PDA

View Full Version : FMs - Ghost/Perfect Thief Results (Part 5)



Danventry
9th Feb 2003, 02:57
This is the fifth thread in the series of Ghost/Perfect Thief results for FM's. The prior threads have been archived at: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/FMs_Ghost_Perfect_Thief_Results_Part1_1.htm
Part 2: http://forums.eidosgames.com/old-ubb/FMs_Ghost_Perfect_Thief_Results_Part2_1.htm
Part 3: http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1178
Part 4: http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=6112&perpage=20&pagenumber=1
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

This thread will be used to post the results of players' attempts at ghosting fan missions (FMs) whether wholly successful or not. Rules regarding Ghost and Perfect Thief play modes can be found in the Thief archive.

Recorded in each message is the FM name, FM's game (T1 or TG or 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.

WARNING: Discussions regarding how some or all of the mission was ghosted means there may be spoilers contained herein.

If you want to simply know if a mission was ghosted successfully or not, just read the statistics portion of a message.

To prevent this thread from becoming excessively long and forcing readers to span many pages to read the results, this thread should be closed when its length reaches <s>5 pages</s> 100 posts (now 100 posts because the user preference on number of messages per page can affect the number of pages) whereupon a new "Part n+1" thread is started. The moderator(s) will then 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 result herein is appropriate but hurrah messages should be eliminated or kept to a minimum. Discussing how to ghost something in a mission not yet reported here should be opened in a separate thread. The idea is to report successful ghost attempts and perhaps discuss failures and possible solutions but not to incur a lot of fluff within this thread.

Please note that nobody requires a mission to be ghostable, and comments herein about whether or not a mission is ghostable do not reflect negatively on the mission. No mission is required to be ghostable. Ghosting is just a means of raising the level of difficulty in playing the mission.

Danventry
9th Feb 2003, 16:41
Title: Unfortunate Formulae
Game: Thief 2 - TMA
Perfect: Success!
Time: 27 minutes 35 seconds
Loot: 920/920
Pick-Pockets: 2/3 (PP Bug - 2/2)
Secrets: 3/3 (Objective)
Etc: 0

Comments:
- This game may have had only 3 AI, but with the placement of some of the windows, the archer was a bother to work around.
- Some of the loot is a bit difficult to find at first (Thanks for the help Nightwalker).
- I suggest you play this FM on easy first, so you don't have to go back to your starting point.

Danventry
9th Feb 2003, 17:19
Title: Careless Little Fly
Perfect: Success!
Time: 10 minutes 22 seconds
Loot: 160/160
Pick-Pockets: 1/2 (PP Bug - 1/1)
LP: 3
Etc: 0

Comments:
- You are supposedly trapped in the pagan area by a fence. You have a cannon bomb (flash-bomb/mine mix) to blow it up. This creates property damage.
- I dunno if the author put them in there for this reason or not, but there are 4 crates you can use to get over the fence.
- You must use all four. 3 to get up over the fence, and one to hold the other two up (otherwise, when you get two crates up, you can't reach the third without falling off).
- You need to wait until the pagan man is on the other side of the outside area, or he'll hear you.
- I went behind the table where the maps are to pick it. The lady didn't go on 2nd alert even when she passed right by me (and I was in the yellow). I'm pretty sure she atleast went on 1st (but she had no voice, so I can't tell for sure).

Morrgan
10th Feb 2003, 13:46
Just a little note about the crates, I got over the fence using only 2 of them. A bit tricky, but it can be done.

Vanguard
12th Feb 2003, 09:56
FM: Gathering at the Inn
File: gati_mission_highres.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Time: 1 hr 8 min
Loot: 986 of 1048 (700 for optional objective)
Pockets picked: 2 of 3 (all)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt: 0 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 2 of 3

Comments:
- Had a couple of tough spots. One was to move to the other side of the 2nd floor with the water and storage closets. I got the electric lights off and doused the torch at the end but the hallway to the last room (with mine map and some loot) remained way too bright in the middle by the window and the guard would spot me. There are 2 rooms at the end of that long hallway. One you get into using the chimney vents and it has a secret wall that leads into the one of the 2 rooms at the end of that hallway. This let me get behind the stationary guard there, get his purse, and get into the next room.
- The hard spot was simply moving around the stairs and the 2nd floor in the inn because of the electric lights. You have very few water arrows (and some are buggy in that they may not be frobbable; see next comment). I used the trick of piling up crates to block AIs. When you turn off the lights, the guard with the exposed brains heads on down to the basement to turn the lights back on. So I piled up some crates in the doorway leading into the generator room. They have to be at least 2 high but there are enough crates close by (and 2 up through the floor hole) to make 2 columns of crates that were 3 crates high. I used a rope arrow to go back up through the floor hole. The brains exposed guard would come down and get stuck continuously walking into the crates that blocked the doorway, and the lights would remain off.
- There are 2 places where you can pick up some water arrows. However, sometimes they are not frobbable. One pair is on the 2nd floor behind and alongside the stationary guard. The other pair is on the first floor next to the bar by the door going to behind the bar. You have to break glass to get at them but then they may not be frobbable. Since the glass breaking is a no-no, you have to skip them anyway. However, the glass breaking alerts no AIs, even when only a couple feet from the stationary guard. If you get lucky in moving past the fires in the fireplaces quick enough, you don't need the extra water arrows. I did use the only gas arrow (found under a zombie in the sewers) to douse a torch in the hallway between the front bar room and the rear hallway with the stairs; this is the hallway with the room with the fire mage. This was so I could crouch in the dark and let the guards pass me without an alert so I could time when to dash up the half darkened stairs to the 2nd floor.
- It took me a real long time to figure out how to disguise the fire pick (you have to make it look like the ice pick). I was trying to "use" it in the sink (figuring that cooling it might change it), tried to put it in the kitchen fireplace and in the basement furnace (to forge it more or differently), and probably some other actions that I don't remember. I finally frobbed it on the smithy and he changed it so it was disguised. Nothing in any writing tells you how to disguise the iron wand into look like an ice pick, but then Expert level is called the "No Hints" level.
- I completed all objectives, including the optional ones. It looks like I missed one secret which is probably why I was short on loot. There is a guardhouse-size building near where you start with a loot box inside but you cannot pick open the door (Garret doesn't have any lockpicks in the FM) so you have to either bash open the door or smash the window.

Peter_Smith
17th Feb 2003, 07:41
Congrats, Vanguard.:)

Somewhere along the line you can find a key that opens the guard house building. It's one of the ordinary keys. That building contains only 12 loot, as I recall. I think the secret you missed could have some more loot. It could be this:Check very carefully in the sewer. Remember a note about a ring?

If you got as far as you did, then you can perfect it. There is no really exposed loot other than in the broom closet upstairs.

Now go back and ghost it with the lights on.:) Or time it so that the lights are off for the 30 seconds or so that they need to be. That should be possible. I haven't done it yet, but I may try.

The only reason I have not tried a pure ghost, that is, why I always got water arrows behind the glass, is that I hate getting my trousers scorched in the fire.:) I've gotten all the loot with no alerts and only breaking glass.

The problem with the broken glass landing in the wrong place and preventing a frob of the arrows has been reported before. It is a random thing. Break it again, and chances are it won't happen.

Vanguard
8th Mar 2003, 20:17
Got the ring. It's under or by a zombie that is dead in the water (i.e., it won't wake up when approached). I got enough loot to satisfy the objective.

Vanguard
8th Mar 2003, 21:01
FM: Library the Town
File: librarytown.zip

Play mode: Ghost (failed)
Time: 1 hr 12 min
Loot: 5012 of 5197
Pockets picked: 2 of 7 (where's the other 4? [this count always off by 1])
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt: 0 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Killed: 0

Cause(s) of failure:
- The stats are obviously wrong which means the author must've defined the AIs to not count when killed or gassed. 4 apebeasts died (by walking into a nonexistent fire) and I had to gas the last 2 guards (since a boundary triggers sets off the talisman guard).
- Could not sneak past the apebeasts in the tunnels. Dousing their fire puts them on full alert. Them dying in the now doused fire pit alerts the other apebeasts.
- Getting your head at the level of the floor where are the talimans sets off a boundary trigger that puts the guard up there on full alert, who then causes the archer below to go on alert.

Comments:
- Getting to the lockpicks was hard. I had to use 3 of the 5 water arrows that you start with: 2 for the 1st floor living room and 1 at the top of the ladder to the 2nd floor bedroom. I could then trail behind the patrolling gal upstairs to get at my lockpicks.
- Dousing the torch on the 1st floor of Reggie the actor's house will full alert the gal guard inside. She alerts when the arrow passes by her, not when the torch gets doused. Many AIs are like this: they spot the arrow flying by and full alert. You start with 1 rope arrow but there is nowhere to use it, like the balcony, to find an alternate route into this house. In fact, I never found a use for the rope arrow. Although the floor inside is textured as a tile floor, it was brushed with a wood sound so I didn't have to moss the floor. I found that I could dash in and hug the wall to get into the opposite corner of the front room without even as much as a 1st alert from the gal guard.
- I trailed behind the pacing guy upstairs to snag the loot up there.
- Be careful when pressing up against any wall in this FM. You might just get snagged on the wall. I found MANY places where I would get snagged on the wall and which was repeatable.
- Although I could sneak into this house by dashing in from the front door, I couldn't do the same to get out. Once inside, however, you can get behind the gal and then douse the torch.
- Across the canal is a gambling house. Torches are defined to be frobbable, yet nothing happens when you frob them, and even when doused they don't relight. Other objects are frobbable without reason. The huge gate at the docks is frobbable and will make a noise when frobbed but nothing happens.
- There are 3 gold nuggets behind the banner in the kitchen that you can frob through the banner.
- The wall of this house that runs along the long street is paper thin. Any noise you make inside can be heard by the archer patrolling the street outside.
- At the end of the longest street and past the archer guardhouse is a big hall. Had to nudge a guard in the jewelry store forward to get between him and the wall to get at a lockbox under the counter.
- The pudgy guy that wanders the big hall is super alert. Any noise and any glimpse and he goes on full alert. It took some moss by the door and several efforts at dousing the torches in the gambling room without putting pudgy on alert.
- Simply followed behind the guy in the dining room to get behind the counter for the loot there. Left using the kitchen door.
- I was surprised how much noise I could make on the tile floor without even a first alert (as long as pudgy was in a room behind a closed door).
- There appears a defect in the mage AI in the temple. This AI has *no* skin; i.e., the mage is 100% invisible. There is no faint outline as with Keepers, Garrett, or other near-invisible AIs. This AI is wholly invisible. The only time you'll ever see anything of this AI is when his hand glows when readying to fire an explosive gear. You can douse the torches in the temple to prevent being seen but there's nothing in there worth snatching. All rooms in that corner were disappointing: the temple, bookstore, and art rooms had no loot, just a couple scrolls that are not needed to figure out the mission.
- When leaving the big hall, getting back onto the street can be near impossible without jumping. I didn't want to waste a moss arrow here nor did I bring a crate with me. There is a 1/4" "cliff" in the road that Garrett cannot walk over. You get stuck there like you hit an invisible wall, which is what I thought had happened at first. You could use up a moss arrow to jump over this "cliff" so as to not alert the archer guard above. However, I did find that running just a hair to the right side of the middle of the street would let you get off the slightly ramped section and onto the flat street.
- Spiders in the tunnels are also triggered by arrows flying by them (if there is light but then that's why you are trying to use water or gas arrows). There is a Y split in the tunnel at the start. You can crouch and sneak into the left tunnel to get past the spider in the right tunnel. Now you can douse the torch, and head back through the right tunnel while crouching and sneaking very close to get past the spider on your way to that half of the tunnels to get the serpentine torch and fireplace poker (an objective). Then head back to the other half to get down the ladders into the lower tunnels.
- The ladders down to the lower tunnels do not reach all the way to the floor. Often when jumping off the ladder, the noise on landing on the stone tunnel floor would alert the apebeast patrolling through that tunnel. So I'd jump to the side to catch a ledge and then slowly slide off the ledge to land more quietly on the tunnel floor. Then I'd follow behind the apebeast to get into the side tunnel going off the crypt room with the Hand of Glory (an objective).
- I could not get past the 2 apebeasts by the fire pit. Dousing their fire would put them onto full alert (again, it's the arrow flying by that alerts them, not the fire going out). It is too well lit in their cavern to crouch and sneak past them (plus you'll likely get snagged on the walls when you are pressing against them). Although the fire was doused, it is still really there. As the apebeasts wander about their cavern hunting for whatever fired the arrow that they spied, they will incur damage, get stuck, and soon die when they walk over the fire pit. It's not a matter of "if" they walk over the fire pit. They always walk over the fire pit and get killed. Them dying sets off the other apebeasts who come to investigate, walk over the fire pit, and also die. I couldn't get past them without dousing the fire. Dousing the fire ended up with 4 dead apebeasts. Ghost busted.
- The guard patrolling at the top level of the next tower cavern by the talismans is triggered to go onto full alert by a boundary trigger. I can get up the first ladder to the mid-level tunnel with only a 1st alert from the patrolling mid-level archer. I then get up the next ladder with only a 1st alert from the archer but timed so the patrolling guard above will be walking away from the ladder as I reach the top; i.e., I come up behind the guard. However, a few rungs before reaching the top of the ladder this guard will go onto alert although I am behind him and making no noise (the metal floor has been pre-mossed and there is even moss right at the top of the ladder). As soon as my head pops above the boundary trigger (which is at the level of the metal floor up there), this guard goes onto full alert. When he goes on alert, the archer also alerts. So I had to gas them both. Ghost bust.
- After heading up and out of the tunnels, you find a lockbox with a key (which ends the mission). If you quickly dash over to the door, this key opens it but there's nothing behind the door.

There is only one difficulty level: Normal. So you can kill without violating a no-kill objective. So I'm heading back in to find the rest of the loot and EVERYONE is going to die this time - except, of course, for me.

Deadfall
11th Mar 2003, 07:43
FM: The Burrick's Head Inn

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:56:52
Loot - 4360/4395
Pockets Picked - 3/12
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 2/3

Comments - Been away for a while and came back to check out the C4 missions. I've read about a few problems regarding this mission and decided to try it out myself, and I can see where the conflict was.

The main problem is getting the angel tear without alerting the sword-wielding female, Abby. Before I explain my method of getting by her, I should point out that nudging and stacking are involved. I should also say that conservation of moss arrows is required.

The mission was straightforward up until the 6th floor, or Abby's room. Since neither jumping on the table, leaning, nudging from the front, or scaling the banister worked, I thought about the possibility of somehow starting from the 5th level and then getting to the balcony with Abby. It seems that after her little battle with the thief, she is extra alert. Even firing a moss arrow next to her feet would put her on alert. So I thought about trying to get behind her. To do this, I would have to get onto the fireplace and then mantle up the banister. First, I nudged the guard into the corner by the door. Second, I doused the fireplace and turned off the lamp. However, there was still a small table lamp above, and to turn it off I jumped onto the parchment on the glass table, then onto the fireplace, then I jumped forward until I clicked it off. Finally, the room was totally dark.

The next step was trying to get onto the balcony. The lamp was the tallest object on the floor, but it was still not tall enough to get me over the banister. I needed something to stack, so I took the rope arrow back down and looked around for feasible items. I also went on a blackjack run, and the only item I found useful was a potted plant on the 4th floor, and 2 cabbages in one of the kitchens. Back at Abby's place, I jumped and stacked the potted plant on the lamp, just like crate stacking and readied the cabbages. I believe the technique used with the cabbages is similar to the flare trick; if not the same. The technique is to look up, drop the cabbage and it stops on Garrett's head. Jumping about 3 times then allows Garrett to scale up the cabbages. After doing this myself, I was high enough to jump over the balcony. The banister was metal, however, so I used my last moss arrow and after executing the cabbage stacking technique again, I was able to successfully jump over the banister and onto Abby's bed.

It didn't end here, however. For some reason my face had to be pressed against the angel tear until I could loot it, but Abby was too close so I had to nudge her forward. After all of this, I grabbed the angel tear, did a small creep and jump onto the bed, then dropped back down to the fireplace and ultimately exited through the sewers.

I had enough fun dancing around on the bottom floor and constantly turning off lights that I decided not to search for the other secret or the missing loot. I enjoyed the challenge though, and I hope someone else tries this technique, or finds something even better.

Vanguard
11th Mar 2003, 16:44
Deadfall,

Hurrah for your heroic effort in ghosting the alerted gal in the penthouse. I kept figuring that I'd have to ghost her from behind but couldn't figure out how to get up there. I kept looking for somewhere to use a rope arrow (I think I had one in this mission but am not sure now). In fact, I had nudged the guard out into the hallway and closed the door behind him to give me more working space.

I knew about crate stacking by looking down but never knew about mantling upward in mid-air by dropping stuff on my head. I have used apples to stack underneath if but all I need is some altitude and a tiny jump since the apples tend to topple underneath when you jump the last highest jump. In fact, I used some kind of food to get up and over the balcony to get back onto the rope rather than take the elevator down. Too bad Garrett doesn't know how to use his somewhat short sword to square off these rather hardy hardy apples. I can just see in Thief 3 all the applesauce spotted around from us ol' timers trying to use them for stacking.
<i>What'd I step in!? Oh, it's just applesauce. Applesauce!? Thief! THEIF HERE! He's got a sword! Here chickie, chickie, chickie. I won't hurt you ... much.</i>

Deadfall
12th Mar 2003, 06:52
FM: The Bluecoat's Training Facility

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 01:34:50
Loot - 3669/3669
Pockets Picked - 1/2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - Overall, the mission was easy to ghost. The hardest part and most time consuming was figuring out the vault combination, and finding all of the loot.

The mission started out non-linear. I decided to take a swim in one of the fountains and realized it was a possible way of entry. In each of the fountains are passages that lead to the basement or cellar of the first building. Once in the cellar, it was straight sneaking all the way to the second floor and back down.

Some possible problem areas and how I solved them:
-Traversing through the lobby area with the desks involved hitting the light switch with a moss or water arrow. There were 3 switches in the room but I couldn't lean close enough so I aimed for the switch next to the double metal door. I doused the fireplace to get the 2 purple vases.
-The unarmed thieves or guards in one of the barracks didn't seem to ever become alert. I had to mantle the beds and check each footlocker to avoid the patrolling thief.
-Getting the coins from the bunk beds in the guard barracks involved alot of CCCing to avoid waking or alerting any of the sleeping guards.

On the second floor in the Armory there is a vault where Constantine's Sword is kept. The vault combination is four numbers and the scroll from the safe gives instructions on how to apply the vault combination. The first hint on the scroll was something like "# of men standing and facing eachother." The second was "# of letters in the word spelled out with beer bottles." The third and fourth one was the number of food items allowed to a Novice, and the number next to guardlog in the manuals found in one of the barracks. I didn't really know what the first one meant and I still don't. I guessed it was either the dummies outside, or the unarmed guards in the barracks. Either way I counted 6. The spelled out word with beer bottles was found in the game room on the counter. The information on Novices and their food allowance was posted in the kitchen. And the guard manual contained the number associated with guardlog.

Reading books and scrolls in this mission is a must. I don't know if I would have ever found the workshop key under the commander's bed if I didn't read the journal in the library. The most difficult part for me, though, was trying to find all of the loot. The author placed some loose coins in places I wouldn't think of scrounging. Some were found on either the top or bottom of the bunk beds in the barracks. Some were found on the floor and one was really well hidden in the locker room next to the bench. Other hard to find loot: a few loose coins on the floor in the huge shower room, a gem ring under the bench in the locker room, a purse and loose coin under the dining room table, a gold coin on one of the nighstands in the officers quarters, a few gold coins on the bunk beds in the guard barracks, blue crystal behind the stack of crates in the Armory, a number of gold wine bottles under the shelf in the cellar, and a gold ring in the sink in the game room.

Deadfall
12th Mar 2003, 08:19
FM: Cashing In

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:31:13
Loot - 2081/2081
Pockets Picked - 0/7
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - A small C4 mission. Getting from the dining room to the lounge room and upstairs required quick actions and timing of patrols. Since I had no water arrows, I had to rely on natural shadow. Two bedrooms on the second floor allow access to a series of secret passages, very similar to the ones in T2's "Casing the Joint." The secret passages opened up to just about every room, but any switches or levers used in these passages were only available from the inside, so I didn't really discover the secret passages until I was almost finished the mission.

The ledger is found in the office on the second floor. The switch under the desk in the basement removes a panel above the bookcase and it is a little hard to see unless you highlight the ledger.

Nothing else to report except loot. Hard to find loot: purse in the water next to the kitchen, flute on the chair in the library, gold vase on the fireplace in the female noble's room, and a silver bracelet on the edge of the bath tub on the second floor. I don't know why the pocket count was 0 out of 7. I don't believe there were any pockets to be picked at all.

Deadfall
12th Mar 2003, 09:45
FM: Thief Noir

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:23:04
Loot - 706/706
Pockets Picked - 2/3
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - Another C4 mission. After playing this mission, I think it has a very good chance of winning the C4. The design and playability was much better than some of the other C4 FM's. This mission was pretty immersive too, even though it was small and short. I was actually surprised when I first played this mission; I thought I had loaded Ranstall Keep instead upon playing. Although any discoloration in the visibility gem can affect my sneaking, I didn't mind it as much as some other FM's I've seen with purple or pink visibility gems.

The mission was straightforward and it was easy to find the Rum recipe, the note about the meeting, and the shipping list. The only difficulty I had was finding all of the loot. After searching for a while, I realized I missed 2 gold wine bottles on the lower shelf in the cellar.

Deadfall
13th Mar 2003, 02:21
FM: Curiosity Shop

Ghost - Success (Chemical)
Perfect Thief - Success (Chemical)
Time - 00:12:31
Loot - 3319/3319
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - Another small C4 mission. The mission was rather dull, but most of all, very frustrating because loading would make me crash to desktop. I replayed this mission so many times because of careless mistakes that meant I had to restart. So I had to Ironman this one. There were some AI problems too. The idle thief and the idle female noble were highly sensitive and would go on alert if I was too close to them.

The zombie and the guard in the first two rooms couldn't really see well with their peripheral vision, so no torches needed to be doused here. However, dousing the torches in the display room with the thief was vital. His peripheral vision always caught me if I was leaning into the table to loot the items. I also had to use a water arrow on the gas lamp in the male noble's room. He would spot me upon entering from the secret passage, if the gas lamp wasn't doused.

I had to nudge the male servant in the kitchen forward so I could get the ornate plates from both shelves.

You must use an invis potion to ghost this because of the loot objective. The room with the female noble was brightened from a gas lamp behind the door and she would always catch me sneaking inside, so I had to use an invis potion, and then douse the gas lamp. This room has the last loot required for the objective, but to leave it required some CCCing because the female noble would become alert by proximity. If I was too close she would start searching around. I couldn't nudge her either.

No hard-to-find loot in this mission. Although I suppose it was easy to miss a few of the ornate plates in the kitchen because they were stacked on top of eachother. The floor panel under the bed in the male noble's room also had two purses. But this mission required 3000 loot, so it almost forces you to get all of the loot.

Deadfall
13th Mar 2003, 03:32
FM: Debt To Nate

Ghost - Failed
Perfect Thief - N/A
Time - 00:01:53
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Causes of Failure:

-Flipping the lever on the balcony causes a noisemaker arrow to alert the zombies below.
-Cannot sneak by any of the zombies below to get the Horn of Quintus and the entrance key.

Comments - A very small C4 mission. I found a small switch on the wall that makes the table slide open revealing a few sunburst devices called "Zombie Killers" and some fire arrows. I was hoping there would be water arrows instead of fire arrows, however. I might have been able to sneak by the zombies if I could have doused all of the torches. But there was no way to sneak by any of them, and I assume flipping the lever which alerts the zombies is a ghost bust. Ultimately, I just had to grab the key and the horn and train all of the zombies back to the entrance.

Deadfall
13th Mar 2003, 03:49
FM: Dwelling Insanity

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - N/A
Time - 00:07:21
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - A strange C4 mission. No AI, no inventory, no real purpose at all. The hardest part was making a few leaps over the holes in the staircases. But the mission was linear with stairs spiraling up until I reached a small chapel with a book. My blank objective checked off after taking the book.

Deadfall
13th Mar 2003, 21:34
FM: A Mission With No Name

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:44:50
Loot - 1084/1084
Pockets Picked - 4/4 (first time I've seen a correct pocket count)
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 2/2

Comments - Another C4 mission. Sneaking around the city area was a little difficult at first. The short patrols had to be timed right so I could get into each building. I also used alot of water arrows in this mission, but I suppose it was because of the short patrols and cramped areas. And there was some nudging needed.
-Had to nudge the male noble in the first apartment towards the table so I could climb the ladder unnoticed.
-Had to nudge the male servant in the 4th building all the way up towards the counter to get the loot in the sink.

I was stuck on how to get into the library and I still don't know if what I did was the only way. By mere accident I was right clicking along the ledge next to the library windows and happened to hit a lever. I received a "Secret Found" message and heard a door open. After looking around I realized that a portion of the wall on the top floor in the first building had opened. Inside was a keeper-like room with a few candlesticks and a purse. There was also a book that required either a lit flare or a lit torch to read. I don't know how the author expected someone to accidentally frob a lever while on the outside. But from what I saw, there was no other way to hit the lever unless on this ledge.

The other secret was a lever that opened the bunk in the 4th building. I was surprised with a fire arrow in my face when I dropped down to loot the coins, though. To deactivate the fire arrow trap, I had to pick the lockbox on the side of the bunk and then flip the lever.

Hard to find loot: coins on window sill in the first building, coins on top of the dresser in the second building, ring in the garden on the balcony connecting to the 4th building, silver coin stack on the beams in the 4th building, loose coins and coin stacks on the right side of the footlocker in the storage room, and a gold coin stack on the table in the room next to the two guards at the portcullis.

Deadfall
13th Mar 2003, 23:10
FM: Mylokh's Tower

Ghost - Failed
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:29:00
Loot - 2375/2525
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 4
Damage dealt - 46 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 4
Secrets Found - 3/3

Causes of Failure:

-Cannot sneak by craymen on the 2nd level.
-Cannot sneak by bugbeasts on the 3rd level.
-Cannot sneak by fire elemental and spider on 4th level.
-Cannot sneak by green spiders in the chamber area.

Comments - Just about every AI in the mission became alerted during the course of my attempted ghost. I did manage to sneak by the zombie on the 1st floor, using moss and strafing around his left side as he turns. But when I got to the 2nd floor with the craymen, everything failed. Dousing the torches or the camp fire would put the craymen, the zombie below, and the bugbeasts above on 2nd alert. The 2nd level is too bright and there is no way to sneak by them. I had to douse the torches and then knock the craymen out.

The bugbeasts on the 3rd floor seemed to be alerted by proximity of Garrett after they calmed down, so I knocked them out too. The 4th floor required dousing the torches, but ultimately I would need to get behind the secret panel for loot, Mylokh's book, and a switch to open the dresser on the far side, which contains the lever to open the door to the 5th floor. I had to take the spider out with arrows and douse the fire elemental.

In either case, if I did manage to sneak by each level, it would have been for nothing, because taking the required keys on the 5th floor causes a fire arrow to explode which alerts all 5 levels of the tower.

Immediately after opening the chamber door back at the beginning, 4 spiders were facing right at me and there was no way to sneak by them. I had to take them out with broadheads. The one place I did manage to ghost was at the sword of elemental fire. I was able to sneak by the haunts, grab the sword, and get all of the loot around the skeleton remains.

Although I didn't find all of the loot, I did find some that were well hidden. Hard to find loot: silver nugget behind chair on 1st level, coin stack in chest under desk on 1st level, small statues on the wall on the 4th floor, and silver nuggets by the skeletal remains in the chamber area.

Danventry
14th Mar 2003, 00:23
Deadfall: You've been busy haven't you?
Spoiler For "Mission with No Name"

The Keeper switch that you are supposed to hit is by the Burrick Head. And there's 3 very humorus books to read (especially the Keepr Rules which contradicts itself).

As soon as the author's name is revealed, I'm asking how they got the pick-pocket stats to be correct!

Deadfall
14th Mar 2003, 01:02
Danventry: Downloaded all of the C4 FM's and I'm just playing them one by one, hoping to ghost most of them. I went back and checked around the burrick trophies in "A Mission With No Name." I didn't think the author would make the switch that hard to find. Thanks

Deadfall
14th Mar 2003, 01:24
FM: Secret Weapon

Ghost - Failed
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:23:15
Loot - 1065/1635
Pockets Picked - 1/2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 2
Damage dealt - 2 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 2/3

Causes of Failure:

-Green spider encased in glass goes on alert if you try and grab the required book.
-Cannot sneak by the two mechanist guards to grab the book and to get the secret weapon in the adjacent room.

Comments - A small C4 mission. There were some strange texture problems all over the mission though. Some floor/ceiling/wall surfaces were solid blue and had no sound when walked on. I don't know how to explain this.

I thought I was going to ghost this until I got to the very end of the mission and realized I couldn't sneak by the female servant turned-spider or both of the mechanist guards. The spider was facing right at the desk that I needed to move to in order to steal the required book. The two mechanist guards were idle and pivoted from time to time, but I still could not sneak by them. However, the green spider was the main problem. Even if I did get the lucky chance of having the two mechanists back turned, and somehow managed to get the book, the spider still would have noticed me. Unfortunately, I had to knockout both mechanist guards and drop their corpses in the shadow. The green spider continued to stay on 2nd alert in his little glass room.

Noted areas:

-Sneaking from the foyer to the floor with the elevator required the use of a water arrow. I had to stop halfway on the marble stairs and mantle myself up between the railing and the other staircase. Then I fired a water arrow at the light switch on the wall. After this, I was able to sneak up the stairs more easily.
-Sneaking by the mech eye in the mask room was a little difficult since the door was in my way and I had no idea where the mech eye was turning to. I had to do some leaning until I could see the green cylinder part (on the back of the mech eyes) and then judge the best time to dash into the room.
-On my way back to the beginning of the mission, I noticed more hammerites than what I remembered seeing previously. One was even blocking the doorway out to the "garden" so I had to nudge him outside.

I didn't find all of the secrets, but the first one is a removable wall panel in the marble room. The button on the hammer statue opens the panel. The other secret is a pickable crate lid between the alchemy lab and the mask room. Inside are some junk items and a healing potion.

Hard to find loot: gold coin on the railing near the elevator, gold coin on top of the bookcase in the library, gold nugget behind purple vase in the mask room, amulet behind mech banner in foyeer, and a gold coin stuck in the rear end of the mech-angel statue in the marble room.

Deadfall
14th Mar 2003, 01:53
FM: R G B

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - N/A
Time - 00:19:48
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/7 (weird)
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - Another C4 mission. Although I wouldn't really call this a Thief mission. It was really just a maze. And I got through it due to probability; not skill. I just kept running and going up blue, red and green water tunnels until I found all of the keys and then found the Dragon parts. I don't know why the pocket count says 7. There was no AI in this FM from what I saw. Unless somehow the keys from the pedestals were actually pockets, but couldn't be accounted for, ie. a corpse with a key/purse or something.

Deadfall
14th Mar 2003, 05:04
FM: A Thief Nonetheless

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:20:57
Loot - 2615/2615
Pockets Picked - 5/6
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 4/4

Comments - Interesting C4 mission. It actually took me twice as long to finish this mission because I had to go on a blackjack run to find loot. One of the objectives was to find 2500 loot and some of the loot found in the mission was really well hidden. Some were found in hard-to-see secret panels and behind objects etc.

But I had a few other problems with this mission. In fact, a second after entering the mission, I thought I would have an instant ghost bust. As soon as I dropped down into the start point, I was in a very narrow space between a wall and a building. I was in the shadow, but a patrolling archer was making his way right towards me, so I had to act fast. I only had one way to go and it lead to a bright open area with a batch of guards facing every angle. I doused every torch in this area so I could sneak through but sometimes the guards would go on 2nd alert when they heard a water arrow splash. If I reloaded and tried to douse the torches again, the guard's would go on 1st alert instead. It took quite an amount of reloads to do this.

The main building or mansion was small, but it took some careful sneaking. It disappoints me, but I had to douse every torch on the bottom floor to sneak through. The hallways were narrow enough that if I stood still in the shadow, and a patrolling guard came by, he would forever walk into me. Dousing all of the torches seems required though. There are 4 idle sword guards that stare at the doors that need to be entered.

Since the secrets are absolutely necessary to find to complete the mission, I will just list them out:

-Switch behind toilet triggers rectangular table to slide away, with a purse found underneath.
-Switch behind small dresser in the office upstairs causes the dresser to slide away, revealing a secret passage to the "control room"
-Switch behind dresser in the hall with the sleeping guard opens the dresser to reveal another passage leading to 2 safes.
-Switch behind marble table in the bedroom triggers the painting from above to open.

All of these secrets have loot and other important things. The secret passage from the office leads to the "control room" where you find a switch that removes the display case around the statue, and a rope arrow that is needed for more loot.

On the side of the building with the statue by the entrance, there is a narrow compartment above with a wooden beam. Using the rope arrow, I climbed up and discovered two footlockers. It was easy to get stuck in this small compartment, however, so I had to climb up, then down, then jiggle my view until I got unstuck.

Overall, ghosting the mission wasn't too hard. Since I was simply forced to douse all of the torches, I could move around in complete darkness, while patrolling guards bumped right into me.

Hard to find loot: gold coin next to chair at the checkout counter, purses on both purple guards outside, paintings on the wall in the statue display room, coin stack on top of the dresser in the bedroom upstairs, and loose coins on the toilet in the bathroom. The big statues in the display room also count as 100 loot, and since you have to be very close to highlight them, they are easily mistaken for a non-loot object.

Deadfall
14th Mar 2003, 06:28
FM: Volcano Island Prison Facility

Ghost - Failed
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:05:27
Loot - 595/595
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Causes of Failure:

-Hitting a certain trigger puts the apeman by the gas plant, and the treebeast on the last level on 2nd alert.
-Cannot sneak by the patrolling apeman.
-Cannot sneak by the treebeast at the exit.

Comments - Another small C4 mission. For some reason, Garrett's running speed was equal to having a permanent speed potion effect. My running speed was super fast. I wouldn't have minded this as much, except I didn't really know why the AI became alert. A few seconds after beginning the mission, some apparitions appeared and had scripted conversations like in T2's "Trail of Blood" and then I heard mechanists being injured in the distance. At this point I heard the apebeast below searching around on 2nd alert, and the treebeast making 2nd alert noises too. Something put them on 2nd alert and I still can't figure what actually did. What makes this worse is that I couldn't even sneak by the first apebeast. After climbing down the ladder, he would immediately go on 2nd alert and spot me. I had to grab the loot and then haul myself to the other shaft. The idle apebeast on the lower level didn't become alert when I was nearby, but the treebeast on the last level did. I had to pull him away and then hit the objective trigger, while trying to dodge the treebeast's attacks.

Deadfall
14th Mar 2003, 09:55
FM: Too Good To Be True

Ghost - Failed
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:33:45
Loot - 4729/4829
Pockets Picked - 3/4
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 2
Damage dealt - 2 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Causes of Failure:

-Patrolling swordsman and archer get stuck in the hallway on the top floor, preventing me from getting into the room with the evidence and required loot.
-Cannot sneak into the gambling room without alerting the nobles.

Comments - Another C4 mission. There were some texture problems and lack of ambient lighting, but once again, I found myself in some narrow hallways. Because of the narrow hallways, I couldn't complete my objectives and had to knock out the two guards that were walking into eachother.

The mansion lobby required the usage of moss arrows. The two noble's had a keen sense of hearing and sight. The only way to sneak by them was to rely on speed. One of the guard's also got stuck in the staircase. Reloading had no effect on him being stuck, so I had to shoot a moss arrow on the floor, douse the torches, and jump over the railing to get by him. Then immediately following this, I had to CCC by a female noble standing in the center of the staircase. But to do this, I needed to lean accordingly so I could douse the gas lamp on the next floor.

Everything went smooth until I got to the top floor and saw these two guards walking into eachother. I reloaded so many times. I even took the crates out of the storage room and tried to do a "Golden Boy" crate tactic, but with no success. I was eventually forced to knock them out and then get the loot and the objective note from the nearby rooms.

The last cause of failure was getting the loot. The loot requirement was 4750, but to fulfill this, I would have to step into the gambling room. The gambling room had two gas lamps, but both needed to be doused in order to sneak into the room. I could not lean or use any technique to douse the torch or even attempt to sneak inside. I did have 4 invis potions, however, so I could have used them. But dousing the gas lamp on the one side alerts the noble in the lobby. Either way, I could not see a way to successfully get in and out with all of the loot. For some reason my loot objective was checked off even though I had 4729 loot, though.

Hard to find loot: plate in the sink in the kitchen, purse on the side of the bed in the last room on the 2nd floor, coin stack behind bed on the third floor, loose coin on nightstand on 3rd floor, and gold ring on nightstand on the 3rd floor.

Deadfall
14th Mar 2003, 23:42
FM: Taffer's Shooting Gallery

Ghost - Failed
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:02:13
Loot - 1375/1475
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 22 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 1
Secrets Found - 0/0

Cause of Failure:

-Damage must be dealt to the AI on the conveyor belt.

Comments - This was a silly C4 mission. After reading its title, I knew I couldn't take it seriously. I just positioned myself by the fence and shot at everything until enough loot piled up. At certain times, a blazing gear (like from a mechanist priest) would shoot out at me, but they were easy to dodge.

At least this mission provides good target practice and archery training. ^_^

Deadfall
15th Mar 2003, 02:29
FM: Intro to Father Hirvakia's Portal

Ghost - N/A
Perfect Thief - N/A
Time - 00:02:19
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0

Comments - Just a camvator intro to the Father Hirvakia mission pack. The text went by rather fast; didn't get a chance to read all of it.

FM: Father Hirvakia's Portal Part 2

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:07:34
Loot - 100/100
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - This was where the action began. Although the mission was small, it took me a while to sneak around the priests. At times it looked like they were on 2nd alert, but it was really just an added animation, ie. keepers in "Equilibrium." The key to the high priest room was in the kitchen on the counter, and the torch on the chandelier opened the stained glass window in the priest room. When I stepped on a platform with an ensconced pentagram, a distinctive looking priest, who I later assumed was Hirvakia, spawned and started an interesting scripted movie. I don't believe this is a ghost bust, even with the new rules. Stepping on the platform is the objective, and even if Hirvakia was alerted, I believe this doesn't qualify as a ghost bust.

FM: Father Hirvakia's Portal Part 3

Ghost - Success?
Perfect Thief - N/A
Time - 00:08:01
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - I'm not positively sure if I can say I ghosted this one or not. Firstly, I triggered a scripted battle with Nikole and an apebeast. But Nikole was stricken by a dart coming from another apebeast in a cave. None of the AI said anything or even went alert during this. To get by the apebeast in the cave, I had to apply a little trick. I had to make a successful dash into the small patch of shadow infront of the glowing mushroom without alerting the apebeast. I had to use a strafe-left technique and rely on speed to avoid putting the apebeast on 2nd alert. I then had to lean forward and inch up until I could pick up the glowing mushroom. Then I had to run back outside and around the edge of the cave so I could get Nikole's corpse. The area was still bright outside so I couldn't carry Nikole into the cave because of speed. So I dropped her corpse in the entry way of the cave. This didn't alert the apebeast. I then had to make another successful dash into the patch of shadow, and then lean and grab Nikole's corpse. This was the only technique I could have tried and I don't know why the apebeast didn't go on 2nd alert after seeing Nikole's corpse.

The last part of the mission concerns me. I dropped Nikole's corpse on the pedestal by the ramp and waited for Hirvakia to show up and start his scripted speech. I watched the portal and observed the blue beams meeting and heard an army of apebeasts approach. When the red beam showed up, and the silent explosion erupted, I grabbed Nikole's corpse and just made a run for the portal. I hugged the wall to avoid having a bright yellow visibility gem, but once I got to the spires of the portal, I was in full brightness for about a second or two. I didn't hear any of the apebeasts say anything, and Hirvakia was still engaged in his speech. So I walked into the portal and the mission ended.

Whether playing with the old ghost rules, or the new one, this seems like a problem to me. I'm sure the apebeasts didn't see me, but I don't know if Hirvakia was alerted by my presence even if he was having a scripted conversation. It's like the archers in T2's "Life of the Party." They will continue to have their conversation, but you can't pick their arrows because they are on 2nd alert; they just don't show it. I guess I have a little dilemma with this mission. Unless someone argues about scripting, I don't think this is a ghost bust.

FM: Outro to Father Hirvakia's Portal

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:06:23
Loot - 0/200
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - An interesting way to end the mission pack. The effects in this mission were similar to the "Deceptive Perception" FM. I was afraid those statues of the guards would come alive. After I read Nikole's note and snatched the sword, I used the creep key the entire time until I reached the front door and watched the camvator movie.

Deadfall
15th Mar 2003, 03:29
FM: A Mother's Love

Ghost - Failed
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:14:45
Loot - 18800/18815
Pockets Picked - 0/7 (where?)
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 7/0 (?)

Cause of Failure:

-Pressing buttons spawns different AI that start a melee in the arena. Alerts, deaths, and ghost busts, oh my.

Comments - When I read the briefing in darkloader, I had no idea what the mission was really going to be like. And I didn't know it would turn out to be a gladiator-style melee extravaganza.

I was able to sneak by the spiders in the beginning and was hoping for a good mission to ghost, but then I found the arena and the control buttons. It was required to press them and start a melee in the arena. I just kept pressing random buttons. I heard haunts, male nobles, spider bots, treebeasts, and hammerites going at it. I wasn't aware of just exactly how I would get loot until I saw a massive stack of gold nuggets and emeralds towering to the sky. To end the fight, I pressed the frogbeast button a hundred times and listened to the explosions and deaths. Then I snuck down and snatched all of the loot.

I don't know how to explain the missing pockets or the 7 secrets out of 0. Unless Hester had something on her that could be picked, and maybe the special items found on the vines and plants upstairs also counted as pockets. I don't remember discovering 7 secrets though.

Deadfall
22nd Mar 2003, 02:55
A Keeper's Betrayal

Ghost - Failed
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 02:08:17
Loot - 2091/2231
Pockets Picked - 2/3
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 1
Damage dealt - 75 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 2
Secrets Found - 2/3

Causes of Failure:

-Cannot sneak by spider in the labyrinth
-Method of killing Keeper Bouran is questionable

Comments - I have to pat myself on the back for this one. I overcame alot of obstacles that I was going to consider ghost busts. But the last two, mainly the first one, still aggrivates me.

Before I explain the main busts, there were some other areas to be noted:
-To get into the torture room and trigger the new objectives, I had to nudge the guard next to the table in the police station.
-I used a rope arrow on the canvas above the metal door near the inn so I could get inside of the building.
-To get into the mechanist building, I had to use a rope arrow on the ceiling of the balcony on the right side. I failed to see the double doors or the wall to mantle near the sewers, and I couldn't sneak passed the previous guards. I shot a rope arrow into the ceiling of the balcony and jumped onto the frame of the double doors. After a few reloads, I realized that jumping on the edge of the metal beam of the roof is the best method. Mantling onto the roof would always yield a loud jumping sound, and I couldn't stack anything or sneak around the two mechanist guards. A few meticulous leaps fixed this problem, and the mechanist building was straightforward.
-To get the loot on the little ledge in the dining room, I simply jumped onto the glass tables and made my way to the end of the wall.
-There is a switch on the frame of the painting in Salfatora's bed room that opens up the bookcase with the skull and some loot. One of the masks was worth 200 and went into a separate loot count.
-The squared wooden panel in Keeper Bouran's bed room is a pressure plate and opens the stained glass window near the double doors.

Getting Keeper Bouran's Key

Normally, one would be required to slash the banner in the secret study in order to get the blue key. Since this is a no-no, I had to try alot of things. I tried banner transmigration, but failed miserably. I tried to do some leans and jumps, and see if I could get into the banner, but this was getting me no where. I had saved before, and then slashed the banner to see what was behind it to know that the key was on a balcony. I was thinking about using a stacking technique, but I wasn't pleased with the idea until I ruled everything out. So I went down to the Keeper courtyard and found the huge room. There was a spiral of water that extended upwards towards the ceiling. I immediately thought this could be another route. But after a dozen attempts, I couldn't jump out of the pole shaped water and land onto the balcony with the key. I tried cucumber stacking, I brought in a few crates, but stacking crates was a daunting task, so I tried going through my inventory to see if I could stack cucumbers again, but accidentally pressed "r" when the keeper's notes were selected. To my surprise, the keeper's notes (which was really a book) floated in the air. I was able to jump onto it and it had a carpet sounding surface. Right now, I had alot of light bulbs turning on in my head, and I found out that I had two keeper books that could be manipulated and dropped this way. So I rose to the top of the water pole, and I dropped the books near the balcony so I could create something to stand on and help me get across. It took alot of reloads because it was easy to fall out of the water and either become damaged, make too much noise, or even die. Once I created a good looking platform using the two books, I tried going to the top of the water pole and dropping down onto them. It worked on the first try, and I was able to get the blue key, grab the books, and jump down into the water pole again.

The Spider and Keeper Bouran

Immediately following my success with Keeper Bouran's key, I descended into the creature area and found a secret passage in the storage room with the crates. The passage lead to a labyrinth looking area and a few spiders in the narrow corridors. One spider in particular was the only true ghost bust in this mission. The first spider you come across in the labyrinth is on the right path and faces the way you need to go. Since sneaking by him is impossible, I went back to the storage room and brought some crates down. I tried a Lytha-Spider-Crate-Nudging technique, but for some reason, the spider would always become alert when the crate hit the ground after it was nudged. The next technique involved those keeper books again. I tried creating stairs above the spider so I could come up above it, and drop down. But the corridor wasn't tall enough and the spider even became alert when I was above it. I had to take it out with a broadhead and move on. This was very disappointing. Maybe with more patience and luck, someone else will be able to do this.

Keeper Bouran had a haunt voice and was standing on a platform in an oval shaped room. He didn't seem to be keen in sight, so I was able to sneak along the walls and get close to him. I couldn't jump or mantle onto the platform. It seemed like the texture wasn't even a wall with a surface. I had to resort to using the keeper books as stairs and a cucumber stacking trick to get onto the platform. To my astonishment, a backstab doesn't take out the keeper. An assassinating arrow doesn't either. Not even a fire arrow took him out. I had to use my blackjack and knock him out, then beat him to death until he died. I counted 50 hits, so he must have 50 hp. With the new ghost rules, and even the old ones, I don't know if this was acceptable. His death was required, but the method of killing him might not be allowed. Either way, I was still busted on that spider.

I didn't find all of the secrets or the loot, but there were some interesting places with loot: purse and coin stack behind banner in blacksmith shop, ring behind mechanist desk on the 2nd floor of mech building, nugget in the spider jail cell, gold candlesticks on the tables above the keeper library, and gold coin stack on the shelf in the creature study area.

Vanguard
22nd Mar 2003, 03:19
FM: A Keeper's Betrayal
File: betrayal.zip

Play mode: Ghost (failed)
Time: 1 hr 45 min
Loot: 1351 of 2231 (1800 required)
Pockets picked: 1 of 3 (actually 2)
Damage dealt: 75 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Killed: 2 (only 1 was killed)
Secrets: 2 of 3

Cause(s) of failure:
- A banner must be slashed to get a key.
- Couldn't find enough loot (without property damage or full alerts).

Comments:
- Supposedly there were 2 pickpocket opportunities. I apparently only found 1.
- The non-zero damage dealt included the required kill per objective, and perhaps the accidental death of sewer spiders (mentioned later).
- Never found the last secret. Maybe it has the loot needed to make the loot objective.
- There are many barrels which appear to exist but do not. I would try to jump atop a barrel to get out of the patrol path of a guard only to fall through and slap my feet on the ground which alerted the guard.
- At the dock warehouse, the side door cannot be opened if the patrolling guard is nearby even if he cannot see the door open but just hears it. If he goes on alert, so do the other 2 guards. Open the side door when the patrolling guard is on the dockside of the building.
- Had to nudge the guard at the side door so I could get between him and the building.
- The nearby sewer manhole (and the farther away sewerworks door) require a key to open. You'll find one submerged at the dock. The ladder into the water let me get in without a big splash noise.
- There is a secret way into the sewers by roping up and over the weaponsmith's shop. However, this has you fall into the sewers and the splash noise will alert the spiders there.
- Taking the sewer manhole or street door and ladder let you get into the sewers and bypass the spiders. However, an objective forces you to get into the water in the spider infested room; you need to read Keeper Troy's journal and get a key through a submerged tunnel. The splash noise puts the spiders on full alert. I bypassed this area and came back later. When I came back, one spider had walked off the walkway and drowned in the water. As I entered the room with the spider at the far corner, it also fell off the walkway and drowned without ever spotting me. So now I didn't have to worry about alerts from splashing into the water. I also later used the secret route to get the water and moss arrows in the center raised pool since the spiders were now dead.
- Getting inside the Mechanist seminary is tough. The ledges looked possible until you get on them. They have no friction (i.e., they look like ledges of stone or brick but actually behave like ice). You cannot jump when on such a texture, so you cannot get past the door sills or window ledges to get inside. I did manage once to use a rope arrow to go up, open the double doors, and jump into the doors just at the point where you won't make lots of noise on hitting the floor. However, it was easier to mantle over the fence and nudge forward a front door guard to get past him or her (there are 2 guards here) and get inside using the front door.
- There is a darkened room with a sleeping mage. When you open the door to the connecting office, he awakes onto 1st alert. I could not crouch and creep into the office (which has a safe) without getting spotted, but I could crouch and dash around the doorway with only a 1st alert.
- Getting the loot in the dining room proved difficult. There was a servant inside and it was full lit with no way to turn off the lights. I managed to sneak behind the mech servant by jumping on the tables and hugging the wall. However, it took several retries to get clumsy Garrett to jump just right so he would land on the edge of the table and not make noise.
- Had to nudge a guard in the prison to get past him in the small guardroom and to the cell with the corpse of Keeper Troy (an objective).
- The medallion is easy to find in Salfatora's room. However, finding the switch to open the secret wall panel was very hard. You have to get on the bed with the sleeping Salfatora. He didn't wake when I jumped on the bed.
- I had to go back down in the sewers to get the inn room key and read the Keeper's journal (an objective). However, diving into the water (Garrett doesn't know how to slide down slowly and quietly into water) causes a splash noise that alerts the spiders. However, on my return to this sewer room, one spider had wandered off the walkway and drowned. When I entered the room, the remaining spider was at the far corner and couldn't see me, fell off the walkway, and it also drowned. So much for worrying about the AIs alerting to the splash noise. I then read the journal and then got the key. Later I used the secret route into the sewers to get the water and moss arrows in the center pool in the sewer room.
- Because of the guard constantly watching across the street at the inn, I couldn't go from Salfatora's house to the inn without getting spotted when I had to pass a lighted area on the street. There is a window you can open while atop a large crate and I could get on the ledge for the window but I could not get past the window and into the inn (to get into the room for which I had a key that would lead to the Keepers' sanctuary). I had to go all the way around, past the Mechanist seminary (and nudge the other guard away from the front doors to get past him), over the wall, and the other way around to dash past the smaller lit spot on the street to the inn with only a 1st alert.
- To get at Bouran's key in the Keepers' sanctuary, you must slash a banner above the fireplace in the secret room. I tried toting lots of crates to the pool with suspended layers in the room with the beam jutting out that has the key on it thinking I could get to the top pedestal of the pool, swim up, and then swim out of the column of water to land on the beam. However, you cannot get enough speed when swimming out of the column of water to land of the beam, and instead you just fall to your death. Reload. There is nowhere to use a rope arrow to get up to the key. So you must slash the banner. Ghost busted.
- In the maze after the Keepers' prison, there is a big green spider blocking the way. There is no route around the spider. You don't have ANY moss arrows, so you cannot try to douse torches and moss the floor to jump over this spider. Had to kill it (or, I suppose, I could've left it alive and just run fast past it to keep away when it alerted). Ghost busted.
- After getting the Earth Bane book, which was pretty easy, you have to continue a bit farther to find the bad Keeper that you are required to kill. A gate drops behind you to trap you in that last room. When you kill the bad Keeper (it takes 12 broadheads), the gate opens. That doesn't make sense. If you leave but come back into this room, the gate drops again but now you are trapped permanently here because the Keeper is already dead.
- There is a metal door that lights up behind the Keeper (now a corpse) on an elevated ledge. The author seems to have deliberately made it impossible to mantle up onto the ledge. Even if you get atop the edge of the pit (you'll die if you try falling into the black pit) and although you can jump higher than the top of the ledge, you only hear Garrett make a mantling grunt but he cannot manage to snatch the ledge to get up to the frobbable door, so you cannot get close enough to pick it open (if it is pickable). I found no key to open this door, but then I cannot get up to the ledge since it is not mantleable. Maybe this was the last secret and maybe it has the remaining loot needed for me to make the loot objective, but I cannot get to the door to check it out.
- There is a 100 gold nugget in the central and open area pool in the middle of the Keepers' sanctuary. But the splash noise on entering will alert the semi-invisible Keepers, so I had to skip it.
- There is no way to enter the house across the street from the inn. Both outside doors are unpickable and there is no key to open them. The only key is inside and on a table across the room from the open window and too far away. The only other way in requires you to bash down planks across a window. This is property damage and thus a ghost bust. The noise of bashing the boards creates a massive AI alert so it is another ghost bust. So I had to skip this building and the 430 loot inside.
- According to the endgame stats, there should be 2231 in loot in this mission. However, there is a second loot inventory for masks in which I had 200, so it is not included in the loot inventory on which the loot objective will trigger. I had to skip the 100 gold nugget in the Keepers' pool and the 430 in the house across from the inn. Perhaps the gold nugget in the Keepers' pool could be ghosted but I couldn't do it. But the 430 in the house definitely would cause a ghost bust due to property damage and AI alerts, so you could possibly get only 2231 - 430, or 1801, which is just a hair past the 1800 loot objective. However, there was loot that I could not find. I only found 1351 in loot which means I was short by 450. I went into blackjack mode, took out all AIs, but could not find more loot. Gave up, hit Shift-Ctrl-Alt-End, and ended the already busted ghost attempt.

Deadfall
22nd Mar 2003, 04:23
Vanguard - Looks like we were writing a report for "A Keeper's Betrayal" at the same time.

I had no trouble with getting through the docks. I went through the real and fake barrels by either crouching and moving through, or jumping on top of the real ones. Then I just went around under the lamp post and into the building with only a first alert from the guard. I did have to wait for the patrolling guard to be far away though. I also happened to deal with one of the spiders in the sewer drowning in the pool. I actually watched it happen too. I was behind the rat just before the area with the spiders, and I saved the game and tried seeing if I could hide in one of the patches of shadow in the corner, but failed. When I reloaded, one of the spiders fell into the water and died. I reloaded several times and the spider always fell and died. In addition, I couldn't figure out how to get the gold nugget from the pool in the keeper courtyard as well. But you are missing alot of loot. Did you get the loot from behind the wall panel in the attic that leads to the smashable boards? A torch above the bed makes it open. The pocket you missed might have been an arrow from the archer on the balcony of Salfatora's house.

And it looks like you missed the canvas umbrella type thing under the metal door in the building across from the inn. You can shoot a rope arrow into it and climb up and get the key to the building without alerting the noble.

Deadfall
30th Mar 2003, 05:52
FM: Two Fathers

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 02:33:02
Loot - 6183/6383
Pockets Picked - 18/21
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 2/2

Comments - This FM took surprisingly long, but it was mostly due to the time I spent looking for loot. Some of the loot were actually "junk" items that I wouldn't even think once about picking them up. Items like regular porcelain plates and green wine bottles were counted as loot. And to make things more complicated, some of those types of junk items were loot, and some weren't.

The first difficulty I had was getting to the toolbox in the building next to the two idle thieves. The only feasible path I had was going across gravel by the hammerite gate. But the gravel made too much noise, so I had to moss the graveled area and run and jump to lessen the time I was exposed to the light. When I got to the toolbox, I realized my efforts were only for a silver coin stack, but I was hoping for a perfect thief anyway.

Getting through the caves takes some careful steps. First, getting by the batches of spiders in the first portion required using the large boulders on the sides. It took careful creeping because it was easy to drop down and make a loud noise, or get stuck in between the boulder and the cave wall. There were also alot of pillars, ledges, cliffs and such that had bad edges where you could easily get caught on, or would need to jump across. This wasn't easy since I was trying to avoid alerting any spiders.

Sneaking through the town section and into the three main buildings wasn't hard; it just took watching some of the patrols and making precise plans. I hit the last building first and watched the maid walk back and forth and then dashed inside when the guard was looking away. There were plenty of light switches, so I snuck through the building in complete darkness. It did take some quick creeping through the dining room and the kitchen so I could avoid the patrolling maid. At first glance, it looks like the idle archer next to the table is too close and you can't sneak by him. But if you CCC very slowly, he only gives a first alert. After finishing up in this building, I went to the second building and was able to sneak around the guard's flanks to get inside. There seemed to be nothing of real importance in this building. Alot of the rooms were empty and dull, but I just happened to find a switch on the nightstand next to the elegant bed which lead to a very huge part of the mission.

This huge part of the mission was more straightforward than the other areas, and took most of the time spent looking for loot. I managed to find the fountain key from one of the kitchen cabinets but didn't know what it was for at first. I also noticed a locked vault door on the fireplace and couldn't pick it. I looked around the kitchen for a key and luckily had the notion it was either in one of the cabinets or somewhere else in the kitchen. Having this mindset was a good thing, because I realized the key was in this little niche on the side of the fireplace. After this, I left and finished traversing and looting each side of the building, and then I discovered what I overlooked; a double-door leading to a courtyard with a fountain. I needed to douse 2 torches in the arch so I could sneak up to the noble and get his key. The guard next to him had a purse as well. The key on the noble was used to open the metal door in the rich and distinguishable bed room with red marble floors. Most of the loot was found in this "collection room". There was an interesting book there as well and it was worth reading. After completing my searching in this building, I realized I still didn't have this potion, or even close to all of the loot. When I began my loot search, I went back to the beginning of the mission and found 100 loot that I could not get. It was a gold nugget in one of the submerged chasms. I could not get it without losing air and taking damage. It looked like there was a small layer of air at the top of the water tunnel, but in fact there wasn't. I reloaded and tried multiple runs but just could not get through this tunnel, grab the gold nugget, and get out fast enough. And I tried going both ways: back to the spider portion of the cave, and towards the pillar portion of the cave.

Through accidental searching, I happened to loot one of the green bottles in the lockers and was shocked. I was dreading having to go back to all other areas and see if other junk items counted as loot. But not all of the green bottles in the storage locker were counted as loot. I was a little confused, but to save time, I saved the game, and then went on a blackjack run. After a few hours of searching around, I had located the places where junk items were actually loot and reloaded. I left this area and entered the first building from the town section and added more loot to my count, but I was still missing some. For the longest time, however, I had the most trouble finding the required potion. Through desperate searching, I found a hard-to-see switch located in an indentation in the wall of the closet in the first building. At this point, I grabbed the potion and kept searching for loot. I discovered a little area behind the last building with a guard and two nobles. Both nobles had purses, but I could only get the one closest to the guard. There was a frobbable mushroom against the wall and I couldn't get close enough without alerting the nobles. Although I could have shot it with a broadhead, I considered that kind of action to be on the brink of property damage. So unfortunately, I have to accept 200 uncollectable loot: the purse on the noble, and the gold nugget in the underwater tunnel.

Hard to find loot:

-Gem ring under slide in the playground.
-Gem ring between wall and ledge of the bathtub in the first building.
-Porcelain plates on the dining room table in the third building.
-Green bottles in the storage lockers by the spiraling staircase to the main mansion area.
-Loose coin on the desk in the Captains room.
-Gem ring on the water-covered ledge of the pool with the skylight.

Deadfall
3rd Apr 2003, 04:34
FM: The Abominable Dr. Dragon

Ghost - Success (Chemical)
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:51:55
Loot - 1790/1855
Pockets Picked - 5/11
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - Although there were some scripted melee's between hammerites, thieves, and guards, I still consider this a ghost success.

The mission seemed non-linear, but it actually didn't offer too many paths for infiltration into the fortified castle. Navigating through the treebeast caves was a challenge. There were plenty of branches and bushes obstructing my view, and I actually ran into the treebeasts a few times. I just had to crouch and stay on the slanted wall.

