt traffic, it's best to hold off on breaking the glass until all other talismans are taken. Obtaining the talismans is easy for the most part, but two are tricky. Accessing the air talisman requires flipping a switch outside of the talisman's chamber. The switch moves the sarcophagus situated against the wall. If you enter the chamber through the collapsed tunnel and not through the passage behind the sarcophagus, the gas traps inside the chamber will remain activated. You can still get the air talisman, but not without tripping the gas traps and taking heavy damage.

The fire talisman is surprisingly easy: just jump and nab it. Since I had found the secret scroll behind the statue at the mission start, I had a detailed clue for solving the earth talisman puzzles and getting the three statues to pivot correctly. I don't know what's up with the earth talisman chamber. Sometimes I could jump up and reach it, but I would trigger a barrage of fire arrow traps and die. Then another time I reloaded, jumped up and looted the talisman, and nothing happened.

The code box in the icon room was a pain. I never figured out how to find the code. When I got stuck, I consulted the TTLG thread and learned that I needed to have auto-search bodies on - this enables the player to loot a clue scroll by frobbing a nearby corpse. Without auto-search bodies on, I would never be able to pick up the scroll or even know it existed. This is a game-breaking flaw in my opinion. How can one solve the code puzzle if the necessary clue cannot be retrieved unless you play with auto-search bodies? Anyway, I reloaded and managed to pilfer the clue scroll; the code is 3045.

Once I got the icon, a bunch of thieves spawn in the crypt with the haunts and a melee ensues. It's very tough to sneak around and escape from the crypt without being seen by at least one thief. I think there are seven of them:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1281900387409/screenshots/crypticcravings/crypticcravings3.jpg?height=301&width=400

Hexameron
18th Aug 2010, 03:40
FM: Return to the Dark Temple
File: rdtbysvetlio.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:14:47
Loot - 700/700
Pockets Picked - 2/3
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 4
Damage dealt - 5 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot sneak by combat bot in corridor leading to the mask (objective)

2. Cannot loot the tiaras and mask in the rafters of the chapel without being seen by both the mechanist priestess and archer.

Comments - The author doesn't give the player much leeway for sneaking in this mission. Take this hallway for instance:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1281902235362/screenshots/returndarktemple/returndarktemple1.jpg?height=301&width=400

The mechanist here makes a back-and-forth patrol through this corridor. There is no room or time for sneaking. The only option is to place moss arrows beyond the center of the corridor and run and jump onto the patches. Timing the run across the marble floor is not easy and I reloaded many times to get it right. I ended up using three moss arrows to get the job done. In hindsight, I would not have used so many because every moss arrow in this mission (5) is essential, but I wasted a couple here that I would need later. Ultimately, I was able to hug the right wall and circle around the mech's flank as he turns.

A similar corridor exists on the opposite side of the building but with a combat bot patrolling instead:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1281902253462/screenshots/returndarktemple/returndarktemple4.jpg?height=301&width=400

Owing to the brightness and the erratic short patrol of the mech priestess at the altar, I could not enter into this corridor slowly; I had to run out. This entails using another moss arrow under the marble-floored door frame. So now I had one moss arrow left, but I would certainly need one more to make my way down the corridor with the combat bot.

I could have restarted the mission and tried to use just one moss arrow in the first corridor, but the mission cannot be ghosted anyway because of the chapel. The two objectives in this mission are to get the mask and ALL loot available. The chapel is well-lit and moving close to the two tiaras resting on the statues or climbing up into the rafters to get a gold candlestick are impossible without being seen. I was able to CCC slowly behind the altar and only instigate occasional first alerts from the mech priestess. But her patrol is such that moving anywhere else in the chapel is not feasible.

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1281902244800/screenshots/returndarktemple/returndarktemple2.jpg?height=301&width=400

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1281902263099/screenshots/returndarktemple/returndarktemple5.jpg?height=301&width=400

In the end, I foresaw too many inevitable busts. I made a KO run and caused the combat bot to destroy itself just so I could more easily find the mask and all loot.

Hexameron
18th Aug 2010, 04:42
FM: Right up there on the mountains
File: Rightupthere_nolag.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:28:29
Loot - 670/670
Pockets Picked - 0/7
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This FM reminded me of the old scary classic Deceptive Perception with its chilling scripted effects: the creaking rocking chair, flapping window shutters, pictures falling down, and eerie atmosphere.

I cased the cabin, looting everything I could find and turned off all lights before reading the necromonicon. No AI appear until the necromonicon is read in the bedroom. After finding the dagger (objective) from the girl's corpse in the bathroom, a zombie of Ash (from the Evil Dead movies) spawns. Subsequently, a new objective occurs to find the missing pages of the book. These pages are in the cellar. Finding them all triggers a strange monkey zombie to spawn in front of the flooded room. It wasn't hard to CCC around him.

To end the mission, I frobbed or "used" the pages in my inventory and a vortex appeared outside, sucking things out of the cabin like a vacuum. This final in-game sequence of the vortex is an amazing sight: a washing machine from the house is literally sucked away into the abyss. The player is pulled along with it, although it's possible to resist like swimming up stream; I didn't know dromed was capable of such cinematic visuals:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282105630135/screenshots/rightuptheremountains/rightupthere2.jpg?height=301&width=400

The first time I experienced this, I flew out with the washing machine and died from hitting it just as it passed through the vortex. I reloaded and tried to resist being sucked into the vortex, thinking it was instant death. Eventually when I couldn't find another way out, I let myself be sucked in the cyclone and traveled through a brilliant wormhole of rainbow and swirling blue colors.

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282105619470/screenshots/rightuptheremountains/rightupthere3.jpg?height=301&width=400

The mission ends as the player is hurled into a sandy pit surrounded by knights. They don't alert and begin a scripted conversation from the Army of Darkness (Evil Dead sequel).

Hexameron
18th Aug 2010, 04:54
FM: A Dark Night
File: DarkN1B.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:24:33
Loot - 1020/1020
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - A short, easy, and very linear FM. There are only three patrolling thieves, one bluecoat, and one sleeping pirate. They presented no challenges. I kept expecting some sort of surprise ending or twist after rescuing the child (objective), but nothing happens. I carried her back to the inn and the mission ended.

Hexameron
19th Aug 2010, 18:33
FM: Broken Heart
File: BrokenHeart_v2.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:44:05
Loot - 3157/3177
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 656 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 18

Causes of Failure:

1. Must kill a horde of thieves to meet the 3000 loot objective.

2. Cannot kill Isildo (objective) without alerting him.

Comments - What a disappointing mission. The architecture is amazing, the castle is gorgeous with its lush rooms, vibrant textures and gothic look. There is clearly a talented designer behind it and yet the story and point of the mission is ridiculous. It quickly becomes a hack-and-slash melee fest and not Thief. First, the player is tasked with opening all of the ubiquitous locked doors, which requires an interminable key hunt. Each room that is opened with one key contains another well-hidden key that will open others.

