PDA

View Full Version : FMs - Ghost/Perfect Thief Results (Part 6)



Peter_Smith
7th Jan 2005, 02:30
This is the sixth thread in the series of Ghost/Perfect Thief results for FM's. The prior threads have been archived at: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
Part 5: http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=13309

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peter_Smith
11th Jan 2005, 08:48
FM: CoSaS - Gathering at the Inn

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 01:52:27
Loot - 1048 / 1048
Pockets Picked - 2/3 (all)
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 3 / 3

Comments

I was one of the beta testers for this mission, and I held off reporting ghost for that reason. Vanguard reported ghosting it some time ago 2/12/2003, but he missed Perfect Thief by a small amount (986 of 1048 loot). I did perfect the beta version, but I had never played the released version, so as I was combing through some FM's I decided to download it and give it a try. Besides, nobody had been posting ghost results, so someone has to keep it alive.

The main ghosting problem in GATI is that there are not enough water arrows. I think there are four, all told. You can find three easily and one more with difficulty. The inn is crawling with patrolling guards. Avoiding any of them is easy enough if you use your water arrows indiscriminately, but that will defeat you in the end. There are four water arrows in cases behind glass, with a note saying to break glass in case of emergency. Cute.:) Most players will break the glass, but of course that is against the ghosting rules, and I did not.

I should mention that there is a bug with breaking the glass. It seems that the glass sometimes falls in such a way as to block your access to the arrows, and you cannot get close enough to frob them. In my experience, it works better if you stand far back when you break the glass. In any case, do a quick save before attempting it. You will eventually succeed.

Back to water arrow strategy. To do it with the given water arrows, you need to use the water arrows in the right places, and then you need to take the right route through the inn so you can stay hidden without too much of a struggle. Actually, I am sure there are many combinations of right place and right route. I'll report the ones I used and why.

First, there is no problem until you get to the Inn. The policemen in town ignore you if you do not have a weapon drawn. And, it is not hard to avoid them, anyway.

There are four ways to get into the inn from the outside that I know of, and three of them will work well in ghost. The three are: (1) up the drainpipe, across the roof, and down the chimney, which takes you to the interior "secret" passages; (2) follow the beggar into the front door; (3) stand on a fixed crate in the sewer and rope up into a privvy hole (the hole is obviously too large for its intended purpose :)). The way that doesn't work is to break a wood barrier and enter the basement (breaks property damage rule).

I followed the beggar in, which in retrospect is by far the toughtest way. It is quite difficult to get from the door past the bar window with the owner / bartender / pirate looking out without the owner saying "I think I saw a Thief". That is not a classic bust because he does not move or otherwise react, but I tried hard to avoid it. Finally I did so with just the right speed, but one of the other two entrances would be easier. Then you can come into the bar room on his blind side, from where it is easy to go back to his service area and turn off the electric lights of the two bar rooms.

With the lights out, I could hide in the darkened bar and make a move to go from there down to the basement. That is about the only place to go initially because most of the guest the rooms are locked from the inside. Eventually you find keys for all of them. While in the darkened bar, you can use one water arrow to extinguish the torch in the far left corner, which allows you go go into the second bar room and snag the key to the front and back door. This allows exit through the basement, which makes a handy fifth entrance later on.

While in the basement, I went into the furnace without extinguishing it, up a ladder, and into the secret passages that way. This is the shortest but not the easiest route. I think it is easier to go out the back door, up the drain pipe, and down the chimney, which I did many times after I got the back door key.

The secret passage can be used to enter Stellmach's room (Roman number V on the map) the last one in the top floor, through the fireplace. Stellmach's room makes a nice base of operations for access to other rooms up there, including the attic. Stellmach's fireplace also contains a switch that accesses a secret passage that permits access to the two rooms (VI and VII) at the end of a corridor with a light and a guard facing you. You cannot get past that guard any other way. To enter Stellmach's room from the passage you need to extinguish the fire from above and drop down his chimney using a convenient ladder. That is water arrow two of three that you start with.

You need a third water arrow to darken the hallway outside the fire mage's room, so you can stand in the threshold (with him looking at you), lean around, and turn off his electric light. That is three of three that you start with.

It is nice, but not necessary, to have a fourth water arrow to put out the fireplace in the second bar room so you can snag a purple goblet from the mantle. Where to get that? You can find one in the inn on the second floor in the utility closet next to the W/C. There is also some loot in there, so you must make the move. But there are lots of guards up there, and running around via the stairs is a losing proposition. I solved that by roping up the stairwell and jumping ever so gently onto the bannister and dropping to the floor, bypassing the trip up the stairs and around the corridor. So now you can get that goblet in the bar.

Acutally, I got the goblet on the mantle without putting out the fireplace so I could have done it all with three water arrows. I wasted the fourth water arrow on the torch next to the Scottish engineer, which could have been left lit, as I later found out.

That Scottish engineer is very funny. You can get the most laughs out of him by going down to the basement and turning off the generators several times in succession. I suggest you do that as a side trip. That is an avoidable alert, an alert that is also a debatable ghost bust, so I did not do it this time around. Turning off the generators gives you some temporary darkness in the bedroom areas, but since he always turns them back on, it is not really useful for ghosting, except perhaps to make that treacherous rope arrow move more easily.

When I first completed the mission in Ghost this time around, I was missing 62 loot, even though I had found all the loot many times before (two years ago). I knew 12 of it was in a locked shed at the start. I knew there was a key for that shed somewhere, but I had forgotten that the shed was opened by the Inn's back door key (a very remote connection), which I had in my pocket all along toward the end of the mission! Missing the other 50 loot was pure carelessness. I had not seen a spice bag in the attic that I had found several times before in previous play. My excuse: with my new video card, a GeForce 6800 GT, dark textures look very poor. The nearby sand bags looked very grungy, and I did not want to soil my little toesies. ;) Anyway, Nightwalker came to my rescue on both of these details in another thread. Thanks! :)

Peter_Smith
6th Feb 2005, 06:01
FM: Skeletons in the Closet (Version 2)
File: sitc.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (failed)
Edit: Chemical perfect thief is possible, but I take no credit for it.

Time: 2h, 56m
Loot: 9001 out of 9656 (8000 required)
Pockets picked: 20 of 20; Locks picked: 17
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 0
Kills: 0
Damage dealt: 0
Damage received: 0

Comments

Nebs (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?p=443365#post443365) and daffyd (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?p=377871t#post377871) have already reported ghosting Version 1. They have said most of what has to be said, so I won't repeat it. I ghosted Version 1 also, but did not report it. I should say that I ghosted both versions with no reading of their exploits and no searching of threads.

So far as I can tell, Version 2 is substantially the same as Version 1 except for improved textures and some underwater passages. The underwater passages add a nice element to the mission, with some new areas and alternate routes. A good mission is now better. I highly recommend this mission as a ghosting experience because it is filled with little things that make it both a challenge and a lot of fun. Not only that, it is a very fine city mission with lots of vertical work, which I like. Excellent design, madwolf.:)

There were two main trouble spots. The first was the lady in red in the gambling room of the inn. I approached that from the basement, which I entered from the gray stone tunnel. It is also possible to get in the basement from a water passage, but it is not easy entering the water without making a splash which alerts guards. I found that it is possible to loot the gambling room with no strain by proceeding in the following order: (1) extinguish the torch below the stairwell; (2) standing in the stairs extinguish the torch above the stairwell; (3) go up to the back wall, crouch, and extinguish the fire; (4) go up there via the gambling tables and take the candle sticks. Unlike my experience in Version 1, with the gambling room dark, I had no trouble getting into the inn proper.

The second trouble spot was getting into the mayor's house, which is being robbed by thieves. The problem there is getting past a thief standing next to a lantern by the back door, the only entrance. He always sees you, so you have to nudge him. I have played this mission three times. The first time, a patrolling thief in the green tunic got lost somehow (not my doing), and I had no trouble getting in there by nudging the thief. The second time, I could not get past the patrolling thief, so I had to bypass that house. I could do this because, inadvertantly, I failed to find the blackmail note that triggered the objective to enter the mayor's house. This time, I found the blackmail note, so I had to enter the house. I tried the dart-in dart-out nudging method used by dafydd, and I quickly became disenchanted with that. I did not have a few hours to spare. So, I went on a search for crates, of which I took three from the thieves' hideout and placed them next to the mechanical room door that the patrolling thief entered on each pass. Then, while he was gone, I stacked two of the crates in the mechanical room doorway, which caused the patrolling thief to hang and walk in place, trying to enter that room. With that, it was no trouble nudging the other thief and taking everything in the house. OK, so that crate blocking is kind of cheating, but it is no worse than nudging by itself, so I don't feel too bad about it.:)

I suppose I could find more loot if I BJ'ed all the AI and looked harder. I know of only two items that I missed. A statue worth 15 by the drunk lover is unobtainable because he always alerts when you go for the key to his door. Also, there is a gold nugget in a narrow passage behind that house, but the passage is too narrow to enter the side where I saw it, and that passage is blocked from the back side of the house.

I got 20 / 20 pockets, so evidently madwolf has fixed the usual off-by-one error in this FM.

EDIT: I went back and found all the loot using a variety of unsavory methods. In a BJ run, I found the "impossible" gold nugget, 2 more coins in the fountain, and a purse near some spiders. The impossible nugget was in a narrow passage past the thief I had nudged. Using a post at TTLG, I found the room keys in the inn, which yielded a ring and a purse in a locked room. Using Nightwalker and ffox's loot list, I found the last item, a tiara in an alley worth 200. Then I went back and got all the above in ghost mode. The nugget past the nudged thief required squeezing him a little more into a corner so I could barely get past him. I got the statute (15) by the drunk lover using an invisio potion found in the basement of the inn. I hate to use invisio, but even that move was pretty tricky in terms of timing. So, one can get all the loot with a chemical ghost, and one can get all but 15 using standard ghosting methods.

dafydd
20th Feb 2005, 14:14
Just a quick note to indicate I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I have ghosted this one, but I'm scrambling around to make Perfect Thief. I'll have a write-up (successful at PT or not) in a day or two.

It's a lot more fun than I expected... the mission keeps unfolding into more stuff, just when you think you're done. Not as good as A keeper's Betrayal, but a lot of fun nonetheless! There are a lot of areas where ghosting is very tricky, and one section that can only be ghosted chemically (though I think there is enough loot that purists can bypass this section; you'll be sorry, though!)

Dafydd

dafydd
21st Feb 2005, 10:06
FM: The Clean Out
File: TheCleanOut1.0a.zip

Play mode: Ghost (success)
Perfect Thief (success!)
Note: Some of the loot requires use of an invisibility potion; if you get most everything else, it's possible to ghost without this loot. But what's the point of abstaining? Purity? You, a thief, worry about purity of essence? Yeesh! Just gulp the potion and loot the friggin' safe already!

Basic Stats

Time: 4:39
Loot: 3049 out of 3049 (1900 required)
Pockets picked: 3 of 3
Backstabs: 0
Knockouts: 1
Kills: 1
Damage dealt: 1
Damage received: 0

Comments

The one KO is the same as the one kill; this is an optional objective to kill Brother Seudocience. Yeah, yeah, since it's an optional objective I could have just ignored it.

Purity.

Peee-you-ritty.

Puh-leez!

I slew him by blackjacking him, then carrying him to the top of a machine that had a little pool of water in it. Glub. Glub. Note: even though he was unconcious, he made some smart-alecky comments as he drowned. Purity alert! No, I don't consider that an alert, since he was unconscious and never moved. Sue me.

Oh, I had to consult a lootlist to get the last few pieces. If you want to scratch my Perfect Thief because of that, fine. It's not like we're keeping score. Jeeze Louise!

This is a very enjoyable FM, much better than I thought it would be when I started. (The three difficulty levels are Easy, Mellow, and Hard, so Hard is actually Expert.) Idea is, you rob a weird Hammerite church. Hammers, undead.

But every time I thought I had the mission sussed, it expanded into another direction. Very creative; evidently the first mission from someone hiding under the nomiker Dark Gentleman.

There are seven set pieces:

1. The basic church;

2. The bell tower;

3. The basement art gallery;

4. The vault;

5. The Dark Engine room (I'll explain later);

6. The second floor;

7. The outside grounds.

Each has its problems for the ghoster. The church is well lit and had loud tile; the bell tower is high, easy to fall from, and you have to pass a random-walking guard who patrols a narrow walkway around the interior perimeter of the tower, right where you have to be yourself; the art gallery is a maze with randomly patrolling AIs; the vault requires you to be in full view in bright light (that's where you need the invisibility potion); the Dark Engine room is strangely lit and has a lot of AI; the outside grounds requires one of the most ballsy bits of ghostly sneaking I've ever done... from a pure technical perspective, this one little sneak into the guardhouse is the hardest in the mission... and all you get is 37 out of 1900 required loot!

1. The church altar

Let's start with the church itself. The big-ticket item -- and it's very big, 625 gold out of 1900 required -- is the cache of crystal shards that is hidden in the front of the church, inside the big, brilliantly lit "painting" (these paintings, the one here and the ones in the basement gallery, are simply beautiful abstract creations of colored light inside frames). The frame is lit up like a Christmas tree; there are three stationary guards, but they keep their backs to the painting... that is, assuming you can sneak around behind them. I shot a moss arrow into the floor, because I intended to recover at least one of my rope arrows (you start with five) and drop to the floor, and the floor is loud tile.

Two guards patrol right across the face of the altar, and when I was anywhere but hard against the back wall, in the slim shadow cast by the painting's frame, they would see me. I went away and did other stuff, and when I came back, the guards had clumped together (they later unclumped; one must be faster than the other). I waited until they were crossing the altar area; then I stood and shot two rope arrows into the wooden wall: one into the wooden rim up near the ceiling, the other into the wall itself (to get me up high enough to jump to the upper rope arrow). Be careful not to make too much noise jumping into the frame; the guards in this FM are tweaked very sensitive.

I hopped into the frame. On the right side was an obvious secret panel, which I frobbed. Inside are twenty-five crystals... and for goodness sake, be sure to count them as you take them out! They are packed tight, and there is one that is almost impossible to get out; I was short by 25 (one crystal) for an hour, and I finally traced it to here: I dropped a scouting orb into the hole and saw there was one crystal left, virtually embedded in the sliding panel. I eventually had to back way off and keep moving my mouse up and down until the lit panel briefly flickered to unlit... at which point I was finally able to frob the last crystal. So be sure you get them all the first time.

I kept my eye on the patrollers; there was another stationary guard at the back of the church, second floor, looking right at me; but even though my light gem was bright as bright could be, I was too far away for his weak eyes to spot me. When the patrollers were coming back -- they walk down the side of the church into a small room, muck around there for thirty seconds to a minute, then come back, and that's when they cross the altar area, the only time they could see me -- I climbed down the lower rope and pressed back into the shadow until they passed by.

It's a lot of loot; I definitely needed all of it to graduate.

2. The bell tower

There is loot in the very tippy-top of the tower, on the rafters above the two stationary guards. Also another invisibility potion (you start with one), which you'll need if you want to get the 525 gold worth of crystals in the vault. And a snippy note. The annoying part is down one ladder, where there is a narrow, wooden catwalk around which a guard random-walks. There are three vases, one in each window, but you just have to more or less guess where the guard will turn next. I used the crossbeams in the center, rushing to keep to his side so he woudln't spot me.

After you get that loot, climb back up to the top level. Look out the window opposite the ladder and lean right: there is another ladder there (you'll need to rope-arrow to it) that leads down to the library and the Dark Engine room... this is the only way to get in there, until you use the lever to open the door back into the art gallery.

3. The basement art gallery

Nothing of interest here (a water arrow or two in the central pool). The only purpose is to dodge random-walking guards (it might be a fixed patrol, but it's complex enough that it may as well be random point-to-point) and get through the gallery to the second storage room, where you find your blackjack (an objective), and to the vault, about which see below.

Ghost warning: At least one of the guards is fond of walking through the dark corners, rather than straight across the room. I was hiding in a black corner, and all of a sudden, I had a guard banging into me and trying to push past. He couldn't see me... but we were stuck together -- until I got the idea (I've never tried this before) of leaning forward around his backside and bending around. Somehow, this broke the spell, and he passed right through me and continued on, never the wiser.

Is this another abuse of the Dark Engine (the game, not the machine in this mission), like nudging and banner transmigration? Call it leaning-induced AI transmigration, maybe. Well, maybe not!

4. The vault

One of the rooms in the art gallery has two stationary guards and a blue-light painting. To get to the vault, you have to mantle up into the painting, down the other side, and then scuttle left into the vault area (once you have the "safe key," of course).

The only problem is that you're lit up just like in the altar painting... and there are those two guards staring directly at you. The only way I found into the safe (it's actually a room with a metal door, not a safe or vault in the classic sense) and the twenty-one crystals (525 worth of loot, plus a purse and a wine bottle) it contains was to use invisibility potions. Two of them.

I shot a moss arrow into the loud floor, then hopped over the velvet-rope barricade so that the square pillar nearest the door shielded me. Then I gulped the potion, ran to the painting, mantled up, crouched, and quietly slid down the other side (making sure I remained in a crouch). I was just able to do this as the potion wore off, and the guards did not see me. Then I crouch-walked into the vault area and looted everything.

Ghost warning: Make sure you get everything from this area on this pass; you ain't gonna get another bite at the apple!

Inside the vault room are twenty-one crystals; outside is a gold wine bottle on a table and a purse hidden on the highest of the piled boxes.

To return, I crouch-walked until I was at the end of the painting opening that lead back to the room. I gulped my second potion, stood and mantled, and dropped quickly onto my mossy area, then behind the pillar again, just before the potion wore off. Just as with going in, it's a fine timing line: the potion makes it possible to loot the vault; it doesn't make it easy!

5. The Dark Engine room;

From the basement library (don't miss the loot over the door), you can head down a long corridor with a patrolling guard and two stationary guards to a metal door, which opens with the Dark Engine key. The Dark Engine is some sort of infernal Mechanist machine that produces those furshlugginer crystals you see everywhere in this mission.

There are twelve total crystals in here, worth 300 gold. But they're hard to get. Six are in the central, rainbow-lit area, where -- you're way ahead of me! -- where I was lit up totally bright. There is a stationary guard here watching that area; I nudged him... a long, long way. Way up towards the machines and to the right, so the well-lit area would be from nine o'clock position down to seven o'clock, from his perspective; that was outside his peripheral vision, and I was able to get all the crystals.

The nudge was particular irritating because there are three patrolling guards who patrol around the perimeter of the room. (Incidentally, though the floor looks like metal, either it isn't, or else the guards have been deafened by the annoying, screaming whine from the three engines that make up the Dark Engine.

I'll tell you right now, however, that you're not going to be able to get those crystals or nudge the stationary guard anywhere unless you go ahead and take care of the Hammer scientist who built the thing, who wanders around on a -- have you heard this before? -- random-walk patrol route. You have an optional objective to kill him, so why not? I hit him with the blackjack when he drifted into the dark NW corner (where there are four more crystals). Later, after looting the room, I hauled him up to the top of the machine closest to the door into the Dark Engine room and dropped him into the pool of water up there. I think I already mentioned that... but I'm pleased at thinking of it and don't mind repeating myself.

There are two more crystals; they're up the NW ladder to the catwalk... but warning! When I climbed up there the first time, just as I got to the top of the ladder, I was blown to smithereens by a well-placed landmine on the catwalk itself! And besides dying, the explosion also alerted the guards.

Alas, disarming the mine also alerted the stationary guard, no matter how far away I nudged him. Fortunately, I was able to reach the two crystals on my right while still on the ladder.

There is one other piece of loot here, and it too requires an invisibility potion; but it's only a 50-gold wine bottle deep inside the red machine. When I started down it, I lit up again, and the stationary guard I had nudged spotted me. I had to swallow the potion, crouch-run into the red machine, snatch the wine bottle, and run out again... and again, just enough time to do it before reappearing.

I got the third invisibility potion from the guard shack (see in "the outside grounds" below), which I did after the Dark Engine room; so I had to go back to the Dark Engine room afterwards to get that last bottle.

I suppose if I'd been patient enough to nudge that stationary Dark Engine guard three times as far as I did, way up and into the far corner, he wouldn't have seen me, and I could have spared myself using the third potion. But in for a penny, in for a pinch, I always say.

Ghost note: When I first entered this room, I was on a catwalk above it. The ladder down was at the other end... but there was a stationary guard right there, blocking access both up and down. To get down, I shot a moss arrow onto the metal machines just below, then jumped down to them, thence to the ground. But to get back and leave, I used the ladder to climb the machine nearest the door (the same one where I drowned the idiot); then I ran and jumped to the catwalk. I found that if I jumped slightly before the edge of the machine, I would fly across the gap and land just short of the catwalk... which meant, since I was still holding the jump key down, that I instantly and silently mantled up and onto the catwalk.

6. The second floor

Not much here. You reach it by heading up the stairs across the church from the stairs down to the basement. This is more a matter of sneaking past various guards. I'd recommend liberal use of water arrows; you have plenty in the mission. When I opened the door from the stairway room to the back hallway -- where stands the Hammer who looks at the altar but whose eyes are too weak to see me sitting in the altar painting looting crystals -- the seated guard in the stairway room jumped to his feet. He wasn't alerted; he just pops up to a standing position, like someone getting out of bed. I moved slowly, and he didn't see me, even when I passed right in front of his face.

There are two different secret switches in the first bunkroom on this floor (neither counts as a "secret" though, and there are no such secrets in the mission). One opens a secret door up by the back rafter, and the other, under an upper bunk bed, opens a panel in the telescope-room through that secret door. Sadly, the only thing in the panel is a chest containing (I rib you not) two hundred mines!

Whoopie. Just what I need when I go a-ghosting!

(I played around a bit on a separate save, seeing how many mines I could lay outside before the patrollers came by to set off the chain reaction. I know, I know.)

7. The outside grounds

This is sort of a catch-all for everything else. There is a cemetery and crypt to loot (remember, a nice, big boulder will block the arrow trap); the "crypt key" is on a zombie in the back half of the cemetery. (The "cemetery key" is in the office on the left side of the altar.)

But the ghosting highlight was the guard shack, right by the front entrance through the wall. The point is, there was a guard standing right in the doorway, facing me -- and I had to get past him.

I doused the torches in front of the church, the torch in the entryway, and the two closest torches outside the wall. Then I waited until the guard who patrols in and out of the grounds was headed in, and I crept forward into the doorway into the guard shack. I was sure that stupid patroller would run right up my backside, but I got in there just before he passed. But the guard in the shack was directly athwart the doorway into the guard shack itself.

I inched forward, expecting him to start swinging his hammer any second... but it was so dark, and I was moving so slowly, that he didn't see me, even when I was actually pressed against his front. I don't think I've ever been that invisible before without a potion :eek: !

He backed away from me, and I kept nudging him from the front until he was far enough back that I could slide very slowly to the right... far enough that I could grab the coins on the table, the invisibility potion, and one of the two coin stacks. But I eventually had to get around behind him to get the second coin stack (I left him the playing cards... perhaps he can win the money back before the sergeant comes checking up on him). Then I reversed the procedure, trying not to move until he was turned slightly away from me. Somehow, I found myself past him; then it was just a wait until the patroller passed by, and I was back inside the wall again, undetected. Pretty wild gameplay!

So all in all, I was quite surprised by the of taut, suspenseful ghosting opportunities in this mission, and I highly recommend it for a ghost run. Lotsa fun & larfs!

Dafydd

Old Man
22nd Feb 2005, 01:34
Thanks, dafydd. Another well written Ghost report. Love it! Have been enjoying Deadly Simplicities (http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=91272), fett's parody of TDS over on TTLG and this fits right in with that.

I have had one other occasion where I had to nudge from the front. A useful tactic. And it kind of adds to the suspense too, doesn't it? Sorry, don't recall which FM it was.

And I've used the lean to dislodge an NPC bumping into me before too. Never considered it being unGhostly. Was quite proud for extricating myself from the situation I'd put myself into actually.

Keep 'em coming. :-)

Peter_Smith
6th Jan 2006, 20:31
FM: A Night in Rocksbourg - A New Beginning (mission 1 of 6)
Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 2:53:25
Loot - 2473 / 3068
Pockets Picked - 8 / 11 (??)
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 1 / 2

Comments

This is the first ghost report in almost a year! :eek: I hope I can revitialize what seems to be a dying sport and tradition. Get in there and do it, and let's see some other ghost reports! :)

For those who may not know, as with all other ghost reports, this report contains many SPOILERS that explain how to do things. Contrary to tradition, I used a spoiler cover in one place, which reveals a specific key location.

This is a wonderful new mission by DrK. The map, architecture, and textures are terriffic. It is a small city with lots of twists and turns -- lots of vertical arrangement, and the maze quite 3-D in nature. The sounds are great, too. Architecture and sounds have a gritty feel. The loot and the keys are very well hidden, and it is difficult to find all the places where loot might be hidden owing to the complex map. Job well done, DrK!:D

This was my second playing of the mission. I normally try ghosting a mission the first time through, and I tried it with this one, too. I found myself going over the same territory many times owing to the difficulty of finding things. Much of the territory presents a ghosting challenge. It got tedious after a while, so I gave up and BJ'ed all the AI half way through it. Even then, I needed help from the TTLG forum to find all the keys I needed. If you have a problem with key hunts, you might be a little discouraged at times, but my suggestion would be to play it anyway. You won't regret it. However, ghosting the first time is not very fun, so flail away with your BJ and keep your nose to the ground.

The map is so complicated that it is difficult to remember in detail. Most of the ghosting is straighforward but very interesting. I'll just mention a few highlights.

At the start, in Garrett's house, make sure you find some weapons in a hidden area. Failure to do that means that water arrows are very few and at a premium. Ghosting without water arrows is possible but difficult. That is what I did the first time through, when I gave up.

In terms of ghosting, the mission is divided into two distinct zones that are difficult to pass back and forth between. One ghost zone is the starting area where Garrett's house is located. There are many places to visit here, but not much action. The second area is where Lord Namez' residence is found and most objectives are satisfied. They are separated initially by two ghosting barriers.

One barrier is a canal / sewer in which a guard with a lantern patrols. The canal can be accessed from either end, but only one end is reachable directly from the starting zone. That access point is a bridge on which a female guard is posted. She is visited frequently by another guard on patrol. It is very difficult, perhaps impossible, to get past them on the bridge, but even if you succeed in that you find yourself in a cul-de-sac area that has some loot but is cut off from the rest of the map. It is necessary to go down to the water and face the lantern guard. It is not so easy to get past him and climb out the other end of the canal, but that is what you must do if you decide go that way. I did it by going over the side of the bridge into the water, finding a hiding place on the steps in which the lantern guy saw me but did not alert, and them trailing the lantern guy some distance where you can hide under a drain pipe with running water. The lantern guy retunrs, passes you muttering, and then you can go to the other end of the canal and climb out, being very careful to avoid an alert from a civilian overlooking the far end of the water. The lantern guy is returning at this point. You need to go slowly but not too slowly, so it is very tense. Good design.

While you are messing around with the lantern guy, it is very easy not to find a key that is hidden in the water. It is located behind a grate under the steps where you first hide. If you do not get the key then, it is difficult to ghost back and get it later (see below for method). The presence of this key is one reason why it is highly desirable to take the water route first.

The water route is a one way trip. When returning to the starting zone, it is either very difficult or impossible to return by the water route. The hiding place under the drain pipe is visible to the lantern guy in the opposite direction, so that is useless. A nice wood platform intended for the trip back cannot be used because the civilian at the end of the canal always spots you when you climb up there. With great difficulty, I got past the lantern guy in the water by using a rope arrow on the far end of the wooden structure and jumping onto a ledge with an air conditioning fan, enabling the lantern guy to pass. But that gets you only to the stair platform at the other end of the canal. From the stairs, again with difficulty, you can maneuver to the the bridge, but it is the wrong side of the bridge. Then you cannot (or I could not) cross the bridge to safety. I imagine it is possible. Several times I moved to a location hip-to-hip with the female guard, waiting for her to turn so I could pass her, but the male guard on patrol always saw me before she turned. There is a little randomness to her turn, so it may be possible, but the time she usually turns is when the patrolling guard comes back to visit her, so that is a bust.

Another way that you can pass between the two ghost zones involves going into a small Mechanist storage area and then up a street with a metal grate in it. You can go back and forth on this route. This route is a problem because there are a man and woman in Namez' yard, the wood gate to the yard is ajar (it can't be moved), and the man almost always spots you as you go past his field of view. It is possible to do so with persistance and going down just the right path.

A third way to traverse between the ghost zones opens up when the mission is nearly complete. Then you can open a locked door in Namez' mansion and get back to the starting point, bypassing the mechanist storage area and the wood gate. That is nice, but if you have done everything right you don't have to go back anyway. If you are hunting for loot, it helps.

The highlight of the mission is to figure out how to enter Namez' quarters from which most of the objectives are accomplished. You have the wooden gate approach, which can be done with a BJ and hit-and-run, but this obviously does not work for ghost. The only way go ghost it is to fiind a rather extensive air conditioning duct system in the ending zone, which you can enter from the second story level. That duct is very noisy, so you will restart a lot in there. In addition, there is one ladder that is quite difficult to get off at the top end without making a big clank. There is a bug with that ladder in that a slow approach will not work. You need to lunge over the top. Moss could be used, but it is needed in other areas.

If you play the mission "right", you never have to go back to the starting zone, and, if you do go back, you can do it after visiting the mansion by the easy route. This ideal is not so easy to achieve because the map is confusing, loot is hard to find, and exploration is not clear cut. Even in the second play I did not understand this until I was finished.

I have no idea where all the missing loot is. The first time through, in BJ mode, I got 2753 / 3068. I did not make a list, and, even if I had, the use of the loot list would have been cheating. :rolleyes:

Peter_Smith
8th Jan 2006, 08:22
FM: A Night in Rocksbourg - Discovery (mission 2 of 6)
Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 4:24:14
Loot - 4866 / 5828
Pockets Picked - 11 / 15
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 3 / 5

Comments

This is the second in the six-part Rocksbourg campain, of which only two are available now. And, this is the Author's second FM. A very fine one at that. This mission is deliberately more open. The city has more recognizable buildings, town squares, and roads. Whereas in the first mission there were hints that something was going wrong in Rocksbourg, in this mission something has definitely gone wrong. The undead have attacked, parts of the city are quarantined, and anyone caught wandering out of the safety zone is attacked by the guards on sight. Conversely, if you are in the safety zone, all the AI are friendly unless they see you with a weapon drawn. A nice touch. But I didn't realize it was safe in the safety zone for a long while because I was ghosting, and I was quite pleased with my skill at not being caught. :)

Outside the safe zone, things get very creepy. There is a lot of blood and creepy noises about. Interestingly, you see very few actual undead, and those are easily avoided, but the sound effects are quite unnerving. For example, there is one room you go in where a zombie rattles a door. That set me back a notch. By far the most creepy, for me, was being in the Tunnel 21 tunnels and hearing the sound of Korrigans running around me but never seeing them. If you have not played Les Korrigans by Gaetane, you may not understand this, but Korrigans are something to be feared. I am expecting to be hit by one any second, but it never happens. That makes my hair stand on end every time I pass through there, even after playing the mission twice and going through there several times. Amazing. DrK has a good feel for fear and tension. Like the first mission, the architecture and textures are great, even better now because you can see them better.

The ghosting in this mission is great, too. Like the first one, there are a couple of tough spots, but most of it is straightforward. I'll mention some highlights.

The first problem I encountered was in a small sunken square containing a combat bot and a fire, located beyond one of the security zone gates. The square is surrounded by iron catwalks and ladders. I approached it from a stone balcony structure on which a female guard was stationed. A lantern guard was cycling through that area, making the timing interesting. I got past the lantern guard in both directions by following him and hiding in a small alley, staying on his upstream side. Then I would run in to the balcony area, do my stuff, and run back to the hiding place. My first problem on the balcony was that the guard prevented me from getting the coins in the well. I could not avoid a spash, and I never did solve that one -- I just left the loot behind. The major problem was to get down into the square below and sneak past the bot. My first move was to mantle onto the balcony wall, put out the fire, and then very carefully drop to the bot's feet. The lantern guard made this sequence fairly tense. If the guard didn't get you, the bot heard you drop down, even using the leg dangling method, nine times out of ten. When I finally got down safely, the next problem was to get past the bot, who has very good vision. There was no way to avoid a flickering light gem. The secret was speed without noise. I did quick dash across the lit area to a shadow in which a corpse was lying. That took several tries, too. Then I was able to approach several iron catwalks and ladders from below.

Later, I found that one of these catwalks entered a three story building that I could have entered from another route through another security gate with great ease, avoiding all of the above. Such is the way of the ghoster, especially in a complicated map such as this. You get into situations in which you have invested some time, and you want to solve the immediate problems without realizing there is an easier way. It is things like this that made my play time fairly long and also the game play a lot of fun.

The next and last significant ghosting problem was in the lower floor of the "souls" library building. There you have to enter a room to get a key, but there is a soul character staring directly at the entry door. Not only that, but two others are on patrol, cycling in and out of the room fairly rapidly, so timing of the entry must be exact. The way I did it was to moss the left corner of the doorway, the corner nearest the pesky soul, and to run around the corner top speed and squat. Again, speed was the key because in any attempt at careful creeping I was busted by the guy watching the door. AI have a certain reaction time that seems to depend on how well you are lit. If you are in their vision for less than that reaction time you are OK provided your speed does make a noise that busts you. From that point, I crept very slowly up to the guy, hugging the wall, to put out his candle. Then, with less light in the room, I could make the move away from him and circle the room counterclockwise to get the key.

An interesting aspect of this lilbrary area is that the souls speak French, whereas all other AI in the mission are using English voices. The French language, actually, increased the creepy atmosphere, because the souls seemed to be alien. I wonder if they speak English in the French version. :) Might not be a bad idea, but it would not be so effective because most French players would understand them anyway. Maybe they should speak Russian in the French version. But I digress.

Another area where I had a problem was ghosting two spiders in an out-of-the way, high building. I just left them because there was nothing in there that I could find other than a rope arrow.

I did ghost past a single spider in the house with the zombie banging on the door.

I was unable to grab a purse in a canal, again because I was busted by an unavoidable splash. So, I think that Perfect Thief would be difficult, because not only is some of the loot hard to find but a couple of items are problematic to ghost.

That's it. Give it a try. You'll like it.:)

Peter_Smith
5th Mar 2006, 08:25
FM: Saturio Returns Home
Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 4:11:36
Loot - 1922 / 1922
Pockets Picked - 4 / 8
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0 / 0

Comments

For some strange reason I had not previously played this classic Thief 2 mission by Robin G (Roberto Garcia). I recently noticed that Komag (The Keep of Metal and Gold) gave it a rating of 10, so I jumped right on it. It is a very good mission, especially for December, 2000. Its style is pure sneaker and route finding, with excellent architecture. No secrets. No little switches. No difficult keys. Nice.:) There are, however many challenging game play situations with AI. For every such situation there is a way to get around it that is not always easy to find. It seems to me that this was all intentional design, and the mission was probably designed with ghosting and perfect thief in mind.

This mission has been ghosted previously, first by Vanguard (http://forums.eidosgames.com/old-ubb/FMs_Ghost_Perfect_Thief_Results_Part2_2.htm) and then by Daffyd (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?p=301903#post301903). Vanguard pioneered a way to get onto the rooftops by using crates to get over a spiked iron fence. Spiked fences are normally impossible to get over, so neither Daffyd nor I stumbled on this solution. We had to read about it in Vanguard's report. Bearing in mind that my solution is not original, I did add a few original elements:

Perfect Thief
Did not use any potions (slow fall)
Did not throw Saturio off the roof, presumably causing him damage.
Did it in one ghost pass, without side trips.

As an example of the mission's route finding puzzles, to get up to the second floor, I spent a lot of time fooling around with the main stair well, with its marble floors, watcher, stationary guard, and patroling guard. After spending a long time with that and achieving many near successes, I finally gave up. Then I found another route up some back stairs with two guards and a watcher. That route was barely ghostable (got some mutterings). Also, it was quite a nuisancce to come back down because you could not see the watcher before making a commitment to run. After doing that 2-3 times, I finally found the way to turn off the watchers, which was obvious yet hidden behind a corner. You had to do a dance with a rotating guard. So, in this case, there were three ways to do it, and only the last one was easy.

The mission is filled with little things like that. A courtyard that cannot be crossed without alerts, but there is an underwater passage. A guy in a library who can be approached only from one side, but then you cannot get to other points in the room from that same side.

And, last but not least, there is the large attic room with two guards, a watcher, a combat bot, and a patrolling small bot. Daffyd called this Storming the Bastille.:) With normal play, it is necessary to pass through that room to unlock the two tower gates that lead to the ring and Saturio. So, the normal routine would be to blast the watcher with a fire arrow, BJ the two guards when they came hunting, disable the combat bot, and then proceed to the back alcove were the gate switches are. But wait, there is a ladder in a side room that takes you to some beams above the large room! Elation turns to dismay (for the ghoster) when you can't get to the beams without breaking glass, and even when you break the glass and wait for the AI to settle down, you cannot go the length of the beam without alerting them again, because there is a light spot on the beam. They shoot arrows at you, so unless you are quick, you are a pincussion. And, even when you get through that gauntlet and go out the large hole onto the roof, there are problems. You can mantle into a window to find Saturio, but then you cannot get out through the building because the gate is locked from the wrong side. Taking Saturio out via the roof seems impossible because it is a long way down. With his very clever design, Robin G. keeps presenting the player with tempting solutions that don't quite work, forcing the ghoster to seek more angles or give up.

So, along comes Vanguard with the vital key to the solution, if not the ultimate method. Take crates up to a high flat roof with a wood chest and a spiked fence. Use the crates to get over the fence, and do some delicate roof hopping that, in many cases, will lead to a fatal fall. But you can, with persistence, get to Saturio by that that route.

I observed some things that convince me that Robin G. deliberately planned this extraordinary route. First, in the middle of the spiked fence there is a post of the type that one can often mantle onto when the adjacent fence is inert to mantling. The post seems to be about 8 ft. high. Sure enough, when using the drop-crate-and-jump method* next to that post, you can mantle onto the post using only one crate and one jump. The post looks like was not put there by coincidence. Many such posts cannot be mantled. The author must have set a mantle property on purpose. It seems too perfect not to have been planned. Then, there are some very small and perfectly positioned wood ledges at the bottoms of some eves. These permit the player to jump from one roof section to another using great care. This also seems too perfect not to have been planned, but the move is quite hard to execute at first.

=======
* This method of stacking crates, also called the stack-em-up method, works as follows. Hold the crate, look straight down, and then release it with the R key and jump at the same time. You then take a second jump to get your feet out of the crate and higher up. Then, you can pick up another crate and repeat. If at any stage you are high enough to mantle, the "R" + jump will take you to the top.
========

So that fence hop is the way I got started. I mossed the spot at the foot of the post so I could drop the crate and jump onto it without being heard. One crate and the jump completed the mantle. Then I let myself down onto the wrong side of the roof and climbed over the peak. It is very steep but climbable, another clue that this route is deliberate. Using the tricky little ledges to jump from one roof section to another, I made it over to the central hole where the beam exits. That is the muster point for further roof maneuvers.

At that point, I knew the route to Saturio, but instead of going there I started hunting the rooftops for a way to get to the ring in the East tower. Crossing to the other side of the central hole, I mantled up to the highest roof and then want down, using similar small wood ledges, the same way I had come up the other side. I jumped down to a lower roof (one I could not get back from), and that roof led me to a window that gained me entrance to the east tower and the ring. Coming out the same window, I slid gently onto the large balcony outside the second floor guards' barracks. I saw immediately that there is a much easier way to get up to the East tower window. Use a single crate to mantle up to the roof by the window. No matter.

Then I went back through the second floor to the attic, hopped over the iron fence a second time, and made my way to the central hole muster point. From there I went to the obvious window to enter the West tower, grabbed Saturio, and carried him back out the same window. That part was a little tricky. As Vanguard had found, I could not maneuver on the roof below the window while carrying Saturio, because carrying him out the window caused my feet to bog down. So, I dropped him in the window sill, went out past him, jumped on the roof to ensure that my feet were free, and then retrieved him. These are moves you need to make sometimes to avoid getting trapped by Dark Engine bugs. That worked great, allowing full mobility on the roof.

At this point in the game, both Vanguard and Daffyd dropped Saturio off the roof and used a slowfall potion to get down themselves. With full mobility on the roof, I did not have to do that. I carried Saturio over the same route I used to find the east tower and the ring. Instead of going directly down to the tower, I traversed the roof to the left, over the large hall and above the dormers. The third dormer has another roof below it, which can be used to lower yourself and Saturio to the ground without damage. But that is not necessary. If you get on that roof and turn around, you will see a window in the dormer where you can enter the Bastille hall, far enough from the watcher to avoid detection. So now you and Saturio are in the attic, and you need only to carry him down to the second floor where you drop him on his mother's bed.:eek: Thus, you can enter both towers without using the gates, and you can avoid all damage and use of potions.

The only remaining problem was loot. One tricky bit was in the library where that guy was sitting. Turns out that if you loot the enclosed cupboard in that room, he stands up when he hears the lock pick, but he does not alert. This standing is acceptable per the official rules. That left me 150 short. I had to retrace my steps, still in ghost mode, to find the rest. I had overlooked a purse on a guard outside the house and a wine bottle in the wine cellar. That did it.

The game play in this mission is really excellent, whether you choose to ghost it or not. If you have not played it yet, I can recommend it highly.