The hammerite graveyard was certaintly unique and surprising. I thought it was empty and started exploring around, when all of a sudden a wave of skulls shot out from the mausoleum's and killed me. I reloaded and then tried to sneak in again, and this time I saw a floating statue... I saw it turn and realized it was an AI. It seemed to have the same properties of a rat or something, because of the way it turned and rotated. Through some experimentation, I also realized that there are a number of floating statues or "ghosts" inside of the mausoleums. To avoid alerting these ghosts, I had to douse the torch on the double-doored mausoleum to make the place dark. The double-doored mausoleum had 3 frobbable skulls, and by chance I just happened to click the middle skull and the sarcophagus slid away to reveal a secret passage downward. There was some loot, and a locked ornate wall panel, so I continued through the graveyard, down another secret passage and into a flooded tunnel with a patrolling zombie. To sneak by the zombie, I had to be right on his back and hug the left wall as he approached the door frame to the large room. I don't know what was inside of that gas filled chamber. Every time I tried to get inside I would immediately die and I couldn't tell if there was anything inside of the squared object with holes in it.

Having played all of the "Lord Ashton" mission series, I didn't think I was going to have to worry about sneaking by fish. But this mission surprised me in that regard. I did notice that there was a single fish by a staircase underground, and it had menacing teeth and red eyes, but I didn't know it was going to shoot a dozen dart sounding things at me and then swim up and gnaw me to death. I had to be very careful and swim slowly in this part so I could get onto the staircase without alerting the fish.

The surprises and strange occurences didn't stop once I was inside the castle. I found a room with another fish in a fishtank, but it didn't appear to see or hear me when I was in the bright room. I found a humorous little note about "Clayman" as "The Father of all Ghosts" and a strange meteorite stone that damaged me when I looted it. Continuing upstairs, there were some strange white-marble-looking guards who didn't move until triggered by certain things. Taking the statue on the railing gave life to the white guards and they had the same characteristics as other guards. I reloaded and decided not to take the statue just yet, but later I found out that I couldn't get it without alerting any of them.

In one of the towers I triggered a scripted door to blow open and a zombie who looked like Frankenstein to just stand in the door frame and not move. I couldn't sneak by him in any way to get the 50 loot in the room, and I couldn't sneak by him to go up the ladder or open the door without dousing the torch on the column. I had a low amount of water arrows to start out with so I didn't douse the torch. Instead, I went back towards the staircase with the white-marble guard and went to a different area. Once I was on the upper floor, I noticed a switch behind a statue and the switch opened the stained glass window revealing a spectacular looking room. The walls were covered with some great looking fantasy paintings and this was where the famous dead "wife" I've been hearing about in all of these scrolls was found. Another meteorite was next to her, but taking it resulted in damage just like the one in the basement.

I spent a majority of my time using the interior ledges and balconies of the castle to get around. Patrolling these ledges were some strange red colored floating skulls that had the same arsenal as the floating statues in the graveyard. They were easy to sneak by, however, and scrounging for loot within each towers didn't take too long.

-In the room with the assassinated noble, there was a removable wall in the fireplace which contianed a rosary key and some interesting reading material.
-I had to drop down onto the sloped roof of the cafeteria to get into the courtyard. From here, I needed to get a key in the workshop/forge area. The keeper/thief looking AI wasn't very keen on sight. It seems that his face plate gave him a limited view so I was able to sneak right up to him by only dousing the torch and not the fireplace.

Reading the captain's book on his desk triggered a new objective and this particular objective almost subdued me into accepting a failed ghost for this mission. I had obtained the portal key and found a locked gate on the right side of the castle entrance. Once inside of this grassy corridor, I had encountered a serious challenge. There was a female noble, and a distinctive AI who looked like a priest of some sort standing on this bridge above a pond. It turns out that if they are put on first alert, they run off in 3rd alert towards a red portal further away, and alert this dark figure with a zombie voice. I tried so many different approaches. I tried dropping into the pond, which I did without making any sound, but the female noble just happened to see me in the pond and then fled. After spending some time here, I began to think that this was a scripted event because the AI would run off, vanish into the portal, alert the dark figure for a moment, and then the dark figure would return to alert 0. I didn't like this though. The female noble and the priest ran off because they were triggered by a first alert. So I decided to moss the entire catwalk, then drink my only invis potion, and run towards the crate with the horn of quintus. I tried running for the horn, and running back, but I didn't have enough time and almost gave up when I could only make it to the horn. At this point, I was checking out the portal and seeing if I could step through it, and when I did, the female noble and the priest disappeared... I was beyond shocked, and regained my focus. I doused the campfire, and was able to sneak passed the dark figure and then back towards the bridge area. This worked out in many ways too, I could now get the gold nugget in the pond without worrying about any alerts. I don't know how to explain what happened there. I reloaded and they just disappeared when I stepped through the portal, but I consider this area ghosted.

I had a good idea of where the berserker mask was located after reading several scrolls and obtaining this rosary key. I also was missing about 300 loot so I decided to go back into the castle and continue searching. The missing loot I found was 3 wine bottles in a secret area from the wine cellar. Frobbing one of the handles on the kegs opened a section of the wall. I also found a purse on a guard at one of the towers. I returned to the white-marble guard staircase, but I couldn't get the statue without alerting the guard on the staircase. Dousing the torches helped, but the white-marble guard at the door frame was also turned alive and I couldn't sneak by him. So I left the statue alone. This statue plus the gold coin stacks in the barracks (blocked off by "Big Frank") was the only loot I couldn't collect. All that I needed to do was get back to the hammerite graveyard, get the mask, and leave. This was not as easy as I thought. I was able to get the mask without alerting the haunt who wore it, but my escape out from the treebeast cave was foiled. After taking the mask, two treebeasts spawned at the graveyard entrance and the area was too well lit to even attempt sneaking by them. I had to go all the way around, but I heard some hammerites and thieves fighting somewhere. I got out by using the submerged tunnel by the basement staircase, and got to the side of the castle from a plank sticking out above the moat. There were several hammerites attacking thieves and guards at the drawbridge, so I had to go around by using the treebeast/thief passages.

Hard to find loot: a few silver nuggets in the treebeast cave, statue on side of the ruined building near treebeast cave, gold nugget underwater beside staircase, purse on guard at top of one of the towers, and a gold ring in a niche of the fireplace in the bedroom upstairs.

Peter_Smith
3rd Apr 2003, 06:15
Good job, Deadfall.:) You took all the right routes and used all the right moves.

I hadn't reckoned on having Dragon and his wife disappear like that. I never tried invisibility potion, so I never encountered that situation. It seems like getting past them as you did broke the script somehow. They also disappear in a puff of smoke if you hit them with a broadhead. Not that I would argue you killed them - let's not get into that. You did it, period. No questions asked.:)

Without invisio, they always alert, as you pointed out. At least I could not avoid it in an hour of fiddling. So, my simple solution to ghosting the mission without chemicals is to avoid reading the book that triggers the Horn objective. Then, there is no need to go there, although I got the key and checked it out anyway, one last gasp to ghost that area without success.

OK, not getting the horn is kind of like cheating, but so is breaking Dragon's exit script. All is fair until Clayman shows up.;)

Deadfall
4th Apr 2003, 20:47
The Library Basement

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 01:00:37
Loot - 4335/4335
Pockets Picked - 2/9
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - This mission was very easy to ghost. I barely slowed down to sneak by anything because it was dark enough. I did encounter a few notable areas, but only in regards to obtaining a perfect thief.

Sometimes the combat bot in the corridor near the lift would go on full alert if doors were opened or if torches were doused. It seems that alot of the AI were a little more sensitive than usual. Even walking on wood and stone surfaces would trigger a first alert. But the mission was dark and had very big hallways, so I was always hearing first alerts.

Getting the candlestick in the storage room with all of the crates took some thinking. It was almost impossible to try and get onto the crates because if they made one little sound, the spiders would go on alert. There is a switch in between the huge crate and the wall which opens up a distinctive looking panel indented into the wall. There was an interesting looking chest with loot, but in order to get both this loot and the candlestick, I had to mantle onto the large crate and drop down on the smaller crates. Then I had to lean to the right until I could loot the chest from the secret compartment.

I had to nudge the female guard in the gigantic library on the upper floor. I was able to sneak inside, but when I finished in this area and tried to get back out, she would always spot me. She pivoted alot, but this actually made nudging go faster because she was constantly moving. I nudged her a little towards the wall and the corner of the ledge so I could sneak out.

I couldn't use the secret passages at the area where the rust gas is because of the spiders. However, it is possible to sneak by them. The tunnels are so dark that if you CCC very very slowly, you can move right by them. I needed to do this if I was going to get the necklace by the skeletal remains, and the loose coin inside the tunnel. I went to the ventilation panel by the mechanist guard with a face plate. Then I went into the tunnel and started CCCing right into the spider's face. I went very slow. I tapped my creep key every half of a second and I was able to get around the corner so I could get the necklace in the tunneling below. And I was also able to CCC passed the spider to get the loose coin on the tunnel floor.

Everything else went smoothly. I don't recall having any problems and I believe I only reloaded about three times. The key for a mission like this was just to check every detail of each room.

Hard to find loot: vases on top of the shelves in the small library, gold ring on the wheelbarrel, loose coin on the tunnel floor right by the spider near the mechanist guard, gold nugget in between the large crates in the computer room, loose coin on one of the desks in the computer room, and amulet behind the dragon banner by the elevator.

Deadfall
27th Apr 2003, 06:03
FM: Left for Dead

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 04:37:56
Loot - 3229/3229
Pockets Picked - 10/11
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 45 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 2
Secrets Found - 5/5

Comments - This is the first FM I've come across that has taken me more than a week to finish or ultimately ghost. "A Smuggler's Request" and "Calendra's Legacy" fall into the category, but this one has taken me almost three weeks of on and off playing. The hardest part being the loot and obtaining the dragonfly. The mission itself seems overwhelming because of its huge swampy areas and series of caverns, so getting all of the loot, achieving all of the objectives, even the optional ones, and finally ghosting it all took nights and nights of playing. During the course of the mission, I realized that some of the AI that were supposed to say things, didn't. The hermit, the pagan, keeper thomas, and even Garrett didn't say things that were in the snd folder of the mission. I don't know if this is due to something bad on my part. I might have needed darkloader 4.1 or gaylesaver scripts, but the text in the mission briefing didn't mention this.

There was so much in this mission, it's a little hard to explain everything I did and found. Since the mission was non-linear, I spent alot of time exploring the early swamp portion of the mission. Crouching and creeping slowly along the walls was the best method I found, and it was sometimes hard to distinguish real treebeasts from fake ones. Sometimes I ended up sneaking by just a plain tree making creaking noises. Things got a little strange after I snuck by a Trickster-looking AI and then later saw another one patrolling a dock. This Trickster/Satyr AI would start running whenever I went too close or triggered an obvious first alert. So I tried sneaking around in the water, and shockingly I found a secret submerged area with a skeleton and a treasure chest under the isle with the tree and the apebeast. When I left the submerged grotto, I could hear the patrolling trickster, so I swam under the dock to the end of the tree staircase. I managed to sneak by him by waiting for him to turn and then mantle up and run into the tree staircase. But even in doing this, the Trickster, with his back turned, would get startled and run towards the staircase and disappear, leaving a fiery orb behind. At first, I thought this was a plain alert and therefore unacceptable, but after a while I just realized it must be part of a script of some kind. I actually kept trying to sneak by him using the same technique of mantling onto the dock from the water. I was able to sneak by him eventually by getting on the other side of the dock and mantling up and then running into the staircase. After one attempt, the Trickster didn't come running toward the staircase; just kept on his patrol. However, after going back down the stairs, I later found the Trickster gone. In terms of reason, I don't think this is a ghost bust because there were no real alerts made.

To sneak by the first pivoting apebeast in the tree village area, I simply jumped to the ledge with the torch, and I found this area easily traversed. I wouldn't realize until later that I would need to come back and apply some serious tarzan vine arrow skills. But the tree village did have another oddity and notable problem area. After climbing the 3 ladders in one of the trees to reach the upper tree village, I spotted another patrolling Trickster. What made him a problem was that he became alerted by proximity. I noticed that when I stayed in shadow and he walked by, he would back up like a startled servant and then run away. With a simple hint from Peter Smith, I was able to keep my distance and successfully sneak by him. What I found beyond this Trickster, was a ruby identified as, "Trickster's Ruby". When I tried picking it up, I was teleported to another place which was actually the dock where the previous Trickster used to patrol. A "New Objective" came up on the screen as well, and it talked about finding three trickster gems and using them. I was a little confused and went back into the tree village to finish exploring. At this time, the only thing I found was a jeweled dagger at the top of a fallen tree. Once on the fallen tree, I shot a vine arrow into the side of a tree village ledge, and then lowered myself to the swamp area.

I continued through a maze of a forest and fell into a ditch in the ground. I found a spice bag and some moss on the ceiling, and was startled when a pagan ghost appeared out of no where. He started making gestures as if he was speaking, but for some reason I couldn't hear anything. I saw a "New Objective" pop up on the screen, though, and read that I had to find a doll for a girl. I left this area and reached a lagoon with a dock and a patrolling thief. After swimming through the lagoon, I found a few frogbeasts patrolling and a slanted cave. Inside was a hermit who didn't become alert or even say anything. I found some notes about a dragonfly, and a humorous little "404 error" note with a gold coin stack beside it on top of the cave. Back at the dock area I found a series of caverns with patrolling thieves or "Keepers" as they were later referred to. To get into the Keeper Compound, I shot a vine arrow into a wooden ledge where a keeper/archer was standing, and entered through the secret bookcase passage. When I reached the bar/pub area, I was surprised that the drunk AI didn't become alert, and the female kept repeatedly falling down. The mission became more straightforward than previously, and when I found Vinny's room and the secret passage to the Keeper Library, things got a little more unpredictable. I found two patrolling keepers here, but the only way I knew which one to kill was after picking the male's key which was labeled "Keeper Thomas' Key." Killing him in the open was not going to work because of keeper andrew and elizabeth in the vicinity, so I followed him to his room and studied his patrol. After a while I positioned myself in the corner between the bookshelf, waited for him to walk in the room and stop by the desk, then I assassinated him with an arrow and threw him on his bed. Continuing through the library, I found a secret area behind a bookshelf. Flipping the lever by the candle slid the bookshelf back to its original place, revealing an unlit study. In this study was a book relating to "8 Golden Keeper Rules" or something, and reading this book counted as a secret. Before I was about to leave the library, I noticed a balcony adjacent to a room with rats scurrying about. Out of curiosity, I dropped down and found a few gates leading into a sewer-like area. I was pleased to find the "Trickster's Emerald" here and tried using it. I was warped to a small crawlspace area that dropped down into the Keeper caverns.

From here, I went back into the Keeper Compound and found a note that triggered another optional objective to mess up the trade ring. At this time, I had no idea how to do this, so I kept exploring. After executing the proper procedure, I managed to shut off the lights in the compound and the cavern area, and I found a "stolen golden hammer" by a pivoting thief/keeper and tried dropping it in several places. Eventually the objective checked off after I dropped it on the barrel with the mechanist maces by the gate. I kept exploring until I found a huge cavernous area with a few spiders. The area was also littered with rotating eye plants like in T2's "Trail of Blood." It was impossible to sneak by these eye plants, but I believe this was not considered a ghost bust. Creeping slowly, I was able to avoid the splash area of water and found Baddcogs skull and a serpentile torc.

After a few days of playing and searching for loot as I went along, I found a subterranean cave with some patrolling zombies. It was here where I found the purpose for Baddcog's skull. Placing the skull on a highlightable propped skeleton would open a secret passage to a treasure room. Despite all of the chests, fake artifacts, and the texture of piles of coins on the ground, I only found a few loose coins, a gold coin stack, and a statue. I also happened to find a seemingly unreachable place between the dock and the keeper caverns. It was a stone ledge and I had to shoot a few vine arrows into a nearby tree so I could reach it. Once up there, I found some loot which counted as a secret.

When I triggered a new objective to find a "darkskinned pagan" I thought I was finished with the keeper compound/cavern area, so I used the Tricksters Ruby and went back to the swamp area. Backstepping all the way back to the beginning of the mission, I found a house with a pagan patrolling outside. I thought this was where I would find the "darkskinned pagan" and tried taking out the pagan here. This wasn't what I wanted to do, however, because when I picked up the corpse, it was named "Lightskinned pagan." I reloaded and shot a vine arrow into the roof of the house. Once up here, I saw a dark figure, who I assumed was the darkskinned pagan, by a grave in the back. Without further action I shot him with a broadhead, dropped down, and put him in the grave. In the house I found some loot and dewdrop behind some crates. I assumed this was the doll needed for the pagan, so I used the trickster emerald and went back to the underground area. Dropping dewdrop would spawn a little pagan girl who also made gestures as if she was talking, but I couldn't hear anything.

Since the beginning of playing this mission, I was determined to find all of the loot and complete all of the optional objectives. So at this point I was missing quite a considerable sum, I only had two trickster gems, and I needed a dragonfly. Upon using the trickster ruby to begin a new round of searching, I was stunned when I looked up by chance to see a tree village ledge that I didn't remember seeing before. It was so high up and detached from the tree staircase that it didn't seem to be apart of it. I had collected a good number of vine arrows through the mission so I experimented with trying to set up a way I could climb to this ledge. I set up about four vine arrows. One dangling from the edge of the wooden ledge, and three all shot close enough together that they formed a straight line from the ground to the top of the tree. This was so I could I just jump and catch onto the vine arrow without aiming. And sure enough, when I reached the top, I had discovered that this was a totally new area. I found some loot here and once finished, teleported back down using the trickster ruby. I later found some more high areas in the tree village section. Using tarzan vine arrow techniques, I managed to find 4 more seemingly unreachable tree village areas. One of the areas had another secret, a medallion of some sort. At this point, I realized using vine arrows was a must, and tried lowering myself to the bottom ground with the treebeasts. I found a few nuggets here and my loot total was rapidly coming to completion. As I was in this area, I also managed to find the last of the trickster gems, a "Trickster's Sapphire." It was in this small ledge under a wooden catwalk which was accessible by using a vine arrow. Retrieving all of my vine arrows from these high places took some time. Sometimes I was able to retrieve them and climb back down simultaneously. Other times I had to resort to using the trickster ruby. By doing this, I could pick up a vine arrow from a high place, and as I fell, I could use the ruby and warp back to the dock and campfire area. I had to do this several times to make sure I plucked every vine arrow from the trees.

The next problem I was faced with was finding all of the loot. I have a powerful habit of wanting to collect every piece of loot and achieve a perfect thief, and that didn't come easy in this mission. I admit that I went on a complete blackjack and killing spree to clear the area for a thorough loot search. I knocked out all thieves, apebeasts, and other AI, killed every treebeast and zombie, and began a search that took almost two weeks of on and off playing. At one point I was missing only 140 loot and gave up on searching any longer. I had to ask for help in a thread and luckily, Nightwalker helped me in that regard and sent me a very detailed loot list. When I looked at the list, I saw a few possible loot candidates. One was a gold ring in the tree village area that I don't remember finding. And another was two loose coins in Vinny's room. It's rather embarrassing, but sure enough, I found the gold ring worth 100 by a skeleton hand in the upper tree village, and two loose coins in Vinny's room which were just laughing at me. They were in such a plain view, I kicked myself for not finding them.

So with all of the loot found, most, if not all of the optional objectives checked, I had to finish the mission by obtaining a dragonfly. This was the hardest part of the mission for me. At first, I thought I could use a gas arrow on the dragonflies, or even shoot them with a broadhead, thinking they are like rats. Well this didn't work at all. Gassing a dragonfly would knock it down, but it was still alive and unpickable. Shooting broadheads into it didn't work, and at one point I even tried throwing a hammer at one to no avail. My last resort, and I assume the only way, was to use a fire arrow. The thought of this made me tremble a little, as that is not something I want to do when ghosting. But I had little choice and tried to go into the swamp area at the beginning. I found a few areas around the pagan house where I could fire at one. But before I even attempted to kill one, I knew that this wouldn't work. There was a patrolling treebeast very close to the area, and if the pagan by the house didn't hear, the treebeast certainly would. I shot a fire arrow at a dragonfly anyway just to see what would happen, and of course the treebeast was at my location in less than ten seconds. So I went to the tree village area and onto the dock. I doused the torches so I could stay here and try to observe the apebeasts to judge the best time to fire. I spent alot of time here, just randomly shooting and hoping an apebeast wouldn't hear, but this just did not work. The best effort I had was when I managed to only alert one apebeast, so I got some help from Peter Smith and I tried to mimic what he did. I didn't realize I could use my bow in the water under the tree village, but no matter where I located myself and tried to listen for apebeast footsteps, I was still alerting them when I shot a dragonfly. My ultimate method was positioning myself on the far left wall where I could see the bridge-like catwalk connected to the tree village. I saw a single apebeast patrol through here and saw the other go around one of the trees on the far right. Fortunately, a dragonfly patrolled close to this area in between the trees and I shot a fire arrow off. The first time, I knocked it down and listened for any second alerts. And yes... I heard "keep hiding, I'll still find you" in an apebeast voice. I reloaded and tried again, waiting for the apebeast on the left to go across the catwalk to the other side of the tree village, and the other apebeast to walk around the far tree house next to the fallen tree. At this time, a dragonfly was close enough to the wall and I shot it down. This time, however, the fire arrow made a different more muffled sound than usual, and didn't send the dragonfly searing and richocheting across the water. It killed it in its place and I turned up the volume so I could hear. This time, I didn't hear anything. To confirm whether or not I alerted anyone, I went back and tried triggering a first alert with both apebeasts and I only got a first alert. If they were on second or third alert, any first alerts would immediately make them charge me, so I was finally successful.

Without further delay, I used the trickster emerald, and raced out of the keeper caverns, through the lagoon, and into the hermit's house to finally finish the mission, and what a mission this was... I owe my success to Peter Smith and Nightwalker, however. Without their help, I don't think I would have been able to finish ghosting this mission and obtaining a perfect thief as well.

Loot was a major difficulty aspect to this mission, hard to find loot:
gold ring behind fireplace in pagan house, spice by crate inside pagan house, spice outside on the right side of the pagan house, silver nugget on bottom floor with treebeasts, architect scroll on top shelf of storage room in keeper compound, gold nugget in a niche behind a fallen pillar in the keeper cavern area, a silver nugget in a large gap in the wall near the mechanist barrel, and of course all of the loot found on the upper tree village areas. I'm just still unable to believe that after finding almost all of the hard-to-find loot, I miss a few loose coins right in my face beside Vinny's bed, and an obvious location for a gold ring at the upper tree village area.

Peter_Smith
3rd May 2003, 07:59
FM: A Keeper's Betrayal (version 2)

Or, "How I learned to stop worrying and dance with a spider."

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 02:51:53
Loot - 2181 / 2181
Pockets Picked - 14
Backstabs - 0
Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 50 (killing Keeper Bouron)
Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0
Kills - 1 (Keeper Bouron - explicit objective)
Secrets Found - 3 / 3

Comments

This was my second attempt to ghost this mission. In the first attempt, I failed in two places: (1) passing a spider that nearly fills a narrow corridor in the Keeper's Compound, and (2) getting Bouron's key which, with normal play, requires slashing a banner to gain access. Deadfall discovered a novel method, described in his ghost report above, involving the use of Keeper's notebooks as floating platforms to get the key. I copied that method here, with slight modification. I was the first to ghost the spider, so far as I know, so that is the main news. Still, there are many other challenging aspects to ghosting this mission, and I will report those that I found interesting as well as some "marginal situations," like nudging.

I played this round on Version 2 and the first round on Version 1 of the mission. I did not notice any differences in the ghosting aspects of the two versions. Most of what I describe below I did in both runs. Version 2 corrects a bug in the reported loot total and some other minor things.

A Keeper's Betrayal is an excellent mission all around. It has good architecture, some fun exploration, and the timing and situations of its AI are well designed to make ghosting possible but difficult in many places. The author did not account for the two places mentioned above, which make the mission "nearly impossible" to ghost without extraordinary measures, kind of on a par with some of Sneak's classics. Well, maybe not quite, but close.:) Kudos to the author, The Immortal Thief.

Preliminaries

I found it necessary to nudge a guard by the front door of the Dock House to get behind him without a hassle and into the door. Other moves by the docks were routine. There is an entrance to the sewer in that area that I ghosted with many retries in my previous attempt, but this time I bypassed it because there is another entrance.

Once in the sewer, you encounter white spiders who are easily alerted by your splash entering the water. You must do this to obtain a key and read a book. The solution to this problem is to wait until the spiders are on the opposite side of the room, behind the central column, and then to ease yourself gently into the water. Go up for air and check. With a few reloads it can be done with no alert.

I also nudged a guard at the entrance to the Mechanists' temple to get into the front door. This required taking trips from a hiding place to avoid a patrolling guard. Vanguard and Deadfall mentioned trouble getting into the entrance and climbing on ropes. I didn't attempt that. The nudge and the front door entrance were straightforward.

The dining room on the second floor of the Mechanist's temple offers a nice challenge. There is some loot on the far wall. The room is brightly lit and a Mechanist servant is looking at the only easy approach to the loot. The ghost approach is to hop on tables behind the servant. You hop on the first table, jump to the second table, get the loot at the end of the room, hop back over to the first table, and slide off. I think that if you use your only moss arrow here, then it may not be a problem to do those jumps. I saved my moss for later (never used it), and I had some difficulty because the tables made a clanking noise. So, I had to hop onto the silent chair backs and slide onto the table at each stage. It was difficult to land on the chair backs owing to a painting sticking out of the wall and the angle of the jump. It required time to set it up for each jump. The entire sequence forward and back needed to be done in around 35 seconds owing to a partrolling guard who popped into the door. Since there was a good chance of missing the chair backs in any given jump, I could complete the sequence only after many tries and quicksaves.

Also in the temple, there is a sleeper, a mechanist priest, who always stands up when you open the door between his bedroom and his office. There is another office door on a nearby corridor, but it does not open from the corridor side, so there is no choice but to wake the sleeper. Anyway, that sleeper never alerts, which has been ruled OK.

The mission has a clever design of one-way traffic. You can enter the inn from the starting point owing to shadow on that side, but you can't leave by the front door and head right to find the remainder of the mission because it is light on that side of the porch, and a guard who faces the porch always sees you. You must leave the inn from a window in the stairwell, from which you can't get back into the inn or to the dock side of the map. So, you must go through the mechanist temple to get back to the docks. There are three routes: out the priest's balcony to the roof on the 2nd floor, out the window in the nearby hall, and out the open balcony above the docks. I did all three. From there, you can cycle back to enter the inn. Owing to placement of keys, at least two such trips are necessary, I believe.

In the City Watch station, I had to nudge the guard to get into the torture chamber in the jail, needed to satisfy the objective to find out what happened to Troy. That was a tight squeeze.:) The guard was forced into the chair.

Opposite the inn is the Jeweler's house and shop. To get in there, one must rope up to the balcony to snag the door key and then rope down and enter the side door of the shop with the key. While on the balcony, snag the toughest loot in the mission, a spice bag in an upper window in the adjacent building.

A tough move, one that I failed to complete the first time through, is to snag the gold nugget in the pool in the courtyard of the Keeper's complex. It is easy enough to get into the pool, but it is quite difficult to jump out without attracting attention unless you take the perfect path on the stairs and splash around a bit. All it took was persistence, timing, and care.

Keeper Bouron's key

The normal route to the key is to slash a banner and enter a passage above the fireplace in Bouron's secret room. Deadfall is to be congratulated for making an outstanding but serendipitous discovery which makes the banner slashing unnecessary.:) As Deadfall reports, if you have a "keeper notebook" forward in your inventory, then if you hit the "r" key, instead of dropping the book floats in the air. Not only that, but you can jump onto such a book and remain elevated. Not only that, but you can mantle onto it. If you look straight ahead when you release it, the plane of the released book is horizontal, so you have a nice platform. If you look down or up, the book is slanted along your line of sight and very awkward to move on.

There are two books with these properties to be found in the mission. Using these two books, you can make a staircase that moves along with you for climbing up, but you can't place them below you in order to climb down. Deadfall used a method of swimming up the water column by the key loft. Somehow he placed the books outside the water column and used them as a bridge to the key. I couldn't quite follow that description, so, after a little experimentation, I just went up outside the water, building book stairs, like this: Crouch. Release book, mantle up. Turn 180 degrees. Crouch. Release book and mantle up. Lean out, look down, and retrieve bottom book. Turn 180 degrees. Crouch. Release book.... In this way, you can easily climb as high as you want using only two books without entering the water. After getting the key, I jumped down on the books, snagged the highest, jumped into the water, snagged the lowest, and swam down the water column to safety. Simple.:)

The spider

This is what you have been waiting for. I had to leave it for last because it was last. After opening the double door below the Keeper's jail, using the keeper and mechanist keys, you enter a labyrinth with two spiders in it. Only one of the spiders is a concern. The spider in question, a big green one, is almost as wide as the passage. You can't creep past it because it blocks the way. You can't jump over it witout an alert. Moss is no help. Crates are no help, because the spider alerts with the slightest sound, like placing a crate gently on the floor. So the spider has good hearing, but it has less than perfect vision and, most important of all, it has no sense of touch. That is the key, folks. You can nudge the spider directly if you are quiet enough. But that is not all there is to it. See below for the complete story.

Come on Baby, let's do the twist

Any of you remember Chubby Checker? Well, as he said, "It goes like this." You approach Ms. Spider carefully from her right side and begin nudging her forward in the passage. It’s a little slow at first, but she moves. And she drifts to the left, because you are on her right side. As she drifts to the left, the tips of her legs penetrate the left wall, creating a little more space on the right. So you can get more or less beside her at a 45 degree angle. At that point, she accelerates her forward motion. With every pivot, which occurs maybe on a five second period, she moves forward around six inches. So, in no time at all, relative to normal nudging speeds, you can dance Ms. Spider to the far end of the first corridor. And it is very much like doing the twist. Ms. Spider is twisting like crazy and marching down the hall. It is really kind of surreal.:)

I should add that during the Perfect Thief run I did this maneuver twice successfully, and each time I carried a crate in front of me in the misguided impression that the crate would protect me from the spider. Later I went back and did the entire procedure without a crate.

Doin' the spider squirt

This is another dance you probably don't remember. The need for this occurs when you get to the corner, because Ms. Spider does not cooperate and just walk around the bend. Even when you get far to Ms. Spider's right side, she does not steer around the corner as you might think. She gets jammed there in the corner, no matter how you push. What to do?

Have you ever squeezed a watermelon seed between your fingers and shot it across the room? Of course you have. Well, it works just like that. You move over to her left side and jam Ms. Spider in the corner and apply force. Lean into the spider to apply even more force. That, combined with your and her elastic properties, and her twisting motion, seems to build up potential energy in the spider. Periodically, she squirts out of the corner in various directions, but you have all but one direction blocked. Eventually, when you get your angles right or only by coincidence, she will squirt left down the corridor some distance, say 6, 10, or even 15 feet. And what's even more amazing, all this occurs without the slightest peep or pause from the spider! No alert, no bust.:)

Sinking the putt

But that's not the end of the story, folks! You see, the distance that the spider squirts is somewhat random. There is a branch corridor off to the left, and you want to persuade Ms. Spider to enter that branch so you can proceed straight, and you don't have to nudge her all the way around the labyrinth. Apart from the time wasted, there is a good reason for not wanting to do that. When you get into the third leg of the maze, the lighting becomes much brighter. About half way down the third hall, she quits dancing and bites her partner.

To get around this problem, you must get Ms. Spider to go left into the first side passage, but there is no corner to exert the force needed to squirt her into it. If you apply force, she just goes straight ahead, which is doomed to failure. The solution to this is just blind luck. It turns out that if you make a successful "left squirt", then a certain fraction of the time the spider will go past the passage, and a certain fraction of the time she will stop short, and a small fraction of the time she will land right in the center of the side passage entrance. On those occasions, there is a good chance that she will spontaneously make another squirt move to the left and enter the side passage, totally on her own. That's a double squirt. Again, she does this with an instantaneous shift of position, making not a peep, and is not alerted.

So, that's it. You dance, you squirt, and you take your chance.:D

-----------------------

I wrote up a loot list during my final play to resolve a question of missing loot. I found an item worth 100 that was missing from Nightwalker's list posted on Jason's Cheap site. It is a huge and obvious item, a purple urn in Keeper Room #4, that was evidently omitted by clerical error.

Vanguard
5th May 2003, 19:56
FM: A Keeper's Betrayal (probably version 1)
File: betrayal.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Time: 1 hr 39 min
Loot: 2080 of 2181
Pockets picked: 2 of 3 (i.e., all)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt: 50 (required kill) Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Killed: 1 (required)
Secrets: 2 of 3 (but know where last one was)

Comments:
- In a PM, I mentioned to Peter that entering the mage's sleeping quarters by using the roof over the front door of the Mechanist seminary prevents him from waking up from his sleep when you open his hallway doors. However, when you open the door to the adjacent office, he still wakes up. However, you can bolt around the doorway while he is still getting up. So you can't help but wake up this mage, but he can still be ghosted.
- I used the method of using the levitating books to build steps, like Peter. My problem is that you cannot jump when atop the book unless you are at its very edge. Creeping to that edge usually had me fall off so instead I would repeatedly jump atop the book. Each jump nudge me ever so slightly in one direction and eventually I could tell when I could jump. However, jumping to the next book requires moving forward and jumping at the same time, but any forward movement would put me into that "locking" section of the book where I couldn't jump. I found that if the book was dropped in mid-air but part of it was embedded in a wall then I could jump anywhere atop the book that was sticking out of the wall. So I wedged between a wall and pillar so I could make the books stick into a wall but force them to be close enough so I could jump onto each higher one. I took the water pillar down but had to wait until the footsteps for any Keeper went out of hearing range so they couldn't hear my splash into the water column.
- I got the nugget from the pool in the Keeper's compound but would *always* make a belly flop splash sound. I had to wait until the 2nd floor walkway Keeper was in a far corner and inside a small building at the corner and that the 1st floor Keeper was also in a far corner or near to one. Lots of waiting on this one.
- Again I could never ooze into the water without making a big splash noise so getting into the water in the sewers in the room with the 2 spiders would never work. They would hear the splash and go on full alert. I thought that I'd try using crates in the water to slow my descent since oozing edgeways off the walkway to slow my descent didn't work. However, I found that crates in water become massless and you cannot get atop of them, so I'd pile a 2nd one atop the one floating in the water but it, too, was a wee bit in the water and was massless, so I piled a 3rd atop and that one I could jump atop. But removing the crate underneath provded too much height in the fall and I'd make a splash noise. As I was pondering how to get into the water without alerting the spiders, one fell off the path and drowned. This put the other spider on alert but not for very long. The problem that I had with the spiders getting alerted to the splash noise is that they were perfectly identical in timing (i.e., speed on their preset path) but were too far apart so they would never be in the far corner at the same time. But now with only one spider left, I could splash into the water with the lone spider at the far corner and not have it alert. This pathing defect where one or both of the spiders will fall off the walkway and drown has been experienced in 2 prior plays of this mission so it will happen, but it can take a long time to happen.
- My technique for getting past the big green spider in the maze just before you find the book and Bouran used crates. My intention was to use a single layer of crates to get over the spider. I had one moss arrow and hit the spider with it. It doesn't feel anything. This distributed the moss evenly on both sides of the spider which I would need to lay down crates on both sides. The first crate was laid against the spider on the entrance side by crouching and looking down. The second crate was meant to go atop of the spider. I didn't know if the crate would overlap the spider or lay atop but had hoped that there would be enough ceiling height to let me jump atop of it if it laid atop the spider. However, the crate fell slightly to the other side of the spider but atop the spider at a slight tilt (because the spider is round). Garrett is pretty poor at getting just the right distance when dropping stuff. While pondering if I wanted the crate where it landed, something akin to Peter's "squirt" technique happened. As the spider rotated, the crate would wedge a bit farther down between the spider and the wall. After a couple rotations, enough tension built up that the spider squirt right past me and back toward the entrance, leaving the way clear for me to move forward. The spider made a first alert but that was it. It was queer to see the spider shoot supersonic right past me and end up behind me and a bit to the left (I happened to the pressing to the right against the wall) and not know that it had just flown 5 feet in an instant. I was too happy to bother trying that again. It worked, Peter has shown that "squirting", and getting the crate on the far side and atop the spider put the tension so it flew past me and freed up the maze path. Pretty cool.
- When I killed Bouran, a required objective, all objectives were then checked off so the mission ended. This eliminated me having to figure out how I was going to get back over the green spider in the maze. However, it also eliminated me going back to the weapons shop and checking off the secret route over the shop using a rope arrow, so I only got 2 of the 3 secrets.
- I'll go back in blackjack mode to see if I can find the last 100 in loot but I'm not much of a super scrounger. I did get the nugget in the spider's jail cell, the purple vase in #4 Keeper's room, the nugget in the pool, and the other stuff mentioned in other posts and messages. I'm just so happy that I got past the spider and finally figured out how to make the book stacking work that I have no hard desire to find that last piddly 100.

Me, too. Me, too. I ghosted it, too. Alas it wasn't Perfect Thief'ed but tis good 'nuff for me.

Schwaa2
5th May 2003, 21:19
Hey Deadfall, thanks for playin and glad to see you pulled off a ghost. Peter said he did too, but didn't want to count it as official since he Beta tested and new the mission pretty well. So I guess that makes you the first official ghoster of Left for Dead :)

It was my mistake to not mention in the text file that Darkloader 4.1 IS needed, all of the custom voices are MP3's and only 4.1 can convert them, sorry you missed out on all of that. Garrett does say "There's Thomas" so you know who to kill without grabbing his key first.

The Trickster does automatically run from you. This was probably the ONE thing thatI did that was not ghost friendly (OK, the fire arrows Dragonfly thing too), I tried as much as possible to make it ghostable but a few things just had to be done that way.

The dragon flies shouldn't have fallen by gas arrow. That is something that I might have to fix. maybe even let gas arrows work so the ghost is easier. I'd still like to fix the Trickster so he has to SEE you before running but I just couldn't get him to work like I wanted so that was a comprimise.

theImmortalThief
8th May 2003, 08:00
Hmm, Isn't it possible to use the keeper's note method to pass the spider? Place one in the air ij front of it (that shouldn't make any noise) then shoot a moss arrow to the other side of the spider to make a soft landing and then just jump over him onto the moss. I haven't tried this but from what I've heard about the keeper note method it seems like it should work.

Deadfall
8th May 2003, 19:34
In my ghost report I talked about using the notes to try and sneak over the spider. It was possible to get above the spider, but the ceiling is so low that I couldn't jump, and I found that I couldn't drop down without alerting it.

Vanguard
9th May 2003, 04:51
I did not try using the floating journals to get over the spider in the maze. You could try it but I suspect that the levitating journal would be too high, even if crouched when "dropping" it, and you could not jump atop of it because you would hit the ceiling, like trying to jump through a window that was not made tall enough.

theImmortalThief
15th May 2003, 08:23
Oh, I see what the problem is now.
Another thing I was going to mention was the part the you said you had to stack books to get to Keeper Bouron's platform. Well, there's a much easier way, like looking at the ceiling where the green plaster has fallen off and udsing a rope arrow. Of course this might make to much noise. I also think you might be able tpo kill Bouron after knocking out by throwing him down the well.

Peter_Smith
21st May 2003, 01:40
FM: The Wedding of Sir Andre (Lord Ashton series #8)

File: hochzeit.zip

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed - couldn't find loot
Time - 03:40:39
Loot - 7685 / 8100
Pockets Picked - 7/14 !
Locks picked - 18
Damage dealt - 0
Damage taken - 0
Secrets Found - 0 / 0

Comments

This mission is interesting mainly because of its pastries. Yum, yum!:D Also, there are some nice crystal goblets to add to the loot collection, together with the usual nice textures, fish and teddy bear, Christine's trademarks.

From the ghosting standpoint, however, it is routine. There are no really tricky spots. The main difficulty is navigating a lot of marble floors in the first floor. The mansion is huge, so that's a lot of marble to cross. Also, water arrows seem to be in short supply early on, so I did not use them, which slowed me down quite a bit. I found lots of water arrows on the second floor after I no longer needed them.

The main problem was finding loot and objective items. The mission reminds me a little bit of Casing the Joint in that there are a lot of wooden hallways with similar architecture, so it is easy to get lost. There is not so much variety as Casing. Most of the hallways are without decoration and the same style, so it really is tough to remember where you have been. Doors left open, like a trail of bread crumbs, is the only thing that prevents brain damage. Even then, I found myself retracing steps several times before I found all the items in the objectives list. By then, I was not too eager to keep hunting for loot. Christine is a great loot hider, so I felt like I could be hunting for several hours looking for the last coin -- just like Casing. I guess the way to beat it is to BJ all the AI (there aren't very many, and they are sitting ducks), then do a grid search and make a loot list.

One thing that seemed strange to me is that I see a large third floor from the outside, but I found no access into it. I guess it is just for decoration.

The most fun in the mission, to me, was finding the crystal shard, a fancy crystal sword. Too bad there is no way to use it. It reportedly can kill undead, of which I found none.

I am surprised at my total pickpocket count. I thought I had sniffed them all. None of the arrow quivers contain pickable arrows, so far as I can tell. Maybe there are more AI hanging out in the third floor or the basement with the undead. :)

Zaccheus
21st May 2003, 12:56
I thought it was impossible, but a taffer called "Some Serious Dough" has successfully ghosted my little FM !

Full wright-up here:
TTLG - TRC v1.1 ghosted (http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=802137#post799552)

Vanguard
29th Jun 2003, 14:52
FM: The Skull of St. Yora
File: theskullofstyora.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Time: 2 hr 58 min
Loot: 4072 of 5027 (4000 required)
Pockets picked: 8 of 9 (all)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments:
- After diving into the water channel/river and where the underwater passage is to the well inside the cathedral grounds, is an armory. I had to nudge forward the guard standing in front of the door.
- After exiting the well into the cathedral grounds and slithering past the spider there, I had nudge the Mechanist standing at the side of the cathedral. Later I found out it wasn’t needed. You will get a first alert but you can just move behind him and slide past.
- You can go around to the side gate but probably will have to nudge forward the Mechanist on that side since he alerts to you creeping past and underneath the bright light near the gate. Instead, I went in through the front door. A patrolling gal Mechanist came through the inside double doors and got close but she didn’t spot me although I wasn’t completely darkened.
- The author starts you out with 10 water arrows. You find another 10 in the armory mentioned above. There are 3 more in the courtyard. The author felt this was more than sufficient. However, something the author did accidentally or deliberately in the mission made the patrolling Mechanists on the first floor of the cathedral always relight the gas lamps near the altar area. I would douse the gas lamps by the altar area (with the angel statue) and the patrolling guards would relight them, but they could be 30 feet away when they relit the gas lamps. I’ve seen random relighting of gas lamps in OMs and FMs as it seems to be an attribute of the AI but it occurs infrequently, not always as happened to me. This ends up using up lots of water arrows because you cannot move too fast on the tile floor. I reloaded a saved game, mossed the tile floor, waited until the patrolling Mechanists were away from the altar (in the side hallways), doused the gas lamps, and ran in the dark spot before the patrols came back through the doors and could relight the gas lamps from a very long distance away. The cathedral is highly lit with both gas and electric lights (for which there are no switches) and you’ll end up using most of your water arrows. In fact, when I ended the mission, I had 3 water arrows left. These were the ones found in the courtyard pond after leaving the cathedral, and I didn’t need them anywhere else.
- I thought the power station outside the cathedral’s cellar door might off the cathedral lights. Nope, all it turns off is 3 street lamps. When you exit the cellar into the town, there are window openings in the covering leading to the cellar. Although they are large enough to move through, their bottom is was not made mantle-able. I toted over some crates but laying them down, even when looking straight down while crouched, made too much noise and alert the Benny guard very close by. I had to moss the stairs to put down the crate. Although laying a 2nd crate atop the first also made noise, Benny didn’t alert to that noise. I went through a window on Benny’s side so I could sneak behind him and nudge him forward so I could get up the ladder to the archer with the power station key (and pickpocket his arrows). The ladder doesn’t reach to the ground and jumping off makes noise that will put Benny on full alert. I didn’t want to waste a moss arrow and don’t remember if I had left any at this point. So I nudged him forward of the ladder quite a ways but not so far forward that he would see me creeping to the power station door from the opposite side of that street square. I needed him forward of the ladder so he wouldn’t see me go up the ladder, but I needed more forward of that so I could move to the side of the ladder towards the street square which let me slide and fall off the ladder quietly.
- In a building with a gal on the 2nd floor (actually it is the 1st floor as you enter from the street), is a very hard to see ring on the floor. You can sneak up behind the gal and nudge her forward and sideways to let you slide between her and the chair. I repeatedly tried jumping over the chair but Garrett is too clumsy and always landed on the upholstered chair that makes noise like it is a wood chair. If you can manage to jump at the chair and catch just the edge of it, you will land without making noise, but that’s harder than nudging the gal.
- In a town house with a guy standing and facing two loot masks on the wall, I had to nudge him forward to snatch the mask closest to the corner.
- Thanks to Old Man for coming up with a quiet means of getting the gold plate off the angel statue in the altar area of the cathedral. There are a couple books or notes about how the thin gold plate on the statue will melt off with the smallest of fires so you get clued in that there is gold to be had from the statue. In the room next to the statue and also in a town house, you can find fire arrows. Using them would put every AI inside the cathedral on alert, including the ones way down in the basement. But Old Man came up with the idea of tossing a lit flare at the statue. That works and you end up plucking the gold nuggets that hang in mid-air after the statue disappears. I forgot about the flares. They are also useful for detonating sunburst bombs if you’re out of fire arrows or don’t want to use them up.
- To get the skull, you’ll have to get to St. Yora’s Olde Library but there is no route to it from within St. Yora’s. Next to the courtyard between the cathedral and St. Yora’s is a gated garden for which there is no key or means to open the gate. You have to get atop the walls. I found 3 routes to get atop the roofs and walls: (1) The cathedral’s top-floor outside balcony (jump onto the outside wall, then jump and mantle onto the courtyard wall); (2) Stack crates in the courtyard to get atop the walkway roof; and, (3) Use your 2 mech eyes by stacking them to get atop the outside wall. In the OM, you had skulls and rib cages you could stack vertically to get high enough along the outside cathedral grounds wall to mantle up, but not in this FM. There were 3 crates at the bottom of the basement stairs in the cathedral but they weren’t enough to get high enough to mantle the outside wall. I found you could use the eye orbs of which I had 2 in my inventory. Get up against the wall, drop one, deactivate it, and keep jumping up until it falls to the ground. Do the same for the 2nd orb except jump only enough to get high enough to mantle the outside wall. As you jump, you will go up an altitude but the orb will fall a tad. You need to mantle when jumping up from the 2nd orb while it is still high enough to reach the edge of the wall but before it falls down and lands atop the 1st orb on the ground. You can also stack food but it tends to be a much less stable pile because of its shape and often you fall off to the side.
- While you can find a slowfall potion in a wood chest on the top floor of the cathedral, you can fall atop an AI from any height and not incur any damage. Often you will bounce off the AI and the height from where you hit the AI to where you land is the only measure of how far you fell to determine damage, if any, on the fall. There is a female Mechanist in the gated garden (with no key) alongside the courtyard between the cathedral and St. Yora’s. While atop the wall, I would fall off to land on her head (and usually bounced off, so I’d have to hit just right to bounce and land out of her sight). Obviously this took a quicksave and several retries before getting it just right. I tend to not use potions unless absolutely needed since I might need them later.
- Getting to the skull was relatively easy. Just time the mage pacing in a short 10-foot circle at the top of the ladder so you are to his side and run and jump onto the ladder so you land on it and grab it low enough so he won’t see you. He will alert when you move and drop the rotted crates. I was out of moss arrows (didn’t find the 2 moss arrows in the gated garden area until later when I nudged the gal Mechanist in there). However, you can move around until the rotted crate is no longer lit to be frobbable, and frob the hidden switch behind the crate. Getting out was much harder. Garrett moves too slowly when doing up the ladder and also pauses a split second at the top of the ladder, all of which delays him getting onto the floor and behind the mage before the mage turns around to spot him. Instead, climb up the ladder until your eyes are level with the 3rd rung from the top. When the mage is overhead and you are to his side, turn right and jump at the floor and mantle up to run back into the dark entranceway. You are lit up before getting to the dark but the mage’s range of view is diminished with distance.
- Getting into St. Yora’s is tough. You have to come in from the courtyard. You can crouch to the pillar side of the doorway and just inside to let the patrolling Mechanist get by you with only a 1st alert. However, crouching behind the door in that dark corner will get you noticed by the patrolling guard, so I would wait until he walked out past me and when the guards inside has just past, then slither around to the right to get into the next room (away from the guard standing just inside the door on the other side of a pillar).

Perfect Thief is probably impossible. There is 185 in loot behind the bar and in the office behind the bar at the Lion’s Inn. However, the bartender never moves or rotates and the place is far too lit for you to approach the bar unnoticed. In St. Yora’s, you cannot get the 600 in gold on the dining room table because 2 guards watch over the table. Tthey are in the same alcoves occupied by haunts in the OM but this time the room is highly lit and there is not switch to turn off the electric lights. There aren’t any switches to turn off any electric lights except for the “power station” which turns off all of only 3 street lights in the town.

The author neglected an important attribute of objects used to satisfy objectives: to keep them locked into your inventory. Normally in T2 missions, it has been the default that any object needed to satisfy an objective remains locked in your inventory (i.e., you cannot drop it). Not here. I had read the instructions left for me in the inn but didn’t bother to take them. The ding-dong alert sound played when I grabbed the paper (which should’ve been after I read them, not when I took them) so that objective checked off. Since I don’t care to tote a bunch of garbage in my inventory, I either leave keys where they got used, drop flashbombs where they won’t be noticed or heard, drop mines off in rivers, and drop or leave papers after reading them or somewhere later when I get too tired of cycling through too much stuff in my inventory. I also don’t like to carry any more evidence than required that could incriminate me or my employer. The idea is to not get caught, but always plan on or notice escape routes and keep only the minimum needed to complete the job. If you drop the instructions, you lose the checkoff for that objective. Same for the objective to get an old scroll, or for the skull. In this mission, you can drop objects that are required to satisfy an objective. I couldn’t remember where I had tossed the paper with the instructions and didn’t want to replay the entire game, so when I got to the north bridge gate, I hit Ctrl-Shift-Alt-End to end the mission.

There is 5027 max loot available in this mission (according to the end-game stats). 600 is unghostable from St. Yora’s dining room table and 185 is unghostable in the inn behind the bar and the office behind the bar, leaving 4242 left to find. I managed to get 4072 so I made the 4000 loot objective. I went back through on a blackjack run but couldn’t find the other 130, even with the hints provided by the author in another thread. For a long time, I only had 3872 and was going to be short of the loot objective. I found a 200 necklace that I missed back in the inn in front of a gal on the 2nd floor on a desk. Don’t know how I missed such an obvious trinket on my first pass through. But then I had ghosted the Hammerite in the inn suite thinking we were enemies and later found out he doesn’t alert to you.

I had played the author’s first remake of the cathedral and thought this wasn’t going to be much different. However, the addition of the river, inn, the town, and changes to St. Yora’s and the cathedral were significant. I see why the author changed the title of this FM since it is a big change to qualify it as a wholly unique mission. Ghosting this FM, especially since the author didn’t intend it to be ghostable, often proved to try my patience (in the length of waiting and the number of retries) – or my stubbornness.

Zaccheus
29th Jun 2003, 15:57
A few comments from the author:
* Getting onto St.Yora's roof: You can shoot a ropearrow into the wooden windowframe and get onto the stone catwalk that way.
* Also, when you come out of the cathedral basement, the roof above the stairs is made of wood, so you could use a ropearrow to get through the opening on your left, if the sound it makes is not too loud.
* I had no idea that the guards in the cathedral relit the torches.
* My german beta testers tell me that you can get onto the cathedral grounds without going through the well, by scaling the walls near the armory.

Vanguard
30th Jun 2003, 01:01
I did later find out how to scale the outside cathedral wall using the eye orbs as mentioned. I was hunting around and decided that I needed to revisit the inn, not really to see if I missed something (which was the 200 necklace) but to see if perchance I could get behind the bar for that loot. I couldn't go back out using the well since the water splash on entering would alert the nearby spider. Of course, any means of getting atop the walls would work as well as the eye orbs, like crate stacking (if there are enough) and jumping off the 3rd floor balcony on the outside of the cathedral. I had to come back in using the well because I had used up the 2 eye orbs to scale the walls to get out.

In the courtyard, I kept wondering why there were ladders on the roofs and walls to get into the gated side garden. I figured some players might use crates here or go along the outside cathedral walls to get atop the courtyard wall. I missed that there was wood above where I could sink a rope arrow to get atop the courtyard walkway roof. Oh, well, sometimes even a seasoned player will miss the obvious and figure out an alternate method to achieve the same ends. I missed a 200 necklace back in the inn in front of the woman on the 2nd floor, and when I went back I wondered how the he<i></i>ll I could miss something so obvious and so easy to snatch. Doh! No matter how expert you be, occasionally we all do something that makes us look like an idiot. Hopefully in real life, it isn't a lethal stupidity.

The patrolling guards would relight the gas lamps by the altar area with the large statue in the cathedral. Each time they passed the doused gas lamps, they would remark about them. Usually an AI only makes one remark on their first encounter, so maybe something caused them to get reset so they would make the comment everytime on passing a doused gas lamp and so the probability that they turn it back on got raised. I'm assuming they are relighting them since the gas lamps got relit when they reappeared from the side hallways although the relighting would occur when they were like 30 feet away; could've been the nearby stationary guards doing the relighting. Relighting torches seems to be an attribute of certain AIs (the human ones). I think I first encountered it when playing the Framed OM when I doused a gas lamp in the room next to the interrogation room with the side door outside and a bunch of switches; I'd douse the torch, a guard would complain, and they'd relight the gas lamp. Most irritating as it consumes your water arrows before you might actually been able to utilize the darkness.

With the drop of a crate when looking straight down while crouched is the quietest way to drop a crate without using a moss arrow, I'd suspect it would be iffy that the Benny guard by the power station wouldn't also hear a rope arrow although the AIs seem to react differently to different sounds. Even if I could sink a rope arrow, I'd still have to land somewhere on jumping off the rope (unless you manage to catch the edge just right) so I'd still have to use a moss arrow, so I used a moss arrow and a couple crates to simply walk through the window in the overhang for the cellar door. I can toss a empty bottle at a guard without any alert at all, but sometimes dropping a key on a hard floor will put them on alert. He<I></I>ll, sometimes a guard will alert from my footfall that makes no sound to me (nothing is heard through the speakers); i.e., the game made a sound but didn't bother to play it so I hear nothing but the AI sure heard it and react.

Vanguard
12th Jul 2003, 03:39
FM: The Diamond
File: diamondv1_1.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Time: 1 hr 30 min
Loot: 5074 of 5474 (5000 required)
Pockets picked: 9 of 10 (all)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Damage taken: 0 Dealt: 0 Healing: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 3 of 1 (of 1?)

Comments:
- There must be a bug in counting the secrets in that the maximum number is wrong. I found 3 but the maximum specified is 1. So I have no idea how many secrets there really are and if I found them all. You cannot get enough loot without them.
- There is a loot purse in a small pit which is surrounded by a metal ledge on which patrols a small bot (blind until alerted by sound). In the pit are 2 big green spiders. The pit is highly lit and there is no way to kill the glowing mushrooms (I didn't try shooting them with broadheads but these were the flat small mushrooms, not the rounded fat mushrooms that are frobbable). So I had to skip that loot.
- On the 2nd floor by going up the vent ramp by the big bot, you have to pick and frob through banners where there are 2 of them in a room. This room is by the bathrooms/showers where you enter the 2nd floor and the closest room down the hallway with 2 banners inside, one of each side of a portrait.
- I had missed the key on the sofa to get into the loot room with the secret stash. The other key that is hard to find is under a baby crib with a wood chest.
- I found the "Bob" key in the dungeon. I had a heck of a time finding the "Henry" key. Both keys are needed to get into the room with the diamond, an objective. I paused my ghost run and lured the zombies outside and then either lured the guards to the zombies to get killed or lured the zombies inside the mansion to wreak havoc. I even lured the zombies into the dance hall to kill off all dancers (boy, that music is horrifically loud). With all the guards (except in the basement/dungeon) killed off, I kept looking for the "Henry" key. I didn't find it until later when I continued my ghost run. It is in the dance hall on the guard that patrols inside that room, but for some reason I didn't see the key on him when he had been killed by the zombies.
- The objective "get back to the gates" is NOT to get back where you started. Instead you have to get to the outside "gates" (the doors at the end of the outside stairway with the watcher and turrets). You cannot actually get to the gates without getting spotted by the watcher; even though you get the objective checked off, the watcher rotates back before the mission ends and spots you on yellow alert. The trick here is to get onto the stairs behind the watcher and then get under the watcher which is a blind spot for the watcher and the mission will end.
- Minus the 100 loot in the spider pit and the 5094 that I found, there is still 280 that I did not find.

Vanguard
12th Jul 2003, 22:48
FM: The Greyfeather Gems 1: The Shipment
File: tggpart1.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Time: 2 hr 0 min
Loot: 2426 of 2675 (2000 required)
Pockets picked: 12 of 13 (all)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt: 0 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 3 of 4

Comments:
- Be careful of getting stuck in spots where there is no escape. I decided to mantle onto a roof and go over the Watling Gate only to find a short deadend and no way back out. Reload.
- Finding the [gear] key to the Mechanist seminary at the first house was elusive. You have to get onto a balcony to get into the room with it.
- I got into the bank vault but didn't have the safe deposit keys. The log inside tells you who has them. I had missed them on my first pass through the owners' residences but found them and went back.
- You only get a 2-minute shutdown of the watchers in the bank, but it turns out the police station with the switch is pretty close.
- At the end, I decided to use up the inviso potion (from the bank vault security deposit box #2) to get into the crate in the Machanist warehouse. I probably could've gotten in without it but this was at the very end of the mission and that's when I usually use up everything that doesn't violate a ghost, and where I drop all the fluff I end up with at the end of the mission (scrolls, keys, potions, whatnot).

Peter_Smith
14th Jul 2003, 05:45
FM: The Greyfeather Gems 1: The Shipment
File: tggpart1.zip

Play mode: Perfect Thief (success)
Time: 3 hr 27 min
Loot: 2675 of 2675
Pockets picked: 12 of 13 (all)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt: 0 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 4 of 4

Comments:

There's not much to say except that I took quite a bit more time and got more stuff than Vanguard. This is a very fine ghosting mission. The city streets architecture and atmosphere were fun to play. Lots of nice little sneaking spots, so you have to stay on your toes most of the time, but it's not too difficult. There was no place that gave me a lot of trouble, ghost-wise. I thought at first that the bank alarm, which has a timed shutoff switch in the City Watch station, was going to give me a little trouble, but that was fairly easy, too. There's plenty of time if you prepare the route by dowsing lights, opening doors, etc.. Of course, it is desirable to arrive at the bank with the safe combination and the two safe deposit keys. :)

Morrgan
14th Jul 2003, 07:40
Wow, almost 3½ hours playing The Shipment? I'm surprised you found enough to do for so long. ;) I had ghosting in mind while making the mission, but never tested if it was possible. Glad to know it is.

Peter_Smith
15th Jul 2003, 03:34
Thanks for stopping by, Morrgan.:) The problem is not simply running through it. That can be done in 30 minutes or less with a BJ, I would guess. The problem is finding all the loot and secrets in ghost mode, the first time playing it, which entails a lot of creeping, waiting, and retracing of steps until it is done. I went through every building 2-3 times. It helps to be familiar with the mission. Speed ghost may be a 20 minute proposition, but that takes practice and resolve.

Vanguard
16th Jul 2003, 02:33
Even if not ghosting but when playing on Expert difficulty level, you cannot alert the Mechanists (other than 1st alerts). It doesn't matter if they see you. They will alert - to you - if you make noise, too, or if you toss the frogbeast egg, or if you douse the butt of a bot and another AI discovers it. Any 2nd-level or greater alert by any Mechanist, whether the one back in the starting mansion or later in the seminary, means the mission aborts. I even got an alert that ended the mission by opening the door behind the female archer you see as you use the gear key and first enter the seminary; somewhere a male voice rang out, "oh-ohhh", when I opened the door and the mission ended due to an alert by a Mechanist. Later opening the door didn't cause the alert because whomever was the AI that alerted before didn't alert that time. A yellow alert my a watcher is likely to put a nearby Mechanist on alert, too. So it's hard to complete this last part in Expert mode whether ghosting or not.