Once you gain entry to the weapon room and pick up all the weapons (fire arrows, broadheads, mines, and sword), a contingent of thieves spawn and run to your location. They behave as if 2nd alerted. Each thief has a 100 loot purse on his belt and all of them need to be killed so the purses can be picked. My only choice was to kill them with my arsenal of fire arrows, mines, and broadheads. The first wave was easy to dispatch. I put any fleeing stragglers to the sword. For the second wave of thieves, I decided to lure them into one of the barracks with a bunkbed. I hopped onto it so that the thieves could not reach me and I repeatedly slashed them as they futilely stood in place. I chased others using speed potions. Overall, it felt more like Unreal tournament than Thief.

I did not locate Isildo until I was on the castle walls. Looking down below an area of grating, I noticed an idle AI with silver armor standing in a room. I pinpointed where that room was downstairs, but it was barred by the only door that I could not find a key for. I was stuck. I thought I had searched exhaustively for keys, so I resorted to cheating to kill him. I alerted him by hitting the door and when he moved close enough to it, I was able to strike him from the other side. A horizontal slash will pass through the door and hit him once he gets close enough, so I just did that until he fell.

Hexameron
21st Aug 2010, 21:27
FM: Forbidden Rites
File: forbidv2.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:40:13
Loot - 2130/2379
Pockets Picked - 5/15
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 4/5

Comments - This large mission is one of the most enjoyable I've played recently. It boasts a very TDP atmosphere, gorgeous interior architecture, an interesting variety of settings to explore, and a nice balance of hammerites, human guards, and undead. With plenty of darkness, stone floors, and uncomplicated AI patrols, the mission is a pleasure to ghost. Klatremus' sentiment that normal ghosting is easy really rings true here: I could have played this mission on autopilot, watching TV while continuously running from one dark spot to the next and never alert anyone. In fact, I don't think I made one careless bust anywhere in the hammerite compound. Still, it was fun and I'm amazed that this is the first FM from the author. If that's true, this must rank as the best first dromeding effort I've ever seen.

I only had one oddball situation at the mission start with the archer looking down at the grounds. He has an impossibly keen eyesight and will 3rd alert if you step into any bright area in his purview. So I was cautious when moving about the grounds and made sure to stay in the deepest shadows. What's even more odd is that when I returned to the same grounds after playing for an hour, the archer would not see me or utter a first alert.

Finding loot is tough, especially when 2000 is required. Perfect Thief is not possible because of a loot cache hidden behind a banner. Not only is the lockbox to open the vault not pickable without slashing the banner, but there is no way to frob any loot behind the vault while the banner remains:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1281902346415/screenshots/forbiddenrites-1/forbrites2.jpg?height=301&width=400

There is a little under 200 loot behind this banner. I also could not retrieve some loot from a moneybox being observed by a guard behind a counter. With only 2379 loot in the mission, I was cutting it close to meet the 2000 objective.

Ghosting the ruins after taking the Staff of Va-Raq is feasible, but not apparent at first glance. Here's what happens when you pick up the staff: Father Gregor spawns at some point downstairs; he proceeds to walk up to where the staff is and invariably runs into or is seen by the apparition or haunt patrolling up there; a fight ensues and Gregor is usually slain by the undead. On Gregor's belt is a key (objective) that is needed to open the sewer hatch to escape the mission. Trying to sneak out of the ruins after the fight has happened is troublesome because just about every undead in the area becomes 2nd alerted when Gregor fights the apparition:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1281902368931/screenshots/forbiddenrites-1/forbrites4.jpg?height=301&width=400

There is a method to get Gregor's key and escape the ruins before the fight breaks out, though:

First, take the staff at a crucial moment when the patrolling haunt is far away and a couple of seconds after the apparition passes the door to the inner sanctum containing the staff. This leaves the player enough time to run out of the sanctum without being seen and will ensure that the apparition will not bump into Gregor until his next round of patrol. Second, take a left out of the inner sanctum and bolt down the stairs. It's possible to make it all the way down to the landing and hide in shadow just before Gregor comes into view. Third and last, pick the key off his belt and leave the ruins in haste before the AI melee inevitably occurs. I believe the player has only 5-10 seconds to get out before the commotion starts.

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1281902381315/screenshots/forbiddenrites-1/forbrites6.jpg?height=301&width=400

Hexameron
23rd Aug 2010, 00:41
FM: The Librarian
File: The_Librarian_1.0.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 02:26:20
Loot - 4610/5760
Pockets Picked - 7/8
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - I encountered no ghosting problems in the library owing to the dearth of AI patrols. The basement posed one problem for the player who hasn't yet found any equipment: the guard standing in front of the spear of destiny room. He is standing close to the junction of the T-shaped corridor and the hall is illuminated by one torch. It is deceiving at first glance, but you can actually run right around the corner and crouch against the wall and the guard will only 1st alert.

I had to restart the mission after entering the air talisman area from the waterworks. Once I got to the glass maze, I discovered a potential ghost bust, and my only chance of circumventing it necessitated the use of stackables, which I did not have. There is no way to return to the library once you ride the air shaft up. With only save games for the talisman area, I had to restart so I could explore all of the library. In the glass maze, there is a puzzle that involves frobbing the glass walls until the correct path is created that leads the player to a lever. But a haunt watches the only path to the lever and will always see the player moving through:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282518881471/screenshots/librarian/librarian1.jpg?height=301&width=400

It looks like you could mantle onto the yellow brick wall, right? Certainly, you can stand on the wall, but it is too thin to be mantled onto and too high to jump on from the ground. Knowing this, I returned to the maze with stackables. I brought a crate and explosive barrel. It's a hassle getting them here as the crate needs to be carefully dropped onto the air shaft so that it floats upwards; if it's dropped in the wrong place, it will get stuck halfway in the air shaft and can never be retrieved again. I used a crate and some potions to reach the brick wall:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282518906270/screenshots/librarian/librarian3.jpg?height=301&width=400

To get your bearings, here is the lever and goal:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282518915332/screenshots/librarian/librarian4.jpg?height=301&width=400

With 7 health potions, 3 breath potions, and various and sundry scrolls, I had enough to stack my way over the glass pane:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282518924460/screenshots/librarian/librarian5.jpg?height=301&width=400

Success:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282518936300/screenshots/librarian/librarian6.jpg?height=301&width=400

Flipping the lever opens another glass pane leading to the air talisman. A friendly keeper ghost spouts a monologue about the talisman and when he's finished, the two portcullis' open. It is imperative to immediately loot the air talisman from the pedestal and slip into the vertical shaft to escape. Otherwise, in a matter of 5 seconds, two hammerites will wander into the room and inevitably see the player.

The fire talisman puzzle is interesting: ride two floating boulders that encircle a chamber with lava at the bottom. There are three talisman emblems situated on the wall of the large pillar holding the fire talisman. Each talisman emblem needs to be "doused." In essence, you shoot either a moss, water, or fire arrow at the correct emblem. In rock-paper-scissors fashion, certain arrows defeat the element represented by the emblem. I figured this out when I shot a water arrow at the fire emblem and the surrounding orange glow dissipated. A moss arrow will douse the water emblem and a fire arrow the earth emblem.

Once the emblems are doused, the next step is to return to the hammerite chapel with white floors and down to the crypt, which was previously barred by false double doors. Descending the spiral staircase with the statue was pretty scary! An eerie harsh whisper, most clearly an imitation of The Eye, warns the player not to continue on. After two or three warnings, I started getting nervous, but all of it was bluster. Sure enough, there was a loot object that looked like an ornate version of The Eye, but nothing frightening befell me after looting it.