It seems like posting ghost results is going out of style. I encourage others to take part. Where are you, clayman? :)

goldsla
18th Jul 2007, 14:45
FM: The Burrick's Head Inn V2,0, Vintage Edition
Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 01:04:30
Loot - 4455 / 4455
Pockets Picked - 3 / 12
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 4 / 4

Comments:

I assume that triggering the fight by opening the balcony door does not count as a bust, nor do the arrival of blue coats downstairs. No AI alerted to ME. The fight starts when the thief sucker punched Abby. The opening of the door simply triggers the script of him creeping up on her with no alerts; I watched for that very carefully. There are no alerts until he hits her, well after opening the door. And I think that the blue coats arrive because the downstairs guard hears the fight and pushes an alarm. Sometimes he doesn't, and the blue coats don't appear.

There are only two tricky spots.

The first is the Guard in room 3. Trailing him and getting back to the kitchen unnoticed can be a problem. Sometimes he does not leave enough room to make it past him and the kitchen chair. For this ghosting I hurdled the balcony railing and landed on the 2nd floor balcony without hurt or sound instead. For others I have trailed him successfully.

The second is after the fight is over in the penthouse. If the thief survives and starts pacing, I do not see a possibility of ghosting. If Abby wins the fight, then you have a chance. I have made it by her several times without alerting, though it tends to depend on where she winds up standing after the scripted fight. Just turn off ALL the lights in the penthouse, including the bedside one behind her, and put on your sneakers.

No moss arrows are needed if you are on your toes. I believe I used two water arrows in all, and one should be enough if you want to forgo the easter egg secret. I didn't, but then again, I always wanted one of those, but could never afford one in the stores . . . ;)

goldsla
18th Jul 2007, 14:59
FM: Equilibrium
Ghost - Success :confused:
Perfect Thief - Success :confused:
Time - 01:34:30
Loot - 0 / 0
Pockets Picked - 5 / 5
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0 / 0

Comments

This FM is a tough call for ghosting. 1) The AIs are invisible (mostly), 2) they tend to walk, run, and stand still almost randomly, and 3) the premise is that they are searching for you already, so it is hard to tell if you have actually alerted any of them by your actions in the game. I did not see any alerts or real searching behaviors that result from my being detected, but there might have been some I could not see.

And what about claiming perfect thief when there is no loot? You do have to pickpocket each of the invisble AIs. Does that count? :scratch:

My brain hurts!

goldsla
18th Jul 2007, 15:36
FM: Keyhunt
Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:47:02
Loot - 160 / 160
Pockets Picked - 2 /2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 2 / 2

Comments

A gem of a game. One tricky bit to ghost. Most of the loot is simple to find. The puzzles are all very fair.

goldsla
18th Jul 2007, 16:16
FM: L'Arsene
Ghost - Failed
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 04:23:42
Loot - 1922 / 1922
Pockets Picked - 11 / 14
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 2
Damage dealt - can't read my notes! Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 1 / 1

Comments
The ambush busted me. I had to KO the thug under the stairwell. The other two I intentionally alerted to sneak past. I have heard that there is a way to keep the bars from dropping and trapping you. If so then this is ghostable. I just could not figure it out. :(

The other KO is an implied required objective. You have to KO L'Arsene to get him locked up in the jail. At least I think you do! :scratch:

goldsla
18th Jul 2007, 18:35
FM: Ominous Bequest
Ghost - FAILED
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 04:31:15
Loot - 7695 / 8000
Pockets Picked - 7 / 7
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Healing taken - 0
Kills - 0
Secrets: 8 of 8

Comments

Bodies Discovered: 1
(!?!) I think this was when I sliced the book, before Kadar dies he may see 1 of the Haunt bodies that result from the book being destroyed. Is this a bust??? I did not KO anyone; should I be responsible for a body inadvertently created completing the primary objective? Inquiring minds want to know your opinion.

Consumables used: Only those required for plot. No torches doused. No moss arrows. No potions.

Question: is flipping a switch or opening a door which causes an AI action without an alert a bust?? There are a couple of places where I did so to get an AI out of the way, but only one that I think is unavoidable: getting the loot from the interior balcony. The other time I did that was getting by the guard in front of Benny's locker, before I found the passage behind him. Turns out you can open the nearest locker, and he comes over to close it without alerting, you can then sneak behind him and ...

Absolutely awsome game.

* * * * * * *
U P D A T E D
* * * * * * *

On re-evaluation of this game I have to call it a ghosting FAILURE. I have no idea what I was thinking when I claimed success but there are two clear busts. Please refer to my mea culpa (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showpost.php?p=832915&postcount=232) later in this thread for a more complete explanation of the change.

On thing: On replay I got much closer to all the loot ... Loot - 7900 / 8000

Peter_Smith
20th Jul 2007, 15:59
Welcome to the ghosting community, goldsla. :D It has been a long time since anyone took an interest in posting stats.

In Ominous Bequest, I am not sure exactly what you did to get the AI moving. If opening a door or flipping a switch causes them to start a normal patrol, and there is no hunting behavior or adverse dialogue, such as "I see you", then you are good to go. This limit-induced motion is just the behavior of a script, and it is not an alert in any case. If, on the other hand, the AI actually alerted, it would be a bust. Then your problem would be to open the door or flip the switch or enter the room without an alert or find another way.

I spent a lot of time beta testing this mission and, as I recall, achieved Perfect Thief many times. It was some time ago. I remember, barely, those three places you mentioned. The guard on the interior balcony can be set in motion somehow, and you can frob the door so it stays open as he leaves. That is fine. The one by the lockers is also tricky. I do not remember the guard motions in detail. I recall vaguely that the locker area gave me problems until I figured out how to approach the lockers from the back route - an inner, semi-hidden passage takes you there. As for the body at the end, that is a result of complicated AI behavior during a scripted event, and you had nothing to do with it.

Your ghost success is untarnished, according to the official rules. I presume you have read them. If not, check here (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=30310).

EDIT: Now, scrolling up, I see that you have posted stats for several missions. Are are you that fast, or did you save them up?

goldsla
21st Jul 2007, 15:44
In Ominous Bequest, I am not sure exactly what you did to get the AI moving. If opening a door or flipping a switch causes them to start a normal patrol, and there is no hunting behavior or adverse dialogue, such as "I see you", then you are good to go. This limit-induced motion is just the behavior of a script, and it is not an alert in any case. If, on the other hand, the AI actually alerted, it would be a bust.
It was the former. Turning a light switch on causes the stationary guard on the inner balcony to exit the balcony and come into the room to turn it back off. You can then trail him onto the balcony to get the loot & a key to unlock the balcony. So no bust. Similarly for the locker area, I found that opening the nearest locker (from around the corner) allows you to trail the guard and get to Benny's locker without using the back entrance.

EDIT: Now, scrolling up, I see that you have posted stats for several missions. Are are you that fast, or did you save them up?
I just recently discovered the FM scene and have begun working my way through them. What an amazing wealth of talent they represent! Then I found this thread, and thought I would post the stats I had saved in my personal notes in reply to your request. I know that I am just stepping on well blazed trails for most of you, but for me it is a whole new and engaging journey.

Yandros
23rd Jul 2007, 17:14
It's really nice to see fresh reports in this thread, and I for one am glad to see it, so please post more!

goldsla
31st Jul 2007, 03:22
...so please post more!
OK. I just finished "The Korrigans" by Gaëtane.

Ghost - Better living through chemistry Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 05:44:59
Loot - 6550 / 6550
Pockets Picked - 19/20 (I thought I got them all. I wonder who I missed and what they had.)
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 9 / 9

This is a continuation of the story begun with L'Arsene, and is a lovely romp! It is fairly straightforward to ghost once you get used to checking for the archers above as well as the foot patrols. No real puzzles to solve, just a few hard to locate switches. Climbable trees are a nice touch.

The only tricky part is ghosting the theft of the Woodsie Lord's Heart. There are four Korrigans surrounding it, and they tend to alert when you put out the torches. Eventually I decided that putting out one torch makes them more sensitive to putting out the others, even though they keep standing still and don't show an alert. So I went away for a half an hour between torches to make some home made pasta noodles, and had no further problems. (The pasta turned out fine too!;) )In the dark, you just need to approach the Heart exactly equidistant from two guarding Korrigans, otherwise they will start a hunting behavior.

Unfortunately I could not find a way to darken the Korrigan dungeon and rescue Berenice without the use of an invisibility potion to get to the light switch and turn off the lights. :( So I had to settle for a chemical assisted ghost. Not as satisfying it would have been without, but still a good ghosting.

The ending definately made me want to find the sequel . . .

ffox
31st Jul 2007, 22:04
OK. I just finished "The Korrigans" by Gaëtane.

Pockets Picked - 19/20 (I thought I got them all. I wonder who I missed and what they had.)

The ending definately made me want to find the sequel . . .

The extra pocket is a Thief2 oddity - standard T2 is set up wrong and counts one too many. You got them all. :)

This bug is magnified in FMs that are pure DedX based - that counts 7 too many pickpockets!

It is possible for authors to correct the miscount by "hard-wiring" the correct total into the file Debrief.str, but they probably won't realise the total is wrong unless a beta tester picks it up. (Most authors aren't avid ghosters.)

The sequel is "The Den" (http://www.thiefmissions.com/info.cgi?m=TheDen)which is superb.

goldsla
1st Aug 2007, 18:33
The sequel is "The Den" (http://www.thiefmissions.com/info.cgi?m=TheDen)which is superb.

I'll try that next

FM: Emilie Victor

Ghost - Failure
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 02:51:31
Loot - 3214 / 3284
Pockets Picked - 12/18
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 7 / 7

Comments

This ghosting attempt failed because of rule 6.

6. No property damage is allowed. No banners cut, no doors bashed in, no things burnt or destroyed, and no broken glass.

There are banners that need to be slashed (in the real world) and a statue that has to be broken (in Emilie's world) in order to proceed. Yes you can skip on a secret area by not slashing a banner, but you are going to be busted later on when you have to slash another one to proceed to Lady Cunegonde's Rooms. I did not see any way to use Banner Transmigration here, and there is no other way I could see to get to her room. I do not believe that this mission can be ghosted for this reason. If anyone has an approach to ghost this, I would love to hear it.

Ghosting aside, this mission is the least satisfying to me of the three missions by Gaëtane that I have tried so far. It appears very contrived and awkward. I'm not certain what makes it that way, but somehow the plot did not come together right. Only my opinion.

Peter_Smith
3rd Aug 2007, 01:53
Thanks for more reports, goldsla.:) I have enjoyed all of Gaëtane's missions, including especially Emilie Victor. Apart from the ghost busts, which I do not remember (it's been a while), I thought the game play and ambience were great. Chacun * son goût. You will like The Den, too.:)

goldsla
4th Aug 2007, 16:30
you will like The Den, too.:)

FM: The Den

Ghost - Success / Busted [see Berenice discussion below]
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 05:39:03
Loot - 5251 / 5251
Pockets Picked - 6/6
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 1
Damage dealt - 1 Damage taken - 1 Healing taken - 1
Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 10 / 10

Comments
This was a much more satisfying mission than Emilie Victor to my mind. And I ghosted it on my first run through (but not ironman).

The damage taken is in the first 1/2 second of the mission. No matter how fast I move to the cell gate, I take damage from what seems like fumes. At least Garret coughs some. The healing I cannot explain. I did not consume anything, but after a while I noticed that my health was back up. I guess Garret has a really strong constitution!

[As a side note---just as a fun thing to do---I discovered in a second run through that if you keep saving and restoring before L'Arsene has time to complete his long speech, you can pick the lock, get upstairs, get your cosh, come back down, and KO everyone, including L'Arsene :scratch: before he is done pontificating. I did not try killing him at that point, but it would be interesting to see if he is resurrected for the ending. I suspect he would be. I may try that during a KO everyone run. I'll let you know what happened if I do.]

Most of this is just straight ghosting: watching patterns of behavior, patience, timing, silence, keeping to the shadows, ..., you all know the drill. The one tricky bit that I recall is when La Bourrique emerges from the Den. The only way I found to pick the key from his pocket and sneak by was to wait in the right corner in plain sight when he emerges from the door. A quick silent step, a pickpocket, wait in plain sight until he is around the corner, then through the door silently locking it behind you.

To get the speed potion and the healing potion on the alter in the Den, I ended up using the Invisibility Potion I had found earlier. After the Stone Men have killed L'Arsene, timed right, you can make it there, pick up the bottles, and make it back before the potion wears off and they notice you! So you could call this a chemically assisted ghosting, but since the bottles are not necessary for either the ghosting or for perfect thief, only for klepto thief, I don't think of it as such. But you may, if you wish. I just like to try and get everything.

Berenice
Now regarding Berenice and claiming ghosting success ... The twin objectives regarding her are:

"Remember, Berenice has betrayed you. Dissuade her from doing it again by giving her the biggest fright of her life."
"For your revenge to have the desired effect you must not kill Berenice."

It does not explicitly say "KO her" and the exception rule for mission objectives states: "Any mission objective that explicitly demands that the player break one of the rules above is OK to complete and does not bust the ghost." and "It is not acceptable, however, to incur a ghost bust that the player thinks is 'necessary' to meet another objective."

HOWEVER ... she is in the locked generator room with two semi-inebriated thugs, there is no key to the room anywhere in the mission. In fact, the door does not frob at all, indicating it is not an openable door by any means. The clearly intended way to frighten her is to place her in the Waste Pit outside her laboratory. SO you have to somehow transport her from the locked room to the Waste Pit. :mad2:

I defy ANYONE to figure out how to do this without KOing her, carrying her up a rope arrow to the rafters, out the attic door, etc.!

I suppose you could [I]not read the scroll on the table near where you get your equipment back. Reading that scroll gives you the two objectives relating to her, I think. So you could avoid having to do anything with her at all. But should it matter in claiming the ghosting? :confused: I leave it up to you.

Besides, whre is the fun in that? I chose to scare her. She had led me into a trap which gave me a severe beating, she deserved a good frightening at the very least!:rasp:

I think this was a successful ghosting, despite an expansive interpretation of the exception rule. If you don't agree, then it was a conciously chosen bust. That's OK with me too. I could always go back in time and not read the scroll ... but I won't. I don't think it's worth it. ;)

goldsla
7th Aug 2007, 05:46
FM: The Night Watch: Mission 1 - Infiltration

Ghost - Success / Busted [see spider discussion below]
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 02:31:01
Loot - 2990 / 3010
Pockets Picked - no stats (!?)
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 4 / 4

Comments:

OK, this was the Directors Cut level. I had played it once at the Hard level with no real issues, so I thought I would give a shot at ghosting it. I knew the spiders in the tower would be the hardest nut to crack, but I had noticed when I played it at Hard that they appeared to be virtually blind, and relied almost entirely on their hearing to go on alert. In fact, you can carefully push the large crate out from under the spider on the lowest level of the tower, and she does not alert! She just stays in the same location, rotating a bit. So if you are REALLY quiet, you can get the secret in that room and get out again without her alerting. Very hard, but I did it. The next spider is under a broken masonry block. Normally you would remove the block to get outside the tower, but you really don't need to, and if you leave it in place, and wiggle through, this spider will not alert either. The last spider is at the top level of the tower. And this one always seems to alert within a fraction of a second of when you open the chest to get the crown contained therin. Since this is just loot, you can forgo it. But I'm personally undecided on whether or not a falling tree makes any noise if there is no one around to hear it. So I decided to prep everything for a quick exit (trap open with two crates stacked below to drop on, Dragon weather vane collected, etc.) , and then a quick frob of the chest, a back step (looking at the spider), and down I drop through the trap door. The spider did not alert while I was dropping! SO does it alert because of the chest or because of the combination of chest and Garret's presence? I don't know. I do know it might have alerted (raised its forelegs) after I had dropped from sight, but I did not see it. So another FM ghosting which could be called either way. I claim success because I can easily reload from a saved game, and not take the crown, and complete the mission that way. I just thought the challenge of not alerting the last spider and my solution was worth a mention here.

In any event Perfect thief is not possible (I don't think) because of one piece of loot out of reach behind some nailed up boards. Bummer.

One other tricky bit for me was manteling up to the roof above the munitions room. There were not enough crates to stack up to let me reach the lip of the ledge, so I had to go back to the spider tower, silently steal some masonry, and use that as well. In the Hard level a critical key is on a peg board, but on Director's Cut that key is behind the door it opens, so you have to find another way around.

The final tricky bit was getting the loot in the West corridor near the gong. I broke down and used one moss arrow so I could shadow a guard going into that area. The only other consumables that I used were one broadhead arrow for the elevator button, and one water arrow for a torch in the munitions guard room. I used one rope arrow to get down from the tower, but was able to reclaim it and drop onto the vine beside the tree without any damage! No ropes were left about anywhere. It is just a personal challenge, but I like to ghost using absolutely the minimal amount of consumables. And I hate having to leave ropes behind.

Peter_Smith
8th Aug 2007, 04:25
Excellent run, Goldsla.:) Regarding the fallen tree bit and the spider, I think that the general consensus of the ghosting community (as it used to be), is that the ghost must be verifiable. That means you need to stick around in the shadows to see if the spider raised her feelers. That little detail was omitted from the rules. As you note, verification is tricky in your case. You absolutely can't stick around because you need to drop down to get out of the light. As I recall, spiders are the only ones that alert completely silently. So that leaves you with an uncertainty, as you rightly point out.

I had a similar situation with a spider in Return to the Cathedral, as you approach the bridge on the way to the Cathedral. I claimed success because I went quickly and did not see or hear anything. Later found a good hiding place, observed the spider's feelers, and learned that I had been busted.

I think the way to go on this is to document the uncertainty and leave the success in doubt. It really doesn't matter if you had fun trying. We can call it a "fallen tree success," if you like. :)

As for The Den, I never gave too much thought to the Berenice dilemma. I am one for liberal interpretation. The rule was intended to avoid a situation like, you must steel something, and the only way to do it is to alert or kill someone. That is clearly a bust. The Berenice objective is not stated explicitly, but it is stated almost explicitly, essentially as a riddle. It would be no fun if it said to BJ Berenice and dump her in the pit. The PC way is to avoid triggering the objective. The Smith way is to say who cares, and go ahead with it. Again, it is another reportable incident. I would claim success.

There are other situations where you must BJ someone, such as when it says to deposit a person in his bedroom, or some such. I would report them but claim success for them, too.

Keep those reports coming. I may get inspired to join you. I've been doing a lot of beta testing lately and do not feel right about reporting those.

goldsla
8th Aug 2007, 06:45
FM: The Night Watch: Mission 2 - Elicitation

Ghost - Failure
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 01:34:29
Loot - 3106 / 3106
Pockets Picked - no stats (!?)
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 1
Damage dealt - 1 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
Locks picked: 1
Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 3 / 3

Comments:

Director's Cut with no prior run through

The little black critters with the red eyes got me! Or more accurately, the one behind the throne got me. I could not figure out a way over, under, around or through that little guy with out him/her/it alerting. It was just too sensitive to proximity, despite being in near total darkness. So I eventually :scratch: (after what seemed like hundreds of reloads, but was probibly only 30 or so), gave up and nailed the little bugger between the eyes with my cosh. Has anyone make it past that spot without alerting that nasty bit of business?

There were a number of tricky spots where you have to place a rope arrow carefully, and a number of spots where the moss arrows are essential, but the toughest spot as far as I am concerned was getting past the fan. If I had not gotten stuck there by accident and then wiggled my way to the other side, I might have given up on getting to the room below. That was just plain cruel to make it so carnfounded hard to find the sweet spot to get through. After I found it though, it became, well, not easy, but reasonably predictable that I would eventually get through.

Putting the key in the door handle to Scurrish's room was rather clever. But making the key only unlock the door from the inside was unnecessary.:( I had missed a piece of loot and had to go back to look there. I thought that since I had the key from my first trip, I could get in a second time, no problem. :confused: No dice! (NPI) Because I hate leaving rope arrows behind, I had not exited through the door, and had instead retraced my route back through the vents. So I had not unlocked the door when I was inside the first time. Another trip past the fan was necessary to recheck the room. I found the missing loot, unlocked the door, retraced my route through the vents again to pick up the ropes, etc.. By now I was getting rather good at the fan trick! That fan was a gift that kept on giving! :nut:

Another position sensitive spot is the crystal ball. It was obvious that you are supposed to lean in to look at it, but doing that standing doesn't trigger the secret area. You have to be crouched, and far enough away that you can lean. Sheesh! That was another spot that I kept coming back to until I lucked into the right action.

Oh and the little Quiffly note. getting to the right position to pick it up after noticing it was a bit of a trick. You need to be off to the side so that the little door does not frob instead, and frob blindly until you get it. It was a nice touch to have it there, but awfully hard to reach. Was that necessary?

Finally, the Skeleton! The idiot kept falling off the bridge before the Quiffly could finish him off. He would then kill all the little black guys, and hang out right below the bridge. No way past him to get out of the area. Reload. Reload. Reload. ... Eventually he got close enough to the Fairy Queen and she zapped him (for not crouching while entering, I guess). Railings on the drawbridge would have prevented that.

In all, I liked Mission 1 better. There were more difficult puzzles here, to be sure. Having to figure out the code from the back of the key pad and where the wires were attached was clever. But I think that a note with a clue to the code or how to figure it out, maybe hidden with the switch to shut off the gas, would have been reasonable. We know that Garret has "seen" these obsolete security devices before and knows how they work, but we haven't. So we need something to push us in the right direction. For the longest time I kept hacking at the wires with my cosh, trying to break the switch. But puzzle quibbles aside, overall, the story line worked better in Mission 1 for me. This mission just did not have much story. My opinion.

goldsla
9th Aug 2007, 04:29
FM: The Night Watch: Mission 3 - Reorientation

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 02:37:07
Loot - 1090 / 1090
Pockets Picked - no stats (!?)
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
Locks picked: 0
Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 3 / 3

Comments:

Director's Cut ghost run the first time through.

A giant spider was the hardest part of this mission for my ghosting.


It is sitting at the base of a wooden bridge surrounded by metal floors, walls, and ceiling. While it might seem at first that the best way to approach the spider would be to use the bridge as much as possible, it turned out better for me to stay on the metal surfaces. You see, you have to get off of the wooden bridge near the spider, and it hears you every time. So I crept under the bridge all the way to the spider. There is one spot where you need to go partially over the edge above the vortex to squeeze by, but done carefully you neither fall over the edge nor alert the spider.:D The only place in the mission that I needed a moss arrow was right beside the spider in the semi-dark. To get past that spot, you not only need a moss arrow but need to crouch-run. If you try to sneak by slowly, the spider reacts and starts searching. But if you go quickly, it does not.
Going by the spider once was not enough, you have to go by it a 2nd time to get back. If memory serves, there were only a couple of water arrows there and a couple of flares in that room, so if you find it too tough, you could skip the round trip entirely. I must have chewed up a good hour getting by this spider alone!
Getting into the control room was a real pain with that spider down below, despite the distance, any hard landing on the metal surfaces causes the spider to alert. You have to find the sweet spot and do a run-mantle to get through the broken window, and, if you miss, the spider goes all tingly, so it's reload time. I must have crawled all around that side of the vortex area looking for an alternative entrance before I finally found the right spot to mantle up (to the right of the window facing the left side of it, two steps away from the mantle). Argh! You bet I checked that spider out as soon as I was up on the window: the first time it heard me, the second it didn't. I reloaded and got two more silent jumps up there before I decared that this was truely repeatable. Whew!


Some people just don't get it, even when it is spelled out in notes left behind by thoughtful folk. You don't want to know how many times I jumped into the vortex trying to hit the switch on my way by. Trust me, you don't want to know this. But I eventually even a blind pig picks up an acorn, and I figured out that there had to be a better way. From that point on the mission was pretty straight forward. And all those jumps into the vortex served me right well when I finally activated the durn switch thingy. I knew right where it was without hardly looking! The rope arrow I found made it trivial to frob it.

Wading through the Wet Caves was unique. A burrick, a spider, a couple of exploding frogs, and some underwater sleeping zombies round out the mix. Wading silently was a trick. Since you can't see your footing, occaisionally you can't help but make a splashing sound as you drop a few inches into a depression. And you have no idea the zombies are there until you step on them ... oopsie! But the experimentation to find the silent run through this area was nothing like with that blasted spider in the vortex area!

Oh, the skeleton, when you first drop into the water ... getting by it without alerting was a bit of a challenge. It is already alerted when the furniture starts going by (a natural reaction to part of the script, and not as a result of my action). I stayed on the Chesterfield (sofa) up on its back, by the wall, so that I dropped in at the very end. I swam up to the corpse, got some goodies. and then swam down partway, upstream of the skeleton and out of sight, to watch it from there. When I judged the time was right, I rushed by it (when it seemed to be looking in another direction). As soon as I reached the orange pipes, I turned around and verified that it had not started searching downstream, where I was. In fact, it had stopped searching at all, and just stood there not moving, facing upstream, away from me!:rasp: I was able to repeat getting by the skeleton, from the time the trap was sprung until I was at the vortex, three times successfully. So I am sure there was no bust at all. I think all the water noise covered up any sounds I may have made. :D

Of the three missions I have played so far in The Night Watch, this is my second favorite, above mission 2, but well below mission 1. My opinion.

goldsla
11th Aug 2007, 03:34
FM: The Night Watch: Mission 4 - Confrontation

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 01:25:37
Loot - 4115 / 4115
Pockets Picked - no stats (!?)
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
Locks picked: 4
Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 3 / 3

Comments:

Director's Cut ghost run the first time through.

From a ghosting standpoint there really was nothing tricky here. And no questionable alerts. The only real difficulty comes at the end when Jack goes on a rampage and tries to kill everyone in sight. It would have been much simpler to just sneak out. But once he starts in, every AI goes on alert, and avoiding them as they prowl about looking for Jack is a bit of a pain. Up to that point I had only needed one water arrow (for the fireplace) everything else was timing and shadows, but no more. I had 15 or so water arrows, and I put out every torch in sight as I collected the last of the loot. In all, I used 9 or 10 of them. The special guard in the black armor glow with a purple light, so, if they get close to you at all, they see you, even in the darkest corners.

If I were to do this again, I would free Jack after I had fully looted the place, I think, instead of as soon as I had the key to his cell. That way I would only have to stay out of the way as he goes postal.

Oh. An odd thing: one of the guards apparently had a heart attack in the dining room, fell over, and then recovered. He was walking by Lady Drakon and just ... fell over. Klunk! (He made a sort of klunking sound.) I snatched him and hid him under the table before anyone saw him and alerted. (He was identified as a corpse.) However, when I came by later, he was gone! Had he recovered and left? I don't know. Weird.

Good fun. I must say I enjoyed this mission more than Missions 2 & 3, but less than Mission 1.

goldsla
12th Aug 2007, 19:13
FM: The Shadow of Lord Rothchest

Ghost - Failed
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 02:55:54
Loot - 3766 / 4016
Pockets Picked - 10 of 12
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
Locks picked: 13
Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments:
I had a good ghost going all the way up until the last few steps. There is a white spider sitting by the exit from the mission. You are right next to a glowing spot of lichen on the sloping floor of an inclined tunnel, crouching beneath a low ceiling, with a step up to the floor with the spider and the mission exit. You can try inching right, and the spider alerts because it can see you in the glow of the lichen. You can inch left, and the spider spots you again. You can cover every surface in sight with moss from moss arrows, then try to make a dash, but you always trip on the step. You can't run-jump it because of the low cieiling! the spider turns around and sees you. Arghh!!! (By the way this spider definately sees forward. Most spders see better behind them then forward. But not this one. It is always facing you when it alerts.)

Up until the end I felt pretty good about this mission. There are a few spots for what I call wall-inching. I have not seen this described by anyone, maybe because it is so obvious. What you do is place your body up against a wall, say the one on your left side, angle slightly right of forward along the wall, then hold down move-left key. This gives you a miniscule forward vector while your sideways vector is blocked by the wall. Very useful near exceptionally sensitive AIs. Unfortunately this fails with that final spider.

Another trick I had to make use of in this mission was bouncing moss arrows off of the ceiling to place them on an upper floor from below, prior to climbing a ladder or rope. Since you cannot fire while climbing, this allows you to deaden the area you need to jump onto ahead of time. This too did not aid in preventing the last spider from alterting.

While I did not find all of the loot, it was not through lack of looking. Every piece I saw I was able to get. It required quite a lot of nudging, to do so, but if I saw it I was able to retrieve it. There are three items above the double door entrance on a ledge. Facing the doors from the inside, On the right there is an archer in a room with a view of the goodies, and a guard facing directly at them under a permanently lit light. The room the archer is in has the secret trap door in it. So I got behind the archer, and nudged him until he was on the trap, then I threw the switch, and down he went without alerting. Throw the switch again, and he can see and hear nothing. Cool. (I had already been down there. It leads to the ledge above the tomb of the unknown hammerite, where the jeweled crowned skull mentioned in the goals resides.) Next I nudged the guard until he is in the doorway, under the ledge with the goodies. I can now just reach up and take them with no one the wiser.

The next nudging took place with a couple of comely women in an upstairs room. They were seriously sensative, so it took a long time to get them where they would not notice my presence as I looted the room and left. The first one, a blond with a long braid, needed to be placed in the center of the room so that she would not get annoyed when I hurdled the bed (in plain sight) to get behind the redhead. There's a chest in the corner that you cannot sneak to from the front, hence the hurdling of the bed behind her. Once behind the redhead, is simple to open the chest. But getting back the same way did not work. The blonde kept seeing something she did not like whe I got onto the bed again. So I ended up nudging the redhead beside the chest and under a straiway. Then I was able to sneak around the front of the blonde, next to the stairs, and into the dark. Whew!

If I had not been stopped by that last spider, I would have said this was a very enjoyable mission to ghost. But to get that far without a problem and then to be stopped at the very last was frustrating to say the least.:mad2: It was a well constructed mission though, no special effects, but a very solid, workmanlike job.

goldsla
25th Aug 2007, 04:40
FM: Karras' Diary

Ghost - Failed
Perfect Thief - Failed
Difficulty: Hurt Me
Time - 04:34:52
Loot - 6800 / 7050
Pockets Picked - 1 of 2
Locks picked: 9
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 19 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
Innocents Killed - 0 Others Killed - 1
Secrets Found - 5 / 5

Comments:

Let me start with why this was a failed ghosting: the guard in front of the door that you have to blow-up with a mine always alerts or dies or both when you blow-up the door. I tried moving him with nudges, but this particular guard did not fidgit enough to make that possible for me. (Oddly he is nearly blind and deaf, so despite turning around frequently, you can continue to nudge him as he faces you with alerting! But to no avail, I could not move him at all, let alone out of the way so he would not alert.) I did spend 40 minutes nudging the other guard out to the lava area and down to the ledge so that he would not alert with the explosion. He needed to be that far away not to start searching! I even tried lowering the door to the lava room after nudging him into it, but he somehow not only heard the explosion but also was able to walk through the lowered door! He really needed to be down one level not to alert.

Up until that point it was a successful (better living through chemestry) ghosting. However, I could not figure out how to get through that door without blowing it up. If I missed a key, please, someone, let me know. But I don't think so. The explosive device and fire arrow was a bit of a tip-off as to what Thorin had in mind.

So despite this being a failed ghosting, there were a few cute bits that I would like to share.

1. The secret area at the start of the mission
This was a bit of a challenge ghosting. I think that Thorin's intent was for you to stack crates to get up there. But when ghosting, that is way too much work to acquire that many crates, transport them to the spot needed undetected, and then stack them undetected, all while what seem like hundreds of Karras' converts wander about. My solution used just the two crates in front of the Keeper's house. I carried them up the ladder (the one outside of the statue area), and then I them placed the first one half on the ledge, half over-hanging the ledge, so that when I stood on it I would be able to mantle up the wall. I then picked up the other crate, mantled, and walked accross the top of the wrought iron fencing to the other side! (A little ouchie on the feet, but it worked, without getting detected.) I then used the crate I carried with me to mantle up onto the roof, over past the wrought iron fencing there, and down into the tree lined area.

2) Getting Karras' diary. This had me going due to the two spideresd in the way, until I rembered the two invivibility potions I had (one from the secret area at the start of the mission, and one from Karras' house -- I went there before I had the Diary to "case the joint" and plan how to place it on the pedistal). A quick swallow, and up the ladder I went without the spiders knowing or caring. Then on the way back, a second swallow and I was past them!

3) The third bit I want to mention was in getting back down from the loft area in the church without losing a rope arrow or getting hurt. My approach was to retrieve the arrow after climbing up to the loft and getting the blueprints. I then fired the rope arrow so that it stuck in the ledge above the entry way for the church. A run jump and I was able to grap the rope without injury, climb & mantle, and retrieve the rope again. Just jumping onto the ledge always ended in damage. Hence jumping onto the rope.

4) Finally, rather than chance alerting the guard in the North Gate area by using regular arrows to open the doors, I used my three gas arrows. I had no other use for them, they make much less noise than regular arrows, and since they don't fall off with a parabolic arc, you can be really exact in aiming them at buttons!

Most of the rest of it was straightforward ghosting: waiting until the coast was clear and staying in the shadows. Nothing really spectacular was called for.

I gave up on perfect thief early on. The bottles in the pub were just too far for me to grab. I tried nudging the banker's nephew ouot of the line-of-sight, but ultimately failed. There were two problems. The first was the barmaid, she kept tuning arround, making nudging an advance - retreat exercise. I did eventually get the nephew nudged all the way forward to the bar so that I could be far enough forward that the bar itself hid me from the barmaid, but I still could not get back to where the bottles were without the nephew alerting. I tried nudging him away (to the right) from the bottles, but he bumped up against the guard who was in there then, and would not budge.

So those bottles accounted for 100 of the missing loot. The other 150 missing was in the church. I was able to get one of the candlesticks (50) on the alter successfully, but the 2nd one eluded me, as did the 100 in gold in the church's money box. I just could not make it past the two guards.

I will say that this mission was great fun, and quite challenging to try to ghost. Right up until the end I thought I had done it, but it was not to be.

- - - - -

Now is anyone else out there still ghosting? I seem to be the only one posting lately. Should I continue to do so? Are my reports of any interest?

ffox
27th Aug 2007, 06:35
Now is anyone else out there still ghosting? I seem to be the only one posting lately. Should I continue to do so? Are my reports of any interest?

I'm interested although I don't like ghosting. :)

The avid ghosters are often beta testers and don't report on the missions they test. Keep up the good work!

Peter_Smith
27th Aug 2007, 13:41
The avid ghosters are often beta testers and don't report on the missions they test. Keep up the good work!
That is certainly true in my case. It would be nice if more people joined you. We need to go on a recruiting drive. Where are you, Clayman? ;)

And yes, please do keep up the good work!:)

goldsla
28th Aug 2007, 03:02
FM: Tipping the Scales Part 1: SSDD

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 02:44:59
Loot - 2856 / 3056
Pockets Picked - 7/8
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 3 / 4 (the 4th secret is impossible for me to ghost)

Comments

This is a straight ahead romp in the open. No spiders, frogs, zombies, haunts, etc.. No puzzles to solve other than how to get from here to there without being noticed. Just guards, guards, and more guards.

I do not believe that perfect thief is possible for this FM. The mission starts with you under a half-open window in a stone facade building. If you locate enough crates to peer in that window, you will see a dead body and a purple purse. This purse is inaccessable while ghosting, I believe. To get it you have to enter on the other side of the building after stacking 5 crates under the noses of 2 guards who make very short circuits. I did not have the patience to try to do that this time around. I may try it again some other day when I have a few hours to kill. Oh, and that area is connected to one of the secrets, so you will only be able to get 3 of 4 secrets while ghosting, too.

Someday someone will tell me why when you have switches on both sides of a door, and you open one, you have to double toggle the other to get it to work. I have noticed this with any number of secret passages, and in this FM the door to the big safe in the bank can be opened and closed from inside the safe using such a switch, but unless you know to double toggle it, you could be left thinking that the switch was a dummy and the door had to be left open. Such was the case for me. I spent quite a bit of time hiding in the safe, trying to open safety deposit boxes with a guard strolling up and down in front of the open door. Eventually I fugured it out, and closed the door, but let me tell you I was sweating there for quite a while.

Also in the bank, on the top floor, there is a guard who is positioned in a hallway between two doors on opposite sides of the hallway. There is not enough room to sneak by the guard on either side. (Garret could do with losing a few lbs around the middle!) But inside one of the rooms is some loot, so you need to get there. To make matters worse this guard does not fidgit, but pivots facing one door, then facing down the hallway towards you, then facing the other door, instead. Eventually I was able to work out a nudging technique which allowed me to move him into the empty room and close the door behind him. That allowed me access to the room with the loot. Turns out, you may be able to rope up behind this guard from the outside and avoid the nudging. I did not try. I was on the inside and it seemed like less work to stick with the nudging than to reload a saved game and try it from outside.

In all this was a very pleasant medium scale FM. I would have liked for more of the mission to be fleshed out. But that is quibbling. It was definately fun to play.


- - - -


I'm interested although I don't like ghosting. :)

The avid ghosters are often beta testers and don't report on the missions they test. Keep up the good work!

That is certainly true in my case. It would be nice if more people joined you. We need to go on a recruiting drive. Where are you, Clayman? ;)

And yes, please do keep up the good work!:)

OK that's two. Thanks to both of you for letting me know. That's enough for me to keep posting them for now. I just don't want to write on the wall if it isn't of interest to anyone.

Peter_Smith
28th Aug 2007, 03:57
Someday someone will tell me why when you have switches on both sides of a door, and you open one, you have to double toggle the other to get it to work.
I am not a dromedder, but it seems clear to me, as a programmer, that the switches in question are not wired like a three-way light switch in a house (which is a little tricky). Evidently, each switch has an on and an off position, and each switch is a separate object that does not know about the other. The switch is checked only it is changed. If a certain switch (the "first switch") is in the off position, say, in the door-closed position, and you open that door by a 2nd switch, then the first switch does not know that. If, then, you flip the first switch to the on position, and the door is already open, nothing changes. If you then put the first switch back to off, it shuts the open door. So that is two flips to change the state, simply because the switches are decoupled.

The mission designer could change this behavior by further programming such that flipping either switch one time changes the state of the door. One way to do this would require the designer to figure out how to save a state variable for the door, check the value of the state variable on toggling either switch, and cause the door state to change, using an IF statement. Anogther way would be to couple the switches so that if one were flipped on, the second would also be flipped on. Both of these require additional proramming that, essentially, makes the switches aware of each other. Obviously, this is not the default behavior of the swithes.

goldsla
28th Aug 2007, 14:31
I am not a dromedder, but ... The mission designer could change this behavior by further programming such that flipping either switch one time changes the state of the door.

Thanks. I actually suspected that technically there should be no reason that the switches could not be coupled such that throwing one into the open state also throws the other into the open state, eliminating the need for double switching on the other side. (Or possibly simple throwing the switch just does a NOT on the current state of the door, so that it always causes an open to become closed and vica-versa for closed to open.) I was more musing why, when it should be so simple to accomplish, that it is rarely (if ever) done. As a professional software engineer myself of more than 30 years experience, it struck me as something that should be a trivial standard practice but wasn't. So I wondered why. Is there some non-obvious limitation, or perhaps a secret pact, vows taken, arterial blood used to write and seal the compact upon the alter of DROMED... :eek:

UPDATE: There is no reason for the double toggle except ignorance on the part of the FM author as to how this should be set up in DromEd. It really is quite simple to set it up with FrobProxy links once you know how.

ffox
28th Aug 2007, 16:29
Beta testers too busy ghosting to notice/mention minor problems? :D

Why not do some testing yourself? If you are interested check out the ttlg.com forums for posts like this one (http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1635115#post1635115).

goldsla
29th Aug 2007, 20:49
Why not do some testing yourself?

But then I wouldn't have time to ghost and report on all these wonderful completed FMs that I have just found out about ...

Actually, I may check out beta testing. Thanks for the link. Unfortunately I am currently committed to over 80 hours a week for a company that only pays for the first 40, so the last thing I am looking for is additional unreasonable deadlines when I am attempting to relax. It may depend on how flexible the designers are on beta deadlines. We'll see.

Thanks.

Peter_Smith
9th Sep 2007, 04:58
FM: Elizabeth Bathory - Chapter 1

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 05:29:36
Loot - 2500 / 2500
Pockets Picked - 9/17 (appears to be an error in mission stats)
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0 / 0

Comments

This is another fine mission from Sensut, Author of the Dracula series, parts 1-5. I hope we see five parts of this one as well. Sensut hails from Transylvania, Romania, according to his profile at TTLG, and he likes to portray the darker history of that area in FMs that are very moody and colorful. Highly recommended. Anyway, Elizabeth Bathory was a noble woman who was a torturer and serial killer of young women in Hungary around 1600 AD. Chapter 1 is an introduction to her story after the fact that sets the stage for (I hope) more missions to follow. The setting is a town with a castle inside. The town is alive and functional. The castle is abandoned, decaying, and very creepy. The background music throughout the mission is very good, too. One Victrola in the actresses room was excellent.

Game play is initially fairly challenging. Many areas are well lit, and it is tricky to figure out the routes needed to get past strategically placed guards. I think I explored most of the city in this mode. Apart from the route finding, the ghosting, per se, was straightforward except in two places, described below. Eventually I found an entrance to an electrical station in which I could turn off all street lights and some other lights from one location. Then the navigation became easy. I was glad to have the lights out for what turned out to be a lot of loot hunting. I completed all objectives with 2230 / 2500 loot in about 3.5 hours, and it took me another two hours to find the last 280. It was all in plain sight, but you know how that is.