I can't believe I missed the 2 crates for loot in the Mechanist warehouse; I did the usual checking but must've not been close enough or at the right angle of view to get them to light up to show they were frobbable. But even then, and later going back through on a blackjack run (except for the Mechanist seminary), I still couldn't find all the loot. The mission must have a bug in that it reported "3 of 1 secrets found" so I don't know if there are 3 of them which meant I found them all or if there some more secrets to find but also don't know how many more. I'm a couple hundred short. Congrats to Peter on a perfect ghost run.

Morrgan
16th Jul 2003, 12:12
Originally posted by Vanguard
So it's hard to complete this last part in Expert mode whether ghosting or not. I like to make the difficulty live up to its name. On Expert, the point was that the Mechanists weren't supposed to suspect anything; not hear you, see you or otherwise get suspicious. The bug with failing the mission for opening a door was unfortunate though.


The mission must have a bug in that it reported "3 of 1 secrets found" so I don't know if there are 3 of them which meant I found them all or if there some more secrets to find but also don't know how many more. Hmm, I've never heard of this bug before. The number of secrets was fine for me and the betatesters. There are 4 secrets in the level.

As for loot, I put up a loot list on my site as soon as I get some spare time. Quite a few people seem to end up a couple hundred short.

Vanguard
20th Jul 2003, 22:43
FM: (01) Locked-In
File: sluggsfan.zip

There are 3 missions in this .zip file. The title for the FM was somehow taken from the 3rd mission. Maybe the .txt file was put into the .zip file for the 3rd mission and that's what Darkloader reads. The missions are:

(01) Setup
(02) Ferrying the Iceman
(03) Locked-In

<b><u>1st mission: (01) Setup</u></b>

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Time: 19 min
Loot: 339 (Perfect Thief)
Pickpockets: 4 of 6 (5 max)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 2 (required by objective)
Damage dealt: 2 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments:
- You are required to knockout 2 guards. Actually, the objective says, "Score <i><b>at least</b></i> two knockouts". That means you can knockout 2, OR MORE, guards (except for the front desk guard which has an objective to not touch him). So, by this objective, you are allowed to knockout all the guards except the front desk guard.
- So many gas lamps. Absolutely no water arrows. This author despises Garrett slithering in the dark and instead seems to want him to go on a rampage. Sluggs likes slugfests, which becomes even more evident in the second mission.
- I had to hunt around for the loose coins: 2 where you hear a loud tick tock, one in the office upstairs but didn't light up to be frobbable until I got close to it. The coins behind the drapes were spotted early.
- There is danger of getting stuck in a dead zone, and area from which you cannot escape. Climb up to the top of the ladder to the metal catwalk and jump over the fence wall. End of mission since there is no way out.
- An upstairs small room has 2 guards that contantly watch the door. There is 50 in loot behind them in a wood chest. You MUST get this loot; they author didn't put in much loot you have to get almost all of it, especially the big loot items. The max available loot in the entire mission is 339. The loot objective says to get 300, so 339 max - 50 = 289 which is less than 300. So these 2 guards became the means to satisfy the knockout minimum required by an objective.
- You MUST snatch the gold urn in the upstairs hallway. It is worth 100. However, taking it will slide the painting to reveal a watcher (that I could not sneak down the hallway to get back out without it yellow alerting or without the patrolling guard getting back before I got completely dark again). Since there is only 339 max loot available, 339 - 100 = 239 which is less than the 300 loot objective. However, there is no objective to get back out or to get anywhere. So I snatched this loot last from a dark corner. The game ended without any alerts, even from the watcher since I was still in the dark corner.

<b><u>(02) Ferrying the Iceman</u></b>

Play mode: Ghost (failed)
<i><small>other stats unimportant</small></i>

Causes for failure:
- Cannot get into office. Not keys outside the office. Cannot frob key from guard behind window into office. Had to draw him out by alerting him.

Comments:
- You only have 3 water arrows in this entire mission. There are electric lights that can be switched off but almost every electric light has a companion torch that is lit. You don't have enough water arrows to make enough areas dark so you don't get spotted by guards, patrons, or servants.
- Even when not ghosting, being sneaky is obviously not the objective of this mission. You cannot blackjack any of the guards, and blackjacking them (without result) will alert the other guards. You can kill them with the sword but this alerts all guards, even those in other rooms with intervening doors closed. You essentially have to make a dark area and then lean forward while picking them off with the sword. Even if you douse all electric lights and torches, moving with the sword drawn will light you up and get you spotted, so hope the guards come at you single file while you are cowering in dark waiting to lean-and-swing with the sword.
- The office doors are closed and locked. The only keys for the office are in the office. You cannot get close enough while atop the windowed shelf to snatch the key from the guard inside. The only way to get at the keys is to draw out the guard in the office that has a key. But once dispatched, you find that he unlocked the office door when he came out so you don't need his key. You just need to get him to come out of the office so you can then get into the office.
- I managed to get the loot purse and urn in the alcove with the fireplace using 1 water arrow. I got to the "private" area with a gal glued to a bench. Managed to get around the coffee table and in the corner opposite of the gal guard in there. The patrolling guard would 1st alert as paced through this room. I could get into the kitchen and still was ghosting okay. But once I discovered that the only way to get in the office was to alert the guard in there to get him to come out and leave the office door unlocked, ghosting was over and I went into lean-and-swing-with-sword-from dark spot mode to take out the guards.

<b><i>(03) Locked-In</i></b>

Play mode: Ghost (failed)
<i><small>other stats unimportant</small></i>

I didn't play this one for very long. You are expected to rabbit hop in and out of red-tinted liquid (hot water, lava, who knows what it is supposed to be) to snatch the key to the door on the 2nd level. However, touching this red-tinted liquid causes damage so you immediately bust your ghost attempt. Even when not ghosting, it would take a lot more tries than I bothered with to get lucky enough to hop in, crouch, frob the key, turn, and hop back out before you get killed. Turning off the generator after sending the elevator up did not help, so it's not that the water is electrified. It is also unlikely, even with hopping over the gas clouds coming up from the floor, that you will not incur damage from the gas. This got boring real quick so I quit.

Vanguard
23rd Jul 2003, 01:29
FM: Lord Matt
File: lordmatt.zip

Play mode: Ghost (failed - but very, very close)
Time: 3 hr 24 min
Loot: 24796 of 25421 (20000 required)
Pockets picked: 8 of 12 (actually 11)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 3 (2 for the kill objective, plus 1 that busted my ghost)
Damage dealt: 3 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Killed: some, others=1 (actually 2, as per objectives)
Secrets: 0 of 0

Cause(s) of ghost failure:
- The archer standing by the elec. room door (labs) could not be nudged in a position that allowed me to get through the door without being seen by him. When he alerts, all the guards alert in that area. Blackjacked him and lugged out of view to ghost rest of mission.

Comments:
- Flipping the lever up on the boardwalk near where you start is a no-no. It opens a gate that releases 7 Hammerites that will eventually wander over to the town square and have a melee with the guards there. Since it is obvious an overt action, flipping this lever and you causing the melee is a ghost bust. You don't need to release them, anyway.
- Managed to creep out and back along the wood boardwalk with only 1st alerts from the guards. This let me get into the area with the Hammerites where there is a house with lots of loot masks and loot plates (a little over a 1000 in loot).
- Nudge the servant on 1st floor of Lord Matt's house so I could reach the frontmost stack of coins.
- Found Lord Matt in his cottage (dressed like an assassin). An objective says he must die, but slaying him would make too much noise. I blackjacked him by leaning into the door after dousing the torches outside his door. One way to quietly kill him would be to drag him elsewhere and repeatedly pummel him with the blackjack. I instead decided to toss him into his still lit fireplace, leave, and close the door. You could hear him make noise as he slowly died but the guards only had 1st alerts. At one point, he stopped making sounds but the kill objective wasn't satisfied. Opening the door restarted his ongoing damage, so I closed it again, and waited until the kill objective got checked off. I knew he was dead when the objective tone sounded.
- To get in Mikus' house, I used 2 crates to get in through a side window. The room has dark spots where I could hide from the guard, Mikus, and still pick open the chest in there. I then would wait until the guard walked in, turned around, and headed back out at the same time that Mikus would turn and walk away in his restrictive pace route. I blackjacked him and dragged him into the corner where I was somewhat darker and would only get 1st alerts from the guard. I would follow the guard from behind to get into the opposite corner nearer the door, and did the same thing to get outside with his body. In the meantime, I'd get behind the guard to loot the place. There is a dark spot along the wall in the room with the treasure chests and the guard doesn't get close enough to detect you. When I got outside with Mikus' body, I went behind his house to the bathhouse and dumped him in the water to drown.
- Nudged both the guard and Mechanist in the building marked "Plant" on the map. This was to get to the side of the guard and past the Mechanist into the small room with the wall safe with lots of money. After getting into this small room, I then found it had an open window opening that I probably could've used a crate or two to get up and through.
- Nudge a Mechanist forward in the Generator Plant to get at a wall switch. Turns out the wall switches are not involved in the objective to turn off the generator but they do make the room quieter (so you can hear your own noise that AIs can hear despite all loud sounds).
- The hardest place to get into was the electrics room and lab. I got into the secret passage and used a broadhead to take out the glowing mushroom by the door into the labs area. But there was a guard standing in front of the door. I got close enough to lean forward and hit the lever to open the door. I wanted to come back into the passage from the other side later. I then headed all the way back outside the castle and used rope arrows to get up to the wood platform by an outside door to the labs. There is a guard up there, so I roped up on the backside of this platform and nudged the guard off the platform. Although he falls a very long ways and would die if he had been blackjacked and hurled down from this high up, AIs that are awake don't incur damage during falls. I would then following behind the patrolling guard while opening the elec. room door with a key and also to nudge the archer to the side and into the wall some more hoping that he could get positioned so I could get through the door unseen. Since you can only nudge when an AI moves their legs, it took a LOT of trailing the patrolling guard and pausing for a second at the archer to see if I might happen to get him nudged a bit. Eventually he got nudged as close to the wall as possible and the workbench preventing nudging him any further along the wall and farther from the door. I could not get this archer out of position so he wouldn't spot me going into the elec. room. I eventually had to blackjack him, pick him up, and get behind the patrolling guard before he turned around, and then deposit him on the outside platform around the door and out of sight.
- The metal door to the elec. room is invisible to the AIs. You cannot see through but the AIs can. This meant the patrolling guard would spot me on the other side of this door when he was across the room and had a better angle to see me. So I would follow him around until he was on the opposite side of the room and then slide sideways through the door. That gave me the time he would walk a bit further, turn around, and walk near the door but would be to the side and looking forward and I would be at 90 degrees to his view. When he passed the door, I had only a short time to get the door closed and sneak behind the guard near the door before the patrolling guard turned around and would spot me through the metal door.
- I had to nudge the guard inside the elec. room forward from the wall to sneak past and behind him. I could then hit the switches to darken the room and to disable the particle beam, the 2nd half of the "turn off generator and particle beam" objective. To get the lab key, I mossed the top of the switch panel (because I made a thump when jumping onto it no matter how I tried to hit the wall first or land on its edge), jumped onto the switch panel, and leaned sideways to reach the key. Then snuck out.
- You do not need to get inside the apebeast cage to flip the levers that open the lockers. You can frob right through the locker doors.
- The assumption is that you get the teleporter key from the safe in the apebeast cage in the lab room to get back to the start (an objective). Instead, I left the lab, following the patrolling guard outside the labs, went back into the secret passage (now dark and with the guard inside nudged back out of the way of the door into the passage), and made my way back to the town square. I mossed the ground and used crates to mantle back up to the roof on the building where you came out from your start area, and then went back to the start area. The teleporter just makes it easier and quicker to get back to the start area. However, I wasn't going to spend another 40 minutes, or more, trying to figure out how to sneak past the apebeasts in the cage.

So if it weren't for the keen and overly wide eyesight of the archer standing by the elec. room door, I could've ghosted this mission. But the rest of it was plenty tough to ghost.

Vanguard
23rd Jul 2003, 04:48
FM: Lord James' Retreat
File: lordjames_v1_0.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Time: 1 hr 14 min
Loot: 2737 of 2862 (2000 required)
Pockets picked: 11 of 12 (all)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt: 0 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 2 of 3

Comments:
- There is a frobbable barrel in the passage to the basement (with the cage containing the skull). There is also a frobbable barrel by the ladder leading out of the sewers after you get past the apebeasts. I don't know what that frobbable barrel was for.
- When I exited the sewers and came out onto the grounds, I saw a servant guy running so fast down the lane from the bridge and into the wood drawgate that I only saw a jerky slideshow of him running. Haven't a clue what that was about. The frame rate is very poor in these front grounds area.
- Nudged kitchen gal to the side to make room to get gold plates on top shelf cabinet.
- Several times I used a moss arrow to hit a light switch to darken the area. You get lots of these.
- I placed 2 barrels (one frobbable and the other pushed) in front of the exit holes in the walls where the fire arrows should exit when you press the button to open the cage door. However, the fire arrows are spawned only about 20 feet each side of the button so they exist after the barrels. You can lean forward to position yourself just within reach of the button but release the lean when you push the button to be out of the way of the fire arrow explosion. No AIs get alerted from the noise (I immediately ran back up to check).
- After ghosting was completed, I went on a blackjack but could not find the remaining 125 of loot. Also could not find last secret so maybe that has the missing loot.

Vanguard
1st Aug 2003, 17:27
FM: Cop in the shadow
File: cs10eng.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Time: 1 hr 25 min
Loot: 2204 of 2344 (2000 required)
Pockets picked: 4 of 6 (actually 5 max)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt: 0 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments:
- This is a big mission. You run around in a big city. However, for its size, there isn't much fleshed out inside the buildings so a later revision that added a lot more interior space could make this a new mission in itself (like with Lorgan's Web). I started to actually feel lonely because there aren't enough AIs to fill up this big mission and there were long stretches and large areas where there were no AIs at all and none were pathed to go there.
- Be careful about trying to slide off a roof onto a street light or barrel. A lot of these have no substance (i.e., no boundary) so you will fall and damage yourself.
- There were lots of opportunity to rope up high and maybe get onto roofs but not much there. Where you needed to get high a ladder was provided so I don't remember if I needed rope arrows or they were used very little.
- There are scripted kills based on a boundary trigger. When you are in the warehouse with the robots, I did not see a Mechanist anywhere but when I got to a certain spot in a back room then I hear him speak and the robots attacked him when they came upon them in their patrols. I suspect he gets spawned based on a boundary trigger. The other scripted kill is in the estate's pool room. When you pass the metallic monolith, you hear an arrow fire. Never saw the arrow even after repeating reloads and retries in this indoor garden area. The mace wielding AI kills the guy with the safe key. The mace guy has the pool key so you have to wait until he wanders out of the pool room. Both of these are boundary triggered melees and probably qualify as non-busts of a ghost. For the warehouse kill, only the robots get alerted. In the estate kill, 2nd floor guards will get alerted even if they are at the opposite side of the estate. They will go off high alert and resume their patrols, so just wait to continue your ghosting.

Ghosting this one was straightforward. I spent a lot of time roping up to roofs or looking around thinking there just to be more to find and to do in this mission. Needs more AIs, too, and some watchers and turrets, or something more to sneak past. The hearing of the AIs might need to be tweaked up a bit. I could easily walk on tile at a distance that the AIs should've still heard me but didn't even a 1st alert. After done ghosting, I went back and alerted the robots in the warehouse and lured them out to the other AIs to cause some melees. I thought I could drag the robots around and have them off lots of guards but the robots turned out to be too fragile and got killed off after 1 or 2 scuffles. The addition of the robots was okay but their warehouse was too advanced and out of place in a Thief 2 mission, along with the inclusion of an alien. I'm not a fan of X-files and I find it disruptive and undesirale to put in UFOs, aliens, rocket ships, stealth bombers, and the like into a Thief 2 mission. It ruins the atmosphere of the game.

Deadfall
20th Aug 2003, 22:09
FM: Worlds Collide

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:57:47
Loot - 1642/2492(or 3292)
Pockets Picked - 5/12
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 4/4

Comments - This is a pretty small mission. But searching for the objectives makes the mission seem epic.

The moat in the beginning pretty much leads to no where, but after making huge metal clang noises when trying to sneak onto the drawbridge, I was looking for any other alternative. Unfortunately, there wasn't one, so I had to creep onto the edge and slowly drop myself onto the bridge. The keep doesn't take long to traverse through, and I didn't even bother dousing any torches. Many of the rooms had convenient light switches as well. But sneaking through the basement took more effort. There were alot of orcs patrolling around and sometimes their first alerts were loud and seemed like a second alert.

The first objective I checked off was mapping out 75% of the keep. I really don't know progress was made until I reached the secret barracks with the idle troll. I had gone through every room on the first floor and the basement. I don't think I had finished exploring the second floor.

From the electric chair room in the basement, I noticed a button and a lever in the next room barred by a gate. Hitting the button and flipping the lever caused a bed to fall from the ceiling like a lift. I did remember that the floor underneath one of the beds upstairs had a distinct outline, suggesting it slid open. My assumption was correct and the bed in the blue room lead to the torturer chamber with the keeper needed for the objective. He was in a crucified position against a mechanist gear in the back. At this area, I was also able to explore the prison area and pick the orc archer's arrow. Only one door in the prison area was unlocked and contained a gold eyeglasses in one of the bedrolls.

The next objective completed was finding Sir John. I was fortunate enough to have hit a button while randomly right-clicking around the statues in the dining room. In one of the adjacent rooms was a note with a poem about rocks. I suppose this gave hints about finding the switch I just hit, but the back bookcase lead to a small alcove with Sir John's corpse and his diary on his belt. Reading the diary gave me some background information so I knew why orcs and trolls were co-existing with human guards and servants.

Notable situations:
-Lt. Leffel in his room in the basement apparently cannot see pretty well. I was able to sneak into his room and pick the chest on the left without him noticing. I was pretty much in his field of vision though.
-I found out the hard way what happens when you press buttons without thinking. In the ward/ritual room was a garden with a button and pressing the button while standing against the edge of the ledge resulted in immediate death when a rain of magic darts came at me at all sides. Pressing the button only revealed a diary of Medivh on the pedestal.
-The orc in the church area did not seem to be too alert either. It was quite easy to run into the room and passed the banners without him becoming alert.
-The portal in the basement did not seem to be there for any significance. I do remember reading about it in relation to the little girl, but it only confused me further about where to go next.

Searching for the crown is pretty much an endless maze for any ghoster or perfect thief'er. Only after going on a knockout run did I happen to find it. It was in a crate on the shelf in the store room next to the kitchen on the first floor. Destroying the crate was, obviously how it was found. But something bizarre happened after picking up the crown. When the mission ends, the loot count is changed from 2492 to 3292. So I really don't how much loot there was total. I assumed the first loot count is correct, so I was only missing 50 loot. I did search for quite some time and still didn't find anything.

The objective to make 10 airborne knockouts was of course optional and I didn't bother attempting it. Basso will have to be content with me ghosting. After completing all objectives the only thing left was to find a back exit out of the keep. It took me a while until I started using the lift on the right side of the keep. At the second floor level there is a lockbox in the lift chasm. The lockbox was pickable and revealed a single button. After pressing the button I was sent to the bottom level and found a scroll implying this was the back entrance.

Secrets: statue under bed in the bedroom on second floor, button behind statue in the dining room, coathook in bedroom on second floor opens a dresser to secret barracks, button on ledge of small garden in ward/ritual room.

Hard to find loot: a loose coin beside one of the desks in the basement, diamond in the wisp aquarium, statue under the bed in the bedroom on second floor.

Vanguard
21st Aug 2003, 02:53
FM: Ominous Bequest
File: ominousbequest.zip

Play mode: Ghost (failed)
Time: 2 hours 18 minutes
Loot: 7540 of 8000 (5000 required)
Pockets picked: 7 of 7
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt: 0 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 6 of 8

Cause(s) of failure:
- Property damage required to get the horn (an objective but damage is not included in objective).
- Burricks alerted by horn used to open exit from trap.

Comments:
- Even after cutting power to the horn and sceptre displays, you will still get hurt by the electric fences atop the outside walls. I don't know why there are electric fences there or why some vines on those walls let you climb up since there is nothing there but the electric fences are still on.
- Dousing any torch on the outdoor gazebo will put the striking guards on full alert.
- Once you find the lost testament, a new objective appears telling you to get the horn. You can't take the horn (and sceptre) without damage until you turn off the power to their protective shields (which you cannot see). However, to turn off the power requires you use the sword to cut a wire. This would be similar to the author forcing you to slash a banner. To satisfy the objective you have to commit property damage but that is not allowed for ghosting. Busted.
- You can use the wall safe key through the banner and also frob the switch behind it to reveal the painting objective.
- You can frob through the banner at the front stairs to reveal a floor panel.
- If you come through the door closest to the stairs for the upstair's party room, a creak noise will alert the guy sleeping in front of the fire. So go through the other hallway door or use the secret passage.
- To get at the loot on the inside balcony with a lone guard, drop down from the attic roof onto the railing and then slide off onto the table. I had to nudge this guard forward to get past him from behind to leave.
- When caught in the burrick trap, you can sneak to the exit without alerting the burricks. However, you have to use the horn to open the exit floor panel and this alerts the burricks. Ghost busted again.
- There is a wall in the upper crypts area leading to the family tombs near where there are 3 skulls on a shelf (one has a gem in its eye). I could not figure out how to open this wall. You cannot walk through it. However, you can lean through it to frob the loot behind it.
- The sword can be ghosted by getting as far away from the altar with the sword (after hitting it with the holied sponge) on the side away from the entrance door. When you frob it, run down and behind a pillar to avoid getting spotted by the ghost mage that gets spawned near the door. Then just circle around the opposite side of the pyramid mound to stay out of sight and to leave as the ghost mage wanders around.
- I roped up onto the symbol near the ceiling in the church without being seen and even got to the book without being seen. An objective says to kill Kadar (the guy you just helped to reincarnate). This requires you slash the book with the sword. While the objective says to kill Kadar, all the other haunts will die, too. This might be a ghost bust but it doesn't matter since there were 2 ghost busts already that cannot be avoided.

Before exiting the church, I did a save and went back through in blackjack-em-all mode to find the last 2 secrets. Never found them.

Peter_Smith
22nd Aug 2003, 00:44
Congrats, Vanguard, on your work in Ominous Bequest:). You did all the right things. FYI, there is another way onto the interior balcony. Turn on the light in the corner room adjacent to the balcony (where you find some goodies). The balcony guard will come out to check. Follow him back into the balcony.

The secret door you mentioned in the entrance passage to the family tombhas a button close by, in the wider hallway with the bas-relief tombs, on the side of a column / protrusion. Not knowing what other secrets you have found, I cannot say what else you missed. The loot is all possible, but some is devilishly well hidden. I have a loot list if you want it.

I think this is a satisfying mission to ghost even though you are busted in those two places.

Vanguard
22nd Aug 2003, 06:29
Thanks, Peter. That helped to get my secret count up by one (for the crypt wall that I could lean through to get the loot). The other secret was in the library with the moving ladder after you escape the burricks. I had climbed the ladder but must not have been looking in just the right direction. So now I have all the secrets and upped my loot count to 7640 out of 8000 in loot. Gave up looking for the last 360 - for now.

dafydd
26th Oct 2003, 23:32
[Peter Smith]

(Folks -- we actually had an e-mail exchange about this, but Peter suggested it would be of general enough interest that it should be posted on the board. Hence....)

Amazing job of ghosting A Keeper's Betrayal!

But I'm a little uncertain... if banner transmigration is disallowed on the count that it just exploits a quirk in the Dark engine, and isn't anything "natural" that a person could conceivably do -- then shouldn't your incredibly ingenious "squirting spider" method for getting around Shelob in the maze be likewise disallowed? How is it any less unnatural to lean on a giant spider and have her not only squirt down the corridor but make a right-angle turn to the left and end up down a different corridor?

Also, is there any indication in any previous FM, or in this one (in text, say), that if you drop the notes, they will float, rather than fall? Now I feel like a dunce that I didn't figure that out... but I've never actually heard of it before.

I was able to ghost everything except the two problem areas -- the banner leading to the Bouros key and the spider blocking the corridor. Now that I see how to do it, I may go back and try again. But I have to wonder: is it best to design a mission that can only be ghosted by somebody at the level of a Deadman or a Peter, or is it best to design levels that can be ghosted even by ordinary mortals?

I understand that it's a great challenge to ghost something previously thought unghostable. One possibile compromise: one could design a level with optional objectives that are seriously hard to ghost, perhaps requiring exploiting the Dark engine; that way, the rest of us could at least be able to say we ghosted the required part of the mission, even if ghosting the optional objective is beyond our capability.

Again, fantastic job; my hat would be off to you, were I wearing one!

Dafydd

Peter_Smith
27th Oct 2003, 06:25
Thanks Dafydd. I really enjoyed that one. Notes you can step on are something unheard of before and since. Same applies to spider squirting. :)

There have been many discussions about changing the ghosting rules to disallow things that are unnatural or quirks in the engine. As far as I know, none of them have been officially adopted. I personally think that all these "refinements" are revisionist nonsense. So far as I am concerned, anything goes, so long as you do not alert an AI to second alert ("Must've been rats" is OK), give or take damage, or do property damage. The original rules are can be found in a link in the archives / FAQ thread. That is what I go by.

There have been some interpretations, from a long time back, that are a matter of record, such as a kill is OK if it is explicitly required by the objectives ("kill the haunts" is OK in RTC), but one cannot kill simply because it is necessary, indirectly, to achieve another objective. Alerts are OK if they are part of a script and you did not cause the alert (e.g., the archers' fight in LOTP). There are others that I can't think of now, but I know a ghost when I see one.

I think it takes a benevolent interpreter. Hard nosed rules spoil the fun, in my opinion.

As for level design, I am not sure I like the idea of designing a mission to be ghosted by everybody. I often recommend in beta testing to remove barriers that absolutely prevent ghosting a mission. I think the designers of the OM's did not consider ghosting criteria, but a lot of the OM's can be ghosted, some with unusual tricks. I think the success ratio is so high because the designers had a criteria to design for stealthy play. They did not put swordmen facing you in bright light. They made it possible for you to avoid trouble. That was the point of the game. I think that is all designers need to do if they want a stealty mission. Let the ghosting chips fall where they may, and present a few challenges and uncertainties.

dafydd
27th Oct 2003, 07:11
[Peter]


As for level design, I am not sure I like the idea of designing a mission to be ghosted by everybody.

Well heck, neither do I! Neither does any right-thinking person.

We wouldn't want it to be so trivially easy to ghost that the feat became meaningless.

The question I was asking: should missions be designed that can be ghosted except for one or two instances... but to ghost those instances requires weird manipulations of the Dark engine?

Consider A Keeper's Betrayal, which is a good real-world example. Every inch of it is ghostable -- you proved that -- but those two instances (the key and the spider) can only be ghosted by what might fairly be called "cheats," in the sense that they only work because the engine is imperfect. (I don't think Immortal Thief intended the books to float when you drop them; and I know he never once even considered spider squirting.)

It's one thing to make ghosting some piece of loot dastardly hard... for example, in that same FM, the loot on the wall in the Hammerite auditorium, or the loot at the end of the dining hall with the Child of Karras. Those require infinite patience, daring, a deft hand at the controls, and even some luck.

But they don't require banner transmigration, book levitation, or immaculate spider transplantation. They're what I would call "fair" loot as far as ghosting is concerned (note that I didn't get the bottle in the dining room... I'm not defining "fair" as loot that I, personally, can get).

If a mission is obviously unghostable from the git-go, that's one thing. You don't build your hopes up. But I had ghosted all the way -- until I came to the banner blocking the route to the key. It was really frustrating and infuriating; not knowing about the floating books, for which there was no textual indication, I was completely stymied, not because of my own inability to sneak, but because Immortal Thief didn't realize that slashing a banner busted a ghost.

Same thing with the spider: I don't know the weird quirks of the Dark engine (though I'm trying to learn!), and without them, there is no way to ghost Mrs. Spider.

From a level-design perspective, I think one should either design a level that cannot be ghosted at all, and it's obvious from the start, so players don't waste a lot of time ghosting, only to discover after several hours that they must give up the ghost -- or else, design them so they can be ghosted without having to abuse the engine.

(Imagine some loot in Tomb Raider that could only be reached by using the "corner bug." That would be immensely frustrating to players who don't know about it.)

That is, I'm not saying your ghosting should really be disallowed; I'm more saying that tIT should design his next level so you don't have to squirt a spider to successfully ghost it.

Dafydd

Vanguard
27th Oct 2003, 16:55
I would consider banner transmigration legal for ghosting. I think it first came up in the "Shipping and Receiving" OM to get to the loot chests in the captain's quarters on the ship. I've also used "door springing" to leap farther than normally possible: brace yourself while squatting against a door, open the door, and then move a little away. You might have to fudge around in your position to get it to work. You get flung backwards (because you had to face the door to open it) something like a hundred feet at high velocity. If you hit a wall, SPLAT, you're dead, but I have used it to fling myself across a wide gorge. It doesn't work a lot of the time, about as often as the sudden heart attack syndrome.

The author also probably doesn't plan on us resourceful taffer accumulating lots of crates to get over a wall. Or that the crates can be offset atop of each other with no supporting crates underneath to get over a moat and up to the top of the castle wall. Or that running or falling too fast at a rope can make it act like a big rubber band and make you bounce off almost farther backward than where you started (but land lower down, of course). Or waddling while pressing the run key and leaning left and right to wrangle your way under a couple beams that the author thought was sufficient to block a doorway. Or that jumping on a table makes noise to alert an AI but landing on its very edge won't. Or using a torch or gas lamp to land on while getting down from a height but you don't get burned whereas all other fire results in damage. On the other hand, is it fair that the author deliberately made a ledge at the height of your knees or at a ledge that you can manage to jump to and have your head above or higher no mantle-able? You managed to get there but the author doesn't want you there and didn't bother using some other obstacle to prevent you getting there so instead they make it so you fall when it is so obvious that it wouldv'e been easily mantle-able? How about banners or walls that you can lean through but cannot jump through? How about carpets that the author placed too high so it is above the floor and your feet get stuck underneath so you cannot jump but you also don't make noise on the tile floor underneath?

I figure if the author can putz with the engine's quirks or make deliberate changes to behaviors or attributes (like arms that are 20 feet for reach or so short you have to shove objects in your nose to frob them) that we players are also to make use of whatever we can in the mission. Although we tend to think of Thief as a reality-based theme game, there's too much that isn't real to get hung up on trying to equate it all to what would happen in reality. In reality, you come home and your dog is quietly sitting on the front porch. Do you know that he alerted to the mailman during the day? No. But when ghosting, the rules say that you cannot alert that dog. We're allowed to alert rats (which just don't squeek louder but often run away, too) yet we cannot alert spiders (to which no other AI would alert or notice the change *while* there still was a change).

Although banner transmigration, nudging, and spider squirting (which is really nudging) are quirks, they are allowed when ghosting. So are stacking crates so they overlap with no supporting crates underneath. That's the physics of world in which you are playing. In reality, you could bowl over a guard or mage by running into them. Not in Thief ... yet. Maybe in T3 they'll let me use my inertia to push AIs around, but that means that I can also be pushed around. Shove match! Imagine your humiliation at being held down by a bunch of civilians while a couple others go get the cops. You don't want to be in prison with the other inmates knowing that you got nabbed by a citizen's arrest. Garrett the wuss, oh geez, the shame.

dafydd
27th Oct 2003, 20:29
[Vanguard]

Parsing closely, we're really not disagreeing that much.

I wrote:


That is, I'm not saying your ghosting should really be disallowed; I'm more saying that tIT should design his next level so you don't have to squirt a spider to successfully ghost it.

You respond:


Is it fair that the author deliberately made a ledge at the height of your knees or at a ledge that you can manage to jump to and have your head above or higher no mantle-able? You managed to get there but the author doesn't want you there and didn't bother using some other obstacle to prevent you getting there so instead they make it so you fall when it is so obvious that it wouldv'e been easily mantle-able? How about banners or walls that you can lean through but cannot jump through? How about carpets that the author placed too high so it is above the floor and your feet get stuck underneath so you cannot jump but you also don't make noise on the tile floor underneath?

I figure if the author can putz with the engine's quirks or make deliberate changes to behaviors or attributes (like arms that are 20 feet for reach or so short you have to shove objects in your nose to frob them) that we players are also to make use of whatever we can in the mission.

My point is that authors shouldn't "putz with the engine's quirks," and they shouldn't build missions that require players to putz with quirks to ghost. If such putzing gets to be the standard, then the game becomes an insider's club, with only select people who frequent particular newsgroups to learn the latest bizarre quirk of the Dark engine being able to ghost missions.

I don't like that as a game philosophy or as level-design philosophy. Had A Keeper's Betrayal had a really sneaky button to open the banner, and had there been a complex path through the maze that didn't require leaping over a spider (or squirting it), the entire mission would have been ghostable by a good, patient, innovative player without having to have arcane knowledge about the bizarre failings of the game engine.

I think that makes for a better game; that's my position.

Dafydd

Vanguard
28th Oct 2003, 03:38
Well, some missions aren't made to be ghostable. We ghosters usually tell the FM author to first design the mission to be fun by all and forget about planning for ghosting. If ghosting is planned into the FM, too often it's the easy route and always used, so it's just a modicum harder. I've ghosted lots of missions, and other than nudging, most were done by taking a different route, getting somewhere the author didn't plan for, stacking crates (if you have the patience), trying to land on edges instead of on the flat part of a table or other ledge, waiting until the torch is out of sight so the guard doesn't alert to it getting doused. The technical ghosts from using quirks really isn't that satisfying. I had more fun trying to figure out how to ghost down a tower past a female mage in Sammy Pays His Dues which is just skill rather than the boredom in trying to squirt spiders around using crates. If it ain't fun and requires a super high number of reloads then often I just give up. Sneak might wait around to leave the game running for hours and hours just to see if an AI gets repositioned just right, but not me. I can't stand scrounging so rarely do I ever Perfect Thief a mission.

The best ghosts are when you have to use ingenuity and patience. To me, it's not a ghost unless the effect or action is repeatable; dumb luck, especially because of a quirk, leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But if the author appears to have gone out of their way to make a mission unghostable to spite us then I'll spite back by using any means I can to thwart that author. Ha! Did it anyway! Take that you taffer torturer.

dafydd
28th Oct 2003, 07:08
[Vanguard]

And now we're totally in agreement. I was pretty sure we weren't that far apart to begin with.

Dafydd

dafydd
28th Oct 2003, 09:30
FM: A Keeper's Betrayal (version 2)

Or, "How I learned never to believe Peter about spider squirting :rolleyes: ."

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Are you nuts?
Time - 06:19:47 *
Loot - 2076 / 2181
Pockets Picked - 2 out of 3
Backstabs - 0
Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 51 (Bouron)
Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0
Kills - 1 "other" (Bouron)
Secrets Found - 3 / 3

I'm not exactly sure how Peter managed fourteen pockets picked... did he mean fourteen locks picked?

* I should explain about the time: I opened the secret door atop the weapons shop just to check off the secret; but no matter how I dropped into the water, it always alerted the sewer spiders. Thus, I decided to leave it until later.

I returned later (after swimming in the dock to get the sewer key), hoping one of the spiders would have drowned. But no such luck; both were still active. I sat still behind the rat, watching and waiting for about fifteen minutes, but no dice.

Since I knew from experience that it's impossible to jump into the water without alerting one of the spiders enough to get him to stop -- busting a ghost -- I decided I was just going to wait it out. I left the game running and went off to do some errands.

When I returned, I checked... and sure enough, one spider had committed suicide while I was out. I saved the game there, and the time differential was about two and a half hours. But I have no idea at what point the spider self-destructed; it could have been a minute after I left or a minute before I returned or anywhere in between.

Thus, the actual playing time was really only 3:50 or so; still a long time (I go VERY slow!), but not the ridiculous time shown on the clock.

I won't go into much detail; since I'm (I think) the third person to ghost this, it's well-traveled ground already.

I will note that I found it very easy to get into the Mechanists' temple: I snuck past the guard who patrols between the temple and the town square; then, while he was away, I strolled up and jump-mantled up the wall right in front of me. I ended up on the peaked roof that leads to Priest Malvyne's balcony, and I didn't even get a first alert from either of the door guards. Was this changed from version 1? Was it harder back then?

I nudged the guard in the guardhouse so I could get past him to Keeper Troy's body and fulfill an objective; I nudged the stationary guard by the docks so I could get behind him to the door; and I ended up having to nudge the Antique Dealer.

That was weird. When I entered his building, I found him awake but unalerted on the bed. I reloaded and crept in so very slowly and quietly, but the same thing. I never made any noise in that area of town, so it couldn't have been anything I did; even getting down from the roof of the weapon's shop, I jumped onto the signpost, which made no noise, eased onto the doorjamb, and finally down to the ground without even bouncing up out of my crouch... so it wasn't me, babe; no, no, no, no, it ain't me, babe.

I have no idea why he was up; but this created a problem for getting to the switch that opens the bookcase where the skull is kept. I leapt onto the bed behind him without getting any sort of alert, then slowly nudged him to the edge of the bed. At that point, I was able to creep along the bed and frob the switch on the painting.

I forgot all about the archer on the balcony; so I had to return later and pick his arrow -- which you can do right through the closed glass door (which is good, since opening the door alerts the Dealer).

And of course, I nudged the spider.

I had a heck of a time with the floating books, but I persevered and managed to get Bouron's key without slashing the banner.

Now we come to the big tamale: how did I get past the spider?

I tried Peter's spider-squirt technique, but I had no better luck than Vanguard; I think you need to be a bit more descriptive, Peter: I backed her all the way along the corridor into the corner before the ell... but nothing I did made her squirt to the left, let alone around the corner into the blind alley.

I even got her to the point where she was almost entirely embedded in the wall, with just her face and front legs sticking out; I leaned in hard, but she just kept twisting left and right without squirting. I must have been standing in the wrong place... hence my request for more exact instructions.

Finally -- just once -- she squirted... backwards! Right through me and back along the same corridor I had just nudged her (but without any alert). I tried edging up and nudging her again, this time the other way, but she alerted every time after two or three nudges and killed me.

Finally, it occurred to me that since I had all the objectives ticked off except the book and the Bouron, and both were ahead of me, I didn't need to go back this way. So I reloaded again and crept away from her, down the corridor the way I needed to go.

I slew Bouron by first shooting him in the back -- well, in the left shoulder -- with a fire arrow. Then I started shooting him with broadheads. I discovered (after wasting about eight or nine arrows) that only a shot to the throat or head would produce any blood; so I focused on that area. I killed him at last with but two arrows to spare, and the game ended. Ghost successful! Me three, me three!

(The last time I played, which was not a ghost, I had not yet gotten the golden skull when I killed Bouron, so I was able to investigate that door behind him. As I recall, none of my keys opened it, and it was unpickable.

(I had a mine, and I should have blown it open just to see what was on the other side; my guess would be that there is no other side, that it's a door to nowhere.)

I know I didn't get the nugget in the pool in the Keeper compound; I don't know what else I missed, but I was 105 short on loot.

My ghosting doesn't count for much, since I just followed a trail blazed by others. But it's certainly the most difficult ghosting I've ever completed successfully, so I'm pleased.

Dafydd

dafydd
28th Oct 2003, 21:06
[Folks]

Could we get some sort of official ruling on the possible incompatibility between the following two ghost rules?


Amendment #1 : Any mission requirement that demands that the player break one of the rules or amendments is OK to complete.


Amendment #4 - A clarification is needed. No KO's are allowed at all, under no circumstances, regardless of the alerted or unalerted status of the AI.

This arises naturally in the case of, e.g., Vanguard's near-ghosting of Lord Matt. Here's the (objective) killing of Mikus:


I blackjacked him and dragged him into the corner where I was somewhat darker.... I went behind his house to the bathhouse and dumped him in the water to drown.

Vanguard did not consider this a ghost bust; his ghost failed because he later had to BJ a guard he was not required to kill.

The conflict also arose in A Keeper's Betrayal: somebody, I forget who, said that he dropped onto the Bouron platform and skipped around behind him before he alerted; then he KOed Bouron and beat the unconscious body to death.

The question: is it allowed to blackjack an AI, despite Amendment 4, if there is an objective in place to kill that AI? I'm sure we all agree that Amendment 1 takes precedence over Amendment 4 if there is a requirement to blackjack some AI (or, presumably, kidnap, since you cannot "herd" an AI anywhere :eek: ). But if the requirement is merely to kill, are you allowed to blackjack first?

In the case of A Keeper's Betrayal, it's not even necessary to blackjack Bouron; you can shoot him with a fire arrow and then pepper him with arrows until he dies without you taking any damage at all. I have no idea about Lord Matt and can only assume Vanguard is correct that this is the only way to carry out the objectives to kill Matt and Mikus.

Dafydd

Peter_Smith
29th Oct 2003, 07:46
Where did these ammendments come from? They do not look familiar to me. If they are a part of Clayman's attempt of a year ago to revise the rules, they were never agreed by the community. Certainly not by me. The wording is contradictory, as you point out.

So far as I am concerned, a mission objective to kill an AI can be met by BJing him, carrying him elsewhere, and finishing him off. That is common and accepted procedure to avoid alerts of other AI caused by sword whacks. It satisfies the objectives, the AI is dead, and there were no secondary alerts. That is the idea, isn't it? The no blackjack rule does not apply to the requrement to kill. If you wanted to, you could kill him with your blackjack.

As I said in a post above, the rules I go by are the original rules posted in the FAQ area, with amendments and interpretations agreed a long time ago. I hope that we don't have another debate about this, not so much because I dislike debate in general but because the last couple of times it has been a rancorous affair and a waste of time. If we do need to discuss it, then please start another thread. The last one was well over 100 posts long.:)

dafydd
29th Oct 2003, 11:01
[Peter]

Peter, I'm not trying to start a rancorous debate. For one thing, I have no opinion on the matter.

I got those amendments from here:

http://land.heim.at/yellowstone/230430/rules.html

I forget where I found this, but it might be on the thief-thecircle board under some title like "Official Ghost Rules" or somesuch; alas, I can't check it right now because that board has been down for some days now, it seems.

I note that the corresponding post from

http://forums.eidosgames.com/old-ubb/

...which is linked to by the FAQ here, omits rule 4. But I don't know which one is "official," if such a designation exists.

Honestly, Peter, I have no dog in this fight, and I'm not trying to stir up some long-dead debate I didn't even know about. I am just a stickler for rules by nature, so I like to know exactly what they are.

Dafydd

Vanguard
30th Oct 2003, 01:40
The objective says to kill him. It doesn't say how. You can blackjack an AI to death. You can hack at them with the sword. Perforate them with arrows. Drown them (by blackjacking or luring them in over their head or running around a pool until they fall in). Fire arrows, mines, crushing underneath an elevator platform, luring into an active trap, like splatballs or fireballs. Yell boo at them (i.e., let them see you) and have them run away where you can dispatch them alone. As long as you don't alert other AIs then it's okay. If the kill objective said something like, "You must kill so-and-so in the middle of the party crowd using a fire arrow" then you don't get a choice of trying to perform a covert assassination and the objective is a mandatory ghost bust. In fact, there are objectives that are mandatory ghost busts. In one FM, the objective was to make an example of killing the target. You are required to kill the guy amongst several AIs so they went on alert. Even though you could perforate him with a broadhead while remaining completely undetected, this just was not a ghosty maneuver at all. In another FM, the objective says you must get a vase but the vase is inside a crate. The objective does NOT leave you an out by saying you can smash the crate so getting the vase requires smashing the crate which is a ghost bust.

Note that killing an AI can be scripted to alert other AIs. You could kill the target somewhere far away but the other AIs will still go on alert. This is completely artificial and something the author didn't think of. It's as artificial as the boundary trigger you cross that causes the melee in the Life of the Party OM. Some AIs are linked to an event that occurs within the same room, like readying your sword or blackjack. The AI couldn't possibly see this event but they are tied to alert to it. In some FMs, when you kill an AI (required) a door opens so you can continue the mission. Now that's really getting fakey and unrealistic. So at times it can be damn tough to determine if there was really a ghost bust or not. Some authors change the AI vocalizations so much that sometimes you cannot distinguish between a 1st and 2nd level alert for an AI.

Since Clayman isn't around (and often he didn't like make rulings, anyway), there's a certain feel that you must be unseen, unheard, with no trail left behind of damaged objects (although leaving doors open and throwing vases around is okay but there are more stricter ghost modes that make you put everything back the way it was). If the author isn't planning on you ghosting their mission then you get objectives that obviously wouldn't be considered ghosty, like having to kill someone even if done completely unseen and unheard and even dumping the body where it wouldn't be found. Having to kill someone is more like super stealth assassin mode than ghost mode. That's why I try to make it look like an accident. If possible, drown them in their bathtub, have them fall off a high balcony (even if it takes several drops to kill them), drop them into a fire, throw them into a trap, so somehow it looks like it was an accident and they were killed by something other than you. I don't go to extremes on this, either, since I don't want to be lugging around an unconscious body for miles (and them dying so far away would itself be suspicious).

If the loot objective weren't almost always there in the OMs and FMs, I probably wouldn't bother looting much. After all, wouldn't the missing loot go noticed so you really didn't ghost the mission? But without that objective, there wouldn't be much to force you into dire situations. The feel you strive for is like when the guards open the vault to find all the money is gone but have no clues how it was done. So really you are being a super thief rather than a super ghost. Some authors want violence so you are sometimes forced to be a super assassin. I have to wonder how Garrett can be this super thief if everyone seems to know about him to hire him or to arrest him. Most of the time, he can't even walk the street in plain sight along with other civilians. Apparently he was very sloppy before, got well known, and is now forced into ghost mode to keep from getting into trouble everywhere!

If you have a question about whether something you did is a ghost bust, my advice would be to ask in a separate thread to get a consensus, and note that the bust (or not) was based on what the ghoster community felt. We all have opinions. Some are vehement, some are weak, and some are just too damn wordy, like me.

Peter_Smith
30th Oct 2003, 04:26
Dafydd,

I don't know where ammendment #4 came from. Maybe it was in another post somewhere and never got copied to the post that actually listed the rules. Anyway, I think this serves only to clarify the situation with gas arrows, another after-the-fact ruling. Not using the BJ in normal circumstances is pretty obvious and is covered by the no damage rule. Regardless of what this ammendment says, the no damage / no BJ rule does not apply when there is an explicit objective to kill. This is another unwritten ruling that is reflected in the red comments of the first reference.

In short: kill him and be happy about it. :)

I agree with Vanguard that questions like this should be made in another thread.

dafydd
30th Oct 2003, 06:44
[Vanguard]


Some authors change the AI vocalizations so much that sometimes you cannot distinguish between a 1st and 2nd level alert for an AI.

I just ran into this very thing: in Two Fathers, the maid upstairs in the secret area has a level-one alert vocalization that consists of an ear-piercing shriek! But she doesn't interrupt her steady walking, doesn't go into search mode, and doesn't flee -- all of which she does if you get her to a level-two alert.

The shriek is just her way of saying "thought I saw sumpfin' dere... musta been rats!" :eek:

Dafydd

dafydd
31st Oct 2003, 22:26
FM: The Wedding of Sir Andre (a.k.a. Sir Andre's Hochzeit)
File: hockzeit.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Play mode: Perfect Thief (fail - so what else is new?)
Time: 5 hr 08 min
Loot: 7085 of 8100
Pockets picked: 6 of 14
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt: 0 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

(There are three "secrets" that don't count as such but should; I got all three of those: switches in two rooms that reveal loot or a key and a frobbable gargoyle in a garden that slides a grave aside to reveal loot.)

Comments:

Nothing to say. Routine manor mission, nothing standout or worth discussing. Nothing really tricky... the first (ground) floor is all tile; that's about it.

Dafydd

Vanguard
2nd Nov 2003, 04:59
FM: Gerrard's Temple
File: gerrards_temple_m.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Time: 1 hr 32 min
Loot: 4518 or 4700
Pockets picked: 9 of 10 (all)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 9 of 9

Comments:

- Couldn't get to the coin on a ledge behind a metal fence in the garden room behind the altar. When I open the door, the priest steps forward and sideways to the door. I can crouch and sneak in but I get too lit when I approach the coin and the priest alerts.
- A gem is impossible to ghost (unless banner transmigration works which I rarely even attempt) down in the crypt area in a caved in floor area behind the banner. Not allowed to slash the banner to get to it.
- Never did get into the room marked "No Entry" on the first floor at the back of the temple. I can hear frogbeasts behind the door but never found a switch or key to open it.
- Getting into the pool by the servant resting on a bench outside was tricky. I doused all the torches around. The guards at the front doors are a bit blind so you can get to the pool on the side with the ladder. Climb down the ladder. When you get stopped by the water surface tension, try running down the ladder. This gives you enough speed to break into the water slowly without making any splash noise. If you pick up the water arrows in the pool, quickly put them into your inventory so the servant doesn't spot you lit up swimming around in the pool.
- There are lots of little switches to find to open the secrets (which are mandatory instead of bonus objectives because you MUST get the loot they contain).
- There is some loot behind banners. In the 1st floor room you enter through the window and the room on the 2nd floor right above it.

dafydd
2nd Nov 2003, 13:31
FM: Gerrard's Temple
File: gerrards_temple_m.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (fail -- see below)
Time: 3 hr 39 min
Loot: 4608 out of 4700
Pockets picked: 9 of 10 (all)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 9 of 9

Comments:

Dang! I just ghosted it -- but Vanguard beat me by just a few hours. Shouldn't have taken a break to watch Gatticca.

On the pond near Tommy, or whatever the bench-sitter is named, I just hopped right in; you get a first-level alert, but he doesn't spook if you douse some of the torches around there first.

The No Entry room is opened by a key you can frob from the fireplace in the kitchen: you can't see it, but you can frob it. It's labeled Willy's Lost Key.

Willy is a Frogbeast Keeper. In the room is a tiny lamp, a pair of tiny bunk beds, some tiny chests (fully of tiny nothing), and Willy. He has a tiny book that explains he was sent by the Keepers to infiltrate, but they promptly forgot all about him.

You have to to be very careful to close the door behind you after you investigate the saga of Willy; I left it open... then a few minutes later, as I was sneaking about the stairwell, I heard a loud BOOM!, and the guards started running around like crazy. It seems Willy the Frogbeast Keeper took advantage of the open-door policy and tried to join the party. He found a guard and blew him up. I had to reload from a save about ten minutes earlier and repeat what I had already done... first racing over to the No Entry room and closing the #%&#(*@! door so Willy could go no more a-roving.

There were two pieces of loot I could see but couldn't ghost: first, the one Vanguard mentioned, which requires slashing a banner; this is why Perfect Thief is impossible with this FM, I think. The other was a vase in the dining room... I ran out of water arrows, and there was still one candle lit in there. The guard has super hearing and X-ray vision, and I couldn't get to the vase. I'm now thinking that maybe the speed potion would enable me to get there and back again undetected. Let me see if I have a save around that area....

Nope. I can race into the dark corner left of the vase, then grab it; but when I race back, still speeded, the guard spots me nonetheless. I still think if I had just one more water arrow to dowse the final candle, I could make it. But who knows?

The hardest part of this FM is finding enough loot to finish. You need 4500 for the objective, but there is only 4700 in the entire mission... meaning you need to find 95.7% of all the loot just to finish!

My loot (4608) plus what I could see but not get (75) leaves only 17 unaccounted for. Now that I've ghosted the mission, I'll check the loot list to see where it is. I was short on loot right up until the end; I saved my ghost and went on a mad bashing spree, KOing every human AI in the joint and killing the spiders. I backstabbed the zombie about fifty times, but he never fell down... he did, however, become frozen to the spot: he still shifted around like a "live" but non-patrolling zombie; but he didn't react to me after that, even when I stood directly in front of him and jumped up and down. With all the AIs out of commission, I went on a loot hunt, at last locating enough of the remaining loot that I could reload my ghost game and finally finish the mission.

Anent the guard in the Prayer Room: it seemed that every time I opened the door, he moved forward a pace or two, while not alerting. He ended up far enough forward that I was able to get more or less behind him. I nudged him forward enough that I could get behind him and nab the coin from the sill beyond the railing.

Down in the basement, you eventually work you way around to a tunnel that leads to a crypt. There is a spider guarding the entrance to the tunnel, and next to her is a valuable ruby. I found this one of the hardest items to ghost: every time I grabbed the gem, the spider alerted and charged at me!

Oddly, you can run towards the spider and down the tunnel; she only seems to react when you get a little past the midpoint of the side tunnel within her field of view... evidently, she is myopic.

I found I had to get part way down the tunnel, just far enough that if I crouched and leaned to the left, I could just barely see a corner of the gem. Even then, I couldn't linger for even a second, as the spider would alert. I had to do a flick-grab, flitting to the left for a moment while frobbing. I didn't actually see the gem this time, but I got it and increased my loot total. I think it's only 50 loot points, so it should be possible to complete the mission even if you leave this item alone.

There is a lot of loot behind banners; but except for the banner loot down in the basement, you can frob right through the banners in the other two areas.

Oddly, in the room with a safe, the sleeping priest did not alert when I opened his door, but he did when I closed it... since you can't get the behind-the-banner loot if he is awake, I had to leave the door open the whole time I was looting the place -- in bright light, with a guard patrolling the corridor outside. And on a tile floor! I had to inch forward, grab some item, then inch backwards before the patrolling guard came by.

The rest of the mission was pretty straightforward.

Dafydd

dafydd
5th Nov 2003, 10:32
FM: Mixed Messages (Vermischte Mitteilungen)
File: MixedMessages.zip
Game: Thief 2

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (yeah, right!)
Time: 8 hr 28 min
Loot: 2046 out of 3099
Pockets picked: 24 out of 25 (all?)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 9 of 10

Comments:

This is a long, nonlinear mission to raid a CityWatch precinct, though it turns into much more than that.

The goals are considerably more creative than the norm: you have to find a description of a suspect and substitute a fake description; you must decrypt a message -- an additional objective if you find a particular object -- and you must rescue a trollop, in another additional objective. And get 1500 loot.

You get to mess with one of Gorman Truart's houses again, though the mission takes place after he has been murdered. This is great fun to ghost: tile floors, shadow patterns you can follow, some secret areas... it's not difficult; all you need are normal ghostly skills; but it's a lot of fun.

I had a lot harder time (many more reloads after being busted) with the compound surrounding the precinct and Truart's house: there are a heck of a lot of torches, lanterns, and several annoyingly placed lampposts that seem as bright as the noonday sun in Barcelona; you can be standing a hundred feet away, and you're still lit up enough that you'll probably be seen.

As you're looking at the Truart estate from the front gates, standing behind a guard who is (fortunately) staring like a moron at the front door instead of watching the approach to the front door, the entire left front corner area is inaccessable due to one of these lampposts. You need to go to the right, despite the brightish, greenish ambient light there. Just pick your time -- there are patrolling guards -- and inch across, ignoring the level-one alerts you can't fail to draw.

At the right, front corner is an entrance into the wine cellar below, and this is the only way into the house at this point, I think; later, you can turn off the porch lights and get in and out via the front (or back) doors... but not on your first approach.

Later, when you want to raid the buildings surrounding the estate, head toward the green corner and work your way around the estate counter-clockwise; stay away from the bright corner you saw earlier. There is one building there, but all it seems to have is a sleeping servent and a letter to his mum that lets you know there are secret corridors in the Truart estate. There, I've spilled the beans; now you don't have to raid that building. But be sure to hit the weapons shop in the corner before the bright one.

There are a thousand secrets and a million "pockets" to pick; I missed the last secret, but one of the authors assures us that it's an Easter egg that is virtually impossible to find... so for all intents and purposes, there are nine secrets, each of which comprises a tiny lever to flip. Hint: check fireplaces, and always look underneath elevators (get to the bottom floor, then send it up one floor with you not on it).

The toughest secret I actually got is a timed event: push a button, and you get three minutes to complete the sequence, which requires darting from one building through a phalanx of guards to another building. Even so, I got it in about a minute thirty, so it shouldn't be that difficult. Note: I did use an invisibility potion here; it turns out it probably would have been possible to do without, but I didn't feel like going back and redoing it... it's a pain in the patootie.

I think I used one other invisibility potion somewhere, but I can't remember where. No other potions, though; I had but never used a speed potion.

The two additional objectives, which appear if you read certain documents, each require several "sub-objectives," which don't show up in your objective list but must be deduced from clues you read or hear -- of which there are many. This is the first FM I've ever played that requires you to do internet searches to solve the puzzles! There is a door which requires a combination... but the numbers are never given to you straight... you have to figure them out.

There are plenty of clues, however; in fact, it's a bit of overkill. You can even deduce it by information entirely from the mission itself (I did), though it's probably easier to google it.

The hardest part for me to ghost was getting a voodoo-doll-sized scarecrow ("Scaresie") from a well-lit, narrow corridor patrolled by an apebeast. If you have an invisibility potion left, this is the time to use it. I didn't have one, so I had to stand and run behind the apebeast (he shouldn't hear you) on his right side; he turns to the left at the bright end of the corridor, and if you're quick and bold, you can whip around him on the right as he turns left 180 degrees, grab the doll, and run up behind him on his right again. He turns left again at the dark end of the corridor, and you can slide into the shadow, Scaresie in your pocket.

Later, in the Apebeast area, you have to ghost along a shadow line to a treestump surrounded by Frogbeasts; but if you're slowsie and sneaksie, you can grabsie the thingsie. (Sorry about that.)

Beware the Treebeast; he has exceptionally good hearing and will hear you if you clump on the rocks.

Down in the basement below the precinct, when you see the Canopic loot sitting on a pedestal, think "Indiana Jones."

I have no idea where the missing 1000+ loot is; I have a feeling I missed a building I could raid.

You must pay attention to written and auditory clues in this FM; you'll be lost without them (and there's no map). Listen especially to the Apebeast argument at the beginning of that section.

But no abuse of the Dark engine is required to ghost, just good, old-fashioned sneakery skills.

In the precinct itself, beware of the Mechanist faces around the joint; a couple of times, I thought I was golden until I looked outside the glass doors and saw a distant face in yellow alert status staring at me. If you're not looking for it, you might miss that you've been busted. (FailOnSee might help here.)

At the very beginning, there is a killing; but it's scripted, so don't worry about it.

I had to nudge several guards; I don't think you can ghost without doing so, as guards sometimes stare at switches you need and can't flip from behind the guard in his initial position... too far away. But if you nudge him forward, you can frob the switch.

All in all, an excellent FM to ghost... and if you can get perfect thief, my cowl is off to you!

Dafydd

dafydd
6th Nov 2003, 10:44
FM: Lord James' Retreat
File: LordJames_v1_1.zip
Game: Thief 2

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (closer...)
Time: 3 hr 13 min
Loot: 2562 out of 2862
Pockets picked: 10 out of 12
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 3 of 3

Comments:

A short but amusing manor mission: you have to heist a couple of Precursor masks and a golden skull.

Not much to say on this one. Brightly lit, but every light -- and I mean every light! -- can be turned off by a switch.

No nudging, no potions.

After you complete the golden-skull objective, about ten new guards spawn; but if you've been turning off lights like a good taffer, they're just as easy to evade as the original ones. Ultimate Thievers might have a rough go.

When you exit, bring one of those frobbable barrels with you: you'll need it to get out of the little cottage.

Supposedly, there is a way to get up to the roof; it looks like there is a third floor, but I don't know if it's accessible from the roof (which I never got up to). Maybe that's where some of the 300 loot I was missing can be found....

Dafydd

dafydd
11th Nov 2003, 07:32
FM: Forgotten Forest, part 1
File: ForgottenForest1.zip
Game: Thief 2

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (even closer...)
Time: 4 hr 5 min
Loot: 4985 out of 5150
Pockets picked: 4 out of 5
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Killed: 1... see below (required by objective)
Secrets: 1 of 1

Comments:

By and large, ghosting Forgotten Forest, part 1 is straightforward; you don't even need to nudge. There are really only two problem areas, both involving spiders:

At the very beginning, as you first head into the compound, a spider sits right at the entrance. It's well lit, and no matter how slowly Garrett creeps, she sees him. That spider is a bugger!

First, I tried speed tricks: fast, slow, stand-up run fast, crouch run... she alerted each time. Garrett is illuminated by a glowing mushroom; I tried approaching it to snuff it, but I couldn't get to it fast enough, in the brief interval in which she turned her butt away, to avoid detection.