The earth talisman area has one problematic AI that can be difficult to sneak around. He is the patrolling hammerite priest at the bottom of the chamber who will 3rd alert to any 1st alert provocations. Keeping an eye on him and moving to important areas when his back is turned is how I got by. With 30+ moss arrows collected at this point, I had no compunction to use them liberally. I wanted to get the loot on the platform in the middle of the pillar near the pagan torch, but this is difficult. You can't climb down the ladder to the platform without being seen by the priest. I made sure to douse the torch only when the priest was far away, as he tended to alert even to this. Then once I found the alternate way down to the bottom, I climbed the platform from there and hid behind the pillars:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282524371048/screenshots/librarian/librarian9.jpg?height=301&width=400

I carefully navigated the boulder traps near the earth talisman and then climbed up a series of ladders in a cavern. A hard-to-see button opens the door and now a previously closed door in the grassy area is open. Beyond this door is an icy tunnel that leads to an identical grassy area. It's as if I ended up back where I was. This confused me. Is it the same place or one that is designed to look the same? I don't think I encountered a teleport trap. At any rate, I could now leave through the air shaft and was teleported back to the library.

The spear of destiny maze has a puzzle that I never solved. You are supposed to drop the talismans in the numbered receptacles; the proper placement will open the correct doors of the maze. I found no clue or readable about which talisman corresponded with numbers 1-4. Even dropping them randomly didn't help. Instead, I used my arsenal of stackables to climb on top of the maze. So rather than going through the doors opened by the talismans, I scaled the walls and dropped down to the shaft in the center:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282518947773/screenshots/librarian/librarian7.jpg?height=301&width=400

I subsequently reached the hall where the spear was and the mission ended after a camvator sequence.

Hexameron
25th Aug 2010, 00:00
FM: Five Tigers: HBS Iron Butterfly
File: IronButterfly.1.0.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 02:01:43
Loot - 12015/12015
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 5/8

Comments - A pleasant mission with no ghosting problems. The only real trouble I had was finding all of the loot, particularly in one room where several gold coins are scattered about the carpet. There are a number of hidden switches in this mission and one is well-concealed behind a bench. I make a habit of blindly frobbing every piece of furniture I come across, so I was lucky to find it. The switch itself is important because it opens the way to a network of secret passages leading to the warehouse and the cruise ship:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282519542938/screenshots/ironbutterfly/ironbutterfly6.jpg?height=301&width=400

-You can't pick up any of the four keys (objective). Instead, you have to use the wax on each key, which will produce a wax impression. Once all wax impressions are made and picked up, the objective to find the four keys will be checked off.

-Reading the letter in the Walker suite on the cruise ship generates a new objective to find Catharine, who was apparently thrown overboard. The letter hints that her drowned body can be found at the bow of the ship. It turns out that she has escaped from the water through a passage leading to the sewers. A trail of loot brings you to her unconscious body. After using the wax on the key in her hand, I picked her up and got another new objective to bring her back to the mission start:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282519206878/screenshots/ironbutterfly/ironbutterfly4.jpg?height=301&width=400

Loot

While meeting the 10,000 loot objective is not difficult, finding all of the loot is challenging. Here are some of the more obscure loot items:

-Steerage barracks near the engine room: purse on the floor next to one bunkbed.

-Top floor lounge/casino of the cruise ship: three gold coins under the gambling tables; lootable painting of Whistler's "Symphony in White No. 1" (girl in white dress)

-Engine room: four diamonds in the various coal piles.

-On top of the cruise ship control room: gold cup and wine on tray.

-Cruise ship suites hallway: ring on floor near couch.

-Various pieces of loot strewn about in the passage leading to the sewers and Catharine Walker; a serpentile torc is on the floor of the passage (it's easy to miss); other loot includes three necklaces and a ring on the way to Catharine's body.

-Area of sewers unrelated to Catharine: necklace near ladder guarded by one spider:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282519185602/screenshots/ironbutterfly/ironbutterfly2a.jpg?height=302&width=400

-Hotel; bottom floor sitting room: eight gold coins littered about the carpet. A readable suggests that the guests threw these gold coins at the staff, which is why they seem randomly dropped. I had a hell of a time searching for these coins. On my blackjack run, I knew the loot total and that I was missing 40 loot. In essence, I found all loot except for the gold coins in this room. Once I accidentally found a few gold coins at odd places in this room, I realized there must be more. I kept blindly frobbing until I found them all and reached the loot maximum.

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282519401119/screenshots/ironbutterfly/ironbutterfly5.jpg?height=301&width=400

It might seem easy enough to just blindly frob the floor, but the hunt for these gold coins took me a long time. There are eight gold coins on the carpet at various places of the room and the adjacent dining room. Can you see them? ;)

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282519196438/screenshots/ironbutterfly/ironbutterfly3.jpg?height=301&width=400

Hexameron
26th Aug 2010, 02:42
FM: Heist at Night
File: Heist_at_night.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:31:28
Loot - 2065/2315
Pockets Picked - 2/3
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 1 (from fall)
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This is one of those FMs that assumes the player will KO all AI in the way. I'm not complaining. The author does not place AI in such a way that foils all chances of sneaking, e.g. putting a guard in front of a door in a brightly lit corridor. In this mission, the AI have very short patrol routes in a back-and-forth pattern. I actually prefer missions like this because of the challenge. I wouldn't be surprised if some gave up trying to sneak through this mission, but it is ghostable. Interestingly, the only objective in this mission is to find 2000 loot. Finally! A mission with no extra chores and plot points to follow, just the appropriate Thief's goal of finding loot.

At the mission start, I could not fall down into the sewer without taking damage. There is only a foot of water in the sewer, so I dropped some crates down there, thinking they might cushion the fall, but they didn't. I kept reloading and trying to minimize the damage by CCCing to the edge of the sewer hole. On average, the fall deals 2 damage. I kept trying until I received only 1 - this was the best I could do.

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282519687298/screenshots/heistatnight/heistatnight1.jpg?height=301&width=400

To get around the patrolling thief, I just hugged his left shoulder and moved past him as he turned:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282519697684/screenshots/heistatnight/heistatnight2.jpg?height=301&width=400

The mansion is small with cramped hallways and hefty AI patrols, the kind of short back-and-forth patrol pattern that makes sneaking difficult. Even though it looks like there are ample shadows in the halls, crouching anywhere is useless, as the guards still bump into you and alert to your presence. Essentially, there are no safe shadows in the hallways to hide in except for one spot:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282519942893/screenshots/heistatnight/heistatnight9.jpg?height=301&width=400

This is what makes the hallways a challenge; you have to stay in other rooms and wait for an opening to dash through the guard patrols. Getting past the two guards in the T-shaped hall took a lot of reloads to pull off:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282519708264/screenshots/heistatnight/heistatnight3.jpg?height=301&width=400

You have to stay in the library as the one guard walks by, then wait for the other guard to move to the left of the two lights on the corner, and finally dash to the right and into the storage room.