There was only one tricky place involving AI. At the entrance to the castle is a locked door. To get the key to that door you have to rope up over a sleeping guard. There are no moss arrows to be found anywhere, by me at least, to cushion sounds. Most of the time the rope arrow hitting the wood woke the guard and make him stand up in place, although not he was alerted. That is technically allowed by the rules, but I wanted to do it cleanly so the guard stayed seated and snoring. It took a lot of tries before I learned how to plant the rope arrow properly. I had to shoot it from some distance away and at an angle rather than straight on. Getting onto the rope then required mantling onto a sloping crate and making a gentle run at the rope from the crate. Then, after getting the key, it was a problem to dismount from the rope and land on the crate below without alerting the guard. The method I used was to move onto the arrow shaft from above with some forward velocity so I slid off the arrow and off the edge of the sloping crate. That took a few tries. Anyway, mission is complete, and our guard is still snoring. :)

A second area that was a challenge was to get down a vertical shaft in the graveyard without damage. This is the only way to enter the residential part of the castle. I tried that many times and finally took a slow fall potion that was no doubt planned for that purpose. Later I went back and managed after many tries to do the fall without damage using the slow, leg-dangle method. Unfortunately, I had to reload a prior save to ghost the sleeping guard (above) cleanly, but after I did that I could never repeat that slow drop. Finally I picked up a nearby crate and dropped that down the shaft before jumping. That cushioned the fall without breaking the crate. I carried the crate down for two more drops. Thus, I was able to avoid damage and avoid using any the slow fall potions.

Later in the mission, you will find a clue that Elizabeth (who is dead) wants you to release her faithful servant (also dead) from his suffering by bringing his heartbeat to an end. The servant is a skeleton, but he has a beating heart. Go figure.:eek: Anyway, that requires that you mash the heart with a mace. It does not cause damage in the stats, it does not cause an alert, and it is a scripted event that is necessary to continue. So, I claim that mashing the heart is not a ghost bust, but you may draw your own conclusions.

goldsla
10th Sep 2007, 04:30
Thanks for the report. Sounds like I will have to try that FM after enough time has passed to blunt my memory of the details you provide. I've just started Cauchemars, and having fun. No ghosting, but challenging enough in its own right.

Ta Ta For Now (TTFN)

Hexameron
21st Oct 2007, 01:16
Just wanted to say hello and kudos to Peter Smith and all of the fellows still ghosting FM's today. I've just joined the forum here, but I'm not new to Thief or the forums. My old Eidos alias was Deadfall and I used to write a lot of Ghost reports some years ago at the old Eidos forum.

I gave Thief a break for a few years and when Thief 3 was released, I assumed the T1/T2 FM's would stop coming... But after deciding to play Thief again, I checked the recent FM activity and was stunned to see that they are still being pumped out. Additionally, I'm surprised and happy to see people still writing ghost reports! They are as colorful and enjoyable to read as they've always been... though I do miss Vanguard's exceptional reports. What happened to him?

Well, keep up the good work.

Hexameron
21st Oct 2007, 03:19
FM: Plagiarism

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:45:43
Loot - 1430/1430
Pockets Picked - 5/6
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - Well, this particular FM may not be much of a ghosting comeback, but I was a little rusty after a few years of no Thief so I decided to pick a smaller and maybe easier FM. I randomly picked this one from Komag's Contest 5 and it happened to be one of the few FM's I know of that forces ghosting when on expert level. That is, the mission requires no "confrontations" (i.e. knockouts/kills) and while it was not too difficult to ghost, there are some tricky spots. Since this is a contest FM, the size of the mission is obviously small and consisted of a mostly exterior layout with a few interior buildings. There are plenty of dark spots but traversing through the cramped interiors of certain buildings proved to be difficult at times.

Warden Crowther's Home

This is the first building each player encounters and it was actually the most difficult area of the entire mission. The starting point of the mission is somewhat nestled in a brightly lit alcove of a street corridor. If you're careless (and I was), you might just move a few inches out from the alcove and run headfirst into the nearby patrolling guard. This patrolling guard can be maneuvered around, though; it's the guard inside Crowther's home that is annoying to deal with.

The sound propagation of the warden's home is a little skewered and while outside, I often couldn't hear the guard inside walking around at all, even with the door to the building wide open. It takes a while to study the guard's patrol and getting to the second level requires tailing his rear closely while he walks up the stairs. Once upstairs, it's easy to avoid him. He walks into each room downstairs, comes up to the second floor and stares at the grandfather clock. This is the only chance to crouch and drop down the stairs (walking down is too risky) and from there I was able to carefully sneak into each room, hiding and waiting for him to go back upstairs.

Hammerite Temple

This is quite straightforward, though the tight space and lack of shadows means that a lot of hiding behind pillars and walls is necessary. The wandering pagan in the crypt has a deceiving patrol. He makes two complete and very small rounds back and forth to the same spot; these multiple patrols look seemingly identical. Careful inspection reveals that his second round is a variation of the first. Since his first patrol involves standing still for a few seconds and his second patrol doesn't, it was an excellent test for the ghoster. You need to follow him closely and strafe around him, and if you catch him on his second patrol, he'll turn around when you least expect it, guaranteeing a bust - I thought this was a clever idea on the part of the FM's designer.

Getting St. Yora's skull is possible without dousing any of the torches in the mausoleum; just dashing from one shadow to another works.

Finishing

When I walked into Gillam's apartment, he stood there and said "Welcome Garrett" (using Keeper Orland's soundbyte in Thief 1's training mission) and the mission didn't end. I completed all the objectives and ventured through every building and street corner, so I assume there is some problem hitting the objective trigger in Gillam's apartment. I used CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+END to complete the mission. By the way, the door of Gillam's apartment is considered invisible to AI, so staying against the wall is important since the patrolling archer outside can see inside even with the door closed.

Some hard-to-find loot for those interested:
1). A ring on one of the pews inside the Hammerite temple; 2). Copper coin stack in the janitor's closet by his journal; 3). Two loose coins in the open sewer next to the idle female archer; 4). Coin purse on the chair in the crypt basement; 5.) pagan mask under the pile of garbage next to the pub.

Peter_Smith
21st Oct 2007, 05:50
High there, Deadfall, err... Hexameron. Is that like the Decameron 60% baked, or do you mean this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexameron)? Glad to see you back in business. We try to encourage ghosting here, but we are below critical mass. Mostly goldsla is keeping this alive now. Join us. Join us now! :)

Hexameron
21st Oct 2007, 15:07
High there, Deadfall, err... Hexameron. Is that like the Decameron 60% baked, or do you mean this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexameron)?

Your deduction is almost correct, Peter. While the real inspiration for my name actually came from this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexameron_(musical_composition)), I'm aware of word's real origin. And I confess I mostly just like the sound of the name :D.


Glad to see you back in business. We try to encourage ghosting here, but we are below critical mass. Mostly goldsla is keeping this alive now. Join us. Join us now! :)

Thank you for welcoming me back. I am glad to see you and goldsla ghosting, even though some of the others are no longer around. I've decided to return to Thief for good, so I hope you don't mind an additional contributor of reports.

Tell me... whatever happened to Sneak, clayman and Vanguard? I haven't looked around the forums and I've not gotten up to date on things in the Thief world, but are these fellows still around?

Hexameron
28th Oct 2007, 02:50
FM: Retaliation

Ghost - Failure
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 02:53:52
Loot - 1676/1776
Pockets Picked - 4/6
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 28 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0 Innocents - Some (Castor)
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - Whew, this mission took me a long time to get through. I played it off and on for a week trying to figure out how to ghost it when I became so stumped I checked the TTLG forums and learned it cannot be technically ghosted because of a required AI alert. However, I like to think in spirit it could be.

Causes of Failure:

1. Castor must be alerted in order to spawn an important AI to complete the objectives.

A Chest Problem

After going through the zombie caverns to infiltrate the mechanist mansion, I encountered a problem in the basement and it was a problem only for loot reasons. In the zombie caverns there is a giant well with various underwater corridors that lead into the basement. After swimming through the corridors, I surfaced inside a small metal-floored room with a watcher who has full view of the room. Fortunately, the pool of water is in complete darkness, but an enticing chest resides across the room and in exposed light. If the watcher's pivoting radius is 180 degrees, the chest is positioned at 90 degrees. From the pool of water, I mantled towards the watcher and stayed to its right in complete darkness. When it pivoted to its left, I followed its turn and crouched under its left side which was unfortunately brightly lit. It looks like from here, the watcher's scope barely skims over my head. Once in this position I could make a dash towards the chest (which contained loot) and run back to my crouched position. I wouldn't have bothered with this time-consuming maneuver if I knew the mission couldn't be perfect thieved (there is a purse on a mechanist priest guarding the front door of the Mechanist Mansion, and he is surrounded by watchers, guards and a combat bot... but later I discovered the mission can't even be ghosted...).

Ghosting the Mechanist Mansion

This was a somewhat AI-congested area with lots of marble floors and watchers. Some of the mechanist patrols consisted of duos and trios, that is, trains of two or three guards following the same route. My attempts at ghosting were both challenging and satisfying, but the mission requires less than three kills, so the layout of the rooms and the AI locations were designed for it. In addition to a loot objective and limited kills, the initial objectives were (1) find Castor and kill him, (2) find the Glorious Gem and (3) find any secret plans Castor has in mind. Traversing the mansion and its many floors took a lot of time because of the numerous watchers and guard contingents. I only gradually began to figure out that there were multiple "Camera Control" rooms located at different areas of the mansion.

The Glorious Gem and finding loot (there was a 1350 loot objective) was easy to deal with, though I must say I was stunned to find a lot of loot hidden behind random banners. I almost made a habit of instinctively running up to any banner and right-clicking. Reading the Mechanist book in the locked library replaced the (3) objective with a new one to find the "Heart of Sanctity." This is a flower easily found in the green house accessible from the perimeter of the mansion.

Castor

The main issue with this fellow was that I had no idea how complex the "kill Castor" objective was. I found his room (before I found an important watcher camera control room) and boy did I have a ghosting problem in this room. Two double doors lead into his office and Castor stands right next to an active watcher. Trying to maneuver around the double doors and dash towards the teleporter and into some shadow without alerting the watcher was tough. I managed to do it after many reloads but realized I did it for nothing. On this side of the room I only found his bedroom and some loot. I tried to assassinate him with a broad arrow but realized that since he's a thief, he had too many hitpoints for a single shot.

My only option left was blackjacking him and noticed I could perhaps come in from another entrance to his office and get behind him. So after much further ghosting, getting lost and retracing steps, I found a huge lobby with two watchers and a balcony that surely lead to his room. I can't tell you how many times I tried to rope arrow up there right in front of the watchers' faces. I mossed the floor, doused the torches and after a few reloads, managed to leap onto the rope and scurry up without alerting any other patrolling guards or the watchers under the balcony. After jumping onto the balcony and opening the nearby door, I was in Castor's office and right behind him. I knocked him out and managed to get out via the double doors with his body. Oh, and by this time, I had found another Camera Control room, so that annoying watcher I spent so much time trying to sneak by (:mad2:) was now deactivated.

I didn't know that what I was doing was a complete waste of time. I took Castor's unconscious body to the pool room and dropped him into the water. It's amazing how much hitpoints the FM designer actually gave this guy. He suffered, grunted and screamed under that water for at least a minute. But alas when he stopped choking and was presumed dead... nothing; the objective didn't check off. Needless to say, I was upset. I reloaded an earlier save and tried it again, this time knocking him out and hacking him to death. Again, nothing. :scratch:

I figured out, after searching for bugs in this mission on the TTLG forums, that Castor is meant to be alerted, at which point he runs into the teleporter in his office and then a different Castor spawns in the room where the Glorious Gem is found. Well, since this is the case, the mission cannot be lawfully ghosted. I reloaded an earlier save and tried alerting him but he just started attacking me instead of running into the teleporter. I figured out that I had to alert him and run into the teleporter myself; when he follows me into the teleporter he vanishes and the New Castor spawns elsewhere.

New Castor

He is located in the locked room where the Glorious Gem is showcased. Fortunately I saved two moss arrows because they are needed to ghost this New Castor... or so I thought. I had to moss the floor between the disabled watcher and the corner of the hallway adjacent to the Glorious Gem room. Dashing from behind this corner into the darkness was the only way to enter the room without alerting him, and even that took many retries. I also had to moss the floor in front of the brightly lit window so I could run quickly across. Once I got behind him, I realized he was simply not blackjackable. Everytime I tried to knock him out he just staggered back as if damaged. So I repeatedly whacked him to death with my blackjack, it looks like 28 times since my damage count reads as such.

Thankfully, my objective checked off and I was done. But as much time as I spent trying to ghost the mission, I was a little frustrated I couldn't claim a success due to the complicated AI of Castor. In spirit, however, I'd like to think I was able to ghost this FM: even though Castor's required alert is technically a bust, I could still knock out the first Castor, kill him quietly elsewhere, and ghost the rest of the mission without any other busts.

goldsla
30th Oct 2007, 04:24
FM: Museum Heist

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 03:36:54 (time includes lots of side trips to nowhere)
Loot - 2474 / 2474
Pockets Picked - 9/10
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 4 / 4

Comments
I completed this a while ago, but have been too busy to report it.

This is a really straight-forward mission. Nothing tricky, just good old fashioned sneaking. You have nothing that needs to be timed to the 100th of a second. No complex puzzles to unravel. Some of the loot is hard to see, but once found, no trouble to attain without notice.

There are lots of areas that Bugelsoft put in only for depth of scenery and which you can explore for bizarre effects by crate climbing. And it is a fun mission. Just not tricky.

I am in the middle of The Art of Thievery. This is a fairly long mission, and I hate to say it, despite the fact that it was clearly designed to be ghosted, but only if you know what you are doing, I am not fully drawn into the story. And so I keep postponing finishing it. Perhaps it is too open in its structure. Perhaps its that I am too busy with the mundane tasks of eaning a living. Who knows? Someday I'll finish it and report. Maybe by then I'll have figured out why it seemed flat to me.

Hexameron: Nice to meet you. Good ghost reports! Keep 'em coming. Sorry about Retaliation. I hate it when you have everything going for a good ghosting and then the mission design defeats you at the very end. Had a few of those too. Bummer.

Hexameron
30th Oct 2007, 14:21
I am in the middle of The Art of Thievery. This is a fairly long mission, and I hate to say it, despite the fact that it was clearly designed to be ghosted, but only if you know what you are doing, I am not fully drawn into the story. And so I keep postponing finishing it. Perhaps it is too open in its structure. Perhaps its that I am too busy with the mundane tasks of eaning a living. Who knows? Someday I'll finish it and report. Maybe by then I'll have figured out why it seemed flat to me.

It certainly is the most non-linear FM I can recall at the moment. I remember ghosting it many years ago and I might have even accomplished a perfect thief, but it must have taken me a good week (of vacation time) to finish it.


Hexameron: Nice to meet you. Good ghost reports! Keep 'em coming. Sorry about Retaliation. I hate it when you have everything going for a good ghosting and then the mission design defeats you at the very end. Had a few of those too. Bummer.

Thanks for the compliment and I'm pleased to reciprocate the sentiment. Coming back to the forum and reading the latest ghost reports, most notably yours, encouraged me to return to good old Thief after a long hiatus.

goldsla
9th Nov 2007, 04:19
FM: Art of Thievery

Ghost - Success (chemical assisted)
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 05:39:36
Loot - 6935 / 6985
Pockets Picked - 30/32
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0 Healing taken - 0
Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 17 / 17

Comments
This is a monster of a FM, at least in terms of the size and complexity of the geography. The mission takes place almost 100% inside of a mansion that would make le Chateau de Versailles seem small. The mission is ghostable, but I needed to make use of an invisibility potion to get to the shut-off for four watchers at the very end of the mission. More about that later.

This should have been a pleasure to play. It had all the elements: lots of guards to sneak by, lots of keys to find, lots of pockets to pick, lots of loot to discover, lots of secrets to uncover, lots of hidden passages, lots of clues to gather, etc. But somehow the elements did not come together for me. I found that I had to force myself to complete the mission. I missed 50 in loot, and I did not care. It was too much trouble to go looking for it. For me that NEVER happens. I obsess about finding the last piece of gold. Not this time. Too much work. And I guess that sums up my feeling about the mission, it was just too much work.

Maybe my problem was that I never really got a feel for where I was spacially during the mission. Rooms just seemed to wander all over the place. The map provided is less than useless: everytime I tried to use it I got further lost and had to backtrack.

But enough grousing. The mission landscape itself is very well constructed: an enormous three level building. However, once you got past the scale of it, there really were very few ghosting challenges. For the most part guards traveled well defined and obvious paths, and there were usually 2 or 3 different approaches to any objective. If you needed a key to a room, you just had too look around the neighborhood to find a guard carring the one you needed.

The first challenge in the mission was to find an entry point which facilitated shutting off the watchers. I lost count of the number of watchers and watcher controll rooms. I think there are 25 or so watchers all told, most of them controlled from 4 control rooms. But it could have been 20 or 30 of the buggers. All I can say is that there were lots of them.

In any event, unlike most missions where there are at most 3 or 4 ways of breaking into a building, in this mission there must be 30 or 40 ways in. Every exterior window is pickable, there are handy downspouts to climb to reach all three levels of windows, and there are a number of doorways too. I'm not certain that I ended up picking the best location to break in (I used a 3rd floor window to a hallway), but it did work out OK in the end.

I won't trouble you with all the gory details. I can't remember them anyhow. Lots of places to climb, swim, and explore. Too many, really. It all just blurs. But at the end you are faced with 4 watchers at four corners of a large room. The shut-off for all four is at the far end away from you, and near each watcher is a light switch. Each watcher covers the two adjacent watchers, so there never is a time that any watcher is not watched for very long. Normally you would dash under a watcher and then when it was not looking, turn off the local lights. But everytime I tried that, one of the adjacent watchers would catch me and alert, usually just to yellow, but that's enough to bust the ghost. Once I think I made it, but I could not duplicate the event, so I suspect I just missed seeing the yellow alert that time. In the end, I swallowed some invisibility potion, dashed for the switch and shut off all four watchers before they noticed me. After that it was plain sailing.

One "bug" I noticed was that if I did not close the doors to that secret room before dealing with the watchers, when I left the room I would get a message that I had alerted the guards, despite the fact that there were no guards anywhere near. It was very wierd. As soon as I crossed an invisible line, the alert would go off no matter how quiet or slow I was. But if I closed the doors, did the dirty, and then opened them later, there was no alert message. That was annoying.

I can understand why the community rates this mission highly. It is well done, large, and complex. However, for me, this mission did not hit the spot.

Hexameron
16th Nov 2007, 13:27
Great work, goldsla, and excellent timing too. For a mission of that size and difficulty, you pulled it off in good time.

Too bad about that missing 50 loot... judging by your pockets picked, it might have been a purse.

goldsla
16th Nov 2007, 13:38
Thanks Hexameron.

I am now ghosting another huge mission: Lord Alan's Factory. For some reason, this one is much more enjoyable than Art was. I'm not certain why. I have already played it with no alerts at a lower level of difficulty, now I am trying the timed (expert) level. I'll let you know how it goes when I am done.

Peter_Smith
17th Nov 2007, 02:57
I don't want to put you off your form, Goldsla, but Lord Alan's Factory is an excellent mission for playing Speed Perfect Thief.:eek: Also, I suggest you go for all secrets, all Builder's Scriptures, and all hidden objectives.

I tested the Factory over a couple of years and played it so many times I can't count.

goldsla
17th Nov 2007, 03:54
Peter -

I am on my first run through at the Timed difficulty, and my 2nd run overall. In this run I completed defusing all seven bombs at 36:45. :) (You don't want to know how many hours it took the first time through at the Tips difficulty! Sheesh. I felt like an idiot backtracking up and down and all over the place.:mad2: )

Right now I am trying to remember where everything is as I methodically explore over 90% of the facility. Some things appear to have moved locations from the TIPS difficulty level. :scratch:

From a ghosting perspective, there really have been no sticky spots so far. Making the bomb codes illegible after the water slide ride was sneaky at the Timed difficulty**** . Fortunately I always write down my clues on a notepad for easier viewing, so I still had them. :rasp:

I have had no issues with avoiding alerts. One point though: triggering the beasties to appear by passing through an area speaks to me of some kind of alert. Admittedly they do not appear to have appeared "on alert" and I can easily keep them from upping their alert level, but their very appearance makes me think the ghosting is busted.

Others may have another opinion, but I think that a true ghosting would be such that you avoid triggering their manifestation. If the monster in the engineer's office was already waiting for you when you entered, that would be one thing, but to appear because you enter, that makes me think the ghost is a bust. Similarly, the three-eyed plant thing appearing on the roof of the Air system when you get 1/2 way along the passage or the one in Room 0330 that appears when you get too close to the bomb, those also seem like a busted ghosting. I would prefer for them to already be there guarding the bombs than to have them appear because I approached.

I'll let you know more after I have completed the Timed level.

Peter_Smith
17th Nov 2007, 04:37
I have had no issues with avoiding alerts. One point though: triggering the beasties to appear by passing through an area speaks to me of some kind of alert. Admittedly they do not appear to have appeared "on alert" and I can easily keep them from upping their alert level, but their very appearance makes me think the ghosting is busted.

Others may have another opinion, but I think that a true ghosting would be such that you avoid triggering their manifestation.

According to my understanding of both the official rules (which I drafted) and the philosophy of ghosting, that is not a bust at all. Not even close. These things are not alerted, and they are not damaged. They just appear, totally oblivious to Garrett initially, unless Garrett blunders into them. In their unalerted state, they satisfy the general requirements that Garrett should be unseen and unheard and not cause damage. If that is not good enough, then they are exempt owing to the script rule, much more benignly than the archetype, the Archers in LOTP. I think there should be no controversy if you can avoid them in any way, either by avoiding the trigger or by causing them not to alert after they appear.

What may be controversial is whether, if an eye plant turns to stare at you, it is an alert. I say that is an alert, even though nothing is written about those things.

Have fun. The Factory is a great mission, but mainly from the standpoint of design, not ghosting, IMO. It is, nevertheless, the most fun way to play it.

There is another little issue though. I think that writing down codes is akin to using a loot list, which is frowned upon. In this case the list of codes has been moved, and one of the requirements of the mission with normal play is to find it, not know about it in advance. It only matters in a speed run anyway. You need to pass through there in any case.

If you really want to bend the rules (as I did when testing) you can take the waterlogged note, make a screen shot of it (with appropriate software), do a contrast enhancement, and read most of the codes. ;)

Hexameron
17th Nov 2007, 05:01
FM: Mixed Messages

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 03:10:45
Loot - 2301/3099
Pockets Picked - 22/25
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 9/10

Comments - I've been working on ghosting this mission for about a week now (45 minutes a night) and as memorable and original as the mission is, it also gave me a headache trying to complete it. This is a fan mission that encourages Garrett to step outside his skulking business and become a detective. Figuring out clues and trying to solve puzzles is what took me so long to complete it, and that's not considering the time I spent looking for loot and ghosting the mission itself. I could write out a whole narrative of how I scratched my head, looked for clues, and tried to solve the "NEWS" room in the basement and also fix the deciphering machine, but my report would turn into a walkthrough.

A Mentionable

There are hilarious custom AI conversations throughout the mission. The first one occurs right at the start of the mission between two bluecoats. The reference to a tavern that doesn't serve "potato, potato, POTATO" made me laugh out loud, but this conversation turns bad and the two guards start fighting each other. Obviously, this scripted fight causes the victor to go on second alert, which is not a bust.

Rooftops and Buildings

Infiltrating the buildings in the beginning street area was downright annoying. One of the buildings is only accessible from the rooftops and by leaping onto a metal balcony. There is no way to get onto the balcony other than jumping onto the railing. The only successful way to do that without making noise is to land on the "soft" invisible edge of the railing. I don't know the dromed terminology for this soft part, but it's a common phenomena in Thief: jumping on objects without directly landing on their surface texture and making noise.

The Armory

This was the most difficult area to deal with. The Armory is a simple square shaped building enclosed by walls with four watchers at each corner of the enclosing walls. Of course the area is brightly lit by torches and gas lamps and brimming with guard patrols. I was fortunately quite frugal with my water arrows and needed almost all of them (the one's I had found up to that point) to ghost this area. Dousing the gas torches on the exterior wall of the Armory is essential to ghosting this area. I kept trying to circle around the Armory, evading the watchers' eyes and subsequently deactivating them (under each watchers' corner is an alcove that leads up to an archer tower with a camera control switch). I later discovered I wasted my time turning all the watchers off, but two definitely needed to be deactivated.

Truart's Estate

By now I had pretty much surveyed the entire area around the armory, the streets, the police station, etc. I figured out that the FM author loved to hide loot in strange places and leave a bunch of reading material around; much of the papyrus' and scrolls were invaluable, though difficult to discern, for important clues to completing the objectives.

I really stumbled upon Mosley's secret underground tunnel by habit of being a good Thief :cool: and making sure to check every nook and cranny in every room. I saw that in Mosley's bed room there was an inordinately high ceiling and realized I could rope arrow up and see what's on top of the odd rectangular-shaped door frame. To my surprise, the area on top of the door frame turned out to be a vital part of the mission. There was a scroll that gave me new objectives to "decipher" its contents, and also a switch that opened a secret underground tunnel.

This tunnel led to Truart's mansion which was a straightforward ghost, except for the grounds (or I should say tiled floors) outside of Truart's mansion. The hardest part here was sneaking into the buildings near the archer balconies. The brightly lit areas and marble floors demanded the use of moss arrows, but other than that, there were no ghosting problems here.

Pagan Realm

There were two spots that I thought would make ghosting the mission impossible... And yet, I managed to ghost these spots in a single first try. It was interesting. First, there is an apebeast constantly patrolling down a narrow dead-end tunnel. At the dead-end of this tunnel is an important "key" for progressing further in the mission. The apebeast's patrol, however, in this narrow tunnel looked disheartening: a single back and forth patrol with no room to get around him. But all it took was following his back and strafing around his left shoulder as he makes his turn. It was that simple.

A second apebeast on top of the treehouse also looked threatening, since I had to use a rope arrow right in front of his face to get to a treehouse disconnected from the others (the "key" previously mentioned is used here to activate the magical bridge). Simply dousing the torch next to him made it possible to get by him. Huh :p

The rest of the mission went pretty well, although I had a heck of a time finding the Deciphering Machine's missing component... Fortunately, I listened to the funny apebeast conversation and realized I needed to look under a tree "stumpsie" for something. When I saw a batch of frogbeasts guarding a tree stump, I knew that was the "stumpsie" and it wasn't hard ghosting them, if approaching from the left side by the treebeast.

The End

What stunned me with this mission was how long it took to ghost and complete the objectives. For instance, I had no idea how to find the code number for Rosie's cell. I knew that Truart's grandfather clock and the paintings of the sign language had something to do with it. I saw the "dandelions" obscuring colored numbers on the clock and realized this was a clue. I took the four numbers and randomly punched them into the keypad and eventually triggered the correct order of them.

I also can't believe I missed over 700 loot! The one secret I couldn't find must lead to a huge treasury because I'm sure I looked everywhere. There were a few pieces of loot I couldn't get by ghosting (slashing a banner to get inside the hammerite chapel and some gold cups in the tavern), but 700? :scratch:

Hexameron
17th Nov 2007, 05:13
What may be controversial is whether, if an eye plant turns to stare at you, it is an alert. I say that is an alert, even though nothing is written about those things.

I always drew the line there. I consider the eye plants similar to rats: they themselves can be alerted but they'll never alert anything else or cause any other fuss.

goldsla
17th Nov 2007, 14:03
On the triggering the appearance of beasties:

I think there should be no controversy if you can avoid them in any way, either by avoiding the trigger or by causing them not to alert after they appear.

I agree about the rules; I was trying to express that it feels to me like a bust regardless of the rules. The triggering of a trap, which is what I consider the appearance of the beasts to be, feels like a bust to me.


What may be controversial is whether, if an eye plant turns to stare at you, it is an alert. I say that is an alert, even though nothing is written about those things.

They bother me as well. They also feel like an alert. However since there never appears to be any boundary, beyond which they ignore you, and since they don't do anything except turn and stare, I have always regarded them to be, um, like landscape, and not a true AI. The I in AI stands for intelligence, and they no more appear to have it than rats do. [But then, I try not to alert rats, just on general principles. Some day, some FM designer will have an AI alert because it saw a rat where it does not belong . . . ]


There is another little issue though. I think that writing down codes is akin to using a loot list, which is frowned upon. In this case the list of codes has been moved, and one of the requirements of the mission with normal play is to find it, not know about it in advance. It only matters in a speed run anyway. You need to pass through there in any case.

My position is that the note was legible before the fall into the water. I wrote it down at that time, just like I do when I encounter any written material, inventoriable or not. Surely, the writing down clues as you encounter them in the game is not akin to using a lootlist or walkthrough? If the author intended that you replace the list of codes before you can defuse the bombs, then there are ways to enforce that in the game. That was not done. Hence replacing the rules is not obligatory prior to defusing the bombs.

What about using knowledge you have gained from prior personal runs through the game? Maybe that should be a violation too? I see that much more like using a lootlist or walkthrough. Just because it is not written down should not exempt it. It is as much a prior knowledge as a lootlist would be.

On the other hand, the author of this mission says about the Tips level:


You have to achieve your goals within a given hour.
If you prefer, you can buy some tips in the loadout screen.
This level is for the player that loves challenges.
Good for a second play.

So this level was not intended by the author to be played without prior knowledge. As to . . .


If you really want to bend the rules (as I did when testing) you can take the waterlogged note, make a screen shot of it (with appropriate software), do a contrast enhancement, and read most of the codes.

I see that to be as much a violation as it would be to go to the game files to read the books and notes there. NAUGHTY!****

But since you have the note in readable form before the bath, what is wrong with writing it down at that time? A person with a good memory would not have to bother, but over the years mine has weakened, so I use pencil and paper as my prostheses. If I had gone to a website and looked for spoilers, that would be as bad as using a walkthrough. But to use the materials presented in the mission, as presented in the mission, and recording them when presented in the mission . . . I can't see that as an issue at all. Heck, sometimes mission designers put fleeting clues in the movies, I take notes on what I see in them too, just in case.

I really don't see how note taking as you play a mission busts ghosting, or how remembering something from a prior playthrough would bust the ghost. Otherwise the only true ghostings are when you ghost a mission the first time through. I usually try to do that, but with timed missions, I often do a pre-ghosting run through the mission to plan my ghost run.

I'm sorry, but I don't think doing so violates either the letter or the spirit of ghosting. If I'm wrong, I apologize. I see the prohibition against walkthroughs as enforcing self-learning through playing the game. As long as you do not go to an outside source, taking your own personal notes is not the same as using a walkthrough. My opinion only. People of good conscience and moral character can disagree.

Peter_Smith
17th Nov 2007, 18:03
You are good to go, goldsla. :D All this discussion just shows that ghosters are extremists to begin with, and they are bound to have subsets of the genre that they are comfortable with. Note taking is fine. If the spawning of the beasts bothers you personally, that is OK. I am just saying it is not a ghost bust according to the rules. I was just kidding about the image enhancement, which I did in fact do just for the heck of it. I also waited until I had read the good codes, just to be pure about it, under the assumption that if Garrett had a note in his pocket he would not make a copy of it outside of his universe. That is just one way to do it and not a requirement. Cheers, and ghost on! :)

Hexameron
19th Nov 2007, 03:06
FM: Friend Basso

Ghost - Failure
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 01:01:54
Loot - 2064/2689
Pockets Picked - 7/9
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 1
Damage dealt - 1 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Causes of Failure:

1. Cannot progress through mission without breaking glass window in the zoo
2. Breaking glass window alerts two apebeasts
3. Cannot sneak by the spider exhibit in the zoo without alerting one of them
4. Cannot get basement key from wall safe without alerting a guard

Comments - This mission posed a lot of ghosting problems and is really not intended for that playing style. First, the only way to get out of the apebeast exhibit is by breaking a glass window. Well, here might be a Crom's Blade/Trail of Blood scenario, but two apebeasts (who acted, sounded and walked like treebeasts) are alerted in the process. Indeed, one of them is standing right in front of the window. I could have just smashed the window right in front of his face, but I decided to knock him out.

Occasionally these apebeasts would notice the mechanist guard patrolling in the zoo and go on second alert. Breaking the window alerted the other patrolling apebeast, as well, but not the mechanist guard inside. But does it matter?

It is also not possible to sneak by the spider exhibit without the idle spider noticing. This is simply due to the bright area and lack of moss arrows.

No luck in ghosting so far, but Dr. Brooks' office is even more difficult to deal with. There is a locked vault door behind a banner (a secret switch opens the banner at least) containing an essential basement key needed to complete my objectives. Unfortunately, there is a desk with a bright lamp next to the banner and a helmeted guard staring straight at it. It is impossible to pick the vault door without being in bright light and alerting the guard. I suppose if I had better success with ghosting before, I might have tried nudging him but oh well. Instead, I used a gas arrow to knock him out.

Opening the city gate required some careful tactics. The giant lever that opens the gate is inside a hollow tower with a mechanist guard standing right in front of the entrance and a combat bot to his right. There are two open windows on each side of the tower but they are impossible to jump into because of size. There are some conveniently placed crates nearby, but dropping one in front of the window puts the guard and bot on alert. I had a grapefruit that I picked up from the zoo, so I placed it on the ground and dropped a crate on top of it, which resulted in no noise. Now I could jump onto the crate and crouch through the window and into the tower. Inside of the tower and below the window there is a table, and I made sure not to touch the floor, for fear of not being able to jump back onto the table without making noise. I just kept inching ahead on the table until I could lean forward and manipulate the gate lever.

goldsla
21st Nov 2007, 18:58
FM: Lord Alan's Basement

Ghost - Failure
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 02:48:03
Loot - 4791/5178
Pockets Picked - 17/18 Locks Picked - 10
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 1
Damage dealt - 1 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Cause of Failure
You cannot obtain the Hand of Glory (and thus complete an objective) without setting off an explosive device to deactivate a killing field protecting it. This is by design. So this FM cannot be ghosted if you consider setting off an explosive device destruction of property. All that gets destroyed is the killing field, but there is no way I can see to turn it back on again, so I call it destroyed and this mission a busted ghost. There is also a minor problem with a a young lady in an alcove that you cannot enter to loot because she stands in the doorway and never turns or looks away. But that only prevents Perfect Thief, assuming that you could ghost the mission, which you can't.

Comments
Despite the inability to ghost this FM for technical reasons, I found this a great mission to play. There were lots of tricks and puzzles to solve, and loot everywhere. At times, I did have problems figuring out where I was and how to get back to where I wanted to go. But maybe that's just me. In the real world I have a great sense of direction, so it only makes sense that in Garrett's world I don't. I loved some of the patrol patterns. There was a very real world sense of how some of the guards would wander and turn around, backtrack for a bit as though they had forgotten something, then turn again and continue on. That made it interesting while trying to ghost. I also loved the magical pictures and statue. Good fun. Pity about needing to blow up a room. I may go back to this one to play a second time and look for that last pocket to pick and the remainder of the loot.

Hexameron
22nd Nov 2007, 04:52
Do any of you think a list of what FM's have been ghosted/PT'ed/failed is worth posting somewhere, either as a sticky or in its own thread (and then linked in this one)?

I actually took the time a while ago to compile a huge list (starting from the first FM thread and all the way up to this one) of FM's that were reported as ghosted or busted. While I'll always play any FM I can get, I personally use this list when considering what missions to write ghost reports on. I know the number of ghosters has dwindled, but do you think it would be helpful at all?

Peter_Smith
22nd Nov 2007, 07:30
Yes. I think it would be useful. How it would be formatted and how links would be done needs a little thought or discussion. For example, the posts in the old UBB threads cannot be linked like the ones in the recent threads, but you can make links to the pages they are on. And, I think you would want to refer to all written reports for a given mission. Do you stop at FM's or do OM's too?

goldsla
22nd Nov 2007, 09:43
I agree it would be a good idea. I can see five categories:

Definitely Perfect Thief
Questionably Perfect Thief
Definitely Ghostable
Questionably Ghostable
Definitely Not Ghostable

The "Questionably" categories are where you have to "interpret" a rule in your favor in order to claim the category. I can see a FM (or OM) being in both Definite categories, the Definite Ghost category and the Questionable PT category, just the Definite Ghost category, both Questionable categories, just the Questionable Ghost, and just the Definitely Not categories.

My suggestion is a new thread, one Post per Mission with the Title of the post having both the name of the mission and author, e.g. FM Title by FM Author. Then the body of the post could have the initials for the catecories separated by commas:

Definitely Perfect Thief (DPT)
Questionably Perfect Thief (QPT)
Definitely Ghostable (DG)
Questionably Ghostable (QG)
Definitely Not Ghostable (DNG)

An explanation could follow for any Questionables. I think this way you could search easily by mission or author and quickly find out if the mission is ghostable under your terms. You could enhance it with a link to a ghosting write-up in this thread, if one exists.

Example:
Title: Lord Alan's Basement by Lord Alan (Andrea)
Body: QPT, QG. Use of explosives necessary. No obivious damage or alerts result.

Now what do you do when an original report says questionable, but a later attempt finds a valid way around the difficulty? Or when the original report says Questionable but another person says that method is not questionable but always either OK or always a bust? Or ... I can see this getting a little out of hand without a moderator to make an "official" decision.

All this said, would it be a violation of ghosting rules to look up ghostable missions? Is that act akin to reading a lootlist or walkthrough? Part of ghosting is not knowing if you will succeed in the end. It may be a frustrating part, but it is part. If you know in advance, and pick your missions accordingly, does that bust the ghost? I'm not sure where I come down on this question myself.

Peter_Smith
22nd Nov 2007, 16:14
Knowing in advance does not bust the ghost, but it may spoil the experience. One way way to handle that might be to make a list with just mission names in it and have links to the reports. That is no more information than is currently available, only it would be easier to find. I generally look that up only after I have completed my run. On the other hand, knowing that nobody had been able to do it may inspire one to go in and be more creative. Bafford spiders, Bonehoard, and Life of the Party come to mind.

Maybe we need more acronyms, like DGRHS (Definitely Ghostable but Requires a Huge amount of Skill. ;) Just kidding, of course. I am not too keen on the interpretive acronyms because they themselves require a lot of reading and interpretation to create, and whether something is definite or questionalbe is in the eye of the beholder. That is, the D / Q rating is subjective. The claim itself is fixed as what the person claimed.

goldsla
22nd Nov 2007, 16:54
I agree that the
the D / Q rating is subjective. And further, we are all on the honor system anyhow.

But does an index to the posts inside existing threads provide enough value to merit the effort? You can already search, and within seconds know whether or not there is a report in the thread. Admittedly, searching the archived threads is more difficult, but who is going to take the time to index them anyhow. I assume this would be going forward, not trying to index the past. That would be a serious pain for whoever took it on. :nut:

I understand where you are coming from when you say
I am not too keen on the interpretive acronyms. And I did not like having 5 of the buggers. But I have read enough instances where the person reporting the post felt in some middle ground. I know I have felt that way. So I wanted a way to report that cleanly.

My example of Lord Alan's Basement is a case in point. I am not happy calling it a bust, but I am not comfortable calling it a success. I consider it questionable, and would like to be able to sit on the fence when I report it. Maybe I should just take a stance, either as a conservative or liberal ghoster, but I am uncomfortable doing so.

WAIT! I just noticed what Hexameron actually said (as opposed to what I read):

I actually took the time a while ago to compile a huge list (starting from the first FM thread and all the way up to this one) of FM's that were reported as ghosted or busted.
That should mean that the hard work is already done. The issue then isn't how to do it, but instead how to share it. However it was done is it was done that way--fait accomplit--live with it. What a generous offer!

Peter_Smith
22nd Nov 2007, 17:53
I suppose the Q would be OK if the person making the claim expressed it that way in the summary. But I think that Hexameron (or anyone else) should not have to dig into the ghost report and make a judgment about it. In the case of Lord Alan's Basement, you said "Failure". I think that should be sufficient for the listing.

Hexameron
22nd Nov 2007, 18:26
Wow, I didn't expect such an active discussion like this yet, but I'm glad you guys find the idea valuable.

Let me clarify, though, that my whole reason for having this list is not deciding what FM's to play and ghost, but which one's to report. I rarely look at the list ahead of time to see which FM's were reported as ghosted/busted. Once I complete my FM, I simply check if it had been reported before. While it's fine to write ghost reports on missions that have already been reported in these threads, with all the fan missions out there, I want to make sure I'm posting new successes or failures. Back in my "Deadfall" ghosting days, I went out of my way to make sure to post ghost reports on FM's that have either never been reported yet or were reported as ghost successes but not PT...

If I remember correctly, my list includes a little under 300 individual FM's that have been reported in the history of the Eidos Ghost/PT Results Thread. So while I appreciate goldsla's systematic idea of categorizing these FM's, I don't think separate posts for each FM would be a good idea.

My list is indeed a crude one. You can get an idea of how mine looks from the example below. And by the way, this example is not a direct quotation from my list; I'm just pulling FM titles from my head here and showing the varying acronyms I used for each situation:

Crom's Blade ---- Failure
The Seventh Crystal ---- PT
The Royal Garmyth ---- G
The Abominable Dr. Dragon ---- G (Chemical)
The Art of Thievery ---- G / PT Failure

For any official list, there could be other unique notations (Ironman, Supreme Ghost, incidences of CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+END being used etc.)