I tried to shoot it with a broadhead, but there is a bush in the way that catches the arrows.

(Sidebar: I maintain that if you're allowed to frob a mushroom to snuff it out, then you're allowed to shoot it with a broadhead to do the same. It's no different from shooting a torch with a water arrow, sez I!)

I went back and tried to climb over the wall instead of going past the spider; there are some boulders around, and I was finally able to pile two on top of each other with me atop to climb the wall... but the moment I got on top, the drunken guard saw me and sobered up, alerting and searching for me. It's possible this is another way in, though, if you pile the rocks further away from the guard.

Just as I was about to give up, figuring maybe I couldn't ghost it -- defeated two minutes into the game! the shame! -- I finally tried one last thing out of desperation that I actually found pretty amusing: I grabbed a boulder and toted it all the way up to Ms. Spider. I crept as near as I could, one more step and she would alert... then I strategically dropped the boulder so that it was in between the spider and my path around the corner, which is where I was always caught. It worked: she couldn't see all of me, so she never alerted.

There are a lot of torches about, and you start (a bit absurdly, if you ask me) with no water arrows at all! And no equipment store, either. You'll do a lot of stand-up running from shadow to shadow in this game, at least until you make it into the haunted chapel and get water arrows (and holy water, necessary for one objective).

Don't forget to read the notice on the back of the notice board; it triggers a new objective to be added. All in all, you can get fourteen objectives (including thou shalt not kill), but one is more of a joke that you only trigger by fulfilling. I didn't get it; when I find out how, I'll just reload a savegame and go try it out.

EDIT NOTE: When you find the secret study in the house, drop the letter to Marucha's wife from her lover onto her husband's desk. You trigger the joke "objective": "Garrett, you are a real bastard!"

You also trigger two objectives when you find some chess pieces, another when you read the inscription of Constance's tomb, and another when you read about a drunken lumberjack who was fired. You actually don't trigger the exit objective until you get to the exit place... but usually you're not ready to exit yet, and you have to come back.

There were several other objectives triggered, but I'm not sure what did it.

The only other tricky ghosting spot is down in the sewers below the crypts; you guessed it -- more spiders.

This time, it's pretty straightforward. At one point, right after you descend the ladder, you must go around an open doorframe (there's no door there, just a doorframe); there are three spiders watching, and I kept alerting them. I had to wait for the one brief moment when all three spiders turned their butts away from me simultaneously to dart around and into darkness again.

Other than that, it was just careful creeping. There are two other spiders in the tombs, but they're not tough; plenty of darkness to hide in.

I noticed a weird thing about the thief patrolling around the big tower on stilts: he would get into a rut where he would start patrolling about five feet, turn, five feet back, turn, and so forth... completely impossible to get past, since he's never looking away long enough to get through the lit zone. But I discovered that if I saved and reloaded, he returned to his correct patrol path, the one he is supposed to follow, which gave me plenty of time to move around while he was elsewhere.

I made the mistake the first time I ran in that area of actually running into that area; this woke up a pagan lumberjack, who proceeded to stare fixedly out his window, right where I had to return. As it's well lit out there, I couldn't get past without alerting him. I had to load an earlier savegame, and this time crouch-run past his window, which let him sleep in peace.

The one secret is found in Constance's tomb, behind a pillar: it opens an area by recessing a sarcophagus... this leads you into a "credits" room, with pictures of the various beta testers, scripters, the Polish-to-English translator, and of course, in the place of honor, the author, Timon. Go up and slash Timon's portrait, then step back and admire your handiwork; reload from before then to keep your ghost!

Loot is a toughie in this mission; you need 4500, but it's not easy: stuff is scattered all over the place. Look on the ground, in dark corners, in bright corners near haunts, &c. It's also a key hunt, which sometimes wears me out: the hardest key for me was the key to the novice's area, at the opposite end of a short corridor from the Big Sword room (believe me, you can't miss the Big Sword room). To get the key to the novice's area, return the way you entered the corridor, but standing up (and looking up); you won't see it if you crouch-walk, as I always do.

Shutting off the alarm gas (deadly) around the Horn of Snoozing Soundly, or whatever it's called, is not tough... once you get to the room where the alarm switch is located. It's the room right next to the start of the haunted crypts section... but the door between them opens only part way then sticks, and you can't squeeze through.

You need to open a secret door to the left of the half-open door (switch on pillar to the left), go down a corridor to an open area, through a door, down another corridor. On your left is a boarded-up space; you need to go in there, but don't despair! You don't have to bust anything (the author was clearly thinking of ghosters :p )... one of the boards frobs, and you can remove it and weasel through. Go through the sewers, ghosting past the spiders, and up the other end.

You find yourself in the room right next to where you began the crypts section, on the other side of the half-open door. Frob the switch next to the skull.

There is another switch -- there are a whole bunch of "secrets" that don't count as secrets in this FM, but should -- another switch on a nearby pillar that opens a floor plate, finally supplying you with water arrows and holy water... you'll need the latter if you trigger the Constance objective. On that objective, to fulfill it, keep in mind that the original Polish objective read, literally, "to the tomb with the *****," instead of "to hell with the *****," and you should get it.

I killed Constance's ghost, which was an objective; for some reason, I ended up with 2 "other" (non-innocents) killed... since I only killed the ghost (zombie, actually), I was puzzled for a moment. But then I remembered that I hacked it to death once, and then when I came back there -- after a reload elsewhere -- it was back on its feet again. I had to rekill it, and I think that's what produced the second "kill." In any case, both are covered by the objective to kill the ghost... just make sure that not only is it merely dead, it's really most sincerely dead. And you know what to do with a dead body, right? (No, I don't mean lug it to the most inconvenient and embarassing spot to dump it, like the bed of Lord Bafford's wife, you disgusting taffers!)

Lots of fun & larfs; good FM, and great for ghosting!

Dafydd

Peter_Smith
12th Nov 2003, 06:48
Originally posted by dafydd

There are two other spiders in the tombs, but they're not tough; plenty of darkness to hide in.
Congratulations, Dafydd. That was a good one. I thought it might be possible, but I did not have the patience to deal with that entry spider. I got started with the ghost but that first spider got me, so I said OK, down you go, and then I killed too other spiders to get some loot. BTW, that one sewer passage had a whole bunch of spiders - seemed like maybe 8 or so in different areas. I got them all to drown themselves by running around in the water. I'll bet that was a lot more fun than ghosting them. ;)

I did ghost all the people and undead, though.

dafydd
12th Nov 2003, 21:42
[Peter Smith]

Yes... there are seven spiders in the sewers, and two other spiders in the tombs. The ones in the sewer guard a route to an important room, and the ones in the tombs guard loot; but in each case, it's pretty easy to ghost them.

Really, the only one that is a serious problem is the very first one, the first AI you actually encounter. I seriously considered giving up the ghost; but then I became absolutely obsessed with ghosting that stupid creature!

Dafydd

dafydd
15th Nov 2003, 02:25
FM: Easy Money
File: Easymoney.zip
Game: Thief 2

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (success -- at long last!)
Time: 0 hr 39 min
Loot: 1782 out of 1782
Pockets picked: 5 out of 6 (all)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 1 of 1

Comments:

Nothing really spectacular... I wouldn't even have posted this, except it's the first time I actually achieved Perfect Thief.

...And probably the last, too!

Note: I played this on Hard, not Expert, because Expert isn't available, per the readme file; so Hard is Expert. Ya fallah?

Dafydd

dafydd
15th Nov 2003, 07:30
[Folks]

If anybody has a .wav of crickets chirping, we could play it in this topic. :(

Dafydd

Peter_Smith
15th Nov 2003, 20:03
Great idea. Actually, We could play crickets in the entire forum.:D Note that posts made here have often received no response. In fact, the main purpose of this thread is to record the results. I read your reports, I enjoy them, and I am glad you write them. Be comforted in the fact that you are posting in the official ghost archives in the place where ghosting was invented. Ghost on! :)

Eshaktaar
15th Nov 2003, 20:48
Here's something to set the mood (http://www.hta-bi.bfh.ch/~thonr/thief/crickets.wav) ;)

Dafydd, have you tried CoSaS: Gathering at the Inn, yet? It's one of the few missions I was able to ghost perfectly, if my memory does not fail me (no 2nd alerts, all loot, no use of consumables/water arrows, no property damage). Very recommended :)

dafydd
16th Nov 2003, 00:38
[Eshaktaar]


Dafydd, have you tried CoSaS: Gathering at the Inn, yet? It's one of the few missions I was able to ghost perfectly, if my memory does not fail me (no 2nd alerts, all loot, no use of consumables/water arrows, no property damage).

While not using consumables makes the victory all the more delicious, I don't think such admirable restraint is actually required under either Ghost or Perfect Thief rules, is it?

If so, I failed, as I used two water arrows and ate a loaf of bread I picked up.

Lemmie check... nope; only Supreme Ghost disallows putting out torches. (It also disallows turning off lights or plucking light-emitting mushrooms!)

[Peter Smith]


Note that posts made here have often received no response. In fact, the main purpose of this thread is to record the results.

Note that there haven't been any ghost reports from anyone else since Vanguard posted one two weeks ago. That's what I was talking about... what are the rest of youse doing? :confused:

Dafydd

dafydd
16th Nov 2003, 00:50
[Folks]

I tried to ghost The Enterprise, the first mission of the FM A Keeper of the Prophecies (unaltered, I think, from the Thief 2 remake of it that Frobber released a little before)... but I discovered at the end that it is unghostable: one of the objectives is to steal the Master's Key... which is in a little room accessible only by (1) opening a locked door that requires (ahem) the Master's Key, or (2) smashing some boards covering an opening in the ceiling.

I tried and failed to ghost the Stronghold; but I'm convinced it's ghostable. Has it been ghosted? According to the archives, only Vanguard reported trying; he said that it was unghostable because you have to slash a banner to proceed at one point.

He may be right, but I don't recall that... either I just didn't notice, having already decided not to try to ghost -- or else the author fixed this so that the switch that opens the secret door also opens the banner in front of it. But I can't say which from memory.

Other than the (possibly deal-busting) banner problem above, the toughest other spot would probably be after you use one of your six million invisibility potions to get past the Watcher and Turret: there is a big gap you have to span with vine arrows; across it is a corridor, in which we find two Apebeasts at a campfire. I shot them with broadheads from across the gap... but I think it might be possible to moss the floor at their feet from across the gap, then to get below them, pop an inviso, and rush past. Maybe some other time, though I didn't really like the FM at all.

(Actually, I didn't shoot both Apebeasts. I shot and killed one; the other got so agitated he went searching... and stopped near enough to the fire that he eventually roasted himself to death! I guess intelligence isn't the Apebeasts' long suit :D .)

Dafydd

dafydd
16th Nov 2003, 09:55
[Folks]

Here's a question that just came up in the Search for Crom's Blade. One of the ghost rules says:


4.) No property damage allowed, no banners cut, no things burnt or destroyed. No broken glass.

But in Crom's Blade, at one point there is a tunnel that has an icicle blocking entrance. I broke the icicle to go in.

Now, an icicle is not "property." If the point of ghost is not to let anyone know you were there, then a missing icicle wouldn't make any difference. It's like putting out a torch.

But if one wanted to be uber-persnickity, one could argue that because an icicle is a "thing," and since the rule says "no things burnt or destroyed," that by destroying the icicle, you're busted.

But since this is a dependent clause in a quasi-sentence that begins by talking about property, by "thing," Clayman could have meant a thing that is property... including a board, which was (presumably) put there by some person -- but not including a naturally occurring piece of ice.

So which is it? Am I busted?

Dafydd

Peter_Smith
16th Nov 2003, 18:42
The icicle thing can be reported both ways and has been without objection. Vanguard reported it as a bust in Crom's Blade. Two people reported it as a success in Trail of Blood (I am one), where it is necessary to break icicles to get through a passage. That was never questioned as a bust, but it was noted. So, for icicles, I think it rests entirely with your conscience. Report it as an "incident" in either case, and you are covered.

However, there is a place in Crom's blade where a real bust cannot be avoided.It is necessary to bash a door to proceed.That is property damage regardless. So I am afraid that in the end it will be a bust. No shame in that. The mission is a fine ghoster with minor exceptions.

dafydd
16th Nov 2003, 19:35
[Peter]

This leaves me with a dilemma: if I know in advance I can't ghost it because I have to bash a door in at one point, I'm wondering whether I should start busting heads now, which would certainly make things easier.

Or should I ghost all that I can, only letting the bust happen when it may?

Grubmle. :rolleyes:

Dafydd

dafydd
18th Nov 2003, 10:37
FM: TrainSpotting
File: trainspotting.zip
Game: Thief 2

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (Nah; way off)
Time: 1 hr 48 min
Loot: 1164 out of 1534
Pockets picked: 5 out of 6 (all)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments:

This was a tough FM for me to ghost because there are hardly any dousable torches -- mostly electric lights -- and some are wired oddly, where turning off one bank of lights automatically turns on the next bank. Also, AIs wander by and turn the lights on again. I think it might have been an entry in one of Komag's small-FM contests, but I'm not 100% sure.

Note: There is one door in the basement, at the end of a corridor with three steam-venting grills, that the patrolling guard checks to make sure it's locked; if you pass through it, be sure to relock it behind you!

After satisfying all the other objectives (except turning the watchers back on after I got the "remote control," which became an objective, hideously enough), I found myself still short on loot... only 1064 with a requirement of 1100 to finish.

There were boxcars that might have had loot, but they were problematical: once you trigger a conversation in the basement, there are three guards patrolling the outside area, rather than only one on the way in (hint: loot the boxcars first!) But I remembered that a room at the end of the long, third-floor corridor had a safe in it, and I figured that was the only way for me to clear the loot objective.

But it's a tough nut to crack while ghosting: there is a "patrolling" guard (more anon) and a stationary guard who flips around a lot.

The patroller is supposed to leave the room periodically, walk to the end of the hallway and into a room, hang out for a moment, then walk back. But he had a tendency to walk back and forth along a patrol path of only six feet or so, leaving no time whatsoever to enter the room. It was almost as if he were pacing... one time, I counted one hundred and sixty back-and-forths before I reloaded.

I remembered having this same problem with a patrolling thief in Forgotten Forest, part 1. In that FM, I discovered that if I saved and reloaded, the patroller would often break out of his rut and actually leave on his normal patrol.

The problem of the pacing patroller was exacerbated by the fact that the lightswitch in there was busted and wouldn't turn off the lights. I don't know whether this is a design feature or a bug... but the author, Schwaa, was aware of the problem a year ago, and when he revamped the FM, he didn't change it... so I lean toward assuming he wanted it that way. The upshot, however, is that unless you are crouching behind the safe, the stationary guard will spot you in the bright room as soon as he turns back... and in any case, if you're still there when the patrolling guard returns, you're dead meat anyway.

Oddly, you don't get the loot when you open the safe: you have to stand in front of the open safe and frob each of the three items inside to get them. This took so long that I wasn't able to both pick the lock and also loot the safe during the time the stationary guard's back was turned.

Here is how I finally solved this problem: I reloaded to get the pacing guard to leave, as in Forgotten Forest; amazingly enough, it seemed to work.

Then I waited a while until the stationary guard turned his back, stood and raced into the brightly lit room, crouched and picked the lock, then stood and raced back out again while the stationary guard's back was still turned. (I had to moss the metal lintel in the doorway.)

I waited a while in the corridor outside, staring hungrily at the unlocked safe door and anxiously down the corridor whence the patroller would reappear at any moment.

At last, just as the patroller appeared at the end of the long corridor, the stationary guard kindly turned his back again, giving me the opportunity to race in, open the unlocked safe door, and loot the safe. Then I darted back out again. I got out just as the patrolling guard returned, but he didn't notice me bolting into the dark corner.

That gave me $100, which was just enough to clear the required loot.

I had to turn the Watchers back on again, so I went over to that section. But for some odd reason, the guard who was supposed to be standing between the corridor and the Watcher Control Room had shifted until he was standing directly athwart the corridor. I had to nudge him more or less back to where he was supposed to be... which was tough because there is another patroller who stalks that corridor; twice I had to break off the nudging operation in order to run into a dark closet while the guard passed by.

Getting out of the building and back to the trains was a bear as well. When you trigger a guard conversation in the basement, two more guards seem to spawn up on ground level, patrolling back and forth between the building and the train.

I had picked up an invisibility potion somewhere (from a footlocker in the guards' sleeping quarters, I think); from the darkness next to the wall, just outside the building, I plopped a moss arrow onto the metal center portion of the footbridge that crosses over to the tracks; then I gulped the potion and ran over the bridge and around the backside of the train.

From there, it was just a matter of timing the now endless succession of patrolling guards and the stupid little robot to get back to my boxcar, ending the mission.

It was a fun, little mission, all in all; I was able to ghost it, but it wasn't "easy money" by any stretch!

Dafydd

dafydd
19th Nov 2003, 09:30
FM: Bafford's Curse
File: baffordscurse_beta.zip
Game: Thief 2

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (Nah; way off yet again)
Time: 1 hr 32 min
Loot: 900 out of 1529
Pockets picked: 4 out of 10
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments:

No particular comments. Something happens right at the very beginning of this FM that precludes getting a lot of picks, but what the hey.

Dafydd

dafydd
21st Nov 2003, 09:04
FM: Lord Fishkill's Curse
File: lordfishkillscurse.zip
Game: Thief 2

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (Nope, but closer than usual!)
Time: 4 hr 28 min
Loot: 3598 out of 4255 (657 light)
Pockets picked: 13 out of 17
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 1 of 2

Comments:

Nobody has posted about ghosting this one? That's too bad... it's really, really fun to ghost!

First of all, there is a twist in this FM (a sequel to Lorgan's Web, also by Shadowspawn): Garrett is accursed, and every time he gets lit up, regardless of whether there is anyone there to see it, one of three possible monsters spawns and attacks him.

The monsters -- a floating skull-and-Mechanist-machine combo (talks like a Mechanist "servant"), a one-armed skeleton with a cutlass (cackles madly), or a glowing orange spider that spits destructo-rays at you (and makes spidery noises) -- appear about fifteen feet in front of Garrett, and they last a little less than a minute before going poof! and disappearing with a puff of smoke.

You have to develop a technique for dealing with this without alerting anything. Here is what I discovered: first of all, they go in rotation; I think it's Floating Skull, then Skeleton, then Spider, but I don't quite remember. In any case, you know what the next one will be.

Second, the monsters spawn in an unalerted state. This is critical for ghosting: if you dart through a splash of light into darkness, then by the time the AI spawns, it won't be able to see you and won't alert. You can then simply wait it out until it disappears on its own.

Third, they always spawn ahead of you in the direction you're pointing... about fifteen feet away. This means that if you orient yourself correctly before entering the light, the AI will spawn over the edge of the building and drop to the ground (it isn't injured; it just sits there making its normal, unalerted noises, but can't see you up on the building). You can go about your business and ignore it. You can also use a similar technique to cause it to spawn inside a wall; again, it isn't hurt by this, but of course it can't see you.

The only danger here is if you set yourself up so that you enter light and spawn a creature, and it drops off the end of the building -- right near some AI on the street below! The AI will third-alert immediately, either attacking the monster (a guard, say) or running away (a civilian); either way, your ghost is toast.

Fourth, and this is the biggie that allows you to complete the mission: after you spawn a monster and it vanishes, the curse requires ten or fifteen seconds to recharge! This is why you often deliberately enter light to spawn a critter... if there is a big patch of light ahead of you, you don't want to enter: a creature will spawn, and you'll be spotted and busted. But if you whip through a corner of the lit area, or jump in and jump back immediately, or find a little finger of light you can zip through, then you spawn a creature, it doesn't see you (because you're back in darkness) -- and then after it vanishes, you get a good stretch of time to run through the large patch of light without spawning anything.

Don't worry; when you complete the first part of the mission, you will frob an amulet that stops the curse from operating for the duration of the mission. You will also discover during the course of your peregrinations that magical light does not trigger the curse, a fact which becomes somewhat important when you enter the "Research Center," under the Mage's Tower -- yes, this FM is built on the Life of the Party map -- to steal the amulet.

After that point, you don't have to worry about light anymore... well, at least no more than a good thief always must :D !

This FM is also a blast because Shadowspawn wrote a lot of custom scripts, created custom skins, and even custom movements. AIs that sit on barstools while moving around! AIs that pick up another AI and carry it off!

NOTE: You absolutely do need to download and install Gayle Saver's custom scripts.

http://www.geocities.com/gaylesaver/scr_index.html

There are some truly wild scripting sequences here; but the best requires you to bust your ghost. It is absolutely worth saving your game and taking a detour just to see the various versions of this script.

In the course of your sneaking, opposite the bank, you'll see a balcony. On the balcony is a young man, Jimmy. Earlier, if you've been skulking about like a good taffer, you'll have seen a note from some girl saying she let Jimmy kiss her, but she can never marry him because he's too low class.

Well, if you get near enough to Jimmy up on the balcony, high above the street, you can hear him crying and saying "life's not worth living anymore... she'll never love me!" and threatening to jump and end it all.

If you go down to street level, you see Jimmy's parents, a guard, and a bystander, all staring up at Jimmy and begging him not to jump. Mama is berating the poor guard for not doing enough to save Jimmy.

You can actually frob the guard -- he's one of two frobbable AIs in the game, the other being an ourangouang -- and he'll explain the situation to you and beg you to help out.

Save your game. Go through the bank (tile floors, patrolling guards) up to the top, where you want to rob the safe anyway (you can just wait until you come to it in due course; he shouldn't jump without you being there). Then go out onto the guard's balcony and sneak around to the left or right to get to Jimmy's balcony, across the plaza.

Now you have two main choices; try both!

1) Jump onto the railing (so you can see) and walk around until Jimmy can see you. He will third-alert... and he third-alerts by actually running and leaping off the balcony, plummeting to his death! When he does this, Mom begins to wail and weep... and then she faints. She is either caught by her husband, if he's close enough, or else he walks over and picks her up, consoling her and saying he'll take her home. He actually slings her over his shoulder (like a Continental soldier) and carts her off. It's amazing! The guard keeps saying there was nothing anyone could do, it wasn't anyone's fault but Jimmy's, etc.

2) This is even better: sneak up behind Jimmy and blackjack him. Then pick up his body, carry him back to the bank balcony, through the bank, down the stairs (you can squeeze into the shadows to avoid the downstairs patrolling guard -- or, since you have to reload from a savegame before you did this anyway, just BJ them all), and out onto the street below, where the parents and guard are evidently unaware of the fact that Jimmy is no longer up there.

Go around to where they can see you and drop Jimmy's unconscious body at the parents' feet. They will thank you hysterically, and Mom gives you a coin as a reward... then Dad will go over and pick up Jimmy, sling him over his shoulder (just as he does Mama in scenario 1), and walk off. If you follow them, they go to a frobbable door that you couldn't open earlier, walking right through it. (Try frobbing the door right afterwards for a quick chuckle.)

(The fact that you get a coin as a reward for saving Jimmy may make it impossible to achieve Perfect Thief on this FM; I'm not sure I actually got the coin, though, despite her seeming to give it to me.)

The rest of the FM, after you get the amulet (you need to find the Librarian, a mage who was turned into an ourangoutang, and frob him to get a combination you need for the amulet) is normal ghostable. Fun -- I always liked LotP because I like rooftops -- but remember, you can also climb down to the street and just walk around; so long as you don't draw a weapon or get spotted picking a pocket or a door, the guards won't bother you.

This FM is a blast, especially trying to ghost the first part. Highly recommended!

(There were some Mage guards at the entrance to the experimental lab; I couldn't pass in front of them without being spotted, despite being in total blackness. So I nudged one of the guards out of the way to pass behind him. Just noting for the record.)

I got a loot list after I finished, and I may go back now and try to find the rest of the loot and the remaining secret I missed.

Dafydd

Peter_Smith
22nd Nov 2003, 06:34
Congratulations Dafydd.:D It is tough to get past all those monsters. I played it around half a dozen times as a beta tester. It is a fun mission. My thrust was to get all the loot without alerting any "real" AI, which is not hard hard to do apart from Jimmy. BJ'ing Jimmy, I figured, was OK because it is both the humanitarian thing and a fun thing to do. It actually avoids his death (according to the story), and it gets you that reward coin, which indeed is worth 5. Anyway, I never made it through without causing a a few monsters to spawn. Indeed, part of testing was to make the monsters spawn and make sure they did not behave badly. I am not sure whether or not I avoided their alerting. Didn't pay much attention to that aspect. Probably not. I just ran for cover if they gave me a hard time. :)

dafydd
22nd Nov 2003, 11:35
[Peter]

...waiting for a new FM to be released, you might try ghosting this one. It's actually doable -- can't be that hard, if I can ghost it! -- and I really enjoyed it.

Dafydd

Vanguard
23rd Nov 2003, 01:56
Well, I tried ghosting Lord Fishkill but had to abandon the game. It would crash back to the Windows desktop. Sometimes the game would just freeze. And finally I had to abandon the game when on a reload all the AIs were frozen in place (although they would alert, they could not move) and I couldn't use any weapon or inventory item. Game over. I only use quicksave when ghosting, mostly to overcome when authors deliberately make Garrett a klutz, like a 400 pound fatso trying to waddle through a undersized window or tunnel and he gets stuck or glued to the texture. I got to the point of getting to the kitchen in the underground mage research area. That's when the AIs froze any my inventory became useless. Too much spawning, too many custom scripts, and probably other attributes just made the mission too flaky and eventually self-destructing for me to continue. I'll try something else.

Peter_Smith
23rd Nov 2003, 19:56
FM: Lord Fishkill's Curse
File: LFCurse.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Time: 3 hr 15 min
Loot: 4245 of 4255
Pockets picked: 17 of 17
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt: 0 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 2 of 2

Comments:

Dafydd encouraged me to try this one, so I did. As a beta tester I had an unfair advantage because I had already ghosted the human AI with 100% loot (-10) several times. The only difference here was that I ghosted the curse monsters as well using Dafydd's technique. Dafydd deserves all the credit. I did not think it would be possible to ghost the monsters, so I never tried.:)

I tried to avoid the monsters by taking alternate routes, but I had to activate them a dozen times or more. I used two methods. One was to activate them carefully so they were not alerted, step back into the shadow, wait for them to time out, and then run for it during the 30 second monster-reset period. The second method was to aim them somewhere out of your way and go the other way, for example, by backing out of a doorway and leaving them inside a building.

One problem with this method, as Dafydd stated, is avoiding the monsters' interactions with the human AI. This is necessary under the rule that forbids the player from starting melees. Frankly, these melees are so much fun you don't really want to avoid them, but I did so just for the ghosting record. There were a couple of such places worth mention.

One was in the two story building after the generators, where my normal route had been to enter the ground floor window and follow the guard into the living room. I could do this without alerting the monster, but the monster stayed alive long enough to fight the guard when he came back to that entry area, so I had to enter from the window in the stairwell instead. Hiding the monster upstairs was also a problem, but I did it. This could all have been avoided by bypassing the building and coming back after getting the amulet.

The second was in the three story building not far from the necromancer's tower, the building that was being looted by thieves in LOTP. By the normal route, second story window, I could not avoid interactions between the monsters and the patrolling guard, so I had to leave that building until later, after I had the amulet.

So, Dafydd's technique works great. If we ever get another spawned monster FM, I'll know how to proceed unless the author programs them differently. :)

As for normal ghosting after obtaining the amulet, this was routine for the most part, but a couple of things are worth noting.

I could not enter or exit the mage's laboratory building via the necromancer's tower because the mage in the building was stationary and facing the ladder. In an earlier version, he was patrolling in the room, and I was able get around him. Solution was to use the chimney for entry and the tower's "service hatch" for exit, then go around later and loot the top of the tower from the window entrance.

The bald storekeep in the white shirt was a probem. It is easy enough to get the loot because he does not notice you in the store. You can turn off the light before taking the loot, and he does not see you take it. Nevertheless, after the loot is gone, he is extremely sensitive, making it impossible to leave the store. The noise of opening the door alerts him. I should have left the door opened to avoid that problem, but I didn't. I tried various methods to silence the door but could not do it. In the end I had to leave by the back route, climbing the drain pipe, going throuch the armory, and back through the bank. A long way around to correct a mistake.:)

Finally, the pub in the same area, near in the town square, was a little difficult. All the AI in there are sensitive. It helps to extinguish the lamp on the table by the patron with the purse. The other lights are electric and can't be turned off. The bottles above the bar can be taken by jumping onto the bar between the two AI. The items behind and under the bar can be taken by a very slow crouch - creep, staying as close to the bar as possible. The mutter a lot, but they do not go on alert.

Last, a note on loot. I could not get the last 10 because that amount (not 5 as stated above) is the reward for rescuing Jimmy. To get that reward, you must BJ Jimmy and carry him down to his parents. That is easy enough, and is the humanitarian thing to do, but the ghost rules forbid it. :)

This was fun. The LOTP map is great for having many alternate routes you can take to avoid the monsters - not necessary in normal play but very helpful when ghosting. I had to explore many routes I had never taken before. Thanks for suggesting it, Dafydd.

And thanks again for developing this mission, Shadowspawn. I developed a new appreciation for the moster timing and interactions this time around. Very well done.:)

Playing without ghosting is also fun because you can be more creative in toying with the monsters and Jimmy.

dafydd
25th Nov 2003, 05:52
FM: L'Arsene
File: LArsene.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (failed, but very close)
Time: 4 hr 30 min
Loot: 3858 of 3958
Pockets picked: 11 of 14
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 1
Damage dealt: 1 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 1 of 1

Comments:

The one knockout (thus one damage-dealt point) was per objective, to capture L'Arsene without killing him. That doesn't seem to leave much option :D .

WARNING! This write up is very long (over 18,000 characters). Read at your own risk!

I am still totally amazed that this FM is ghostable. I played it once before, attempting to ghost... but I blew it in the Ambush room and thought it was unghostable.

But then Old Man mentioned that that room could be ghosted by hugging the left wall (see below), and I got to thinking: how about the other two really bad stretches? If they could be ghosted, the entire mission was ghostable.

I still had the savegames from my (non-ghost) game, so I found a save near the really, really bad one (the Admiral). After a lot of fumfahing around -- oops, sorry, taffing around (fell out of character there!) -- I figured out how to ghost it. Then I started, figuring I would have to suss the middle Bad Stretch when I got to it.

With brilliant play and some breathtaking luck, I managed; so here we go!

There are three Bad Stretchs in L'Arsene. The rest of the mission is bad, with too much light and too many guards, but it's ghostable with a little running here and there (when nobody is nearby to notice).

The first Bad Stretch is what I call the Ambush room; if you've played the mission, you know exactly which one I mean. You are in a zig-zag dark tunnel that leads from the locked gate where Lantern Guard patrols to another gate you can open by a lever on the left-hand side of it; at either end of your dark tunnel is a half-gate you can walk around. Exiting the dark tunnel on the openable-gate side and hooking around to the right, you see a low door near an "X" made from masking tape... this is the sign of L'Arsene, and wherever he leaves it there is something you need to investigate.

Open this low door and crouch-run through it. The low passage leads to a little courtyard with a door. Through the door is a wooden hallway that leads to a stairway going down into a very brightly lit room. This is the Ambush room.

L'Arsene Lupin has set three thieves here to bushwack you. You will eventually leave the way you came in, but there is a key you need in the Ambush room, so you cannot bypass it.

One of the thieves is directly beneath the stairs you would descend; the second is in the doorway on your right immediately at the bottom of the stairs; and the third is on your left, in the far left corner of the room, behind the illusion of a painting leaning against the wall.

If you start down the stairs, a gate will fall shut behind you, blocking retreat; you must avoid this at all costs! If that gate falls, your ghost is toast: the only way to raise it is to move through the Ambush room into the rooms beyond, and you cannot do this without alerting the thieves.

Old Man discovered that the gate does not fall until you get to the first or second step down; while you're on the landing, the gate stays put. I slid off the landing to the left, landing carefully on the wooden floor. The thief under the stairs said "Hey!", but that was his first alert, and he didn't to go second alert. After crouching there for a few seconds, giving him time to recover, I crept forward hugging the left wall. There was some rubble in my path, but I was able to stand and run over it without making much noise.

I was too far away to be seen by the thief in the doorway to the right of the bottom of the stairs, and the other two had bad angles. I could hear that the gate did not lower. I crept forward until I could lean and reach the key, which is on a table (with a healing potion, big whoop) in the lower left corner. I returned as I came to the stairs.

I plugged a rope arrow into the landing above me and climbed up. Old Man had warned that it was a real pig trying to mantle onto the landing. After a couple of failed attempts, I was able to do it by steering about two points larboard (left) of the top door. I was worried this might put me far enough down the stairs that I triggered the gate, but it stayed up. I retrieved my arrow and high-tailed it out of there. End of Bad Stretch number one.

Note: It's possible there is some minor loot in the back rooms; I don't recall from my non-ghost tour, but I'll check a loot list. If there is, that would of course mean that Perfect Thief is impossible in this FM. I'll try to let y'all know.

Finally, after a commodious vicus of recirculation, leaving the odd rope arrow here and there (you get a lot), I arrived at the police station. The only way to ghost the police station is to go all the way around the left side of it (over the bridge, on the street parallel to the street of the station itself), turn right, and go all the way to the streetlamp at the dead end. There is a frobbable window beneath a wooden overhang. You know what to do.

Once inside (the Autopsy room, oddly enough), you need to exit to the corridor and move clockwise around the atrium to the door in the far left corner (passing a locked office on the way); inside this door is a key which opens the locked office you passed that was just to the left of where you entered the corridor from the Autopsy room.

Once inside the locked office, you notice some loose boards on the floor. A sign warns you about loose boards on the floor. Hm... I think someone is trying to tell us something!

Mantle over the desk to the other side and crouch-walk gingerly onto the floorboards where the two join. You will drop through onto a desk in the office one floor below. (You must mantle over the second-floor desk above because if you drop through in front of it, you will land on the floor and take a point of damage.)

From here, you can creep out the office, turn left, and without being seen by the guards, enter the corridor that leads to the main second floor. The patrolling Hammerite carries the key you need to exit via the back door.

Note: Do not forget to frob the bag that's hanging in the storage area in the main second floor! You pick up a bunch of equipment you need... including a critical invisibility potion.

The next Bad Stretch comes a little later, when you must burgle L'Arsene's rooms at Chez Serge (again for a key, but also to collect the loot and equipment he stole from you, which is an objective).

Chez Serge is an L-shaped inn in its own courtyard, with the long part running east-west and the short part at the left edge. There are two guards, one at each door; each guard stands below a very bright Klieg light over the respective door.

I tried a dozen times to sneak to either of the two doors without success; there was simply too much light, and the guard at the other door would always see me.

Then I left the courtyard into some shadow to contemplate the situation. I was now in the street south (I think) of the inn courtyard, staring at a doorless building or thick wall that screened Chez Serge from the street. Then I noticed there was a hole on the second story of this wall-building... and the butt end of a wooden beam sticking out above it.

Doh!

I roped up into the hole, leaving my rope arrow there, and followed the passageway left. It led eventually to a trap door into the roof of Chez Serge!

I was able to get in and blackbag L'Arsene's quarters, in which a couple of guards had been slain; I grabbed the key to the Abandoned Section of town, grabbed my stuff from the door that you open via a switch behind the bed, and roped back out the trap door. I returned to my rope arrow and slid part way down, grabbing my arrow and dropping, undetected, to the street. Bad Stretch two was down.

If you run down the street, keeping Chez Serge on your left, you will come to a tiny, dark alleyway on your left. This will take you back into the inn courtyard, but along the right edge. Go all the way north; the inn is on your left, and the gate you need to open with the key you just retrieved from L'Arsene's room is on your right.

This brings you to the real bear: the Admiral set piece.

To ghost this requires three rope arrows, though you can retrieve one and sometimes two; you will leave either one or two rope arrows behind, so plan accordingly.

Here is the setup: You enter through a door, pass through another couple of doors (when you open the second, you hear retreating footsteps), and end up in a warehouse. The only way to continue is to climb to the rafters and crawl through a hole. The hole leads to a tunnel, which brings you to another room in the warehouse.

Garrett will exclaim that he lost the trail. The only way forward is a long corridor with two glowing mushrooms, leading into blackness.

If you walk along this corridor in the normal course of play, just after you pass the first mushroom, a thief spawns immediately behind you (I backed through the corridor to check this... he just winks into existence). You run; he chases you; past the second mushroom, the thief hot on your heels, you suddenly plummet through a hole, dropping about thirty-five feet into a pool of water.

You have been chased into another trap: in this room is a zombie-like creature called the Admiral.

The admiral walks like a zombie, and like a zombie cannot be knocked out. But he talks like a demented, despairing prisoner. A note from L'Arsene stabbed to a wall informs you that you are stuck here for all eternity.

Three problems here from a ghosting standpoint:

1) When the thief materializes behind you, he alerts; you're busted.

2) When you fall through the hole into the water, the Admiral alerts; busted again.

3) The only way out of the trap is to shoot a button high up a wall in a room with a giant spider. The sound of a broadhead striking the button alerts the Admiral and the spider. Three strikes, and you're going down.

I How to get past the spawning thief

Remember that invisibility potion from the bag in the Police Station? Now's the time to use it. Face down the corridor, quaff the potion, and run along it. The thief will materialize behind you, but he never sees you; by the time the potion wears off, you are in the dark section at the end of the corridor. Look back; he's just standing there like a big, dumb baboon. But be careful not to run too far... you don't want to fall down the hole, because that will absolutely alert the Admiral.

II You're at the hole... now what?

Creep as close to the hole as possible without toppling over. You are facing west, and the hole is a square about six by six. The hole itself runs down about fifteen feet before opening into the ceiling of the Admiral's prison.

The sides of the hole are dirt, and they will take a rope arrow. Or in this case, three rope arrows. (1) Plant the first arrow about four feet down from the top and directly in front of you, in the middle of the west wall. (2) Plant the second rope arrow a little further down, but not past the halfway point, on the north (right hand) wall, but closer to the west wall. You may have to turn north and lean left to do this; you definitely have to lean to plant the third arrow. (3) Plant the third rope arrow on the same (north) wall as the second, but in the very bottom right corner -- that is, closest to the east wall and just barely high enough that it will stick. This last arrow is the most critical.

Turn back west, toward the back wall of the hole, and just crouch-run off the edge. (Garrett will scream; don't worry about it, it's scripted to scare the bejesus out of you when, in normal play, the thief chases you.) When you catch hold of arrow (1), downclimb a little, then turn and jump to arrow (2) -- Garrett will scream again... geeze, what a big baby!

You can upclimb a bit here and snag arrow (1). Then downclimb. When you get to the bottom of the hole, just above the ceiling into the Admiral's room, slow down; if he sees you well enough, even on the rope, he will alert. But you are on the north wall... and that means you are at the extreme of his peripheral vision.

Continue downclimbing on arrow (2) until you clear the ceiling. As soon as you can, rotate around 180 degrees; you are now even more to the Admiral's side, and he cannot see you from here. But if you climb until you drop off the arrow, you will land too hard and alert him by sound.

That's where arrow (3) comes into play. Downclimb some more on arrow (2), then jump from (2) to (3) (you probably want to save before trying this; it's tricky, and you can miss the rope and land hard). (Once you're safely on (3), you can climb up and see if you can retrieve arrow (2) -- sometimes you can, sometimes you can't. But it's not really necessary; there are plenty of rope arrows.)

Rotate around (3) until you are facing south (the Admiral is now on your right). You are in light, but don't worry; he cannot see you. The spider might first alert, but that should be about it. Climb slowly down until you fall off the bottom of the rope. You should land quietly on the ground right next to the water you would ordinarily have fallen into. Congratulations, you're now stuck with the Admiral. But at least you didn't alert him!

III All right, I'm in with the Admiral... now what?

Take out the torch with a water arrow and take a deep breath; the worst is behind you. Creep towards the Admiral, right along the edge of the water; you should be in total darkness. The Admiral is behind some rocks west of where you landed; you must pass right in front of him to get to the place where you can hit the button and open the gate to let yourself out.

Creep right across the front of the Admiral's rocks; he's blubbering and making noises like Jim Backus as Mr. Magoo. If you pass in front of him right next to the front of his rocks, then angle slightly right towards the "stairstep" rocks, you will remain in near total darkness, and he won't notice you much. Once you reach the stairstep rocks, you are around on the Admiral's right side, and he can't see you even if you're in light. (If he takes a step, you're busted; that's his second alert. If he just keeps raising and lowering his arms, you're cool.)

Save; it's easy to misstep, and if you land, the Admiral will alert. Point west and mantle up the first rock. When you're sure you're clean, stand and run up the next two. If you're careful, you'll end up on the top rock without any alerts.

Jump-mantle up west (same direction you've been going); this puts you on top of a shelf. You have to get across the gap east... but if you jump, you'll probably land hard enough to alert the Admiral. So instead, just run east, pressing the jump key after you start to drop; you will then mantle silently up the other side. There is a crack before you; but again, if you jump through it, you will make noise. So instead, run up the arete just left of it, then turn right and run through the crack.

Crouch walk ahead and to the left, avoiding the small hole, until you come to the overlook into the Big Spider room. The button is very hard to see... but it's in the middle of the far wall, directly in front of you, about two-thirds of the way up. Use your zoom vision to locate it.

Here is the trick: if you hit it square, you can activate the button with a water arrow! The spider will squeal, but it's just a first alert. Save beforehand, because if you don't hit square, you'll waste a water arrow. You'll know if you got it because you can faintly hear the gate rolling aside in the distance (and clanging, which doesn't alert anyone).

Once you've opened it, go back the way you came; do not drop into the Big Spider room because you'll take damage and you'll have to slay the spider. At the crack, go ahead and jump through -- but aim for the sloping wall to the right beyond the crack; you'll hit it and slide down without noise. Crouch and simply drop to the top rock of the stairstep rocks, then make your way down toward the Admiral.

Crouch-walk back exactly as you came, past the Admiral, along the edge of the water, and through the now-open gate. Climb two ladders, and you're home free!

Out the steel door and up the ladder, then through the Sleeping Thief room. There is no reason to take his note; he'll just wake up, and it's just instructions where he will meet L'Arsene later. Instead, just creep right, pick the De Charry key from the scion of the house (locked in the cage), and continue out the far window.

If you crouch, you can drop down from the ledge below the window to the street without taking damage. Go left (south), around the corner right (west), and look up: over the archway is a circular tunnel above another wooden beam. Rope up, then turn left at the intersection and continue all the way to the end.

You are now looking at the roof of the De Charry house. To get down without damage (and without making noise to alert the two guards at the entrance), just crouch-run off the edge; you'll bouce off the roof and land silently and pain-free... behind the guards!

The rest of the mission proceeds as normal. The key opens the double doors upstairs, which leads to L'Arsene himself. Pick his purse, blackjack the jerk, and haul him out (I think the rest of the house is already stripped bare -- that bulging purse is the take).

I had a little trouble bring L'Arsene back to the jail cell. The only way to reach it without being spotted is to swim... but when I swam while carrying the unconscious L'Arsene, he had a disturbing tendency to drown even when I was all right!

First, I made the swim myself, without L'Arsene, to open all the doors ahead of me. I crept into the empty cell to the right of where I entered the jail and frobbed the glowing mushroom, so I wouldn't be seen with the body.

Returning, I grabbed L'Arsene and swam as fast as I could to the place where I could take a breath; but I think L'Arsene isn't able to breathe as well as I (face in the water, maybe)... so the first time I tried this, he drowned on the last swimming leg, failing the game. The second time, I swam to the breath-taking place but only took a gulp or two before continuing on the last swimming lap and up the ladder.

When I dropped L'Arsene in the empty cell, the game ended.

MISSION COMPLETED

Gumdrop
26th Nov 2003, 01:44
Excellent write-ups recently. I am enjoying reading them... particularly that last one, dafydd. Keep 'em coming.

:cool:

dafydd
26th Nov 2003, 02:17
[Gumdrop]

Thanks, I will as long as I can keep ghosting.

But -- but where are the rest of youse? Why am I doing a solo act here? Isn't anybody else out ghosting?

I know it's not that everybody else has already ghosted every FM out there... aren't y'all still trying?

I mean, I have an ego the size of a gas giant, but even I eventually get tired of reading my own words! :(

Dafydd

Old Man
26th Nov 2003, 12:09
commodious vicusC'mon R&M. I had to look these up myself. BTW, dictionary.com doesn't do "vicus." But I get the point just the same.

Nice work, dafydd.

dafydd
26th Nov 2003, 21:08
[Old Man]

It's from the opening sentence fragment from Joyce's Finnegans Wake:


riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodious vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.

Am I correct in concluding that you did not ghost the entire mission, just part of it? If you did, how did you ghost the Admiral room?

Dafydd

Old Man
26th Nov 2003, 23:37
I tried Joyce's Ulysses a long while back. Way too much Latin for my taste. And I knew Latin back then!

So, I loaded up L'Arsene in DarkLoader and had a looksee. I've got a completed save from seven months ago. But I don't think it's a Ghost because it has four knockouts. Got all the loot, though! And I'm thinking only L'Arsene himself needs to be blackjacked. Also, I'm having difficulty remembering the mission -- seven months and eighty-eight FM's ago. I do remember your Ambush room but the Admiral's I can't bring up into my mind's eye. Maybe ... still a bit left to the golf season. We'll see ...

BTW, is L'Arsene conscious to begin with? If so, then the recent (okay a year is older than recent, not current anyway) discussion about only objectives explicitly requiring Ghost Rules breaks would be accepted. But I don't think clayman ever did update the rules even after his vote poll (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=9761) timed out. Lesee, "Catch L'Arsene and put him in one of the cells of the Security Office." "Catch?" Not "BlackJack?" I dunno ... And what was the wording in the original French language version? Mayhaps the translator didn't get it correct. ;)

dafydd
27th Nov 2003, 02:38
[Old Man]

I think "catch" can have only one meaning in Thief: the only way to take an AI into custody is to knock him out, either with a gas arrow, a gas mine, or a blackjack. Unless a bunch of people jump in to overrule me emphatically, I'm going to conclude that "catch L'Arsene" means knock him out.

You should only have a single KO and no kills; so I think you must have BJed a guard or two.

[Folks]

I'd like to introduce a *Brand Spanking New!* Thief mode of play... it's called Contingent Ghost.

Contingent Ghost means you ghosted everything possible to ghost in a mission... but the objectives implicitly require you to bust the ghost -- slashing a banner, for example, or cutting the electric cord in Ominous Bequest. Something that is not explicitly mentioned in the objectives (which would allow you to claim a full ghost), but which is nevertheless required.

And if later, someone figures out a way to finish the FM without doing that, then you retroactively lose your Contingent Ghost :D .

And the first FM I want to claim it for is....

dafydd
27th Nov 2003, 02:59
FM: Emilie Victor
File: emilievictor.zip

Play mode: Ghost (failed; see below)
Contingent Ghost (Success)
Time: 5 hr 35 min
Loot: 2524 of 2984
Pockets picked: 10 of 18
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt: 0 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 2 of 7

Comments:

Alas, there are not one, not two, but three places where it's impossible to proceed without slashing a banner or otherwise causing property damage.

First, although you can frob open a secret door by reaching right through a banner in the tower (behind the Secret Passage Key lock) without cutting it -- perversely, the secret door itself opens right through another banner, leaving it blocking your entrance! You must slash that second banner to enter the secret passage.

Next, there is another banner you can slash to leave the theater that you ultimately reach via the Secret Passage; but you can avoid this banner by dropping quietly to the ground (using a rope) and going out the front door. So this one is all right.

But the third banner you cannot avoid: when you are following Emilie Victor's trail from the iron door past the graveyard through the realm of Maurice, You must climb up into the rafters and jump into a secret passageway to the church -- that is blocked by a banner. Two banners down!

Finally, the third piece of property damage is required when you get the two mask-keys (in the ghostly realm) and enter the Hall of Howling Statues. The only way to proceed is to smash the pedestal with your sword; this opens the gate behind the statues and lets you into the area whence you'll eventually get to meet and talk to Emilie herself.

Thus, I believe that Emilie Victor is not properly ghostable.

However, in the lesser category of Contingent Ghost, I succeeded... in the sense that apart from cutting those two banners and smashing the pedestal, I got no alerts, did no other damage, no KOs, and took no damage. If I could have opened or jumped through those banners and opened the door by frobbing the pedestal, it would have been a ghost.

Not much else to say; I did abysmally on the secrets -- only two! And I was 460 short on loot. I'll probably dive back in with an earlier savegame and see if I can hunt them down (with a lootlist or secrets list, so I won't bother posting it here).

Dafydd

Peter_Smith
27th Nov 2003, 04:20
With some minor trepidation (considering how some similar discussions have turned out), I suggest that you start another thread on "contingent ghost." I can see a serious logical flaw. That is, any result, no matter how poor, could be claimed a contingent ghost success. All you have to do is try hard and claim you could do no better. The game forced you to BJ 40 AI, etc. Think about it a little bit and then suggest some realistic ground rules that maintain the central challenge of ghost. It will not be easy.:)

dafydd
27th Nov 2003, 05:11
[Peter]

Shifting to a new thread....

Dafydd

dafydd
30th Nov 2003, 03:57
[Folks]

FM: Durant
File: durant.zip

Play mode: Ghost (Probable fail; see below)
Perfect Thief (fail, of course)
Time: 5 hr 35 min
Loot: 2662 of 2807
Pockets picked: 15 of 18 (per the author, 16 of 18 is a perfect pickpocket score)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt: 85 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Innocents Killed: 0 Others Killed: 1 (Per objective)
Secrets: 2 of 2

Comments:

This one is a heartbreaker.

The only way to properly ghost Durant, I believe, is to avoid reading one of the books in the upstairs rooms in the Mechanist temple... it gives you an objective to kill one of those irritating "Child of Karras" robots.

Not that killing the verminous thing is all that hard, and not that it isn't soul-satisfying. The problem is that once you kill it, you cannot pick up or relocate the body.

And of course, no matter where along its patrol route you take it out, it's sure to be stumbled across by an extra with a mace.

Note of caution: You absolutely do need the rolled up parchment in the same room; it's a map of the big manor estate you'll loot later. I think it's the same room. In any case, save before frobbing either of those two books... when one of them gives you the new objective, just reload and avoid it like flesh-eating bacteria.

The Child of Karras's patrol route starts from the second-floor office... well lit and patrolled by two Mechanists. The little weasel goeth from there to the chapel, patrolled by a female archer along the same (lit) route the robot follows. Then it goes down the metal stairs, just as she does, to the basement (a.k.a. first floor) area, patrolled by the archer and also another mace-man.

Thence the patrol path of the Child of Karras starts to follow the same route as the mace-wielder, but it deviates slightly -- into a much more brightly lit area. Even so, you may get your hopes up, because it patrols on the other side of some huge generators. Aha, now's your chance....

But lo! the mechanist macer, with his enhanced sight (enhanced all the way to Superman's X-ray vision, evidently), can see right through the solid steel generators, and he will spot the dead body anywhere along this stretch... even in the nether regions, where the Child is in near darkness, in a disused corner, behind some scrap, wearing a +7 elven cloak and shrouded by the invisibility blanket from Harry Potter.

In short, once you read that stupid book, you cannot end the game without killing the thing (except by Shft-Ctrl-Alt-End); but if you dare fulfill the objective by killing it, your ghost is toast.

So why did I write "probable" fail above? Because I cheated: I shot the Child of Karras (with the handy acidic arrows) just as he started up the metal steps from the basement, after both patrollers had just left. Then I hotfooted through the door to the sewers, around the haunt, and down into the water, swimming far away.

So I didn't actually see with my own eyes that somebody stumbled across the body. Oh, sure, the stat says a body was discovered... but actually it claims that TWO bodies were discovered. Since the stats also show only one kill and no KOs, only one body exists. Thus, the bodies-discovered stat is obviously unreliable.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. :D If the author, Donald F. Mazur, can mess up our ghosting by forcing us to leave a body in plain view, then by Black Bartelmy's bloody blade, I can mess up Mazur's carefully laid schemes by being unable to say for absolute certain that my ghost was busted.

So there.

Now that I got that off of my chest, I can focus on the rest of the mission. This is another one of those "Garrett doesn't have his equipment because he stupidly left it behind" FMs, where step one is to find it.

(Curious... the last two FMs I played both required Garrett to steal his equipment and both forced a ghost fail. They also both involved stealing stuff and both starred Garrett; the coincidences are mounting.)

In the case of Durant, named for a painter whose painting we never actually get to see, nor the dauber himself, the equipment issue is a double-whammy: you have to make your way to a safehouse to pick it up, only to discover some other taffer has beaten you to it. Ordinarily, the find-your-equipment objective annoys me; but in this case, the surprise (which I just blew for all of you readers) was clever enough that I appreciated it.

I didn't find the enchanced guards much of a problem, except for spotting the acid-melted body of that repulsive thing. In fact, I really didn't notice any other difference: if you're in total darkness, they can still stand three and a half inches away and miss seeing you. I suppose they can see you over a longer distance if you're standing out in the open, lit up like a Roman candle; but if you're going to do that, despite everything you have been taught, you deserve a cranial-rectal inversion from the nearest bluecoat anyway. "Not responsible for advice not taken."

Even so, you're better off taking to the Thieves' Highway -- whence you can climb into the room where you get the rest of your stuff... plus three invisibility potions, which I found invaluable (and one more inviso potion that is a secret).

(The other secret is really aggravating: in a wine cellar, you flip a torch-switch and open a cabinet with a gold bottle; buf if you frob the plain-looking green bottle inside next to it, you discover (a) it's a secret, and (b) it's valuable.)

A good way to get around the map is to use the sewers; but you won't really be able to do that much until you get the sewer key, which is in the Mechanist temple's chapel, in the far left corner as you enter, inside a safe. You must then go down to the room below... but unless you know exactly where the patrolling female archer is, don't use the stairs; go back through the door into the office, through the office, and to the left into the elevator room. Ride the metal disk down one level, then step out and head right.

In that room at the bottom of the stairs is a red door, which the sewer key will open -- thus simultaneously opening all the manhole covers throughout the mission.

You won't be able to make the loot requirement unless you break into Grimworth & de Parrin Fine Relics, and you can't do that without a gear-key, and you have to make the gear-key in the Mechanist temple, so that's two good reasons to head there first after you get your stuff.

There is a storyline here that seems both bizarre and odd, involving a homosexual love-hate relationship between Grim and de Parrin, that I think Mr. Mazur would have done well to drop. It might make sense in a story or novel, but in a Thief fan mission it's distracting and eye-rolling.

There is a very tricky switch combo you can do in G & dP's, very tough to ghost: you have to press a button in the metal-door room upstairs, then run down and frob a coat hook in the cloakroom downstairs, then climb up the vine arrow you conveniently placed before you started (did I forget to mention that?) to the safe hidden behind the painting that just opened up, for which you need the safe key from the other room upstairs, which you had to get before pushing the button and heading down. You follow?

After that, just follow the map and taff around. Once you make your way (via the sewers) into the manor in the west, you can do yourself a world of good by getting up to the third floor (via the secret elevator in the broom closet at the north end of the main corridor on all three floors), gulping an inviso potion and whipping south, under the face, through the next set of double doors, then zipping right down the corridor immediately north of the two guest rooms.

At the (west) end of that corridor is a switch to turn off the estate watchers! I don't know how long that lasts; the alarm switch turns itself back on fifteen minutes after you turn it off, but I don't know if this applies to the watcher switch as well. (The alarm switch is useless to use, since an alerted guard busts a ghost whether he hits the alarm switch or not.)

Oh, just so you know: this is also one of those missions where the guards are absolute Illuminati who will relight any lamp you put out, so long as it's within the normal, human, one-hand reach of thirty feet or so. So don't worry too much about water-arrowing things to make it dark; you'll just waste time and arrows. Save the squirt gun for unpatrolled areas that are nevertheless within the enhanced visual range of the AIs.

Other than that, it's all pretty standard taffing. Thieve on!

Dafydd

dafydd
30th Nov 2003, 13:20
[Folks]

FM: Gathering At the Inn
File: Gati_Mission_HighRes.zip

Play mode: Ghost (Success)
Perfect Thief (Fail. Sigh.)
Time: 1 hr 36 min
Loot: 896 of 1048
Pockets picked: 2 of 3 (all?)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt: 0 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Innocents Killed: 0 Others Killed: 0
Secrets: 2 of 3

Comments:

Everybody and his unkie's monkle has ghosted this one. Nothing special.

"There must be fifty ways to gas Lord Pearsall...."

Dafydd

dafydd
1st Dec 2003, 05:01
[Folks]

FM: Old Comrades, Old Debts
File: oldcomradesolddebts.zip

Play mode: Ghost (Feh)
Time: 0 hr 31 min
Loot: 140 of 140
Pockets picked: 3 of 4 (all?)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt: 0 Taken: 5 Healing: 0
Innocents Killed: 0 Others Killed: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments:

Sigh.

Has anyone ever managed to find another way out, other than flipping the sparking switch and blowing up the basement, which (of course) busts the ghost?

For that matter, has anyone managed to flip the switch thingie and not take damage?

Oh well; I'd never played it before!

Dafydd

Peter_Smith
1st Dec 2003, 15:07
No, that explosion is the required ending. You can ghost up to that point. As I recall, I have done it with zero damage, but it took a lot of reloads. That is why I remember it. :) There is a way to crouch right by the switch so the first blast doesn't hurt you. You fly across the room. The trick is to get back to the opposite corner and into the hole in the wall before the second blast goes off. Very difficult owing to short timing.

dafydd
2nd Dec 2003, 07:13
[Folks]

FM: Saturio Returns Home
File: saturioreturnshome.zip

Play mode: Ghost (Success)
Perfect Thief (Missed it by that much)
Time: 3 hr 57 min
Loot: 1611 of 1922
Pockets picked: 4 of 8
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt: 0 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Innocents Killed: 0 Others Killed: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments:

There are four major areas of difficulty ghosting Saturio, three of which Vanguard achieved in his first ghosting (I don't know if he's returned to this FM). I managed to get the fourth (the safe), though oddly I didn't get as much loot as Vanguard did lo these many moons ago.

I) There is an unpickable safe that can only be opened by a key carried by Sigfrido Machado, who sits (awake) in a chair in the tile-floored library.

II) You must find a way around two human guards, a watcher with artillery, and a combat bot to make your way into the East Tower to retrieve an engagement ring.

III) You must make your way around the above guards to enter the West Tower, where Saturio is being held.

IV) You must take Saturio's unconscious body past the above guards to his mother's room in the main part of the house.

First of all, I didn't discover until late that it's not particularly difficult to turn off all the watchers on the property except for the one guarding the Towers; in fact, I walked past the stupid guard who has the watcher panel about nine or ten times before it occurred to me to look and see what, in fact, he was guarding. Surprise! Light dawns on marblehead. He has two switches that, when flipped, turn off the stupid watchers. Yeesh!

This is the stationary guard near the "back stairs," the guard you see through the window when you climb out of the well.

Of course, I found that out after I had already ghosted both rooms commanded by watchers about four or five times each.

One is the back stairs, and I chose to use those instead of the main stairs: the main stairs rise from a tile lobby and are heavily patrolled; the back stairs (actually, they're closer to the front, but they're definitely secondary) are not patrolled by any guards; they just have two stationary guards, a servant who occasionally wanders through on his way out of doors, and a watcher (whom we just turned off).

The guards are staring at the door to the outside, which is where the servant goes... so you can sneak quite close to the stairs before you would come into their view. But you cannot douse the electric lights, so you have to run like a thief -- well, I suppose that's appropriate -- the last few feet to get onto the dark stairs. A couple of times I alerted a guard and had to reload; but most of the time I made it undetected, just a bit of grumbling. Musta been one of them grubbers.

(Though it occurs to me that regardless of what a grubber is, if you find one in your house, you probably want to pick it up and throw it out the window at the very least. Don't know why they just let them run around loose... whatever they are.)

Grubbers aside, I found this clearly the best way between the first and second floors.

I) Ghosting Mr. Sigfrido

I think I know the trouble Vanguard had: he must have made some sort of noise earlier in the library or nearby. When Sigfrido first-alerts, he stands up and turns ninety degrees to the right, so that he faces one of the library doors (the closer one). The library is brightly lit, so you cannot subsequently enter that door, since he would see you.

But if you enter by the other library door, you are still in front of him (though off to the side)... and there is no way to get around behind him to pick his key without being seen.