The upstairs area is also problematic. First of all, the barracks cannot be entered without alerting one guard; merely opening the door sets a guard off on 2nd alert. At least there's nothing important in there. Second, you can't enter the bedroom without first monitoring the nobleman who walks through it. His patrol is short and it's best to open the door and stay in the pitch black door frame of the bathroom. In this way, you can keep an eye on the guard who patrols the upstairs as well as the nobleman in the bedroom:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282519751793/screenshots/heistatnight/heistatnight7.jpg?height=301&width=400

Once the upstairs guard turns his back and the nobleman enters the balcony from his bedroom, then it is safe to rush in. But there is only one place to hide in the bedroom: beside the columns against the wall, and even then it's only a patch of shadow that generates a pale yellow light gem:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282519763236/screenshots/heistatnight/heistatnight8.jpg?height=301&width=400

Of course the chest is locked and picking it is a slow process. I had to run up to the chest, pick it for two seconds and then run back to the column before the nobleman entered the bedroom from the balcony. Repeat ad nauseum.

I thought I was busted when I got to the dining room. The screenshot speaks for itself:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282519718345/screenshots/heistatnight/heistatnight4.jpg?height=301&width=400

The problem is not so much the noblelady who makes a square-shaped patrol around the dining room table; it's the maid observing the dining room from the kitchen. There is no way to sneak or run through the dining room without being seen. Crouching below the counter doesn't help, as there is no spot dark enough to keep you safe from the patrolling noblelady.

My only option was to nudge the maid. I made the mistake of nudging her to the far left against the wall - this doesn't work! She will still see the player enter the dining room. Instead, she has to be nudged to the far right:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282519729000/screenshots/heistatnight/heistatnight5.jpg?height=301&width=400

Even with her standing to the right, she can partially see the dining room. As such, there is a possibility of still alerting her. Running into the dining room and straight for one of the dark alcoves is the only successful tactic I could come up with. It works and I only got a first alert from the maid and noblelady:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282519741087/screenshots/heistatnight/heistatnight6.jpg?height=301&width=400

Beyond the dining room is a crypt with a large quantity of loot. The mission cannot be perfect thieved because it ends when the 2000 mark is reached, even though 300 more loot exists somewhere.

Hexameron
28th Aug 2010, 00:18
FM: Tipping the Scales
File: SSDD1_TippingtheScales.zip

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 01:27:11
Loot - 3056/3056
Pockets Picked - 5/8
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 2/4

Comments - Goldsla (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showpost.php?p=693574&postcount=32) managed to ghost this mission, but said that he didn't think perfect thief was possible owing to a dead pagan corpse that appeared off limits to the player. He thought it would take hours of crate stacking to gain access to it, but for me, the whole escapade took 15 minutes.

I also have no major ghosting problems to report. The ground floor of the hotel can be a nuisance if you don't douse any gas lights: there are several mechanists patrolling the corridors with marble floors. Other than that, the whole building is straightforward.

Breaking into the bank becomes a new objective after reading a papyrus contained in the hotel safe. The bank is in the financial district, the key of which is found in the hotel. After I found the bank president's house and picked the master bank key from the president's belt, I went straight for the bank without exploring the rest of the perimeter. So I didn't know about or step foot into the watcher control building. I ended up making the bank harder than it needed to be by having to deal with active watchers inside. Had I gone to the watcher control building, I could have turned all of the watchers off.

The watchers can still be ghosted, though, but sneaking into the ground floor office and towards the elevator is a hassle. The problem is that the office has a window covered with grating that obscures the player's vision of the lobby. Thus, I had a hard time being able to see where the watcher outside was pivoting:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282951428401/screenshots/tippingthescales/tippingscales1.jpg?height=301&width=400

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282951438786/screenshots/tippingthescales/tippingscales2.jpg?height=301&width=400

Without being able to hear or see if the watcher turns yellow, this situation requires blindly running to the elevator and leaning into the window, at the risk of being seen, just to make sure the watcher hadn't turned yellow. It took many reloads until I got it right.

Getting into the vault is perhaps the toughest portion of the mission, but that's not saying much. The problem is the guard who patrols in a random zigzag pattern and the fact that the vault is quite bright:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282951448253/screenshots/tippingthescales/tippingscales3.jpg?height=301&width=400

There is also a strip of metal in the vault door frame. Getting in entails quick but cautious sneaking around the corner of the vault so as to be hidden from view. The player cannot pick the safes while the vault door is open, owing to the zigzagging guard. The vault door can only be closed via the switch near the tables. But this is not easily done: the zigzagging guard will almost always see the player approach the lever from the corner. The best tactic I found was to run to the back of the vault and hide behind the tables:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282951471363/screenshots/tippingthescales/tippingscales5.jpg?height=301&width=400

Now I could actually see the guard, whereas before in the corner, I was blind. I waited for the right moment when his back was turned, which is not for long, and ran up to and frobbed the lever; the lever has to be frobbed twice or as goldsla says, "double toggled", before it will close. As soon as the vault door starts closing, I ran back behind the tables, getting only a 1st alert from the zigzagging guard.

The author has hidden a piece of loot in a very obscure area that is difficult to find. I was down to missing 100 loot and at some point, I happened to jump onto a barrel to avoid a patrolling guard and looked up to see that the window is frobbable:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282951482008/screenshots/tippingthescales/tippingscales6.jpg?height=301&width=400

While the window opens, there is no conventional way to gain access or see what's inside. So I dragged some crates to the area and supplemented the crate stacking with some inventory stackables:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282951493900/screenshots/tippingthescales/tippingscales7.jpg?height=301&width=400

I couldn't wiggle my way through the window, but when I leaned into the window, thinking the author did not intend the player to get inside, I noticed a red button!

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1282951509237/screenshots/tippingthescales/tippingscales8.jpg?height=301&width=400

Upon frobbing it, I heard a door open nearby: It turned out to be the false metal door in the tunnel near the evidence storage room. Beyond this false door is the guard barracks with some various equipment and a dead pagan with a 100 gold purse. Ascending the staircase up to the barracks triggers a "Found Secret" message.

Other hard-to-find loot includes a gem ring in the water at mission start and a purse behind painting in the top floor office; you have to use a rope arrow outside of the bank to gain entry to this section of the top floor because of the idle guard who stands watch.

Hexameron
28th Aug 2010, 23:31
FM: Torn Apart
File: tornapart.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 01:02:33
Loot - 1553/2023
Pockets Picked - 0/7
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 6
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot sneak by hasted translucent thief in chapel.

2. Cannot sneak by demonic treebeast that spawns near pendulum blades after hell talisman is taken.

Comments - The next four reports I post will be for the four missions contributed to the Horror Contest. Of all four, this one is the scariest: there are a lot of intense and frightening moments that made me jump more than once. The thief twitching behind the mirror of one room was very effective and clearly inspired by the movie, "Jacob's Ladder." Unfortunately, the mission plot and objectives are vapid. The first part of the mission is merely a key hunt.