If my format or style for this list featured above does not suffice, I'm open to suggestions. I strongly think that a list in alphabetical order would be most user friendly. But perhaps separate categories like the following would work, too:

Ghosted

-Equilibrium
-Melian's Method

Failed

-Karras' Diary
-Tymoteusz


One way way to handle that might be to make a list with just mission names in it and have links to the reports

I like this idea and would definitely provide links for each FM. In my view, this task is the most daunting. While I admit I have indeed gone through the drudgery of checking each FM ever posted and recording its results (which can be tricky when a ghoster comes along and does better... Peter Smith's Dances with Spiders in "A Keeper's Betrayal" comes to mind), I would still need to doublecheck my list, which would take a little bit. But since everyone seems to be endorsing the idea, I don't mind doing it :)

Hexameron
25th Nov 2007, 01:21
FM: The Adventures of Burrick Boy

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:09:57
Loot - 4/4
Pockets Picked - 1/0
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - This is a contest mission that's more like a burrick homage than a stealth-intensive excursion. The player is cast as a farmboy who is supposed to be guarding four burricks in a barn; he wakes up and realizes they are gone and the objectives are to find the burricks and return them to their pens. These burricks are not alerted by Garrett and are picked up as loot (hence the 4/4 loot count).

There are four portals in each pen that lead to separate labyrinthine realms containing the burricks. Three of these "realms" simply require agility to get to the burricks. The "lava" realm took thirty seconds because I just needed to drop down on a boulder surrounded by lava and "loot" the burrick standing there. The "air" realm took careful jumping in order to land on the floating cloud that ferries the burrick. The "water" realm is the most innovative design-wise but it is really just a maze to traverse. With all of these "realms" involving no AI, I would have called ghosting this mission N/A, but the "earth" realm had apebeasts and a bugbeast. Since Garrett or the "farmboy" had no inventory or weapons (except bare fists), sneaking by the apebeast and patrolling bugbeast next to the camp fire was the only challenge and a minor one.

Some interesting mentionables: the detonation arrow under the crates in the tree house acts like a super fire arrow. Just for fun I tried firing it at an apebeast and the huge blast ended up killing me and destroying all of the crates in the treehouse, making this a fatal gadget.

There is an interesting "lootable" eyeplant in the treehouse. "Looting" the eyeplant ends up killing it, but in the process Garrett is given a projectile eyeball that throws like the T1 training mission basketball. Upon impact, the eyeball explodes into a moss patch... What this elaborate item, which really functions as a moss arrow, could have aided the player with I do not know. There were no loud floors in the mission, so I guess it was just designer showmanship.

Hexameron
25th Nov 2007, 02:09
FM: At the Royal Rumble

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:03:43
Loot - 500/560
Pockets Picked - 1/6
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0 Bodies Discovered by Enemies - 3
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - Another contest mission. This one might be problematic as far as reporting a successful ghost. The author gives the player an optional objective of ghosting the mission, but since the mission itself takes place at a wrestling arena with constant fighting between AI in the ring, the guards and spectators act quite goofy, often going on 2nd alert for no reason. As soon as the mission loads, I always hear at least three 2nd alerts by the spectators. I noticed a pattern of one particular guard always going on 2nd alert after I was making my loot round. I'm wondering if there's a timer after picking his purse that he goes on alert or something. Regardless, even if he is on alert he doesn't seem to see the player anyway, so the whole ghosting objective was faulty. The only AI that can see you are the creatures fighting in the ring.

With this in mind, I was extra careful not to enter into any light areas. Finding 500 loot (the only required objective) was actually the toughest part because this mission is indeed timed. As soon as all of the wrestling contestants are slain and the match ends, the mission ends. There is only 560 loot here but some of them are well-hidden, including loose coins in a toilet that can only be grabbed while crouching. There were loose coins next to one spectator and a Lost City scroll in a niche by the locker room that took me a long time to find. I couldn't find the other 60, but I'll assume it's three loose coins somewhere.

One more optional objective is to find Joe the Great Blob's secret, which is a teddybear lying on the ground in the locker room. Picking the bear up causes a strange-looking treebeast, presumably Joe, to enter the locker room and attack, so I left the bear alone.

Hexameron
25th Nov 2007, 05:00
FM: Bafford's Bone Collection

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:32:41
Loot - 1485/1485
Pockets Picked - 2/4
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - This is a challenging contest mission that took me a while to complete and ghost. The objectives are to find 1300 loot and Bafford's bone collection, which constitutes five golden bones (like in T1's Bonehoard).

I entered Bafford's mansion through the back door next to the giant staircase leading to his bedroom. A lot of torch dousing was necessary to sneak by the guards outside and move inside without alerting the nobleman or the servant who constantly patrol in areas that need to be snuck through. Casing the bottom level of Bafford's mansion takes some time because of the marble floors and sporadic patrols of the nobleman and servant.

The Golden Bones

The most difficult part of this mission, however, is finding the golden bones. Make no mistake in glancing at my completed time: this mission took me over an hour to complete (on a blackjack run). Fortunately, I had shot a rope arrow above the staircase for the purposes of hiding in the shadows of the ceiling to avoid the patrolling nobelman. To my surprise, the square-shaped ceiling design turned out to be a frobbable door. However, to get inside this secret attic, one has to drop down to the staircase and fire a rope arrow again, this time through the attic's opening where the frobbable door had previously blocked. One of the golden legs was resting up in the small attic, so I realized that the golden bones were indeed hidden well...

After a long search, often involving jumping up and down, crouching into corners, and scaling any ledge in the mission while constantly trying to frob things, I located the other bones. It was a humorous situation. Outside on the second level balconies, I shot a rope arrow up against the only wooden texture I could find on the wall of the mansion, hoping to mantle onto the roof and look around there. When I realized I couldn't get onto the roof, I tried frobbing my rope arrow but instead I picked up a golden bone! To my shock, I had actually nabbed one of the golden bones behind a Bafford banner next to my embedded rope arrow. I still can't believe the FM designer stuck these bones up in this totally inconspicuous place. Sure enough, on the opposite side of the mansion there were two other golden bones behind another banner adorning the wooden wall.

Striving for Perfect Thief

Since I had spent about 45 minutes looking for these golden bones, I had discovered a lot of loot in the process. One particular loot location that stunned me was in the library... on the floor between the wall and a bookcase was a single golden ring. I'm talking about a few inches of space between the wall and the side of the bookcase with a tiny golden ring on the floor. If I hadn't been crawling everywhere looking for secret switches, I would never have found that.

But it gets even better... Outside of the mansion near the back door are two guards standing next to stone pillars supporting the upper level balconies. Between one of these pillars and a metal fence is a single gold coin lodged in the grass. While I shook my head at the fact that a mission designer would go through the trouble of placing a single coin in such a concealed area, I was suddenly concerned that I actually found this! Perhaps I have an obsessive scrounging problem, but after this, I feel like I can find any loot in any mission.

There is one last scenario to illustrate regarding PT'ing the mission. There are four balconies connected to a wall that are accessible from the outside upper level area of Bafford's mansion. From the looks of the conveniently placed stone catwalk and railings next to these balconies, I got the impression that I was supposed to go up there. Well, when I went on my hour-long investigation for golden bones, I explored these balconies and discovered a gas arrow and a jeweled cup. However, getting onto the balcony with the jeweled cup is not possible with a rope arrow or jumping from the railings. These four balconies are stacked on top of each other, with only a small space separating them; it's impossible to successfully jump onto the lower balconies... without the help of an object.

My solution was to first douse all the torches around the area because there are two archers next to these railings and a few guards on the lower level staring at the balconies. I figured out that dropping a crate on the railing gave me enough leverage to jump onto the lower balcony. So I shot a moss arrow onto the metal railing, mantled onto the railing with my crate in hand, dropped it and jumped upwards, and long story short, I got onto the balcony, retrieved the cup and found all the loot.

Of course, I went back to one of the Bafford banners and got the last two golden bones (once all four bones are in Garrett's inventory the mission ends, so I left two of them there until I had found all the loot).

Peter_Smith
25th Nov 2007, 09:32
FM: The Lost Crusade

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 03:29:12
Loot - 2038/2508
Pockets Picked - 13/20 (20 is probably wrong)
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0
Consumables used - 0

Comments

The Lost Crusade, by Spoonman, is a beautiful, expansive mission. It is an adventure modeled after Indiana Jones, mostly, and other influences. It has numerous settings, all very impressive. It is set in the day time on a sunny day, but there are good shadows to hide in. Very nice lighting. I found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable mission, so much so that I played it twice. The first time I completed it in about 1:30:00, and the next time I took more than twice as long, looking for loot and ghosting more carefully.

One thing I must warn you about is that the mission has quite a few small bugs. Among these is a visual complexity bug that occurs when you are in high places overlooking the entire town. That starts with unusual clipping and then makes its way to a crash if you let it. The remedy is to look down when the clipping first starts. There are a few other small issues, too, but nothing major. The mission was evidently not beta tested, which is too bad. I found it easy to ignore the problems because the mission was so much fun.

The Town

The initial setting of the mission appears to be a Mediterranean town. The architecture and textures are well done. Slightly unusual is the fact that there are ladders and beams everywhere. This means that you can go all over the place without your feet touching the ground. It is necessary to explore thoroughly, high and low, to get sufficient loot and to get a key that allows you to go out of town to the next phase.

The ghosting in the town, and in most of the mission, is routine. There is one place entered by a plank into an upper window where you have to time it very well and keep moving, because if you try to hide you will eventually be discovered. Unless, that is, you douse a torch, which I managed to avoid throughout. With practice, it is a quick in-and-out, but there are some delicate moves.

There are some pirates in town who are a bit of a problem. If you are sufficiently careful with your ghosting, or else lucky, you do not upset the pirates, and everything goes smoothly. According to the darkloader readme, if anyone sees you wield a weapon, whether they alert or not at the time, or (as I found) if you attempt to steal a pirate's purse, then the pirates get ugly and start attacking citizens of the village.

This is a different kind of alert, not covered by the ghosting rules. I played the whole mission twice and the village part three times. The first time the populace was calm for a while, and then they went nuts for some reason unknown to me. I did not alert anyone, but they were running around, shouting. Then I found a body in the street and hid it, and they all calmed down. Later I went through the village mostly by ground, and I saw the pirates attacking and killing several people. Much more violent than before. The third time I played it was much more careful not to annoy the pirates or to display weapons, and I got through without an incident. I did notice, however, that if you attempt to steal a pirate's purse, he goes nuts and starts attacking citizens.

So, is it a bust if the pirates attack the citizens? Certainly it is with the purse grab, because you can relate the cause to its effect. But in the other cases I had no knowledge of what caused it, and I never saw an alert caused by me. That could easily be claimed as a scripted event and not a bust. Anyway, I managed to avoid this in my final ghost run, so there is no issue.

This pirate melee is actually a very clever game play design. Most players will slip up, as I did at first, so the navigation through the village becomes more difficult as a result. It is not a real problem because there are plenty of shadows to hide in. Just a source of amusement. You ought to trigger this event just to watch it.

The mines

The next phase is a mine situated below what appears to be a temple. This part of the temple is a false front -- you can't get inside. Next to the temple is the mine entrance. The mines are extensive -- some of the best mines ever. There are numerous passages with cool looking timber braces on several levels, and you need to explore thoroughly. The ground throughout has that crunchy gravel sound which is usually cause for alerts. The author has made it so that the crunchy noise is not a real problem if you move slowly, probably (and rightly) to make the game play more enjoyable for most non-ghosters. At first, though, you think that it is a very dangerous place until you realize that they are not hearing you well.

Underground temple - Indiana Jones style

After the mines, you take a little swim and find a deserted underground temple and crypt. The miners had discovered this place and were looting it. All the miners in the temple are trapped by rising water (that you swam to get in), and they are all dead. You find a route out, but as you leave you find arrow traps and a large boulder chasing you down sloping passages. Very Indiana Jones. Stealth is not the game here. It took me a little while to realize that you need to just run fast and outrun the traps and the boulder. At the end the passage exits into a deep chasm. Duck to one side so you don't get mowed down by the boulder, and then you can see the boulder dropping to the chasm floor. Very impressive.

There is one climbing problem to obtain a lost city blue wall gem that I rather enjoyed. The trick involves using a rope and a well placed jump to jam yourself into a hole, like a cork. Then you can grab the loot and jump back out to the rope. Well done. :)

The chasm

If you can avoid the boulder, you find yourself in a deep, steep sided chasm. You have to work your way around some ledges and unsafe looking bridges, or planks. The first time I went through there, it made me very nervous. After some time, you encounter a spider on a ledge, which is the only significant ghosting challenge of the mission. The first time through I tried lots of things and ended up just running past him. I did not see an alert, but I could not verify success, either.

Later I felt badly about being unprofessional with the spider, so I replayed the entire mission both to get a handle on the spider and to find more loot. I went back in the Indiana Jones temple, picked up a crate, and carried the crate down with the boulder and arrow trap run. I thought I would use the crate to block the spider, or I might be able to stand on it in a shadow and have the spider go underneath me. To make a long story short, the crate did not work. Even though my light gem was dark, the spider saw me standing on the crate. Eventually I figured out that if I could trail the spider until he went around the second corner of a three sided rectangle (not so easy in itself because he changed direction frequently, apparently randomly), I could dash after him, round the second corner, crouch, and be invisible. Then he walked right by me without a squeek. Nice. :)

The haunt temple

Beyond the chasm you encounter another temple with two well-dressed haunts guarding the item you came to steal, which is a special gold goblet of religious significance to the haunts. To gain entrance you need to pick a lock quickly while walls close on you. Once in, it is routine to take the loot and get to the other side of the room, which is the most favorable side to approach the goblet.

Here there is an incident that a fussy ghoster would claim to be a bust, but I would claim to be a success based on a precedent - Return to the Cathedral in TDP. You may recall that when you take the eye in the Cathedral a silent alarm goes off and all the haunts below are alerted. This was discussed in the forum many years ago, and the consensus of the ghosting crowd was that this is not a bust so long as the haunts do not actually see you. The idea is that you did not alert them but rather a scripted silent alarm did. The same ruling applies for the talisman alarm in Undercover.

The incident in question is that when you take the goblet the temple starts to collapse. Rocks and beams are crashing all around you. This collapse alerts the haunts. Now, if you pulled a switch that you knew would cause the collapse, then you caused it. But if it happens coincidently, and if the haunts did not see you take the goblet, it is just like the RTC incident, in my opinion.

There is a pretty good chance that the haunts will see you take the goblet in which case that alert is obvious because you are killed. I managed to avoid being spotted several times. Each time, it was after I read a book about their duty to guard the holy goblet. Coincidence? I don't know. But that is the way it worked for me.

After exiting the collapsing temple (a very nice effect, by the way), you jump one more chasm and the mission ends.

Loot

I don't know what's up with the loot. There are one or two purses (100 each) on pirates that I could not pick pocket. There is a cave below the final ledge of the chasm that you can get down to but not back up because the author forgot to leave a plank there. That cave contains a sword worth 70. So the 170-270 that I know about doesn't account for the 470 that I am missing. It is a big and complicated mission, and it could be anywhere.

Well done, Spoonman! This was an entertaining adventure. :D

goldsla
25th Nov 2007, 15:44
FM: Lord Alan's Fortress

Ghost - Failed (broken glass)
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 05:11:06
Loot - 13650 (12450)/12500
Pockets Picked - 35/36
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 15/15
Consumables used - 2 moss arrows & 10 or so water arrows

Comments
I'm sure this is well plowed ground, since this FM has been out there for so long. Accordingly I will be brief.

1) This is a HUGE and beautifully made mission.
2) It is still fairly buggy: I kept sticking into walls (more than 20 times in lots of different places) and had to reload from a save to unstick each time. Very annoying. Also, after returning Lord Alan to his bedroom, the objective did not tick off, no matter where I put him: on the bed, on the left rug, on the right rug, on the table, on the balcony, nothing! :mad: And the loot was reported incorrectly at the end. Inside the mission I had 12450, 50 short of all the loot. After the mission ended I magically had 13650 of the 12500 possible.:scratch:
3) I am sure that I could have ghosted this had I decided to forgo one of the optional objectives (return the truth to Ignaz), but I decided to go for all the objectives instead. And in order to get the Mask of Truth, you have to break a glass pane. But at least the objective ticked off when I returned the mask! While there were some tricky spots to avoid alerts, it seemed ghostable if you don't mind the eye plants watching you or traps triggering to your presence.
4) I am pretty sure that if you ghost it, a perfect thief would be possible, since the Ignaz objective is optional and there is no loot that I recall on that path. I just lost heart once I had to break the glass and Lord Alan's return did not give me the credit due. For 50, it did not seem worthwhile to spend the time searching when the mission was a failure anyhow. It was probably a purse sitting somewhere obvious.
5) This mission displayed what I have noticed before in some other missions: delayed alerts. This is when an AI alerts 2 or 3 seconds after you made a mistake and thought you had gotten away with it. I could be standing silently in the dark with the magic crystal at 0 (I'm not certain that displaying the light level numerically is in keeping with Thief technology, but it did allow me to know my exact visibility level at all times) and a bloody AI around the corner would suddenly come looking. Sheesh! And if I had done a quicksave, thinking it was a safe time to do so . . . :mad2:
6) I hate timed missions. Fortunately this mission wasn't one. Unfortunately this mission had two (count them, two) timed vaults. The first one I wasted time on trying to prop the door open, only to learn that the timing wasn't only on the door, but on a gas arrow attack. After recovering from that, I had to reenter the combination 11 or 12 times before I could clear out the vault of all its non-loot goodies without alerting the two guards looking in on the vault and the patrolling guard. Arrgh! Then I discover a much worse timed vault on my way to lift the Cube (an objective). This is where I used my two moss arrows and several water arrows. One moss arrow was for the combination lock area on the ground floor, the other was for the vault area up above. I doused every torch I could between the two so that I could go as fast as possible after entering the combination. (Nice of the guards to always have the combination on them.) This was truly devilish to ghost, as the patrolling guards did not have synchronized patrols. Instead each kept it own pace. So the openings were hard to predict.
7) And what is with all that bonging in the chapel?? Why didn't that alert anyone?
8) Every time I find heavy rubble or rocks I look for pressure plates, but who would put one on a ledge in the attic?? Lord Alan (the fictional character) and all his ancestors are nutz!:nut:

Lord Alan (the author, Andrea?) is very talented. It was a fun mission, but I'm not certain that I would play it again. Once may have been enough. If you have not played it, I would recommend it. But I do not recommend it for ghosting play, especially if you like playing all the objectives intended by the author.

Hexameron
25th Nov 2007, 16:13
Great ghosting efforts guys. Peter, you sure know how to deal with those spiders.

Anymore thoughts on the FM list? Should we start a separate thread and discuss its format or do I have the go-ahead to assemble the list and either PM it to Peter or post it myself?

goldsla
25th Nov 2007, 19:18
Anymore thoughts on the FM list? Should we start a separate thread and discuss its format or do I have the go-ahead to assemble the list and either PM it to Peter or post it myself?
Personally, I trust your judgement. Unless you have options you want opinions on, I would say do it the way you feel best about it.

Peter_Smith
25th Nov 2007, 19:20
Lord Alan (the author, Andrea?) is very talented. It was a fun mission, but I'm not certain that I would play it again. Once may have been enough. If you have not played it, I would recommend it. But I do not recommend it for ghosting play, especially if you like playing all the objectives intended by the author.
I guess I am biased because I was one of the testers of Lord Alan's Fortress, and I worked on it for a long time. The need to break the glass is a case where design won out over "ghostability." In general, I support the notion that design comes first. IMO, the mission is great fun to play in ghost mode regardless of that detail. The tricky bits can be mastered with practice. If played any other way, it would be too easy for my taste. I think that the music and the scenery alone make it eminently replayable. I still enjoy it after many rounds.

goldsla
25th Nov 2007, 20:01
The need to break the glass is a case where design won out over "ghostability." In general, I support the notion that design comes first.
I agree it is an excellently designed mission, just not fully ghostable. That said, I'm not certain why breaking the glass was the best design. But then again, I don't know what other options were considered or why they were rejected. I always find it disappointing to discover that a mission cannot be ghosted late in the game. I would rather be busted early, before I have invested the energy in attempting to ghost, than late.

IMO, the mission is great fun to play in ghost mode regardless of that detail. The tricky bits can be mastered with practice. If played any other way, it would be too easy for my taste.
You could be right. Since I did not play it with any KOs I do not know. Even ghosting it, the mission was fairly easy, really, with only a couple of sticky spots. Some of the secrets were a bit of a job to find, but none that ghosting made harder (No, I lie, maybe the pool area one was harder because of ghosting), and locking you in the bedroom was clever, if a bit of a tip-off that there was a hidden way out. It would have been harder to figure out without being trapped. In my first run through I was able to ghost for the entire mission but for the no breakage rule, find all the secrets, all the consumables (I believe), and all but 50g in loot. It might be too easy if not ghosted . . . Maybe try to Supreme it? Putting back all those keys would certainly make it harder . . .

I think that the music and the scenery alone make it eminently replayable. I still enjoy it after many rounds. I agree the music and scenery are great. It is a very well designed mission, just not ghostable.

On another note, what does a second level alert look/sound like for a tree? I decided for myself that any movement probably was an alert, even if no searching behavior took place. But is there a gold standard for these beasts?

Hexameron
25th Nov 2007, 20:22
I assume you're talking about treebeasts, goldsla? I always considered any deviance from their rigid statue state as a ghost bust. If they were placed in the mission as idle but unfrozen, then of course their act of searching signifies the 2nd alert.

Hexameron
26th Nov 2007, 02:38
FM: Fate of the Art

Ghost - Failed
Time - 00:52:11
Loot - 5654/5679
Pockets Picked - 4/8
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 1
Damage dealt - 16 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0 Bodies Discovered by Enemies - 1
Secrets Found - 4/4

Causes of Failure:

- Must break a glass window to acquire keys necessary to complete the mission
- Breaking window alerts multiple guards
- Must slash banner to gain access to important keys and loot
- Cannot sneak by watcher next to storeroom
- Cannot kill/KO Richard (objective) without alerting nearby noblelady

Comments - This contest mission looked like it had much to offer and I was looking forward to a challenging ghost here. But it turned out to be a catastrophe. I was in the mood for a success, too :(. I spent plenty of time dashing around in the shadows outside trying to pick pocket all the guards and I was taking my time inside with the dining room and the problematic guard patrol.

On expert the loot objective is 5600 and that means getting almost everything in the mission. I had to nudge a servant away from the kitchen sink in order to get three gold plates. There are lot of hard-to-find loot items; rings under crates, gold coins on floors, but after my escapades in "Bafford's Bone Collection" this wasn't that disconcerting.

I also spent a long time sneaking by the watcher on the second floor. This was an incredibly difficult spot because of the short pivot radius of the watcher and the small patrol of the nearby guard. With enough practice and luck, I was able to dart into each room without alerting the watcher or the guard, but this turned out to be for naught; ghosting is impossible and there is a camera control switch in Boris's room that could have saved me the trouble.

This mission is a little frustrating, though, because a lot of doors are locked and the keys are difficult to find. I realized that breaking a glass window to get into the storeroom was the only option and so there went my chance of ghosting. Slashing a hammerite banner to get into a secret hide-out is also required. Eh, the whole thing turned into a mess with just about every guard on alert (because of the glass), and I couldn't get back through the broken window. This meant running across the hall in front of a watcher whose seeing radius covers the entire hallway; in other words, it's impossible to sneak by the watcher without getting a yellow alert.

Killing Richard (the artist) is an objective that I couldn't accomplish without alerting the nobelady in the same room. So I planted a broadhead into Richard's backside and smacked the lady with my blackjack, hence the recorded knockout.

Peter_Smith
26th Nov 2007, 05:15
I assume you're talking about treebeasts, goldsla? I always considered any deviance from their rigid statue state as a ghost bust. If they were placed in the mission as idle but unfrozen, then of course their act of searching signifies the 2nd alert.

Perhaps this is just a repeat of what you are saying, Hexameron. I think there are three types of tree beasts, depending apparently on the properties they are assigned when placed in the mission.

1. Some are actually frozen (rigid) and never unfreeze. They have an upright stance. They only make a noise to frighten the player. They never alert.

2. There is a variety that looks like #1, initially frozen, but if it thinks it notices you it will move its arms from vertical to more horizontal and make a slight noise. I would say that stretching out the arms without turning to look around is kind of like "must've been rats" - not a bust, but that is certainly open for debate.

3. Another type goes through a cyclic pattern of shifting around on its feet, and has a bent over stance. Sometimes it goes on patrol. The shifting around and making slight noises is normal behavior for this type, not a bust. It strikes me as akin to a spider rotating.

If you alert a type 2, then after he hunts around he will change to a type 3 and stay that way until you kill him.

With #2 and #3, You will know when you really alert one. The noise becomes more like a tree-beast shout, and they turn to hunt for you, in contrast to the normal shifting around.

That is my reading anyway.

goldsla
26th Nov 2007, 13:58
I think there are three types of tree beasts, depending apparently on the properties they are assigned when placed in the mission.
I believe the Treebeasts in Lord Alan's Fortress are Type 2. I thought at first they were Type 1, but when I saw one lower its arms a little and growl, I reloaded and was able to avoid even that much of an alert. I just wasn't certain if its actions counted as a level 2 alert, the way that a spider's raised feelers count. (It is so hard to tell with trees what they are thinking, harder than spiders.) Having missed out on the earlier ghosting debates, I thought I would ask. While it did not matter in Fortress, it might in some future mission. Thank you both for the information.

Hexameron
27th Nov 2007, 21:39
FM: The Focus

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 01:14:42
Loot - 1397/1397
Pockets Picked - 6/7
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 5/6

Comments - This is one of the better and perhaps finest contest FM's I've played. While I don't normally spend time in my ghost reports complimenting every facet of a FM, I feel I owe it to this one because it really is a little contest mission of exceptional quality. The mission is small but there are so many places to go, secrets to find, and objectives to complete. Additionally, the interior design and overall floorplan is exquisite and well done. Even the objectives are intricate and unique. My only gripes would have to be the bad English writing in the reading materials and the super close range required to activate levers and switches.

Fun Ghosting and the Mission's Stellar Design

There are really no ghosting problems to report. Although I originally thought that ghosting the watcher on the floor above the library was impossible, it turns out there is a secret passageway to get behind the watcher and turn it off. This mission was actually fun to ghost and while the mission is quite linear at first, the various options for sneaking by guards was refreshing. They might be simple, like leaping through an open space above a couch, using secret tunnels and rope arrows, but I liked that the author put some thought into it. I had to do a lot of retracing steps once I realized 45 minutes into the mission that the place was filled with hard-to-find (let alone difficult to manipulate) switches and levers. Retreading old ground in the mission was never tiresome, though, because of the beautiful interiors (loved the Vermeer painting) and artfully selected sound files. The mission used a lot of TDP music and atmospheric sounds and I got nostalgic for old Thief 1.

Finding the Keeper medallion might have been difficult, but I read the FM's darkloader notes and the author mentioned that a flashbomb was important to have. There are clues written on tablets next to a lot of the statues that explain where to find the medallion. On the highest floor of the tower there is a female statue and a tablet that says something like, "blind me with light and I'll give you might." Dropping a flashbomb caused the statue to slide backwards revealing the Keeper medallion (this is used as a key for accessing the Keeper library in Garibaldi's library).

Decoding the Message (for those who might need help with it)

The FM author gave the player a very interesting challenge of deciphering gibberish in a scroll. I thought the decoding process (detailed in an extra note) was quite original and not at all boring. In my FM playing experience, I've dealt with a lot of absurd puzzles requiring extraordinary mental acrobatics, but this one, while a little difficult to figure out at first, turned out to be fun. Decoding this message is not necessary unless you are short of loot and still need to fulfill the 1000 loot objective. The formula for figuring out the locked vault combination is explained in the scroll's coded message: Take Garibaldi's age and multiply it by ten and triple the sum. Then add five and invert the first and third numbers (1295 would be 9215). Garibaldi's age, 43, is mentioned in his journal. Therefore the formula is 43x10 = 430. 430x3 = 1290. 1290 + 5 = 1295. Invert the first and third numbers = 9215

An optional objective was to kill the ghost of the Master (Garibaldi) in the tower... again, I love the options here. A lot of missions simply tell you to kill someone for no reason, but the author leaves it up to the player to decide if it's prudent/desirable/necessary. Since I'm ghosting, I obviously left him alone.

Once I found all the gear-keys and placed all the Keeper skulls on their pedestals, The Eye appeared in mid air above a marble-floored lobby. The watcher below can be turned off, but I made sure to moss the floor so I could dangle from a rope arrow, snatch The Eye, and drop down below without making noise. Interestingly, the objective to save the Keepers' souls involves re-looting the Keepers' skulls after they had been placed on their pedestals. And from here, all of my objectives were complete and I had found all the loot after a very thorough search. I couldn't figure out how to use the locked backdoor for the longest time, but I discovered that one of the missing servants spawns in his room with an important key needed to escape.

goldsla
29th Nov 2007, 01:53
FM: A Smuggler’s Request
Ghost: Failure

Comments:
This mission was such a complete and resounding ghosting failure that I will not bore you with the full stats.

A Smuggler’s Request was Richard Cull's 1st FM, back in 2001. And for a first mission, it is really quite good, a bit linear, but it has some interesting ideas. Unfortunately, the mission design is such that you have to KO a number of guards to progress, and property destruction (banner slashing) is required to get all the loot.

Ghosting isn't so hard until you get to the jail, where your confiscated weapons have been stored. Up to that point, you have acquired 6 water arrows and 4 moss arrows. The inside of the jail is teaming with guards, dozens of bright lights that the guards will re-light whenever one gets put out. Stationary guards are situated at the end of corridors, and always detect you unless you have extinguished the lights. Then to make it fun, the guards are hyper-sensative, often alerting just to your proximity, even in total dark. Rooms away they can alert to your putting out a torch with a water arrow!

It did not take me too long to decide that this mission was just not ghostable, so I tried to settle for no KOs. But that went by the wayside as well. It turns out that the guards are so sensitive that they will keep re-alerting each other endlessly.

Just for giggles, while hiding in a corner after alerting a guard, I watched as he alerted one after another of his fellow guards. I tried waiting for them to settle back down, but everytime one would calm down and go back to a normal patrol, one of the remaining alerted guards would come over and re-alert it. After an hour and a half, the same number of guards were still running around looking for me, and I had not moved a muscle!

Nope, the only way to play this mission is to knock them all out. With unlimited water arrows, ghosting might be possible, but as it is, not a chance I think.

Hexameron
29th Nov 2007, 14:31
goldsla - I noticed your difficulty with "A Smuggler's Request" and I remember playing this many years ago. I wrote up my own personal report but never posted it on Eidos (though Vanguard reported a fail). My report includes only the tough areas and how I solved them. I did manage to ghost this mission but it was hard and I think perfect thief is impossible.

Much of my notes actually don't make sense to me since I haven't played this FM in years. Maybe you can follow along and compare your efforts/results with mine? I apologize for the crude English and incorrect punctuation, but I was just typing up my own private notes for the mission.

FM: A Smuggler's Request

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 03:41:37
Loot - 3402/3977
Pockets Picked - 17/23
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 2
Damage dealt - 2 Damage taken - 2
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0 Bodies Discovered by Enemies - 1
Secrets Found - 6/11

Comments - This mission took me a few days and much frustration to complete. Ghosting this was quite difficult and even ridiculous. I still didnt find all of the loot; even on a blackjack run, the max I got was 3892 and I couldn't blackjack bluecoats.

-To get the sword and the tavern key in the sewer, I had to walk up to the center structure and right click until I could get the items; the spiders would always see me if I tried to mantle up.
-Dousing the gas lamps in the guardhouse set off the AI 80% of the time. It took many reloads and different arrow string positions (different trajectories and bow tension) to douse all torches successfully.
-I had a limited supply of water arrows in the beginning. I used 1 by the sewer, 1 on the right torch by the sleeping guard at the gate inside, 2 at the mess hall, 4 in the mess hall, 2 by the barracks, and 2 by the prison.
-The guardhouse key was found in Captain Ashe's room, accessible from the ledges of the prison window with the trap chest.
-To get to the evidence room, I had to go through the torture room and up the first ladder and then jump backwards.
-In this game, I forgot to get the loot in the evidence room, but I got the captains log.
-To drop down without taking damage in the guardhouse safe area, I had to douse all torches and drop down on the security combat face.
-To get the lift at the bottom prison area to come up, I had to shoot a moss arrow at the button.
-Captain Quinn was found on the torture rack in the bottom prison area. I couldnt drop Captain Ashe's corpse in the spider sewer without killing him, and I couldnt drop him near the spiders on the ledges because that #@%! wisp would light up the area. I had to carry him into the sewer to hit the proximity point for the objective to check off, then haul him back to the storage area where my equipment should have been.
-To hit the switches successfully on the boat, I had to douse most of the torches, set up a rope arrow on the bottom ledge, and then start from the button in the captains quarters, the button under the ramp, the button under the map/banner on the table, then jump onto the rope and go down into the belly of the boat and into the water tank... and then the button behind the wheel to open the ceiling compartment in the captains quarters. The peg in this compartment fit onto the wheel in the same room, and the hatch on the bottom of the ship would open.
-For some reason, I got a "bodies discovered by enemies: 1" in the final stats. I dont know why this is so, im sure I didnt leave both of the captains' corpse's near any AI, and I cant remember seeing any other bodies.

Hard to find loot: Amulet by skull in sewers, purse on bluecoat at the beginning, purse on guard patrolling through the side castle near the archer, ring on the skeletal remains under the lift, loot behind the banner in the tavern, wine bottle in the same room, coin stacks and other loot in the kitchen in the bottom cabinets behind the crates, purse on the ground in the crypt area from the torture room, purse in a niche in the barracks, chest on the platform from the delivery lift, purse on the roof accessible from the short wall near the fountain at the lower city section.

goldsla
29th Nov 2007, 15:21
BRAVO! Hexameron, my hat is off to you on this one. It was the relighting of torches that got me to give up on the ghosting in the end. No sooner than I managed to douse a torch without alerting anyone, and a guard would come by and relight the blasted thing. Without the relighting, I probably would have continued the ghosting, but I was running out patience as I ran out of water arrows.

I did manage to ghost this mission but it was hard and I think perfect thief is impossible.
Early in the mission there is a secret area with two gold nuggets inside. You can "reach through" a tapestry, pick the lock of an invisible safe and get them, or you can do as the designer intended and slash the tapestry. I'm not certain if reaching through the tapestry is a "use of quirks of the Dark engine" or not, but slashing the banner in a definite no-no. I can't remember any other loot that you should not be able to get ghosting . . .

Ghosting this was quite difficult and even ridiculous.
No kidding!

To get the sword and the tavern key in the sewer, I had to walk up to the center structure and right click until I could get the items; the spiders would always see me if I tried to mantle up.
And the sword and key are not visible from a distance, so the only way to know to do that is to kill the spiders, search the area, reload, and then collect the goodies. You really cannot find them while ghosting.

Dousing the gas lamps in the guardhouse set off the AI 80% of the time. It took many reloads and different arrow string positions (different trajectories and bow tension) to douse all torches successfully.
For me it was more like 95-99% of the time. And then the relighting . . . argh!!

I had a limited supply of water arrows in the beginning. I used 1 by the sewer, 1 on the right torch by the sleeping guard at the gate inside, 2 at the mess hall, 4 in the mess hall, 2 by the barracks, and 2 by the prison.
That sounds right, except for having to redouse some of them. You definately earned your stripes when you ghosted this one. I may try it again when I am better rested and have all the time in the world to reload saves.

To get the lift at the bottom prison area to come up, I had to shoot a moss arrow at the button.
A gas arrow is as silent and is easier to aim . . . and ghosting there is no use for the 2 you have otherwise, while the moss arrow might be of use elsewhere . . .

Hexameron
1st Dec 2007, 04:11
FM: Frozen Mines

Ghost - Success (Chemical)
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:37;00
Loot - 825/955
Pockets Picked - 1/8
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 2/3

Comments - I didn't care much for this contest mission, so I didn't give it my usual full-blooded efforts. The mission itself is a very linear icy cave with dwarves (reskinned guards), making it more like a fantasy RPG game. Since no kills or knockouts are permitted, the mission basically enforces ghost mode.

Ghosting the mission might actually be impossible if certain New Objectives are triggered. I stumbled on a journal in one of the study's next to the storage room and it gave me a new objective to "Kill the Monster." I found this "monster," which was a reskinned apparition, patrolling in a constant square-shaped pattern in a brightly lit pit framed by descending ramps. I followed the apparition's back gracefully and went in for the kill, but an overhead backstab would not kill him in one blow. I can't tell if there is another way to kill him or not. Regardless, he turned around and killed me instantly. I decided to reload to my previous save before reading the journal and just forgot about it.

I went about looking for loot (800 required) and that was the most difficult part of the mission; lots of silver nuggets camouflaged in obscure ice cracks and lots of hidden coinstacks. I was unable to get the 85 loot in the river next to the ice burrick. Jumping into water is required and it always alerts the burrick.

I also had to nudge the idle guard next to the large icicle. I was able to sneak by the patrolling guard here and get behind the idle one, but trying to reverse the process did not work and the idle guard would always see me. I had to nudge him forward towards the scroll so I could escape the area.

In order to complete my loot objective I needed some essential loot in the dwarf pub, but for the life of me I could not sneak in here at all without being spotted. Fortunately, the designer left an invisible potion for Garrett and I used this to run into the room and steal all the loot.

Finding the Bloodstone was not difficult, though I still somehow missed one secret in the mission when I'm pretty sure I scoured everywhere; I even found an insanely placed piece of loot: a silver nugget on top of the icy ledge at the mission start. You can't even see it... but I was jumping around and accidentally found it.

One final note: the mission did not end for me even after my objectives were completed. Just to make sure it wasn't because of the New Objective variable, I triggered that, killed the apparition, and the mission still did not end. Obviously, I ended up using CASE.

Peter_Smith
1st Dec 2007, 08:20
Re: Smuggler's Request. Old Man did it early on - I think it is written up in the first volume of ghost reports. He had to nudge an AI a long way to avoid his hearing something. Then Vanguard failed. I am pretty sure I ghosted it shortly after it came out, but I did not write a report for some reason. I do not recall any extreme difficulty, but I am sure it will come back to me. You guys have inspired me to do it again. But first I have to finish a long beta testing project.

goldsla
1st Dec 2007, 21:23
Old Man did it early on - I think it is written up in the first volume of ghost reports.
I just checked Old Man's early ghosting report. You remembered correctly. He did not realize that the could get the key and sword without busting the ghost, and so solved the problem of the tavern differently. (Though exactly how is not clear from his report.) Again, My hat is off. Also getting by the two archers on the ship for the timed runs to the switches is an impressive feat. I really may have to try to ghost it again now that I know the mission so well. Maybe my problem is that I did not do a KO run first. Old Man reported doing one, and I think Hexameron did too. I did, at least, get all the loot, and I can't remember anything in the mission that would prevent perfect thief, assuming you ghost it.

goldsla
1st Dec 2007, 21:39
FM: The Karrassinian Threat
Ghost: Failure

Comments:
I finally got my wish: a mission that is clearly impossible to ghost from the very beginning! The problem is that you need to to enter the "undersea" city, and cannot do so without busting the ghost. (It is undersea in the same sense that Amsterdam is under the sea, not in the sense that Atlantis is rumored to be.) Unfortunately the only way in is to break a window. So much for ghosting. There are two other panes of glass which must be broken in order to get at loot necessary for the loot objective, so even if you discount the first breakage, you cannot get away from the need for more. Once in the city, the guards pretty much ignore you unless you do something obvious. So the mission is just a loot hunt up until the very end. Then, getting into the cathedral and stealing the cultivator, sparks an invasion by black garbed neo-mechanists who proceed to kill everyone in sight. Now the goal is to get out unscathed (or with as little scathing as possible). The neo-mechanists are hyper-alert after massacaring the townfolk. So, getting by them (and thier 'bots) is a bit of a challenge, but not too bad. The longer you wait, the easier it is.

I was wrong about A Smuggler’s Request. I should know better than to say ghosting is impossible just because it requires extremes of patience and reloads. But I defy ANYONE to ghost this mission!! There ain't no other way in. And if there were, you would still need to break glass in order to make the loot objective. :rasp:

goldsla
3rd Dec 2007, 05:01
FM: Two Fathers

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - SUCCESS
Time - 02:45;00
Loot - 6383/6383
Pockets Picked - 18/21, Locks Picked: 14
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 2/2

Comments - Finally a FM that I could ghost the first time, no dry runs with KOs, just ghost from beginning to end. Joy! And a Perfect Thief too!!

The mission starts out in a rough section of town. There are four thieves lounging about: two in the building opposite and two facing each other in the street. This is the first ghosting challenge: get across the way, to the building opposite, without alerting the two thieves standing in the street. The way to stay in the shadows is not clear or straight, and the thieves are naturally hyper-sensitive. Once across, you can go upstairs and collect arrows and bombs and mines from under the noses of the other two thieves. Then go down the stairs, and around to the back of the building. You find an entrance to a series of caves there. But first explore a little more above ground. South of the buildings is a mine entrance at the end of the street. You can't sneak across at ground level without the thieves alerting to you, but you can fire a rope arrow into the beam above the mine entrance, climb up, cross the beam to the other side and drop down. If you fully draw your bow, the thieves will hear the thunk of the arrow, so only half draw it and aim high. On the other side you can sneak into the building that the street thieves are in front of and collect your first loot. The way back is the same. Rope arrow into the beam, up and over. (A side excursion is possible from the roofs of these buildings into the back lot of the FM. A couple of civilians circle through a guarded tunnel. You can drop down there -- taking damage -- and explore a bit if you want, but save first as there is no way back.