I discovered (quite a while ago) that it seems that standing as far away from a door as possible -- and in as much darkness as possible -- lets you open the door more secretly. This is perversely true even if there is no line of sight between you and any AI. When I first opened the nearby library door, Sigfrido stood, making it impossible to ghost his key. I tried a few more times, but he did it every time.

Then I moved so far from the door (in the corridor) that I had to lean to frob it... and this time, Sigfrido did not alert.

I crept across the tile. Since he was sitting with his right shoulder to me, I kept left, which allowed me to get close enough to pick his key. I exited the same way then returned to the safe and looted it.

II) Storming the Bastile part 1

For maneuvers II and III, I followed Vanguard's candle-soot arrows like he was Arne Saknussen. In the second-floor guard quarters, which you pass through directly you mount the back stairs, there is a box. If you take that box to the courtyard outside, set it down near the right side of the door, and hop aboard, you can mantle up onto the roof of the quard quarters.

Look up; the window in the wall on your right leads directly into the East Tower. Take the elevator up, and the engagement ring is in the cell, which is unlocked. Exit the same way.

III) Storming the Bastile, Part 2

As Vanguard noted, you cannot open the bars across the Tower doors from the inside (they're prisons!) This means that you have to retreat and find a separate way into the West Tower.

Again, I followed Vanguard's path. I carried a bunch of boxes (too many, as it turned out) from the wine cellar up to the flat roof you can access from the big Attic room that has the two guards, the watcher, and the combat bot. As it happens, you need only two boxes; if you stack one atop the other against the wrought-iron fence (next to the peaked roof leading south towards the Towers) and hop aboard, you can mantle up onto the fence.

(This actually surprised me; I'm not used to being able to mantle onto a spike fence... I thought I had to jump down onto it, which is why I brought up every box I could find.)

I had a hard time dropping down without plummetting off the roof to my -- er, Garrett's -- death. But I used the sideways key, which gave me just enough juice to come to a stop on the roof. You want to drop onto the left side of the peak and "strafe" right.

From there it was fairly easy to climb down to a little half platform, jump to the next roof -- this is right behind the combat bot, so I mossed the opposite platform -- and then scuttle up and around to the window hole.

IV) Rescuing Prince Charming In Distress

Once I got in, picked open the cage, and retrieved Saturio, I deviated from the Path of Vanguardness: I found a much easier and more elegant way to get down with Saturio's body.

(We shall all pause now while Beaver and Butthole laugh and declaim "he said he was going to get down with a body! Huh Huh-huh Huh-huh!" All right, got it out of your system?)

I simply took the elevator down to the level of the guards and the combat bot. Just as with the East Tower, the West Tower has a window on that level... and this window looks directly down onto the hedge next to the horse trough I swam through to get to the well.

It's also one floor lower, and with no roof to navigate. I simply dropped Saturio near the window, climbed up into it, gulped a slowfall potion, picked up Saturio, and slid off.

(Wait, is the potion necessary? Let me see if I still have a savegame there.... Oh yeah, you sure do need that slowfall potion; I just tried it nude and lost all but one point of health!)

In any case, with the potion you land without a scratch, and you're right in front of the kitchen door -- which you wisely opened from the inside a long time ago. Maybe I should have mentioned that earlier.

Hike him up to the second floor and drop the Oedipal Saturio into his mother's bed.

I have no idea where the rest of the loot is; I don't think there are any big caches I missed, so it could be the sort of scattered coins that bug the heck out of me, which practice is singularly responsible for my inability ever to get Perfect Thief. But that's a wrap, folks.

Dafydd

Sneak
2nd Dec 2003, 15:22
Nice work Dafydd!

Got a kick out of this comment, "Light dawns on marblehead." That got a laff outa me! :)

dafydd
2nd Dec 2003, 22:10
[Sneak]


Got a kick out of this comment, "Light dawns on marblehead." That got a laff outa me!

It was a favorite comment of my old drill instructor, SSGT. William S. Carney, who uttered it whenever one of us finally "got" something that he thought should have been a leeeetle more obvious.

Dafydd

dafydd
4th Dec 2003, 03:28
FM: Sisterhood of Azura pt. 1
File: sisterhoodofazura1estheridge.zip

Play mode: Ghost (Success, on the ragged edge)
Perfect Thief (Fail, but who cares? :D )
Time: 3 hr 41 min
Loot: 2094 of 2594
Pockets picked: 11 of 25
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 2 (game error; see below)
Damage dealt: 28 (per objective) Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Innocents Killed: 0 Others Killed: 1 (per objective)
Secrets: 7 of 8

The "other" killed was the "renegade Keeper Joshua," and there is an objective that says to kill him. I killed him the same way Vanguard did, in the accepted fashion: repeated blows with the blackjack. The first knocks him out (hence the knockout), the rest eventually beat him to death.

I don't know why it claims two knockouts, but I only slugged the one guy, Joshua. This is a game-reporting error, like when it shows one more possible pickpocket than actually exists.

Comments:

First, may I rise to a point of order.

When I first started posting here, I had hold of a set of Ghost rules from http://land.heim.at/yellowstone/230430/rules.html that included the infamous Amendment 4:


Amendment #4 - A clarification is needed. No KO's are allowed at all, under no circumstances, regardless of the alerted or unalerted status of the AI. It has been noted that the use of gas arrows does not cause damage, nor is the resulting KO of the AI added to the stats. Despite these facts, the use of gas arrows or any other frobbable or inventoriable item to render an AI unconscious or alter its otherwise normal behavior is prohibited.

However, I was told (in no uncertain terms :eek: !) that Amendment 4 was not canonical and had no effect, and in fact, that nobody had even seen it before or had any idea where it came from. The only canonical rules, I was told, were in Clayman's post in the archives on this site:

http://forums.eidosgames.com/old-ubb/

There is nothing in the official ghost rules that forbids the use of gas arrows or gas mines. Nevertheless, I generally try to avoid them, viewing them as a last resort.

Well, meet Ms. Last Resort: the Sisterhood of Azura pt. 1!

This FM is brutal: much of it is lit up like Vatican Square at high noon on Easter Sunday; there are watchers everywhere; there are millions of guards; there is a lot of stuff to do; and there are a lot of violent scripted events, from a terrible melee in the Tippled Burrick, to a brawl between a bluecoat and a greencoat, to a vicious fight between rival teams of haunts, to a cutscene showing child sacrifice... many of which (not the cutscene, of course) have the potential to involve Garrett right in the middle of everything. Which would certainly bust your ghost :D .

I did indeed use gas arrows and gas mines in ghosting this FM; but I feel vindicated, in that when I read Vanguard's report of a failed ghost attempt on this very FM, he did not report the use of gas as a bust, and nobody objected; he had to resort to the blackjack a couple of times, and that is why he listed it as a fail. I ended up using gas mines on two AIs and gas arrows on four others; all of them fell without alerting any other AIs or taking any damage whatsoever -- I checked after each use to make sure no "damage dealt" points had been added from the gas.

So without further dubious justifications and self-serving rationalizations, let's get right to the report!

I'll focus on those areas that Vanguard was unable to ghost. I did not, actually, follow his lead this time; I struck out on my own. For example, you actually can grab most of the loot in the Tippled Burrick without triggering the melee... which would not itself be a bust, I maintain, since it is scripted -- but it almost necessarily leads to a bust:

1) One guard comes boiling out from the hallway, and she will almost certainly spot you, no matter how fast you scuttle under the counter, unless you use an invisibility potion, which you probably don't have yet (you get one from the secret room in the apothecary down the street from the weaponsmith's shop and the Tippled Burrick Inn, one in the haunt' chapel at the cathedral, and supposedly one more, though I never found it).

2) If you lay a gas mine for her (you can get one in the secret space in the weaponsmith's shop), then her body will be spotted by one of the other guards; since her dropping would have been the result of your actions, this should count as a bust (re-alerting an already alerted guard).

In any event, you can get all but 100 loot without triggering this cataclysmic raid, so why bother? It turns out that you can hop onto the counter, so long as you do not cross a line about midway across it. It's not easy; I tried eleven times before I got all the way onto the counter but without blundering across the DMZ.

Once you're up there, you can creep forward a step, save, creep forward, save, and so forth. Eventually, you will creep too far and all hell breaks loose... so just back up to the save right before that.

At that point, if you crouch and lean forward, you can actually frob all the loot except for the rear two gold goblets (you have to move left a bit to get the gold bottle). Since I certainly got more loot there than the amount by which I cleared the loot requirement (94), this Tippled Burrick Inn loot turned out to be critical to my success. If I hadn't gotten this, I would have had to find some other loot somewhere else; and since I ended with no invisibility potions left, that might have been impossible.

Incidentally, I had no trouble nudging the (single) stationary guard while heading into the Tippled Burrick Inn. I blew out the two torches on either side of the Inn door, then waited until all three patrollers (the two Mechanists and the woman) were out of sight and darted behind him. I kept jamming hard with crouch-run, and he moved fairly quickly. The patrollers grumbled as they passed, but none went beyond a first alert.

Another word: this FM has some programming errors that make it look as if you have been busted but are obvious mistakes. Some of the AIs will react very peculiarly around torches that have been put out... they will pass the put out torch with either a mild comment ("Again? third time this shift") or with no comment whatsoever. They'll pass it again, completely ignoring it this time. Then a third time. Then a fourth time. But then, about the fifth time passing the same torch, with Garrett hiding far, far away in total shadow, the AI will suddenly scream and stagger as if struck by an invisible arrow, then go into search mode.

This is so aberrant -- and such an obvious error in either the Dark engine or (more likely) the mission -- that I simply ignored it. It only happened with one AI -- the bluecoat who patrols with a Mechanist along the road that leads from Cathedral Square to the house with the archers in the two windows. I reloaded a number of times and finally got a run where he didn't do that (at least, not while I could see him); but I think I was overly cautious; it shouldn't count as a Ghost bust.

When you leave the Inn, even without triggering the melee, two more guards have spawned; but I was able to creep right in front of one of them, despite my gem being not totally dark, and head into the darkness next to the patrol path of the two Mechs and the woman, pointed at the door to the Weaponsmith's shop.

Getting in through that door is a bear. Patrollers passing me from right to left (as you face the Weaponsmith's door) wouldn't notice me; but any of the three passing from left to right saw me and alerted. I had to wait for a gap when all the patrollers were headed right, then dart forward, using the forward-then-shift speed, not the faster shift-then-forward speed, work the lockpicks until I was passed by an AI (right to left), then turn and dart back. This got me grumbles all around, but nobody went beyond first alert. I would then wait, seething with impatience, until I got another break... then I would dart forward and continue with the lockpicks.

Once you get the door open, you can edge forward until you are in total darkness (in that doorway "sweet spot"), then lean in and watch the watcher. (So now we know the answer to "quis custodiet ipsos custodes!") When it turns to look at the doorway opposite you, and you're clear behind, run in and quickly left to get right underneath it. Lean out and frob the door closed; you will never go out that way anyway.

The next maneuver was decidedly uneasy, chancy, even: I stood, waited until the watcher was just starting to turn away from the counter toward the doorway to my left, then ran like hell towards the counter.

My object was to o'erleap the counter in a mighty bound, then drop immediately to a crouch, so the watcher would not spot me. Again, it took many, many tries until I perfected the timing: leave too soon, and the watcher will see you and go yellow before you get halfway to the counter; leave an instant too late, and you'll be busted before crouching after jumping over the counter. You can tell by the noise; but just to be sure, when I thought I had made it, I faced the counter (on the other side now) and backed up slowly towards the basin with the water arrows until I could see the top of the watcher and verify that it was still rotating.

On that side of the counter, of course, is the switch that shuts off the watcher. Don't bother with the basement yet; you need the basement key, which is labeled the Weaponsmith's Key and is found at the police station.

Note: Beware, the weaponsmith can see right through that steel door when he is coming towards you. treat it as if it were an open door.

There is a secret in the target range: shoot the far target to open a door in the central, circular room. You can vine up to it to grab some gas mines... you'll need 'em!

If you crouch at the far end, away from the weaponsmith's grilled door, then when he's walking away, you can stand and jump onto your vine.

With the weaponsmith himself, it feels kind of ridiculous, but you can quick-walk right along behind him and to whatever side is away from how he turns -- when I first went through there, he turned to the right; when I came back to get into the basement, he had changed his mind and was now turning to the left. Go figure! There is some loot in there (a figurine), and you want to push the button to open the back door, which cannot be opened any other way... as you'll need to get in here later, do not close it behind you!

I didn't need to nudge the female guard in the locker rooms of the Pool House Cafe; I was able to get close enough to lean from behind her and frob the key (police station, I think) and the loot. I didn't find anything in the pool or the pool area, but I'm notoriously bad at finding loot, so I can't say for sure it's empty. (I saved my game, went upstairs, jacked the two guards in the entryway and killed the two people in the cafe proper with broadheads, just so I could look into the kitchen... there being no way to get in there without alerting everyone and his monkey's uncle. Just a gold bottle, 50 loot. Hardly even worth the effort. I reloaded my savegame, of course.)

At the police station (far side of Cathedral Plaza), there is a security office down a hallway where you will find a switch to shut off the cathedral watchers and to open the cathedral gate -- which I think is necessary to order to get into the cathedral and end the mission. Vanguard says he was reduced to blackjacking this guard, later explaining:


There is no way to get into the security office in the police station to hit the switch to open the cathedral drawgate (and turn off the watchers). A Mechanist stands inside the door and blocks entry to that small room, the hall is brightly lit, and there is no on-off switch for the hall light. You could use an inviso potion here but I needed both of them to get loot. Besides, I'd have to nudge this AI backwards and nudging doesn't work when on the face side of an AI as they will spot you that near to them.

But this is not strictly true: there is a door directly opposite the security office. Behind this door is a dark office (or maybe I had to splash a lamp; I don't remember... at the least, it can be made dark). Once inside, crouching in total darkness, you can frob the door to the security office; you are now staring directly at the guard, but he cannot see you. (The security office is locked, I think, but you can either open it with the police-station key or else stand to the side and pick it open (then close it again!) before getting into the dark office.

Once opposite the guard, you can point down at the floor and pitch a gas mine in right at his feet; he generally won't alert unless you throw it too near him. After a moment, he shifts or something, and the mine goes off... and he's out with no damage. Now you can shut off two of the the watchers (the two nearest the cathedral) and open the cathedral gate without busting your Ghost.

You also get the key to the weaponsmith's basement here, I believe, in one of the other offices of the police station ("Sgt. So-and-So has the key," it says in the weaponsmith's book). You really, really, really need to get into that basement; there are two safes in there with a total of 375 loot or so.

When you return to the weaponsmith's joint and head down the basement stairs, you end up in a brightly lit corridor outside his room (on the left); he is facing directly towards the door... and this brings up another point: I think we thievers tend to be a bit too timid sometimes; in many missions, including this one, you can dart right through bright light directly towards an AI who is standing only five feet away, and so long as you are only in the light for a fraction of a second before entering total darkness, sometimes they won't notice; they're a bit slow on the uptake. Especially this guard.

Once inside his room and in darkness, you can use another one of your gas mines, as Vanguard did.

Later, inside the Wilson house, I had no trouble edging carefully into the room with the burglar, getting around behind him, and nudging him far enough forward that I could get behind him to get at the loot there (plates, a bottle). I did take the same route to Sara Deavant's house as Vanguard: out the window in the back bedroom, where the woman is sleeping, and down via vine arrow to the street below.

Sara's house is the other place where Vanguard busted his Ghost; he was unable to get rid of the guards left over in Sara's bedroom after they attack her. Maybe it was just the luck of the draw, but where the guards ended up in my case, I was able to get into the anteroom before her bedroom by hugging the left wall, and they didn't spot me.

Then I opened the door (no reaction, not even a first alert), got a gas arrow ready, and downed my only invisibility potion. I stepped quietly up to the open door, aimed the gas arrow -- no small feat, considering my bow-sight was likewise invisible! -- and shot it right between them. The gas expanded enough that both dropped simultaneously without either alerting the other.

As soon as I entered Sara's bedroom, I got the chime ticking off that objective. Interestingly, when I picked Sara up (to lay her on the bed), I discovered she was still alive, just unconscious; I put her in the dark space in the entry room instead, hoping maybe she would wake up before the guards did and make her escape.

Oddly, though I picked up the key to the "back door" to the Sisterhood's mansion, I never had to use it. See below.

I got another invisibility potion after playing the cutscene in the haunts' chapel, where you get the eye; but I burned it immediately getting the candlesticks from the altar. (On a trial run, I went invisible, then ran around around, alerting the haunts like crazy, grabbing everything... and I discovered the two gold skulls have no loot value. I have no idea what they're for -- maybe something to do with the last secret, which I missed?) When you return, you discover that there has been a melee, and two other haunts have spawned and fought the haunt and the mage who were there earlier. It's more or less random who wins and how many are killed, and possibly where they end up standing. I was left with two haunts, probably the two who spawned, standing on either side of the altar, the left one closer to the back wall than the other. I had no trouble sneaking out the side room where I had gotten the eye and into the central aisle, and even quite a bit towards the altar before I had to gulp the potion, run up, and grab the candlesticks... and that was the moment at which I finally passed over the loot objective (2004 at that point) and breathed a sigh of relief.

Before leaving, I went on a loot hunt and managed to find another 90, bringing my total up to 2094. On my way back, I took a savegame detour to get a look at the big gun; impressive.

Strangely, as I mentioned above, I didn't need the backdoor key. When I crossed the drawbridge, I just crouch-walked right up to the door directly in front of me and frobbed it; it was carelessly left unlocked. (I reloaded and tried it again, just to be sure.) I also didn't need to pass the mage; the moment I walked across the threshold, I got the chime, telling me my last objective had been fulfilled.

Like Vanguard, I am utterly amazed that this FM can be ghosted; the first time I tried it, I quit shortly after triggering the melee in the Tippled Burrick Inn, absolutely convinced that it was unghostable -- in fact, convinced that you couldn't make it through without ambush-killing a dozen guards! I read in a thread on TTLG that the author himself doesn't think it's ghostable.

Well, there we are: neat, sweet, petite.

Dafydd

Old Man
4th Dec 2003, 09:30
I was slapped down hard when I used a Gas Arrow on Lady Louisa and a Frog Beast Egg on the Angelwatch Front Door Guard. Neither affected the statistics page. That has got lost in the forums shuffle somehow.

dafydd
4th Dec 2003, 10:14
[Old Man]

A frog-beast egg alerts the AI -- he goes insane and tries to kill it. But with the gas, he never knows what happened... no alert. (If you have two AIs, and when you gas one the other sees him and goes off, then yes, that counts as an alert.)

Also, regardless of whether the damage shows up in the stats (since it's one AI attacking another, as far as the game is concerned), clearly damage is being done. But with gas, the only possible damage is someone may bruise himself falling to the ground. And considering that being hit in the head with a blackjack constitutes only 1 point of damage, I can't imagine how infinitesmal would be the damage from gas! I think this clearly falls in the same category with the tiny "property damage" that occurs when you pick a lock or drop a crate on the ground.

In any event, the "official rules" (Clayman's post) say the following:


8.) No alerts means no distractions, noisemakers, artificial diversions that cause an AI to search for you, even if it is away from where you are. No Garrett/artifically induced suicides of AI or melees that intentionally cause AI to attack each other. No use of frog eggs allowed.

(Emphasis added.)

It says absolutely nothing about gas.

I think the gas should have been fine, and had I been around then, I'd've stuck up fer ya. but I agree that freggs are a no-no.

Dafydd

Old Man
4th Dec 2003, 10:29
IIRC, clayman insisted that the AI alert before passing out when being knocked out with gas. I'm also thinking that amendment # 4 was there at some point. Just got lost when the newer rules thread was made up. There must have been some discussion of whether they alert or not. Thus "regardless ..." And I seem to recall also that they sometimes do make a alert-like sound before collapsing similar to the sound made when an AI wakes up. "Builderrrrrr ... !", or something. I could have sworn I made a copy of the original Ghost Rules thread but I can't seem to find it now.

Whatever, the age of rigorous rules seems to have passed and Ghosting seems more of a "spirit of the thing" exercise now.

dafydd
4th Dec 2003, 10:51
[Old Man]

Well, regardless of the history, the official rules as now championed by Peter, et al -- and evidently the rules in place a year and more ago when Vanguard posted the only other attempt on Sisterhood of Azura that I could find written up -- allow for the use of gas but explicitly disallow freggs.

As I said, I consider it last resort... but SoA is such a booger that I felt perfectly justified in relying on technicalities :D .

Dafydd

Peter_Smith
5th Dec 2003, 02:55
FM: The Seventh Crystal Version 2
File: T7Cv-2.zip

Play mode: Perfect Thief (success)
Time: 2 hr 00 min
Loot: 2303 of 2303
Pockets picked: 4 of 10
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt: 0 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments:

Klatremus posted about not being able to find all the loot in this mission. We got into a discussion about a guard with a purse on a catwalk, so I went back in to check it out. This inspired me to play the mission again and to prepare a loot list, which is now posted at Jason's site. I was reminded once again that The Seventh Crystal is probably my all time favorite mission. It is a beautiful ghoster. Fun but not difficult. And, of course, the mission itself is beautiful and has a fine story.

I have perfected this mission several times and written about it once before (in Part 2 of the FM Ghost archives (http://forums.eidosgames.com/old-ubb/FMs_Ghost_Perfect_Thief_Results_Part1_2.htm)). Vanguard also perfected it. So this is nothing really new other than an update for a different version.

In version 1 (previously reported) there was a loot bug where the total was off by 50. Version 2 has been released twice with the same version number. In the first release the loot obtainable was only 2103 of a reported 2303. In the current release all 2303 of the loot is available. I think some loot has been moved around or changed in value to make up the difference, but it has been about a year and a half since I last played it, and I could not tell what the differences were. Anyway, there are only two loot items in the mission that I would say are difficult to find: a poker in a dark corner by the library fireplace and a flute on a window sill in Brady's room. The rest of it is in plain sight - you simply have to visit all the places. There are no tricky coins, no difficult hiding places behind furniture, and no secrets or little switches. This is one of the things that makes the mission great in my opinion. It is not fussy. You can just sit back, relax, play Thief, enjoy the atmosphere, play with the timing of the AI, and enjoy the great story. This is what it is all about, folks.:)

Ghosting items of interest include a guard on a metal catwalk. I thought he had a purse in Version 1, and as I recall he was difficult to ghost. In this version he did not have a purse. So either that purse was moved or I am wrong and wasted a lot of time on that guard. :)

Either this version was easier than the last version, or I am getting better. I think the former. Getting up the stairs to the third floor was a piece of cake. There were fewer guards circulating than in version 1, so I had lots of time.

There is a slight challenge getting the flute in the ballroom, or at least there used to be. This time I just went down the stairs, jumped over the banister, went down the right wall, got the flute, and used a rope to get back over the banister. The lights were bright, and the guard was a little blind at that angle. No problem.

Getting the front door key off the guard in the front vestibule was a little difficult owing to many guards circulating, but it was not necessary to do that anyway. I could not get the three arrow pockets on the guards in the front yard because I could not sneak by that guy to open the door. He was looking straight at the door in bright light.

Perhaps the biggest ghosting challenge, apart from finding optimal routes and timing, was leaning past the guard by the library fireplace to get the poker. I had to try that several (6-8) times before I could do it without being seen.

That's it. The ghosting is fairly easy, but it presents a challenge the first time through it. No nudges or any special moves are required. In any case, the mission is a blast to play in ghost mode, and I recommend it highly.

dafydd
5th Dec 2003, 07:23
[Peter]

I think I ghosted 7th Crystal a while back, but I certainly didn't perfect it. In fact, I am mystified how anyone can actually find all the loot in a mission. How do you know where to look? People like you and Nightwalker and such... it just pops into your head that if you shoot a rope arrow into the glass skylight, you can climb up and through it into a snowcave that's invisible from the ground, but which contains a white diamond exactly the same color as the snow, but which is worth 8 loot.

(All right, not this mission -- but some missions, when I look at a loot list, I don't have the foggiest idea how anyone would think of looking there.)

How do you know where to look?

Dafydd

Peter_Smith
5th Dec 2003, 07:52
Dafydd,

It is nothing more than systematic looking around. I keep my nose to the ground, I climb up on everything, I look behind furniture and rocks, and look up at the walls and ceilings to see if there might be some place accessible. It is second nature for me to run around a place like a bloodhound. A loot hound, actually.:) With rope arrows, I try not to leave a beam, the top of a bookcase, or anything else up high unexplored. It is also a question of trying to find and go into every passage in the map. The biggest problem I have is remembering to look up. I am getting better at it. And, I try to do this while maintaining ghost, if at all possible, the first time I play a mission.

Sneak
5th Dec 2003, 17:20
Well I am dumbfounded. I was reading above and went to check out the Ghost Rules in the archives.

They aren't complete, things are missing there. And anyone reading them new is not going to completely get it.

In Ghost there are no knockouts allowed whatsoever. Not by Blackjack, Gas Arrow or anything unless there is an Objective to do so.

Also in there is says no damage taken or recieved. Duhh, re-read that sentance and see what is wrong with it. Should be No damage given or taken.

But I am seriously disappointed that I don't read NO Knockouts in the rules set because that has been since day one.

Also there is No Killing allowed in Ghost and I don't see that either. Did someone think that was covered under no damage given which is not in there either?

What happened to the rules?

Old Man,
Right on there. Down to the Spirit of Playing Ghost.

Dafydd,
Old Man is right, long ago when he use a Gas Arrow in that mission to drop an AI he was Busted. Plain and simple. But I can't back that up with the rules posted.

There have been No Knockouts and No Killings allowed in Ghost since day one except for the amendment that if an objective requires it, it is OK if you can do it without alerting anything.

Utterly beyond belief on this one. I never read those archived rules because I have always known the real ones by heart since the beginning.

Hey Peter,
You have been around as long as the rest of us Ghostwise. Read those rules if you would please and tell me it ain't so!

Am wondering, we, many of us posted rules that we quick typed up as a reply to a post where someone requested what Ghost was about long ago. This was before there was an archive even on the old board that we could refer people too. Could this be what we have up?

God I hope there is an original Kosher set from Clayman around some where. Will look on my comp.

I KO nothing by any means while Ghosting unless there is an objective to do so. That's Cutpurse work!

No insults intended to those who are insulted! ;)

Old Man
5th Dec 2003, 19:55
If I can trust my old memories it was that the original rules covered killing and knocking out via the "no damage given in the final stats" clause. That's why I even tried the Gas Arrow. LGS had left the damage inflicted off their use. Same with killing with a Hammer or Mace. Nothing showing on the statitistics page.

And I recall a vote being taken at some point regarding receiving damage so I'm thinking it wasn't there in the original rules. And I think what everyone felt early on was that "no damage" meant from melee or trap and damage from falling or whatever was okay. We all played with no damage received so we may as well write it into the rules.

dafydd
5th Dec 2003, 21:18
[Folks]

It could still possibly be done even with the harsher rules enunciated by Sneak & Old Man:

1) You can flip the switch to open the inner gate to the cathedral (not the watcher/gate switch) in the security room by nudging the female guard forward enough; don't need gas there.

There are at least three invisibility potions in the game; I only used two of them (didn't find the third, but others have). I only used two: one to rush forward and get the candlesticks in the haunts' chapel on the cathedral grounds, the other to get a shot off against the two Mechs who beat up Sara Deavant.

You could ghost the two places where Vanguard used a blackjack thus:

2) The guard in the security office in the police station off Cathedral Plaza -- just gulp a potion, run into the room, flip the two switches, and run out again.

3) The guard in the weaponsmith's basement guarding the safes -- gulp a potion and whip into the room and around behind him. Nudge him forward and to the left into the corner left of the doorway. Open the door and loot the safes. Exit by running out at an angle from the left inside the door towards the right outside the door; he shouldn't see you.

But here is the problem; that's two potions, and you only have one left. You need to use one in Sara's house:

4) You do not need Sara's key... but you do need to step a little into that room to check off the objective. So you get into the anteroom, as I did, open the door, gulp a potion, crouch-walk forward just past the door to get the chime, then back out again and out of line of sight before the potion wears off.

This means you don't have a potion to use to get the candlesticks, and unless you get extraordinarily lucky in the haunt-fight in the chapel -- let's say just one haunt left, and he's left facing the wrong direction -- you can't get the candlesticks for 100 loot.

But I ended with 2094, so without the candlesticks, I would have been just 6 loot short of the objective. There must be a coin stack or some other minor thingie I missed, since there's 2594 loot total, and we're only accounting for 200 that we can't get (the candlesticks and the two gold cups behind the bar at the Tippled Burrick that cannot be got without triggering the melee)... leaving an additional 300 somewhere in the mission.

Thus, it should be possible to ghost this on the strict rules, without having to gas anyone.

Later on I'll try.

Dafydd

dafydd
7th Dec 2003, 08:55
FM: The Darkness Falls: the Royal Garmyth
File: royalgarmyth.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (fail)
Time: 2 hr 18 min
Loot: 3143 of 3338
Pockets picked: 5 of 6
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt: 0 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 3 of 4

Comments:

Shrug. :o (<-- that's a yawn)

Dafydd

dafydd
10th Dec 2003, 02:43
FM: Karras' Diary (Karras' Tagebuch)
File: karrasdiary.zip

Play mode: Ghost (fail)
Zero damage (success)
Time: 5 hr 53 min
Loot: 6310 of 7050
Pockets picked: 1 of 2 (all)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt: 70 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Killed: 2 (others)
Secrets: 5 of 5

Reason for failure:

- Had to kill two spiders in secret corridor en route to Diary Room.

- Destroying the Flesh Transmuter machine alerted the nearby guard.

Comments:

All of the damage and both kills were the two stupid spiders; my only alternative (I thought) was to fight the two combat bots instead :( .

However... I now believe the spiders can be ghosted!

At the very beginning, in the courtyard with the big statue of Karras (though it looks more like Karras's fantasy of what he wanted to look like :D ), directly across from where you begin and up high is a little park with trees. The first secret is up here, and you can get various equipment including an invisibility potion.

The easiest way to get up there, which involves no crate stacking and only one impossible leap, is to head out into the main street to the Keeper's house; take one of the boxes; then head back... but just before the arch into the courtyard, hang a louie and ascend the ladder. Drop the box so it's partially on the platform and partially on the ladder itself (as much over the ladder as possible without it toppling). Hop aboard the box; you can now jump-mantle onto the wall between you and the courtyard.

Once up there, crouch and walk across the spikes to the other side of the arch. Here is the only tricky part: you have to line up on the clear wall southwest of you -- the boundary wall of the tree park -- back up as far as you can on the wall you're standing on, stand, run, and leap. If you hit your jump just right, you'll land on top of the tree-park wall, and you can just run right off the edge into the park. The switch is at the south end, the hidey-hole in the middle of the west wall.

You need that inviso potion, plus the one you get later (in the Keeper's house, I think) to ghost the spiders: I think you should be able to creep close to them, just before you get a first-alert chirp, gulp the potion, and crouch-walk past them and jump onto the ladder. On the way back, use the second potion.

(I used one of the potions to dart over and get the church moneybox; but I already had plenty of loot before that and didn't need it to finish. I didn't use the other invisibility potion.)

But still remains the dreadful problem of the female guard near the Flesh Transmuter machine.

I have an idea about that, in case anyone is interested in trying: if you douse the torch near the standing guard, it might be dark enough to slowly, gingerly nudge her farther and farther away from the machine. It would be tricky, as she spins a lot -- and you'd have to back away before she spun to avoid detection, I think.

But if you conducted a long dance of {nudge, back away, save}, I suspect you could get her quite a distance.

Hm. I just tried it, and it's easier than I thought; she moves pretty quickly... and when you're pressed up against her north side, she won't turn north to face you. You'll still get popped if she's sideways to you and you're too off-center towards the direction she's looking; but if you're patient, you can do it. I managed to nudge her half way down the river.

I don't know how far she has to be before she won't hear the explosion; don't forget, before you throw the switch to scrag the Flesh Transmuter, go upstairs and close that window!

I don't know if you can get her far enough away. Even after nudging her as above, when I returned to the machine, stood in the "sweet spot," and shot off a fire arrow, she alerted. In fact, she alerted when I shot a broadhead into the machine :rolleyes: ; she must be pretty sensitive! One good thing: once you've nudged her, you can see her through the window, so you know for sure whether or not you're busted.

Now to more pleasant areas. I didn't bother with the wine bottles in the pub; they're only worth 100 total, and I wasn't going to burn my invisibility potions so early in the game for that. I later used one to grab the loot from the church collection box: I crept as close as I could from the other side of the altar -- there are several dark spots, and you can move from one to the other when both guards turn away (or as much away as they will) -- then I mossed my path and dropped the key on the ground.

(One of my favorite techniques: if I quaff the potion, then go fumbling for the key, it takes a while flipping through my inventory... burning scarce invisibility time. So I drop the key on the ground at my feet instead, then I swallow the potion; it's the work of a moment to snatch the key, which automatically puts it in position to use.)

It took a couple times before I got the timing right, but I was able to get back to a (semi) dark spot before I vizzed in again.

I didn't find the candlesticks all that difficult. I crept up the stairs as close as darkness would allow, then mossed a path; when both guards turned their back (lot of waiting time), I ran forward. After being busted a couple of times, I learned to keep the altar in between me and the guard up there with me.

I was able to creep right up to the altar without the raised guard seeing me; from there, I could frob the nearest candlestick. When the guard watching Karras's body turned his back (and the squirmy raised guard was looking away), I stood, frobbed the other stick, then crouched again. I was able to return exactly as I had gone, and I got nothing more than a first alert from the lower guard.

As to the guards in the treebeast area, I triggered the fight (which is scripted -- should it count as a bust, since it's possible to avoid it?), but it only took the guards three or four minutes to calm down after killing the monster. I didn't know about the tiara then, but I got it on my way out, after robbing the church, and I didn't even draw a first alert.

In the escape room with three doors, I easily (and quietly) opened the one directly before me and the one to the right (leading to the first Riddle Room); but shooting the switch for the left door with a broadhead always alerted the guard. Actually two guards -- somebody came through the gate; maybe that parade was just passing by.

I was out of moss, but I did have one water arrow left: I plugged it on the second attempt, and nobody was alerted. As it happens, there is nothing of value in that room anyway, unless you want another picked lock: all you get is a fire arrow, and you don't need one.

As several people have noted, you can open the door to Riddle Room 1 by just throwing a flare at it -- an odd programming mistake, I think. You don't need to blow off the explosive charge, and you don't need to nudge the guard there.

(I wonder if that will work even before retrieving the explosive charge and the fire arrow? Can you bypass those two rooms? Alas, I don't have a save game from that spot except for the one where I was nudging the guard above, and that's too far away to test the door. Too much work. Too lazy.)

I must say, after all the screaming and the crying, the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth over on TtLG, I found the riddles (for the door combinations) curiously disappointing; they were much too easy, especially the first one, which just requires a little algebra. The second was more interesting, but even so, it took me only two minutes or so to figure it out and exit.

All in all, it was a terrific mission, as usual for Mr. Oakenshield; and I really wonder whether it may be ghostable after all... if you have the patience to walk that stupid guard all the way down the quay to the other end.

How far away do you need to get her before she won't hear the explosion?

(Say, here's a thought: maybe she'll always hear it because it's scripted! If so, it's not a bust; but I don't know DromEd, so I can't go check. The question: does she hear the explosion, which isn't very loud, because she actually hears it, being close and sensitive enough, or because her alert is a scripted event?)

Dafydd

dafydd
11th Dec 2003, 04:24
I feel kind of silly even posting this, but....

FM: The Taffer's Tower
File: TaffersTower.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (success)
Time: 1 hr 30 min
Loot: 53,000 of 53,000
Pockets picked: 0 of 1 (all)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt: 0 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments:

This is basically a "joke" mission, though it's rather fun. I didn't find out about the quick way to get up the tower until I finished -- but that's all right; I really enjoyed the exercise in infinite box stacking!

From the top, I took a detour and did a nice swan dive off the tower all the way down into the water, then gulped a speed potion and swam through the underwater tunnel to the temple, emerging literally one second before I would have taken some damage. (Since you start with only one hit point in Expert mode, even landing hard is fatal!)

There is nothing much there beyond a holy basketball: I understand that if you throw the basketball at the floaty fairy thingie -- a wisp? -- and hit it, you get a breath potion. (To get a health potion, you have to kill and cook the spider, which is a no-no in ghost... but in fact, your ceilling is one hit point in Expert mode: I grabbed the health potions around the sacred fire and gulped them, but I didn't gain any health.)

I suppose if you got a few breath potions, you could swim back; then you could use the ejection button to get back atop the tower. So you could go there and back again, without having to reload, as I did -- not knowing about either the breath-potion ritual or the ejection button.

All the absurd amount of wealth comes from the giant-sized masks on the first floor (the floor above ground floor) and the regular-sized masks on the ground floor.

The Bubble-Blowing Burricks on the ground floor are really myopic, at the Mr. Magoo level of blindness; if you stay farther than about twenty feet from them, they won't see you even if your gem is completely bright with a red subgem. I just crouch-walked slowly around the periphery from the stairs to the door to unlock it.

I played with them later, which is how I know they blow bubbles instead of burping Burrick gas. That was a lot of fun, too: I stood on the stairs, lured them close by hurling boxes at the floor... then when one got in position, I jumped off the stair and got to ride a Burrick for a couple of minutes!

Then he moved and I fell off. But it was still fun -- but I made it to the bell, yee-ha! Ride 'em, Burrickboy!

I will say that using the "Frobozz Magic Crate Device" was a blast; I wish we could buy one at loadout. You can create an infinite number of crates, allowing you to stack your way up a tower that is as tall as Angelwatch. I did some stacking on the inside, too, to get the masks, and also to get up to the rafters (nothing there). The speed potion is on the second floor (third button from the bottom) catwalks; there are climbable cables... atop one of them is that weird, gingerbread-looking guy whose name I don't know, and he has a speed potion.

(If someone will tell me how to post screenshots -- I made they jpegs to save space -- I will add a couple of shots of goofy, mile-high stacks of boxes!)

A lot of fun, but really just a giggle.

Dafydd

Peter_Smith
11th Dec 2003, 06:08
Dafydd,

Good work in Karras' Diary. I beta tested the mission and ghosted as much as possible, so I had a lot of time to practice and lots of fun doing it. In spite of the bust(s) it is a terrific ghosting mission.

I ghosted the spiders once cleanly (no invisio) and failed on another attempt. I don't know what the difference was. Just lucky timing, I guess, or maybe Thorin made them more difficult in the final version. I think you don't have to go past them on the way out. I used the elevator and the front door by the tree beast park door to exit. I ghosted the money box in the church without invisio. That was really tough. It took extreme creeping and some delicate hops, as I recall. I'm pretty sure I also did the pub, but I don't remember the details at all. The guard by the transmuter machine is impossible, unless of course you nudge her to the other side of the map (too much like work). I never tried that. Funny, it never occurs to me to use invisio. Hate the stuff. :)

dafydd
11th Dec 2003, 20:58
[Peter]


I think you don't have to go past them on the way out.

No you don't. You can go past the two combat-bot sentries right outside the front door instead :D .

Going through the door from the room with the two combat bots, the elevator, and the bones in the corner, you come to an anteroom. Directly ahead of you is Karras's office, and there are two more combat bots right outside, pulling guard duty. They are in bright electric light (no switch that I saw) facing each other on either side the door, separated by perhaps eight feet.

If you'd prefer to sneak in between them over trying to ghost the spiders, well, you're welcome to it! :lol

Wow, you must have a heck of a lot of patience to ghost the moneybox without inviso. By that point, by the end of every mission, I'm getting restive and just want to finish out. I had those two potions sitting around, and I just thought, what the heck.

As to the bottles in the pub, as I recall your writeup, you did use invisibility there. Did you find a way to ghost them later, without inviso?

Dafydd

dafydd
11th Dec 2003, 21:02
[Peter]

This "part 5" is now longer than any of the previous parts.

Isn't it about time we tucked it into bed and started part 6?

Dafydd

Peter_Smith
12th Dec 2003, 03:21
Originally posted by dafydd
Did you find a way to ghost them later, without inviso?Evidently not. I even forgot that I wrote it up -- September, 2002 is past my memory horizon.:) You have to watch what you say around here. It may come back to haunt you.

Having read my writeup, I see that I failed to ghost the money box. I got in there with a lot of trouble, but I could not leave. I may have done it in another attempt, but we will never know. Oh well.:o The only solution is to try it again some time. :)

As for moving on to part 6, I would like to change the policy and make the threads longer. I would like to reduce the work of moving things around and making links between threads. With the old BBS we used, long threads were purported to be a problem. With VBulletin, I don't think they are. Threads with 400 posts or more are common in other places.

dafydd
12th Dec 2003, 12:41
[Peter]


As for moving on to part 6, I would like to change the policy and make the threads longer.

I prefer longer threads; it's a pain in the patootie to search every page of five different threads anyway, just to find whether anyone produced a ghost report for Flying Ferrets of Fear FM in the last two years.

Hm... I wonder if we could produce one single monster thread combining all the parts? I suppose not. I sigh wistfully.

Dafydd

dafydd
12th Dec 2003, 12:59
FM: Timoteus
File: timoteus.zip

Play mode: Ghost (failed)
Zero damage (success)
Time: 5 hr 17 min
Loot: 8292 of 8937
Pockets picked: 8 of 9 (all)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt: 0 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 3 of 4

Reasons for failure:

1) In order to get through the secret passage from the Swimming Pool Room to the Labyrinth (and the book with the combinations), I had to slash a banner.

2) In order to get the vase (per objective), I had to break the box in which it was packed.

3) In order to get into the room with the book that would tell me the members of Capitula, I had to break boards.

4) Breaking the above boards alerted the nearby patrolling guard, even though I waited until he was at his farthest point.

5) (Will this ever end?) Placing the explosive device on the floor of the cell to exit -- you have to blow out a wall... and yes, you're way ahead of me for number 6 below! -- made a noise and alerted the nearby stationary guard.

6) Blowing up half the building alerted the stationary guard standing a couple of feet away. Surprise, surprise, on the jungle cruise tonight.

Can I come up with any more? Oh, yes, I forgot:

7) Blowing up the wall blew up the wall.

8) Some insects and amoebas were probably injured in the explosion, though it didn't show up in the stats (phylum centrism! phylum centrism!)

Comments:

Amazingly, though I was buried in rubble, and it took me four and a half minutes to work my way free, I didn't suffer any damage at all in the explosion. Musta been rats, taking the brunt and shielding me from harm.

I am proud of one thing: you have to shoot a fire arrow at a statue in the Swimming Pool Room to open the secret door -- and I managed to do this without alerting the patrolling female in the next room. Calloo, callay! I timed her patrol, calculated when she was at the farthest point, and she didn't hear the fire arrow. I know this because I immediately opened the door and listened, and she was still walking normally.

It's a fun mission, but it's really not ghost-friendly. Aside from those forced busts -- at least I think they're forced -- I ghosted the rest of it... which wasn't easy, betimes, because I quickly ran myself out of water arrows and had to slide rapidly (often across tile) from one sliver of shadow to the next.

The toughest thing that I successfully ghosted was the Librarian's Key, inside the Library, on the glass floor inside the central rotunda (that's what everyone calls it). A guard patrols all around that narrow space: I had to mantle up when he was walking away, but stop on the railing... then edge forward and drop silently onto the glass floor, then back quickly into a bit of darkness at one edge. To get out, I had to run-jump-mantle up a corner, oddly enough; I couldn't do it on the flat part of the mini-wall.

One thing that annoyed me no end: I have never before seen so damn many "disappearing door" tricks in my life. I'd say about a third or a half of the doors would vanish into the Fifth Dimension when I opened them, either the first or second time. This made it doubly hard to ghost, since I had to dart into shadow every time the patrolling guard walked by in the corridor outside, since there was no door to shield me from his prying eyes!

Anyway, not a bad attempt; maybe I'll hunt through the old archives to see if anyone actually ghosted it, or at least ghosted any of the parts I couldn't.

(Just checked: Vanguard played the Polish version, and he didn't have to slash the banner... but that's because there was a master key left on an office floor; I think that key was removed in the English version -- at least, I never found it -- which means the only way to get the combination book and the Library Key (not to be confused with the Librarian's Key) is to go through the secret passage from the Swimming Pool Room... which requires slashing the banner. With a master key, you can enter the Reading Room directly, filch the Library Key from the snoozing guy, go backwards through the Labyrinth and get the book, then backtrack and exit the way you entered.)

Dafydd

Peter_Smith
13th Dec 2003, 06:15
Originally posted by dafydd
Hm... I wonder if we could produce one single monster thread combining all the parts? I suppose not. I sigh wistfully.I think not. The only way I know to combine them is to use an HTML editor and make a page that has no vBulletin functionality, such as edit or reply, and no connection to the forum data base. That is what I did to create the first two threads from the old forum in the FAQ / Archives pages. It is a lot of trouble. All the links between pages need to be reinstated manually. I only did it because the information would have been lost otherwise.

Do you know of a method to search all pages of an entire thread, and only that thread? I've been flipping through the many pages manually and searching each page using a browser search. This is no different from bringing up separate threads. Is there an easier way to search an entire thread?

Good work in Timoteus, by the way. Exactly the same experience I had, and I agree that it was a lot of fun doing it in spite of the busts. :)

dafydd
13th Dec 2003, 07:38
[Peter]


Do you know of a method to search all pages of an entire thread, and only that thread? I've been flipping through the many pages manually and searching each page using a browser search. This is no different from bringing up separate threads. Is there an easier way to search an entire thread?

Search me.

(I couldn't resist. Alas, no; if there is a way to search all pages of an entire thread in one swell foop, I don't know it.)

Dafydd

dafydd
16th Dec 2003, 23:21
FM: Garrett & the Beanstalk
File: beanstalk.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief: (failure)
Time: 2 hr 12 min
Loot: 2950 of 3150
Pockets picked: 1 of 1
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt: 0 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Killed: 0
Secrets: 2 of 4 (actually 4 of 4; two didn't report in the stats, even though I found them)

Comments:

Garrett must climb a beanstalk into a cloud, dodge cloud beasts, rob the giant's castle, steal the magic harp, and rescue the Unconscious Damsel In Distress... what could be cooler? :D

(You can even collect cloud-beast poo if you want, though I'm not sure what you're to do with it.)

You start with just a couple of vague objectives, but more get added... usually already checked off as you do various things.

Warning! One of the objectives that can land on you, to free all the giant's prisoners, is an automatic ghost buster: if you free them, they will run riot and eventually get into a melee with the giant's dwarf guards. You must not allow yourself to incur this objective. But I have no idea how it appears, or even if it ever appears on Expert. I only know about it from reading online; it never cropped up in my run, even when I experimented with releasing the prisoners. It's possible that Kfort, the author, knew it would be a ghost bust and didn't put it in as a bonus objective on Expert level; she did at least one other thing to make sure the mission would be ghostable -- see below.

There are four secrets, but some don't properly check off, especially (with one) when ghosting. There is some loot -- well, a lot of loot -- behind the banner in the main (entry) room of the castle. But you don't have to slash it, at least not on Expert (I didn't try on any other level); if you have the Giant's Amulet in your possession (see below for its location), then you can just push through it. Kfort has said that if you don't slash the banner, it will not check off as a secret found, even though you found it.

(The other secret that wouldn't check off for me is the frobbable door in one of the rafter posts in which is found a fire and a weird invisibility potion named the Giant's Amulet or somesuch, even though it's a drink-me type item. You must have this in your possession in order to push through the banner without slashing, per above.)

Most of the ghosting is pretty standard; there is one difficult spot: when you get through the secret banner into a hall lined with pedestals, you will notice a harp at the other end. You have to steal the loot from the pedestals before you go for the harp, because it will be ten times as difficult afterwards. Use your vine arrows to get high enough up to frob the loot.

When you grab the harp, which you can get by simply jumping and frobbing, you get a new (checked off) objective. But also, three floating eyeballs spawn, and I think a purple energy bolt also fires up the aisle toward the door. Get off that line immediately and into shadow and crouch; the eyeballs spawn unalerted. I had no difficulty crawling along the right-hand wall (as seen looking towards the door) all the way up to the steps; I suppose you could use either wall.

At the other end, I got a nasty surprise: when you frob the singing harp, a big, spikey set of bars lowers, blocking the door. After some skulking around, I found a lever on the left side of the doorsteps.

When you enter the giant's room (like Squire Trellaine in the old Star Trek episode "the Squire of Gothos," the giant turns out just to be a child), you will find his "pet," who turns out to be either a fairy princess (per the objective that appears) or an Unconscious Damsel In Distress (which is how she is identified when you pick her up). You have to haul her all the way back down the beanstalk.

All in all, I really enjoyed this little FM. Two thumbs up!

Dafydd

Vanguard
21st Dec 2003, 03:31
OM: The Bonehoard (Thief Gold)

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Time: 1 hr 29 min
Loot: 2350 of 2450 (2000 required)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt: 0 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
Killed: 0

Comments:

I decided to try ghosting those missions (OMs and FMs) that I've failed before, especially after seeing in the ghost rules that I could take damage as a last resort. I thought I couldn't take any so along with the ongoing review of clarifying the ghost rules in another thread, I felt like tackling some oldies. Rather than argue some more over the rules, I figured to just go ghost some of the OMs and FMs that I had failed before. I had ghosted some other FMs recently but Daffydd kept beating me to it for reporting a ghost attempt and I didn't have much, if anything, to add.

The only problem area in Bonehoard is getting past the fire dude to get the gem (forget its name). Getting past the burrick cave required getting to the exit tunnel side and hiding in shadow until eventually the 3 burricks were wandering on the other side of the cave and not in line of sight. Getting back out after getting horn requires waiting until the burricks go back to sleep and then going to the right as you reenter the cave, taking the path between the groups of burricks, and jumping just right to land on the edge of the ledge on your way out so you make no noise. But the fire dude and the enclosed zombies were the hardest to ghost.

The idea is that you light 5 torches with fire arrows but that puts lots of AIs on full alert. Old Man and maybe others had talked about stacking stuff to get to the ladder for the exit from the gem room; i.e., you go in by the exit route. I couldn't find enough stuff to stack that was quiet and wouldn't put the nearby zombies onto 2nd alert (detected by their voice change). I found barrels up above the walkway to the fire dude room. This is on the last bit where you exit to get outside (I don't remember if going all the way back to the beginning counts as exiting the mission). So I checked around for where the zombies were, pushed the barrel over, and it landed below which is the same level as the fire dude room. I checked again and even with the sound volume all the way up I could not hear that a zombie went on alert. So I ran back down, doused torches (since nudging is a slow process), and pushed the barrel into the fire dude room under the opening in the ceiling with the ladder.

I had Felix's bedroll but it was still too low to snag the ladder. I could just snag the ladder but I'd get stuck at the bottom of it (i.e., I got the ladder but could not move up). I then tried crouching, dropping, and jumping atop a skull which would land silently atop the bedroll. Still not enough height. I started to wonder what else I could stack. Another skull would make too much noise landing atop the first skull, and trying to get the bedroll to land atop a skull was possible but then any jumping atop the bedroll moved it too much and I'd fall off.

Aha! I happened to check inventory and noticed that I had 3 health potions, a speed potion, and 2 holy water vials. More than enough for stacking and these stack atop each other better than using bedrools, cheese, apples, or other irregularly shaped objects. While atop the bedroll on the barrel, the fire dude would pass me and not notice me, but atop just the barrel and he would spot me as he passed by. Yet when I got to the top of the ladder, I had to hurry to position myself at the right height to jump off onto the tunnel floor without making noise before the fire dude passed by and saw me way up there.

Now I was in the booby trapped gem room. You can jump across the pressure plates at the foot of the stairs and land on the first or second step. Every other step after that is a pressure plate. I then jumped onto the wide stone railing and went up to the gem. Indiana Jones to the rescue. I couldn't snatch the gem without its pressure plate rising to set off the traps. But a skull at the foot of the pedestal worked as a counterbalance. Drop it in, then take the gem, and the pressure plate doesn't move.

Getting out was easy. Because I positioned the barrel and stacked potions near the backside of the ladder tunnel, I could jump off the ladder to release it, hit the backwall, and fall straight down atop the stacked objects for a no-noise landing.

There'd be no way to Supreme Ghost this OM the way I played it as there would be no way to get the barrel back up where it was. Objects won't push up stairs.

I suspect the 100 in loot that I was short of the maximum amount was the gold vase in the first level room where a boulder trap triggers when you open the door to enter. The boulders hitting the floor and each other will alert the zombies so I had to skip that vase.

I did get the vase in the room with a display case and about 5 sleeping zombies in the room. One zombie will awake when you slither by but won't be on alert. I'm assuming this follows the rule/exception that says a sleeping AI popping up in bed does not count as an alert if that AI is indeed not in alert status after popping up. If that gets counted as a ghost bust, I probably had enough other loot to satisfy the loot objective, anyway.

dafydd
21st Dec 2003, 09:26
FM: The Skull of St. Yora (director's cut beta)
File: theskullofstyora-1-1-beta.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Time: 4 hr 28 min
Loot: 4030 of 5027 (4000 required)
Pockets picked: 8 of 9 (all)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments:

When Vanguard ghosted (?) this mission a while back (page 2 of this thread, I think), he seems to have collected the 400 loot from the statue on the altar in the cathdral. But you can only do this by tossing a flare at the thing, which melts it away with a poof, leaving four nuggets of gold @ 100 each.

But I think this constitutes destruction of property... so with a sigh, I kissed that 400 loot goodbye :mad: .

I found an easy way to get into the gated garden with the golf-tee torch: I jumped from the wall onto the top of the nearest tree, then slid down to the grass: zero damage, and no noise.

I would really love for Vanguard to give a clearer description of how you use eye orbs to climb... do they hover in the air, like the books in A Keeper's Betrayal?

In this new version, the dining room in St. Yora's has a newly installed lightswitch! So I made up for not getting that 400 from the statue by scooping up all the gold plates and glasses there.

Pretty much the same as Vanguard for most of the rest; little differences here and there. I exited the garden by nudging the female guard way up and into the far right corner (from her POV), so I could scale the ladder without her seeing me.

Dafydd

Vanguard
21st Dec 2003, 16:16
Dafydd,

You're right about the property damage of the statue where you can get the gold nuggets. I don't remember if those got included in the loot total; if so, I'd have to go back to find another 328 in loot to make the loot objective (I'll wait until the beta of this FM gets released, though). I don't recall the objectives, so if it wasn't listed then the nuggets from the statue were a no-no for ghosting. Sometimes I forget to go back to look at the objectives. So few FMs have maps (other than a blank one to keep the game from crashing if you look) that I've even gotten into the habit of never looking to see if I have a map.

The orbs stack just like potions or anything else you drop under your feet. Crouch, look straight down, and just after you release the object to drop it straight down then jump up to get you feet (which cannot be seen) atop the dropped object. Orbs are about as stable as stacking bedrools, potions, skulls, rib cages, and the like: you can manage to stack-jump them but only jump once, else multiple jumps atop the precarious pile will often make them fall or you slide off. As I recall, the orbs behave similar to apples. Once you drop them straight under and jump atop of them, you're really not quite on top of them. You can jump another time and get a bit more altitude as the orb creeps up a bit. It's like you really haven't gotten your feet above the orb and your jumping pushes up the orb and you move with it. However, I think about 3 times is as much as you can inch up the orb before it then falls off the stack, so do a save after jump-stacking the orb, count how many times you can jump after that to inch up the orb before it falls off, reload, and jump one less time before using another orb. I'm not guaranteeing this is the exact procedure. I'd have to go into a mission where I had multiple orbs to test it again. It's one of things that you notice a behavior when stacking and jumping that you have to practice at, or do a lot of reloads.

I consider it a quirk, like banner transmigration and nudging. I use nudging a lot. I've never been any good at banner transmigration and used it maybe twice (but have tried lots and given up). I've been more successful in bouncing off a rope arrow to land somewhere than using it for transmigration.

Zaccheus
21st Dec 2003, 20:24
Dafydd, nice work and thanks for beta testing!

The final version is now out (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=30550).
:)


Originally posted by Peter Smith
Do you know of a method to search all pages of an entire thread, and only that thread? I've been flipping through the many pages manually and searching each page using a browser search. This is no different from bringing up separate threads. Is there an easier way to search an entire thread?
I believe there is !

At the bottom of the page, click on "Show Printable Version" and then at the top right hand side click on "Show all [N] posts from this thread on one page". You can then use CTRL-F to search the whole thread.
:cool:

EDIT:
For some reason, the "show all posts" does not show all posts.
:(

dafydd
21st Dec 2003, 23:52
[Peter]

One possibility: if there is a particular thread you search often (say, this one), you can probably click on "show printable version," as Zaccheus mentioned below; then you click your insert point before the first post, use the scroll bar to scroll to the end, and shift-click after the last post on that page; this should select all the posts in between. Copy, then past this into a text editor.

Do the same with all succeeding pages, appending each one to the end of the same text file. When you finish, you will have the entire thread as a text file, which you can search later when you need to find something.

It's just a snapshot, of course; but if, for example, you did this with all the Ghost/Perfect Thief Results threads (in chronological order, I suppose), including this one, then you would only have to search that archive text file and whatever is the current page of the actual thread to find something. As new pages are added, you can just append them to the bottom of the text file, keeping it more or less up to date.

Edit: Slight modification... I just checked, and the archived threads don't allow for displaying in print mode. But no matter, the technique above works perfectly well displaying in the normal mode, too; I just made a text file of the entire part 1, and it took me only about a minute and a half. There are some indentation oddities, but it's perfectly clear where one post ends and another begins.

All of part 1 ended up being about 379K for three pages, so about 125K/page; so projecting outward, I think you could bring the entire series of five parts into a single text file around two megs in size, and it shouldn't take you longer than twenty minutes to do it.

Dafydd

dafydd
24th Dec 2003, 09:39
FM: Torner Island (English version)
File: torner.zip

Play mode: Ghost (failed)
Zero damage (success)
Time: 6 hr 3 min
Loot: 2699 of 3334 (2500 required)
Pockets picked: 3 of 8 (not all. duh.)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0 (one zombie, didn't show up in stats)
Damage dealt: 18 (the zombie)
Bodies discovered by enemies: 1 (guess who; I will explain)
Secrets: 0 of 0

Cause of failure:

- Mission requires zombie to be killed, not in objectives. The killing alerts every other zombie in the graveyard.

- Mission requires you to slash a banner (only a possible failure, see writeup), not in objectives.

- Dafydd's dorkiness required him to gas a couple of guards; but I doubt any of you could do better. A challenge!

Comments:

Let's hit on the failures first; I'm feeling gloomy anyway, so we'll get this part out of the way quickly!

In reverse order....

You must get a number of things from the house of the Master of Science (the erstwhile Brother Humbert, I think; perhaps he was thrown out of the monastery after that unfortunate incident with Lolita?) Alas, the only way to that house is through a long corridor... the front end of which is guarded by two stationary guards, one with a lantern!

This is ridiculous, like a bad parody of unghostability. He's standing facing the door; the door is locked, and you have to pick it. What's worse, it opens out -- right into you. You have to cross in front of it and pick it from that side.

You can't even sneak up behind the lantern guard to knock him out, if you're playing that way, because the other stationary guard has his back. Finally, there is a third guard, a stationary archer on the second floor of an inaccessible building, and he looks right down at door, lantern guy, and sentry, the whole kit & kabootle.

Clayman would pull the covers up. Old Man would have a seizure and plotz. Even Vanguard would scratch his head like Saddam being checked for head lice.

There ain't no way into there in ghost mode -- and I will take off my hat to anyone who can do it. I'll go put on a hat just so I can take it off to you.

I had one gas arrow from somewhere; I stood off a distance and dropped both guards with one arrow. It was a great shot; unfortunately, I had to do it again and again until lantern guy finally fell so that his lantern was below the surface of the street; otherwise, Captain Archer above me would see them lying there and become completely unhinged.

But the fun had just begun, because there was also a patroller whose route took him right past there... and even with the lantern buried, there was just enough ambient light for him to see the bodies and begin yelling about murder (or maybe it was Mordor; I couldn't quite tell). So I had to hide the bodies.

But this raised a new problem: as soon as I picked up lantern guy, his lantern would become visible and begin shining its revealing light of wisdom all over me, lighting me up like the Fourth of July. I solved the prob by creeping towards the body, snatching it, and backpedalling immediately under the overhang, so the archer had no line of sight to me; all I got was a first alert. I hotfooted it down a street that I knew was deserted, dumping the body there. Then I ran back to grab the other sentry, since there was still enough ambient light (coming from nowhere now) that I might get busted. I hauled the other body into the corridor, dumping it where it would be sure to get in my way every time I tramped up and down that stupid tunnel (which was about thirty times, it seemed like).