To get the upstairs key from the chest in the chapel, I had to alert a thief ghost who scared the hell out of me when I first saw him. He is super fast and will attack the player before vanishing forever. There is no avoiding this since he blocks the entrance to the chapel:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1283034162018/screenshots/tornapart/tornapart1.jpg?height=301&width=400

I'm not privy to the techniques involved with augmenting this AI's speed, but while it looks like some scripted event unfolds, I don't think that's the case. I think the thief alerts to the player who happens to step into the light, he starts investigating on 2nd alert, sees the player and charges 3rd alert, attacks and then disappears after a blow is made. Even though the whole series of events is over with in less than a second, I took a series of screenshots that show the action as it unfolds. The following clearly shows that he is conventionally 2nd alerted at one point and it is not some aberrant scripted event:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1283034176205/screenshots/tornapart/tornapart2.jpg?height=301&width=400

After picking open the bedroom double doors, the wall in the hallways will start closing in. You're supposed to start pick locking the portcullis that drops down, but there's not enough time to pick it completely before the wall reaches you. The wall turns out to be a benign threat, though. I found that I could just stay against the back of the hallway and the wall recoiled without crushing me.

It took me a while to find the electrical switch on the wall of the balcony of the bedroom. This opens the metal hatch below the ladder. From here there is a hall with multiple doors and some music playing. If you carelessly open the door while standing exposed to the interior, more hasted spirit thieves will attack and kill you. The only way to avoid them is to not open certain doors. I just kept reloading until I found the safest door and eventually found the victrola on the table.

Following the interminable key hunt of the mansion, the next part of the mission takes places in a hellish cavernous plane inhabited by evil treebeasts. The corridor with swinging pendulum blades is annoying. I thought I would have to weave in and out to avoid them, but this is not the case. If you move anywhere close to a pendulum's trajectory, you die. The trick is to move slowly in a straight line through the center of the corridor.

I bested the floating blob who patrols around the hell talisman sanctum by walking slowly behind it over the metal floor. The hell talisman sanctum has a surprise for the player who nabs the talisman without staying in the dark first. Three demonic treebeasts spawn, two are idle and one is in the middle of its course to the front entrance. This one who starts walking to the entrance will drop right onto the player standing in front of the talisman pedestal. I avoided this intentional confrontation by looting the talisman behind the pedestal while crouching safely in shadows:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1283034189762/screenshots/tornapart/tornapart3.jpg?height=301&width=400

From here, I carefully made my way to the left side of the sanctum. The treebeast on the right is too close to the pillars and I could not CCC beyond him without him seeing me. Not so with the treebeast standing on the left; I CCCed right by him:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1283034206990/screenshots/tornapart/tornapart5.jpg?height=301&width=400

After retracing my steps, I discovered a new treebeast had spawned at the skull where Roderick's dagger was placed. The vicinity around the treebeast is too bright and I could not sneak beyond this one:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1283034223615/screenshots/tornapart/tornapart6.jpg?height=301&width=400

I alerted him and made a beline through the pendulum blade corridor (amazingly, I didn't die) and returned the talisman to the pedestal. Following my teleportation back to the mansion, I proceeded upstairs and through a long hallway until I made it outside.

Keeping to the right as you leave the premise of the mansion is not advisable. By hugging the right side of the rubble leading to the outside, I ended up missing the trigger that spawns more treebeasts and ends the mission. I certainly was confused when I got to the mission start and nothing happened. So I returned to the mansion and as soon as I stepped over the threshold of the marble floor, some tree beasts spawned nearby, although I didn't alert them, and the mission ended.

Hexameron
29th Aug 2010, 18:58
FM: The Dead of Winter
File: thedeadofwinterv1.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:54:46
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - ?/? (not registered at stat screen)
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 60 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 1
Secrets Found - 1/3

Cause of Failure:

-Cannot kill demon without alerting nearby AI

Comments - This mission has the most impressive atmosphere and gorgeous design of the four Horror Contest missions. The books with various sketches of undead gods and mythological figures is a nice touch, too. Unfortunately, for all its impeccable architecture and crafsmanship, this mission is mostly an exhausting key hunt; with up to 18 keys to find, it's perhaps the colossus of key hunt missions. Keys are often predictably lying on the floor near a corpse and some are acquired by talking to friendly AI. Some parts of the mission are unnerving, but even the random spawning of haunts became predictable and easy to evade (an orange glowing glyph on the floor warns of the impending haunt spawn). I ghosted the mission up until the final 2 minutes of having to kill the demon without any problems.

Following a scripted event, the chapel becomes populated with undead that attack all of the mechanists inside:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1283105916316/screenshots/deadofwinter/deadofwinter1.jpg?height=301&width=400

Once the haunts inevitably win, it becomes difficult to sneak around here depending on where you hide while the battle ensues. I reloaded and decided to watch the battle from the locked double doors on the right side of the chapel. After the haunts appear, some mechanists will rush in through these double doors. I made sure to wiggle through the doors before the mechanists closed and locked them. By closing the double doors as others tried to open them, I ended up causing one mechanist to stand in place and remain out of the melee; he didn't budge for the remainder of the mission. Fortunately, he had a useful key on his belt, too. I waited until he calmed down so I could pick his belt:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1283105929841/screenshots/deadofwinter/deadofwinter2.jpg?height=301&width=400

In the kitchen is another scripted conversation that will end with a haunt appearing and killing the mechanist. Although he will give me his key after the conversation ends, there is very little time to get out with key in hand before the haunt appears. So I reloaded and ran into the room around the mechanist's flank before he had a chance to see me. I then picked the key off his belt before he initiated his conversation and then exited:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1283105943657/screenshots/deadofwinter/deadofwinter3.jpg?height=301&width=400

Due to the recurring gating in of haunts and scripted battles resulting in 2nd alerted undead, I made sure to lock all doors behind me to keep them from wandering around and alerting others.

The beacon code is written on a bloodstained scroll in the middle of the courtyard by a corpse. A bloody hand print obscures the first digit, but the last three digits are quite visibly 442. Needless to say, I started from 1 as my first digit and kept trying until I got the code. The appearance of haunts with the preceding glowing glyphs became routine phenomena. When I activated the radio, I just knew something would happen and backpedaled away from the radio. Sure enough, not long after the radio was active, a haunt spawned right where I would have been standing:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1283105957402/screenshots/deadofwinter/deadofwinter4.jpg?height=301&width=400

I never figured out what good the wrench was. It seemed to work on the frobbable knob in the sewers, but I don't know what happens when the knob is turned.

At one point the two mechanists that I need to track down, Brother Williams and Bivens, have a conversation outside of the gates and then attack each other. The victor will see and attack the player, so it's best to stay at a distance and leave after the objective is completed and they begin fighting:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1283105970984/screenshots/deadofwinter/deadofwinter5.jpg?height=301&width=400

The final objective to kill the demon cannot be fulfilled without alerting nearby haunts and zombies. I was able to sneak behind a pillar and wait for the four priests to die, after which the demon is summoned. But he just stood there unalerted:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1283105986349/screenshots/deadofwinter/deadofwinter6.jpg?height=301&width=400

I could sneak behind him, but one backstab with the mechanist mace doesn't kill him. So I reloaded and from the safety of the columns, I threw a single molotov cocktail at him and he died. While the explosion from these molotov cocktails is certainly spectacular, I didn't expect the demon to be so weak so as to die from it:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1283106000576/screenshots/deadofwinter/deadofwinter7.jpg?height=301&width=400

The explosion alerts some haunts and zombies in the vicinity, so there is my one and only ghost bust. The mission ended when I returned to the courtyard and witnessed a large battle between undead and mechanists.