Next we go spelunking through a series of cave spider infested caverns. Have I eve mentioned how much I hate nasty, little, white, creepy, cave spiders. Ugh! I believe there are eight of them positioned strategically. With a little careful climbing you can leave them behind you. Next you go cave diving. You have barely enough air to make it through with no stops along the way. If you don’t know where you are going, you are in trouble. Good thing Garrett has been here before as a child! (I had not. But I made it through after only a couple of tries.) Then I thought I missed a branch, dove back down, and discovered how nasty minded Uncadonego (Don Adam) was. He had set up another underwater tunnel which is made to look as though it is an air hole. But the ceiling is set too low for you to get a breath. Truly demented. In discovering it, I also found a gold nugget, and was able to return to the real exit before I lost my breath. Whew! Enough cave diving. Now more spelunking. Mostly mantling this time. No nasties to avoid. Just up, up, up to the new gated community.

There are three houses built and occupied with two more under construction, and a playground for the kiddies. Adults don’t slide too well, and Garrett was no exception. But he did enjoy sinking a few hoops. Then on to the eastern-most house. The owner is named Ben, and he is married to a woman with a twin sister who loves playing pranks on him . . . but enough “Leave it to Beaver.” The ghosting challenge here is the archer in the dining room. You have to sneak by him going to the kitchen and again coming back. He is a nasty piece of work, and there is a nervous Nellie of a housemaid running back and forth from the kitchen, making the ghosting even harder. Fractional steps was the only way (unless you favor moss arrows, but that might have alerted him, everything else did . . . ) On the outside, I had to nudge a guard to get by and pick two pockets. Now on to the next house.

This one was a true 2nd story job. I thought I could use a tree, but for some reason I could not jump from a rope arrow there. So I went over to the third house, rope arrowed up a wooden architectural detail, and onto the wall between the two houses. From there it was easy to rope arrow up to the attic. A switch in the upper bedroom revealed a secret mansion up above the gated community. This was not hard to ghost, but some loot was very hard to find or access. The kitchen safe key was really well hidden, as was a spice bag in the pantry. I believe there was a ring placed under a hairbrush. And green wine bottles with monitary value. (I wish folk would stop with that. Green bottles are not supposed to be worth anything. But some FM designers think its cute to hide loot in a green bottle. Fargh!)

I appreciated that Uncadonego worked hard to get the right scale for the little things, even if it made finding them harder. Too often gems are the size of golf balls. Not in this mission. I almost missed a half-dozen or so gems because they were realistically scaled.

In the fountain area I made my only use of water arrows in the mission. When I collected 30 water arrows at the start, I was worried that I would need a lot. But I only used 4, all at this one spot.

The last house I also entered at the top. This is the doctor’s house, and by coming in from above, you learn early on that the special potion is stored in the downstairs closet. But when you get down there, the closet is empty. There is a very well hidden switch which you need to jump to see and flip, but you need to time it so that you are not heard. (I suppose you could moss arrow the floor, but that has always struck me as anti-ghosting. I mean, what kind of ghost leaves behind a green mossy spot to be cleaned up by the owner. Strikes me as almost as bad as property damage: a kind of nasty defacing of the floor. Oh well.) In any event, I did not use a moss arrow, and flipped the switch.

Now believe it or not, Uncadonego provided a really cool way to get back to the start of the mission from the housing development, but if you wait until you have completed all the objectives, you’ll never find it, because the mission ends too soon. I really wish he had made the final objective to get back to the cave entrance so that more folk would find that path. It is even ghostable (if tricky); there is a vertical pipe in the upper cave which takes you all the way down to the spider caverns, and which you can negotiate without taking damage. Très cool. Too bad it is unnecessary.

I really enjoyed this one. The lower floors of the secret mansion were a mite empty, but I found that reasonable, given the plot, and just as hard to search as rooms with furnishings are. Truly, I would not have wanted to be the one carrying groceries up all those steps, however! Good clues. Nothing too difficult. The mission seemed designed with ghosting in mind. There were some tricky bits, but nothing obnoxious. Just a good romp out helping a friend. And nice to know that Garrett's an uncle . . .:D

goldsla
5th Dec 2007, 19:35
FM: Durant

Ghost - "Qualified" Success
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 04:05:19
Loot - 2787/2807
Pockets Picked - 14/18, Locks Picked: 12
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 85 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 2/2

Comments - OK this is why the success is marked as qualified. The FM has an explicit objective: " ... somehow find a way to destroy the prototype child." All well and good, but there is no place to destroy the child where it will not be discovered and cause an alert. I know because I killed it at every step along its programmed path. It never took very long for it to be found (even if an AI had to see through a solid machine to see it!), but it always was found and it always caused an alert.

So I needed another approach, and my solution was to let some of the AIs take each other out. That way there would be a spot that a dead prototype child could fall and not be discovered. This is taking advantage of ghosting rule 12: "AI behaviors that are programmed into the game (scripts) and that are not caused by Garrett's being seen or heard, are allowed if agreed by the consensus of the ghosting community." So I had to do this without alerting the AIs directly. Let the community judge if what I did qualifies.

My approach was to open the sewer door so that the patrolling haunt outside and the patrolling mechanists inside would see each other when they were both walking towards the open door at the same time. This meant that I had to wait for the patrols to align, then watch the fun from the shadows. I did it twice, just to make sure that the first time was not just good luck, and both times, eventually, one would discover the other, and their natural antipathy would govern their actions. Each time it took over an hour (!!!), so I read a book while waiting (The Infinity Concerto by Greg Bear):whistle: . With some of the patrols out now of the way, I could then safely destroy the prototype child where its body would not be discovered. (All of this could have been avoided if the FM designer (Donald F. Mazur) had allowed the child to be picked up and hidden or provided a spot which another AI did not patrol. Not the case however.)

Now I believe that had I elected not to read a particular manuscript, I could have avoided the objective to destroy the child in the first place. I did not restart and try that. If I remember correctly, the same manuscript also tells you the code needed to manufacture a replacement cog for the entrance to Grimworth and de Perrin's shop. So you would have to have saved that information from a prior run if you want to avoid the kill the child objective. I personally think that Garrett’s world is a better place without that thing running around.

Other than that, this was not a particularly difficult mission to ghost. Some guards did re-light extinguished gas lights, but not always, and not many areas needed to have the lights put out in order to traverse them. It was, however, quite fun. Most of the AIs were reasonably sensitive (with the exception of the one in the Mechanist basement), and the clues provided were all fair.

Oh, I classified the monkey in the cage at the top floor of the Mechanist Building with plants and rats. It can look at you, react to your presence, but, intrinsically, it does not alert.

So you judge. Was this a legit ghosting?:scratch:

Hexameron
5th Dec 2007, 21:02
I can't remember if I've played this mission but after reading your report I personally think it is a bust...

... Only because of Ghosting Rule # 5:

Garrett must not cause suicides of AI or melees that intentionally cause AI to attack each other...

If the AI's natural patrols led them to clash then it would be ok, but opening doors for it to happen, and then waiting a while seems like a stretch. Without knowing the mission intimately, though, I can only offer my opinion and not a credible analysis.

Are the AI patrols that come across the child at any point in narrow hallways/corridors? I mean, is there anyway to place objects (crates?) in front of their projected path, perhaps at doorways or narrow gaps to block them off? I know that's even more ridiculous as far as claiming a legitimate ghost, but hey, Sneak did things like that in T2's Kidnap :cool:

Well, I trust your ghosting expertise and that you've considered all feasible options, but you might just want to let this one go as a failed attempt :(

goldsla
5th Dec 2007, 22:11
I personally think it is a bust...

... Only because of Ghosting Rule # 5:

Garrett must not cause suicides of AI or melees that intentionally cause AI to attack each other...

If the AI's natural patrols led them to clash then it would be ok, but opening doors for it to happen, and then waiting a while seems like a stretch.
Yes. I know. But rule 5's full text is: Garrett must not cause suicides of AI or melees that intentionally cause AI to attack each other, with the exception of rule 12.[italics mine]
So you are allowed to cause AIs to attack each other, just within the restrictions of rule 12. That is what I was attempting to do. I did not alert anybody or cause them to go searching outside of their normal patrol patterns. I just made it possible for them to notice each other.

I figure that if an AI can alert to a destroyed prototype when it can't see it, but only walks by on the other side of a large machine, I should be allowed to let them see each other. Consider: I could exit through that door, leave it open, complete some other part of the mission, return to discover that they had fought each other in my absence, making it possible for me now to destroy the prototype where it would not be noticed. Would that have been OK? I personally do not see that would have been even an issue. So why does me hanging around make a difference. I think what I did was exactly what rule 12 is all about. No?


Are the AI patrols that come across the child at any point in narrow hallways/corridors? I mean, is there anyway to place objects (crates?) in front of their projected path, perhaps at doorways or narrow gaps to block them off? I know that's even more ridiculous as far as claiming a legitimate ghost, but hey, Sneak did things like that in T2's Kidnap :cool:

I have had success doing such things with mechanicals (T2X's "Shadowing the Enemy" mission comes to mind) but I would remove the crates after the deeds were done to let the mechanicals resume their normal patrols. (Believe me it can be tricky removing a blocking crate from an AI!). Here, removing the crates (and it would have taken 3 or 4 to block the narrowest path, and that many are not readily available) would have defeated the purpose and not to do so would have defeated the spirit of ghosting, if that spirit is "The only evidence of your presence should be the items you have stolen." **** No, I'm afraid that was neither practical under the circumstances nor personally acceptable.

Let's see what Peter says. If this is a bust, it is a bust. No biggie. The reason I wrote it up was to find out what others think of the solution. If ya'll think it is no good, then it isn't. :)

Hexameron
6th Dec 2007, 00:06
So you are allowed to cause AIs to attack each other, just within the restrictions of rule 12.

But I thought Rule 12 was aimed specifically at unusual incidences involving game scripts: conversations that lead to an AI melee (Life of the Party), aggressive AI's placed intentionally close so that they start a fight, completing mission objectives that instigate AI melees, and other uncommon circumstances in the mission design... :confused:

Maybe I'm interpreting this rule incorrectly, but I somehow don't think it applies to your situation in "Durant": opening a door so that the AI see each other and fight. I'm trying to think of when I encountered this and T2's "Shipping and Receiving" comes to mind with the spider in the shed on Davidson's ship. Opening the door can sometimes lead to one of the patrolling thieves spotting the spider and starting a battle, and I can't remember from any old OM ghost reports if this was reported as an okay. Personally, I made sure it didn't happen when I ghosted "Shipping..."

Well, before we speculate anymore, I think you're right: let's wait for Peter to chime in.

goldsla
6th Dec 2007, 01:30
But I thought Rule 12 was aimed specifically at unusual incidences involving game scripts: conversations that lead to an AI melee (Life of the Party), aggressive AI's placed intentionally close so that they start a fight, completing mission objectives that instigate AI melees, and other uncommon circumstances in the mission design... :confused:
Could be. I'm not exactly certain what "script" is intended to represent. Clearly plot elements are included, such as the ones you mention. But are inherent AI actions? I have over 30 years experience in the software industry as a programmer and programming manager, and I know of no single, commonly accepted definition for "script." And I'm sure the gaming industry has its own special jargon of which I am blissfully ignorant. So until the author speaks, we won't be certain.

But let us explore rule 5 exclusive of rule 12. Now just what does it say?

Garrett must not cause suicides of AI or melees that intentionally cause AI to attack each other
Did I cause a suicide? No. (!!? What FM gave rise to this idea??)
Did I cause a melee? Maybe. I argue I didn't actively cause a melee. This phrase prings to mind shooting a noisemaker arrow to bring combatants together at a higher alert level. I did nothing to raise their alert levels.
Did I intentionally cause an AI to attack each other? I intentionally opened a door so that if they felt so inclined they could do so. But their inherent nature (I read this as "script") caused them to attack when it was triggered by events that I had no part in (i.e. their walking about) So I am not so certain about causes. I have trouble with the concept of causing an AI to do anything without raising the alert level (or possibly nudging . . . If I nudged an AI so that it moved within range of another AI and it attacked it, that would defininately be causing it to attack.)

Hair splitting. I am probably sunk from a rule 5 perspective. So I had better hang my hat on rule 12. I just think that from a ghosting standpoint, I lived up to the spirit of not raising any alerts directly. I don't know . . . whatever.

Peter_Smith
6th Dec 2007, 06:23
Goldsla,

I think Hexameron's interpretation is correct. I believe it is a bust, no matter what you do, unless you can kill the golden child without causing the melee.

The script rule was designed to cover incidents like LOTP archers, where they start something automatically without specific player action other than just showing up in the vicinity or triggering something, say, by reading a book or accomplishing an objective. With the broader definition of script you suggested, any program is a script, the whole game is a script, and there could be no busts.

In the spirit of the rule, you started the melee because you planned the event to be a melee, and you directly caused it. That is first degree melee. Guilty as charged. :)

If anything, discussions like these reinforce another commonly held belief by strict ghosters that the script rule should never have been allowed in the first place because it opens up arguments that have no right or wrong answer. An example is the pages and pages of debate that followed the release of Gumdrop's mission The Cistern. In that, you had to throw a switch that filled a cistern with water. Some beasts were alive in the cistern before the event, and they were drowned in the water afterward. I said it was a script, as obviously it was, because the game does not provide for real time water filling. It was an illusion. Others said that throwing the switch caused the deaths. No matter what side you take, you can be right or wrong.

My general approach is to call it a bust if you are stretching it.

goldsla
6th Dec 2007, 20:42
I believe it is a bust, no matter what you do, unless you can kill the golden child without causing the melee.
Guilty as charged, then. Should I edit the post to reflect this opinion, or leave it alone?

So far I appear to be zero for three in the debateable call department. In Lord Alan's Factory I lean towards classifying tripped traps as violiating the spirt of ghosting: "The only evidence of your presence should be the items you have stolen." (I also consider the use of moss arrows a viloation of that spirit, and plan to report their use in the future.) However, I regard the taking of personal notes on prior runs through a mission as not a violation of rule 9: "No loot cheats or walkthroughs are allowed." Sigh. Diferences of opinion, I suppose, are not new to this topic.

On the positive side, all of this debate and caring about the rules shows that there is still honor among theives!:D

Hexameron
6th Dec 2007, 21:55
I lean towards classifying tripped traps as violiating the spirt of ghosting: "The only evidence of your presence should be the items you have stolen." (I also consider the use of moss arrows a viloation of that spirit, and plan to report their use in the future.) However, I regard the taking of personal notes on prior runs through a mission as not a violation of rule 9: "No loot cheats or walkthroughs are allowed."

Traps are just too ambiguous to fall under the ghost bust category. What would we do with T1's Bonehoard or "The Sword"? I think there needs to be a fine technical rather than spiritual line for what constitutes a ghost bust: alerts, damage dealt, kills/knockouts, visible property damage, and clear rule-breaking that results from the player's actions, not the storyline or mission design. That's where I felt the opposing viewpoints on The Cistern were wrong. If Garrett flipped a switch that caused a fireball to shoot out and kill the bugbeasts, it would be a bust. But as Peter pointed out, the whole thing was an illusion, a part of the mission design.

Obviously a ghost bust occurs if setting off a trap alerts AI. But we can't speculate that triggering a trap breaks the spirit of ghosting. We could just get crazy and say no opened doors, extinguished fires, or manipulated levers because it serves as evidence that a thief was there.

Which reminds me, what do you guys think of picking up (destroying?) frobbable mushrooms? I consider this okay... but shooting a broadhead into one of them somehow seems like a property damage bust.

goldsla
6th Dec 2007, 22:14
...We could just get crazy and say no opened doors, extinguished fires, or manipulated levers because it serves as evidence that a thief was there.

Which reminds me, what do you guys think of picking up (destroying?) frobbable mushrooms? I consider this okay... but shooting a broadhead into one of them somehow seems like a property damage bust.

It does get pretty crazy. That's one reason I prefer to avoid putting out fires. (I'm also stingy about all consumables.) But I do not go so far as to replace crates or keys. That is just a little too anal even for me. As to frobbable mushrooms, the only ones I've seen so far just have their light extinguished, they remain right where they were. Do you think they should be condered to be "broken" and hence property damage? I classify that as the same as putting out a torch. If that is not property damage, neither is extinguishing mushrooms. If they went into your inventory, I would consider them loot and fair game for sure.

goldsla
7th Dec 2007, 03:50
FM: Hidden Agenda

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 03:30:53
Loot - 3228/3490
Pockets Picked - 6/8, Locks Picked: 18
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 3/4

Comments:
Another great early mission.This one is from January 2002. It was written/designed by AsyluM (Mark Smith), and was a great romp. I completed the ghost on my first run through the mission.

For me it started out a little tense, with way too much light and way too little shadow, until I got the feel for the way the AIs reacted. After that I had no problems ghosting. Some of the Watchers required split second timing, especially around the upper entrance to the vault, and the double Watchers in the area with the drilling machine. But it was almost as though AsyluM had ghosting in mind when he developed it. I shouldn't grouse after my earlier complaints about AIs that were too sensitive, but this mission was almost too easy to ghost, not enough of a challenge. Almost.

I think in a month or so I may give this mission another try, just to see if I can find all the loot. I'm annoyed that I missed one of the secrets too. I'll update this report if I succeed at that time.

Hexameron
7th Dec 2007, 21:50
FM: House of Random

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:33:15
Loot - 3152/3202
Pockets Picked - 12/14
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 1/1

Comments - Although this is a contest mission, it feels large-scale and I spent at least 4 hours on it. I was hoping to obtain a perfect thief but I think I must have missed some 50 loot in the sewers or back in the beginning town area because I searched the mansion like a madman. Once the 2400 loot and grabbing the eye/hand objective is checked off, returning to the mission-start will end the mission. So unfortunately I couldn't search for loot in the sewers.

This mission was a little difficult to ghost because just about every floor in the mansion is made of tile. The numerous AI and unpredictable patrols are also challenging to deal with. I confess I used more moss arrows than I normally would in a mission. In addition to needing them for hitting lightswitches at a distance, moss just made some areas less painful and reload intensive.

There are lots of optional objectives and hidden loot in this mission, too. I found the only secret simply because I was hiding in the trophy room area against the wall. I just happened to notice that the bugbeast and crayman trophies could be highlighted; frobbing them both reveals a hidden gem.

The Eye and Hand of Glory are found on pedestals in the art gallery on the second floor. Removing these items from their pedestals sets off an alarm. This means that objects of significant weight need to be placed on the pedestals before looting The Eye and the Hand. Two crates were conveniently placed in a nearby storage room and they did the trick. The FM designer also placed other lootable items around the mission that could be used as well, like a heavy golden skull and rocks. But I'm glad I used the crates because there is a tiny gold ring underneath of them that I wouldn't have noticed had I not picked up the crates. Speaking of rings, there is reading material that talks about a bird that nabbed a ring and flew off with it somewhere outside. I found this ring on a ledge outside of the third floor's bathroom.

The mechanist room accessed from the third floor balconies is a peculiar place. Flipping the lightswitch in here transports the player to another isolated room. Flipping the switch in that room takes the player to another one. It's a disorienting ride after all of the teleportation into new rooms is done. The last room is an abandoned house with a haunt in the basement.

Getting back to the mission start was difficult. Since the sewers I used at the beginning to get to the mansion area were no longer accessible, the only possible way to escape is by the front of the mansion with the non-functional portcullis. There are some pipes that lead to a ledge on top of the portcullis. Two keen-eyed archers are standing on a balcony connected to the mansion and are gazing intently at the top of the ledge. It's possible to slink by them, but the bigger problem was that dropping off of the ledge into the street causes damage. My solution was to gently move off of the ledge surface until I could just barely hang onto it. Then I dropped a bunch of my scrolls and potions onto the ground. Aiming for these objects, I dropped off of the ledge and hit my stacked notes and potions and avoided taking damage.

Hexameron
8th Dec 2007, 03:23
FM: Into the Maelstrom

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:43:57
Loot - 1345/1345
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 3/3

Comments - This is a stunning and highly original contest FM that gave me the chills. The maniacal-looking faces of the undead pirates and the reskinned apparition with bloody gouged eyes was viscerally effective. The atmosphere as a whole was quite scary, even reminisicent of "The Cathedral of the Damned." Beyond the scares, though, the details and quality of design put into this mission certainly gives it a shining artistic value.

Ghosting the mission was a little irritating, though... at first. Moving around on the main ship was hazardous and I reloaded many times simply because the apparition who lays aft was a little quirky. Sometimes he would go on a very brief second alert that I often barely noticed. I reloaded whenever I had doubts about being seen or heard or not. I also had an annoying will-o-wisp to be wary of, in addition to cramped spaces and deceiving shadows. Fortunately my scrounging senses were at their best and I did not need to retrace my steps back to the original ship for any loot; I had found all of it including the little secret switch in the hold of the ship.

I was oblivious to the secret cliff with the Mantle of the State, which looked like a huge jeweled amulet. But after mantling onto the Maelstrom ship, I looked back and noticed a strange protrusion jutting out the side of the cavern wall above the boulder in the sand. The author placed two rope arrows in the mission, so I used one to get up to the cliff and retrieved the Mantle.

I spent the longest time trying to figure out how to activate the candle and perform the ritual in the secret room of the Maelstrom. Since I found two fire arrows, I took a risk by firing one into the candle... and sure enough this triggered a script and checked off a bonus objective to free the undead of their spell. It's interesting how we were just discussing "The Cistern" drowned bugbeast scenario because this particular situation fits into the same category of scripted deaths.

It's impossible to tell if shooting the fire arrow alerts anyone because the screen goes white and everything went silent. The spectral rat that had been scurrying around in the ritual room was dead (but in a different position than I last saw him before the white screen), and all of the undead pirates and ghosts were also dead. Since performing the ritual is NOT required, I of course opted to leave it be. But had this been an objective, I would still claim a ghost because this clearly falls under a circumstance involving a special script.

Anyway, since the final objectives told me to find a lifeboat and get to a safe spot, I took the trouble of going back to the original ship to pick up one of the rowboats there. I approached the ship's aft by swimming through the water and used a rope arrow to climb up. The quirky apparition stands and paces next to the helm, but I easily got my rowboat, climbed back down into the water by rope, and made my way to the safe cave.

goldsla
15th Dec 2007, 02:40
FM: The Hightowne Museum 1.1

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:27:09
Loot - 1887/1887
Pockets Picked - 1/2, Locks Picked: 1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments:
This mission was an entry in the second 64x64x64 mission contest. So the mission space is tiny. That said, it was fun, if simple, to ghost. The only "tricky" bit in the mission is to get the Serpent's Eye gemstone from the security vault it is residing in. And that wasn't all that tricky. The humorous labling of the museum exhibits was, perhaps, the most entertaining aspect of the mission. In all, it was a nice diversion for a half an hour. Someone new to ghosting might like this as a managable mission for a first ghosting attempt. And no spiders!

Hexameron
15th Dec 2007, 23:18
FM: Freedo Finds One

Ghost - Success (Chemical)
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:13:33
Loot - 4259/4979
Pockets Picked - 6/7
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 3/4

Comments - The author of this FM stated that it was his or her first mission. While there are some dromed architectural flaws and crude designing, the mission actually has a variety of places to explore and a spacious layout that was fun to traverse and ghost. Indeed, the author says in the darkloader notes: "If you like to Ghost missions, you might be disappointed. I haven't tried it, but being my first mission, I didn't design it for ghosting." Well... the majority of this mission was easy to ghost. But there are some major problems with declaring this a ghost because of two "New Objectives" that are triggered when reading certain scrolls/books.

Preliminary Notes

-Almost every idle guard will pivot in at least two directions, making tough ghosting spots a breeze. I almost got spoiled from expecting every idle guard to rotate.
-The author likes to hide loot in odd places (loose coins on insignificant ledges, purses and statues under seemingly ordinary furniture). And some regular objects are actually loot items).
-There are at least 4 "New Objectives" triggered by reading scrolls and books, so without reading these, the mission could have been ghosted without a chemical success (which I'll explain soon).

Ghosting Problems

One ghosting issue I had was at the front lobby of the bank with the watcher. An objective was actually to disable these watchers in the bank, but to do so requires using the lift next to the watcher in this lobby. His pivot radius is wide, so I was able to hide under his nose. The patrolling archer was oblivious, but I had to shoot moss onto the metal lift because of the desk obstructing my path. Since I was under the watcher and had to make a dash, jumping over the desk was the only option and having moss was vital.

Using the lift to move down to the basement posed a problem because of the idle (non-pivoting) guard down there. He always saw me as I lowered down on the elevator; the solution was to quickly strafe to my left and drop off of the elevator into the darkness. Successfully getting back up to the lobby with the active watcher required randomness and reloads. Since I can't guess where his face might be aiming, I simply quick-saved and kept taking the elevator upwards until I came up while his face was turned. Once these watchers are disabled from the attic, I didn't have to deal with this sticky spot again.

An important make-or-break situation with regards to my ghost success also occurs with a "New Objective" that I chose to not trigger. Reading the scroll on the desk inside the bank teller's area activated an objective to find a missing ring. This ring is actually in a pool of water under the previously discussed elevator. There is simply no way to drop into this pool of water without alerting multple AI, so I reloaded and continued the mission without reading that scroll.

Chemical Success

Again, these darned "New Objectives" kept amassing after seemingly every reading material I stuck my nose in. One of these objectives was to find a Hand of Glory (the "hand" in this FM had a different name). The hand is found in some abandoned Lost Cityesque ruins with motion-detecting light sources. The hand is actually located in a room accessible only by dropping down through the ceiling with the help of an already-placed rope arrow. Unfortunately, a (non-pivoting) haunt is staring in the area of the rope and the crack in the ceiling.

Scaling down the rope through the crack in the ceiling triggers the blue-gem light source, and there was my problem: how to get down into this room without alerting the haunt. I managed to shoot moss arrow onto the ground and drop down into the room without disturbing him but it took a few reloads. It is impossible, however, to get back onto the rope and leave the room without alerting him; there is simply too much light. Fortunately, the author left an invis potion in this room and I used it to make my escape. Again, had I not triggered new objectives, I wouldn't have had to visit these ruins.

Perfect Thieving the mission, by the way, did not seem feasible. There was a brightly lit tavern with a guard and a barmaid standing in front of a large assortment of loot. I could have doused all of the torches inside and perhaps some nudging may have been required, but I had trouble finding the rest of the loot. Even on a blackjack run I was still about 160 loot short and while I'm usually meticulous about loot, I had a feeling I would need to scrape every cobble-stone, bush, window ledge and bathroom stall to find loose coins and I wasn't in the mood :cool:. I'm sure the one missing secret would have helped but I couldn't find it :scratch:

goldsla
16th Dec 2007, 16:13
FM: OLD COMRADES, OLD DEBTS

Ghost - Failure
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 00:12:17
Loot - 140/140
Pockets Picked - 1/2, Locks Picked: 1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments:
This was a failure by technical knock out. No I did not knock any one out. It is just that this mission is not possible to ghost for the technical reason that the final mission objective "Now that you have the Ringleader's scheme, you can get out of this cursed place using the tunnels in the basement" is impossible to satisfy without some serious property damage. If the objective had been to blow a hole in the wall to get to the tunnels in the basement, then it would not have been a problem. But since blowing the up the explosives in the basement is the only way to access the tunnels, property damage is a little hard to avoid.

My approach to the mission was to break out of jail, get the hatch key, and then ignore the hatch as too difficult to mantle through silently (I did it a couple of times, but it was a pain). Instead, I trailed the thief-jailor to the stairs, picked his pocket, and snuck under the the stairs. When he went back to the jail, I ran up the stairs. From there I waited for the 2nd thief-jailor, picked his pocket for the chapel key, went outside to satisfy the objective of getting outside, but then right back in and up to the attic. I know I missed out on the well and swimming through the tunnel that way, but it was winter, snow was falling, and the water looked uninvitingly cold. Sorry, but I am not a member of the polar bear club. Once upstairs, I picked the Ringleader's pocket, collected my lockpicks, booty, and read all the written materials to get my final objective. I went downstairs to the chapel, found the key to the explosives room, went back downstairs and snuck inside. Once there I had the hardest time setting off the explosions without blowing myself up. :mad2: Nope, hitting my head against the wall did not work either. Finally I hit on throwing flares at the explosives from the other side of the room. Kaboom! I was thrown across the room, but somehow survived without any damage. I checked outside the room, and the patrolling thief-jailor had not alerted!!! Amazing. EOM. It would hace been a perfect thief, but for the TKO. Oh well. It was fun.

The mission designer is clearly talented. But I'm not certain who it was. GarretLoader only says "s" as the author. Good job "s" whoever you are. But next time, explicitly say "blow a hole in the wall" OK?;)

As a side note, by my count I picked three pockets. The first AI had a healing potion on his belt, and each of the other two had keys. But the stats only showed pockets picked as 1/2. I was expecting 3/4. Maybe the keys were not counted a picks? I've played missions where picking an arrow embedded (no pun intended) in a bed was considered to be a pocket picked. But this is the first I remember where two pockets picked were not counted. Odd.

ffox
16th Dec 2007, 19:58
The mission designer is clearly talented. But I'm not certain who it was. GarretLoader only says "s" as the author. Good job "s" whoever you are. But next time, explicitly say "blow a hole in the wall" OK?;)


Bukary and Ernie. (http://www.thiefmissions.com/search.cgi?search=bukary&sort=author#m)They are both TTLG members; Bukary is also a member here.

Hexameron
16th Dec 2007, 22:04
FM: An Adventure in Eastport

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 0:12:58
Loot - 600/600
Pockets Picked - 9/11
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments- This FM is small and straightforward, but its difficulty is quite pronounced only because I had to use all of my perishable equipment: 3 moss and 5 water arrows.

Dousing the two torches in front of the mechanist church is required; there is no way to sneak by the mechanist guarding the front door without dousing the torches. Perhaps I could have nudged him, but I always consider that a last alternative.

Using moss inside the mechanist church is a must, simply because one cannot sneak by the patrolling priest. He moves quickly around the perimeter of the pews and it doesn't matter how good a sneak you are; you can't move fast enough without moss. I used all three moss arrows in this area and I was able to hide in the corner behind the altar. Since the only door inside this church was locked, I methodically waited for the priest to pass me by and would then proceed to run to the door, pick the lock for a few seconds, and promptly return to my spot of shadow. It took about 7 attempts to pick and open the door.

The intensity doesn't end, though: right through this picked door is a hallway with a mechanist guard making a small back-and-forth patrol. The hallway was narrow, but I could hug his left back-side and strafe around him as he turned. Entering the next room triggered a completed objective of discovering the Mechanists' secret plans. I picked the keys off of each mechanist and found a blue diamond on the ground. This checked off my 600 loot objective and I returned to the mission start with few problems.

Hexameron
17th Dec 2007, 23:21
FM: Easy Bank

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 0:14:04
Loot - 2024/2024
Pockets Picked - 2/4
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 3/4

Comments - There is nothing too difficult to deal with in this mission.

-Before I realized I could sneak into the bank via the rooftops, I doused the torches at the front door next to the patrolling guard who paces quickly back and forth.
-At the vault room, I pretty much guessed by the whirring watcher-sound that there was one inside the vault... So I punched in the vault code with my back to the left side of the vault door. The watcher inside had a large scanning radius and was not a problem to sneak around.
-The only challenge was finding all of the loot and there were some oddly placed loose/gold coins lying around.
-The missing secret is actually a tiny compartment behind a banner. Even though the loot behind this banner (coin stacks) can be obtained without slashing it, cutting the banner down is what triggers the "Found Secret" message.

Hexameron
18th Dec 2007, 02:04
FM: Hammerarse's Manor

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 0:46:23
Loot - 4250/4250
Pockets Picked - 14/15
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 1
Damage dealt - 7 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments- This FM was a little frustrating to complete, but since this is the author's first mission, I'm willing to overlook the irritations. The loot requirement on expert is 4250, which means ALL loot in the mission. No problem; I was going to look for all the loot anyway. But the author hid this loot in so many ridiculous places (under beds and under dresser's) and some of the loot you can't even see! Looking for loot in rooms became a right-click fest. Basically jumping into every bed, crevice, and space between furniture while simultaneously right-clicking is necessary because you would never see the loot. I don't like that. I'll scrounge for loose coins on the ground, but aimlessly frobbing every inch of a room, hoping to pick up something *inside* a desk or *underneath* the sheets or pillows of a bed is annoying. Another agitation was the duration of lock-picking required for a lot of the doors and chests in the mission. For some reason the servants had state-of-the-art locks on their footlockers because picking them took a good solid minute.

General Notes

-The two archers on the outposts of the wall separating Lord Bafford's house and Hammerarse's manor exhibited some strange behavior. When I was all but done with the mission, but had to reload because of a clumsy mistake, these archers left their perches. For some reason they decided to join the other guards' patrols in the courtyard. What's this about? :scratch:
-The maid in Bafford's house by the fireplace is just about blind.
-There is an armory inside the archers' outpost that cannot be accessed. From what I could see (through the bars of the door), there is a huge cache of weapons and arrows in this armory. But the door to the place cannot be highlighted and I could find no switches to open it. Perhaps the FM designer was mocking/teasing the player with this ambrosia of equipment? :confused:
-Almost every guard near and inside Hammerarse's manor has essential keys on their belts which open their respective chests in the barracks. One of these keys is on an archer on the top floor balcony of the Hammerarse manor. I thought he was impossible to get to, but right after entering the manor through the double-doors there is an extremely hard-to-see ladder that leads up to the balcony. The hallway here is dark and the ladder really blends in with the stone wall; I almost didn't find it.
-The guard in the master bedroom of the Hammerarse manor had a completely random patrol that made success in ghosting (getting all of the loot under the dressers) random as well (only if you decided not to douse the torches in the room, which I did not).
-Killing Bafford's son (the servant outside of the house) is an objective. I knocked him out, carried him to his bed in the Bafford house and bludgeoned him to death.
-The secret escape route is located in the master bedroom of the Hammerarse manor; there is a switch under the sink in the bathroom adjacent to the bedroom that opens up a secret tunnel behind one of the dresser's. An unlit torch in the swimming pool area opens the grate at the bottom of the pool, which leads to the only difficult ghosting area in the mission: a grotto with at least 6 different spiders (big, small, glowing) patrolling the catwalk-sized stone ledge around the pool of water. Moving in the water really disturbs them, but the number of spiders and their independent patrols made mantling out of the water dangerous and almost never feasible. It took much patience and waiting to find a gap in the train of spiders and successfully mantle out of the water. I was just thankful that mantling out of the pool did not make a big swooshing water sound or this mission would have been stamped as a bust.

goldsla
18th Dec 2007, 21:16
FM: Raid on Washout Central

Ghost - Failure
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 02:54:20
Loot - 2089/2704
Pockets Picked - 7/10, Locks Picked: 31
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 1/1

Comments:
I was beaten by a linked set of watchers in the post office. While I could get by them without alerts by sheer random chance on successive reloads, there was no skilled way that I could find to legitimately make it past the without one or the other going yellow on me. The post office itself was a lesson in absurdity. Each section had to be taken in order to find the key to the next, until you get to the section with the shutoff for the security cameras and the last critical key. Unfortunately, standing still in front of the shutoffs is a stationary guard in a well lit area. This was my 2nd point of failure. The guard was more than half blind (after alerting, he could not find me with directions in Braille) but he did alert no matter what I did.

That said. Steven Hindley did a nice job and created a fun little mission with several interesting bits. If someone has ghosted it, my hat is off to them. I do not believe perfect thief is possible, as at least one purse was on a stationary guard standing under a light. Unless that guard wanders off after a while, I don't think his purse is reachable.

There are two ghosting reports that claim success: one by Nebs and one by dafydd. Nebs' report is too brief to tell me anything, but dafydd's is quite detailed. In fact, dafydd lists the file name for the FM. It appears that the release that I played is more recent (washout1-2.zip) and has had some changes in the placement of guards. In particular, where dafydd reported :

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.
There was no stationary guard for dafydd to contend with. I like the idea of listing the file name/version. When someone claims success, it may important to know this.

* * * * * * * * * * * *
U P D A T E 12/19/2007
* * * * * * * * * * * *
I had an inspiration last night about how it might be possible to ghost washout1-2.zip. Don't laugh. My inspiration? Use water and moss arrows. I said don't laugh! I have been so busy conserving my resources when playing these missions that I forgot what they were for. I have 20 or so moss arrows and 15 or so water arrows. Why not use them? :nut:

I'll update this thread as soon as I know whether this flash of insight was of benefit.

* * * * * * * * * * * *
U P D A T E 12/19/2007 (2 1/2 hours later)
* * * * * * * * * * * *

Yep. Ghosting is possible if you decide to use water arrows and moss arrows. Perfect Thief is not within my capabilities. I ran into the same problem that Nebs did.

In security you can switch off all but one watcher.

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.

The watcher who does not turn off is in the Home Office area. It is just a little too fast to let you get by without him going all yellow on you. You can get to either the room with the candlestick or the room with the tool box using an invisibility potion, but you can't get back out again. I had 2 speed potions, and even with them I was not fast enough. Must have been a weak formulation.

So these are my stats on my 2nd run:
FM: Raid on Washout Central

Ghost - Success (Failure)
Perfect Thief - Failure (all loot found)
Time - 02:34:38
Loot - 2254 (2704)/2704
Pockets Picked - 7/10, Locks Picked: 32
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 1/1

By the by. I never read washername's diary, but the mission ended successfully anyway. Since I had already run through the mission once before, I wanted to test out the hard to ghost spots first, before committing to the mission, and somehow I never returned to read the diary until I had completed all the other objectives. So when I got home, blam-o, mission over.

Hexameron
20th Dec 2007, 07:14
I had an inspiration last night about how it might be possible to ghost washout1-2.zip. Don't laugh. My inspiration? Use water and moss arrows. I said don't laugh! I have been so busy conserving my resources when playing these missions that I forgot what they were for. I have 20 or so moss arrows and 15 or so water arrows. Why not use them? :nut:

I know what that feels like. The last FM I reported, "Hammerarse's manor" had a little case like that with the guard in the Hammerarse master bedroom. His patrol is completely random and he basically wanders around in quick successions of circles and zigzags. The room is brightly lit and contains essential loot (since all loot in the mission is needed to fulfill the objective). But after discussing it in my report, I realized... the damn room had two gas lamps that could be doused! Yes, let's not forget our moss/water arrows.

Hexameron
20th Dec 2007, 08:30
FM: Some shopping

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 02:20:09
Loot - 1490/1700
Pockets Picked - 12/13
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - If you're looking for a fun FM to keep you busy for an hour or two at night, this is not the one. I played this for hours and hours for at least two nights trying to progress in the mission. Unless you are really patient or really good, there is no way you can try to complete the mission while ghosting and keep your sanity. I frankly gave up on my attempt to ghost while figuring out how to fulfill the objectives. Fortunately, the author placed a strange artillery cannon in the streets that I used to eliminate all the guards. After unlocking a safebox and activating the cannon, it constantly shoots a stream of broadheads into the street. I pretty much drew all the guards to that spot until they collided with the stream of arrows and died. The pile of bodies was huge. This process took a good hour or so, after which I could do a multi-hour sweep of the mission to find loot/keys and ultimately complete all the objectives.

Once I learned what to do, I returned to a previous save when I had been attempting to ghost it and thus completed the mission as a successful ghost. I don't like doing this. I would much prefer the satisfaction of completing a mission for the first time while ghosting, but believe me, this is one of those missions that gets frustrating pretty quickly. It would have taken me at least 8 hours to finally unravel the mysteries of my objectives and locate all the keys if I had been simultaneously ghosting. :eek:

If you want to sharpen your ghosting skills and hone your stealth performance, this mission provides ample opportunity for it. Although the mission does not require ghosting, this is the only feasible playing mode on expert because *every* guard (except a few archers) are the un-KOable helmeted ones. Beyond that, nearly every avenue and corner in these city streets contains a patrolling guard. There is never a break in the population of AI. It was comical in the prison, with literally a dozen first alerts erupting from guards on each of the three levels because of my moving around on the wooden floors.

General Notes

-This mission is reminiscient of the T2 OM "Ambush!" and takes places in the city streets, with multiple interior buildings being the only diversity of terrain.
-The FM author loves keys. I counted at least 7 unnamed keys that all had a unique purpose. Each key was vital to completing the mission and they were strewn all over the place. Two of them were on the ground in inconspicuous places, which really ticked me off. There were no clues about how to find these keys and I can't believe the author thought it made sense to drop two on the cobblestone streets in insignificant areas. You have to be a loot-scrounging rat by nature to find them.
-Some of the interiors were extremely congested and claustrophobic, making it hard to move around and open doors without getting stuck in narrow hallways. In addition to that, these interiors were brimming with guard patrols. If you want to test your ghosting skills, try to Supreme Ghost the prison, the workshop, and the pub. :cool:
-Moving around on the various pipes connecting buildings in the streets could be problematic, as some of these pipes were joined together very crudely. Often I would move off of one pipe and onto another and always create a loud clanging sound. Here is one instance where I wasn't ashamed to use moss.
-Did I mention there were a lot of keys, and two of them were on the ground at opposite ends of the city? ****

Ghosting Difficulties: The Prison

Ghosting the prison was definitely formidable and required alacrity as well as problem-solving. The short patrols and narrow interiors meant unrelenting tension for the player. In order to open the doors to the main office, one must loot the Hand of Glory on the ground by a dead servant in a prison cell. I barely saw this hand and it was never mentioned in any reading material. Once you pick it up, there is a special "poof" smoky effect and the doors leading to the office open. Inside this office is a necessary scroll that checks off an objective. Moving into the office was difficult because of the cramped interior design. I had to mantle onto a table so I had enough room to open the back door to the office; it was that cramped.