One failure down; two to go.

The second one was moving from the corridor in the monastery patrolled by the haunts to the corridor patrolled by a single zombie. There was the remains of a shredded banner blocking the route... but even though there was nothing but a few dangling threads, it acted just like a full-blown banner and wouldn't let me pass. I had to slash it.

But is this really property damage? It was already ripped to shreds. It makes little difference, since the third failure is absolutely unavoidable.

This is the biggie: you need the Scepter of Might (it's an objective). The scepter is hidden inside a panel in the old chapel (patrolled by two ghosts). The panel only opens when you read a certain book. Book is in safe. Safe requires combination. Combination buried with brother selected to be fly-ridden, zombie sentinel. (You following this?) Brother said combination only revealed over his dead body.

Therefore, you must kill a zombie to spawn the scroll to read the combination to open the safe to read the book to open the panel to grab the scepter that lived in the house that Haman built. Alas, ain't nothing about killing zombies in the objectives. So we're all screwed.

Especially so, since both holy-water arrows and fire arrows alerted every other zombie in the joint. That was the one body "discovered by enemies," by the way. See? I told you I would tell you.

But aside from these failures, the ghost was a complete success! I know it sounds ludicrous, but it was actually quite an achievement. I ghosted the big spiders in the Mute Eye altar room. I ghosted the Master of Science's house -- there is a scripted zombie destruction, but it's a direct result of something that is an objective, bringing Dolly back to the child who was zombified. I ghosted the factory, which was actually a pretty studly feat.

First, the factory. After entering, I saw something I've never seen before: an AI walked over onto the elevator, pushed the button, and rode it up to another level! Dang, that's cool.

Anyway, I had heard in an argument between him and another guard that there was an office upstairs; I figured it would probably be the top floor, so I rang for the lift and punched the top button. As I rode up, I received a first alert from one of the guards on the intervening floors, but nothing worse. After some fumfahing around (I had to consult the two Torner threads on TtLG several times), I found a switch that promised to open a trap door underneath the bottom of the elevator.

Alas, when I crept all the way around the metal catwalks, drawing several firsts but nothing worse, and took the elevator down again, that guard who had clucked at me on the way up went into full search mode ("I'll find you!") when I went down. I tried every corner of the elevator and just could not find a spot that wasn't lit up enough for me to be spotted every time. I had to find another route down.

The metal catwalks followed the inside perimeter of the building, one for each floor. In addition were two shafts that rose from floor to ceiling; approximately the same level as the floors were small metal catwalks around the shafts, along with little metal bridges connecting the perimeter catwalks to the circular ones.

Three guards: two stationary (archer and swordsman) and one patrolling sword guy.

I crept down onto the top level of the circular catwalk that was farthest from the stationary archer on the top floor. I drew a first alert before sliding into deep shadow. Then, angling myself as much as I could to keep the shaft between me and the archer, while still aiming close enough I could make it to the perimeter catwalk next floor down, I crouch-ran off the circular walk, just catching the edge of the catwalk below. I discovered that if I just caught the edge, I didn't make any sound landing... so long as I didn't take even one step past that landing!

I was in rotten shadow here, so I held my breath while the patroller passed beneath me, but he didn't notice anything.

I then repeated the trick to drop down to the next circular catwalk a floor below, running off to just hit the edge of the walk and STOP. (The "Garrett bounce" busted me many times.) Finally, I did it a last time to drop to the "floor," which was actually one floor above where I entered. I carefully crawled to the elevator shaft, then crouch-ran through it to drop to the basement level, where I'd entered. From there, I was able to hop onto the ladder down the secret passage to the lava pits. Whew!

I had no difficulty with the run-of-the-tomb haunts or the blind and deaf ghosts in the big chapel; the only time I attracted their attention was when I would run a little too close... Garrett's stilletto heels on the tile floor woke them up, and they shot magic missiles (reload! reload!).

But I did have a bit of a time ghosting the spiders in the altar room. You teleport there after dropping a hunk of masonry on a pressure plate on the altar of the little chapel. The room is very brightly lit, and there are about four or five big spiders in there. They notice you after a moment, then they alert, then they charge; you end up running around in circles, flapping your arms and squawking like a chicken.

I dropped the stone, then immediately I arrived, I gulped the only invisibility potion I had. I got a single first-alert chirp from one of the spiders, then he gave his "all okay" rumble. I ran to the altar, frantically flipping through my inventory for the Mute Eye, used it on the altar (opening the escape hatch); then I ran (one more first-alert chirp) and dropped down, just as the inviso wore off. (A couple of times I tried to scoop up some of the equipment littering the floor there, but I could never make it to the hole in time not to be spotted when I did that.)

Once you have done that, you are dubbed an "adept" of the Brotherhood of the Gobbledygook, and you can now read the book in the library safe (before it just snarled at you and said it was for adepts only). When you read the book, that opens the panel at the back of the altar in the big chapel, where you can take the fiercly glowing version of Lord Bafford's scepter, which is the Scepter of Might in this FM. Only one slight difficulty: as soon as you pick it up, you light up like Rudolph's nose (or my Uncle Isaac's nose when he's been at the kosher Manischewitz). This is true whether it's top in your inventory or buried. Since you have to carry it with you to find the item required by the last objective, the Mask of the Nameless (I guess Haman was scraping the bottom of the creativity bucket by then), you can forget hiding in shadows: the only way to ghost the last bit is to hide by distance.

I discovered that haunts spot you a mile away; spiders can see you move and will chirp; zombies can walk right past you about ten feet distant and only grumble; and the ghosts in the big chapel wouldn't notice the test explosion at Alamogordo.

But I actually managed to ghost this part as well... albeit I had to creep very slowly in the graveyard towards the escape tunnel; the stationary zombie archer (fires poison-gas arrows) was very hinky and would alert at any fast movement. But if I moved slowly, he would look right through me as if I weren't there.

And down, through, and out.

Plenty of room for improvement... but if anyone here can actually ghost it -- or even just ghost the lantern guard -- I'll eat my... well, my lunch.

Dafydd

Old Man
24th Dec 2003, 14:40
Actually, when I noticed that that lantern archer patrol settled in for the duration just outside the door to the tunnel to the Minister of Science's house I reloaded and timed things so if I lured the two zombies out of the graveyard peephole room they'd mug him. From then on no problemo!

Thanks for the Christmas present, dafydd. Went just right with my morning coffee.

dafydd
24th Dec 2003, 21:18
[Old Man]

An amusing approach (and dirty pool... using an FM's own monsters against each other!), but just as big a bustier as what I did :D .

Note that all it would have taken to make this a possibly ghostable FM would have been to make that lantern guard a patroller; to have appear as an objective something like "do whatever you must to get the combination," and to make one spot in the zombie's patrol where the other zombies wouldn't hear it being killed; and make it possible to wriggle through that rended tapistry without having to slash it further... none of which would even be noticed by other players except the first -- which would have made play easier at the door but harder elsewhere to make up for it.

It's one thing to say, quite properly, that authors shouldn't deliberately design their missions to be ghostable; this leads to missions where ghosting is too easy. But it's another to say, also properly, in my damn opinion, that authors shouldn't deliberately put forced busts into their missions so as to make bloody sure nobody can possibly ghost them, regardless of skill, luck, or daring.

Dafydd

dafydd
29th Dec 2003, 13:37
[Folks]

According to Oneiroscope, if you approach the lantern guy for the first time coming from the graveyard, he will have a conversation with the other guard, and then lanternhead will go on patrol.

It doesn't work if you approach him prior to visiting the graveyard. I don't recall whether this makes any sense -- whether you can get into the graveyard before getting into the Master of Science's house... but if you're just starting to play, it's something to try!

Dafydd

dafydd
29th Dec 2003, 13:44
FM: Hedgerows&Hammerite's (yes, I know the apostrophe is wrong)
File: hedham.zip

Play mode: Ghost (failed)
Zero damage (success)
Max loot (success)
Time: 1 hr 17 min
Loot: 4185 of 4185
Pockets picked: 0 of 1 (all, I think)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0 Damage dealt: 0 Bodies discovered by enemies: 0
Secrets: 1 of 1

Cause of failure:

- In order to enter the crypt, where lurks the gem you must steal and much of the loot required, you must shoot a fire arrow at a red cross inside a tomb. The tomb door is unfrobbably open. I was unable to shoot the fire arrow without alerting one of the guards in the hedge maze above and a haunt in the crypt below. I tried about a dozen times, but if there is a "sweet spot" where they won't hear, I sure couldn't find it.

Comments:

One of the entries in a Komag contest.

I had to get some help on one of the puzzles, the combo-lock, by reading one of the threads on TtLG.

Fun little mission. Small, as you can guess, considering it's origin ;) .

Dafydd

Old Man
29th Dec 2003, 14:15
The first time I did this I did approach from the pair of zombies and heard the converstation. However, he only seemed to make his patrol one time. Then he settled in the same spot. Just as bad. And I don't think there's time to get the Eye and later to return with the Doll before he finishes his patrol either.

dafydd
29th Dec 2003, 21:07
[Old Man]

Well technically, since the dollie quest is optional (you don't even need to trigger it), this might still eliminate one bust IF you can get the eye and split before he returns.

But it really doesn't matter, because I don't think there is any way around either slashing the banner or killing the zombie and alerting the other zombies. Three strikes, we're out!

Dafydd

dafydd
30th Dec 2003, 21:53
FM: Collector's Greed
File: CGreed.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (success - amended)
Time: 2 hr 23 min (amended)
Loot: 1410 of 1410 (amended)
Pockets picked: 2 of 4 (all)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0 Damage dealt: 0 Bodies discovered by enemies: 0
Secrets: 4 of 4

Comments:

Note: There are only two possible pickpockets (arrows from archers each); one pick is a scroll from a dead thief, but he's dead when the game starts. /Note

Another cute, little FM. There are a few obscure objectives, but nothing related to ghosting.

I will note that the "well secret" can be gotten in ghost, but not taken advantage of easily. (Geez, Dafydd, could you possibly be any more obscure? --James Joyce)

What I mean is that you can get the secret to chime by punching the correct combination into the keypad in the Master's house; but if you actually try to follow the secret -- it opens the manhole cover in the well in front of the house -- you will make a splash loud enough to alert the nearby guards. But since there is no loot or powerups down there, and you have to burn a couple of invisibility potions getting in and out, there is no reason to bother. Save your game and take a look; there's a semi-interesting little show. But then you can just reload and continue on.

For the basketball secret, the one that you have to shoot through the hoop (or really, just a rim-shot that rolls off is sufficient) is the one with the name "BasketBall," rather than "Basketball." That is, look for the second B to be capitalized. For me, it was the leftmost ball on the lower shelf, but it appears to have been different for Deadfall.

I was able to get into everywhere I found without any serious difficulty, so there's little to say in a ghost report. I'll go look at the earlier reports to see if there is any section that I missed... perhaps where the missing 50 loot is, eh? :confused:

Edit: By the way: Deadfall stacked crates to get into the part of the warehouse where you find the "objective crate" of basketballs. But I think it's easier to use the Nightwalker method: shoot the vine arrow (you must buy the wine arrow at loadout) into the open window opposite the back of the warehouse, where the secret door opens; climb the vine, frob the purse through the window, then keep climbing as high as you can; jump from the vine to the top of the middle tree, and you can just mantle up. Later, when you exit (which is easier), return, climb the vine, and you can snatch the arrow back and fall without damage.

(The objective crate looks just like a regular crate, but when you pick it up, the caption thingie says "3451;" you have to carry the crate all the way to the gym in the boarding house where you start. If you leave it just outside the gym, then you can run around trying to get secrets and such without the game ending; return and carry it inside to check that objective off, then exit the gym into the hallway to end the game.) /Edit

In the kitchen of the Master's house, I had to nudge the scullery maid a little way away from the sink so I could frob the glasses and gold plates soaking in the water. Other than that, no abuses of the Dark engine.

Edit: Arrgh! I just read Deadfall's ghost report, and it seems I missed one of the plates in the sink... there are three, not two. If that plate is 50, that would give me Perfect Thief. I think I'll actually go back and take a look. Aha, that was it! I went back up and corrected my stats above... my third Perfect Thief, though of course it depended upon reading Deadfall's report and noticing that I had missed a plate./Edit

Dafydd

dafydd
2nd Jan 2004, 01:00
FM: Deep Trouble
File: DeepT.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (success)
Time: 2 hr 0 min
Loot: 1365 of 1365
Pockets picked: 2 of 9 (9?!)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0 Damage dealt: 0 Bodies discovered by enemies: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments:

Another cramped, underwater submarine mission from John D.

There is nothing particularly noteworthy about the ghosting of this mission; straightforward sneaking. Many of the floors that look like loud metal are in fact silent... take a couple of steps and find out!

Beware... in every doorhatch is a metal jamb, and if you just walk through it, it will make a loud clunk.

The real difficulty here is finding enough loot. You need a total of 1200 to clear the objective... but there is only 1365 in the entire mission; you must capture 88% just to finish.

The 215 loot on the second sub, the Cetis Amicus (or whatever it's called) is all easy to spot, and it's all on the first floor where you teleport in (with appropriate Star Trek sounds :D ) -- a purse, a statue in the left cargo container between the two doors, and a gold vase in the last room patrolled by the guard.

But you must get at least 985 in the Silverfish or Swordfish (whatever), the first sub, in order to make it. As you cannot teleport back, you shouldn't leave until you have at least this much (the max is 1150 on the Swordfish).

Two tough pieces of loot that I only found after long hunting are (1) a ring in the shower drain of one of the barracks bathrooms, and (2) on the highest level, where the teleporter is, in the cargo hold patrolled by a female guard, there are a pair of toolboxes in the shadows atop a large, mantleable box. As they contain 170 all by themselves, you cannot finish the game without looting them.

By the way... NINE picks? Nine picks my Aunt Nellie.

Anyway, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it. (Did I just say that a few weeks ago?)

Dafydd

dafydd
3rd Jan 2004, 08:08
FM: JustTakeALook
File: JustTakeALook.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (fail, but close!)
Time: 1 hr 58 min
Loot: 3489 of 3639 (3000 required)
Pockets picked: 5 of 7
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0 Damage dealt: 0
Bodies discovered by enemies: 0
Secrets: 9 of 9

Comments:

In the basement guard barracks, you must get the three water arrows (one of the chests) and the invisibility potion (secret switch in the right back beam). The left back chest contains a stupid Mechanist mace that you have to take far away to dump, so as not to awaken the sleepers.

The first time I played this mission, I missed those other arrows and the potion. Naturally, I ran out of water arrows. I had to shift to blackjack mode just to finish... so this successful ghosting was my second time through.

There are three secrets in the basement -- in the guard barracks, a purse in the rafters of the small corridor between the main corridor and the corridor with the freezer (behind a barrel), and a frobbable torch that lowers one of the two stairways up -- and six in the rooms upstairs: two in the master bedroom, two in the living room suite, and two in the library office behind the gear lock (the gear is in the master bedroom).

There are four big caches of loot in this mission; you might be able to do without one of them (the wet bar), but you definitely need to get each of the other three... as I think each has more than 639 loot each, so missing a single one means you don't finish!

One, the living room, is quite easy; but I had to expend four water arrows to sufficiently darken the room. Once I had done so, it's just everyday sneaking. The secret door opened by the coathook contains the biggest bunch of goodies, but there is also a money cache in the gambling room (secret switch below table in front of the dart board), and a couple of rooms have gold wine bottles and crystal glasses.

Note: The next three are brutally hard to sneak... have fun!

Third hardest is the dining room... ornate plates, gold wine goblets, and a couple of candlesticks. It's illuminated by four lantern-torches, and there are two more outside the dining-room doors on the marble staircase leading to the ballroom. Outside the opposite doors of the dining room is a bright electric light, for which I could not find a switch.

Inside is a guard and a servant girl. Both were very, very hinky; I put out the lights illuminating the marble stairs, got to the center (where the patrolling guard wouldn't bump into me), and opened the dining-room doors from complete darkness... and they still spooked! Evidently, the girl had been first-alerted by me putting out the lantern-torches (outside a closed door!); opening the door was one scare too many, and she started searching, which upset the guard.

I reloaded. This time, I sat there and waited, listening until I heard the girl resume humming. When I opened the doors, she only first alerted... but again, I had to wait about two minutes before she and the guard climbed down enough for me to put out some lights.

I discovered that you can get way to the sides and just barely see enough of the near-side lantern-torches to put them out. I shot so that the water arrow just barely nicked the edge of the light, but it was enough (any tighter, and I would hit the edge of the open door). After each water shot, I had to sit and wait until they relaxed again. I took out the two near-side torches, then the two far-side torches, plunging the dining room into total darkness. Total expenditure: six water arrows.

I looted the joint, not forgetting to get the blue gems on the walls; it came to something like 700 loot or so.

The second hardest cache was also the smallest, I believe: behind the wet bar are a bunch of crystal glasses and three gold wine bottles. As you're standing on the marble stairs looking at the dining room, the wet bar is to the left, through a corner of the kitchen, then left through an anteroom to the room behind the bar. There is a bartender in there with really, really good peripheral vision.

I put out the torch just up and to the right of the doorway from the marble halls, inside the kitchen. This gave me just enough darkness to slither past the mechanical servant into the anteroom before the bar. The bartender occasionally turns to look towards the kitchen; forewarned is forearmed (and four-armed is usually a minor Hindu deity). I tried darting past him while crouched, but that left me visible to the woman in the ballroom; while I was looting the glasses, I turned around and saw her searching her way right into the bar!

I tried again, but this time, I stood and ran. I was just as visible but for a shorter period of time, and she didn't get beyond a first alert. I scooped up all the glasses and the bottles, then got out the same way. I don't know for sure, but it's probably three or four hundred in loot and one water arrow expended.

Now we come to the big enchilada: getting into -- and out from -- the library office.

The library is at one end of the main corridor upstairs; the office is in the back of the library, to the left, behind a head-high bookcase. There is a Mechanist guard and a Mechanist priest back in that section; as I entered, they began talking, explaining why Karras had sent the mechanical servants to the nobles... and incidentally, checking off my only other major objective besides loot.

But alas, they don't go patrolling; they stand right there, way totally in the way. I turned off the lights using the switches in the entryway; but two electric lights remained on, one at each end of the central bookcase. This provided sufficient light to make it super difficult to sneak a few inches away from the Mechanists.

I had one invisibility potion from the secret stash in the basement guard barracks. I gulped it, whipped past them, opened the gear lock, and high-tailed it inside the office before the potion wore off.

Inside is a secret switch in one of the model-train cases that opens a secret room; inside the secret room is a book that claims to be very valuable (but which I couldn't steal) and a secret book-switch that opens the vault. Inside the vault, I found a bunch of labeled cubbyholes containing loot of various types (purses, stacks, coins). Total loot for the office, including the spectacles on the desk, was 698.

Note: Note well that number, 698. If you skip the library office, your maximum loot is 2941... 59 short of what you need to complete the mission. You must loot the office!

All was well; all was good. I had plenty of loot now... but how the heck was I going to get out again? I didn't have any more inviso potions!

I used my gas arrow to knock out the two Mechanists, so I could plot and test various theories. First I turned on all the lights in the library and the office, then hunted all over looking for a switch to turn off the offending lights. No luck; if there is a switch for them, boy is it well hidden!

Then I tried various combinations of mantling over the bookcase or using a rope arrow; but everything left me fairly brightly illuminated for a few moments... and I already knew from before that the Mechs had itchy trigger fingers -- they would go into search mode at any bright green in the light gem.

Finally, I found a course to follow from the gear-lock door that would keep me in shadow except for one tiny moment... so I took a deep breath and reloaded from before the gas arrow.

I exited the office and cut immediately left to the wall. I got a squawk, so I sat there in shadow until they started doing the Mechanist Mumble again. I crept along the left wall until I was about two feet from the end of the shadow (it's pretty obvious). Then I turned about forty-five degrees to the right, angling towards the left side of the desk against the central bookcase.

Once there, I crept forward, around the potted-plant table. I flashed for a moment, drawing a critical comment; again, I sat tight for a couple of minutes until they started humming again. Then I rotated to point towards the gap in the central bookcase and saved.

I knew from my rehearsals that I would get one bright flash, followed by total darkness. So I tried crouch-running through it -- but I got nabbed.

Take two: this time, remembering my fiasco in the wet bar, I stood and ran... about two feet! I dropped immediately into a crouch. Despite being just inches from the Mechs when I bolted, I actually got through with nothing more than a pair of "didst thou see what I saw, friend?"-ish comments. I shivered in the darkness, close enough to have leaned and blackjacked them both, if that were my game. A minute... another minute... then -- "'twas just the moss in mine eyes," "the drums in mine ears do pound mightily."

Home free!

I slunk to the right, around the bookcase, remaining in darkness, then crawled to the doorway and exited.

There are some other pieces of loot here and there, but the rest of this report is left as an exercise for the alert reader.

Dafydd

dafydd
4th Jan 2004, 22:36
FM: JailBreak: I Got To Be Free
File: JailBreak-3.0.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (success)
Time: 2 hr 17 min
Loot: 545 of 545 (none required)
Pockets picked: 7 of 8 (all)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0 Damage dealt: 0
Bodies discovered by enemies: 0
Secrets: 7 of 7

Comments:

This is the upgraded version 3.0.

There are a number of odd errors in this FM; I don't know whether they were always there or got added by the upgrading process.

Errors:

First, one of the objectives, "When all of your other objectives are accomplished, get out of prison alive," is repeated in the objective list; but when you initially start the game, the bottommost objective is given as "As much as you dislike the mechanists, you are trying to stay OUT of trouble, not get into it. Don't kill anyone."

In fact, the last objective is actually not to kill anyone; if you kill, you fail the mission (on Expert). But when starting a new game is the only time you see it; all subsequent viewings, both by clicking Objectives on the menu and also whenever you reload, have the repeated "escape" objective. It doesn't matter to ghosters, since we can't kill anyone anyway; but someone simply playing on Expert may be fooled by a hidden objective.

Second, I have been told that you can sometimes "reuse" water arrows after they have actually splashed out a torch. I'm not sure what that reporter meant by that, and I didn't see anything untoward. Of course, I wasn't looking, either.

Third, one of the pieces of loot, a gold mask (when did I get that?), doesn't simply add into the normal loot total on the items list. Instead, it creates its own loot listing of 50 goods. Fortunately, the stats screen at the end adds the two loot totals together; so if you finish with 495 in the main loot listing and this 50, you are shown as having scored 545, the maximum.

Fourth, one of the keys is misleadingly labeled the "Shrine Key," when it is in fact the Safe Key; the Shrine Key is inside the safe, but it has no label, just the number 1 in the upper right, indicating there is one of it.

Fifth, one of the torches, the one on the right side of the exit gate, seemingly continues to burn when you put it out... but the area still darkens anyway. After you water it, it looks like it's still burning, but it casts no light.

Sixth, one of the cell blocks has the wrong label on the metal plaque outside it... I think block 6 is labeled 7.

Seventh, not so much an error as an anomaly: in the shrine, where reposes the silver gear awarded to Truart by Karras (one of the objectives is to steal this gear), there is also a bronze gear and a metal gear, both of which you can take. They seem to have no function, however, neither as keys nor as loot.

The actual ghosting is straightforward sneaking; no abuse of the Dark Engine required. But some of the areas are very challenging, and it's well worth playing in ghost mode. There are many secret passages -- I think five of the seven secrets are doors in the wall that allow you to move from one cell block to another without traversing the crowded corridors; one lets you into the sewer (I recall), and the last is the passage right across the hall from where you start, leading to the shrine, but which I could not access until I had been all the way up in Sheriff Truart's office to get the _____ key from the safe.

Note 1: Check the note in the trash can in your cell when you start; it gives you a map, which is very helpful! Note well what those trash cans look like: every secret passage is marked by such a can in the cell: if you see a big, gray trash can, then that cell has a secret passage.

I was able to get up to both the second and the top levels via secret passages, so it pays to find them all :D .

Note 2: Most of the time, you cannot escape detection by crouching along the wall in a corridor as someone passes, even in total darkness; they're close enough that they see you anyway (as does the one combat bot).

I scooped up several water arrows down in the sewers, but I couldn't escape that way. I also found water arrows in some of the water troughs in each cell block. I ended up using them all, along with all the moss arrows, which I found here and there (mostly in secret passages).

The entire upper floor is marble, so beware. There are two tricky hiding places for us ghosters: first, the office key is in the top-level (ground level) guard station, behind the leftmost banner; second, the jeweled sword (objective) and the Shrine Key (really the key to the safe) are behind the rear banner in Truart's office. All three items can be frobbed through the banners without slashing, fortunately; but I had to knock out every torch in the area of the upper guard station.

Oddly, when I shot out the guard-station torch from far away, I got the guards searching... but when I did it from just a few feet away, peeking around a corner, they grumbled but stood pat. Go figure!

I had one lockpick (silver) when I started, and I never found the other; but since I got all the loot and all the secrets, I suppose it's simply not in the game.

Again, a great mission to ghost, though the architecture is pretty dull... but of course, you wouldn't expect an underground prison to be designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, right?

Dafydd

dafydd
8th Jan 2004, 08:07
FM: Swamped
File: swampedv1.1.zip

Play mode: Ghost (failure)
Zero damage (success)
Time: 3 hr 21 min
Loot: 1255 of 1480 (none required; the real maximum loot is 1380, see below)
Pockets picked: 0 of 1 (all)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0 Damage dealt: 0
Bodies discovered by enemies: 0
Secrets: 2 of 2

Reason for failure:

- Alerted the spider in the tunnel through the Keeper's hut.

Comments:

Although the stats page says 1480 loot, 100 is unfrobbable: the author (Sharga) says he forgot to zero-out the 100 value of a giant-sized ruby that is, in fact, not frobbable. So if you ghost with 1380, you're perfect (so don't change!)

I actually "piecemeal" ghosted this mission: I had to pass the spider to get into the next area, but there is no way to get around him without alerting him... a proximity fuse or somesuch.

However, later, after getting the emerald from the Crayman's tree-village, I climbed the rafters and picked up a invisibility potion.

I made a point of returning to the spider in the tunnel, mossed the ground, quaffed the potion, and sped right past him to the ladder without an alert.

So it is certainly possible to ghost this mission: just be sure you get the emerald before you pass through the tunnel from the secret door in the Keeper's hut!

Note that in the abandoned village, the houses that you enter that don't already have undead will spawn undead after you enter... so plan another route out or simply skip them; most have nothing of any value.

Inside one house, in the back "room" (it's really a roofless stone enclosure next to the house), is a chair-shaped stone. Standing on this will open the doorway back north by the well, which leads to a secret, a tiny bit of loot, and an Easter egg. But entering the annex with the stone chair spawns a zombie at the entrance to the house... which also happens to be the only exit. (You can't vine-arrow up and over the wall because it's stone.)

I went and got a piece of the shattered statue by the well and tossed it through the window onto the stone chair; it worked, but the noise alerted a nearby zombie who had spawned when I passed through a different house.

I finally had to waste one of my three moss arrows mossing the stone chair so I could throw the hunk of statuary onto it and get the Easter egg (and the gold bottle).

In the room with the Crayman ghost -- you'll see what I mean -- in the Craymen's tree-village (I thought only apebeasts lived in trees!), where you get the emerald (per objective), there is a fire-arrow trap near the big face; keep away from it.

After I nabbed the emerald, I looked into the rafters and thought I saw something up there. After some taffing around, I figured out to shoot a vine arrow into the roof, near enough to the beam that I could leap there. Since the roof is high, I had to experiment with different places to put the arrow. I finally settled on the near-right corner, as seen from the door (to the ghost's left, in other words), shooting while standing between plinth and pillar (sounds like a history textbook, doesn't it? America, Standing Between Plinth and Pillar!) I was up on an elevated area, and the vine dangled down just long enough that I could run-jump and grab it. (I've heard you can plant another arrow in the wall and climb up that way.)

I took the vine arrow back down, but I could have just quaffed the slow-fall potion I found up there (along with an invisibility potion, mentioned earlier, and some capopic jars), since I never found any other use for it.

According to the mission author, there is no loot in the water! So there's no reason to look.

In one section, there are a lot of frogbeasts. Earlier, several of them killed a Crayman (it had nothing to do with me; their patrol paths cross), so I was nervous around them. But either the frogbeasts never saw me, despite literally bumping into me a few times, or else they're friendly little frogbeasts who like humans, because they never even seemed to notice I was there.

I have also heard that if you're loud near the "frozen" treebeasts, you can wake them up; but I was ghosting, so they stayed put.

Not much else to say about this. I count this as a bust because of the spider; but if I had done things in a different order (emerald first), I could easily have ghosted it. So it's not worth redoing, I guess.

Anyway, quite a fun little FM. Two Crayman claws up!

Dafydd

dafydd
9th Jan 2004, 04:06
FM: Unfortunate Formulae
File: Uf.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (failure)
Time: 0 hr 50 min
Loot: 905 of 920 (850 required)
Pockets picked: 2 of 3 (all)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0 Damage dealt: 0
Bodies discovered by enemies: 0
Secrets: 3 of 3

Comments:

None.

Dafydd

dafydd
10th Jan 2004, 10:48
FM: Retrieval of the Soul
File: retrievalotsoul.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (failure - see below)
Time: 3 hr 12 min
Loot: 1300 of 1400 (1250 required)
Pockets picked: 25 of 29
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0 Damage dealt: 0
Bodies discovered by enemies: 0
Secrets: 3 of 5

Comments:

It's not possible to get Perfect Thief, because 75 loot is inside one of the secrets -- which lies behind a board you have to break. So actually, I got four of five secrets and 1375 of 1400 loot... but I couldn't keep one secret and 75 loot and still achieve ghost.

Note: For three of the four secrets (or two of the three I could use, since I couldn't use #4), everything but the rope arrow stuck in the ceiling by the attic entrance, I had a vague description of the general area they were to be found; but within that area, I found them without explicit directions. In any event, none of them involved any loot except the fourth, whose 75 is not included in my total. So I don't suppose this makes much difference. I wonder why I even bothered mentioning it? Old Hyper-Honest, that's I.

From the entranceway, the quickest way into the mansion is down the hatch into the basement, just to your left, in an alcove branching left from the path. But it's worth traveling all around the mansion to the right before taking the plunge, as I recall there is some loot and equipment.

Once down into the basement, I hooked right into one of the storerooms; behind some boxes was a watery hole in the floor in which I found find water arrows (surprise, surprise, on the Jungle Cruise tonight) and also some loot, I think. A vine-rope stretched almost into the water; but to get out again, I had to climb another one down there and jump to the one that goes back up the hole. I found luck starting from almost water level to leap to the exit vine... your mileage may vary.

There are actually two secrets in the basement, though ghosters must forego one of them. On a non-ghosting detour, I used a fire arrow (from the storeroom near the barracks up the stairs from the basement) to blow up the boards blocking one of the doorways, then used the red key to open the door. I climbed down to a spider room, thence to a crypt with a zombie and a wall safe with 75 loot.

The secret available to us weirdoes is in the electrical room (marked on the map): look for a hidden cache of flashbombs (big whoop -- can't use those either!)

Warning! This is the author's first mission, and he made a classic newbie mistake: quite a few chests, including some you have to pick to open, contain either nothing, or worse, a heavy frying pan or hammer, forcing you to find some bed or something to drop it on... if you can! I found it very tiresome and unnecessary... since there is no way to deduce which will contain real goodies without opening them.

There are two ways out of the basement into the house proper, fulfilling one of the objectives: at the end of the patrolled passageway is a door that leads to a stairway up to the barracks; and through the room with the guard standing dead center is a hallway that leads to a ladder up into the kitchen. I picked the former. I had to skulk around a bit on each of the two floors before I got to the meat, the third floor, where you find the Mystic's Soul gem (in a safe in the attic). There are a lot of patrols; oddly, I found the best tactic to hide in a good shadow, wait for a patroller to pass by, then either run hard the other direction or else lope right behind him... there isn't enough shadow coverage to slide gracefully from darkness to darkness.

Nearly every patroller seemed to have something to pick, sometimes (with archers) both an arrow and a purse. There are 29 picks (probably 28, actually), but I only found 25 of them. I can't imagine where the others are. (Actually, there is a dead body in the forbidden secret, and it has a key on it... could that be one of the "picks?")

The second (or third, for non-ghosters) secret is in the first-floor (ground floor) pool/fountain area, up in the rafters (a speed potion). The only thing I found in the fountain was a water arrow, and my splashing around attracted attention, so I just reloaded.

There is a lot of loot on the second floor, but I had a heck of a time swerving in and out of all the patrols, often two different patrollers with two different schedules, but with significant portions of the routes overlapping or interweaving. I really had to be careful to fix a dark spot in advance (by using my telescopic eye), timing the patrollers -- sometimes literally, with my watch -- then running like a thief. Um, you know what I mean!

There are four switches on the second floor, on either side the stairs down; I flipped them, but I have no idea what they do. There is also a switch in the chapel (with two purses to pick), which I also flipped. On the altar is a stone hammer: it doesn't go into inventory, just a holdable (like a shovel); and when you pick it up, the altar rises and the alarm sounds. Somebody else put an unconscious body on the altar, then picked the stone hammer; the alarm didn't go off, but there seems to be no use for the stupid hammer anyway... another annoying trick played by the author. Why set up thieving situations that require elaborate work, only to have no payoff? I was really getting aggravated: maybe he thinks he's being clever, but he's just being annoying.

Up on the third floor, in the Sergeant's Quarters, there is a switch labeled "Alarm Enable," or somesuch; I flipped it to off, but when I went back down and tried the stone hammer in the chapel again, the alarm went off just the same.

The third (fourth) secret is in the third-floor corridor below the attic: a rope arrow stuck into the ceiling. At least it was something I could use!

The final secret is probably up in the attic: on the left wall of the safe room (where you get the Mystic's Soul) is an obvious secret door. But neither I nor anyone else posting so far has figured out how to open this door.

The attic is odd. As I looked into the room with the safe, I saw three turrets: I squeezed into the room on the far left of the doorway (to investigate the secret door), and the turrets refused to react to me, even when I started strolling around the joint as if I owned it. I stood in full light, picking the safe, and they had no reaction. But later, when I tried going in from the right, the turrets opened up -- and when I ventured too close to one of them, despite being in total darkness, I was blasted to smithereens. Moral: stick to the left!

I stepped on each of the touchplates, but other than affecting the lighting, I couldn't figure out what they were supposed to do.

There are really only three objectives: break in, steal the Mystic's Soul diamond, and get 1250 loot; the rest are standard stuff limiting knockouts and kills. So most of the mission was just a loot hunt for me. When I got the required amount, I headed back down, picked up a couple of purses I had missed on the way up, and headed back out to the front gates, completing the mission.

All in all, quite good, especially for a first FM by this author. Too much cuteness with all the "loot traps" (things that ought to be loot but aren't), including nearly all the crystal dishes and goblets in the dining room, which are as worthless as those blue vases you find everywhere; the author seems to think he has to toy with the players. But setting this aside, the rest of the mission is well worth a ghost.

Dafydd

uncadonego
11th Jan 2004, 21:16
The only way to have that door open is to meet four preset gameplay requirements, and then the last secret is in there. There is no loot behind that door however. I would say that this one is more of an Easter Egg than a normal everyday "Found Secret", but that is the way the author set it up. If you were playing the style you normally enjoy playing dafydd, then you would have the best chance of finding that door open, but it is a very strict set of requirements, even for ghosters.

Zaccheus
11th Jan 2004, 23:12
Originally posted by dafydd
FM: JailBreak: I Got To Be Free

[..]

Errors:

First, one of the objectives, "When all of your other objectives are accomplished, get out of prison alive," is repeated in the objective list; but when you initially start the game, the bottommost objective is given as "As much as you dislike the mechanists, you are trying to stay OUT of trouble, not get into it. Don't kill anyone."

In fact, the last objective is actually not to kill anyone; if you kill, you fail the mission (on Expert). But when starting a new game is the only time you see it; all subsequent viewings, both by clicking Objectives on the menu and also whenever you reload, have the repeated "escape" objective. It doesn't matter to ghosters, since we can't kill anyone anyway; but someone simply playing on Expert may be fooled by a hidden objective.

If you look at intrface/missXX/goals.str, I bet that the 'no kill' is labled "fiction" and the redundant 'escape' is labled "text" for the same goal number.

dafydd
12th Jan 2004, 11:22
FM: Library: the Town
File: LibraryTown.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (failure)
Time: 2 hr 22 min
Loot: 5137 of 5197 (5000 required)
Pockets picked: 2 of 9
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0 Damage dealt: 0
Bodies discovered by enemies: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments:

There are only two interesting ghosting set pieces in this mission; the rest of it is standard taffing.

First, right at the beginning, I had to retrieve my lockpicks. As a rule, I really hate this sort of objective; how on earth did Garrett manage to lose them? How did this begowned woman end up with them in her trunk?

It was a bear trying to figure out how to get them back while ghosting... which almost made up for the absurdity of losing them in the first place. But what the heck.

At the beginning, you have but five water arrows; however, there are 25 more you can obtain before you do anything else -- and I recommend you go for it. Once I did, I breathed a sigh of relief... plenty of darkness ahead!

I started in a little niche; a glass door was on my right, a street corner to my left. Having monkeyed around a bit with this mission earlier (not ghosting), I had a general idea what to do: I waited until the patrolling guard was headed right, and I went left, to the corner. Waiting for the guard to come back and depart, to give me maximum free time, I peeked around the corner to the left and doused the lamp across the water, above the left archer. This gave me enough darkness that I could sneak past the bridge (not across it yet) to the dark, open-roofed corridor with a generator on my left. Next to the generator was what looked like a water arrow but was in fact ten of them, bringing me up to fourteen. Then I waited until the female patroller went past to the left, and I zipped across the lit street to a dark alley directly opposite, then into a shed on my right. In one of the trunks there, I found another fifteen water arrows. Now I was ready!

Returning to my starting point, I waited for the patroller to go left, and this time, I went right, to the glass door. The guard in there has a weird pattern: he goes to the left just a little bit to the torch-lit end of a Corridor to Nowhere. There's a vase there. Then he returns to the main room, makes a clockwise circuit, and heads back up the corridor.

I waited until he was headed back into the main room, then I followed him (not too close -- like every AI in this mission, he's hinkey). When he turned right to traverse the far wall, I quickly watered the lamp in the room, then crouched in the darkness in the corner immediately left of the room entrance. I grabbed the goodies as he left for the corridor, then returned to my corner. When he left again, I stood, got out my water arrows, and ran to the ladder... but I couldn't go up it until I first shot up through the ladder hole at the lamp upstairs. Then I climbed, but only two-thirds of the way up.

Inside the upstairs room is the chick who swiped my lockpicks. (I have no idea who swiped my other six pickpockets, but that's a whole 'nother story.) She races round and round the room clockwise, like she's snorted a bit too much crystal meth... and even when I was in the dark corner to my right (standing on the ladder and facing the room), she would sometimes veer in too close and spot me. So I had to make it fast.

As she passed me, I hopped off the ladder into that corner, then quickly darted into the room and grabbed her chest.

(Oh, come on; I know exactly what you're thinking, but I'm a married man. I mean the wooden chest on the other side of the bureau, you prevert!)

That got me my lockpicks... and before she could return and possibly spot me, I ran onto the ladder, which put me far enough away that the darkness shielded me. I headed back down, waited in my safe corner for the guard to enter the main room, then bolted down the corridor, grabbed the vase, and darted out into my original starting location once more. (Actually, I tried that and ran right into the patrolling guard outside; I had to wait one cycle and try again.)

The same building also has some actor as a tennant, and there was some loot inside I needed (bear in mind, you must get 5000 of 5197 loot to graduate -- there's not much leeway for leaving any loot behind!) The problem is that the sensitivity of the guard just inside the door (the door that faces the water, the bridge, and the two archers) is turned up wa-a-a-ay too high: every time I shot out the lamp behind her, she screamed and began searching. But with the lamp still burning, there was too much light to sneak past her.

I tried shooting from every possible angle. I thought maybe opening the door alerted her, so I just sat tight for four minutes; but she freaked again.

Finally, I doused the other lamp over the water, crossed the bridge, and crouched behind the left archer. I moved until I could just barely see the lamp back in the actor's studio, then saved. I kept shooting the lamp, then reloading when she began searching, until finally, on about the sixth try, I doused the lamp... and for some reason, she didn't react. I quickly saved, crept back across the bridge, and entered the house. (Looting left as an exercise for the reader.)

The other difficult place is the element room. After passing through two long monkeyman corridors, I came to an open area with a couple of platforms and some ladders. No snakes, alas; we're not playing a game, here. One platform has a guard; I climbed to the other one, drawing a first alert but getting into a dark tunnel safely.

A ladder led up from my platform to a ring around a dome; judging from the bootclomps of the patrolling guard, the platform was made of metal. All right Dafydd, I said, talking to myself, thus fueling the fires of those who call me mad, mad I tell you: brilliant chandelier lighting everything up like the noon sun -- metal floor -- patrolling swordsman... some inner need within me (I think it's a deathwish) whispered "psst! c'mon, you can do it... go on up there. I double-dog dare you!"

I climbed as far up the ladder as I could without getting bright enough to attract arrows from the lady on the platform; she made a caustic comment every time she turned around. Then I saved (I had a premonition I would need to do this many times) and waited until the guard was just passing the top of the ladder.

I waited until the lady archer was walking away, then raced up the ladder onto the metal catwalk. I omit the 4,223,903 times I made a noise and was turned into Garrett salami. I mantled up onto the catwalk; this took long enough that the guard was about a quarter circle ahead of me.

There were four pedestals, each with an elemental symbol on it. Naturally, the air symbol was as far around the circle as it could be and still not be close enough to grab the other direction. I discovered that if the guard were even a little bit away from me, he couldn't hear me clanging on the metal... so I didn't even bother to glide-step, which was too slow anyway (ouch, I found that out!) I crouch-ran, medium speed, around the circle behind him until I got to the air sign, then grabbed it. I continued on to the ladder.

I swear, getting back on that ladder was the hardest part: usually, I would just bump into it without popping up and onto it; occasionally, for a change of pace, I would rush the ladder -- and sail right past it, plummeting to my death on the floor below (thus alerting the monkey man... but that may be gilding a dead horse). But at last, I managed to climb aboard. There was no time to wait for the patroller down below; I just downclimbed as fast as I could, rolled off, and dived into the dark tunnel beyond my platform. By good fortune, I caught it just right and made it without even a first alert.

Everything else was gravy. I am rather curious about two points, however: first, the stats page claims there are nine pockets to pick. Assuming that really means eight -- where are the other six? I only found two, both archers, and I thought I looked carefully at every AI. Any suggestions?

Second... what is there to do in that art gallery inside the mall? I couldn't get more than halfway inside before being spotted, and I couldn't douse the magical faerie-lights, either. Are there paintings to steal, purses to pick? I found all but 60 loot, so it couldn't have been major, whatever it contains. I looted every other room in the mall, but I couldn't do Jack Squat with that one.

I will note that except for those two places, the rest of the mission seemed almost too ghostable, as if the author had designed it with ghosting in mind -- making parts absurdly easy to ghost.

Nay-the-less, I was able to ghost successfully but missed about 1% of the loot. I have no idea where is is; possibly a coin here or there. In any event, aside from the nonsense about losing my sword and my lockpicks, it's a very enjoyable FM

Dafydd

dafydd
13th Jan 2004, 09:49
FM: The Library Basement
File: LibraryBasement.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (failure)
Time: 1 hr 49 min
Loot: 4145 of 4335 (4000 required)
Pockets picked: 2 of 9
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0 Damage dealt: 0
Bodies discovered by enemies: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments:

Standard sneaking.

There is a necklace and a coin, each worth 20 loot, in the ventilation shafts; but I couldn't get to them because spiders were in the way.

I have absolutely no idea where the other 150 loot is; probably I missed a tiara somewhere.

Dafydd

dafydd
14th Jan 2004, 13:05
FM: Undead Reckoning
File: UndeadReckoning_1_0.zip

Play mode: Ghost (failure)
Zero damage (success)
Time: 5 hr 39 min
Loot: 2502 of 2944 (2500 required)
Pockets picked: 8 of 12
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 1
Kills: 0 Damage dealt: 1
Bodies discovered by enemies: 0
Secrets: 5 of 5

Reason for failure:

In one section of the mission, you are teleported onto a brightly lit platform in plain view of three Mech mages, who proceed to shoot gears at you. Back where I come from, this is technically known as an alert!

I note, however, that there appears to be no other way into this region, and it contains a vital piece of loot (a gear key) which is not only explicitly required per objective but is also needed to satisfy one or three other objectives (depending whether you activate the two Katie objectives).

I did ghost the rest of the mission, however; and I avoided the temptation to blast the Mech mages back to Tuesday last week. (Well, technically, I did blast them to smithereens using my handy fire arrows... but after I got that out of my system, I reloaded.)

I skated the edge of the "no loot list" rule... I did not use a loot list -- but I did see some hints here and there in the thread on TtLG of some loot that I had missed. I don't think that was enough to qualify as a bust, however.

Comments:

The cathedral comes right at the beginning, and I did pick the lock and take a peek inside. There was a note on the front door saying it was completely impassable and filled with undead -- what was I waiting for, an engraved invitation? But I chose to forgo until I had explored around a bit.

There were only three undead in the first section of the mission, the north street (Cathedral Street, I think); I had no difficulty avoiding them while I looted the odd store here and there. Through some gates that I couldn't open, I noticed the south street, whose name I didn't catch, was just crawling with four or five zombies and a couple of ghosts, patrolling up and down. I reckoned that was where the meat was -- er, you know what I mean -- but how to get to it?

I lifted the power-house key from a dead body in the tavern on Cathedral Street, and after some taffing around, I found it and entered. Turns out I didn't even need the key: on the side opposite the street, the building has a hole I could have crawled through. Oh well; there was some loot in the tavern, and I could already see that the loot hunt was going to be one of the biggest schleps of this mission.

The power house had a hole in the roof, through which a wooden beam was visible. I climbed onto the roof, then hopped to a ledge that ran past a lit building. This ledge led to another which actually cut between Cathedral and the south street... I was in! But where to light?

I stuck to the "thieves' highway" for a while, nipping some loot from behind a giant spider on a roof. I headed west, jumped down to a lower ledge, then entered a couple of stores through the window. From one of them, I saw a long jump all the way across the street; it looked just barely possible, and after about four failed attempts, I finally made it. This building's roof led to the higher roofs on the south side of the south street, which led me to a peaked roof with chimney (at the east end of the street). Down this chimney is one of two secrets that requires actual sneaking.

Note: I actually had to return to get this secret later, but I'll describe it here.

Climbing down the chimney, I found a small room. I had read on TtLG that there was a secret here, so I hunted everywhere until I found a button on the windowsill closest to the couch. This button recessed the bottom shelf next to the fireplace, revealing a second button. (Grab the gold bottle on the top shelf before pushing this second button.) When I pressed the second button, the white wall opposite the fireplace retracted, the couch moved forward, and I was looking at three zombies.

I was completely unable to sneak past them: there is too much ambient light in the room for me to make it... maybe Sneak, Vanguard, Peter, Clayman, Old Man -- the Council of Five -- could make it, but not I! I was, however, able to slither back into the chimney and climb the heck out of there without alerting anyone. (Behind the zombies are three ornate plates; I did a run where I killed the zombies, so I could check the value of the plates... I was desperate for loot by this point, which for me was actually after doing all the big stuff. They were only 10 loot each for a total of 30, where 2500 is required; so it wasn't much of a hardship to forbear.)

It was a ***** getting off the ladder without overshooting and landing in the "dead zone" angle between the peaked roof and the chimney, where I consistently got stuck. I mantled off the ladder up the left chimney wall, then ran off the chimney onto the stairs in the peaked roof, and that did the trick.

I hopped down onto the stack of three crates, then to the ground on the left, sloped side to avoid damage. The factory gate was shut; but there was a wooden observation platform that looked promising; it had two stationary archers and one patrolling archer. I snuck up and picked everybody, then noticed a pair of levers. Which I pulled, of course. "I can't help it. I'm a born lever-puller." They opened the warehouse gate and the gate back to the city (there would be no way to get back, otherwise, since the jump up from the crates to the roof would be too high).

Entering the warehouse triggered a script where Benny and a zombie fight before the front door, and the zombie gets the better of it. Since the zombie returned to staring at the (well lit) doorway, I had to find another way in.

Dodging various gangs of zombies (the Crypts & the Bloodclots?), I found a back door. The ground and second floor of the warehouse have a number of bays, like a storage facility. Each has an orange door and a loading-dock style bay door... think of the OM Shipping... and Receiving. But the orange doors are unpickable.

I stumbled across some stairs and took them down, which looked more interesting than up. The only thing down there is a small room with a sleeping servant girl inside; however, when I opened the door, she woke up and turned. Since I was in mucho light, she screamed and ran for help. I tried several methods to open the door without awakening her, but none worked. I finally hit on a successful alternative strategy: I pushed as far right as I could, directly under the light (bright red dot on my light crystal), then opened the door. She woke up... but since she was facing left and just slightly left of me, I was outside her peripheral vision. I edged into the room until my light crystal darkened somewhat; then I was able to sneak to the trunk and get the 125-loot tiara. I snuck out the same way and closed the door, then headed back up.

The orange doors were temporarily unopenable, as I said; but I was able to get into an office next to the mailboxes; inside, I found a ladder inside a cage, which was opened by another two-switch deal (potted plant/button behind picture). Climbing up, I used a moss arrow to silently shoot the button to open the cage upstairs. In that office, which cannot be entered any other way, I think, I found various things, including an Orange Door Key.

A couple orange doors can't be opened with this key; I had to go into adjacent storage bays and find a way into the bay next door. One, Bay 2, is locked and guarded; from a book in the office, I knew there was something special in there... but the chap associated with the office kept the key on his person.

One other key I got (I forget where) was labeled Roof Key. I'd seen numerous references in town to citizens heading to the "hiding place," and some literature I read somewhere said it was atop the roof of the warehouse. So I found the door the Roof Key opened and up I went.

Turns out the whole "hiding place" scheme was a dog's breakfast. Somehow, a Treebeast got loose up there, and everybody is dead except for one girl, Katie. When I got close to her, I sprouted a new pair of objectives: she was the only survivor of the zombie attack -- which surprised me, since I'd just seen three human archers on the observation platform and six human guards in the warehouse... but I guess they don't count -- she was the only survivor, as I said, and I was obliged to rescue her, taking her safely out the east gate (my escape route). This accounts for my one KO and one damage point: feeling like Alley Oop, I bopped Katie over the head and dragged her by the hair to a dark corner, while I explored the roof.

There are a number of huts on the roof, along with two loot items: a ring and a torc -- the latter sneakily hung above the doorway on the inside -- and the Bay 2 Key, which is with the dead warehouse manager. I missed the torc and had to go back for it; that was what put me over the top... by two points!

Grabbing Katie, I went back down to the first floor. I dumped her in the office, which I knew was totally safe, then went to Bay 2. Inside was a roped-off hole. I hopped over the rope and found myself tumbling down, bouncing off one slopey floor after another, until I landed in a pool of water about three stories down. Exiting, I found a steep, metal ramp that led past a pair of zombies, high up on the wall.

Sneaking past, I discovered this was just the tip of the zombieberg: there was an entire chorus line of undead along the walls, about ten feet up, all watching a show of some fire that periodically burped from a hole in the center. Not much intellectual content, but probably right up the audience's alley. The floor was metal and the zombies hypersensitive, so I really had to sneak quietly. Around the back of the furnace-hole thingie was a gap, leading to the fire-burping hole itself. Nobody has to hit me with a clue-by-four... I mossed the general area, timed my run, and darted into the hole in between blasts.

I dropped down and teleported, finding myself (as mentioned above) in a land of low gravity, floating platforms, three angry Mech mages, and lots and lots of light. "I don't think we're in ghostland anymore, Toto," I said, as I dodged three shooting gears.

With a lot of luck -- and a lot of reloads -- I managed to hop around from platform to platform, scooping up a water-arrow stack here, a fire-arrow stack there, and finally, just as I was about to conclude there was no reason to bust my ghost just to get shot at by a trio of yahoos, I jumped to a misty-sparkly platform and found the Bronze Gear, ticking off my first objective.

I headed back to the shore, where I could see a teleporter. I edged close (no flying gears now, as I was finally in darkness again) and discovered that if I stopped just short of the teleporter and leaned through it, I could see into a small room behind it. Geez, what a great place to put a secret! Alas, the author didn't seem to think so; I pushed through and teleported back into Bay 2: lost, one ghost; found, one objective.

Grabbing Katie, I exited the warehouse and worked my way back to the south street again. Along the way, I noticed that while I was inside, somehow the three archers on the observation platform had become zombies. (It would have been cool if the same had happened to the six guards inside, but they remained stubbornly human.) I went all the way to the east gate, opened it with the Bronze Gear, and dumped Katie outside, just so she wouldn't hamper me.

I had collected a City Gate Key in the warehouse, so I unlocked the gate between the south street and Cathedral Street. I figured this was a good time to do the cathedral.

There are two sets of doors with a big, deep, unjumpable gap between them. I gulped my only slowfall potion and stepped off the edge. I came to a long ramp down that slid me past a zombie up on a platform above. As I whipped by, too quick to draw even a cursory groan, I noticed he had a Lost-City tapistry behind him. I stopped before tumbling off the ledge at the end and hiked back up (beware the mushroom, it can illuminate you enough to alert the zombie above). Staring up at him, I saw a small triangle of grass or moss or somesuch sticking down, so I stuck it with a rope arrow. I climbed up and got the tapistry, then continued on.

Through the door at the other end, there were three patrolling haunts and a stationary ghost at the far end, in front of the altar. Hooking right to get a corner view, I saw that one of the high-mounted torches (opposite end, on the right) was unlit. I just knew I had to get up there and frob it! Looking up from the back (door) end of the cathedral, I saw a piece of wooden board sticking out from the lower set of rafters. I crouch-ran forward to the altar end, watered the two fires on either side of the altar, then ran back to the door end to shoot a rope arrow into the board. Heading to the unlit torch, I frobbed it; it was indeed frobbable (though not a secret -- probably because it's part of the required route to fulfill objectives). But I couldn't see what it had opened.

The Horn of Quintus floated over the altar, and it was obvious from above that I had to rope down from the rafters and grab it. Once I had the horn and was back up on the rafters, I had to leave my arrow: jumping up to grab it made too much noise and alerted the ghost. Fortunately, I had four more, because I had bought one (or was it two?) at loadout.

There was a set of rafters above my level, and at the door end, I could see a crawlway. Standing at the altar end of the lower rafters, I saw another stick of wood directly above me on the uppers. I climbed up and ran back along the upper rafters, jumped the gap, and crawled into the passageway.

Alas, I got to a door, opened it, and found myself on the other side of the gap I'd seen at the beginning, with no way across it. Returning to the rafters, something caught my eye: I looked down at the pews and zoomed: there was something bright and sparkly on one of them, on the left. I went back down to the cathedral floor. There I saw what the torch had done: the altar had slid aside, revealing a ladder down.

Below was a three-level crypt to loot. At the bottom was a dead body with a note; the text talked about a button on one of the pillars near the altar above, and I rightly suspected it would make a bridge or somesuch across that pesky gap.

I found a door that led to another crypt area with eight sarcophagi, one of which had an obvious hole above it... but it was unreachable. At the other end was a statue -- with a switch on the left post. I pressed it; "I can't help it. I'm a born button-pusher." The sarcophagi rose into the ceiling, seven ghosts rose up from the floor, and I was killed seven times over. But before dying, I noticed that the sarcophagus with the hole above it disgorged not a ghost but an elevator up.

I tried again, this time dousing all the torches first; as soon as I hit the switch, I ran for the anomalous sarcophagus. I quickly mossed the metal platform, then jumped aboard as it passed my level and rode it up to a secret room... where I found the Rosary Beads, objective number three to check off. I was on a roll!

Back above in the main cathedral, I looked carefully at the posts and found that the one left of the altar (looking from the pews) had a recessed button on the altar side. I pressed it. Before leaving, I went to investigate the sparkly thing on the pew; it was a valuable ring.

Returning up the way I had gone before, I found that now there was a bridge, so I could exit the cathedral.

The next two hours were spent on a long and frustraing loot hunt, which finally culminated, as I mentioned, with finding the torc in a hut atop the factory. This gave me 2502 loot, just two more than required. I headed on out the east gate... but the final objectives wouldn't tick off! I had to pick Katie up, carry her a bit farther inside, and drop her; that checked off the two Katie objectives -- but the game still wouldn't end!

I ran back inside the city then out the gate again, and finally I got the "mission completed" screen. Yeesh!

A very good mission by John9818a (?), and definitely good for ghosting, with the one exception of the Mech-mages' area.

Dafydd

Old Man
14th Jan 2004, 14:29
Originally posted by dafydd

... I was looking at three zombies.

I was completely unable to sneak past them: there is too much ambient light in the room for me to make it... maybe Sneak, Vanguard, Peter, Clayman, Old Man -- the Council of Five -- could make it, but not I! ...

Not I. But I did grab the plates. I was well past Ghosting this mission at this point anyway and, like you, had clued into it's loot hunt nature by this time. Entertaining report. Thanks.

Peter_Smith
18th Jan 2004, 06:31
FM: Returning a Favor
File: favor.zip

[edit]

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (success)
Time: 2:28:6
Loot: 1262 / 1262 (850 required)
Pockets picked: 2 of 3
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 1 (required by objectives)
Kills: 0
Damage dealt: 0
Damage received: 0
Bodies discovered by enemies: 1 (?)


I went through it again starting from my end position in a BJ-mode side hunt. Found the missing loot in a secret hiding place activated by a switch behind a bed. It was easy to find and easy to miss. :) Then, of course, I went back and got it in ghost mode. That was dead simple.]


Comments:

This is the latest mission by Morrgan, written for Thief TDP (patched) or Gold. The mission is a who-done-it murder mystery, set up so that Garrett has to assemble clues and figure out who killed a certain person, so a friend of Garrett's, falsely accused, will be exhonerated. I thought it was a lot of fun progressing through the mission and reading clues. The story is well done, as is the architecture.

Morrgan makes fun, tightly knit missions that are intended for sneaky play and, I believe, are tuned by design to make ghosting possible. As such, there were no real ghosting challenges. It was straightforward sneaking all the way, but in many cases there were 2-3 AI patrolling and you had to wait until the timing was right. It was a challenge i[b]n places, but there was nothing heroic about it.

Traversing the map is simplified by a set of wood beams and walkways at ceiling level that span nearly the entire map. So, you can go up there and walk around at will, shooting out torches if necessary, and roping down to where you need to be. There are many places where you have to leave the comfort of the beams and sneak about in order to accomplish anything. The beams are just a quick mode of transportation that makes it unnesessary to repeat ghosting a lot of territory. This is helpful because there is a lot of back-and-forth travelling as the story unravels.

The main problem in this mission, or rather the fun in it, was solving the murder mystery, getting clues and figuring out how and where to go places. There are quite a few keys to be found, often after you find an alternate route to get in.

I had to BJ one character, the murderer, as required by objectives (he had to be taken somewhere and locked up).

The body discovered had nothing to do with me, so far as I know. My only association with a body was the above-mentioned BJ, and I carried it straight where it needed to go, without pausing or being seen. I think that it could have been a scripted murder. Perhaps the murderer discovered his own victim, or something like that.

Another possibility is that the body was seen by my friend in jail as I carried it past his cell. I don't know if friendly AI register body counts or not. He did not complain. That sighting, if indeed it happened, could be avoided by taking a long route around, but it hardly seems necessary.

[EDIT: Morrgan explained the body count below. It was an invisible, immobile AI who counted it! I say, that doesn't count.:)]

I think the missing pocket was from the murderer, who I did not see in the mission until near the end. He may have materialized out of thin air. He dropped the key he was carrying before it was possible for me to get to it.

That's it. A fun mission, and a must-do in ghost mode, because otherwise it would be pretty tame.

Morrgan
18th Jan 2004, 14:11
Thanks for the feedback, Peter :)

The pickpocket you're missing is indeed from the murderer, but to get it you will have to be really quick:
He has it on his belt when he runs out of the garden, but drops it very soon afterward, to allow players who miss him running off to get into the garden. It is possible to get it while ghosting, but requires you to know where to wait.