Hexameron
31st Aug 2010, 02:00
FM: Lost Caress
File: lcaress.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - N/A
Time - 00:31:22
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 1/2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - This short black and white mission is a little tedious. The beginning is frustrating. There are several invisible solid walls and I must have fallen into that river a dozen times. Although there are very few AI in the mission, the killer's hideout is armed with traps, which if triggered, may alert the killer. Most of these traps cannot be intuitively avoided and if tripped are instant death for the player.

I guess the wandering nobleman is supposed to be the killer, but he is not so difficult to sneak by. Some of the traps can be intelligently averted, such as removing crates in a Jenga game fashion. If any of the top crates of the wall are removed or fall, bombs will explode and alert the killer:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1283207559102/screenshots/lostcaress/lostcaress3.jpg?height=301&width=400

Other traps are more perilous like the safe that falls onto the unsuspecting player descending a staircase:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1283207527216/screenshots/lostcaress/lostcaress1.jpg?height=301&width=400

The only frightening jump I experienced was in the ventilation duct when I carelessly walked over a mine. These can be disarmed with lockpicks, but the mines cannot be picked up. Another hazardous trap is the pressure plate that causes a pair of scythes to propel out of the ceiling. One hit from these is enough to kill you. They can be dodged with some practice.

The key code is written on the floor behind some crates in the room where the kidnapped girl is located. Once the code is entered, a contingent of bluecoats run into the warehouse, presumably to raid the killer's hideout. They don't alert to the player.

Klatremus
29th Oct 2010, 04:52
FM: Broken Triad, Part 2: Tempest Isle

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Failed (but without any alerts)
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 1:36:13
Loot - 2010/2010
Pockets Picked - None
Locks Picked - 1
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets - 8/8
Consumables - 1 Spirit Fire Arrow (to destroy Aleph's medallion)

See the entire report with screenshots here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/hn.htm) (FMs).
Loot list here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad2_L.htm).


Comments:

Being hurled into the great unknown, the second and last quest of this epic mission pack lay before me. The sheer beauty of Tempest Isle dominated my surroundings. Rarely do you see maps excelling to such heights of gorgeousness (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad2_files/image001.jpg)). Attention to detail was visible in every speck of matter. Although the gameplay was distinctly different from Arkford, Eshaktaar’s fingerprints were clear. More puzzles and less enemies, but still the same amount of fun. This was my first attempt using my new rig; Intel i5-750, ATI HD5850, running 1920x1080 resolution on my ASUS 23” monitor. Trust me, Thief has never looked this flawless. J

The story picked up immediately after leaving Arkford. My goals were to meet up with Aleph, get rid of Nyarsal and return back home. Inventory objects of interest were the Staff of Far Reach, Brother Reginald’s rosary and two rope arrows. The staff I imagined would come in handy.

Lots of interesting backstory scrolls lay scattered about. I took time to read every word and sucked up the atmosphere in the process. The bath area was sprinkled with loot (no pun intended), none too hard to retrieve despite the wandering craymen. Found my first star gem in one of the upper chambers, partly hidden beyond a broken outlook post. Gained access to the palace by flipping the outside switch using the staff. The intended route was by way of a symbol combination. Brought the hallowed candle and the small ring from in there. I knew there was a secret vault nearby as well but didn’t remember the glyph code. I kept it in mind for later.

My first secret was just outside the entrance to the hypostyle. I could mantle a lantern and ascend to a plateau with a hidden chamber and some loot (see image below). There was a way to receive hints to the secrets’ locations by the appearance of small wandering scarabs. I remember seeing them first time playing about a year ago, but I couldn’t manage to trigger them now. I recalled most of their whereabouts anyway, so no big deal.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad2_files/image002.jpg

Speaking of secrets, the next one was close by. Entering dawn plaza, I traversed the ledges on the left to find a hidden lever. It revealed some gems underneath the central sphinx (see image below).

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad2_files/image003.jpg

Not much to report, but another secret was accessible by stealing a key inside a window at the market (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad2_files/image004.jpg)). It gained access to a room with more loot. Also at the market was the first of several sanctuary glyphs, runelike shiny markings, seemingly carved into the rock. Frobbing them sent me to keeper Aleph’s library, or an imagined recreation of it rather. It gave me some vital information on what was goin on, and that I better be on the lookout for Nyarsal any minute. I received additional objectives to enter the Necropolis and to find all the glyphs.

Worked my way towards the temple without further problems. Found another glyph and some more loot on the various levels. The entire place was utterly deserted. The top floor had a clever secret beyond a ledge on the outside overhang.

To enter the Necropolis I had to fetch the pyramid-shaped key from the catacombs. On my way back the mummies were set free, and I was forced to backtrack to the end in order to leave. Most walls had shade enough for me to avoid alerts of any kind, except for one room. It was towards the beginning in a room with three caskets. Two torches lit up the left wall, and the caskets prevented easy travel along the other, plus you had two regular patrolling mummies (see image below). I had to leap onto the right ledge and wait for the exact moment. The final casket blocked easy inching past the second torch, so when the mummy had his back/left side turned I did a hop while still on the ledge. It allowed me to reach the corner, but I needed to slip onto the edge of the casket to reach the floor silently. This actually took more time than expected, but rewardfully the remaining rooms were a breeze.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad2_files/image005.jpg

My only Supreme bust came in the initial stages of the entrance to the Necropolis. A couple of traps were set up to deter unwanted guests. Traps cannot be triggered according to Supreme rule #9. I could avoid getting killed by the dropping stamps, but I couldn’t avoid the trigger.

The next secret was found at the top of the winding staircase. A lever underneath the walkway opened a hidden chamber with loot (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad2_files/image006.jpg)).

No further problems came until passing the former chapel in the lower area of the Necropolis itself. A circulating ghost and a female sentry behind the altar made traversing the room rather tedious. Exiting up the ramp took me straight to a fire skeleton. I had to time the patrols and the sentry’s pivoting while making sure nobody gave a first alert. Only one piece of loot and a star gem up there, so it was a lot of hassle for very little.

The next secret was located further down the corridor, past the exit to the chapel. Dodging the patroller I raised the gate towards the end of the tunnel. Before going through I lowered the gate though, then rushed in as it closed behind me. A hidden cave was now accessible above (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad2_files/image007.jpg)); it would have been blocked by the raised gate earlier.

Another glyph took me back to Aleph’s library. His medallion made me able to light the hallowed candle at the bottom of the well (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad2_files/image008.jpg)). Once lit, I could teleport using the medallion, then exit to the temple by use of the glyph there. I headed back down to the Necropolis afterwards.

The remaining hallways required standard sneaking abilities, nothing else. There were a few guards around, but none of them were too alert and their patrols were fairly extensive. I found the last secret through a window on the upper floor. It was a small alcove in a hall that dead-ended in a room with an obelisk. There was a female patroller heading up and down a staircase nearby. Out the window I spotted a tiny button that could only be pushed by use of the staff. It opened a panel with loot behind me (see image below).