Ghosting Difficulties: The Workshop

This place consists of only four or five rooms, but they were small and complicated by two guard patrols in close proximity to each other. Sneaking through the first hallway was tough because I had the hardest time understanding the guard's patrol. I was hoping to follow his rear and make a quick strafe around him as he turned, but every time I tried, he pivoted to the other side unexpectedly. I concluded that he must have at least four different back-and-forth patrol points which accounts for his seemingly randomness of turning. Eh, I could have used a water arrow to make it easier here, but I chose not to and managed to slink by him after quite a few reloads.

The guard inside the workroom (with the steam engine needed for an objective) was not easy to get by. I had to mantle onto the worktable and quickly move to the other wall while his back was turned for a few seconds. I got really aggravated when I opened a moneybox and saw a "Sextant" in my throwable inventory. What was I going to do with that? Since I didn't save after entering this room, I was forced to deal with the object. I knew I couldn't drop it anywhere, lest it make noise, so I took it outside and found a soft place to drop it. Unfortunately, I had to redo my ghosting method in the workshop and that just delayed my success even longer. That guard in the hallway and his random pivotting is still perplexing... :scratch:

Conclusion

I did not even bother trying to Perfect Thief this mission, even though I'm sure it's possible once the loot is found. I missed a substantial amount of loot and could not find it even during my 4 hour game where I had decimated nearly all the guards. Finding those keys and retracing my steps everywhere in this guard infested city finally left me exhausted. I'm just glad I could call it a Ghost Success after all of that.

goldsla
20th Dec 2007, 16:36
FM: A Love Story v1.1 (alovestory1_1.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 02:15:14
Loot - 2169/2314
Pockets Picked - 19/23, Locks Picked: 19
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 2/2

In the mission notes, the author, John Denison, states: "I changed one of the watchers to make the FM ghostable. This was suggested by Dafydd."

Unfortunately I did not read the mission notes until afterwards. If I had, it would have saved me a lot of worrying. That I did not give up on the ghost attempt was really just blind luck. Memo to self: always read the mission notes.

The watcher referred to is a critical one. It is in the police station, above the front entrance. It faces north and commands a complete view of the entire front office area. You have to approach the area from the north, so there is no avoiding it. And you can only turn it off after you have gone past this area. There is a wooden wall with a wide opening between you and the front area that you can hide behind. Just on the other side of the wall, on the left and right are two torches. You would have to lean out of the shadows to extinguish them, and the watcher will catch you every time if you try to do that. A little past the torches, on each side, is a wooden door. Guards come in and out of these doors and through the opening in the wooden wall fairly regularly. To put the finishing touch on it, there is a stationary guard just beyond the wooden door on the left (east), looking straight at the opposite door.

I spent quite a bit of time trying to put out those torches. No dice. Finally in desperation I decided to try timing a run from the entryway, in direct torchlight, straight to a spot just behind the stationary guard (!!). I made sure the watcher was at the extreme end of its pivot to the west, and dashed east. It worked! Elsewhere in this mission the guard would have exploded into action, but this particular one appears to be deaf and have blinders on. He did not see or hear me. (I suppose I could have used a moss arrow to be safe, but I still have not learned my lesson from Raid on Washout Central.) From behind the guard I could extinguish the torches just in time to hide in the shadows as three guards come tromping past. Whew!

After that, this was a normal ghosting. I appreciated the opportunities this mission offered for climbing. You don't have to, but I think it is a lot of fun. Just be careful where you drop down. There are some areas that once you drop into them, there is no way out. And don't look up when you are on the rooftops. If you do, you will experience a clipping problem that can give you a headache.

I'm not certain where the missing 145g in loot is. Most of the loot was in the open and in obvious places. That may have lured me into a false sense of security.

I enjoyed this mission enough that I am now planning to work my way through the remainder of missions in the series. Good job, John Denison!

Hexameron
21st Dec 2007, 03:54
FM: A Lovely Night - (LovelyNightv1.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:57:58
Loot - 4258/4498
Pockets Picked - 7/8
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 3/4

Comments - This mission was fun to play, though ghosting is enforced on expert. The custom music and artwork was beautifully interwoven into the interiors, making this mission successfully blend into the Thief world while being refreshingly different; sort of like the FM Saturio Returns Home. I had no ghosting difficulties to report.

General Notes

-The guard who patrols the kitchen and the bottom floor of the library went quirky after I had been away from him for a while. I returned to find him standing in the corner of the library facing the wall, recalling a particular scene in The Blairwitch Project ;)
-I ghosted the watcher before I realized there was a room to deactivate it.
-The noblelady in the large bedroom with the sleeping nobleman had some scripted animations that looked like a second alert, even though she wasn't actually alerted.
-The missing secret is the room behind the banner on the plant balcony (and also behind the door barred with wood planks). Cutting down two banners is the only way to gain access to the room, which contains two dead bodies, a ghost, and a nice gold amulet worth 200 loot. Perfect Thief is therefore impossible, so I didn't try to search for my own missing 40 loot, but I wager I missed two loose coins somewhere.

By the way, I've decided to start adding the file names to my reports based on goldsla's recent comments about it. Vanguard always did this but for some reason I never felt compelled to because I was usually playing the final versions of FM's. But since I'm playing newer FM's which may be prone to updates, I think goldsla is smart to suggest mentioning the zip file name or at least the version in our reports.

Hexameron
21st Dec 2007, 06:11
FM: HGS-Secrets of Avidan - (HGS-SecretsOfAvidanv1.0.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:51:22
Loot - 3009/3009
Pockets Picked - 1/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 2/2

Comments - This is a fun mission. While it wasn't difficult to ghost, it just took a long time to sneak across marble floors with all the multiple hammerite patrols.

General Notes

-Although I never used it, I was determined to get the water arrow in the fountain outside of the hammerite chapel by the two houses. Dropping into the pool of water sometimes alerted the nearby hammerite. My solution was to wait until he was farthest away in his patrol, and then slowly drop into the pool, at which point I could rush to get my water arrow (and even some gold coins I happened to notice while down there :D).
-There was an optional objective to find a blackjack or something to use as a weapon but I never found it.
-After methodically sneaking through the first floor's marble hallways, I noticed an odd-looking wall panel in the office adjacent to the stained-glass window gallery. After further inspection of the gallery, I found a hard-to-see switch by the desks that opened the wall panel.
-Once I picked up the scroll in the library that triggered a New Objective to find the Book of the Nail, I decided to scour the room for secret switches. The placement of the previous switch in the gallery led me to believe that the author liked to place levers behind desks or in other crevices. To my astonishment, I found a switch on one of the wood support beams by the desk in the corner! I barely noticed it, but I'm glad I did because the switch opened one of the paintings in the room that revealed an essential key to the locked altar room.
-To save time, I exited the second floor by the balcony and dropped off to the first floor so I could enter the locked altar room.
-After acquiring another important high priest key in the altar room, I retraced my steps back to another notable locked door. Sure enough; this was the high priest room. I noticed some reading material inside this room that divulged a code number. On the top of the chapel is a keypad which, after receiving the correct code, opens a door to the tomb.
-Ghosting the tomb was a piece of cake and I was pleased to possess all the loot after nabbing those ubiquitous gold nuggets on the sarcophagi.

Hexameron
21st Dec 2007, 22:52
FM: Pereira's Mansion - (PereirasMansion.zip)

Ghost - Success (Chemical)
Perfect Thief - Success (Chemical)
Time - 00:50:06
Loot - 2420/2420
Pockets Picked - 1/2
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 1
Damage dealt - 28 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

General Notes

-Besides Paulo and the ghost of the mansion owner's aunt, there was no AI to worry about in the mansion. The ghost was actually an invisible one who could neither attack nor see, but it could still hear and go on alert if enough noise is made close to it.
-The mission author actually placed a scroll in a hidden compartment under a removable bed that details where the secret levers for the tomb door is. I was enjoying the atmosphere of the mansion, with its desolate dark rooms and creepy music, until this immersion-destroyer. The scroll basically addresses the player and says (paraphrasing), "Thanks for playing my mission; if you're having trouble finding the Horn of St. Miguel, here is where the secret levers are to open the tomb that leads to it:..." Why not a diary that has the mansion owner discussing these levers instead of the author informally speaking to the player? :(
-There was an objective to kill a rival thief named Paulo. He was standing in a storage room outside by the courtyard. I knocked him out and beat him to death.
-Most of the levers to open the secret catacombs door were placed in obvious locations except for one: behind a banner at the mission start which requires the use of rope arrows. Most of the secret places to find loot and other levers also required rope arrows, so it wasn't a big surprise after I had explored the rafters of the attic (which yielded a secret lever and an invis potion).
-The catacombs in this mission are like the exact opposite of the empty mansion: gushing with AI (haunts and zombies) all amassed in a single area. I decided to douse all the torches in the catacombs simply to save time since I would need to scale the ladders next to the sarcophagi looking for loot.
-I managed to jump across the first huge pit with lava at the bottom Tomb Raider style, even though holding the jump key to mantle when hitting the edge was required. The second gap, however, was impossible to clear without using a slow-fall potion which the author strategically left in the mansion; hence my chemical success.
-Once I looted the Horn of St. Miguel (an objective), the mission ended. I even found all the loot on a first run and did not have to go back to the mansion. :whistle:

goldsla
22nd Dec 2007, 06:23
FM: A Love Story II v1.3 (ALoveStory2v13.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success (Better living through chemistry - Slow fall potion used)
Time - 04:34:04
Loot - 5512/5512
Pockets Picked - 10/17, Locks Picked: 32
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 7/7

Comments:
I had forgotten what a joy it was to get a perfect thief the first time through a difficult mission. And, at least for me, this was not an easy mission to ghost, let alone perfect thief. I believe that I had to nudge seven AIs out of the way, either to sneak behind them, or to get them out of line of sight. In all there are 75 individual loot items, and numerous non-loot consumables. Most of the early loot seemed to be very well hidden and/or difficult to access without alerting someone. Much more so than Love Story I. For some reason this mission engaged me early on in hunting for loot. It may be that once I discovered the first difficult to find loot item, I decided to really scour the mission. For whatever reason, it worked! Also I got lucky in that my Klepto-thief habits served me well. Early in the mission I acquired 8 Dew Drop dolls, and there were three or four spots where having them was essential to the ghosting. When I needed a soft and quiet landing spot when dropping from a rope or balcony, they were there in my inventory to serve the purpose. I developed a technique of looking up and highlighting the rope arrow in preparation to retrieving it, and then dropping a Dew Drop (upwards!) so that it would land exactly where I would fall. It is very weird to see this red doll falling straight through you, let me say.

Surprisingly, as hard as this mission felt, I believe I only needed 6 water arrows, three each in two spots, and no moss arrows.

Rather than continue with a more traditional report, I thought I would share what my personal notes look like while playing a mission. I use Excel, since it is great at tables. However, I can't figure out how to post a table here, so this has been slightly edited to fit the medium. Since this is essentially a shorthand walkthrough of the mission, I have put spoiler tags around it all, in case you don't want the mission spoiled for you. I know the request was not to use spoiler tags in this thread, but this is such a huge spoiler, I thought it appropriate. If the moderator(s) disagree, I can remove them.

1 Gold stack Money Box at Gloria's Dew Drops 25 25
Up ladder; Pick up all Dew Drop dolls
2 Coin Stacks in guard tower near 3 thieves 50 75
Jump accross from ladder
3 Purse hidden above door frame near 3 thieves 100 175
John’s crate used to access; jump to guard tower ledge then onto bridge; Drop down behind thieves
4 Purse in 2nd story room opposite 3 thieves 100 275
Rope arrow access
5 Purse in 2nd story room at end of of thieves' alley 20 295
4 Dew Drops used to silence drop onto metal fire escape
6 Gold nugget in 2nd story window at end of thieves' alley 100 395
Rope arrow access
7 Gold stack in thieves' barracks foot locker 25 420
Small stone in alcove opposite 3 thieves to access secret area; lean in to raise gate; 3 water arrows used in thief hideout (fire pit & 2 torches)
8 Gold stack in thieves' barracks foot locker 25 445
9 Coins in thieves' barracks foot locker 20 465
10 Mask in footlocker down hallway in thief hideout 50 515
11 Purse on bald thief in thief hideout 100 615
12 Gold stack in money box above fire pit in thief hideout 25 640 4
Dew Drops used to silence drop from rope arrow
13 Silver stack in money box in red brick building 12 652
14 Mask in 2nd Story next to balcony building 50 702
Rope arrow access
15 Gold coin stack in 2nd Story next to balcony building 25 727
16 Necklace in window above thieves' alley exit 200 927
2nd story jumping
17 Purse in water pumping building 100 1027
Rope arrow access & swimming
18 Purse under stool in small attic room on top of air mage tower 100 1127
Rope arrow across canal to climb to top of air mage tower
19 Gold stack in tiny blue chest in air mage store front 25 1152
20 Gold stack in large blue chest in air mage closet 25 1177
Nudge mage to gain access and to jump to break blacksmith bedroom window
(Optional objective causes alert – skip)
21 Gold stack in armory attic footlocker 25 1202
Jump across to armory attic (wind chimes heard!) & climb down
22 Gold stack in armory money box 25 1227
Lots of goodies in armory
23 Light blue crystal in air mage secret area 300 1527
Jump back across from armory attic to outside of air mage tower; continue jumping to get into secret area
24 Coin next to oven in bakery 20 1547
25 Vase in bakery 2nd story window 50 1597
Only accessible from outside by rope arrow & jumping
26 Purple goblet on table next to guard in 1st floor of jail 15 1612
Nudge guard to get out of line of sight to go upstairs
27 Gold goblet on table on 2nd floor of jail 25 1637
Nudge guard to get arrow & jail key from 2nd guard
28 Purple goblet on outside stall counter 15 1652
29 Gold wine bottle in secret area opposite outside stall 50 1702
Ring bell on stall to open grating opposite outside stall
30 Gold plate on 2nd floor bedroom window sill of steel door building opposite outside stall 50 1752
Veggies in 1st floor pantry
31 Gold wine bottle on desk in 2nd floor office of steel door building opposite outside stall 50 1802
32 Small ring behind statue in tunnel 100 1902
33 Coin in slot machine in opera bar 5 1907
Room 4 key on Alfred (?) in bar
34 Gold wine bottle on shelf in opera bar 50 1957
35 Gold wine bottle on shelf in opera bar 50 2007
36 Gold wine bottle on shelf in opera bar 50 2057
37 Tapestry behind headboard in secret area opposite hotel 150 2207
Spice bag behind statue opens secret room.
38 Necklace outside of hotel under stone ramp 200 2407
39 Purse in hotel lobby money box 100 2507
Nudging hotel clerk necessary; I put him facing a wall to make life easier
40 Gold stack on wainscoting in hotel office 25 2532
2 papyrus in office
41 Tiny ring on dresser in hotel room (SW room) 100 2632
Who is dead in room 4?
42 Gold stack in secret area beneath phonograph 250 2882
Secret area switch at base of chandelier in ceiling!! Telescopic eye wins again! There is a slow fall potion in the chandelier which when you lean out you can get. Use it to hit the switch and not die/take damage as you jump at the chandelier!!!!!
43 Gold nugget in hayloft of burrick stables 100 2982
44 Gold bottle in high window ledge opposite stables 50 3032
Reach from top of railing in corner.
45 Silver stack in cement block building's office safe 12 3044
46 Gold nugget on entry overhang to cement block building 100 3144
Rope arrow opposite and jump onto overhang
47 Gold & jeweled ribbon necklace in mage's secret area 25 3169
Secret switch in alcove near climbing vine; entrance through vine; used 3 water arrows; mages seem to walk randomly; lean in to pick up necklaces; entering the niche with necklaces sets off a silent alarm
48 Gold & jeweled ribbon necklace in mage's secret area 25 3194
49 Silver nugget in 2nd story room above mage's secret area 50 3244
50 Double coin in bar with elevator 20 3264
51 Silver stack behind counter in fishmonger shop 12 3276
52 Silver stack behind counter in fishmonger shop 12 3288
53 Gold vase on window ledge in 2nd of fishmonger shop 100 3388
54 Purse in secret area in 2nd floor of fishmonger shop 100 3488
switch is behind unlit lamp
55 Mask in freezer on 3rd floor of fishmonger shop 50 3538
No key to be found, despite posted notice
56 Purse in freezer on 3rd floor of fishmonger shop 100 3638
57 Gold bottle in open 2nd story window with red light near canal 50 3688
Rope arrow up wooden post to 2nd story; patrolling guards are hyper-sensitive
58 Gold bottle under bench in park at end of canal 50 3738
59 Purse behind bushes on south wall of park at end of canal 100 3838
60 Gold vase on window ledge in large office with blinking light 100 3938 Office front door key on open window ledge
61 Gold vase on window ledge in large office with blinking light 100 4038
62 Green vase on window ledge in large office with blinking light 50 4088
63 Gold coin stack in safe in small office opposite blinking light 125 4213
64 Gold stack in lower right safe in bank 125 4338
Use bank back entrance
65 Gold stack in upper right safe in bank 125 4463
66 Silver stack in lower left safe in bank 112 4575
67 Silver stack in upper left safe in bank 112 4687
68 Gold stack in moneybox in teller area 25 4712
69 Gold stack in moneybox in teller area 25 4737
70 Gold stack in moneybox in teller area 25 4762
71 Jeni's ring 100 4862
After reading papyrus on Jeni's doorstep ring becomes loot
72 Purple vase at end of hallway, 2nd floor of Jeni's house 100 4962
73 Gold vase on bedside table in 2nd floor bedroom of Jeni's house 100 5062
Book under bed gives clue to key to wind chime tower
74 Gold vase on bedside table in 2nd floor bedroom of Jeni's house 100 5162
Hidden switch above window opens hole in wall near light switch with key inside; open locked metal door for access to wind chime tower
75 Gold necklace on table in bathroom 2nd floor bedroom of Jeni's house 350 5512
Backdoor key on chair in bedroom with bathroom
Burn note in bakery oven on way to John’s home.

Hexameron
22nd Dec 2007, 08:47
Thanks for sharing your note-taking format, goldsla. You're definitely more meticulous about loot locations/value than I usually am. Are you constantly alt-tabbing out of Thief to type up your notes in Excel, or do you use a laptop/different computer? Personally, I use a real notepad and pencil when I'm jotting down important procedures, loot, secrets or ghosting problems.

Hexameron
22nd Dec 2007, 09:41
FM: Portisco Head - (PortiscoHeadV1.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 02:15:25
Loot - 6860/6860
Pockets Picked - 12/12
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0 Bodies Discovered by Enemies - 2
Secrets Found - 10/10

Comments - While there were some sound propagation problems and some quirky AI, I really liked the non-linear layout of this FM, and ghosting it was rewarding. I don't know why my stats reported two discovered bodies but perhaps the museum is the culprit; I'll explain soon.

General Notes

-By now I've played so many missions with secret switches and levers that I routinely check for them with methodical precision. This mission was no exception. Finding the secret switches in this FM required a keen sense of detection: not only where they were located in a room or hallway, but which room or hallway seemed significant enough to contain them. Just observe the 10 secrets in my stats - those are 10 hidden switches.
-I learned later that I could have taken two very different paths in this mission: go through the tunnels to get to the crypt/apartment area or through the jail and to the castle. I decided to use the tunnels and hit the castle portion last.
-At the mechanist workroom there is a secret tunnel with a ladder. This ladder leads up to the crypt with the gigantic Pagan Face where the two rubies (objectives) need to be placed. Moving off of the ladder is impossible without jumping, but the drop onto stone alerts the sleeping mechanist. I first resorted to using healing potions to soften my fall, but when I had to come back here an hour later I got lazy and used moss.
-I used a moss arrow by the Ruby case in the museum, but this was a desperate measure because of the extremely sensitive guard which I'll discuss soon.
-A major problem with this mission (for a ghoster) was reloading after looting the Ruby Chest and also placing the two Rubies in the Pagan Face. The key to open the Ruby Chest is a statue head; when the chest is opened, a plain old "rubble" statue head magically floats above the chest. I thought this was part of the mission design and left it. But if one reloads after opening the chest, the statue head drops to the ground and alerts a nearby apparition. A similar case occurs with the Pagan Face after the two Rubies had been placed into the eye sockets. Reloading causes these Rubies to fall to the ground, alerting two haunts. Both situations cannot be remedied, but I just made sure not to reload once I learned what could happen.
-I'm proud of myself for finding all of the loot on a first run because some of the loot was well hidden or obscure: a loose coin under the gambling table in the barracks was one instance; after looting the coins on the game table itself, I didn't think the author would have placed anymore. Yet I couldn't resist checking under the table, and to my amazement, there was a single loose coin on the floor. Perhaps the coin was placed mid-way through the table in dromed and fell to the floor, but it pays to be anal when loot-scrounging.

Ghosting Crisis in the Museum

I had my work cut out for me in the museum. There are pedestals with various AI models on them (a haunt, treebeast, mechanist, etc) with their hands outstretched (the way they look when placed in dromed). But while these AI's could not see or hear or move, they were real and alive; I slashed one with a sword and drew blood. I don't understand how the AI could exist in this state but for some reason it made the guard inside go berserk and completely wacky.

Before encountering this guard, however, I had to deal with the guard outside of the museum who had a short back-and-forth patrol in a brightly lit hallway. I could have doused the torches but chose not to. If I opened the door to the museum, this patrolling guard would also scream and go on second alert when he noticed the exhibited AI's inside the museum. The trick to defeating this situation was to open the door when his back was turned, quickly dart into the museum, and close the door before he noticed; a split-second action. But the single guard inside the museum who makes his rounds down the carpeted steps was the most problematic ghosting situation I've dealt with in the FM.

I'm surprised the author or betatesters failed to notice or report this conflict. The guard would sometimes come down the main staircase, scream "Ah!" and continue his patrol. A second later he would say, "There's a Thief in the building; looks real mean" and then continue his round. He would come back, go on second alert for a few seconds, and then return to his patrol. :nut: This occurred everytime he moved towards the AI's on the pedestals. Whatever these museum exhibits were doing to him affected his sensitivity to Garrett because if I even appeared in middle-brightness, his peripheral vision would pick it up and he would charge towards me. Really, I had to revamp my general technique to fit that of a super Supreme Ghoster. I couldn't even hide in the darkness near him or he would spot me. Alas, this wouldn't have been a problem if his patrol was more flexible: he moves up and down a T-shaped staircase that is fortunately in complete darkness; but being anywhere near him on that T-shaped staircase put him on 3rd alert. :mad2: No amount of waiting would ever lower his alert status because everytime he noticed the museum exhibits, he would yell as if someone had shot a broadarrow into a metal door.

To make a long process of trial and error short, I solved this problem by shooting a rope arrow into the ceiling at the far right corner of the T-shaped staircase. It took much practice to do it right, but it worked: I could hide at the ceiling and not risk setting the guard off like I did when on the ground. When he moved downstairs, I could lower myself and move out of his view. It was quite a difficult maneuver and if the ceiling had been stone, I doubt I would be claiming a ghost success here.

goldsla
22nd Dec 2007, 16:03
Are you constantly alt-tabbing out of Thief to type up your notes in Excel, or do you use a laptop/different computer? Personally, I use a real notepad and pencil when I'm jotting down important procedures, loot, secrets or ghosting problems.
For me it is a bit of both. I usually have a paper and pencil, though, as in the case of this mission, I may alt-tab every time to Excel and not use paper at all. It depends on how I'm feeling and whether or not I can find paper and pencil. :scratch: Sometimes I just play the mission straight through with no note taking. Usually this is with the lighter weight missions.

After I have played the mission to my satisfaction, I'll look and see if there is a walkthrough. I often learn new techniques or get search ideas from this practice. It has definitely made me a better Thief player to do so.

If no walkthrough exists, if I like the mission well enough, and if I succeeded ghosting it (preferably Perfect Thief), I email the author(s) and ask if they would mind if I wrote and published a ghosting walkthrough. So far no one has said no. I then use my notes and carefully replay the mission, alt-tabbing with Word. Most of the time I record how I played the mission through the first time, even though it may not be optimal. I want to capture the feel I had. If the game devolved down to a loot hunt at the end, I will put the discovery of the odd piece in where it belongs, had I not been so blind.

Love Story II, I did a little rearranging of loot in the loot list. This one had 150g missing when I first completed it, so I reloaded and went on a hunt. Despite the 4 1/2 hour time shown on the stats, that mission took me the better part of a full day. A couple of times I had an alert that caused me to backtrack over a full hour to a prior save. (I got caught up in the game, and forgot to do more frequent saves.) Also, a section may take me a lot of reloads to get right to my satisfaction. Getting the loot out of the rafters in the thief hideout took me over an hour of reloads. I had given up on it, and then later in the game I hit upon using Dew Drop and figured out how to do it correctly (no more than four and no less than three -- less than three not enough padding, more than four and you fall off and make noise). I then had to reload to the near the hideout, and replay that section. When that worked, I reloaded yet again to earlier in the game. I had skipped a door due to alerts from sounds made dropping onto a metal balcony. The dear Ms. Drop worked there too. When that worked, I had to replay the mission from that point forward again . . . But that was soooooo close to the begining, why not start over and take complete notes in Excel this time? You get the idea. So I sort of play missions in a fugue, metaphoricly. (You decide if I mean music, psychiatry, or both!:o)]

Here are links to the ghosting / perfect thief walkthroughs I have written so far. (All posted on www.thief-thecircle.com.)

Keyhunt (http://208.49.149.120/thiefFMs/Walkthroughs/Keyhunt%20LootThrough.rtf)
MuseumHeist (http://208.49.149.120/thiefFMs/Walkthroughs/MuseumHeist%20LootThrough.rtf)
Tipping the Scales (http://208.49.149.120/thiefFMs/Walkthroughs/Tipping%20the%20Scales%20Part%201%20SSDD.rtf)
Two Fathers (http://208.49.149.120/ThiefFMs/Walkthroughs/TwoFathersLootThrough.rtf)

If you have trouble with these links, you can try going through The Circle's Fan Mission page (http://www.thief-thecircle.com/missions/) and use the search feature in the left sidebar to navigate to the mission. The walkthrough download is just below the mission download, in the light blue box.

My aim is to promote ghosting. Maybe someone who is looking for a walkthrough will find out from mine that ghosting
is fun
isn't impossible for them
So maybe they will start ghosting. Maybe. I look upon the walkthroughs as a way to give back to the community. If I hook a new ghoster, so much the better.:D

Hexameron
22nd Dec 2007, 17:15
I'm impressed not only by your systematic (fugal :whistle:) style of playing, researching, and replaying a mission, but your walkthroughs as well. How do you decide which missions to play/ghost/report in this way? Are you doing walkthroughs for every mission you attempt or just the one's you like? I have a suggestion based on two FM's that I recently tried and stopped due to frustration. I wonder if you would be up for their challenges: Dance with the Dead and The Unknown Treasure. I had major technical ghosting issues with the former FM and a terrible problem finding loot in the latter one.

I didn't even know thief-thecircle was accepting ghosting walkthroughs. I had an ambition a long time ago to launch my own website that would serve as a database for ghosting FM's. It would combine the long list of ghostable FM's that I recently compiled and also feature my own walkthroughs with lootlists and screenshots. It would be inspired by Lytha's webpage for the Thief OM's but focus exclusively on FM's. I actually started on this for the first 50 or so FM's I played a few years ago, but I gave up. :(

Being too busy in real life impeded any progress in starting this webpage, but I'm happy to see you share an interest in the kind of thing as well. I, too, would like to promote ghosting because I want to see others chime in with their own reports here. Ghosting is slowly taking hold as a viable and popular playing mode at the TTLG boards, but it is still considered a style of play for the connoisseur rather than the layman.

Oh, and after reading your report on A Love Story, I have a new profound respect for Dewdrop. In the mission, Portisco Head, the big "treasure" to satisfy the primary objective was in fact Dewdrop in a treasure chest. I felt disappointed that my 2 hours of slinking resulted in this straw doll, but I'll remember to keep Dewdrop in mind as a versatile piece of equipment from now on :p

Peter_Smith
22nd Dec 2007, 17:53
@goldsla

I am glad you are trying to promote ghosting. Keep up the good work. :)

I tried to follow those "Loot Through" links and the server 208.49.149.120 seemed at first not to respond. Then it was very slow, like 2-3 KB/s. I also tried to drill down from the Circle, and I could not find the links. Could you post a link to the Circle page where these links reside?

I am sure you are aware that there is a little philosophical conflict with this rule:

9. No loot cheats or walkthroughs are allowed -- a point of honor that cannot be enforced.

The ghoster recruits can walk in the footsteps of a ghoster, but I think the ghosting experience is not captured. The main point of Thief is the adventure of the unknown, the puzzle solving, the route finding, and the hunt. Eventually, to graduate, the ghoster recruit needs to be weaned from walkthoughs. I wonder: how many people who seek them out will make the grade?

I'd suggest giving links both to the rules (which you have done) and to this thread, for people to read more or maybe even post. It would be nice to attract a few more people here who actually play Thief and talk about it. :)

Hexameron
22nd Dec 2007, 23:37
FM: Reflections - (ReflectionsV2.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:54:15
Loot - 2110/2590
Pockets Picked - 3/4
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 3/3

Comments - The author of this FM clearly has talent in constructing architecture and interior design, but his or her sensibility to thieving is quite peculiar. Instead of giving Garrett some water/moss arrows, the only equipment provided for the player is in the shed outside and it is loaded with sunburst explosives, fire arrows (25), mines (roughly 20), frogbeast eggs (10) and broadheads... as if I intended to walk into the mansion Matrix style and start lobbing mines and frogbeasts while shooting fire arrows. :lol:

There were a few challenging areas to traverse but only one major hurdle that might have busted many ghosters, and I'll describe the ordeal soon.

General Notes

-I found the ring required for an objective in one of the display boxes containing a model-sized monolith (located near the secret tunnel to the shed key).
-The shed key was lying on a crack near the ceiling of the main lobby. I took the trouble of shooting a rope arrow up there to grab it, but later discovered a secret tunnel leading to the room beyond the crack. The shed key was worthless, though, because I only felt like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando, strapping up with the most violent and destructive gear Garrett could possibly get his hands on: 20+ fire arrows and mines, frogbeast eggs, broadheads and two explosive devices. Darn... I would have been happy to have maybe one more rope arrow or a water arrow :p.
-I couldn't sneak into the bathroom upstairs with the servant inside. Maybe if I had a water arrow to douse that candle I could have snuck in; I'm sure some of my missing loot is in there.
-I went through the back door and into the cave area but only found a gold nugget. However, while it looked like this area was designed to be the exit point once all the objectives were completed, I did not have to come back here. For some reason entering the bathroom of the dungeon barracks checked off the "exit the backway" objective. :scratch:

A Ghosting Conundrum and THE Solution

I thought I was going to have to accept a bust early on in the mission with the large library containing two noblemen. The interior of the library is brightly lit by four lamps against the walls and a centrally located fireplace. The perimeter of the library has a pentagonal shape and the walls are lined with a bookshelf texture. Fortunately, these walls disguised as bookshelves protruded far enough from the real wall of the room and I realized I could get on top of them to move around the perimeter of this area.

But here is the main problem: the two noblemen are standing close to the entrance of the library and are facing each other. There is simply no way to even move into the library without alerting them. I tried firing a rope arrow into the left and right sides of the protruding bookshelf wall so I could climb up. I was lucky to get onto the rope, but mantling onto the shelf itself always put the nobles on alert; mantling somehow raises my visibility gem another hue (giving me the red bar). Damn, I thought I was busted for good! I can't sneak into the room; I can't use my only rope arrow to climb onto the bookshelf wall; and there is no other way to progress through the mission without traversing this library. :mad2:

Here is what I did to defeat the room, the nobles, and the author who planned for this area to be confrontational: I moved to the left side of the large hallway leading into the library. I was able to CCC close enough to the side of the bookshelf wall. I shot my rope arrow right up into the wood ceiling instead of the side of the bookshelf-textured wall. I had to reload to do this correctly until the rope was close enough to me and almost flush with the purple-toiled wall. Keep in mind at least one of the nobles was on first alert because he was facing me in full yellow brightness. Yet I was far enough away from him to be safe. I made a small jump onto my rope and slowly CCC'ed my way to the ceiling.

One important note I need to make is that if you save on the rope and reload to that save, Garrett falls to the ground. So a sort of mini-Ironman ghosting attempt is necessary here. Once at the top of the ceiling, I leaped onto the top of the bookshelved-wall (collecting my rope arrow as I flew) and landed thankfully on a silent untextured top of the bookshelved wall. From here, I could slowly scale the top of this wall to the other side of the pentagonal room and drop to the bottom. Solving this and utterly defeating the previously hopeless case of ever ghosting this room was very satisfying. :thumbsup:

goldsla
23rd Dec 2007, 02:08
I am sure you are aware that there is a little philosophical conflict with this rule:

9. No loot cheats or walkthroughs are allowed -- a point of honor that cannot be enforced.
Yes. I am aware of it. I am trying to walk a fine line. For those who will never ghost, I hope to provide a quality walkthrough. For those who think ghosting is too hard for their level of skill, I hope to have a mission walkthrough which is detailed enough that they can see that they can do it. I hope that once they discover that they can ghost a mission with my help, they will strike out on their own and ghost more missions on their own.


The ghoster recruits can walk in the footsteps of a ghoster, but I think the ghosting experience is not captured.
You are right. Nothing beats doing it on your own. These are for those who get frustrated and want / need a little help.


Eventually, to graduate, the ghoster recruit needs to be weaned from walkthoughs. I wonder: how many people who seek them out will make the grade?
I could not agree more! They will have to swim on their own eventually. But since I can, at best, write one walkthrough a month, I think they will be ghosting on their own pretty quickly, just because they will run out of ghosting walkthroughs to use! ;) I know of just one other person who is writing them (Klatremus has an excellent T2X ghosting walkthrough . . . and others he has written - Klatremus'Thief Gold Site (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/hn.htm)).

My criteria for writing a walkthrough include:

I cannot find an existing walkthrough for the mission on the web
I really like the mission and want to promote it
The mission author(s) approve of my writing one
I can provide a complete loot list, even if you cannot get all the loot while ghosting

So I do not write a walkthrough for every mission I ghost. Not by half.


I'd suggest giving links both to the rules (which you have done) and to this thread, for people to read more or maybe even post. It would be nice to attract a few more people here who actually play Thief and talk about it. :)
What a great Idea!! I'll write a short paragraph (probably plagiarize some of your intro to this thread) and add it to all my walkthroughs. Gretchen, at The Circle, has been a brick about posting my updates as soon as she opens her email. So that should be complete by Xmas.

I really want to promote ghosting. I think it is the best way to play Thief missions. I also want to give back to this great community. I am not in a position to author / design / develop missions, but I can encourage through writing. So that is what I am trying to do.

Hexameron
23rd Dec 2007, 20:20
FM: Serendipity - (TheFollyOfYouth.zip)

Ghost - Failed
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:58:28
Loot - 629/2180
Pockets Picked - 15/29
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 2
Damage dealt - 2 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 12/17

Comments - Well this is quite the ambitious mission and I know I missed significant areas because of my missing loot and secrets. It seems like every room had essential items, whether keys or lootable objects that must have been used for something. I'm stumped; what the devil were these used for: the rat heads, the sword, the robot head, the rosary beads, the pagan painting, the candle and so forth :confused: . I might have tried to solve the mysteries of these items but once I realized the mission couldn't be ghosted, I just sort of lost steam and accepted the mission end once I placed the coins in their respective bowls in the crypt. And it's a shame because the basement of the hammerite church is extremely challenging to ghost (if you don't douse torches). I would have liked to claim a sucess, but property damage is required.

Cause of Failure

-Cannot complete the "Find Charity" (Garrett's friend?) objective without using a hammer to break down the storage room door.

General Notes

-It was interesting to find two "Toy Spades" which looked like a tiny shovel and pick axe; these were used as lockpicks.
-Progressing through the mission was carefully controlled by the author. Often I had to rely on the mission's linearity and triggering certain AI or items to spawn. For instance, I might have explored the tower thoroughly, but one of the gold coins to use in the crypt only spawns here after certain objectives are completed. The same goes for an essential AI with the key to the Captain's bedroom. Once I infiltrated Brother Razzle's room, a hammerite with a vital key spawned on the other side of the basement (taking the flight of stairs down the right from the church area).
-I surmise from the amount of AI and their patrols that the author did not consider that the player might forego blackjacking. The AI patrols, especially in the dining room, were laughably conflicting. Most of the AI were running into each other and getting stuck in the hallways. It was ridiculous when I counted four (including a servant) all stuck in the hallway before the kitchen. Traveling away from them and reloading the mission fixed this, but to save frustration when skulking through the dining room, I doused nearly every torch.
-The amount of AI patrols was startling. There were at least 10 Hammerite's patrolling the basement and 6 could be seen at the same time in a single hallway. Dousing torches saves time but if you want the ultimate sneaking challenge, try maneuvering through the main hallway where Brother Razzle's room and the dining room are located.
-Each room was like something from one of those children's books where you have to look at a cluttered room filled with junk and find certain items. In this case, finding tiny switches, keys and other important objects was paramount.
-The objective to find the secret journals of three top Hammerite officials was easy once I knew that each of their rooms had secret hideouts.
-I discovered a secret cave area behind the banner in the private prayer room. Slashing the banner was not appealing to me, but regardless of that, there was a boulder blocking the passageway beyond the banner. While I didn't explore it any further, I have a feeling the single fire arrow provided in the storage room is used to destroy this boulder.
-I know I've missed either a large number of secret passages or one huge area because I'm missing over half of the loot in this mission, not to mention 5 secrets.
-Speaking of loot, it might not look like I picked up a lot, but the author changed the loot properties so that most of the loot values were between 1 and 10.
-Charity's corpse is contained in a locked room and I could not find the key, though I imagine there is no key since a nearby scroll said the key was lost. Anyway, breaking the door down is property damage but the noise also alerts two hammerites, so I knocked them out before tossing a hammer into the door.
-When I placed the two coins into the bowls in the crypt, a ghostly voice spoke, a secret passageway opened, and the mission ended. Very puzzling... because I feel like I missed a gigantic portion of the mission. :scratch:

Hexameron
23rd Dec 2007, 22:10
FM: Chasse A L'Homme - (Chasse.zip)

Ghost - Failed
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 00:39:42
Loot - 2311/2561
Pockets Picked - 6/7
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 8 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 1
Secrets Found - 0/0

Causes of Failure

-Must slash banner to get required bag of spice.

-Killing Max le Borgne (objective) cannot be done without breaking glass and alerting all AI in the vicinity.

Comments- This is a French mission and so I could barely understand the objectives or any of the reading material in the mission. By simply exploring every area I figured out that these are the objectives: A) Find a sword; B) Kill Max de Borgne; C) Get 2000 loot; and D) Escape through the sewers. For a small "Ambush!" style city mission, this one was excellently designed and fun to play. The non-linear layout and the attention paid to making the rooftops accessible made this a gem of a mission.

General Notes

-Interestingly, there is an orange key on top of a crate in one of the houses near the mission start. This key opens almost all of the doors to the merchant stores near the male thief.
-I could not get into the nobleman's house (to the left of the mission start). While most of the loot could be taken from an open window, his home cannot be entered without bashing the door in; and thus some loot (in the kitchen) cannot be had if ghosting.
-I loved using the rooftops to move around in the mission, though I had a problem at the balcony by the two servants. I managed to get onto the balcony and loot the house, but getting out through the same balcony was tough. I had to jump onto the wood chair and then gently leap onto the metal railing. I was always triggering first alerts but I managed to mantle back onto the roof via this railing.
-The spice (objective) is located in a niche behind a "Bafford" banner inside the house with the blue marble floors. I could loot the footlocker without slashing the banner, but the spice bag cannot be acquired without being close to it; slashing the banner is necessary and that was my first ghost bust.
-Even if I managed to get the spice without cutting down the banner, assassinating Max ruins any chance of being covert. He is standing by a window inside the centrally located police station. Since he is visible through the window, I figured that shooting a broadhead at him is my only option. Doing this breaks the glass of the window but does not harm him; therefore, more broadheads were needed to mow him down while he and every single AI in the mission became alerted. I doused the torches by the sewer and in front of the police station so I could slink away undetected.

Hexameron
24th Dec 2007, 07:56
FM: Citadel of Douro - (CitadelofDouro.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 02:07:04
Loot - 3669/4064
Pockets Picked - 3/10
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - This is a highly engaging and immersive mission replete with a beautifully designed layout, impressive buildings and perfect music. The music is probably the most effective and most Thief-like than any other FM I've played. My hats off to the mission designer on this one, the same fellow who designed Pereira's Mansion, but surpasses himself in every facet. The only thing I didn't care for was yet again the numerous scrolls that addressed the player and broke the immersion. It really is a paradox how this author creates a breathtaking world with the finest atmospheric music for a Thief FM that I've ever heard, but resorts to leaving "tip" and "clue" scrolls around the mission that say things like, "there is a purse behind the barrel in the tavern" and things like that.