The Bodies Discovered is very likely to do with the way one of the objectives works. It relies on having an invisible, immobile, silent AI spot the murderer's body when you drop it in the lockup.

The loot you're missing is definitely around, however some of it is fairly well-hidden. I'll write up a complete lootlist later and post it on my site.

Peter_Smith
18th Jan 2004, 16:39
Thanks for stopping by and clarifying some things, Morrgan.:)

I think that is kind of an odd way to implement a drop-body objective because it increases the body-discovered count unrealistically. I am guessing (I don't know dromed) that there is another way to do it. :)

Morrgan
18th Jan 2004, 17:23
Odd it may be, but that's often the case when doing things in Dromed is concerned. ;) This method was used in a tutorial I read on the subject. If anyone knows of a better way, I'd appreciate if they'd let me know.

Peter_Smith
18th Jan 2004, 19:20
Found all the loot.:) Edited my report.

Morrgan,

Thanks for the explanation. Yes, I understand. I just thought that there might be another way because I think I have deposited bodies before without seeing the count go up. I could be wrong.

Peter_Smith
19th Jan 2004, 06:47
FM: The Cathedral
File: thecathedral.zip (version corrected by Yandros)

Edit:
I found the last 100 loot, which I think nobody had seen before. It was five coins under three chairs next to the Library table. They are easy to miss when you are trying to time the rotating hammerite who is standing next to the table. I got them and repeated the ending in ghost mode.

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (success)
Time: 0:39:42
Loot: 3250 / 3250 (3000 required)
Pockets picked: 1 / 2 (all)
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 1 Innocent (required by objectives)
Damage dealt: 15 (the kill)
Damage received: 0
Secrets: 0 / 0

Comments:

This mission, by Meshpit, is set in a big bulding with a square interior courtyard surrounded by a square corridor. No exterior doors at all. :eek: To the outside are a huge library and a modest chapel. Not an Insurrection cathedral, but nothing else is, so be it. Kind of makeshift architecture, but it works for the game.

The objectives are to kill someone (a priest named Fretch, who looks more like a nobleman), take a Trickster Book, and steal 3000 loot. Theoretically, 3250 are available, so that is not much headroom.

The mission is supposed to be a quick 10 minute run. In fact, it might be done in 10 minutes if you are going for speed and know exactly what you are doing. This was my second playthrough, which took around 40 minutes. The reason I played it twice was to prepare a loot list (during ghost play) so I could compare notes with Nightwalker and find some missing loot. She helped me to find 60 of the 3250 loot, and I found the rest on my own. The first run, in which I found 3090, took about 2 hours. Finding enough loot to satisfy the objectives was quite difficult -- a common complaint in this mission.

There are no weapons at your disposal in this mission other than one broadhead used for the required assasination. So, in essence, the only ways to play it are Ghost and Lytha style. This makes it difficult for the non-ghoster. For the ghoster, it is just what the Doctor ordered. :)

There are a few interesting ghosting situations. I'll go from the easiest to the hardest.

On the second floor above the chapel is a guard you need to get around to get some coins. The ghosting part is pretty easy. You find a key in there. Before finding that key, you might have noticed a door in the chapel that is locked. "Aha!" you might say, as I did the first time through the mission. Don't believe it. The key is a red herring and is totally useless. The door in the chapel, in fact, is opened by the same switch that opens the door to the "priests" room. The design is kind of strange, and I suppose it is intended to deceive the player. It did.

The library has some of the tallest bookshelves seen in a FM. There is one in Calendra's legacy that is close. There are three silver nuggets way up high that can be accessed by ladders. Not straight up, but by hopping around. That is kind of interesting, and you get a lot of muttering but not much threat from the two AI in there - one on the floor and one standing on a balcony.

The only real ghosting challenge was the chapel. I imagine most players will get discovered there and end up running around like crazy, because there is no good place to hide nearby. After quite a bit of experimenting, I found a foolproof way to get into the chapel. I never tried to go out. If you leave the chapel to the very end, you can take two candlesticks first and then the book, and the mission ends right there.

The trick I used in the chapel is the discovery that if you crouch below the high corner in a pew, the chapel priest (he is not the one you kill) cannot see you. Furthermore, if you stand up and crouch down quickly enough, he may get a glimse of you, but he mutters and does not alert. This guy turns left and right. I went in on the left side, the side of the door. So the best time to move forward is when he is turned right. To move forward, you stand up, mantle onto the back of the pew in front of you, crouch, and slide down to the next hiding place. Each time you succeed, do a quick save. Do this three times, and you are within two rows of the door entrance on your left. You cannot hide in the last row -- he sees you, because the angle to his eyes is too steep. So, in the last move you must do two rows in one pop, make a left turn, and go into the storage room door and hide before the priest turns back. That must be timed quite well and done fast. With all the bobbing around, I could not use the mouse for steering. I had to use all keyboard controls, using the arrow keys to steer. My Doom experience came in handy there.:)

So, having made it into the storage room safely, I did another major slot save and used three moves to go out and get the two candle sticks and the book, each time returning to the storage room to hide. There is not enough time to get more than one item in a foray. When you get the book as your last item, the game ends when you get back into hiding.

If you look around the storage room, you will see a low passage behind a large pile of boxes. Unfortunately, the priest is on high beam, and he alerts when you make the most careful laydown of a box on any surface in that room. In spite of that, he does not alert when you run flat out to the altar and take an item. Strange.


The only way I could find to explore that passage, not in ghost mode of course, was to throw boxes into the storage room entry passage so that two boxes landed on top of one other. This makes a blockade that the alerted priest cannot get past, so he stands there menacing you, but he cannot harm you. Then you can unstack the other boxes a your leisure and go in. It turns out the passage goes nowhere. What a waste of time! The mission would have been more satisfactory if the player could have removed the boxes and entered the tunnel without alerting the priest. Then the mission could have had a "get out of the building" objective that could have been satisfied by this passage. I suppose that is what the author had in mind, but he must have had trouble tuning the alert levels of the priest and so he decided to just bypass that part of the mission.

Another interesting side trip in the mission was to enter the interior courtyard using Window Transmigration (see below). ;) There was nothing there that I could find. So I Transmigrated back. I'll leave it as an exercise to the student to figure out how to do this. It is really simple. The name says all.

http://www.mindspring.com/~smithpd/thief/cathedral_courtyard.jpg

There were a number of design elements in The Cathedral that seemed to be kind of rushed. Nevertheless, it is a fun mission to play once you get past the red herrings and the loot problem.

dafydd
20th Jan 2004, 04:40
FM: Raid on Washout Central
File: washout1-1.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (failed, by a long shot)
Time: 3:18
Loot: 1864 of 2704 (1269 required)
Pockets picked: 7 of 10
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0 Damage dealt: 0
Bodies discovered by enemies: 0
Secrets: 1 of 1

Comments:

Note: After finishing this mission, I foolishly started playing another before writing this ghost report -- so my memory is already a bit foggy about the particulars of this one... sorry!

This mission isn't hard to ghost, but you have to do things in the right order, or you're hosed.

The mission doesn't star Garrett but Ryalla instead, which I find odd; she doesn't seem to have any particular differences in her abilities. She screams "hep!" whenever she mantles and snarls like a cat in heat when she dies. I find her rather annoying, actually....

I grabbed everything in the house (secret room upstairs) and exited by the back door, since the front door was watched. I followed a patrolling guard, finding an open park-like area (before getting to the Aquaduct park, opened by the key picked off the guard I was following). There is a white building with a climbable vine here; it's part of the post office/bank complex, and I would return later -- but I knew from previous taffing around that now was not the time.

The first thing was to find Jakku; he had some "information" to give me, and he was hanging out at the inn. The map is pretty poor, but it's good enough to give you vague directions; I knew I had to head due west from the Aquaduct park. There are a few patrolling guards, but several of them have lanterns. I eventually found a courtyard with a lantern guy who stands at one entrance, looking about (he looks like he's searching, but it's just how he's programmed to patrol). To the right of lantern guy was a ladder leading up to a metal catwalk, which I followed to a flat roof I could hop down on. On the left side of the flat roof was a ladder leading down to the inn.

At first, I was sneaking around inside the inn; then I realized I had every right to be there -- it wasn't the street -- so I hunted around, finding a coin in a laundry bin. I returned to the entrance and entered the bar, where two people had a nasty, little conversation about how they were going to use the servant that Karras sent them.

Heading deeper into the bar, a drunk abruptly detached himself and headed out, bottle in each hand and one tucked in his belt. The new-objective chime sent me to that screen, where I was informed that "him there with the bottles" was Jakku, and I should follow him.

I followed, but he was aware of me behind him all the way, no matter how much darkness I was in, so I could never pick the bottle (I got it later from his corpse). I stayed back a ways, waiting for him to be ambushed, as I expected he would.

At one point, two thieves surrounded Jakku and slew him. They stayed alerted for a while, so I hid out. Meanwhile, the ever-helpful chime again informed me of a change in plans; the objective screen now had a red X through the "follow him" objective, and I was instructed to get Jakku's key from one of the thieves.

Eventually, one of them detached himself and headed in my direction; since he had the key, I followed. I tried a couple of times to pick the key, but I kept getting busted; so I followed him until he began walking back and forth from one plaza to another. I waited in the shadows for a couple of minutes while he calmed down; then I picked the key and backtracked to Jakku's body.

I removed the belt bottle (the only one left) and stood there like an idiot, trying to figure out how I was going to find Jakku's house... then I noticed the crumbled piece of paper next to the body. It turned out to be a map (ta-dah!) I followed it to the house and raided the joint, grabbing some loot, a bunch of moss arrows from a spider pit, and a key to Jakku's strongbox in the post office/bank -- along with a new objective to raid said strongbox. I also picked up a map of the post office, which came in handy.

But I still wasn't ready to go there; I knew from experience that I needed to raid one more strongbox in there, for which I needed the key: Lord Percival's.

I headed towards his house... but since the "Sewerage Control" (where one obtains the Sewer Manhole and Water Maintenance keys) was on the way, I stopped off there. Facing the Hammerite temple (with the stationary Hammerite guard), the Sewerage Control is on the left, just before passing through the arch to the temple.

I picked the door, went through a corridor and into the main room, where the two guards had a conversation. While they were talking, I cut left immediately along the near side of the pumping machinery and out the other door. this led to a shed with a pickable lock; inside this shed was a cupboard with the two keys inside.

I exited through the manhole right nearby (waiting for the guard who patrols out of the Sewerage Control building and right alongside the shed) and headed basically west, prairie-dogging up each manhole until I found one near a patrolling thief... possibly the other thief from the mugging of Jakku, but I'm not sure. He patrolled in front of Lord Percival's house -- for some reason, all of Lord Percival's guards are thiefsies.

The door is unlocked; I would guess Percy was being robbed, except one of the thieves keeps wandering into the casino in plain view of two nobles. I reckon they're just thief-shaped guards. I snuck behind him -- I think everywhere else in the house except for one other casino room is unfrobbable -- into the casino, lifted what I could find, then when the thief-guard left, I opened the office door... and drew an alert.

I had to find a dark spot and sit there for a couple of minutes after the conversation the two gamblers have. Maybe my footsteps first-alerted the pair inside the office? In any event, after waiting two minutes, then standing far away from the door and leaning to just barely be able to frob it, I was able to open it without the guy inside alerting (the girl never went searching). I crept quietly in, stupidly closed the door, and inched through to the jacuzzi room.

I had already noticed the button on the ceiling above the hot tub before I read about it on TtLG. Supposedly, you can also call the elevator down by using the combination you'll eventually find in the post office... but this requires two visits there: the first to get the combo, the second to return with Percival's lockbox key. So I just shot the button with a moss arrow.

Up in the ceiling room, I discovered that the butler did it. Stole the gems first, I mean. He "disappeared underground, literally." (Literally, "literaly.") In interpreted that as meaning into the sewers... so I grabbed the strongbox key, exited, and returned thence to head east, back towards the post office. I came to a room in the sewers with a huge, circular machine; it appeared to be a dead end, but on the other side, way deep, was a submerged tunnel. I followed it and eventually discovered an overturned boat, a dead butler, and a chest. The chest can be picked, and it contains the jewels.

I popped out next to the post office; it was patrolled by an archer (pickable arrow), a sword guard, and a combat bot. I followed them around to the main entrance; I mossed the marble, then darted forward when appropriate and picked the door in (the lazy archer lounges around in the entryway for a long time during his patrol). Inside, I found a stair, which I followed up to the vault-elevator room.

There is a watcher in that room, and it was difficult to get past its gaze up the stairs into the room without being shown a yellow card. It was mostly a matter of finding the shadow on the stairs, then for the one bright spot right at the top, standing up and waiting until the watcher was looking all the way to my left, then bolting up and to the left, into deep shadow.

My map showed a room labeled Security to the right, past the stairs, then right down a hallway... but when I got there (while the guard was patrolling down the stairs), I found the door locked and unpickable. There was no way to get through there with the watchers turned on, so I realized I had to retreat.

I recalled the other entrance, in the open park area near Ryalla's house, the window with the climbing vine. I ghosted back out and down again, out into the lobby with the mossed floor, and back to my manhole. I went down, headed south, and eventually found an exit near Aquaduct Park. From there, I found my way back to the vine.

I climbed the vine but was completely unable to mantle into the window. I could see (and hear) a guard patrolling inside there, but I couldn't see where he would go. I climbed back down, then shot a rope arrow into the wooden roof overhang over the vine-ladder. Then I climbed back up, jumped from the vine to the rope, and then climbed up until I was in darkness but high enough to see the top of the guard's head bobbing along.

When he disappeared down some stairs, I jumped into the window frame, dropped to the stairs, and crouch-ran down them, then hooked around and under.

When he went back up, I entered the rooms he had just patrolled. Inside the first room, there were two pickable doors: the one on the right leads to another office, then another (I think) with a wall safe.

Note: Be sure to close all doors behind you; if the guard sees an open door, he gets suspicious and goes in to investigate.

I picked open the save, and there I found the vault key. Might be some loot in the safe; I don't recall. There is definitely some major loot in the unlocked cupboard right next to it. I forget what was in the pickable room next to this suite, but it was something worthwhile. When finished looting the joint, I had the Security key; I knew there was some loot upstairs -- but there is also a watcher there who can't be turned off, at least not that I can see; so I left it alone.

There is also a connecting door up there that leads to the main part of the post office, where I had been earlier... but nobody has ever reported finding a key to it; you can only bash your way through. Instead, I waited under the stairs until the guard came clomping down to patrol the office areas; then I ran up right under the (very high) window, shot a rope arrow into the ceiling and climbed up, jumped to the window, reached back and grabbed my rope arrow, and then crouch-ran out the window onto the rope I'd left above the vine ladder outside. I downclimbed just enough to be out of sight -- just as the guard climbed the stairs. I got a "what was that?!" but he added "just rats, I guess," or somesuch. I was clean!

Since I didn't want to ditch the rope, I climbed up until I could frob the arrow, then rotated 180 degrees so I was looking straight out across the grassy knoll. I grabbed the arrow and dropped straight down onto the vine. I climbed down and headed to the sewer again, popping out back where I was before, near the lobby entrance. I worked my way back up to the vault-elevator room again and headed into the Security section... this time with the proper key.

This was the trickiest part: opening the Security Key door, I found another corridor; I closed and locked the door behind me and headed to the next door. I opened it and saw a watcher scanning back and forth. There was a torch in the room; but when I doused it, only the back part of the room was dark; the front was still pretty well lit.

I tried darting across, but the watcher kept catching enough of me to go yellow. So finally I was forced to use my speed potion (which I think I had from the beginning, from Ryalla's secret room) to stand and run like the Flash when the face was looking to my left. I made it across; from that position, I was able to head down the ramp to the right (right while facing the hallway I'd just come from). There was a Security station there with two switches, one to shut off the watchers, the other to deactivate the alarm. There were also two locked safes in the room: the rear one was empty, but the front contained the Vault key. I think.

On the way back up, I looted a little bit. Up top, the watcher in the vault-elevator room was off, but the guard didn't seem to notice. When he went down the stairs towards the lobby, I ran to the vault elevator, used the Vault key to get inside, and rose to the floor above, where all the safe-desposit strongboxes were. I could only open the two for which I had keys; when I got into Jakku's strongbox, it will full of scrolls: after reading each one, the objective checked off. Percival's had some gems in it.

At this point, I had everything but the loot checked off. I raided the rest of the post-office rooms, then exited back out. Began then a long and frustrating loot hunt. I stumbled across a pirate horde -- V-shaped trench full of water led under a building and finally to a room with a Jolly Roger and a pirate chest. I found a dead Burrick with a diamond collar in the sewer. I picked a few more pockets. I found a police substation with an invisibility potion I never used, plus a bunch of water arrows and moss arrows.

But there's not much more to tell. I finally got enough loot, horsed around for a while find little drips and drabs here and there, then finally headed for home.

There was one structure marked on the map I never could figure out. It was called "Mysterious Tower," right next to the watch tower on the south edge of the map. I was able to fire a rope arrow into the roof of the watch tower, then climb up until I could spin around and jump onto the flat roof from which the tower rises. There, I circumnavigated the outside of the tower but never found a way in. I still have no idea what it is or whether it's hollow -- and if so, how much loot is in there. But since I ended the game short by 840 (!), I have my suspicions.

All in all, a fun FM somewhat marred by a crappy map.

Dafydd

Morrgan
20th Jan 2004, 10:25
Originally posted by Peter Smith
I think that is kind of an odd way to implement a drop-body objective because it increases the body-discovered count unrealistically. I went into Dromed to try and fix this problem and noticed that I had forgotten to set the trigger AI to "Neutral". When he's on a neutral team, he doesn't count the bodies of the "baddies". My mistake there, sorry. :/ Oh well, I'll know to double-check the AI's team settings next time.

dafydd
20th Jan 2004, 10:32
FM: Curse of the Night Falcon
(a.k.a. Snow Flurry and Mereska - City of Flames)
File: Fluch-des-Falcon.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (failed)
Time: 3:18 + 1:40 = 4:58
Loot: 8569 of 12,904 (7500 required)
Pockets picked: 9 of 17, 0 of 7 (???)
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0 Damage dealt: 0
Bodies discovered by enemies: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments:

Nothing particularly noteworthy about this two-mission FM, as far as ghosting is concerned. Straightforward sneaking.

Dafydd

dafydd
22nd Jan 2004, 10:37
FM: Lord Alan's Fortress
File: Fortress_v1a.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (failed)
Time: 7:25
Loot: 11,610 of 12,500 (10,500 required)
Pockets picked: 34 of 36
Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0 Damage dealt: 0
Bodies discovered by enemies: 0
Secrets: 12 of 15

Comments:

As this has already been perfected by Peter Smith and perhaps others, there is nothing for me to add.

I went back later with a loot list and found the three secrets I missed; they were all obvious, and I should have gotten them. Yeesh!

Dafydd

Peter_Smith
5th Feb 2004, 07:21
FM: Curse of the Falcon

File: Fluch-des-Falken.zip (part 1)

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (failed)
Time: 3:12:23
Loot: 6042 / 9277 (5000 required)
Pockets picked: 7 of 17 (count seems wrong)
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Damage dealt: 0
Damage received: 0
Secrets: 0 / 0


Comments:

This is Part 1 of a two mission pack, the first of which (Curse of the Falcon) is by Christine Schneider, and the second of which (Mereska - City of Flames, by Ar-Zimrathon) is reported in another post.

This mission is typical of Christine's work: classy, very nice architecture and detail, well timed AI, very well hidden loot, great edibles and pastries, and not too difficult, apart from the loot. I think this one is a step above the rest. It is a really good ghosting mission.

The ghosting was straightforward for the most part. Most of the map is in city streets, where the guards were quite easy to avoid by hiding in shadows, with one exception. The exception was a stationary guard between the entrance to Tarmesk's mansion and the City Park. She was a little goosey, but not all that hard to avoid in normal travel.

Inside the mansion is where most of the loot and action is. Most of it is not difficult, requiring only normal ghost timing and a little running around on marble floors, which are not too difficult either. Christine tunes her missions to be playable, not impossibly hard.

There was one spot in the mansion worthy of mention, and that is the room where Tarmesk and a lady are having a one sided conversation. She is the one talking, about how smart she is. Anyway, the lighting in there consists of an electric chandelier and a fireplace. There is no switch for the chandelier, and the AI alert when you dowse the fireplace. It is fairly difficult just to get inside the room. Once in, it looks like it might be impossible to get the loot. But it is possible. Just take the back route around the edge of the room, creep slowly enough, and, when going to the fireplace, hop over the backs of chairs. Once at the fireplace, you can lean and grab all the loot.

Outside the mansion, opposite the goosey guard, there is a shop with a brightly lit front entrance. It is quite hard to get situated in the entrance without that guard seeing you, but it can be done by slowly approaching the doorway from the guard's side and then dashing to the miniscule spot where she can't see you. Then there is the problem of opening the door. If you open it normally, the shopkeeper inside is facing you and immediately alerts. The way I got in was to wedge myself against the door hinge so the door opened only 45 degrees. Then I could creep along the door, past the threshold, where there was a relatively dark spot. Then I could open the door all the way and dowse a lamp inside, which enabled me get inside and do my work.

That same building, on the guard's side, contains a small house with a woman inside doing kitchen work. She is facing the door. It not too difficult to get into the door jamb and put out two candles, and then go in and loot the place. I must confess, however, that I did an unclean act in there. I started the mission late at night just before retiring. When the woman alerted, I BJ'ed her, searched the place, and left the building, having saved the game both before and after the BJ incident. When I came back the next evening to play it, I forgot completely about the BJ and continued on from my last saved game, investing another two hours in ghosting the mission. Later I was searching around for Lars to complete it, and I came across the BJ'ed woman and I nearly had an attack. Only then did it click. So, to atone for my offence I went back to the good save and ghosted it as described. I did not want to spend another 2 hours of game play and four hours of clock time repeating myself on the remainder, so, this is a piecemeal ghost.

OK, back to business. I had a lot of trouble finding Keeper Lars, one of the objectives. I revisited all the places I had been and still could not find him. So I consulted a spoiler at TTLG, another unclean act, but permitted. Lars is found by frobbing a secret switch in the antique shop (owned by the villain, Tarmesk). That leads to a loot stash, and another switch leads to Lars.

I do not believe the pocket count, unless I missed a major part of the mission with a large number of AI (seems doubtful). I picked all the pockets I could see. None of the guards were difficult to get behind.

My low loot count does indicate that I have missed a major loot stash or two. I think I tried all the doors in all the buildings, but there were a lot of unfrobbable doors, so perhaps one or more of the buildings can be entered another way. I suspect, instead, that it is one or more of Christine's trademarked tiny switches. I also know of one door I could not enter in the mansion. In the basement by the kitchen there is a locked wood door for which I could find neither a key nor a switch.

I think I'll have a go at finding more loot. Christine is pretty good at hiding it, so I probably cannot get to 100%. We will see. :)

Peter_Smith
5th Feb 2004, 07:30
FM: Mereska - City of Flames

File: Fluch-des-Falken.zip (part 2)

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (failed)
Time: 1:07:18
Loot: 2912 / 3617 (2500 required)
Pockets picked: 0 of 7 (count seems wrong)
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Damage dealt: 0
Damage received: 0
Secrets: 0 / 0


Comments

This is Part 2 of a two mission pack, the first of which (Curse of the Falcon) is reported above.

This is a nice little mission that seems larger than it is. Before you enter the City of Flames, you are in a snowy scene with wrecked buildings and undead. This is a fun part to play owning to the climbing you have to do to get into all the little areas. Eventually you find a key to a church, which ultimately leads you to Mereska. Mereksa is kind of like parts of Lost City, except there is much more lava and red coloring, and the lights that sense your presence are red rather than blue. It has nice atmosphere.

I particularly like the new AI in there. They are succubi, red colored women with wings and naughty habits, that leave a trail of colored lights behind them when they walk. Later on, there are some more standard skelleys.

On the way to the city is a green spiders that requires some care to get past. Just climb up along the edge of the room, drop down next to his legs where it is dark, and sneak past.

Once in the flaming part, there is a nice little bit of hopping over lava and broken, sinking buildings. That leads you to a building in the city, which you enter and loot. The first part of the building is populated by the Succubi, which are not too difficult to sneak past. Then you go upstairs and find a room full of spiders that I could not ghost. So I missed some spectacles worth 50. Seems like a lot of firepower just to guard some spectacles. Could be I missed something else in there.

Then you come to a pair of skelleys in a hallway. There is no conventional way to ghost the first one by waiting in shadow. You need to trail him right behind his butt and to the left a little. Then, when he turns right at the end of his patrol route, you can (sometimes), sneak past him and duck into a room in the hall. The second skelley is easier once you find that hiding place.

From there you find a large Cathedral with a nice façade that looks like it will be very exciting. In fact, it is not. When you go inside, you see some rather plain architecture, no AI, and a flame you just walk up to in order to complete a ritual with the Falcon. Then you leave. Kind of an anticlimax.

Never mind. Most of the mission is interesting, and the AI are terrific.

Again, I cannot believe the pocket total, and I am missing some loot that I will try to find another time.

dafydd
5th Feb 2004, 11:57
[Peter]

Good job on the loot; you got a little more than I, but I got two more picks than you. So we're even :D .

I'm pretty proud of the next post....

Dafydd

dafydd
5th Feb 2004, 12:19
FM: The Docks... All Aboard (Docks 2)
File: t2docks.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success!)
Perfect Thief (failed, but really close)
Time: 1:27
Loot: 1443 of 1543 (1200 required)
Pockets picked: 5 of 7
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Damage dealt: 0
Damage received: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments

This entire mission is easily ghostable except for one spot. I don't know if it's been ghosted before; I can't find any ghost reports in the archives or in this thread.

My method was flakier than a well-made croissant... but I believe it works even under the newly revamped ghost rules. I rely in particular upon the following example of a first-level alert that does not bust the ghost:


Examples of first level alerts that do not bust the ghost include but are not limited to:

...* Human stands up in bed motionless. May grumble, as "Must've been rats."

The one room that everyone seems to have had trouble with is inside the boat, on the lower deck, down the long corridor and into a locked room, where there is a sleeping guard. There is a locked door in that room, and you must pick it to get inside and get a Keeper medallion -- one of your objectives.

The problem is that the blasted guard is a light sleeper... and the room is a light trap! It's too bright, and there is nothing you can shut off. The moment you apply your lockpick, the sleeper awakes; he then rotates to face directly towards you, sees you, and alerts. Awful stuff.

But I noticed something: when he first awakens from the noise of the lockpick, he is unalerted (rather, a first-level alert state). He doesn't go into searching mode until he turns and sees you.

I tried getting behind him and jumping; but no matter where I stood, when he woke up, he turned to face me and alerted. I tried standing behind him and shooting an arrow into a wall; but even then, instead of turning towards the noise, he turned to face me. Busted again.

Finally, I had a brainstorm: I exited the room into the dark hallway. From there, I leaned around the door and fired a broadhead into the wall beside the bed.

Sleeping Beauty awoke; as usual, he awoke unalerted. But he could not face me, as I was in the hallway, both totally dark and out of line of sight. I waited a moment, then peeked in... and the silly doofus was turned to face directly away from the door I had to pick! I tried it again just to be sure, and again he ended up facing that direction.

So I simply re-entered the room, closed the door, and proceeded to pick open the locked door. He never even squawked at the noise. I got in, looted the safe, and exited, all without him budging from his position staring directly at the nearest wall.

The rest of the report is simply engineering details.

But it was the darndest thing... it's the first time I ever ghosted a room by deliberately waking a sleeping guard :eek: !

Dafydd

Peter_Smith
6th Feb 2004, 03:30
Daffyd,

LOL. :D I think clayman might have a few choice words to say about that, but with my left-wing interpretations, I think you are good to go. :)

dafydd
6th Feb 2004, 12:18
[Peter]

Clayman aside, patron saint of ghosting though he may be, I maintain that the rules mean what the rules say... especially now that we've just spent a couple of months rewriting them to the consensus of the ghosting community, such as showed up here for the exercise.

He stud up in bed but didn't initiate any searching behavior... so he ain't alerted, dadburn it!

Dafydd

Old Man
6th Feb 2004, 15:45
dafydd,

A big part of the problem here may be the Broadhead arrow used. I wonder if you stood in the dark hall and jumped would he behave the same? What's this notch out of the wall? You did retrieve it, didn't you? Or even just enough lockpicking to get him started and scurry out to the dark hallway. Would that work?

Certainly a variation on a theme. Does it really matter which noise get's him up?

However, one of the newer suggestions is that when in doubt, fail.

Zaccheus
6th Feb 2004, 17:57
The current ghost rules say:

8.) No alerts means no distractions, noisemakers, artificial diversions that cause an AI to search for you, even if it is away from where you are. No Garrett/artifically induced suicides of AI or melees that intentionally cause AI to attack each other. No use of frog eggs allowed.
The clause is now missing from the new rules, I'm assuming that's because it is redundant.

Anyway, I think you are very very close to breaking the 'no distractions' bit, even if you did not cause the AI to search.

Technically you are clean though.
:)

dafydd
6th Feb 2004, 21:07
[Zaccheus]

The clause you cite is still in the rules... at the end of section 5 of the commentary section:


No alerts also means no distractions, noisemakers, or artificial diversions that cause an AI to search for you, even if it is away from where you are. No use of frog eggs is allowed, as they necessarily alert AI, even though the damage does not show up in the stats.

It's not a "technical" point that the above forbids and has always forbidden diversions "that cause an AI to search for you." This diversion simply caused him to stand up in bed, which is explictly given in an example of what constitutes an alert that does not bust the ghost.

This is like Congress passing a law that defines murder as killing a human not in self defense... and then when somebody kills in self defense, saying "you're just getting off on a technicality!" :lol

Dafydd

Zaccheus
8th Feb 2004, 00:04
I'll respond in the 'clarification' thread.
:)

dafydd
12th Feb 2004, 13:29
FM: Mad As a Hatter
File: Mad_v1.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (failed)
Time: 3:15
Loot: 3549 of 3749 (2000 required)
Pockets picked: 11 of 12 (all, I think)
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Damage dealt: 0
Damage received: 0
Secrets: 3 of 3

Comments

This is a very good FM to ghost; in fact, on Expert level ("Legend"), you're only allowed three KOs... so ghosting is almost forced upon you.

There are two really difficult areas to ghost: the asylum cell hallways on the second and third floors, and the miniscule (two-grave) churchyard, where you have to dump a body in a grave without alerting a zombie-skeleton nearby.

For the grave, I mossed the empty grave where I would throw Timothy's body; but even then, when I stood in the grave and dropped the body, there was an audible thud, and the skelly popped up. As it's pretty bright there, and he patrols around in a tight circle, if he awakens, he's going to see me and alert.

Finally, I stood outside the grave, leaned over, and dropped the body so that it bounced off the far edge of the grave. The noise from this was soft enough that Skelly didn't awaken.

The cell hallways are light traps: there are well-lit patches, flickering patches, and a pair of patrollers on both floors. In addition, there are some stationary guards. Everybody is hinkey and alerts with even a brief flicker. Finally, on the third floor, you eventually have to get past two stationary guards who stare directly the direction you're coming from... and there is a big, brightly lit patch for seven feet in front of them.

I watched for a long time, finally noticing that there were a few spots along the hallways that were always in shadow; if I crouched in one of these, and the patrollers were not alerted, they would walk right past me, even bump into me, without noticing.

Much of the hallway was too brightly lit to traverse... but in between some of the perpetually dark areas, the lights would occasionally dim. During these brief intervals, I found I could scoot quickly to the next fully dark spot (picked out in advance) before the light came back up again. During this run, I was in complete darkness, thus invisible. Of course, I had to time it so that there was not a guard right next to me when I tore past :D .

At the end of the third-flood cell hallway, I had to deal with the two stationaries. I crept to the right, staying along the hall wall in shadow, and got next to the right-hand guard. I began nudging him, trying to be careful; even so, I got spotted a couple of times and had to reload.

I edged him towards his buddy, all the while trying to squirm past him through the doorway he was guarding. And keeping an eye out behind me, because the office area behind his door was brightly lit, and a patroller coming up behind me would spot me in a Scalosian second. Eventually, I nudged him far enough that I was able to wriggle past; I quickly shut the door and picked up the keys in the office, allowing me to complete the mission.

Some people seemed to have trouble getting out of the asylum into the surrounding courtyard; but this is likely because they insisted upon exiting through the well-lit front door!

Thinking like a thief, however, I discovered that if I returned to the sewer where I arrived -- in fact, just to my left as I first entered the sewer system at the start of the game -- there is a ladder taking me up to a set of four hallways that surround the courtyard. From here, I was easily able to access both the cemetary (to dump the body) and the clocktower (my exit point)... no need to monkey with the front door at all, at all.

I was not able to get the final objective to check off; no matter where I went in the clocktower, the mission wouldn't end, even though I had completed all other objectives. I just went ahead and used Ctrl-Alt-Shft-End... and I still count this as a successful ghost, even though the FM never noticed I was where I was supposed to end up.

Dafydd

dafydd
22nd Feb 2004, 20:26
FM: The Secret of Sir Stefan
Series: Lord Ashton
File: Lord_Ashton_SeriesV2.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (failed)
Time: 2:30
Loot: 5127 of 6727 (5000 required)
Pockets picked: 8 of 9 (all, I think)
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Damage dealt: 0
Damage received: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments

I've been ghosting my way through this series, which is a very good one for such purposes. I just wanted to note that I had the same problem as Vanguard -- and the same problem as Peter!

Like with Vanguard, several of the AIs had delayed-action second-level alerts, which drove me nuts: I would put out a light, wait about ten or fifteen seconds to make sure nobody was alerting, save, move into the now-dark area, and begin sneaking -- when abruptly, perhaps a minute or so later, one of the AI far away would suddenly scream and begin searching. Fortunately, unlike Vanguard, I always use multiple save slots... so I was able to retreat to an earlier save each time (I never use QuickSave).

After a while, especially in the upper floor of the thieves' guild, I took to putting out lights and then retreating out of sight in a safe, dark place to just wait for a minute or so, just to see whether anyone would pitch a time-delated hissy fit at finding himself in the dark. It made the mission five times as hard, since in that section, there are so many patrolling AI that there really were very few safe places to hover and wait; the best ones I found were:

- The rooms left or right off the corridor in between the first rotunda room and the T-intersection (I didn't need to douse the light in this corridor); if I tried to stay in the corridor itself, then either when the black-clad patroller came or when he went, depending on what side of the corridor I was on, he would pass near me and see me... I had to be in one of the rooms to be safe;

- After dousing both torches in the cross of the T, then to the end of the far branch, right near the stationary, black-clad sword guard, pressed up against the right wall; after dousing the light to the left along the hall leading to Sir Stefan's room, I was able to sneak across right in front of him down the corridor to Stefan's room to steal the Mystic's Heart;

- Inside most of the rooms, once I had turned off electric lights using a switch, it was dark enough to hide, even without putting out the fireplace fires, the candles, or the lanterns; even the room with the safe, when I was tucked over right next to the potted plant that is along the back wall where the safe and other loot is, the patroller would walk in, walk to the back near the electric lamp, then turn around and walk out without seeing me. The only exception was Sir Stefan's room, where I had to douse the fireplace to get it dark enough not only to avoid being spotted by patrollers but in order to sneak past the stationary guard to get into the secret passage to approach the Mystic's Heart, which is guarded by three red burricks.

Pretty much everywhere else guaranteed a bust, since there was so much traffic I had to wait a while, and eventually somebody would walk close enough to see me.

I also had exactly the same problem Peter did: my first time through the upper floors of the thieves' guild, I used water arrows liberally, figuring I was near the end... but when I got to the Heart, completely out of water (and I never did find any gas arrows), I discovered eight torches blazing bright, lighting it up like Sunday noon! The burricks spotted me even before I got to the ladder down.

I had to go all the way back to my earliest save; alas, it was after I had already doused both torches in the entry rotunda, and I had only ten water arrows left (and no gas, per above). I knew from my first run that I needed at least six water arrows in the burrick area... which meant I had only four to expend getting there.

I had to knock out both torches in the crossbar of the T-intersection; it's the most heavily trafficked corridor in the entire mission and everyone is very hinkey about light. I also knocked out the torch in the corridor connecting this crossbar with Sir Stefan's room. When I got into Sir Stefan's room, I knocked out the hearth fire. This left me just six arrows, so I had to leave the lantern on the table lit; I was somewhat illuminated near that part of the room, so I approached the opened secret passage (you frob the gold skull on the right side of the fireplace) from the left, across the couch that had moved away when the passage opened. Even though my light gem was a fairly brightish green, the half-blind guard didn't do more than grumble a bit.

Down the corridor and to the burrick area. From above (of course), I knocked out all of the torches except the two exactly opposite the platform where I started. This gave me enough darkness to loot the four Lost City chests and just enough darkness to grab the Mystic's Heart without the burricks alerting past the first level.

Returning, looting the rest of the rooms was pretty tough, considering that I hadn't knocked out any torches at all on the left side (the left branch of the T-intersection). Oddly, however, the hardest sneak was getting past the stationary guard at the right branch of the T-intersection to get into the room to the right, the opposite way from Sir Stefan's room along that same corridor. I tried several times and couldn't get to it at first; so I left it until last, looting all the other rooms first. I was a little nervous, because I still hadn't reached 5000 yet: I needed that room, and I didn't even remember how much was in there. Would I have enough to complete the mission?

Although I had doused the torch in the T and the torch leading up towards Sir Stefan's crib, there was another torch to my right: my choices (since I had no water arrows left) were either to try to sneak along the right wall opposite from the guard -- which meant directly beneath the torch (and he spotted me every time) -- or else trying to cross the corridor to the guard's side, where he seemed to spot me every time. Eventually I noticed that he delayed a little between his first and second alerts; from the safe, dark spot in the T-intersection corridor, before going around the corner into the torchlight, I mossed the whole corridor to the right... then I stood, waited until there were no patrollers, and ran full-speed from my safe spot to the wall of the corridor right next to the stationary guard (to his left, between him and the door).

I was in full bright light there, red dot inside a fully lit light gem; but I was outside his peripheral vision. He made some comment as I buzzed past, something like "what the -- ?!" but never alerted beyond that stage: no moving, no searching, no raising of sword. As I moved quickly towards the door, any patroller returning from Sir Stefan's room would have seen me immediately, and one had just passed heading that direction. Just as I opened the door, the stationary guard said "must have been nothing, I guess," so I knew he hadn't really noticed me.

Once I got into the room and turned off the light (or maybe it was already off), I was in total dark. I looted the place, and that was what finally put me over the top. Yippie ki yay! Coming back, I did the same trick, standing and darting past the guard. This time, he didn't even make a first-level alert comment. I reckon he was just a bit slow on the uptake :rolleyes: .

In the end, I had to completely bypass the bar; it requires all the torches and the lantern to be doused -- seven, I think -- and you get only 250 loot in there; I had just enough after raiding the thieves' guild and no water arrows left at all... so I just left it for some other thief to loot :D .

Dafydd

dafydd
24th Feb 2004, 02:07
Series: Lord Ashton
File: Lord_Ashton_SeriesV2.zip

Missions:

A Visit to Lord Ashton's
A Night's Stroll
Escape!
Revenge
In Search of Leon
The Secret of Sir Stefan
A Winter's Night
The Wedding of Sir Andre

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (failed)
Campaign Time: 23:29
Loot: 55,321 of 64,676 (43,000 required --
8000+6000+5000+5000+4000+5000+4000+6000)
Pockets picked: 70 of 92
Backstabs: 1
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 1
Damage dealt: 15
Damage received: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments

The one kill was the assassination of Lady Helena, which was an objective of one of the missions in the campaign, Revenge.

This is a wonderful series for a beginner to ghost. It's tough without being impossible (a la Ominous Bequest, which can't be ghosted, period), and nothing requires abusing the Dark Engine to get by, as with A Keeper's Betrayal (floating books, squirting spiders). There were a few uncomfortable moments, such as the need to plan water-arrow use very carefully in The Secret of Sir Stefan; but all in all, if someone is just getting into ghosting, this is a great series to point him towards.

And the missions are great, too! Even apart from their instructive value for ghosting. I really enjoyed it -- although in the last mission, I spent about an hour of game time hunting down that bloody Armory Key. Grrr, argh.

Dafydd

dafydd
26th Feb 2004, 00:16
FM: A Love Story
File: ALoveStory.zip

Play mode: Ghost - failure
Reasons for failure:

- Yellow alert from watcher in foyer

(Now fixed; see below)

- Use of a loot list

Zero damage - success
Time: 4:32
Loot: 2084 of 2314 (2000 required)
Pockets picked: 16 of 23
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Damage dealt: 0
Damage received: 0
Secrets: 2 of 2

Comments

The sneaking in this mission is very difficult: guards all over the place, long, bright distances to traverse in between shadows, lots of areas with metal or marble flooring to alert guards. But the most difficult aspect of ghosting A Love Story is the relative paucity of loot, coupled with a high loot requirement.

I had to run all over the police station, Bafford's place, and the city to scavange little bits of loot here and there. The story is that Garrett has returned to loot a place he had just been (in an earlier FM from John D.), so the actual loot available is as rare as roosters' eggs. But in game terms, it seems much more difficult than usual even to get enough loot to finish the game, let alone make perfect thief (which I think is currently impossible for another reason, detailed below).

I have never before had to use a loot list just to get enough loot to finish. Sometimes, after ghosting a mission, I'll dive back in and use a loot list to see if I can find all the available loot, just for curiosity's sake. But this time, I was stuck at 1859 for the longest time before breaking down. (It didn't matter; my ghost had already been busted; see below.)

There is still some loot I cannot find even with the list... so if your favorite part of playing thief is undertaking a long and detailed search for every last scrap of loot, maybe this is the mission for you!

I would have been more upset about the loot situation had I been working on a ghost; but I believe ghosting this mission is (was) impossible. There is a critical area, the foyer of the police station, where I had to dart across from a darkened stair to the side of the foyer, whence I could shoot water arrows at the two "golf tee" torches.

However, there is a watcher watching... and its back and forth head-turning is so small that there is never a time when it isn't looking directly at the doorway through which I must run. At least, I got a yellow alert every time I tried, and I don't think it's possible to get through there without being busted -- though Vanguard, Deadman, and Clayman haven't tried yet :D .

You can turn the watcher off, but only after passing through into the foyer (the right-hand door leads to a room; behind a metal door in that room is the guard station with the watcher switch). You can douse the torches in the foyer without passing through the doorway... but only by leaning in; and leaning with the water arrows selected, or leaning and then selecting them, also draws a yellow alert from the watcher.

The mission could be made ghostable, at least for really good loot hunters, by simply adjusting the watcher's "patrol" (the turning of the face) so that it turns a little farther left and right; this would make it possible to dart to the edge, out of line of sight, if you timed it properly.

Nota bene: This has now been fixed per above suggestion.

Other than the yellow alert and the loot list, there were no other busts: no KOs, no damage inflicted or taken, &c. I did have to nudge the stationary guard in the foyer forward, so I could get into the brightly lit front section, whence I roped up into the secret area above the foyer (for a coin stack worth a lousy 25... that's how desperate I was to scrape up every last nickle!)

One odd thing: I had at one point five water arrows; I used two of them taking out the torches in this foyer... but I don't recall using any other water arrows. I suppose it's possible, but I was really trying to husband the consumables.

Yet somehow, after finding Garrett's house and entering it -- before that would end the game, as I hadn't completed other objectives yet -- I found I had no water arrows left. The three remaining seemed to just vanish, unless I used them and have just forgotten. Weird.

Alas, I don't have a savegame from before that point, so I can't go and check.

I enjoyed the mission a lot, up until the point it became an endless loot hunt (which I don't really like). But if ghosters want a real challenge, come up with a way of getting into that foyer without drawing a yellow alert!

Note: A number of people have had trouble getting the banner to open in the room with the long counter and the watcher inside the police station. You have to frob a secret book in Lt. Mosely's office, which is accessed through the foyer. I thought the banner had failed to open for me because I was expecting it to open like a door... and because I was primed to think it might fail by reading accounts of it failing to open for others. But in fact, it slides to the right. When you return to the room, assuming you didn't actually pace off the distance from the banner to the door, you might not notice that it was different, as I didn't. Before assuming that you're actually having that problem, check the wall just left of the banner for two niches, one with a coin stack and one with Jeni's ring.

Dafydd

dafydd
8th Mar 2004, 12:48
FM: The Monstery of St. Fera (illegal Thief 2 rerelease)
File: MofF_T2.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (failed)
Time: 2:46
Loot: 1604 of 1809 (1600 required)
Pockets picked: 6 of 7 (all, I think)
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Damage dealt: 0
Damage received: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments

This has been "ghosted" before (the T1 version) by RiCh, back on July 22, 2002 (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1178&perpage=25&pagenumber=2).

But there are a couple of things that we no longer accept: first, RiCh listed the "Ghosting difficulty level" as hard, not expert; now it's possible that the original mission had hard as its hardest play level; but if not, then this is a ghost bust.

Second, RiCh evidently ghosted the spiders at the entrance to the underground tunnel by what we now call "blind luck," i.e., "quirks of the dark engine that are not repeatable." Here is how he described it:


In one ghost run, out of frustration I was casually flipping the up/down lever back and forth while I was leaning against the door. To my amazement the door, instead of opening outwards opened inwards and disappeared? A bug? I think so (anyone else seen this? I wasn’t complaining, I saved the game and proceeded onwards with a smile on my face :)

I can't say for 100% certain that this was just a bug; maybe it happened everytime someone flipped the door open and closed while leaning into it. But I absolutely could not make it happen even once.

Here is how I legally ghosted the spiders: after descending the spiral stair, I stayed in the shadows and approached the door. The door is opened by a switch... alas, the door opens outward -- that is, into the room where Garrett stands, blocking the doorway. Any attempt to walk around the door to enter the doorway takes Garrett into bright light, and the spiders spook.

However, I was able to jump-mantle up onto the top edge of the open door itself. I couldn't do it every time, but after getting it once, I tested it a few more times and was able to get up there twice more. Repeatable, in other words.

Now came the hard part. Hopping down from the top of the door also puts Garrett into light, alerting one of the spiders... but I found that if I did it fast enough, dropping down and darting inside the doorway, I could get only the slightest alert... the spider chirped, then began patrolling.

So I did it a number of times until I was able to get inside the doorway, drawing a chirp but no patrolling or legs-in-the-air behavior. Again, I saved, then tried it a bunch more times. It worked about every eigth try, so again, it's repeatable.

There are no Craymen in this version of St. Fera, but there was an odd occurrance in the underground rooms past the spiders. Several times when I was simply crouching in darkness, waiting for the fire elemental to pass, I would hear a loud clunk, like the sound of falling rock or metal. It sounded like something had fallen from the ceiling onto the floor, but I couldn't see anything. But trying to walk forward, I had a hard time getting around some invisible barrier, where the noise seemed to come from. It's as if there were invisible stones dropping from the ceiling. Alas, each one evidently alerted all the fire elementals, because as soon as I heard the "rockfall" tone, the elementals would begin seeking me... in fact, they suddenly became possessed by Sherlock Holmes, able to hunt me down no matter where I was hiding, even though I was in total darkness. Weird. I had to go quickly through that section of the mission to avoid unwarranted alerts.

I exited from a high hole into the spider room. By turning sideways and crab-walking through the hole, I was able to drop silently to the floor in just enough darkness to avoid detection by the nearly blind spiders. I mantled onto one of the steps while still in total darkness, and I was out of there!

So I think it fair to say that this version, at least, of the Monastery off St. Fera is legitimately ghostable.

Dafydd

Old Man
8th Mar 2004, 15:03
Something I've had success with is making my last footstep sound in full shadow and then CCCing sliently away still in full darkness. What I've noticed is that any AI searching for me will first exhaust any visual sighting spots, then resort to locations where they heard movement. It doesn't seem to matter whether they've alerted prior to my reaching my final spot. They seem to store these hot spots for a while even while not alerted. When they become spooked they'll first search out these spots as above and then either return to their unalerted status or take up a random search. This seems mostly based on how long they've been searching already. Anyhow, having moved on to another hiding spot unseen and unheard they never search that far. Well, occasionally it is difficult to get far enough away to avoid their random searching. Not only is this an effective method of remaining unfound but it can be used to direct the AI away from areas where you don't want them with careful planning. And, of course, this all applies especially when the alert is something beyond the player's control and therefore Ghost exempt such as this one with the invisible rocks from above which aren't the player's fault. Or, if they are the result of the player's presence it is most likely a proximity trigger and still exempt.

Wonder if the Fire Elementals would still find you if you've moved on silently, dafydd?

As far as the disappearing door is concerned, that seems to me a possible engine expoit and may have something to do with the number of times it is opened and closed. I just played GatB T2 and the one downstairs bedroom door disappeared after only a couple of times being opened and closed. In another recent mission I had the double cellar doors do the same thing including floating off up to door heaven. Sometimes you want to keep the door even then and I do this by leaning into the door while opening it. The door will only open about half way and not disappear. Then, if I still need it opened a bit more to pass through, I tap-tap the door while moving into it again and it'll open a little further each time. This technique works even with double doors when you cannot prevent one of them from opening all the way and disappearing. It only seems to have disappeared. Closing the remaining visible door results in the one that has disappeared emerging from the walls and closing also.

dafydd
8th Mar 2004, 23:44
[Old Man]


Wonder if the Fire Elementals would still find you if you've moved on silently, dafydd?

I don't think I tried running to a different location... but I was way off the patrol path, and the fire elementals all came there.

I just reloaded from before the invisible rock fell and moved quickly, and there was no alert of the fire elementals.

Dafydd

dafydd
15th Mar 2004, 02:28
FM: Properly Paranoid (entry in Komag's Contest V)
File: c5ProperlyParanoid.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (success!)
Time: 2:32
Loot: 1387 of 1387 (1300 required)
Pockets picked: 1 of 1
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Damage dealt: 0
Damage received: 0
Secrets: 4 of 4

Comments

This is the first C5 mission I could Perfect and only the second I ghosted. (I came close on Into the Maelstrom, but I was spotted by a ghost when I leapt into the flooded hold on the metal ship; I didn't discover the moss arrow until much later in the game, and I didn't feel like replaying it).

This is an excellent mission for ghosting -- curiously, you don't have a blackjack, but you do have a sword, and there is no objective preventing you from killing everyone! -- but there are several difficult-to-ghost spots that require more raw nerve than anything else.

1. The watcher in the upstairs corridor;

2. The combat bot and the door you need to pick;

3. The lit room behind that door.

The watcher in the upstairs corridor

I realized I needed to get into the locked rooms in this corridor, since I had to find the DeathWard -- which allows you to loot the mummy's room -- and it was nowhere else, so it had to be here. Alas, there is a watcher at one end of the corridor whose "patrol" is not long enough to allow me to run up the corridor, pick open a door, and get inside before being spotted.

But the watcher is attached to a lock, and I guessed (correctly) that picking that lock would turn it off. But even that lock is within the view of the watcher when it turns left... and in any event, there are two AIs who patrol the brightly lit corridor at regular but complex intervals.

My basic technique was to hide in the doorway of the elevator (not far enough in to trigger the light gem in the elevator itself) until the coast was clear; then to dart out, stand under the watcher until it was turning right, then run to the lock and get in a bit of picking before having to dash back under the watcher, thence back to the elevator. I found that one turn right was good for a single "stage" of lockpicking (three-stage lock).

The mace-wielding male who patrols that corridor started from my entry room (the Harp room), took a look around, as if searching, when standing next to the safe, headed towards the elevator, turned right into the corridor, then turned right again under the watcher to head right back to the Harp room; he would again pause and "search" near the safe, then again head towards the door near the elevator -- but he would then do a loop-back to the safe and then back and out the elevator-side door. This loop-back was my cue: after this, his patrol would be a much longer one, passing under the watcher, through the library, and all the way around the scenic route back to the Harp room... that whole thing was one patrol.

The other guard was a crossbow woman; she would make several false starts from the far end of the corridor towards the watcher, then finally walk under it and into the library. So the longest time interval I had was when the male did his loop-around maneuver and when the female went all the way. Er... well, you know what I mean: all the way into the library. Then I would get a good, long stretch, likely more than a minute.

Picking the lock a stage at a time -- I had time for two stages on one of those "long tour" phases of the patrol, though I didn't realize it -- and scuttling back to the safety of the elevator if necessary, I finally picked the lock. As expected, the watcher turned off. Thereafter, the corridor was just a matter of avoiding AI while I picked my way into the two rooms.

Incidentally, one of them has the DeathWard, but the other has an invisibility potion (it's hot; turn off the gas under the Bunsen Burner!) I didn't find the invisibility potion until late in the game, but I didn't need it anyway. Chemical-free ghosting!

The combat bot and the door you need to pick

Down the elevator and into the room beyond -- solve the crossword puzzle; it gives you the combination you'll need later to avoid being turned into a thief pancake! -- and through the door leads to the T-corridor patrolled by the combot. I found out (online) that I had to get into the locked room at the neck of the T... but this was really, really tricky: the combot patrols from the foot of the T up and to the left, pauses, then back to the foot of the T, pauses, then back up and to the right, pauses, then back to the foot of the T and pauses again. It pauses for very little time at the left and right prongs of the T, only a few seconds.

I did a man's job picking the lock, but I was completely unable to get it (another three-stager) before being spotted and killed. Once again, I had to use a staged approach.

I discovered that even though I was partially lit at the lock, the combot really couldn't see me when it was at the base of the T. Starting from the Altar room (where I found the statue key), I ran down the corridor right behind the combot and started picking while it was still walking to the base of the T. I continued picking as it turned around; when I finished one lockpick stage, I spun and crouch-ran up the T and to the right, back towards the Altar room; this kept me away from the brightest spot. I drew a first-alert grumble from the combot ("I have seen... I do not know; this incident will be reported; I have found -- no danger.")

Then, the next time the combot was headed back towards the base of the T, I ran to the other side, hiding in the Crossword Puzzle room. When the combot came to my side and then departed, I edged into the corridor again, pressed up against the wall and looking towards the Altar room, getting my next lockpick ready. The combot marched back up the T and turned towards that room, never spotting me behind it in the corridor. I darted immediately to the locked door and actually had enough time for both lockpick stages and to move into the doorway, the only dark spot between the well-lit T corridor and the well-lit room, where a guard waited.

I waited, holding my breath, for the combot to pass again; even though it was so close I could smell the sewing-machine oil, it didn't see me in the sliver of total darkness. When it left again (for the elevator side), I flew down to the base of the T, grabbed the ornate poker, and raced back to my doorway.

The lit room behind that door

Next time the combot came and went, I mossed the area just inside the door, then edged into the room, hugging the right wall and pointed towards the guard. I got a single grumble ("come into the light, that I might see thee better!"), but nothing more. I crept slowly through the well-lit room, but amazingly, the guard didn't see me. I looked for a white cane and guide dog -- or at least an umpire's manual. I was able to get all the way around and behind him... at which point he finally spoke again, but only to say "'twas just the moss in mine ears," and then he began intoning those endless Mechanist dirges.

I knew I would eventually have to loot that room (the paintings -- replace each one with a conductive plate or else you'll be a pincushion), so I started nudging the guard forward. I got him a third of the way across and got bored

I went off and did thiefly things in the two rooms behind the guard, then returned. He was far enough forward that I could grab the two pictures farthest from the front door... and an odd thing happened: once I got picture number two, the light in the room turned off.

I tried going around in front of the guard and grabbing the third painting... but when I did, that turned the light back on, and I was turned into smashed potatoes. So I reloaded, left the third picture for later, and was able to move in and out of that room at will for a while. I did eventually come back and nudge the guard all the way up into the far right corner; when I maneuvered him there, I was able to get the last picture and escape from the room without him seeing me.

The rest of the mission was just ordinary sneakiness; there are a lot of puzzles to solve, but they're the same for ghosters and non-ghosters.

I will note that two extra objectives appeared: one ("Scout") when I turned off the arrow-trap near the chest in the Number room, and the other ("Treasure Hunter") when I got all the loot; both appeared already checked off. If there are other invisible objectives, I didn't trigger them.

Dafydd

Peter_Smith
15th Mar 2004, 04:50
FM: The Focus (entry in Komag's Contest 5)
File: c5Focus.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (failed)
Time: 2:45
Loot: 1287 of 1397 (1000 required)
Pockets picked: 6 of 7 (all)
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Damage dealt: 0
Damage received: 0
Secrets: 6 of 6

Comments

This is an excellent small mission. Highly recommended for ghost play, or any play, for that matter. Ghost is practically forced in Expert skill. The mission has good architecture, story, puzzles, and game play. It was evidently designed with ghosting in mind, because there is always a shadow handy, and there are no serious ghosting challenges.

The mission is filled with little switches and secret passages. Fun to explore. When a main route becomes challenging, as many of them are (for example, watchers, a long haul over marble, or a slow, exposed elevator ride), there is usually a secret side passage somewhere that can be used to bypass the area. When you run out of ghosting options, it is time to look for more secrets.

There are lots of tricky little hiding places. You must find three gear keys and three skulls, and these are nicely hidden. As hopes start to fade, you discover another little area that allows you to progress. The game play and design are qute good. But it is easy to miss these secrets and become stuck.

In addition to secrets, there are a number of nice puzzles to solve. I won't give the solutions. They include decoding a message, finding a strange key, figuring out the order to press some talisman buttons, figuring out how to save the keeper's souls, and figuring out how to kill the Master.

There are a few optional and bonus objectives which add interest to the play. They include:

Kill the Master (optional)
Crack the code to the safe (bonus)
Find all the secrets (bonus)
No KO's (optional)

I got all of them with a little help on the secrets. However, Kill the Master, if done, causes the No KO objective to fail, so I reloaded a saved game and avoided killing him. I guess that is better for ghosting anyway. :)

I had some difficulty with completing the objectives at first. It seems that the two main objectives, to free the souls of some keepers and to get "the eye", disappear from your list if you reload a saved game in the wrong spot. So I played through the mission accomplishing what I thought were the objectives, and the game would not end. I posted this problem at TTLG, and Old Man was kind enough to point out that I could re-establish the objectives by going back to where the objectives were first given and re-reading a journal. I did this and finished the mission normally.

Another little problem is that you are told to leave by the "back door." Early in the mission, you find a key to a "back yard," which has a back yard door, of course. I assumed that this back yard was the ending place. It isn't. There is another locked door, for which you can find "back door" key at the very end of the mission. The "back door" key does not appear if you have the objective problem mentioned in the paragraph above. The doors aren't labeled. I got help at TTLG for that one, too.

Finally, I must give credit to Nightwalker who told me about two of the six secrets, both of which were non-essential to game play and contained minimal loot. So, yes, I received a little help, but I got through all the essential stuff without it.

As for the 110 missing loot, I don't think anybody has found all of it yet. The best is -100 so far. I don't know where my missing 10 is, and of course I have no idea about the missing 100.

dafydd
15th Mar 2004, 06:02
[Peter]

This was my favorite of the C5 missions I've played so far. I ghosted it, but only just barely. I too had to get a lot of help from the board.

Really fun mission -- did you get the impression that it was a lot larger than it actually was? I was amazed that it fit within the Komag Kube.

You missed a bonus objective, by the way. Remember that note about the gal losing her ring? When you read it, an optional objective appears to return her ring to her.

Over in the area near where the Mechanist guy's room is, I forget his name (the scientist who created the focus), there is a room that belongs to a thief who weaseled his way into the castle by pretending to be a veteran (he's kind enough to tell us this in his journal).

He mentions that the only thing he's stolen so far is a ring. It's on his bunk bed (upper). That's Jenny's ring; if you take it and put it back on her bedside table, the objective checks off.

Dafydd

Peter_Smith
15th Mar 2004, 08:05
Originally posted by dafydd
[Peter]

You missed a bonus objective, by the way. Remember that note about the gal losing her ring? When you read it, an optional objective appears to return her ring to her.

Ah, yes. In fact, I did that in my aborted run where the mission would not end, and then I forgot to do it again in the one that ended. :)

dafydd
15th Mar 2004, 08:23
[Peter]

Oops, my error: I didn't ghost this one... and how the heck did you avoid getting a yellow alert from the watcher when you rode the elevator up to the second floor?

I didn't think it could be done.

Dafydd

Old Man
15th Mar 2004, 12:47
I pointed this out to you in the TTLG thread, dafydd. There's an alternate route (one of the six secrets) for getting up to the elevator's second floor that brings you out behind the watcher. The elevator is really only needed to get up to the next floor beyond that. I was lucky enough to find it before I tried the elevator. I agree with Peter, The Focus is merely a good, solid Ghostable mission. No heroics required.

dafydd
15th Mar 2004, 20:34
[Old Man]

...How do you get to that secret passage up to the second floor?