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad2_files/image009.jpg

The gates at the end of the Last Path could only be opened by raising two panels and shooting some kind of magical energy ball onto a button. The hit alerted the patroller below, so I waited for him to be elsewhere. I lowered both panels afterwards for Supreme. At this point I teleported back to the market and looted the secret treasure chamber underneath the palace. Now I could get away with only seven star gems overall, thus minimizing pickups. This follows Supreme rule #13: “Keep a clean inventory: don’t pick up what you don’t need and return what is not usable”. I left behind one star gem on a windowsill northeast of Lunar Courth, one in a locked chamber with an obelisk (which needed a gem to open anyway), and the last behind a pickable door on a walkway above the lower chapel (guarded by a patrolling fire skeleton that I found impossible to sneak by).

Summoned brother Reginald twice beyond the Last Path gates (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BrokenTriad2_files/image010.jpg)). He ended up blessing Draworek (the hammer) and sending Nyarsal and myself back to Aleph’s library. There I had to sneak past the demon in the hall (no problem btw) and exit through Aleph’s hidden bedroom glyph. After destroying the medallion using a spirit fire arrow, all I had to do was to return to the initial portal and end the mission.


Notes & Busts

- Had to trigger a trap to enter the Necropolis. I didn’t take any damage, but the trigger is against Supreme rule #9.

Hexameron
29th Dec 2010, 09:32
TDM FM: The Beleaguered Fence

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:34:20
Loot - 4397/4632
Pockets Picked - 8
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Kills - 0 Knockouts - 0
Stealth Score - 8

Comments - I encountered only two ghosting issues in this mission. First was carrying Lark back to the mission start (objective). There is only one feasible entrance and exit into the police station and that is through a second floor window using a rope arrow. Getting back down to the street entails climbing through the window and clinging to the rope. Merely dropping down to the street is fine, but it's sloppy and deals damage to the player. There is also not much time to slink down the rope because of a patrolling guard in the street. What I did was toss Lark through the window and onto the street. Then I could make my way down the rope, pick him up, and proceed to the mission start without being seen. Even if the guard passes by Lark's body before I climb down, he won't alert to it:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293612879236/thedarkmod/beleaguredfence/beleag4.jpg?height=300&width=400

My second challenge was getting the diamond (objective) in the crypt. Although I should point out that there is a little puzzle to gain access to the crypt. The guardian statues must be illuminated; this is alluded to in one of the readables. Shooting a fire arrow against the torches will work, but it alerts the guards in the jail area. Instead, I retrieved one of the candles from the cells and used it to light the statues' torch:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293612894142/thedarkmod/beleaguredfence/beleag6.jpg?height=300&width=400

But back to the diamond. Here it is on its pedestal in a well-lit chamber:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293612901845/thedarkmod/beleaguredfence/beleag7.jpg?height=300&width=400

As soon as you pick it up, a host of undead spawn and invariably notice the player in bright light:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293612930993/thedarkmod/beleaguredfence/beleag9.jpg?height=300&width=400

Even dousing every flame in the chamber will not reduce the area of light surrounding the pedestal. The solution is very satisfying and one of the reasons why I love The Dark Mod: shoot a broadhead at the diamond to send it flying across the other end of the chamber:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293612936917/thedarkmod/beleaguredfence/beleag10.jpg?height=300&width=400

Now it's on the floor in the darkness and can be safely grabbed without facing an onslaught of alerted undead; they just stand in place after being spawned:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293612949790/thedarkmod/beleaguredfence/beleag12.jpg?height=300&width=400

Hexameron
30th Dec 2010, 04:25
TDM FM: Thief's Den

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:16:31
Loot - 1189/1189
Pockets Picked - 3
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Kills - 0 Knockouts - 0
Stealth Score - 8

Comments - No ghosting problems. My only challenge was obtaining perfect thief. There is a gold vase on a windowsill that cannot be reached by conventional means:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293681926967/thedarkmod/thiefsden/thiefsden1.jpg?height=299&width=400

Shooting it down with an arrow is the clear solution, but this has to be done at a precise moment before the patrolling guard is under the window or else he'll hear the vase fall. Also, the vase didn't always fall where I wanted it to; sometimes it ricocheted across the courtyard, alerting another guard. The goal is to gently knock it down with a water arrow, after which it rolls slowly into the street gutter:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293681904363/thedarkmod/thiefsden/shot00004.jpg?height=300&width=400

Hexameron
30th Dec 2010, 06:15
TDM FM: A Special Delivery

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:26:00
Loot - 1680/2315
Pockets Picked - 1
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 7 (from fall)
Kills - 0 Knockouts - 0
Stealth Score - 0

Comments - Although this FM is small, it was tough to ghost. There are lots of metal floors, bright areas, and cramped places with plenty of guard patrols. As a result, I found it impossible to attain a stealth score above 0 - too many 1st alerts.

The machinery room is very challenging to ghost and I must have reloaded a dozen times. The player starts out on a metal catwalk framing the room and patrolled by one guard. His patrol is a hassle to maneuver through, particularly because of the guard on the ground floor. Both of these AI tend to never look in the same direction simultaneously. There are only a couple safe shadows on the ground floor, but I could never get to them in time without being seen. I had to resort to staying crouched with a yellow light gem; consequently, the guard on the ground floor stares with a 1st alert:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293683712906/thedarkmod/specialdelivery/shot00001.jpg?height=300&width=400

The trick now is to make my way past this guard without alerting the other guard on the catwalk. The only opportune moment for stealth is shown in this screenshot:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293683740304/thedarkmod/specialdelivery/shot00003.jpg?height=300&width=400

To get to the door, I waited until the ground floor guard faces the machinery and the guard on the catwalk moves towards my direction. Then, I just ran while crouched right past him. I couldn't pull this off without instigating a 1st alert from both of the guards. As you can see from the screenshots, this machinery room is well-lit.

Later on, I encountered an area that requires damage taken from a fall in order to maintain ghost mode. There is an extremely bright pit that the player must descend into, but it is monitored by a guard who patrols around its perimeter. I could not move to the ladder and climb down without being seen; my only recourse was to run and fall down, taking 7 damage:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293683763744/thedarkmod/specialdelivery/shot00012.jpg?height=300&width=400

But even this caused a 1st alert. I also couldn't avoid a 1st alert when exiting the pit by climbing the ladder.

Hexameron
30th Dec 2010, 22:53
TDM FM: Awaiting the Storm

Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:32:31
Loot - 1286/1286
Pockets Picked - 3
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Kills - 0 Knockouts - 0
Health Restored - 72(?)
Stealth Score - 10

Comments - A straightforward ghost run. I don't know how to explain the health restored stat.

Hexameron
30th Dec 2010, 23:44
TDM FM: Mad's Mountain

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:41:25
Loot - 940/1155
Pockets Picked - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Kills - 0 Knockouts - 0
Stealth Score - 0

Comments - The zero stealth score confuses me since I could've sworn I didn't cause more than a couple 1st alerts.

Getting the loot on the table with the two thieves nearby is tough. It involves quickly running up to the table when both thieves' backs are turned to snuff out the candles. The opportunity for this is slim, as one thief patrols, and the other pivots.