General Notes

-The mission only has two objectives on expert: 1) Find 3669 loot and 2) retrieve the Hand of Dreams. I acquired the Hand early on, which meant that once I obtained 3669 loot, the mission ended.
-At the start of the mission I heard a chaotic battle between mechanists and guards occurring somewhere. This battle is all scripted and there is an invisible wall separating the AI so that they constantly run towards each other but are unable to fight... or are they? By the time I got to the exact area of the battle (around the L-shaped buildings with the hotel), there were two dead mechanist priests and at least three dead guards. I was able to do my own business in each building while they continued to cause a ruckus. Interestingly, their shouts and damage dealing did not alert many AI in the vicinity. Only a single servant was upset and tried to run to his fleeing point. I say try because he couldn't get out of a locked door. I had to pick the door and move aside so he could run to his fleeing point; after he did so, he went back to alert 0 and returned to his patrol inside the building. Eventually everyone except one helmeted guard had died and he must have had one hitpoint left because he kept fleeing for no reason.

-Since I recently played Pereira's Mansion, I knew what to expect with regards to loot locations. It didn't take long to completely understand the predictable formula of loot placement: coins in the bathrooms and purses behind furniture in rooms.
-There were many areas I did not enter because of AI positions. I couldn't sneak into a few rooms because of AI's staring at the door, like the male thief in Room 1 of the hotel and the noblelady on the top floor of one of the apartments.
-I was determined to jump over the chairs blocking the stall doors in each public shower building. The female shower hut contained a single gold coin, but I had to be careful when leaping onto the wood chair; it put a nearby green spider on first alert and if I made a little step on the marble floor, it set off the spider and the patrolling guard outside, too. Many of the AI in this mission were at an excited state of alertness. Sometimes opening doors put guards on second alert, but I imagine that mechanist battle was the culprit.
-I can't remember how I managed to open the gate to the big castle/mansion, but I was dismayed when I inspected the interior of the castle: the place was brighter than the sun from all the torches and the big hall was overflowing with guards. I only had 10 water arrows and I considered saving them for this. But I decided to leave this area for last. Of course, once I found my loot objective and already had the Hand, the mission ended and I couldn't attempt to ghost the castle.
-I was fortunate to see the buttons on the ground at the altar of the Citadel of Douro; these opened the banner behind the altar, revealing the Hand of Dreams.

Hexameron
24th Dec 2007, 20:42
FM: Karras Apartments - (karrasapartments.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 0:09:27
Loot - 1110/1110
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - There is nothing really of note in this all-too-brief FM with only four AI and some sleeping one's to worry about. I retrieved the loot in the room with the fireplace without dousing the gas lamp. To get the loot in the bathroom across from the fireplace without alerting the mechanist, I just leaned into the room while in the darkness of the door frame.

Hexameron
24th Dec 2007, 20:54
FM: Vol De Nuit - (VolDeNuit.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 0:05:31
Loot - 380/380
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - Quick and painless.

Hexameron
25th Dec 2007, 04:33
FM: Sunset in Darkdale - (SunsetInDarkdale.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 0:59:48
Loot - 415/425
Pockets Picked - 1/3
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - Conceptually, I thought this FM was well done, but its technical defects and absurd loot placement were a little irksome. I tried really hard to get all the loot so I could claim a PT, but after numerous attempts to get two pieces of loot (worth 5), I deemed it impossible.

General Notes

-I doused two torches near the unarmed bluecoat and noblelady so I could climb the ladder without being detected. This was entirely necessary since obtaining 400 loot is an objective and I needed what was in the bedroom above the ladder.
-To get inside Lady Louisa's Place, I had to douse the two gas lamps against the door. After this was done, I could run to the counter while crouched and continue to strafe around it while ducking. Fortunately, the counter was high enough that I could avoid being seen by the counter lady.
-Many areas containing loot in this city mission were often hard to find; some were accessible by using a rope arrow (many open windows on buildings for instance) and many doors looked locked but were in fact already open. This was annoying since the majority of the doors in the mission were locked and could not be picked. I made the routine of approaching every door with lockpick ready to go, and when I heard the two dead clicks, I moved on. I often missed important areas because of this: I tried to pick a door that wasn't locked and assumed it was... ergh :mad2:
-The primary item of loot in this mission was almost always a single gold coin worth 5. Therefore, 400 loot doesn't seem like so little after picking up a single 5 value gold coin one at a time. Some of these coins were incredibly difficult to find: the coin under the bread by the helmeted guard; coins behind banners in little niches; two coins on the marketplace tables...

-I could not get the copper coin stack through the open window early in the mission without alerting a nearby guard. This guard is standing by the factory and his peripheral vision can see the open window. No matter how many times I tried to jump onto my rope and climb up, the area was too bright and the guard would go on second alert.
-I could not get the gold coin under the two spiders in the sewers. I almost thought I had this but eventually gave up. I tried inching up towards the spiders and leaning forward to grab the coin, but it was too far; any closer and I would alert them. I then had the idea to moss the floor under these spiders and jump over them. I actually got it to work, jumped over them with only a first alert and I safely nabbed the coin! But trying to jump back over them failed and I must have tried 20 times. It was frustrating, but at least I barely had enough loot to complete my objective.
-I was really peeved when I finished all my objectives and made it through the garden to the mission end. There is an invisible apparition standing in front of a locked gate, which bars the way to the mission exit. The gate can be picked and I figured out by trial and error which way this invisible AI was facing. I could pick the gate but I could not get through it becase the damn apparition was blocking the door way! By luck or by creative thinking I was able to shoot a rope arrow into a nearby wooden shed. I couldn't mantle onto the roof of the shed but I could leap onto a nearby stone wall surrounding the gardens. I scaled the wall, dropped down on top of the open gate door and then softly fell to the grass and got the "Objective Completed" message. I know the author put this invisible apparition in front of the gate so it would be a confrontational surprise, but it didn't foil this determined ghoster :rasp:

Hexameron
26th Dec 2007, 05:52
FM: The Quiet Heat - (The_Quiet_Heat_v1_2.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 0:51:22
Loot - 3550/3940
Pockets Picked - 6/13
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - This mission is only playable on normal difficulty which is labeled "Interesting" while Hard and Expert are "N/A." Ghosting was a breeze and I had no problems worth reporting. I also think I perfect thieved the mission even though I couldn't technically snag all the loot. I came across five pieces of unfrobbable loot that, when added up, should give me the loot maximum: three gold wines (150), a large purple/gold vase (200), and a green vase (40).

goldsla
26th Dec 2007, 19:02
FM: A Love Story III (V 1.0) (ALoveStory3v1_0.zip)

Ghost - Success (TKO Fail??)
Perfect Thief - Nope
Time - 03:12:06
Loot - 4972/5349
Pockets Picked - 5/6, Locks Picked: 4
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 1
Damage dealt - 1 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 1/2

Comments:
Let me get straight to the problematic issue: is knocking out an animated Dew Drop a bust? It shows up in the stats as a KO and 1 damage point. The objective is to "... take Dew Drop to the Smoothie shop." But the only way to pick her up is to KO her. This is a doll we are talking about, an animated, bouncing about, straw doll. This could be a bust on either of two technical grounds: a KO of an animate object or property damage!!

So the issue for me is from the commentary on the Ghost Rules:

It is not acceptable; however, to incur a ghost bust that the player thinks is "necessary" to meet another objective. For example, it is not allowed to KO an AI or slash a banner simply because they stand in the way of meeting another objective, such as stealing something.

If this is truly either property damage or a KO, then I think this must be considered a bust. I, for one, do not consider it property damage, even though the doll stops dancing about after being hit. That was the point after all. It had to be stopped so that it could be picked up. But is it a true KO? The rule about KOs is,

No combat damage may be dealt or taken and no knockouts or kills of any kind are allowed, whether or not they show up in the final stats, with the exception of rule 11 (Rule 11 is the explicit objective exception rule, which I think does not apply here, since the objective is not to KO dear little Ms. Drop.) Does the KO rule apply to a doll? Technically, she was animated. I throw myself on the mercy of the court. I seem to recall a similar issue with Bernice in The Den. About that mission, Peter said
As for The Den, I never gave too much thought to the Berenice dilemma. I am one for liberal interpretation. The rule was intended to avoid a situation like, you must steel something, and the only way to do it is to alert or kill someone. That is clearly a bust. The Berenice objective is not stated explicitly, but it is stated almost explicitly, essentially as a riddle. It would be no fun if it said to BJ Berenice and dump her in the pit. The PC way is to avoid triggering the objective. The Smith way is to say who cares, and go ahead with it. Again, it is another reportable incident. I would claim success. In that spirit, I report it and claim a qualified success. I wish there were a way to avoid triggering the objective, and so avoid the issue, but the objective is there at the start of the mission.

There are ghosting ways to get at all but 37 gold of the loot that I found. Two shopkeepers get very tetchy if you steal the coins from their money boxes. So tetchy that I could not leave those stores without the shopkeeper alerting if I take the loot. It was odd. The shopkeeper does not mind you being in plain view or stealing any non-loot items, but take any money and they go hypersensitive. They do not alert if you stand still, but if you move much after taking the money, they will nail you. So I left that 37g alone. I am still looking for the remaining 340g. It bugs me that I cannot find it.

The Bank was tricky. You had to notice that around back of the bank there is a window that looks different. When you jump to it, it turns out to be a secret back entrance to the Bank.

Really, from a ghosting perspective, this was not hard. No patrolling guards on the streets. They all stay in their police stations / jails. The townsfolk don't mind you wandering about (except the Bank tellers). The hard part about the mission was figuring out where things were and what to do about them. Ghosting made spots a little harder to navigate, but nothing really tough.

At the start of the mission there is back entrance to the jail which you have to move a barrel to just the right spot so that you can mantle in without a stationary guard seeing you. You can get into the jail more easily by timing a slow watcher, but the barrel approach was more challenging, and hence more fun.

This mission had no rope arrows and not as much climbing opportunities as the prior Love Story FMs. I missed the climbing.

Just found another 100g

Hexameron
26th Dec 2007, 19:32
I'm not sure how much weight an amateur ghoster's opinion carries for you, but while I haven't played this mission, I understand your dilemma pretty well, and I say it's not a bust. Please clarify one thing, though: you say this Dewdrop is an animate object but does it have any AI properties? Does it alert or attack? If not, then this is clearly not a bust at all because you're manipulating an object (blackjacking) in order to pick it up and I don't think it constitutes property damage.

goldsla
26th Dec 2007, 20:52
Please clarify one thing, though: you say this Dewdrop is an animate object but does it have any AI properties? Does it alert or attack? As near as I can tell it does not alert or attack. You should try the mission just to see a moving Dew Drop. My respect for her versatility goes up all the time. :)

Peter_Smith
27th Dec 2007, 05:56
Hexameron's analysis is correct.

It is not a bust. You have an explicit objective to carry her. Obviously that can be done only by BJing her first. A fundamental aspect of the game is that you cannot carry a conscious person. It would be redundant to word the objective as "first BJ her and then carry her" just to satisfy some persnickety wording of a ghost rule. This situation is not at all the same as "I had to slash the banner to get the loot," etc. Those types of "necessities" are not allowed.

Property damage is not implied by the application of force. It means something breaks and you can see the pieces or equivalent.

My suggestion is to try to understand the intent of the rules, not to get hung up on the language. The intent is don't be noticed and satisfy the objectives.

goldsla
27th Dec 2007, 07:08
Hexameron's analysis is correct.

It is not a bust. ...
My suggestion is to try to understand the intent of the rules, not to get hung up on the language. The intent is don't be noticed and satisfy the objectives.

Thanks for the help with understanding the rules. It was the damage point and the KO statistic that concerned me. I really do not like pulling out the ol' blackjack.

There is also a "scripted" bit in this FM if you steal a smoothie from a soda fountain customer. She screams "Thief" as though alerting but does not actually alert or take other action. In correspondence with the author, John Denison, he says "Since the reaction is staged she does not actually get alerted. She simply performs her soundbite and then sits contently. Alert level stays at zero." I had not mentioned it before, but thought I would now, just as illustration that there may be a hard line between an alert and a script in the code, but one can be made to look like the other to the player. In this case, I decided to not steal the drink, just to be safe, and ask the author about it later.

I am trying hard to be an ethical ghoster. It was much easier when I was playing by my own personal rules, before I discovered that others had already blazed a very similar trail and put up some sign posts that said thus far but no further if you want to play like us. Not having been involved in the discussions as to where those signs were to be posted, it sometimes is hard to see the intended boundaries. So thanks again Peter and Hexameron. I don't mean to be a pest about the rules; I just don't want to mislead anyone about my ghosting of the missions.

Peter_Smith
27th Dec 2007, 07:44
No problem,, Goldsla. :) I did not mean to be uppity either. Ask away, whenever you have a question.

Hexameron
27th Dec 2007, 09:24
FM: Ghost Town - (GhostTown.zip)

Ghost - Failed
Time - 0:33:06
Loot - 440/440
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

-Cannot sneak into church without setting off a trigger that creates a flashbomb explosion, which damages and alerts the apparitions inside.

Comments - This is a small FM designed to evoke a scary atmosphere for Halloween (when the FM was released). I'm sure the author didn't mean for the player to take the mission seriously, especially as a ghosting challenge, but I did. Had I known the mission wasn't ghostable, I wouldn't have spent so much time and effort ghosting one particular area involving two spiders, which I'll illustrate in a moment.

General Notes

-The main objectives in this mission are to find various named Dewdrops (goldsla would have liked this mission :D). These Dewdrop dolls are somewhat magical and emit their own lightsource; they are found in various rooms around the city streets.
-Opening the footlockers in the streets caused some flying skulls (like apparition projectiles) to fall to the ground, but no one was alerted except some rats.
-Opening one footlocker in a room scripted a nearby glass window to break, so I reloaded and avoided that. The footlocker was empty anyway.
-There are some invisible AI in this mission that could both be ghosted. The first is an invisible apparition who stands in the streets. I could dart by it with only a first alert. The second invisible AI is a treebeast and it was tougher to sneak by. It patrols briskly through a bright area around a sewer hole that the player must get into. Since it was invisible, I had to rely on my ears to gauge when its back was turned. With some good judgment and luck, I managed to get into the sewer without alerting it.
-There are four small green spiders in these sewers all clustered around a mushroom (what is it with author's always placing green spiders next to these mushrooms?). This is a ghastly sight for a ghoster. By the looks of it, this area just oozes "Ghost Bust" and yet I ghosted it in one try. All it took was crouching and hugging the left side of the sewer wall; even inches away from the spiders' butts, I could slowly move by with only a few first alerts.
-Getting the house key from one of the freshly dug graves proved to be hazardous. Dropping down into this grave causes a gas mine to explode and damage the player. Fortunately, I was able to crouch and slowly move off of the edge of the hole until I could lean and grab the key.
-Since one of my objectives was to claim 400 loot, I had no choice but to enter the church. However, as soon as the player walks through the door way, a flash of light occurs like a flashbomb and damages two invisible apparitions inside. They go on alert and immediately attack. So I grabbed the loot inside, dodged flying skulls and ran back to the mission start, alerting two spiders that I previously spent so much time trying to sneak by.

And here is my story regarding them:

A [Spider] Barrier True that Blocketh Dust and [Garrett]

I'm sure the FM author thought he was cleverly annoying the arachnophobics of the Thief community by placing two big spiders in a tunnel with a mushroom lighting up the place. These spiders are almost flush against each other and their legs touch the walls of the tunnel; they are literally AI blockades. But the author must not have read Lytha's ghost report on T1's LC to know that "A stationary, unalerted spider sees with his butt." He positioned these spiders so that their faces were aimed at the player moving into the tunnel. So in reality they were actually facing away from the oncoming player.

I tried dozens of times to sneak by these spiders with conventional means. I tried crouching and squeezing may through them; I tried hugging each wall and moving slowly; I tried quickly running past them... but to no avail. I even used a zombie head I found and tossed it to the ground so that I would have a cushion when trying to jump over them. All of my attempts alerted at least one spider. So what next?

Well, I had no moss arrows and there were no crates at this point in the mission, but I had a small repertory of objects to use: a zombie head, a healing potion, a papyrus, and a skeleton ribcage. I had a dewdrop doll, but with its light source property, I might as well have dropped a lantern or flare onto the ground. I also noticed one of those decaying barrels that can actually be moved by constantly running into it and pushing it forward. So here was my idea: move the barrel close to the spider and maybe I could jump onto it and use my other objects to build a two-part bridge (sort of like getting to the footlocker by the spiders in T1's Bafford's Manor).

My bridge idea did not come to the fruition I thought it would. Moving the barrel was a dangerous and delicate process. If I moved it too close to the spider's body, it would make a small "crate dropping" sound and put both spiders on second alert. However, I tried dropping my zombie head and papyrus near the spider's legs to act as a soft cushion for the barrel. From this point, I was able to push the barrel until it miraculously moved onto the zombie head and papyrus! I now tried to get onto the barrel and see what I could do, but everytime I jumped onto the barrel, the barrel fell off of the zombie head and made a loud sound.

After much tinkering and reloading, I managed to get my skeleton ribcage under the barrel and then place my zombie head and papyrus strategically against the edge of the barrel and the spider's body. I now had a bedding of objects on the ground to cushion the barrel and keep it from hitting the ground. From this point, I could push the barrel even further into the spider without making noise until the barrel moved up against the spider's legs and suddenly tilted diagonally. The barrel now looked like it was about to tip over, but it remained there perfectly bolstered by my support beams of a zombie head and a skeleton ribcage. I jumped on top of the barrel and was literally now over the spider's body! The excitement lead to ecstatic satisfaction when I crouched and gently slipped to the ground without alerting any of the spiders. I took screenshots of my various stages to accomplish this, but for some reason they didn't save to my Thief directory.

Imagine my disappointment when I had to deal with a scripted bust with those apparitions at the church :(. Even on my way back to the mission start, I was proud to see my awkward looking barrel with its ribcage underneath and zombie head propped against it. But because of alerting those two apparitions, I decided to forget about ghosting the spiders on my return; I ran through and alerted them so I could get back to the mission start.

goldsla
27th Dec 2007, 14:14
These Dewdrop dolls are somewhat magical and emit their own lightsource; they are found in various rooms around the city streets. ... Cool!



... what is it with author's always placing green spiders next to these mushrooms? These authors are all evil!


... I had no choice but to enter the church. However, as soon as the player walks through the door way, a flash of light occurs like a flashbomb and damages two invisible apparitions inside. They go on alert and immediately attack. I take it as read that there is no alternate route, or it would have the same result? Bummer.

The excitement lead to ecstatic satisfaction when I crouched and gently slipped to the ground without alerting any of the spiders. I took screenshots of my various stages to accomplish this, but for some reason they didn't save to my Thief directory. Are you sure? Maybe do a search on .pcx? I'd love to see this 'bridge'.



Imagine my disappointment when I had to deal with a scripted bust with those apparitions at the church :(. Even on my way back to the mission start, I was proud to see my awkward looking barrel with its ribcage underneath and zombie head propped against it. Been there (well not there there -- I haven't played the mission -- but similar late ghost busts after a particularly clever ghosting bit), got the T-shirt (there's an idea ... a Thief ghoster T-shirt ... www.zazzle.com lets you custom design shirts ... I've done a few simple ones ...) , so I truly sympathize. Major bummer!

Hexameron
28th Dec 2007, 02:04
Are you sure? Maybe do a search on .pcx? I'd love to see this 'bridge'.

I don't know what to make of my screenshot problem. At the moment I'm playing Thief 2 on someone else's computer, a newer one with Windows Vista, but I can't imagine that has something to do with why my screenshots either won't appear or are not being saved in the Thief directory. I searched .pcx and could find only one file that's unrelated to my screenshots. I know I took them ingame because the screen paused for a split second like it's always done for me. I'll try to access my saved game for this FM on my own computer and get those screenshots.


...www.zazzle.com lets you custom design shirts...

I thought I was in the minority as someone who frequently uses zazzle, although I primarily go to their website to make custom posters.:thumbsup:

Hexameron
28th Dec 2007, 02:52
FM: Old Tribe - (fbt-oldtribe1.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 0:35:20
Loot - 0/150
Pockets Picked - 0/1
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 6
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - This is one of the most mysterious and wacky FM's I've ever played. Sometimes I felt like I just wanted to call this a ghost bust because everything that made sense to me in the technical realm of Thief was suddenly turned on its head.

General Notes

-The idle frogbeasts next to the pond do not see, hear, or attack. I tried repeatedly hitting one with my blackjack and it just took the damage but made no noise.
-My 6 damage taken is totally unavoidable and due to having to squeeze between two gas plants. I tried stacking my huge inventory of books, journals, scrolls and other objects that were never explained in the mission, so I could jump over the plants. Everything failed and I could not slip by (or slip back) without taking damage.
-I didn't really inspect the items in the player's inventory too well, but the keeper book and the journals were excessively long and I didn't feel like reading 10 pages of text. I don't know what the Keeper Medallions, the dagger, the journal and mace, or the other books were for. Maybe this mission is part of a series that I overlooked.
-There are two treebeasts who must have infinite hitpoints because they continuously battle each other at a deadend part of the forest. It wasn't necessary to get close to them so I didn't.
-Almost all of the AI in this mission had their sound bytes tampered with. Most of the time no one emitted any first alert sounds or even mutterings, whistlings and other such normal sounds. Third alerts were also inaudible.
-For some reason walking close to the mechanist camp triggered a "Garrett taking damage" sound byte but no damage was dealt. One of the mechanists' voice had been replaced with that of a prisoner. A first alert was thus, "Nooooo" and then "all gone, all gone." Another mechanist had some other AI sound database and kept sniffing like an apebeast. Yet the female mechanist was her perfect self with "If there be a tree, fell it, if there be a heretic, suffer it to live no longer" etc.

-I don't know what broke the spell barring the way through the forest. I'll assume that after I entered the high priest's room and read his material, the magical barrier dropped. Maybe. :confused:
-I stacked my fruits and notes next to the apebeast guarding the treehouse so I could leap behind him. In addition to the idle apebeast, one of those large pagan torches was blocking my path. It seemed impossible to sneak through the entrance with all of these obstacles, so I stacked my inventory and maneuvered into the entrance. I later noticed that there was a vine dangling from the second floor that I could have used. I hope I'm not going blind :nut:.
-The most hilarious but totally puzzling thing I've ever encountered in a mission occurred in the treehouse. The apebeasts' first alerts were predominantly Benny guard voices, but they were often incorrect sound bytes. A first alert was: "Into the open you villain!" and "I'm hit! Help! Help!". I was laughing out loud also when I passed one apebeast that had a female servant voice: "Ok, quit taffing with me!" and "I don't like this!" even though it was a first alert for an apebeast. :lmao:

-Sneaking into the room with the dewdrop doll (here we go again) was a little tough. The sitting apebeast here (also with a female servant voice) was pretty sensitive. Darting beyond the entrance of the room always yielded a second alert; somehow, though, hugging the left side of the tunnel that leads into the room is the safe spot. Running quickly inside from here didn't even trigger a first alert.
-The portal in this mission was not explained very well. It was the last objective and turned out to be a sinking floor panel back at the mission start. To get there I had to sneak by two problematic spiders. As a frustrated Benny would say after glancing at a doused torch: "Not again!"
-The first spider patrolled through a narrow semi-brightly lit cave tunnel. There was no way to easily sneak by the spider, as its patrol had a back-and-forth motion. My only option was to hug the spider's right side and strafe around it when it turned.
-The second spider behaved like nothing I had seen before. I guess the author gave the spider a pivotting property because while the spider was stationary, it kept constantly turning in circles, first in a clockwise and then in a counter-clockwise motion. Through some experimentation, I learned that even in this pivotting state, a spider still "sees with his butt" in Lytha's own inimitable words. Therefore, I could sneak through as long as the spider's rear was facing away from me.
-I have no idea where the 150 loot is :confused:.

Hexameron
28th Dec 2007, 16:50
FM: The Mountain Monastery - (bergkloster.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:29:56
Loot - 3592/4037
Pockets Picked - 5/12
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 5
Secrets Found - 3/3

Comments - I always enjoy playing Christine's FM's. Her Night Falcon series provided many nights of entertainment and the quality of her work always shows. According to the darkloader notes, Christine almost abandoned ever completing this mission. It's smaller than her usual large-scale mansion-type missions, but I had to retrace my steps several times, so it didn't feel short.

General Notes

-Since I started with only 5 water arrows, I decided to save the brightly lit pub for last. I wasn't even sure if I would attempt it based on the amount of light I would have to deal with. Once I finished with everything at the monastery, I hit the place on my way back to the mission start. I doused all the torches, though the chandelier candles cannot be doused, and I grabbed the loot inside.
-One thing I didn't like was that I had to frob a corpse to complete an objective and also trigger a "New Objective." The original objective is to find the "meeting place" with the High Priest. I was thinking along the lines of T2's "Eavesdropping" and thought it would be at the monastery. I only learned after reading the priest's diary that he must have been killed. Then I remembered a hammerite priest's corpse I noticed on the way to the monastery. I initially thought this was a zombie but after returning to the body, it turned out to be a corpse. Frobbing it checks off the objective and then creates a new one.
-I actually had a tough time ghosting the monastery. The floors were predominantly tiled and the patrols were thick. I didn't use any water arrows because I felt like I needed to save them for more important areas.
-I had to broach the rooms on the second floor by one side at a time. That is, I could not find an adequate break in the two hammerite patrols to get to the other side via the second floor. I had to go back downstairs and make my way to the other staircase on the opposide side of the monastery.
-I don't think perfect thief is possible because snatching the two gold candles on the altar was not happening for me. Even with most of the torches doused, there was an unknown light source in addition to a hammerite priest next to the altar. Since this was surely going to stop my chances of perfect thieving, I decided not to make my customary inspection for all loot in the mission.
-I read a book in a nobleman's house earlier in the mission about poisonous and dangerous fish in the pond, but I didn't encounter any problems with them :confused:. They looked innocent and acted like oblivious rats.
-One of the objectives is to destroy the portal near the haunts in the subterranean cave. To do this, one needs the Holy Hammer in the monastery's crypt. Sneaking by the haunts in here was a breeze, as opposed to the challenges of the hammerite monastery. When I returned to the cave to destroy the portal, I wasn't sure how to do it. Nevertheless, I tried chucking the holy hammer against the red smokey portal and that did it; the portal vanished. Additionally, once the portal was destroyed, the haunts in the cave died instantly, hence the 5 kills that appeared in my stats. I'm not sure why only 5, though. If I remember correctly, there are 3 haunts in the subterranean cave and 3 in the crypt. Did one survive? :eek:

Hexameron
28th Dec 2007, 22:01
FM: Lost Souls - (LostSoulsV1_3a.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 00:31:35
Loot - 2140/2140
Pockets Picked - 4/5
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/3

Comments - This FM is a real gem. It's small, but it provided a formidable ghosting challenge and featured a nicely done story. It was also one of the few missions I've played in which I enjoyed reading every scroll and book related to the plot. The rainy atmosphere (causing floods in certain parts of the mission) was also personally fitting for me because I just played it during a rainy and stormy afternoon in real life.

General Notes

-The light gem was tinted to be black and white and the health shields were changed to look like water droplets to fit in with the mood of the mission. I generally dislike any changes made to the light gem but I've encountered worse.
-The outside of the manor can be pretty rough when ghosting. There are unexpected lightning strikes that light up the entire area and moving on the watery ground is impossible without alerting guards. The only mode of stealthy travel is by using the stone ledges bordering the perimeter of the manor.
-Sneaking through the one hallway on the first floor of the manor is the main ghosting problem. Often there were only a few pockets of darkness to stay safely in. Hiding anywhere in the hallway itself is close to impossible, although one can safely crouch on one of the plant tables (next to the music room). This hallway is cramped and contains one patrolling guard and one idle (pivotting) guard. Thanks to the plant table, I was better able to cope with the sticky situation of getting by.
-Taking the little pagan girl out of the pantry was also an issue for me. When I'm ghosting, it is customary to shut doors. I often leave doors open when I have yet to explore them; open doors are like markers for me and closed ones always indicate I've been there. So when I entered the pantry and got my "New Objective" to take the unconscious pagan girl out, I was in trouble. This basement with the pantry is almost completely submerged and dropping the body of the girl would kill her and violate the "Don't kill anyone" objective. I had to reload and open all of the doors so my path was not obstructed.
-I decided to enter the locked bathroom to satisfy my optional objective of finding Carolina. Her body was on the ground but she was neither dead nor alive (her corpse only highlighted and could not be manipulated). When I picked up a ring on the floor by the shower, I received a checked bonus objective of finding all of the loot.
-I don't know why I missed 3 secrets, but I'll wager this is a mistake because I scrutinized every room in this mission.

Hexameron
29th Dec 2007, 04:50
FM: Mystic Gems I: Unlucky Soul - (mystic_gems_part1.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 01:13:04
Loot - 2500/2500
Pockets Picked - 8/8
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 2/2

Comments - A straightforward and painless mission to ghost. I had no major problems to report and I found all of the loot on a first run. The only difficulty I experienced was getting the loot in the kitchen with the patrolling servant. I ended up jumping onto the counter and hiding in various patches of shadow around the room.

goldsla
1st Jan 2008, 17:59
FM: A Love Story IV (V 1.0) (LS41.zip)

Ghost - Fail
Perfect Thief - Fail
Time - 03:59:29
Loot - 1578/1918
Pockets Picked - 1/3, Locks Picked: 11
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 40
Damage dealt - 88 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 2
Secrets Found - 3/3

Comments:
There are two problems from a ghosting perspective:

Getting John to the City Gate without alerting all those monkey-men.
Getting into the fence’s house without alerting the two AIs standing in front of it under a street lamp.
John is a friend of Garrett's who has been kidnapped by a tribe of monkey-men. [If you believe that the prior Love Story FMs are actually part of the same story, then they kidnapped him with ransom in mind. Which seems a might sophisticated for monkey-men to my mind.] In any event, your primary task is to free John and get him safely to the city gate. John is unconcious when you find him, but unfrobbable, so there is no way to carry him. You have to revive him with a water arrow. But then he runs like a madman for the exit. Unfortunately he alerts the monkey-men in his unthinking dash, and eventually they kill him unless you do something. So that is bust #1.

Bust #2 is an unapproachable door, behind which is a dagger required to satisfy another objective. In front of the door is a lamp. On either side of the door, facing each other, lit by the lamp, are two AIs who are prone to attack anything that comes near. There is no back entance.

* * * U P D A T E * * *
Jan 3, 2008

In an email exchange with John Denison, the FM author, he says that
The light at the fence's house will turn off for about two seconds every minute. It isn't a quick flashing light. It's actually being turned on and off by an AI in a blue room instead of the conventional animated light. So, I tried reloading to 3 different spots in playing the mission, and at none of them did the lamppost light turn off for as much as a fraction of a second. To be sure, I waited for a full 5 minutes at the lamppost after each reload. Finally, I restarted the mission and ran straight there, even getting out off the city gate area before the chase began. Voila! Now I had a light that turned on and off. Since I was ghosting the whole mission up to freeing John, I am certain that I did not interfere with any AI at any of my reload points. It just never did its job during my playing of the mission. In any event, when the mission is behaving as intended, it should be possible to ghost getting to and from the fence's house. The problem remains with getting John past the monkey-men, however.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Other than that, this was a fun mission. The section of the city that you explore is a slum neighborhood. The atmosphere is such that I wanted to take a bath after 10 minutes of walking around. I felt grimy to my core, and I think I picked up some lice or fleas. I just itched! It was very effective.

Hexameron
2nd Jan 2008, 03:19
FM: Bad Blood - (BadBlood_V2.zip)

Ghost - Success (Chemical)
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:09:39
Loot - 4305/4345
Pockets Picked - 7/9
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 15
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 1
Secrets Found - 0/0

General Notes

-The imprisoned hammerite in the jail would routinely go on first alert after spotting the patrolling bluecoat. This bluecoat would also mutter a first alert after seeing some of the inmates. I'm glad these AI didn't see each other well enough that their alert status escalated to anything more than a first alert.
-The lever in the weapons room of the jail set off the alarm and closed the outer gates. I couldn't figure out how to open the gates, so I feel bad for any non-ghoster who did this and had to restart (there was a frobbable and locked wall panel close to the jail that I never figured out how to open. Maybe this is a secret passageway to the jail?).
-The bank gave me some ghosting problems. Getting over the fence required some careful maneuvering and vigilance. There was a stationary archer behind a fence watching the courtyard of the bank. I made the mistake of getting over the fence via the ledge jutting out of one house and not realizing that he had gone on second alert. So I stacked my notes on the high walkway that leads to the jail and managed to mantle onto one of the stone-textured pillars separating the metal fences. I also concluded later that mantling onto the metal fence itself was also possible and even better.
-I took the easy route of mossing almost the entire floor inside the bank because I didn't like the interior guard's patrol. I know I could have done it without moss (there are dark spots against the counter), but I just wanted to save time and energy.
-I absolutely had to nudge the idle guard in the office upstairs. There was no way for me to get by him and grab the essential note with the vault code. I suppose I could have alerted the guard, learned the code and reloaded, but that kind of situation, as if Garrett had clairvoyance about the contents of the note, didn't sit well with me. I simply nudged the guard straight into the desk and leaned forward to snatch the note out of the trashcan.
-Getting the Nephew's Key from the yardmaster was also impossible without using a much-appreciated invisibility potion that the author placed in a footlocker. The key was on a nobleman staring right into his office door in bright light; any kind of stealth in this room was out of the question. I used my invis potion to run in and get his key (and some loot).
-I was concerned when I thought I explored most of the mission and was still 700 loot short of my objective (4000)! I was stunned to find a purse worth 1000 loot and an important key lying on the ground between two pieces of machinery on the top floor of the yardmaster place. There was also a pressure plate between the machinery (basically a trap) that when stepped on sets off some kind of explosions nearby, alerting all AI in the area. At least I could reload and get around the pressure plate.
-One of the objectives was to kill the "real perpetrator" of the crimes Garrett was arrested for. He was found beyond a Keeper door and in an underground hideout. I opened the door to his room and fired a broadhead into his face, hence my 15 damage.
-I don't know about the missing 40 loot (two loose coins somewhere?).

goldsla
3rd Jan 2008, 20:01
The ghoster recruits can walk in the footsteps of a ghoster, but I think the ghosting experience is not captured. The main point of Thief is the adventure of the unknown, the puzzle solving, the route finding, and the hunt. Eventually, to graduate, the ghoster recruit needs to be weaned from walkthoughs. I wonder: how many people who seek them out will make the grade?

Well, I may have one person on the hook. This is from an email regarding one of the LootThroughs:

On a personal note, I wanted to say thanks for opening up a different way to play. I am normally the blackjack anything that moves type of player. I have gone back to ghost Two Fathers, and I actually did it! \o/ I am going to try ghosting your others, then who knows, I might go back & try all my favorites.

We'll see if she follows through. I hope so. I have encouraged her to post her results once she starts stepping out on her own.

Hexameron
6th Jan 2008, 03:19
FM: TIC Part 1: Conspiracies in the Dark - (TICpt1_Conspiraciesv2.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 02:34:21
Loot - 2225/2225
Pockets Picked - 11/18
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 1
Damage dealt - 1 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 13/13

Comments - This is an aesthetically beautiful and expertly designed FM that actually felt like Thief 1 rather than Thief 2. Indeed, the author reskinned everyone with T1 models, used many objects and sounds that recalled the original Thief and even reading materials hinted at the timeline being close to Thief (Ramirez and Bafford mentioned). Despite the inherent tedium of retracing steps, I loved this FM and it provided some fun and quite a few challenges, too. While the author did not seem conscious of ghosting when placing AI in the mission, it's obvious he or she wanted to satisfy all modes of play. There were no difficult spots to report, although some areas were impossible to ghost without using secret passageways.

General Notes

-Many of the guards and servants were intelligent enough to turn on light switches after I had flicked them off. This can be a problem but sometimes I used it to my advantage. For instance, if I had to slow down a particular guard's patrol while I did some looting business nearby, I could flip off a switch and buy some extra time while the guard went over and dealt with it.
-There are some scripted conversations that shouldn't count as busts. The servant or lutist in the attic is one. Returning his stolen lute to his bed causes him to talk to Garrett. So while the plot suggests that he is aware of the player, he does not go on any kind of technical alert.
-My least favorite aspect of this mission is the alteration of the distance in which items highlight. To manipulate many of the frobbable and lootable objects, the player has to be quite close to them and this took some getting used to. I would often almost miss loot entirely or vital secret switches because of it.
-I had to use moss in the room with the fountain and the display of the Lord's corpse. The guard's circular patrol on the marble floored room looked troublesome, so I gave myself an extra second by using moss and sprinted towards the wood panels near the statues.
-Getting to the Notary's room was only feasible by using the air vents. There was a guard staring at the door right outside of the Notary's room and he did not pivot. I found out later that I had to come back to this room and blackjack the nobleman or "Notary" standing inside.
-Acquiring the two swords on the walls was easy, but getting the tiara on the statue needed some careful work with rope arrows. I shot my rope arrow so that the rope fell flush with the edge of the statue. The end of the rope was thus dangling over the table in the pub area. I then climbed up and leapt to the top of the statue. Now I could remove my rope arrow and carefully drop down (first onto some trimming; second onto the top of a painting; and finally to the table and then the floor).

Thank Sneak for Nudging

One of the many "New Objectives" I encountered after my dealings with the Lord's ghost was to take the Notary (a nobleman with a male_thief voice) and drop him in the sewers with the spider. So blackjacking was needed because I had to carry his body. I assumed I could just carry him to the general sewer area and drop him anywhere... but it didn't work out that way. Through some experimentation, I learned that dropping the nobleman right in the spider's path was required. And this was a problem. The Notary could be dropped in a patch of shadow and not be discovered by the spider, but getting there was the issue because a stationary guard makes any stealth in the sewers (without using the water) fairly difficult. The sewer area is roughly a T shape, with deep water filling most of the space in these tunnels. There were ledges protruding from the walls, but some of these ledges could not even be mantled onto. I was dragging the Notary's body from the left side of the _ part of the T. The guard is positioned right at the top of the | section and I needed to go down to the bottom of that | tunnel.

This would have been a piece of cake if only I could carry the Notary's body above water and not have him drown. Merely swimming with him for more than 3 seconds killed him. I tried placing his corpse on one of the ledges so that while in the water I could pick him up and quickly mantle to the other side. Unfortunately, the area was too bright and the guard always saw me. I had no alternative but to nudge the guard... and far. If he was at the top of the | tunnel, I moved him all the way over to the far right side of the _ tunnel. And it worked. I could still grab the Notary's corpse while in the water and mantle to the other side. I later realized that I could have taken another route to the sewers, but it surely would have added another 45 minutes to my total time. If I had gone out the front door of the mansion and over the portcullis, I could get to the mission start and go back through the sewers. But I lost the drive to basically sneak through that huge mansion again while carrying a body.

I still remember the astonishment I felt when reading Sneak's report of T2's "Life of the Party" where he explains how he "nudged" some female AI to get through an open house and to Angelwatch. While nudging might be frowned on and seem completely ridiculous because it exploits the engine, I am infinitely grateful to Sneak for discovering and ultimately revealing it to the Thief community. I might have had to call this mission and many another FM a bust, but thanks to "nudging," I have one more tool in my arsenal to deal with these impossible situations where conventional stealth cannot be employed.

Hexameron
6th Jan 2008, 08:33
FM: Homo Arbor - (HomoArbor.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 01:37:43
Loot - 3137/3137
Pockets Picked - 16/17
Backstabs - 2 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 30 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 1
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - All deserve a few stripes who manage to ghost this one. I hadn't really come across this mission until I noticed Huntress' post about it. Her difficulties intrigued me and I decided to play this for the challenge. There really are at least two major ghosting problems and one that was crippling. Through some steadfast determination, I overcame the major problem of killing Basso, which I'll get to soon. As for any general ghosting issues with AI patrols and such, the mission had a few rough spots but nothing a seasoned ghoster isn't prepared for.

General Notes

-Right from the start there was a patrolling bluecoat and an idle one outside of the gate. The patrolling bluecoat makes a back-and-forth patrol down a well-lit pathway. In the alcove connected to this pathway was an idle female bluecoat next to a torch. There were no easy ways to sneak by them; no shadows to hide in and wait. Instead, I had to crouch and hug the left side of the patrolling bluecoat, so that when he turned, I could slip by him. Even with a good yellowed light gem, the idle female bluecoat didn't go on second alert. I could have doused torches for safety but I'm glad I didn't because water arrows are absolutely required to ghost later areas of this mission.
-The patrolling guard on the bridge made a pretty long back-and-forth round, too. Fortunately, he was easier to deal with. Again, hugging his left side as he turns was the key.
-I don't know what hitting the gate lever did because it made a sound like hitting a light-switch but nothing happened. At least I snatched a purse while at this dead end.
-Getting into the water under the bridge was the only path I discovered in order to progress further, but the layout of this area doesn't make it clear. First, getting over the fenced sides of the bridge was difficult. Second, there were two areas that literally tease the player about how to continue in this mission: the crack in the tunnel with its blue-hued interior ceiling and mushrooms. I tried using my stack of apples and breath potion to help me get in there but it didn't work; there was also a series of moss-textured platforms sticking out the side of the wall near the bridge. It looked like you could mantle onto each one and scale upwards... never went back to find out.
-To get into the water under the bridge, I dropped an apple and tried mantling over the fence and the apple helped give me a boost so I could get over it.
-Going up the rope of the well could lead to an instant ghost bust for the careless player. There were two guards having a conversation next to the well and one was facing it; I made the clumsy mistake of climbing all the way up to the top of the well in bright light, which put the facing bluecoat on second alert. So I reloaded and waited until their conversation ended and the one bluecoat leaved.