Dafydd

Old Man
16th Mar 2004, 01:07
Originally posted by dafydd
[Old Man]

...How do you get to that secret passage up to the second floor?

Dafydd Across from the double doors of the dining room (off the kitchen) is a twin pair of double doors through which is a small parlor with a switch low on the wall in a corner by an end table. It comes out in Garibaldi's office where there's a switch to turn off the watcher on that floor. The only trick is sneaking past the kitchen maid and then the patrol near the elevator between the sets of double doors. Now that I think on it I'm not altogether sure it's a secret. Whatever. BTW, that parlor has an overlook from the end of the elevator hallway opposite to Jackson's room. One might be excused from being completely thorough in this area since the library entrance is here also which is a busy place and a sort of nexus of other remote areas. Remembering to come back after all that and get to that parlor might categorize you as tedious. I've come to expect better of you, however. :-|

dafydd
16th Mar 2004, 01:58
[Old Man]

No, I just didn't notice it, that's all!

Dafydd

Peter_Smith
30th Mar 2004, 04:41
FM: The Relic (entry in Komag's Contest 5)
File: c5Relic.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (failed)
Time: 2:51
Loot: 3738 of 3888 (2000 required)
Pockets picked: 2 of 3 (all)
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Damage dealt: 1 (required to meet objective)
Damage received: 0
Secrets: 4 of 4

Comments

This is a nice little city mission with plenty of buildings to explore and lots of things to do. As a C5 mission, where space is at a premium, the quarters are a little cramped, but nevertheless the use of space is very good. It seems like there are a lot of secrets in this mission. Lots more than four. Little switches. Objectives are continually being added, which keeps the interest going. When you think you are done, you are only getting started. Hence, the long time searching around for things you didn't know you needed. :)

The buildings have shutters in the windows. If you open them you will be probably be spotted by the guards outside. In fact, there are some places where you can be spotted by guards behind closed shutters. It seems that some of them may be transparent. I think that the designer intended this mission to be ghostable, but also planned on your being caught a lot. I reloaded quite a few times.

There are a few trouble spots. One is getting through the chapel to a door that leads outside. It turns out you don't have to do that because there is a switch that moves a sarcophagus in the shrine room (inside the sacristy), and you can get out there the back way. Still, before finding the switch I was intent on going out there, and I did. It required both moss and dodging behind a pillar.

Another trouble spot is in the police station. That guard is very goosy. There are some coins on a window sill in there that are a little problem to snag. I crept all around that guard and was disappointed to find no rewards for doing so other than to be trapped in a cell with a display telling me how foolish I was to go in a cell if I wasn't forced to.:rolleyes:

A small trouble spot was the store window with guards patrolling outside. That was a question of timing, but again it is very easy to get caught there. I went into the display window to get some some flowers used in a puzzle. I think there are some easier, safer flowers elsewhere, but I did not know it at the time.

There are also six gold coin stacks behind a banner in that store window. The loot is too far back to snag through the banner, so I think Perfect Thief is impossible. Other than 150 loot behind the banner, I got it all.

Another trouble spot for me, but I think it is not a general problem, was finding the key for the cemetery. I frobbed that switch by the sarcophagus, and it did not move. I think I may have been standing too close to the sarcophagus and prevented its movement. I left the area, and it still did not move. Much later I came back there out of desperation and as soon as I entered the room the sarcophagus moved back, revealing the key. So, I wasted about 45 minutes of game play hunting for something that I should have been able to find right away.

The knockout was needed to complete an objective to put the cruel doctor in a cell so he could experience the starvation he was practicing on others. Its is possible that the objective could be bypassed by not reading a book somewhere, but that is not the way I play. If I get an objective, I do it. :) Anyway, it is not a bust according to accepted interpretations of the rules.

dafydd
5th Apr 2004, 00:18
FM: Lord Alan's Basement (T2 Version)
File: Basement2.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (failed)
Time: 3:16
Loot: 4784 of 5178 (3500 required)
Pockets picked: 17 of 18 (all?)
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Damage dealt: 0
Damage received: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments

Not much to say here. Vanguard already ghosted this one, and I'm sure I didn't do anything much different than what he did.

I never bothered with the double-gate room; I didn't see what was the point. There didn't seem to be anything in any of the rooms worthwhile, and it appeared as though it was possible to get into both connecting rooms by other routes. So I bypassed it.

The only question I have is the one that Vanguard didn't address: to get the Hand of Glory, you have to get past a deadly force field. The only way to do so is to toss in a sunburst device and set it off with a fire arrow.

Doing this doesn't alert any of the AI outside (in the T2 version; Vanguard reports that in the Thief Gold version, the AI outside were much more sensitive, so perhaps in that version, they would be alerted... but since the TG version is unghostable anyway, per Vanguard, it really doesn't matter).

But does shutting off the field by blowing it up count as "property damage?" Evidently Vanguard didn't think so, as he counted his ghost effort a success (in T2). I can see a good argument why it should not, but a slight argument why it should count as property damage:

If you consider the field itself to be "property," then clearly property was destroyed. I don't think there is precedent in the ghost annals for counting forms of energy as property.

But something must be generating that field, even though it's not in evidence (and doubtless doesn't really exist in the mission design), and presumably there is at least a chance that what you're "really" doing is blowing up the generator -- which would of course count as property damage.

But on the other side,

1) There is no visible damage; the field is simply not there any longer, which is no worse than a camera or an alarm being turned off when the guard knows he left it on;

2) We have no way of knowing whether the field generator is destroyed or the field itself is simply momentarily interrupted because the sunburst device knocked the parameters akilter... perhaps the next guard who comes by can just readjust the field parameters back to mass: 100, alpha: 80, fluid: 95, x:0.25, y:0.27, and z:0.89, and "keep air and fire," and the field will pop back into existence (without the Hand of Glory, however);

3) In any event, it's a hard mission (even the T2 version, which is evidently easier than the TG), and that's the only way to get one of the objectives... so since there is no visible damage, I think it's reasonable to say that doesn't bust the ghost.

Erring on the side of caution doesn't require manufacturing non-existent machines to suffer invisible damage just so you can bust your own ghost! :D

Dafydd

dafydd
2nd May 2004, 20:55
Wow, I go away to Japan for two weeks, and nobody posts a word in this topic!

Nobody's ghosting anymore?

(I'm writing this post mostly to pop the top back up top, perhaps inspiring someone to go ghost something and write it up here.)

And on that note....

Dafydd

dafydd
2nd May 2004, 21:06
FM: Mystic Lady (?) - Die Geheimnisvolle Lady
File: Mystlady.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (failed)
Time: 0:57
Loot: 7022 of 8312 (5000 required)
Pockets picked: 5 of 13
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Damage dealt: 0
Damage received: 0
Secrets: 0 of 1

Comments

This is just a cutesy FM written as a present by Christine for Dinksmallwood, who was so enamored of the gift that she gave it to Epithumia to be shared with the thiefly world.

There is nothing really difficult from a ghosting perspective. Somehow I managed to miss the secret, however, along with most of the pickpockets and a huge chunk of the loot! I think I was moving too fast, and I'll probably go back and see if I can figure out what I missed the first time.

Dafydd

dafydd
4th May 2004, 06:20
FM: Lady Whitman's Disease (Thief 2 version)
File: lwd_t2.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (failed)
Time: 1:48
Loot: 1914 of 2164 (1400 required)
Pockets picked: 4 of 5 (all?)
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Damage dealt: 0
Damage received: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments


Nothing to see here... just move along!

Dafydd

Peter_Smith
5th May 2004, 05:46
Originally posted by dafydd
Nobody's ghosting anymore?
Not many, at least not many willing to write them up. I've been ghosting a little bit, but have been kind of tied up lately. My latest attempt, Sterlino's mission, has failed miserably. Keep up the good work, Dafydd. :)

dafydd
6th May 2004, 00:36
You mean Horns of Canzo? I couldn't even make the sucker run -- and my system is hardly underpowered! (P4, 2.4 GHz, 1 Gb RAM, MSI GeForce4 Ti 4200 with 64 Mb on the card, DirectX 9.0b)

There is something drastically wrong with the mission, and last I read, Sterlino is so sick of fiddling with it that he has quit, at least temporarily.

It seemed interesting, but there were some problems with the earlier version, too; I didn't have framerate problems (which is what stopped me on 0.95c), but on the a or b version, I forget which, I ran into an AI who could not only see me when my light gem was totally black, he could see me right through the tavern wall! It drove me nuts, and I finally abandoned it for the newer (and, I thought, better) version -- which turned out to be unplayable.

I ended up just deleting them. Too bad; I loved the graphics (after I got used to the neon effect), especially those spiffy uniforms on the guards. And this is just the second mission I've played with a continuous, in-game weapon shop, and I wanted to see how it would work: suppose I just barely satisfied the loot requirement; if I then went and bought something, would that uncheck the objective again? I'd have to go find more loot to be able to finish?

I hope Sterlino takes a few days rest, has a couple of apple martinis, and dives back in. If he can solve the framerate problem, I think he'll have an excellent FM.

Dafydd

dafydd
6th May 2004, 00:54
FM: The Trickster's Castle
File: TheTrickstersCastle.zip

Play mode: Ghost (failed)

Reason for failure: Trickster alerts while being killed; AI alerted when I set off sunburst device to open cemetary gates for escape.

Zero damage taken: success
Time: 4:57
Loot: 8149 of 9255 (7600 required)
Pockets picked: 4 of 11 ?!
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 1
Damage dealt: 481
Damage received: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments

The death was killing the Trickster, or the "Prime Evil" (evidently, Dark Ghost Lord is under the impression that primeval means "most evil," rather than "primitive" :D ).

(Which reminds me of my ex girlfriend, who would say "that's silly... in fact, that's more than silly -- it's SUPER-cilious.")

There appears to be no way to kill the Prime Evil with a single blow, a backstab, or to knock him out with the blackjack; the only thing I found that works is repeated fire arrows -- I mean on the order of seventeen or eighteen -- while you dodge his missile attacks of various sorts. Fortunately, there is an ample supply of fire arrows tucked behind one of the pillars... just as at the very beginning of the mission, there is a huge cache of stuff over by the apebeasts and ents.

But this means it's impossible to ghost, because after the first fire-arrow shot, the Prime Evil is of course alerted. I did manage to avoid getting injured, but that's about all I can say.

Also, at the very end, Garrett is required to escape by the back door, which means through the cemetary gate. But the gate is "stuck," and the only way to open it is by plopping a sunburst device (from the room across the hall from the main chapel) in front of the gates and setting it off with a fire arrow. Alas, there are three or four AI in the cemetary, and they will hear the explosion even when they're all the way on the other side of the graveyard. They stop, stare, then run over to see what happened... which pretty much counts as an alert in my book.

There is really nothing ghostworthy to report; the enjoyment and the annoyances of this mission all come from the mission itself, not from the attempt to ghost it; if you can complete the mission, you can ghost the mission, except for the two parts that I believe are unghostable.

Ah, one tough part: in the cemetary, down the hole in the center, you will find a lake; there is a big hammer in there, which is major loot. However, there are four Craymen, two little spiders, and one big spider parading around the lake (plus a Crayman on the bottom of the lake, but he doesn't seem to hear too well)... it's almost impossible to jump into the water without alerting any of these eight enemies. I did manage finally to do it (on about the seventh reload), waiting until they were all on the other side from me.

But other than that, there's nothing of great interest particularly to ghosters. If someone can figure out how to kill the Prime Evil without alerting him or how to blow open the gates without waking up the evil dead, please let me know.

Dafydd

dafydd
7th May 2004, 00:01
I'm quite curious about the phenomenon of people not posting much here anymore. (As usual, I seem to have gotten involved at just the wrong moment, when everybody else was leaving!)

Is it that people are no longer playing ghost mode? Or are they just tired of writing reports about it?

In my case, I discover I have already played all the "good" FMs (as judged by rankings, hammers, and WOM), and I'm always reluctant to replay a mission. Maybe if I played something I first played a long time ago, I will have forgotten most of it....

So at the moment, I'm basically sitting around waiting for some good stuff to be released. I went through an orgy of gaming when the Contest 5 entries became available; but of course, they're all small, not big campaigns like the Night Falcon or huge missions like Calendra's Cistern & Legacy. Went through 'em pretty quickly.

I'm also a bit concerned that when T3 comes out (without a T3 DromEd), that we won't see any more FMs at all, because it will be impossible to make a T3 fan mission, and after playing T3, people won't be able to tolerate T2/T1. It's probably an unreasonable fear on my part, but I can't help fretting nonetheless.

Every so often, I discover a "good one" that I unaccountably missed; I'm just about to play Events in Highrock, for example. But the glory days, when I could look forward to literally scores of really good missions I had yet to play, are gone forever.

I've "caught up," more or less, and I can only play new missions at the same rate that they're released.

But I will still always try ghosting first, and I'll write up anything interesting here. Just for old times' sake.

Dafydd

dafydd
8th May 2004, 06:31
FM: Skeletons In the Closet
File: skelintclos.zip

Play mode: Ghost (succeeded)
Perfect Thief (failed)

Time: 3:39
Loot: 8106 of 9421 (8000 required)
Pockets picked: 21 of 28
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Damage dealt: 0
Damage received: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments

By contrast, this mission is a lot harder if you ghost, and there are several tough spots, definitely worth ghosting. The beginning is boring, but don't let that throw you; it picks up a lot in the second or third plaza, and the last part is a lot of fun.

The first problem I encountered was downstairs in the pirates' lair. (I know Old Man doesn't like to, but the rest of youse should read the documents! The pirates' log book, foolishly left out for any passing thief to see, mentions that they're off to loot the mayor's house... which is how I later identified which house was the mayor's, something I needed to find in order to fulfill a later objective.)

The pirates mention that they found a tunnel that leads into the fort; it's beneath some boxes in their lair. I followed it and came to an unopenable banner. On an exploratory raid, I slashed it open and dropped inside. I believe that Garrett being in the basement causes the female archer to freeze on the stairs up; I was forced to KO her (since I knew this was a recon run, and I would reload later).

A bit of looking around convinced me that I had to get inside the fort legitimately somehow. Not only was there a lot of loot, but the fort contained the office of Dubois, where I had to leave incriminating evidence about who killed my blackmailer contact, Gilberto. (In Dubois's room under the bed is also where I found the blackmail note; when I picked it up, I got a new objective to drop it on the mayor's desk -- it reveals that the mayor's wife has been having a dalliance with Dubois.) There is also a weapons room, where I needed to stock up.

I prowled around, finally heading all the way up to the roof, where I found three people hanged from the gallows... and there I finally found the way out: a ramp led down to the street again; there were AI, but it was passable. I breathed a sigh of relief, since if there were no such "legal" entrance, the mission would have been unghostable! I left down the ramp, then turned around and looked back, satisfied I would recognize it again when I returned. Then I reloaded and continued on.

(I made my way to the water -- but just before the passage that leads to the canal, there is a round guardhouse on stilts; on the right-hand (east) side of the building north of the guardhouse is an alley. At the end of my game, I was still short by a little less than 100 gold; I was completely out of water arrows and getting desperate. Acting on a tip from the TTLG topic on this mission, I went down that alley and found a wooden shutter, which I opened. By hopping up, I found a tiara that was worth 200 gold, so I was able to finish. I've put this here so that the alert readers can get this loot on the way, rather than having to get it on the way back.)

So, I made my way to the canal zone. There are a lot of AI here, and their patrols seem to have random components, or else they're complex enough that they may as well be random.

I headed across the canal and through the rabbit warren of streets. I found a lodge with a bit of loot, and I found a guard in front of the red-light district (well, one brothel with a red light, easily looted). Eventually, I worked my way around to the ramp that I knew from reconoissance led up into the fort.

I snuck up past the guards and looted the fort, also picking up the blackmail note; but I didn't yet have any evidence about who killed Gilberto; so I knew I would have to return later. I returned to the canal. I wanted to jump into it and explore, but there were a lot of guards around who would hear the splash if they were close enough.

But I found that if I went to a point halfway between the gate near the mayor's house and the passageway past the lantern guard, I could slide in (when no one was around) without alerting anyone.

I was able to crouch in the water, though that took my head below the surface (once, I wasn't paying attention, and I drowned!) I trucked along past the gate, underneath the big bridge, and underneath another building. I discovered that although it doesn't really look like it, I could stand up beneath the building and be able to breathe, which made the next part much easier.

There is a hole in the floor of the building, and I was able to pop my head up inside and steal a bunch of stuff that the pirates were piling there, being in the process of robbing the mayor's house. Thieving from thieves -- fair game, eh? But the leader of the housebreakers keeps popping into and out of the building very quickly, and it was hard to time it right so I didn't get caught. Since I could stand with my head outside the water but still not up the hole in the building floor, I could watch for when the chief thief was just leaving the building: I scooped up everything then darted back to my dark spot. I waited until he came and went, then zipped out, mantled up onto the floor, and fled through the door and off to the left, just before he returned. I got a "hey!" from him but no searching alert.

This mission is highly nonlinear, which I like... but it means I did things rather out of order. I'll rearrange it here into a more coherent pattern. I followed the chief thief back and found the back door of the mayor's house. There was a thief guard outside, next to a stairway that led up to the door. A bright lantern sat on the landing, illuminating nearly all the area around there except what was in the shadow of the stairs.

The problem is that the thief guard has really, really good peripheral vision: if I went up the stairs, he caught me out of the corner of his left eye and ran up to pummel me with his blade. So what to do?

Clearly, I had to nudge him. But -- to get around on the proper side to nudge (forward and around the back of the stair, so he couldn't see me as I ascended), I had to be on the right-hand side of the thief guard... right in the bright illumination of the lantern. And every few seconds, the chief thief would either go up the stairs into the house or down the stairs back to the building where they had stashed their loot (which I had stolen), and in either direction, he could see me if I were in the light. I had at most eight to ten seconds to nudge when he was gone.

So I had to crouch in the shadows, wait for the chief thief to go past, then crouch-run around to the correct side, push hard to nudge the thief guard a single step, and then crouch-run back to shadow before the chief returned. It was very slow, very demanding nudging: I saved after every time I managed to move him, no matter how slight... because I very often overstayed my welcome on the nudging and got busted. It took forever, but I finally got him into position where he couldn't see the stair even with his wraparound vision. I waited for the next time the chief was gone (towards the loot=stash building, of course) and ran up the stairs and into the mayor's house.

There is some loot upstairs, but the desk I wanted, where I had to leave the blackmail note, was downstairs in the room to the left off the entrance hall... the room that the chief thief would pop into some of the times he entered the house. (The room on the other side of the hall had a female thief with a huge candlestick in her hand; I read that if you're caught stealing it, she runs after you shouting "that's my #&$*#@! candlestick!" I cannot verify this at first hand, because, ahem, I didn't alert her.)

I returned to the ramp that led up to the fort. Around the corner was a gate, which I think I had to pick open. I sneaked around a stationary guard, followed a patroller, and found the street that led eventually to the bank at its end. There was a wooden platform on the left; I roped up, climbed down the ladder inside, and found a measely purse. But the real purpose of the platform was as a launching pad. I jumped to the enclosure next door (same side of the street, away from the bank) and found some loot, I think. Then I returned to the platform and went the other way: there is a wooden ledge from which I was able to enter the rooms of a sleeping couple. They left some literature lying about that indicated the "drunk across the street" was howling about having killed someone. Gilberto?

I returned to the platform, then ran and leapt off towards the enclosure across the street. I aimed to ricochet off the railing and silently, without damage, into the roof garden. Inside, I found a confession from the drunk that he had, indeed, killed Gilberto. I grabbed it and headed downstairs. I used a pair of boxes to exit back onto the street... but I found I couldn't get through the gate leading to the bank area. When I looked, I realized that the drunk's house looked over that gate, however -- and there was an openable, shuttered window.

I returned to the platform yet again -- then realized I could get back to the ramp up to the fort by walking along the ledge from the side where the couple's window was to the back; it was, in fact, the ledge that bordered the ramp. I returned and left the drunk's confession on Dubois's desk, then returned along the ledge to the front side again and back to the platform.

I jumped into the drunk's roof garden again, and fetched the boxes back from downstairs. Stacking a couple allowed me to crawl out the window at the top of the stairs, down onto a pile of boxes inside the gated area of the bank. The inner gate to the bank itself wasn't locked, but the bank doors were... and none of my keys would work. A guard patrolled up and down just inside; my only option was the irritating pattern of darting forward, picking the bank-door lock for a few seconds, then darting back before the patroller turned and saw me.

I finally got it open and zipped inside (marble floors, of course).

The one guard inside was asleep, and the Watcher was easy to beat. But I was still a little short on loot, so I wandered off disconsolately, searching for someone else to rob.

I finally found the last place I hadn't yet hit, at least that I know of (considering that I missed about 1300 worth of loot, I suspect there are one or two places that evaded my gimlet eye). It was the inn across from the stationary guard near the lamppost, and thereby hangs an annoyance. I had to evade the gaze of the guard, who turned rather rapidly hither and yon; I unlocked the door with one of the keys I had gotten, got on the handle side, and opened it. When the guard turned his back, I ran to the door... but inside there was a woman in red who freaked out everytime she saw me and ran for the hills.

It didn't matter that everybody else in the inn ignored me (just another patron). No matter how casually I walked near her, she screamed, started back, then pelted for the door shouting for the guard.

I think this is a simple mistake on the author's part; certainly it makes no sense in the context of the mission. I had to run to the front doorway, then creep ever so slowly through the doorway into the room, so my light gem wouldn't brighten to the point where she could see me. And once inside, I had to avoid the game room, kitchen, and basement, none of which I could reach without her climbing the walls like a coked-out lab rat. Pity; there was 100 gold worth of candlesticks in there, and I was running just about 100 short of being able to finish.

Oddly, I found two doors upstairs that I could not open with any of my keys (including a key found in the inn itself) or the lockpicks. I have no idea how you open them or what's inside.

I left, still looking for that last little bit that would allow me to finish; and that was when I read about the loot in the building across from the round guardhouse on stilts. I nabbed it, and that was all I needed.

It was a bit tricky escaping, mainly because at the end (beginning) of the mission, there were two guard AIs who danced a complex lobster quadrille; I ended up having to weave in among them to get back into the starting plaza and end the game.

So that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Dafydd

dafydd
15th May 2004, 20:00
After several bad failures in a row -- such bungled attempts at ghosting that I didn't even bother reporting, it was so embarassing... Events in Highrock, Jenivere De Ja Vu, and Rogue's Honor, each of which I finished only by resorting to wholesale blackjacking of the general populace and being chased around the grounds by overzealous but footslow guards -- I think I'm doing pretty well in Business at Midnight. So I hope to be posting another report soon with either a success or a near-enough miss that I don't feel dorky even putting it up.

(Actually, I'm just bringing this topic up to the top again, hoping that somebody else will post something. Anything!)

Dafydd

Gumdrop
15th May 2004, 20:54
Keep up the good ghost, dafydd, you have an avid reader. :)

dafydd
17th May 2004, 09:17
I'm stymied at a particular point of Events in Highrock: I'm in the Evidence Room, and I can't figure out how to open the window (to get something inside) without smashing it open with my sword -- which is the only option that anybody on any of the TTLG threads has suggested.

While I'm waiting to hear, I took a break and played the new Christine FM, A Coterie of Smokers. See next rock.

Dafydd

dafydd
17th May 2004, 09:25
FM: A Coterie of Smokers
File: Rauchergesellschaft.zip

Play mode: Ghost (succeeded)
Perfect Thief (failed)

Time: 3:23
Loot: 7252 of 8402 (7000 required)
Pockets picked: 10 of 17 (I'm skeptical there are really 17 pockets...)
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Damage dealt: 0
Damage received: 0
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments

There isn't too much to say about this mission; the mission itself is lovely, both in terms of architecture and playability -- new objectives popping up as you read literature, guards whose difficult patrols must be carefully timed, lots of Z-axis movement required. But the fun is all in the normal mission, and ghosting doesn't really add anything to it: it's all pretty much standard sneaking.

I ended up with a couple of invisibility potions, but I didn't use them. Likewise, I only had to nudge a single AI: the gal in the kitchen. I nudged her forward enough that I could frob the plates and such stored over the sink. (When I came back later, I discovered that she had turned herself around to face the opposite direction... something which often happens when you nudge an AI really close to a wall.) Don't forget the three water arrows in a wicker basket in the kitchen!

As usual with Christine's missions, there are so many cakes and pies and sausages -- and of course, the ubiquitous doughnuts that are Christine's trademark -- that you may well gain a couple of pounds just playing the thing.

Warning! Once in the secret lab, you can open the "cell" by frobbing the skeleton's shoes. Don't do it! There's a Haunt in there, and he will immediately alert and attack the Mechanist, busting your ghost but good!

Fun, but not particularly noteworthy, as far as ghosting goes.

Dafydd

dafydd
1st Jul 2004, 21:03
FM: Moth to a Flame
File: MothToAFlame.zip

Play mode: Ghost (succeeded, chemical ghost)
Perfect Thief (failed, big time)

Time: 3:22
Loot: 7218 of 9213 (6000 required)
Pockets picked: 15 of 22 (I'm skeptical there are really 22 pockets...)
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Damage dealt: 0
Damage received: 0
Secrets: 2 of 2

Comments

It's a little dicey reporting ghosting a mission I helped beta test, but what the heck!

The beta version was pretty much unghostable for two or three reasons; I noted those, but I fear that the author, madwolf, veered a bit too hard the other direction; the released version of the mission is a lot of fun -- but it's too easy to ghost, now.

For example, there was a lantern guard in the beta who seemed to have 360-degree peripheral vision: no matter what angle you were at, even directly behind him, if you were lit up, he would see you. And since he was carrying a lantern.... <g> Now, it's possible to lift his key (which you need for a bunch of loot) -- but I just ran up behind him and did it; it didn't feel challenging at all. Maybe I just got lucky this time; but in the beta, I had run up behind him at exactly the same place and got caught every time.

In the beta, madwolf had a guard in the bank plaza who was standing under an electric light (most of the lights in this mission are electric); there was also a patroller who passed through this same area, as well as a patrolling theater manager. The geometry was such that it was absolutely impossible to ghost through this room. I suggested a couple of possible changes, and madwolf did in fact change the position... alas, he moved the guard far enough away from the light (next to the route out) that I ended up just running behind him while he was turned facing up the street -- and I got past in two seconds.

I suggested ways to make the mission not unghostable, but I'm afraid the author went a step further and tried to make it ghostable. They sound like synonyms, but language isn't a binary functional, and they're not: when you design a mission to be ghostable, you generally make ghosting too easy. Unfortunately, as fun as this mission is -- and it's a very good mission -- it's too easily ghosted.

Except at the very end. In an odd denoument, after recovering the bank swag, Garrett is supposed to release a prisoner from the gaol. The relevant area comprises several cells... and in the first cell, which you must pass in order to get to the one you must open, there is a pagan staring directly out the cell door who alerts every time Garrett passes. Yeesh! Fortunately, I had an invisibility potion (from a secret area); otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to ghost successfully.

Other than that, no other potions, one guard nudged slightly (so I could reach a lever to open the gate to the ramp up to the ritzy hill area), only one moss arrow and a couple of water arrows used.

I wish there had been one more beta; I would have noted the pendulum swing, and madwolf (an excellent mission designer who actually listens to his beta testers!) would definitely have upped the ghosting difficulty.

Dafydd

madwolf
2nd Jul 2004, 17:47
I think the points you make are very fair Dafydd, and as I intimated to you during testing this stems from my never having been a ghoster. I'm afraid It never occured to me to make it ghostable simply because it's not my style of play. Therefore I may well, as you suggest, have gone too far in the other direction. Oh well, lesson learned, at least us non-ghosters can have plenty of fun knocking people out! Seriously I've taken on board what you say and will bear it in mind next time.
One thing though; I never altered the Lantern guard in any way whatsoever, you were just lucky, he'll get you next time.
Cheers and thanks for testing!
{Full list of testers are on the readme.}
:)

dafydd
3rd Jul 2004, 07:16
Madwolf, I hope you got the most important point of my ghost report: that ghosting aside, the mission itself is a beaut. I really liked it; after several FMs in a row that were less than adequate from various authors, I was very happy to get first yours and then Moghedian's, dragging the average way, way up.

Thanks, guy!

Dafydd

madwolf
3rd Jul 2004, 08:19
No problem!:)

dafydd
28th Jul 2004, 01:12
FM: Profane Ascension
File: ProfaneAscension.zip

Play mode: Ghost (failed)

Reasons for failure:

1) Alerted zombie exiting from area with golden skull

2) Alerted nearby Hammerites when I assassinated bad guy

3) Used walkthrough to find one item

Time: 2:43
Loot: 1762 of 2007 (1200 required)
Pockets picked: 0 of 1 (probably 0 of 0)
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 1 (required by objective)
Damage dealt: 20
Damage received: 0
Bodies discovered by enemies: 1
Secrets: 0 of 0

Comments

The mission is truly great for sneaking: long, bright stretches, lots of guards, with miniscule patches of shadow at irregular intervals... and usually, the patches are only temporarily safe (I had to get out before the guard came back the other direction, on which path he bumps into and catches me). It's a combination undead/Hammerite mission, with the Hammerites actually allied with the undead (who are, I supposed, under the control of the bad acolyte who is allied with the Hams).

At the very beginning, I spawned in bright light twenty-five feet behind a guard who was just about to attack a zombie. I dashed for cover (to the right); then while they were duking it out, I ran forward along the right-hand wall into some slight shadow.

Here is the first problem: if the zombie wins the fight, he usually spots Garrett. I had to reload a few times until the guard won -- the zombie lying down and the guard continuing to hack at the dead undead corpse. Since the guard keeps his back to me for a while, I was able to open the big double doors dart into the Academy, where the rest of the game action takes place.

I shut the doors behind me and went to the right. Big mistake! I could get into the courtyard, which was filled with zombies fighting guards... but there seemed to be no way to get into the inner courtyard without a zombie spotting me.

(I realized later there is a better way in... if I could have shot a rope arrow into the wooden beam to the left of the balcony above the initial door -- where the guard and zombie were fighting as I spawned -- and climbed up to the balcony, I could have gotten inside a more sneaky and thiefly way. But I'm not sure this is possible without alerting the guard.)

In any event, I reloaded, and this time, after getting past the guard & zombie tango, I darted to the left side of the corridor, then mantled through the window on the left. I dropped into darkness as the zombies finished mopping up the guards. Staying close to the left wall, I was able to walk around the outer courtyard to the arches separating it from the inner courtyard without being spotted by any zombies. (There is a door on the left as you go, but the room is full of a haunt, and you can't get anywhere in there without backstabbing him. So I let it drop.)

The middle arch had some shadow, so I crept through there into the inner courtyard, thence to the right: a door there led to a set of stairs heading up to the first-and-a-halfth floor.

As the rest is just good, old-fashioned sneaking, I'll jump directly to my two overt failures. After retrieving the golden skull (in the area accessed by a secret door in the kitchen and patrolled by a lantern-bearing ghost who didn't actually notice me, even when he walked right through me), I had to come back along a short corridor with a lit statue; the emitter at the end of the corridor had earlier fired a purple spitball at me, but I ducked. The corridor had an empty side-corridor poking off the middle, where the statue is.

Returning from the golden skull, however, the side-corridor was no longer empty: now it had a zombie in it facing directly towards the corridor I had to traverse. There was enough light that he couldn't fail to spot me. I tried everything but couldn't get past him without an alert. I even shot moss arrows, quaffed a speed potion, and tried running past him... but he still alerted. Finally, I just outran him and hid until he went away.

My second overt failure was when I assassinated (per instructions) the bad acolyte whose name I misremember. Darthwhiner or somesuch. Alas, he was standing in the cathedral with a Hammerite mage bodyguard at each elbow. There was no way way to sneak up on him; his back was to the wall, and I would have had to work my way through a phalanx of Hammerite guards. I tried jumping from the balcony where I was onto the floor behind the mages (after first mossing the floor), but there are also guards on the sides staring directly where I had to land. So I had to resort to Plan B, which was to shoot him from the balcony. I did this... but every time, the killing alerted the two mages next to the bad acolyte.

If somebody figures out a way to pull off either of these objectives without busting the ghost, I will be supremely impressed!

The only other ghost bust was that I couldn't find the Tome of the Necromancer, so I had to glance at a paragraph of the walkthrough. Good thing; I never would have found it. Note that I didn't have to slash any banners to grab the Tome; I could frob it right through the banner.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Dafydd

dafydd
12th Aug 2004, 00:57
FM: So Long, Hammers!
File: SoLongHammers.zip

Play mode: Ghost (succeeded)
Perfect Thief (failed, but pretty close -- for me)

Time: 3:37
Loot: 2052 of 2112 (1800 required)
Pockets picked: 5 of 9
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Damage dealt: 0
Damage received: 0
Secrets: 7 of 7

Comments

Not much to say here; no really, big, hairy ghosting problems.

I really enjoyed this small but effective mission, which seemed a lot larger than I expected.

The fun in this mission is the mission itself, though of course, ghosting always an extra layer of challenge and enjoyment. But it's just sneaking about; there are no ghosting brain-busters in here!

The secrets are very well hidden. I found four of them without any help, but I looked at a list of secrets for the last three. I did, however, have enough moolah to finish the mission after the first four, so I count this as a clean ghost.

Oh, one note: in the cistern, there is a spider cave: this is the first spider I have met that actually seems to behave as Nightwalker says they do... that is, that it sees from its butt! When I got near it from behind, it alerted and charged me; but when I ran right in front of it, it didn't even chirp.

So... ghosting hint: run in front of the stupid spider, not behind: it's Chuck Yeager from the back but Mr. Magoo from the front.

Dafydd

dafydd
12th Sep 2004, 07:53
Just a quick note, because I'm away from home and my records; but I did just get a Perfect Thief on my second time through this FM, A Debt Repaid, just released.

I'll post a proper writeup on Monday. Just staking my claim :D .

Dafydd

Yandros
13th Sep 2004, 18:01
Originally posted by dafydd
this is the first spider I have met that actually seems to behave as Nightwalker says they do... that is, that it sees from its butt! When I got near it from behind, it alerted and charged me; but when I ran right in front of it, it didn't even chirp.
Hey, I wonder if this "problem" could be fixed by simply rotating the spider mesh 180° in a 3D program? Alternatively, we could try to fix the vision properties of the spider archetype...

dafydd
14th Sep 2004, 07:25
Or we could call it a feature, not a bug... are spiders bugs? :confused:

All right, two ghost reports, one slightly lengthier than the other.

Dafydd

dafydd
14th Sep 2004, 07:53
FM: A Debt Repaid
File: adebtrepaidv1.zip

Play mode: Ghost (succeeded)
Perfect Thief (succeeded!)

Time: 1:59
Loot: 4000 of 4000 (3600 required)
Pockets picked: 10 of 12
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Damage dealt: 0
Damage received: 0
Secrets: 12 of 12

Chemical ghost

Comments

Note, this was my second time through this mission.

You play Basso, not Garrett, in this mission... and Basso isn't very good at hiding, so the light gem is disturbingly well lit :( .

In general, if ghosting the mission requires just ordinary sneaking, I don't describe that part. There is a tricky aspect to this mission, however, which is worth noting, as it affects ghosting.

I picked the three pockets in the city section of the mission. I noticed that notwithstanding that I was supposed to be unknown as a thief, so the guards weren't supposed to molest me, some of them did anyway... so I stayed out of sight as much as possible. One purse is on a patrolling civilian, another is on a patrolling guard, and the third is on the stationary guard at the Audale Gate. As usual, when I strolled past a guard and behind him, I had to wait a couple of minutes until he forgot I was back there before I could lift his wallet.

I entered via one of the sewers. I don't think it makes a difference which one you pick; they both lead to the same entrance to the police station. Once inside the station sewers -- I had to shoot a switch with a broadhead through a wall, but nobody is near enough to be alerted -- I found myself in a basement.

Here is the problem: much of what I needed to do (getting into the holding cells to get the third lockpick, for example) was in the east part of the map; but at the very beginning, that section is inaccessible: all the doors leading into the east section of the station are locked and unpickable without the third lockpick -- which is itself in the east section! Without using secrets, the only way to get initially from west to east side is to move through a very well lit outdoor area, which is sure to bust your ghost.

But there is a secret which connects the two at the basement level: I discovered that if I hopped into the elevator shaft in the basement where I entered, there is a switch that opens a passage between that elevator and the elevator in the east side; via this elevator, I was able to access the entire map. I quickly found my way to the holding cells; on the windowsill of the empty cell is the third lockpick, which is actually a silver poker scaled down in size.

Only one other tricky note: I could not cut off the watcher while ghosting, because the only way to do so is to cut the wires that control it... which is property damage. The watcher is in the anteroom that contains the locked vault called "Secure Storage," which is where you'll find Garrett's stuff, which you must steal. (This is one of three objectives that you will receive as the mission progresses.)

But actually, there is no reason to turn off the watcher anyway. (This was from a hint given by the mission author, Jason Otto.) When I obtained the combination, found inside a secret cubbyhole in the Evidence Room, and the Secure Storage room key, I opened the door to the room (it's down the third elevator, right below the Evidence Room); then I moved as far into the doorway as I could while remaining in total darkness. I stood and leaned into the room, then turned to the right while still leaning; this gave me access to the six levers that you have to throw in the order given by the combination in order to open the vault.

After throwing them, the vault opened. I shot a moss arrow onto the floor in front of the vault, then I leaned around and watched the watcher... thus answering that immortal question, quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

The watcher, it turns out, has a very long "patrol" -- that is, it turns back and forth about 180 degrees. (Or pi radians, if you prefer.) When it turned completely away from the vault, I ran into the vault without drawing even a click from the stupid face... and without getting shot by the cannon the watcher controls!

After collecting Garrett's stuff and some loot, I came out the same way.

I had to use two invisibility potions in order to get Garrett out of the gas chamber. I had to run up a longish and too well lit corridor with a stationary guard at the other end facing directly towards me. I used one invisibility potion that I found in a secret to get past him one direction; and after I got Garrett out, I used another invisibility potion which I built in the laboratory to get back out, hauling Garrett. Fortunately, when I drank the inviso broth, Garrett went invisible too, even though he was just on my shoulders (and we weren't sharing any blood circulation that I'm aware of). Incidentally, it's a cool effect: I had to drop Garrett to drink the potion; I picked him up and ran past the guard, just making it into shadow at the other end of the longish corridor... and as the potion wore off, Garrett slowly became visible before my very eyes... kewl!

The rest is pretty straightforward.

Dafydd

dafydd
14th Sep 2004, 08:38
FM: Lord Rothchest's Shadow
File: rshdw.zip

Play mode: Ghost (succeeded)
Perfect Thief (failed by a Texas mile)

Time: 1:19
Loot: 1991 of 3866 (none required)
Pockets picked: 7 of 9 (man, I have a crush on her!)
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Damage dealt: 0
Damage received: 0

Chemical ghost

Comments

(I think this is Purah's first mission.)

There are four initial objectives:

1) Steal the Sword of Constantine

2) Steal everything in Kevel Rothchest's room (actually, this is satisfied by opening the three Lost City chests; you don't have to open the lockbox on the table, though I did so.

3) Steal the jewel-crowned golden skull from the crypts

4) Escape via the sewers

I don't know if there is any way to trigger any other objectives; those are the only four I found. If I hear about more, I'll report back.

I'll just briefly touch on these four objectives.

The Sword of Constantine

...is in the bell tower, which you can reach via the castle roof. There are two patrollers here, a bowman and a swordsman. After a lot of false starts, I finally figured out how to ghost this section:

I waited until the patrollers were gone, then shot a rope arrow into the side of the large beam that sticks out of the top of the bell tower. Climbed up and onto that beam, then around the backside of the bell tower.

I shot a rope arrow into the beam that sticks out of the window, climbed up and jumped into the tower. I hopped down to the lowest set of beams, and from up there, put out all four torches.

I found the darkest side of the pedestal with the sword and shot a rope arrow into the beam directly above that side. Then I went down slowly, grabbed the sword, and shimmied up again, mantling onto the beam into which the rope arrow was stuck.

I went out the way I had come in but continued around the backside of the tower to the wall over the stairs; I traversed that, then hopped down to the wall next to the stairs, and from there to the roof again. One down!

Looting Lord Rothchest's Chests

Lord Rothchest's bedroom is directly above a room with two stationary, female servants in it. Or maybe one is a servant and the other is Lady Rothchest, I don't know. Come to that, I really don't care, either!

I looted that lower room, just to keep in practice (since there is no loot objective), then padded up the stairs. Lord Rothchest is dressed like a thief, and he paces back and forth in his room, which is rather too well lit for my tastes. After some experimenting, I discovered I could put out the candle in the room with a water arrow (I had best results shooting low). This was essential, as it gave several places to hide within the room.

I mossed the noisy floor between me and the central rug. Then, when Rothchest was walking towards the corner near the stairs, I crouch-ran up the carpet until I was right next to him, on his right. He always turns left at that corner of the rug, so I was able to stay out of sight to his right.

I picked the key off his belt, then slidewalked to the nearest chest (right next to the stairs at the other end from where I egressed). The key I had picked opened that chest, so I looted it then darted back to my dark corner at the head of the stairs. When Rothchest came back to that corner, turned around, and headed into the opposite one, I ran to the chest at the foot of the bed. It, too, opened with the key, and I took everything back to my dark corner.

Now I had a problem: the third chest in the room (I knew from a dry, knockout run) did not open to any key; it had to be picked, and it was in light still, even after knocking out the candle. When Rothchest passed me headed towards that first rug corner, I again ran up beside him; but this time, when he turned, I slidewalked as quickly as I could without making a footfall noise past the last chest, hooking left until I was right in the V formed by the sides of the two couches. I was dark there, and I planted a moss arrow (my last) into the floor between me and the chest. Thereafter, every time Rothchest was on his way to the far corner, I would run forward, pick for a few seconds, then run back to my hiding place. Tedious, but it eventually got the job done.

At this point, I had fulfilled the objective; but as long as I was there, I decided to get the moneybox as well. When Rothchest was on his way to the far corner, I ran around behind him, across the rug, then slidewalked to the next rug and into the corner, a third corner, where I was dark. Then it was just the boring task of waiting until Rothchest was on his way to the far corner, then moving forward, picking for a little bit (a very little bit!), then darting back to my corner, all without making any noise, as he seemed hypersensitive.

After finally getting safely outside the contents of the lockbox, I headed outside the mansion, as well. Two down!

Golden Skull

This one is too easy, but it leads to the exit anyway. Circumnavigating the mansion, I came to some steps leading down to a gate. I picked the gate open and found an open hole at the far end. Planting a rope arrow in the ceiling, I climbed down into a lower storage room with a skeleton and a million barrels and boxes.

In one corner was a switch, which opened a secret door in an adjacent corner. Dropping down there, I fell through a series of baffles down to another room, which was infected with zombies. There were only three, so I had no trouble evading them and entering the large, lit structure they seemed to like. Inside, at the far end, I found an altar with the skull and some loot. Three down... now to get out!

Escape From the Planet of the Rothchests

Returning, I noticed a hole plugged with boulders near where I had entered the outer room. I moved the boulders and went down a tunnel. Emerging, I found myself in the crypts. I looted some Lost City artifacts, finding two well-lit rooms in the process.

One of them had a passage at the back, behind a tomb, which led up to some lit mushrooms and a very finicky spider. I put the shroomies out with broadheads, but I couldn't seem to get past Miss Spider without alerting her.

So here is where the chemical ghost part enters the picture: I had gotten a speed potion from one of Rothchest's chests; I quaffed it, then ran past the spider... and I was too fast for her; she didn't alert.

At the far end of her corridor was some deep water. I planted a rope arrow in the wooden ceiling, jumped onto the rope, then climbed down to the surface of the water. I climbed down holding the "run" key, and I noiselessly entered the water. I drifted up to the surface again to check on the spider; she was still unalerted. I retrieved my arrow, then swam through the underwater passage to another room.

A ladder from that room led up to a manhole cover. I opened it and climbed out, finding myself in the city outside the Rothchest walls. Walking a bit away from the sewer triggered the final objective, and the game ended.

Now... aren't you glad I didn't post a complete write-up? :D

Dafydd

Old Man
14th Sep 2004, 20:11
Thanks for these, dafydd. Always enjoy your antics.

dafydd
14th Sep 2004, 20:34
Hey, you ought to be out anticking, yourself!

And what about Vanguard, Peter, and everybody else? When is the last time anybody but me posted a ghost report here? *

Dafydd

* Answer: five months and sixteen days ago, when Peter posted his report of ghosting The Relic.

Nebs
15th Sep 2004, 00:15
Well, hello there...been trying to start ghosting some mission but never did it, and today finally lost my 'ghost virginity'. Failed ofcourse. ;)

Here are stats:

Fan Mission: Moth to a Flame
Difficulty: Expert
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes 52 seconds
Found 9098 Loot out of 9213
Pockets Picked: 14 out of 22, Locks Picked: 12
Backstabs:0 Knock Outs: 0
Damage Dealt: 0 Damage Taken: 3 Healing Taken: 0
Innocents Killed: none, and others killed: 0
Secrets found: 2 out of 2

Ghosting: Failed

Well, not a great writer as most of you so will just tell basics.

Failed for sure in two instances. Was doing GAOL rescue before getting Invisibility Potion, and pagan in first cell always spotted me. But even if I had the potion, doubt I would remember to use it. Figured only after reading Dafydd's post about same FM.

Second reason is that I used thread in TTLG forums for hints about mission.

Now some things that might bust ghost or not, am not sure yet in that, so hoping for your responses about it. First, area with zombies. When you grab ankh on sarcophagus, zombie mage shows. First I grabbed it, he/she/it showed and started looking. Then I reloaded and first distinguished all the torches in the room before grabbing the ankh. Mage showed but stayed put, did not alert and didn't start searching. I'm guessing that's ok? Similar to people waking from the noise of opening doors or lock picking?

Second 'could be' bust is in the area near gate, power plant and river. Benny archer is on the other side of river. Now, when I jump in water, he start saying something about noise but doesn't start looking for me. Just says something, a bit leaning, looking left and right, and then he relaxes.
From what I read in rules thread, this could be something between 1st level and 2nd level alert, though I would put in most likely in 2nd one.

Well, that's about it. Hope that countless reloading and many many 1st level alerts will be decimated in the future if I get atleast a little more skilled in this. :)

Btw, for sure ghosting is great, it adds so much for me now...but probably saying what all of you know already. ;)

Take care all and see you.

Peter_Smith
15th Sep 2004, 03:31
Welcome to the ghosting world, Nebs.:) Thanks for the report. I would say that the guard looking around after the spash is a bust, too.

Nebs
15th Sep 2004, 09:52
Thanks for welcome Peter. :)

Now ghosting Bafford's Last Stand, mission that has over 80 AI's but think it's not too hard for ghosting.

And just to mention something I forgot earlier.

Damage I received are from slight falls, usually from missing rope arrow or ladder, plus in GAOL I picked one safe through banner.

Nebs
15th Sep 2004, 17:04
FM: Bafford's Last Stand
File: Beaumaris_v1_2

Play mode: Ghost (failed)
Perfect Thief (succeeded)

Time: 2h, 16m, 5s
Loot: 6534 of 6534 (4000 required)
Pockets picked: 35 of 37; Locks picked: 4
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 1
Kills: 1
Damage dealt: 1
Damage received: 0
Secrets: 10 of 10


Some comments:

Finding all the loot wasn't bad, as couple of days ago, I finished the mission with full loot count, but playing with 'normal' style.

Pockets, seems high, but I am pretty sure that more than a half of that count came from archers' arrows.

And now for bust...one of the objective is to rescue Lady Stephanie who is in/on Oubliette separated by a bridge. As soon as I come onto that bridge, she transforms into mechanist mage and new objective come, to kill her.

Here are screenies for that part.

http://free-zg.htnet.hr/nebuka/bafford1.gif http://free-zg.htnet.hr/nebuka/bafford2.gif

There were two torches on left and right part that I doused, so now there's an area at beginning of the bridge where gem is dark.

There was no way I could think to come to her and kill her quietly, so I (from second picture) stepped just slightly forward and immidiately back in dark, that alerted her and she started searching. Though she searched just on that small alcove, and just for a few moments...and at the end of search she was standing with her back on me. So, came closer, blackjacked her and throw her into the pit. I think that her body never touches the ground, it dissapears before, so no alerting of spiders below. To be on safe side, backstab could be better choice here.

Anyway, if there's a way to kill her differently, please let me know.

Seen in rules that if mission asks explicitly for a kill, as long there are no alerts, that then there's no bust, but in this case she was alerted before.

Btw, this is a great mission imo, many things to do, many places to visit in beautifully designed castle.


EDIT:

p.s. Just one question concerning one other FM. There are these wires and a box that control watchers in another room, and one way (maybe only) is to shoot water arrow at the box, there comes short circuit, and watchers are off. Is that also property damage?

Yandros
16th Sep 2004, 16:23
Originally posted by Nebs
Play mode: Ghost (failed)
Perfect Thief (succeeded)
Uhm... is that possible? I thought a PT is a successful ghost + all loot.

Originally posted by Nebs
p.s. Just one question concerning one other FM. There are these wires and a box that control watchers in another room, and one way (maybe only) is to shoot water arrow at the box, there comes short circuit, and watchers are off. Is that also property damage? I'm certainly no expert on the rules, but I would say it counts as property damage.

Nebs
16th Sep 2004, 19:10
Originally posted by Yandros
Uhm... is that possible? I thought a PT is a successful ghost + all loot.


Still new at this, sorry for that. I failed both then.

Nebs
20th Sep 2004, 15:49
FM: Night Falcon campaign
File: Night-Falcon-EnglishV2

Play mode: Ghost (failed)

Total Time: 10h, 20m, 51s
Total Loot: 48534 of 50812

Total Damage dealt: 0
Total Damage received: 0

Missions in which I failed ghost: The Hammerite Monastery(?), The Mysterious Tower(?) and The Brotherhood of the Falcon.

I really like this campaign. Think it's one of the best looking, with lots of details. Plus, for me absolutly most beautiful houses. Also, some new interesting AI's, nice food, etc.

Plus, it's not that hard, secrets are not pain in the ass to find, even though they are not officially 'secrets'. Loot could be a problem, but with each mission I losed the will for hard searching...objective and whatever I can find over it was enough.

Here are stats and some comments mission by mission:
----------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------------

FM: A Shopping Walk

Play Mode: Ghost (success), Perfect Thief (success)
Difficulty: Expert
Time: 1h, 45m, 7s
Loot: 8809 out of 8809
Pockets picked: 10 out of 12; Locks: 15
Kills: 0; Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt and received: 0

Nice city mission with nothing too tough for ghost. Only one bigger problem was in hammerite church. 9 out of 10 times for me, when open door to their sleeping quaters, one of the hammers in it would go into 2nd alert and start searching. But after some more wondering around town, and some reloads, finally once they both weren't alerted. Anyway, one of them holds the key for the crypt, and there you can find only some more loot...and one invisibility potion.

FM: Lord Wellhofer

Play Mode: Ghost (success), Perfect Thief (failed)
Difficulty: Expert
Time: 1h, 52m, 49s
Loot: 8791 out of 8915
Pockets picked: 7 out of 9; Locks: 4
Kills: 0; Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt and received: 0

My favorite mission in this campaign. Big mansion. But pretty straightforward with not too many hard spots. Though guards by the chappel seems pretty sensitive, so don't be surprised if they start searching after dousing of torch. Also I couldn't open the door of training room, as yelling of guards in it would always alert guard that is in prison.
Oh yes, nice toys in children's room. ;)

FM: The Hammerite Monastery

Play Mode: Ghost (failed I think), Perfect Thief (failed, as well as all other missions)
Difficulty: Expert
Time: 1h, 38m, 46s
Loot: 7999 out of 8514
Pockets picked: 6 out of 14; Locks: 10
Kills: 0; Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt and received: 0

Nice mission with some new undead creatures. Vampires and bats, first ones wasn't so bad, but bats....they are annoying. Can see from some distance, as well as in perfect dark, plus excellent hearing. Had to unlock some chests near one bat click by click. This mission almost forces you to ghost as vampires are almost invincible. First time I played this mission, had big bunch of holy water arrows, as well as flash bombs and don't think I killed a single one of them Or I aimed poorly. :)

And here comes my first possible bust.

http://free-zg.htnet.hr/nebuka/nf2.gif

The stone in the middle of picture is objective, and you have to jump in water, grab the stone and continue forward toward exit. Now, I drank one invisibilty potion, jumped, grabed and exited...but as don't know exactly how bats there behaved (meaning, if they turned into lv.1 or lv.2 alert), not sure if I ghosted it or not. Been invisible, but heard some different sounds from bats....hopefully they were in lv.1 alert state. I have a save from there, so if anyone wants to try, and if succed in ghosting them, to give me some hints about how to do it...just give a yell.

FM: The Cathedral

Play Mode: Ghost (success)
Difficulty: Expert
Time: 1h, 0m, 3s
Loot: 6402 out of 6527
Pockets picked: 2 out of 9; Locks: 10
Kills: 0; Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt and received: 0

About pick pockets, think in all missions their total count is not correct. Seriously doubt that for instance in this mission there were 9 of them.

Anyway, about mission, nice one again, as all other in this campaign. It's easy to ghost it, once you see what guard patrols' routs are.

FM: The Mysterious Tower

Play Mode: Ghost (failed I guess)
Difficulty: Expert
Time: 1h, 31m, 52s
Loot: 5346 out of 6165
Pockets picked: 10 out of 18; Locks: 13
Kills: 0; Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt and received: 0

Second possible bust in this small town mission. From the sewers there is a way to one house where you have to steal a bracelet that is also an objective. One problem though, you have to pass near some frogbeasts.

http://free-zg.htnet.hr/nebuka/nf1.gif

Once again as with problem with bats in Monastery mission, my bust depends on knowing exactly in what state were frogbeasts after I passed there. Took invisibility potion, and quickly turned around left corner but still frogs changed sounds they were making, and stood. No more jumping from them for a couple of moments. Again, I hope they were in 1st level of alertness.

FM: Christmas Present

Play Mode: Ghost (success)
Difficulty: Expert
Time: 1h, 32m, 13s
Loot: 6391 out of 6781
Pockets picked: 6 out of 14; Locks: 18
Kills: 0; Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt and received: 0

Back in town (though more of it) that was in The Cathedral mission, but now it's winter. Probably my second favorite mission in campaign. Museum was fun thiefing, with lots of loud tile as a floor. In Inn there are couple of servants that can be quite sensitive, dousing the torch can alert them, even though they were far away when I did it. Once they return, see torch and start yelling of an armed man! :mad:
But with good timing, and some petroley lamps turned off, whole Inn can be looted...well, I missed some loot, probably some was in the Inn as well.

FM: The Brotherhood of the Falcon

Play Mode: Ghost (failed)
Difficulty: Expert
Time: 59m, 59s
Loot: 4796 out of 5101
Pockets picked: 0 out of 6; Locks: 2
Kills: 0; Knockouts: 0
Damage dealt and received: 0

Sadly, in this one I'm absolutely sure in failing to ghost. Without that part this mission is probably the easiest to ghost, atleast I feel that way. One reason could be that I ghosted it first time I played the mission, as fighting with vampires, dead knights or ice beasts would not be the right choice.

Anyway that part is barred tunnel to the castle. You have to thrash boards to come through...and not only property damage in that, but also alerting burricks close by.

As I said, pretty easy to ghost this one, many dark spots and not much patrolling guards.
----------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------

Well, that's it.

Now trying to figure out how exactly to nudge a thief in Skeletons in the Closet. ;)

Nebs
24th Sep 2004, 13:34
FM: Skeletons in the Closet
File: Skeletons_in_the_closet.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success!)
Perfect Thief (failed)

Time: 3h, 23m, 31s
Loot: 9056 out of 9421 (8000 required I think)
Pockets picked: 21 of 28; Locks picked: 15
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Damage dealt: 0
Damage received: 0


Lovely city mission with some really sensitive guards. Later, on normal play, I found 165g of loot more, though 15g of it for certain isn't ghostable (drunkard is right at the door, and always gets alerted if you get too close to him). Last 200g couldn't find anyhow, madwolf (author) thinks perhaps some of the loot can't be 'looted', so if anyone wants list without those 200g, just tell.

About mission itself, I'll hold it in sweet memory, as it's first stand alone fm that I successfully ghosted. :)

There are tricky places, like for example tea house, former house of hanged innsurectionsts. If one particular blue guard is close and you're picking lock, he can go into second alert quite easily. Same thing if he spots just a glimpse of you if you're going to house via brothel.

Another tricky place was Tan Hill Inn's gambling room. Lady in red there is also extremly sensitive. When I played normal style, she would freak when I would bj one thief near house next to Inn. Same with sight, she sees you, goes alert. Well, it took some time to pass her. First, I got into Inn via tunnel, and basement. From basement there's stairs that lead to gambling room, and in it lady in red has her eyes directly to stairs. Only way to completly darken the room was to douse one torch there, and fireplace. First one was easy...but second not so. Had to use couple of reloads to fire good shot as your position is fairly low, and also there are 3 AI's in room, plus gambling tables. When doused, with creeping I could manage to grab some candlestick from fireplace behind lady in red.

Now, she'll again see if you're going to main room from gambling one, so had to douse some torches in other room. But now other two AI's, ones that do nothing when you run around in light now freak seeing bow and water arrow.

But apparently, they only go on alert if you're on floor, so jumped on gambling tables, doused two torches in main room, and now could've creep into it without alerting red lady.

Read Dafydd's report (without which I couldn't ever finish this mission) and he wandered what is in locked rooms. So, Dafydd, if you're reading this, both keys are immidiately on the left when entering from gambling room, on small shelf. Though, just some loot and healing potion in rooms.

Police station wasn't so tough, just some good timing, shades, and you're in. DuBois is fairly sensitive as well though.

And finally, Mayor's house. Had some really tough time there even after reading Dafydd mentioning nudging. The problem was that I never before nudged anyone. Finally, after quite some time, and many many reloads, I managed to nudge one stationary thief to position where most I could get from him was "what was that?" or something similar. After dealing with that, rest was easy.

Well, that's it. Great mission.

Oh yes, one more thing...before I tried to play mission two times, and both times the game would get much much slower, and so I quit. But now, playing without blackjacking anyone, game run smoothly from beginning to the end. Perhaps some AI would cause slowdown....

Nebs
24th Sep 2004, 14:11
FM: Raid on Washout Central
File: washout.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success!)
Perfect Thief (failed)

Time: 1h, 41m, 7s
Loot: 2254 out of 2704
Pockets picked: 8 of 10; Locks picked: 28
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Damage dealt: 0
Damage received: 0
Secrets found: 1 out of 1

I read old threads and couldn't find anyone that ghosted this classic (imo!). Was it because it's too easy (not for me) or some other reason?

Anyway, this is one of my favorite missions, first time I saw rain and mist in an fm, and loved it immidiately.

About ghosting, one big problem comes almost at the beginning, two thieves attack and rob Jakku (drunk you're supposed to follow home), then going on alert looking for someone (guess me), plus most of the times they alert mage mechanist in small temple close by.

From what I saw, thieves appear when Jakku get's in 'porch' of that small temple, one immidiately close by, other appears little further away. So, to pass that part without troubles, I had to block Jakku so he couldn't move that way. Was succesful, and thieves wondered each in his own way. Then I stepped away, and Jakku could continue.

That was biggest problem in town. One other could be Thieves Gambling Den, with thief getting alerted when I open door. Once he is alerted, then reload and he's not. Close there is small elevator that leads to key for one more lockbox in post office. Elevator works with two buttons, one close by for going up (where it already is), second for down...but that one is on ceiling, unreachable. Only way is to hit it with an arrow, but don't use broadhead, as that one alerts people in building. Moss arrow is much better.

And now post office, not too tough, but some problems with watchers. Good timing most important there. In security you can switch off all but one watcher.

http://free-zg.htnet.hr/nebuka/raidscreen.jpg

Not really that important. But in first room on the left, and in second on the right is last 450g of loot. One gold candlestick and 4 purses in toolbox.

I have a save from there, and if anyone has any idea how to ghost that part, would be grateful to know. Have one invisibility potion, but that's only enough for a candlestick in room on right....sadly, toolbox is locked so no time to grab all and get in safe darkness. Watcher always see me.