I was also stumped about how to progress through the mission when I got to this area:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293751640737/thedarkmod/madsmnt/madsmnt1.jpg?height=300&width=400

What isn't apparent on first glance is that this cord can be climbed upwards and leads to vital areas:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293751656205/thedarkmod/madsmnt/madsmnt3.jpg?height=300&width=400

The spider cavern may look difficult, but it's quite manageable. A large spider patrols a narrow stone ridge and there aren't too many places to hide in. The pit adjacent to this ridge containing the dead body is bright and full of tiny green spiders, so I had to stay on the ridge. I just made sure to hug the left wall while crouched, and follow the large spider's patrol:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293751662807/thedarkmod/madsmnt/madsmnt4.jpg?height=300&width=400

Hexameron
31st Dec 2010, 00:00
TDM FM: Glenham's Tower

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:00:25
Loot - 4240/4605
Pockets Picked - 4
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Kills - 0 Knockouts - 0
Stealth Score - 10

Comments - This is a fun mission with lots of climbing challenges and enough AI patrols to keep the player on his toes.

Once the player reaches the top of the tower and enters the lab, there is a scripted event that happens. Actually, you have to open one of the cabinets in the lab and then a sound of an explosion occurs. Two unalerted zombies will then rush into the lab; one will stay put next to a bookshelf and the other returns to his original patrol. Once I knew what happened, I made sure to loot everything in the lab (there's a lot to get) before going to the cabinet. Then I opened the cabinet, got the loot inside, and ran out of the lab just in time to watch the zombies proceed upstairs:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293751554426/thedarkmod/glenhamtower/glenham1.jpg?height=300&width=400

I can't report any major ghosting issues. I was liberal with my water arrow supply because a lot of hallways had torches and a busy traffic of undead patrols.

I "cheated" to get back to the mission start. Towards the end of the mission beyond the throne room with undead is some kind of machinery. It has a wood surface jutting out of the wall and is resting on rails. I really don't know what it is:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293751561494/thedarkmod/glenhamtower/glenham2.jpg?height=300&width=400

A nearby switch seems to cause the thing to move, but it never completely recoiled out of the wall for me. I figured out, however, that after hitting the switch, the player can move through the object as if it has no clipping. There is still some resistance, though, and it takes a while to run through it:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293751566651/thedarkmod/glenhamtower/glenham3.jpg?height=300&width=400

As I kept pressing forward, I eventually squeezed out of the other side and into the basement of the tower:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293751571719/thedarkmod/glenhamtower/glenham4.jpg?height=300&width=400

Hexameron
1st Jan 2011, 06:01
FM: Curse of the Hammerites
File: HtH_HammerCurse_eng_v1.3.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 01:04:57
Loot - 5863/8064
Pockets Picked - 7/11
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Cause of Failure:

- Must break wood planks blocking access to the eye (objective), which also alerts a nearby treebeast

Comments - What a weird mission this was: large and bland rooms, bizarre combinations of textures, and terrible sound propagation. I wasn't busted until the very last few minutes of the mission. Up until that point, I encountered only a couple trouble spots. I found it a struggle to meet the loot requirement (5600). Some areas had loot, but I couldn't get to it without alerting other AI.

For example, the two gold nuggets in the water shown in this screenshot:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293857452786/screenshots/curseofhammerites/curseofhamnugs2.jpg?height=318&width=400

The mechanist patrols along the water's edge and the splash from dropping in the water always alerted him, so I missed 200 loot.

Another challenging area is shown here:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293857494491/screenshots/curseofhammerites/curseofham3b.jpg?height=300&width=400

Getting inside that bedroom is important, but certainly requires patience. There's a sleeping mechanist, a watcher, and a worker bot to deal with. Dousing the nearby torch is necessary to avoid being spotted by the watcher, and while this wakes up the sleeping mechanist, slipping in and out of the room is not as easy as it looks. The worker bot tends to bump into the player, owing to his short patrol. It took me several reloads to maneuver around him:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293857646871/screenshots/curseofhammerites/curseofham7.jpg?height=300&width=400

I was ultimately busted, though, by the planks blocking the way to the room with the eye:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293857518521/screenshots/curseofhammerites/curseofham5.jpg?height=300&width=400

Breaking them down with the sword is not a safe option because of the patrolling tree beast. So I lobbed some mines under the boards and set them off with a broadhead. That way, the boards were obliterated instantly and I wouldn't have to worry about the treebeast meandering over in 2nd alert while I'm still hacking away at wood. Of course, I doused the torch so I could make my escape without a tree beast in tow:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293857529459/screenshots/curseofhammerites/curseofham6.jpg?height=300&width=400

But once the eye is taken, and if it's your last objective, the mission ends. Since I completed all my objectives at that point, I didn't get to explore other parts of the town, but I ghosted everything leading to the eye.

Hexameron
2nd Jan 2011, 01:52
FM: Von Ratten, Spinnen, und einer Flucht
File: VonRattenSpinnenUndEinerFlucht.zip

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:24:38
Loot - 4137/4684
Pockets Picked - 5/14
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 2
Damage dealt - 27 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 1

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot sneak by little spider in sewers

2. Keepers in the crypt area randomly 2nd alert to the player's presence(?)

Comments - This is a small German mission with no translations, so I didn't know what I was doing half the time. I was busted very early on in the sewers. There is a machinery room with an important book (objective) and a key resting on a table. I couldn't sneak over to the table, however, because of a little spider stuck in an indentation of the floor; reloading didn't fix it:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293922134021/screenshots/vonratten/vonrattenspidb.jpg?height=316&width=400

He just walks in place with a keen view of the room, so I decided to kill him before grabbing the book.

The other peculiar ghost bust is the random 2nd alerts that occur for no apparent reason. At one area, I was patiently waiting in the darkness when an idle keeper suddenly yelled "Hey!" and kept on standing there. 20 seconds later other keepers in the vicinity began hunting. I didn't open doors or do anything that would set them off:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293922089619/screenshots/vonratten/vonratten7.jpg?height=300&width=400

I resorted to blackjacking two of the primary 2nd alerters who seemed to aggravate the others.

Getting the loot in some areas is therefore difficult because the keepers tend to go on 2nd alert pretty easily. Dousing a torch or opening a door disturbs them, but what's frustrating is that the alerts are always delayed by 10-20 seconds. I screwed up some of my saves that way, thinking I was safe after dousing a torch.

This happened upstairs in the marble-floored area, too. I was sneaking over to the skull on the pedestal and when I emerged slightly out of the shadows, the archer guarding it yelled "Hey!" and began firing. In addition, all the other keepers on the lower floors went on 2nd alert, too.

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293922105242/screenshots/vonratten/vonratten8.jpg?height=300&width=400

Oddly enough, dousing all torches and creeping along the sarcophagi will not upset the keeper archer. Thus, I managed to get the skull right in front of his face and he didn't see:

https://sites.google.com/site/thief2fms/_/rsrc/1293922119850/screenshots/vonratten/vonratten9.jpg?height=300&width=400

I could have tried to supreme ghost this one, thinking maybe if I avoided all 1st alerts, these delayed 2nd alerts wouldn't happen, but I'm pretty sure a hefty number of torches need to be extinguished, especially to get the skull and necessary loot requirement (4000). In any case, I was already busted by that little spider.