-I had to be really careful around the two houses with the nobleman and female servant inside. The windows were specially textured but they were translucent and it was difficult to hear the AI mutterings inside. Thus it was easy to trigger a second alert and not hear it or know it.
-The kitchen in the nobleman's house was a vital part of the mission because it had loot necessary to reach the 3000 objective.
-The jail had a few challenges for me. First, there was the guard who alternates between patrolling and standing idle at the counter. I used the cell block to hide in while this guard made his rounds. The female thief inside one of the cells cannot see through the door, even though it was one of those barred doors in which I could clearly see through. From this cell area, I quickly moved to the safe and back again, until I could pick the moneybox. There was also an extremely important switch next to this box that moves one of the bunkbeds in the barracks, revealing a secret passageway with at least 500 loot.
-Once the bunkbed slides over, a bluecoat spawns in front of the jail door with the "armory key." I was furious about his arbritrary spawning, but after using his key to get into the armory (collecting much-needed water arrows), I had to nudge him away from the door a bit just so I could get out!
-I had to carefully creep forward next to the red-clothed archer in his outpost until I could frob the lever to open the gate to Lord de Winter's estate.
-Sneaking by the guard at the front door of the estate was possible through dumb luck and speed. By bracing against the wall and running quickly, the guard only let out a first alert.
-I had no problems at Lord de Winter's estate, but I did have to douse some torches by the music stage and the food tables. The drunk idle guard had an impeccable sight and I needed extra darkness to sneak by him and into the secret experimental area.

The Laboratory: Charlie and de Winter

Thankfully, I had been collecting some moss arrows and every one of them counted here. The laboratory with the slowly patrolling apebeast (Charlie) and the unarmed male thief (Lord de Winter) proved to be terribly vexing for me and I imagine for any ghoster. It was just so difficult for me to ascertain how I could succeed. The laboratory was a brightly-lit room consisting of three adjacent areas: the small bathroom with the treebeast mask, Charlie's cage (more like a large cell with bars acting as walls), and the ice arrow chamber. Lord de Winter's back was turned and he faced Charlie's cage. Fortunately, Charlie had a very slow back-and-forth patrol (some reading material even indicated that Charlie was weakened from the experiments). I mossed the first metal area of the floor so I could run in and get into the bathroom. I noticed that when crouched in full brightness against the bathroom door, Charlie only gave off a first alert during his patrol.

Every time Charlie's back turned I darted out and shot another moss arrow to cover the metal floor. I returned to my bright yellow spot, getting another first alert, and ran out again when Charlie turned. I repeatedly did this until I had mossed the entire metal floor of the laboratory. A lot of trial and error occurred after this. It took me a long time to learn how to open up the ice arrow chamber (a tiny metal vault door blocking a switch on one of the pieces of machinery). Once I had located the switch (after hitting the electrical box lever), I ran back to my safe but bright spot. When Charlie turned again, I ran out and made sure to stay in sight of Charlie's peripheral vision; that is, I positioned myself to directly align with his profile. With the ice arrow chamber opened, I could get inside and stay safe without alerting Charlie.

Since reading the journal in Winter's bathroom triggered the objective to retrieve the ice arrow, I was upset when picking up the ice arrow above the icicle; it caused damage! I figured out, though, that the actual ice arrow (behind a glass panel) is what satisfies the objective; and this one does not cause damage when looted. So I left the floating ice arrow above the icicle alone. In a different game, I tested it and learned that firing it into AI causes them to freeze in place. Anyway, getting back to my safe spot was by now routine for me.

But here was the next task... I had to get inside Charlie's cage! Another objective was to steal the manual for constructing the ice arrows and the author decided to place it in a secret compartment in Charlie's pen. I was relieved that frobbing the electrical box not only opened the little vault door blocking the switch for the ice arrow chamber, but it caused the lights in Charlie's pen to turn off. Without those lights, I was able to sneak into his cage and get to the secret compartment with little trouble. I used one of my notes to jump on so I could reach the ledge (with the deer leg on it).

Mission Impossible: Kill a Treebeast Next to Two Guards Without Alerts

Ok, so I breathed some relief that I ghosted this incredibly daunting laboratory by use of moss and haste. My last objective, however, crushed me: I had to kill Basso... or at least, the Bassobeast. Basically, the plot of this FM is that Lord de Winter captured Basso and through his experiments, transformed him into a treebeast. Indeed, the treebeast in the circular cage under the spotlights had a stretched skin of Basso's face. The problem was that I had to kill him and he was a treebeast. And not only that: there were two patrolling guards, torches lighting up the area, and six large spotlights shining down on the pen. Argh! :mad2:

I didn't give in, though. With the Mission Impossible music playing in my head, I doused every torch in the vicinity. I opened the gate to Basso's cell and studied his movement. My arsenal of killing only included a mine and my sword. I decided to test this whole scenario and just backstab the Bassobeast. Interestingly, an overhead slash killed him instantly and only made a clunking wood sound, as if I struck a door with my blackjack. The two patrolling guards were not alerted(!)... until they got closer and noticed the corpse. Both guards dashed to the alarm and my elation subsided.

I refused to give up on this, though, because while the spotlights attached to the ceiling were lighting up Basso's pen, there were certain areas (really just a few inches) of complete darkness. I noticed that the Bassobeast's circular patrol covered some of these small patches of darkness. So I tried repeatedly killing him in different areas of the pen... but I had no success rate... I really was about to give up until I tried one last spot: on the opposite end of the gate in a fairly larger area of complete darkness. I followed Bassobeast's back until he hit this spot and I let go my backstab. I waited for the two guards to make their rounds and... :eek: No alerts! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: I watched these guards make at least three rounds, just to be sure and they did not spot the dead Bassobeast. Mission accomplished: ghost succeeded. :rasp:

Returning to the city had one last issue: another damn bluecoat spawned, this time in front of the gate to Lord de Winter's estate. :mad2: I had to nudge him against the wall so I could slink by him. I don't know why my backstab count was 2, but nevertheless... here is a pure and rewarding ghost success.

Hexameron
9th Jan 2008, 06:59
FM: Clefts on the Hammer - (CotMA1_v20.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 02:14:30
Loot - 2923/3473
Pockets Picked - 5/6
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 4/2

Comments - This was really tough to ghost; nearly every area had a trouble spot. Buying nothing but water arrows prior to starting the mission was absolutely essential for me to ghost this mission. Those who like to get by without using these expendables (moss, water) will have to resort to them here. But the author didn't even provide ANY in the mission. I expected to pick up a few moss arrows around bushes or water arrows in a sink but no; just fire arrows and broadheads conveniently placed in footlockers. :rolleyes: The author seems to be of the mindset that all players will want to blackjack every guard in their path. There were so many AI placed in positions that made sneaking by impossible but blackjacking easy... i.e., in front of doors that the player would be exiting or staring at certain areas with the player coming from behind. To open a door and see a hammerite's back blocking my progress really irked me, so I had to use nudging in one case. Despite my problems, I ultimately ghosted this monstrosity.

I also had some personal grievances with the insignificance of many areas in this mission; there were a lot of rooms that were basically empty and meaningless. I felt like I investigated nearly every area but didn't feel rewarded, except for two spots that turned out to be secrets. The entire mine system, beautifully designed and perfectly immersive, had multiple levels but contained only rats and an interesting scripted apparition (there was also a crypt that cannot be accessed without breaking wooden planks). But in that huge multi-leveled mine, I didn't see one silver nugget, blue diamond, or any loot at all: no reward for exploration...

General Notes

-Sneaking around the catapult next to the three soldiers was tricky. One guard frequently pivoted while another patrolled. The third drunk one was standing next to a moneybox with a good 225 loot inside. I had to douse the campfire and mantle onto the catapult so I wouldn't collide with the patrolling guard.
-I left Lord Seth's camp until last because of the ubiquitous torches. I wasn't sure how many water arrows I would need later in the mission. Upon returning after ghosting the rest of the FM, I doused two torches and the campfire because of at least five guards moving around here.
-I was faced with a terrible ghosting problem after exiting the mines/hammer outpost. There was a closed cemetary gate and a hammerite pressed against it with his back turned to me. He simply blocked the way through this gate. If I didn't have any stackable items I would have had to nudge this guard. Instead of nudging, I decided to get over the fence by dropping a stack of a note, papyrus and loaf of bread onto the hedgerow. This gave me enough of a boost to mantle onto the stone pillar separating the gate from the metal fence. I then safely dropped down onto the fence and to the city street.
-Ghosting all areas was a slow process because of AI positions, cramped situations, numerous torches and limited water arrows, and an abundance of marble floors.

The Hammerite Town

Sneaking around this town area was the most challenging part of the mission. Reloads were constant and it seemed like every guard posed a serious problem for me. The one by the streetlamp in between the castle and the deserted house would often spot me and running by quickly was the only way I could avoid putting him on second alert. The guard at the edge of the castle near the tower was another problem. A few feet to his right was another guard with a strangely brief patrol. I think this guard was fairly blind but he was totally silent and thus if he went on a second alert, I might fail to notice it. I was able to hide in the corner against the tower and the hedgerow without this strange blind guard noticing. But I could not get through the cemetary gates without alerting at least one of these hammerites. Instead, I used a rope arrow against the shed and jumped onto the hedgerows which connected to the wall of the cemetary. I was frustrated when I did all that work and learned that I still didn't have the right key to enter the hammerite church.

I returned to the town area and continued to case the place. I got onto the castle from one of the hedgerows and discovered a crack in the roof that led to the interior of the castle. Slipping down through this crack triggered a found secret message and at least I got a good portion of loot for my efforts. I tried getting into the tower via the beam connected to the wall but mantling onto the open slit of the tower did not work; something was wrong with the architecture because the space was large enough to mantle through, but Garrett didn't "stick" to the edge at all. I noticed that with the hedgerows, too: they cannot be mantled onto. So I snuck by those two awfully difficult guards (idle and strange patrolling one) and into the tower... and all I got was a dewdrop (which counted as a secret). :nut:

To get into the house with the frobbable window, I had to go all the way around to the back of the stationary hammerite by the hedgerows. I was able to fire a rope arrow into one hedgerow, but since I couldn't mantle onto them, I had to rely on using the L shape of the hedgerows to my advantage. Firing a rope arrow on one side and jumping to the other line of the angle was the only way to get onto these tall hedgerows.

Nudging, Water Arrows, Mad Dashes, Oh My!

After silently sinking into the water by the moat and the closed gate, I discovered a new area of the mission and was ecstatic. But when I got past one guard inside a castle area and opened the door leading out, I hit a brick wall; literally a hammerite's back (psst... FM authors... not all of us automatically blackjack every guard we see :rolleyes:). Now, to be fair, I later learned that after opening the closed gate (lever inside the castle) by the moat, I could have gone back to the moat with the pivoting guard without having to nudge the guard blocking the door. I actually did this later in the mission when I retraced my steps to this area; I was able to sneak by the pivoting guard on the moat and the troublesome idle guard with his back facing that door. However, at the moment of being at this door and walking into that hammerite's back, I just did not feel like turning around and going all the way back.

So I had to do a lot of tedious and careful nudging; tedious because I had to nudge a little bit and hide while waiting for two hammerite patrols to go by; and careful because if I nudged this guard too far out I would NOT be able to sneak through the cramped area. The area was L shaped and the hammerite was standing at the vertex of that right angle. If I pushed him too far out, I would not be able to sneak through either paths of that L-shaped area. Of course, it didn't help that a streetlamp was keeping the area bright. I reloaded dozens of times here, but I eventually prevailed. Just running quickly to different spots of medium brightness was the only option... but then I had to worry about the patrolling guard down the tunnel; dousing both torches was needed. I also had to douse one torch by the gate with... you guessed it, a guard standing right in front of it. Oh, I could get by him, but he was staring at a door and a staircase that I needed to go through. Dousing at least one torch was completely necessary.

The Hammerite Barracks

I could successfully creep around the marble floors of the bottom level of the barracks without dousing any torches or the bright fireplace, but the second floor was impossible. I had to douse every torch because of the patrolling guard on the marble floor. He was walking across a narrow balcony and there was just no time to sneak by him. Even with all the torches doused, I had trouble. I was luckily able to do a ballet-like leap onto the thin stone-textured edge of the balcony and scale across. Again... lots of reloads were happening. You know, this mission probably takes the record of most reloads in my whole experience of playing Thief (even beats the zombies in the mines of T1's Cragscleft Prison).

Finishing Up

Once I acquired the right key to the church, I had to recreate all of my maneuvers of getting around these numerous hammerites, but after my 20+ reloads, I was a master. Once inside the church, I was generally stumped on how to proceed. I noticed an unusually textured slab of stone next to the altar (clearly a door leading to a secret passageway) and I didn't know how to open it. I also had to douse all torches near the altar and even then it was bright. Hugging the walls behind the altar was the only way to avoid alerting the hammerite nearby.

I confess I let out some frustration by blackjacking both hammerites in the church so I could quickly investigate for secret switches and loot. I learned by reading the stone tablets about "looking up to the heavens" and at "Brother Tennor's Eyes," that these were clues. Sure enough, there was a stained glass window of a hammerite priest and a plaque that said "Brother Tennor." Nestled into one of his eyes was a red button and that opened the secret passageway. I thought it was funny when I entered this passage and Garrett made a remark about how it was time to raid a tomb... except for the hammerite book (objective) there was nothing in this tomb! I expected maybe a gold vase or an amulet resting on the dozens of sarcophagi, but nothing. The frobbable hammerite panel was locked and I needed a key that could only be obtained by busting a ghost. So I take that back... there were at least valuable books inside this hammer panel, but still... I expected some loot lying around this fairly large tomb. :scratch:

I had previously discovered the secret escape tunnel through the hammerite barracks and used that to go back to Lord Seth's camp. Once I obtained over 2500 loot (the objective), I had no desire to try for any more. Perfect Thief is impossible anyway because one must break down boards AND shoot a fire arrow into a stone wall that bars the way to the crypt under the mines.

Hexameron
11th Jan 2008, 03:25
FM: In dubio pro Garrett - (InDubioProGarrett.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:42:53
Loot - 2892/3487
Pockets Picked - 13/15
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0

General Notes

-No alerts could be made when playing on expert.
-With the exception of the bluecoats and watchers by the city watch building, none of the AI in the city were aggressive to or aware of Garrett.
-Sneaking through the sewers was tedious because of the numerous patrolling frogbeasts; making one little splash sound while walking in water disturbed them.
-As a student majoring in music, I loved what the author did with music in this mission. While some of the atmospheric music was not very Thief (in the vault and the city watch building), it was thrilling to turn on the various victrolas and hear Beethoven's 5th or Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik." I had to chuckle when the victrola next to the burrick pen played Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries." Despite the scandalous activity of this Lord Andre, I liked him for playing Wagner to his pets. :whistle:
-Those burricks, by the way, were also non-aggressive and did not hear/see me (they could still be provoked with an overhead sword slash).
-I thought getting by those watchers in Andre's mansion was going to bust my ghost; they were everywhere. Fortunately, I learned in Hagen's room that the basement had a camera control room.
-I had to moss the floor right in front of the watcher guarding the basement door just so I wouldn't alert the patrolling guards when running across the tiled floor. Running was necessary for timing reasons. I could not avoid setting off a watcher if I tried to sneak towards the basement.
-At the city watch jail, I had to douse the torch in the cell block. This enabled me to escape with Carlos without alerting one of the inmates. Crouching while moving across the wood floor of the barracks was required, too. There was a sleeping guard who, if disturbed by my running on the floor, would get up and see me trying to make my escape with Carlos.

The Breakfast Club and Indiana Jones: Some Movie Reminiscences with a Vault Door

I thought I would have to declare a ghost bust at the vault, but some problem solving and multiple reloads enabled me to defeat this area completely. The vault door in the basement had its own lockbox and opening that would open the vault door. However, the door would close after about 5-10 seconds, so the author intended for the player to get trapped in the vault after walking in. Once the vault door closed behind the player in the vault, there was no way to escape without slashing a banner.

In addition to having a lot of loot, the vault also had the Horn of Quintus (objective), an important key to continue into the mission, and a book that explained where another essential item needed for an objective was located. After my efforts made in the huge mansion with the watchers, I was kind of bummed that I would have to call this ghost a bust. But I perservered and tried to beat this thing. First, I tried setting up numerous items against the vault door. I put as many crates and objects I could find against the opened vault door. It was hilarious to watch the door close and push everything away as if it weighed no more than styrofoam. It reminded me of a scene in the movie, The Breakfast Club, where the principal placed a chair in front of a door to prop it open, but the door slammed shut and sent the chair flying.

Just for kicks, I tried standing in front of the open vault door and waited for it to close... I was in for quite a ride and nothing was going to keep that vault door open. There was also no way to place objects so that they collided with the frame of the vault door; items would just get stuck inside of the vault door itself.

But wait... what if I could just make a mad dash into the vault, grab the items and run back before the vault door closes? :eek: Simplicity is the best thing because it worked. It took several practice runs and I reloaded after either taking damage (after dropping from the steep staircase) or not getting back through the vault door in time. On my best run, I managed to get the loot on the left side of the vault, the key, the journal, and the horn. Dropping down from the staircase and mantling back onto it was the only way to save time and get through the door; I felt like Indiana Jones in that Temple of Doom scene with the closing stone slab (where Indiana grabs his hat after narrowly escaping). I had to run into the vault right after opening the door, grab the most important items, mantle back onto the stairs, and then leap through the gap of a closing vault door. Sorry my dear FM author, I am not slashing banners today :rasp:

goldsla
11th Jan 2008, 20:53
FM: Dance with the Dead (DwtD_v12.zip)

Ghost - Maybe * * * UPDATED * * *Nope, Failed
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 01:43:57
Loot - 0/6885
Pockets Picked - n/a
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/6

Comments:
This mission offers 9 possible combinations of play. 1st there are 3 difficulty levels ("Easy Peasy", "Harder" and "Nightmare"), and then there are 3 playing modes ("Garrett", "Duke Nukem", and "Suicidal"). I chose Nightmare and Suicidal. On reflection, I bet that I did not satisfy rule #1 (Highest difficulty level available and playable, usually Expert, although it might be renamed by the author) with that choice. To truly play the game at its most difficult, I probably should have chosen Nightmare and Duke Nukem.

The FM notes say about Duke Nukem: "There are significantly more enemy AI than in other modes. Ghosting is almost certainly impossible." And that level only gives you blow-em-up devices, so none of the goodies would have been of any use. Hence the "Maybe" for ghosting, given my choice of play modes.

Bluntly, this mission is not for ghosting. Not that it can't be done. I bet that I could ghost it now (Nightmare and Suicidal) in less than an hour. No bets about trying Nightmare and Duke Nukem. But well over half of the mission is in optional objectives that cannot be ghosted because they require the breakage of coverings on elemental placards. (This violates rule 6: No property damage is allowed. No banners cut, no doors bashed in, no things burnt or destroyed, and no broken glass.)

And you don't have much fun when you are ghosting this one. There is very little to do when ghosting. There is one toy sword you can pick up as loot and a tiara (they didn't show in my stats because I reloaded to earlier than finding them and didn't bother to go back for the 60 g or so that they were worth). I didn't see anything else outside of the secret areas, which required busting the ghost to get to. Just get Asmodan's Icon of Death and get out. You navigate three levels full of skeletons in a very realisticly boring crypt type area. The atmosphere is great. But there is not much to do if you are ghosting.

If you don't ghost, there are puzzles to solve, acrobatics to engage in, mazes to swim, and so on. Lots of fun. But not for ghosting.

Hexameron reports having trouble due to the skeletons making no noise. I did not have that problem. They were plenty noisy in my game play, so I could always tell when one was approaching or retreating. They did not seem to ever exhibit a first level alert, going straight from no alert to you're busted. And they were hyper-sensitive. But after a while I began to understand the limits they presented and was able to get around OK.

I may go back and look at ghosting this in Duke Nukem mode. But I won't bother with any loot.

* * * UPDATE 1/11/2008 * * *
I did try to ghost Duke Nukem & failed. I could not even get down to the mid level. In Duke Nukem, there are now stationary guards in front of the two staircases down. One is a skeleton archer and one is a skleleton mage. The mage is right up against a wall, and there is no way to sneak behind it. The archer is far enough off of the wall that you can get behind, but its peripheral vision is too good. It caught me every time it tried for the stairs. Duke Nukem definately cannot be ghosted by me. So my call is that the FM cannot be ghosted since it canot be ghosted at its hardest level. One can still get through other levels without alerts, but not Duke Nukem.

Yandros
11th Jan 2008, 21:01
The boring nature of the straight path in this mission is precisely why I added all the secrets and loot - my testers told me not to bother releasing it before they were added, it was boring and not "up to standards" - and they were right.

I think there is 20-30 loot available outside of the secret areas, not just the one sword. But I may be remembering wrong.

I think Duke Nukem mode at any difficulty will not be ghostable. After you take the Icon, new AI are teleported in, some of which are placed such that I don't think it's possible to get back to the entrance without alerting them - but you're welcome to try. The best ghosting experience on this mission is probably Garrett, where some new AI are added but not placed such that escaping is impossible.

Peter, I thought at the time we tested this mission that the breaking of the placards to access the secret areas wasn't considered a bust - am I remembering wrong? Because I recall that I changed the flinders produced when whacking a placard so that they didn't make noise when hitting the ground, after you mentioned that that had alerted some nearby AI and busted the ghost.

Hexameron
12th Jan 2008, 04:09
FM: The Ashen Age Part 1 - (AshAgeP1V4.zip)

Ghost - Failed
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 01:00:07
Loot - 2362/2412
Pockets Picked - 4/8
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 1
Damage dealt - 1 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 1
Secrets Found - 2/2

Causes of Failure

-Cannot sneak by male thief outside of the pub above Corrado's place.

-Cannot sneak by male thief patrolling near Corrado's office.

-Must use an explosive device to blast away debris blocking the mission end. Explosion also alerts a nearby zombie.

Comments - I wonder what the programmers and mission designers of the original Thief games would think when they look at an FM like this. With the textures completely revamped, the sound of footsteps changed, and the gorgeous mission design, I bet the original designers would be impressed. I'm frankly amazed at what some of our best FM designers are capable of, as exhibited in the breathtaking quality of this mission. It's small, almost reminiscent of a contest mission, but beautifully built. In addition to being enraptured by all of the eye candy, I also had a hell of a fun time taffing about and trying to ghost this FM.

General Notes

-I noticed that on expert level most of the guards were quite sensitive, but only with regards to first alerts. If I was in the corner with one yellow hue above the complete darkness of the light gem, a far-away AI would make a first alert; that never happens for me in normal Thief OM's/FM's. There was definitely an alteration to their sensitivity, but at least there was nothing quirky (dousing a torch, opening a door, or proximity) that alerted them.
-I loved the multiple routes the player could take to avoid a frontal assault with numerous AI's. This is what makes a great mission: when you can find solutions for tough situations by using less conspicuous but design-intended alternative paths.
-Even if ghosting was possible, perfect thief would not be; I could not get the many gold coins in the fountain next to the two nobles without alerting one.
-I was able to ghost the watcher guarding the three vaults, but it was pretty difficult, especially once I opened the second vault. To sneak into the actual vault lobby, I had to hug the patrolling guard's back, slowly peek inside the lobby and wait for the watcher's face to be moving to the right side of the room. I would then dash into one of the open vaults, keep an eye on the patrolling guard, and repeat my method. It was safe to stand under the watcher, too. But I learned later that I could have deactivated the damn thing. :mad2: One of the keys I had acquired early on (Renzo's Key) unexpectedly opened a locked door to Captain Benoit's room. In here there was a crumpled note with the keycode to deactivate both watcher's in this area... oh well.
-There was no chance of sneaking into Corrado's pub. The street area was T shaped and the thief stood at the left side of the _ part. While there were a few shadows against the tip of the | area, the area was literally bright as the sun... because the mission takes place during the day. I couldn't even move beyond the tip of the street without having a bright yellow gem with a red bar. Obviously any movement out into the open alerted the stationary thief. So I knew this was impossible and used one of the author's clever Clockwork Rats to deal with the thief. I loved this: I tossed the thing to the ground and it scurried about and let out a gaseous fume to knock out the guy.
-I could sneak by the girl at the pub counter but there was no hope for the thief down by the water and Corrado's office. I had to pick the office door, which was nestled in a narrow and bright tunnel, and I had no time to do so with that thief's back-and-forth patrol. I used a gas mine in this case to knock him out. Technically I should have 2 knockouts, but since I have a kill count, it looks like the Clockwork Rat's fume actually kills?
-I wasn't sure, initially, how I would make my escape because I didn't even know what the "old sewers" were; it wasn't marked on the map and I had no clue where to go. I figured out that my objective to find a way to unblock the sewers checked off after I had picked up the deadly weapons from the treasure room. One of these weapons was an explosive device. I placed it on the rubble down in the sewer area with the zombie and shot it with a broadhead; the collapsed debris blew up and I heard a very disturbed zombie before the mission ended.

Hexameron
12th Jan 2008, 07:12
FM: Nostalgia - (Nostalgia.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - N/A
Time - 00:32:58
Loot - 0/0
Pockets Picked - 3/9
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0 Bodies Discovered by Enemies - 1
Secrets Found - 0/0

Comments - This mission is more like an RPG and actually reminded me of the Gothic series. The player is not Garrett, but a young boy named Darren who must run some errands for his father. The plot thickens as the player (boy) must infiltrate some places, use pure stealth, and ultimately escape a terrible trap unscathed. For its un-Thiefy style and brevity, I really enjoyed this mission. I also felt that the foggy catacombs, or really, that single large hall with the tunnel leading to the hammerite stained glass window, was the most intricate and magnificent crypt-scene I've ever experienced. I want this talented author to make a pure crypt mission because the attention to detail in that single hall is amazing.

General Notes

-The AI (or in RPG terms, NPC's) of the city did not see or hear Garrett... er, I mean "Darren." It was pretty straightforward what to do and I completed my little "mini-quest" of getting the gold from the banker and buying fish from the market. For some reason, I had the perverse urge to nudge the servant that was fishing off of the docks into the water and see how the townsfolk reacted. He choked and died to no one's concern... I also tried dropping some wine bottles in the well and ran up against some non-frobbable crates, and this upset everyone. They may have been searching around, but they were still unaware of the player. In his search, the homeless person with a TGold Raoul skin even got stuck in his fire barrel and burned to death. Of course I reloaded after doing all of this stuff for giggles.
-I was glad I jumped in the water and explored the town because I found an essential Power Station key under the fishing servant. Having this key was vital and offered the only way to progress in the mission.
-Using pure stealth in the thief caves was the only feasible playing style and I'm glad to see it embraced... it makes sense and I'm glad the author didn't give the player a crowbar or a wood plank just to satisfy the blackjack freaks out there.
-There were a few puzzles of finding a lever to open a door, three colored gems to place in appropriate sockets, and then placing a gold skull on a pole to open a door.

Dazed and Confused Undead and Dies Irae for the Townpeople

When I got to the crypt area, which was a truly inspiring sight with its fog and unbelievable attention to detail in the architecture, a gate closed behind me... I knew something bad was about to happen... I continued down the tunnel and noticed the father's corpse by a pedestal. The corpse was clutching a pagan book and picking it up created a New Objective. However, taking the book also causes another gate to close and two walls to open, which lets out two very eager zombies and skeletons into the room.

I'm not sure about my confidence level in telling the reader that this area is ghostable. I ghosted it for sure... but if the player makes the wrong choice, it's possible to get stuck and never be able to ghost your way out. It was easy for me to practice the right moves of grabbing the book and running into the shadow before the undead see. But ultimate success depends on where you run. If you run behind the columns, you'll be stuck for at least 20 minutes because of the soon-to-be-undead-filled room. If you run to the closed gate after grabbing the book, ghosting becomes easy. I made the mistake of grabbing the book and then hiding behind the pillars against the wall.

Eventually, I was forced to reload because of the weird patrols of the zombies and skeletons. I found these patrols and the AI behavior the most bizarre of my Thief experience. I'd love to look in dromed and see why they were acting the way they were. Their patrols looked random, but they kept walking in circles and running into each other as if they all wanted to follow one another. And for some reason they kept wanting to walk around me. They had the whole room to aimlessly wander around but kept colliding into the columns near me. It was a good 10 minutes of watching them circle around the pillars near me. They kept amassing together into clusters like they were magnetically attracted to each other.

That was quite annoying and I did manage to find a break after 10 minutes and run to the opening in the wall where these undead things came out of... I thought I might be escaping the room, but it turned out to be a dead end. :mad2: The solution to this situation, besides waiting and waiting for 20 minutes in order to make a run for it out of the columns, was to reload to a previous save. I practiced grabbing the book by leaning forward into the pedestal. From this vantage point, I was out of sight of the undead that would enter the room. Thus it was easy to run back to the closed gate, place the gold skull on the pole, flip the lever to open the gate, and sneak out. There was a female zombie and skeleton in the preceding hall, but they gave me no problems.

Once I climbed out of the tomb and back to the city, I felt comfortable in thinking all of the tension was over. I ran back to the house but found the corpse of Darren's mother (can't Darren get a break?). After reading the note on the table which only said "It has begun," all chaos ensued. First, I heard a zombie in one of the nearby rooms and then a tumultuous battle erupted outside in the city. Fortunately, the author didn't give the undead any upper hand. I saw the single hammerite guard take out two zombies and a skeleton by himself. Some servants and even a kungfu Raoul went into the fray as well. I was watching the spectacle from the comfort of total darkness in the house doorframe. Once all the undead outside were killed, I ran out to find more darkness to hide in because there was an agitated zombie in Darren's house that would eventually find his way to the ruckus in the streets. Once I rested in some shadows of the streets, I saw a human guard keep the zombie subdued with constant slashes.

My last objective was to make it to the docks and hide in a storage crate near the ship. I peeked around the corner and witnessed some more melees at the docks... The poor fishmonger was stuck behind his booth while an apparition continuously shot flying skulls into him. It was comical in a macabre way. It was pretty fun to watch all of this, especially when a nearby bank teller and nobleman walked into the docks and aggravated the undead. After the poor people received some poundings, they ran off with the undead in hot pursuit... leaving the docks empty of any aggressive AI. I simply walked out of my shadow and jumped into the water; mantling onto a loading dock with crates ended the mission. I said it was Dies Irae (Days of Wrath) for the Townspeople, but really it was the undead that suffered... they killed a fishmonger and that's it.

Hexameron
13th Jan 2008, 04:45
FM: The Seven Sisters: Night One - (The7SistersV2.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 03:51:51
Loot - 2855/2999
Pockets Picked - 8/8
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 4/5

Comments - This first installment of The Seven Sisters series is among the finest FM's I've ever played and Lady Rowena, the author, is an incredible talent. :thumbsup: "Night One" is the first of three parts, and yet I almost reached 4 hours of game time (and a good 6 hours of playing) on this first mission. There were so many places to go and objectives to fulfill that I'm surprised it didn't take me longer. Had I continued to look for my remaining loot and one secret, I'm sure I would add 2 or more hours to my timestamp. Ghosting was not difficult and the only problems I encountered stemmed from clumsiness on my part, especially in the haunt crypt and around the thieves at the market.

General Notes

-Although there was a "Prologue" mission, it barely lasted three minutes for me and consisted of finding Basso's house. In the actual first mission, "Night One," I had to deal with some sensitive guards after they battled a zombie outside of Basso's house. Only three guards were alerted and I could run off into the narrow alleys to my left and let them calm down.
-Thankfully, many patches of shadow in this mission were dark enough that I routinely dealt with AI walking into me who never even muttered a first alert.
-I found it odd that Garrett was only given one lock pick. I had to leave many doors half picked, but the author explains in the darkloader notes that this is normal.
-Trying to pick up the sword in the kiln of the blacksmith's shop or walking close to Dr. Knox's metal crate of bones proved to be hazardous and caused damage.
-I had to get used to some scripted AI behaviors: some of the thieves feigned a "search" look (like T1's "Assassins") and the bluecoat next to the monkey kept routinely saying, "Here chicky chicky chicky." At first I thought I was spotted, but realized it was part of his scripted patrol. It was hilarious to observe this ape, "Dolly," in a full alerted state... I think of all the creatures I've encountered (thieves, haunts), nothing attacked faster than that thing. That little monkey had moves like a Shaolin monk and I'm glad it was caged. I was also happy to receive a key for a guard's lockbox after placing a donut onto the monkey's plate. I thought for sure this would be a secret, but it didn't give me a "Found Secret" message.

-Sometimes closing doors or dousing torches put AI on second alert. I had some serious problems in the mechanist complex and could not stop the female mechanist w/ crossbow from searching after closing nearby doors or dousing a gas lamp, which I needed to do in order to sneak back from Murdock's room. I think I succeeded in not upsetting her only by sheer luck and plenty of reloads.
-I couldn't find all of the townspeople to cure. I think I managed to cure five people including Jenivere, but I couldn't satisfy the optional objective to heal all of them.
-For some reason none of the party guests in the fenced-in area could see through the fence. I could run by with a full yellow gem and a red bar and not upset anyone. But if I tried picking the lock of the door to the building, everyone panicked and yelled for the guards... of course, the door could only be half picked anyway. ;)
-I don't think the watcher outside of the mechanist compound could see Garrett either... or maybe its range of vision was limited because I could pretty much run across the bright streets and not even arouse a chirp sound; I certainly never made it freeze yellow, either.
-I got frustrated in the hammerite cathedral because I was confused about what Malthus's journal was supposed to be. I thought the open book next to his corpse was the journal. I mean, I was convinced it was because it read like one. But my objective for it didn't tick off, even though I also read Knox's journal in his lab. After retracing steps for other reasons, I realized I missed an obvious area above the potions store. I failed to see the first time that a ladder extended upwards to a room above, which contained Malthus's real journal hidden behind a frobbable banner. I also thought that the hint about a holy water vial in a secret compartment was in the same room with Malthus's corpse. Only later did I learn that there was a real hammerite complex to explore... I just assumed that the cathedral was synonymous with the complex.

-Although moss arrows were scarce, I used almost all of them to speed things up in the lobby of the mechanist complex and in the top-floor hallway of the Sister's building. The Sister could be frobbed (or picked) for her amulet (it was a blue gem), but she and her mechanist bodyguard had small patrols throughout her house. It was tough to take advantage of a break between them without being able to run quickly, so I mossed the entire hallway outside of her bedroom.
-I got concerned about the whole Basso escape premise in the mechanist complex. I had some problems with Basso. Naturally, I hit the acolyte bell so that all guards assembled in the chapel. After releasing Basso, though, I had some issues. First, I kept running out of time before one of the mechanist's would leave the chapel, who I guess to wanted to resume his patrol? Everytime Basso and I would be running down the hallway about to enter the lobby, the chapel doors would open and some stray guard would see and attack Basso. My second issue was that Basso would sometimes stop or get stuck in corners for a while, which didn't help alleviate the situation with the chapel. The only solution I relied on was running ahead of Basso so I could keep frobbing the acolyte bell, which reset everyone to stay in the chapel. After doing that, I just prayed to see Basso come walking into the lobby and successfully make it out the door. Eventually this worked and he must have got home all by himself because I didn't follow him after he left the mechanist complex... Yet five minutes later I got an "Objective Completed" message that he arrived home.

pavlovscat
16th Jan 2008, 02:29
Well, I may have one person on the hook. This is from an email regarding one of the LootThroughs:

We'll see if she follows through. I hope so. I have encouraged her to post her results once she starts stepping out on her own.

Hello, all! That person would be me! ;) Two Fathers was my first successful Ghost, but I'm not claiming it as an authentic success since I played pretty much directly from goldsla's LootThrough. I've always played that if it moves, blackjack it! After seeing the LootThroughs, I thought that maybe I could Ghost, so I gave it a try. Having the LootThrough was a great help to get me pointed in the right direction. Without it, I probably wouldn't have tried. I must say that there is a certain sense of accomplishment in a successful round - even with the LootThrough.

I am about to try Love Story I, which is one of my favorites, on my own with the LootThrough there only if I need it. I will post my results including any cheating. Once I get a bit more familiar with Ghosting, I'll progress to trying some strictly on my own.

I must say that this is a great way to extend the life of older missions. I now have a compelling reason to go back and re-play them. It is certainly much harder than just whacking everybody.

Later!
~pav

Hexameron
16th Jan 2008, 03:23
Hello, all! That person would be me! ;) Two Fathers was my first successful Ghost, but I'm not claiming it as an authentic success since I played pretty much directly from goldsla's LootThrough.

Hi pavlovscat (did he make them salivate, too? ;)). It's good to see another ghoster out there and congratulations on your first successful ghost. I remember how thrilled I was when I ghosted my first FM, "Waterlogged." I hope you'll stick around here and even post some reports when you can. :)


I now have a compelling reason to go back and re-play them. It is certainly much harder than just whacking everybody.

You know, I think what turned me onto ghosting was how boring and easy blackjacking became for me. That was my default mode of playing when I first started Thief. But frankly, I didn't know any better. When I learned about the revolutionary Lytha's Style, I realized there was more to Thief than shooting guards with broadheads on the Normal difficulty. Many years ago, I discovered a TTLG post by Sneak about this strange "Ghosting" style. I read clayman's rules, tried ghosting, and I never went back to my old way of playing. In fact, to this day I only play Thief OM's or FM's as a ghoster (though I might go on "blackjack runs" to either search for loot or find a way to progress in the mission when I'm really stuck).

While it is certainly the most challenging playing mode, it really is the most fun, too. I hope you continue to find ghosting a rewarding and ultimately fun experience in Thief.

goldsla
16th Jan 2008, 13:38
Hello, all! That person would be me! ;) ...
Later!
~pav
All I can say is welcome! :D

pavlovscat
16th Jan 2008, 20:13
I took screenshots of my various stages to accomplish this, but for some reason they didn't save to my Thief directory.
I've had this problem before when taking screenshots. I also don't know why. Generally, if I exit Thief completely & restart the game, the screenshots work again. For a really prime shot, I make a hard save at that point so that I can go back in later & try it again. It's a pita, but it has the advantage of working.


Hi pavlovscat (did he make them salivate, too? ;)).
I'm talking about cats here. Cats rule, dogs drool! I have 8 of the furry varmints, and THEY've trained ME! :rolleyes:

Hexameron
16th Jan 2008, 20:25
Generally, if I exit Thief completely & restart the game, the screenshots work again. For a really prime shot, I make a hard save at that point so that I can go back in later & try it again.

Interesting, and thanks for sharing this. I'll experiment more and see if I can get my screenshots working again. I gave up after my failed attempt in "Ghost Town" and I really wanted to show off my work with those spiders.


I'm talking about cats here. Cats rule, dogs drool! I have 8 of the furry varmints, and THEY've trained ME! :rolleyes:

Oh, I used to have four cats myself. I remember one had excessive drooling problems, though I can't remember if I took her into the vet for it (this was 10 years ago). Cat's definitely rule, but they can also drool :p

Peter_Smith
20th Jan 2008, 05:20
FM: Bad Debts

Ghost - Success (with some help)
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 07:36:00
Loot - 3012/3682
Pockets Picked - 8/0 (??)
Locks Picked 12
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0
Consumables used - 1 moss (unnecessary)

Comments

Bad Debts, a city mission with lots of areas to explore, is Melan's first mission. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is one of the best maps I have played in terms of up-and-down, vertical exploration. The architecture is quite good, too. In the first few minutes, I thought that there was not much to it. High walls with no place to go. Wrong! That is because, initially, I was mostly staying on the ground. You need to constantly inspect the terrain for vertical and jumping opportunities. This is a Thieves Highway with no highway, only an obscure trail. You have to work (or play) hard to find most of the loot – it is not just sitting around waiting to be picked up. I must have missed quite a few places based on my loot total.

One negative about the mission is that the story is a little thin, so the main motivation was exploration for its own sake. That worked for me because the exploration aspect of it was so good. Another problem was that sometimes clues are missing or obscure. If you go everywhere it falls into place most of the time. I had to go to TTLG to figure out how to exit and end the mission. A few more signs here and there with house names and street names would have helped, but the lack of clear directions may be one thing that gave the mission its charm.

As usual for me, I ghosted this in my first play, as I am not too fond of practicing to get a better score. In the first part of the mission, there are not too many AI to contend with, so the exploration is kind of relaxed and a lot of fun. Later, more AI show up and it becomes more tense.

The first real ghosting opportunity I found was in a thief's room in a coal cellar. The thief makes a quick patrol with a lot of random switch backs. I had to dash in there and frob items one at a time and get back quickly. A metal grate at the entrance to the room presented a slight problem. I could have used one of my three moss arrows, but I wanted to save them. It turns out that moss hoarding was unnecessary. Moss is not needed anywhere. It is just convenient in a few places. Getting out of that coal cellar was interesting, too. Like many parts of the mission, the entry is a one-way trip.

Later I came across a locked steel door at the end of hall, not far from the starting point. I looked high and low, far and wide, for ages and could not find a key. Eventually I found some gunpowder barrels and a fire arrow, so I saved the game and blew the door open. Lots of stuff in there! So I figured that there must be a way in at some point, and I should be patient. I reloaded and went on.

Eventually I found a semi-secret passage by flipping a switch near the ground and finding it opened a door way up high. This was not at all obvious and could have been easily missed. A green spider in there is easily ghosted. The passage then led a place with four giant stone statues, above the "Seeing Square". I couldn't figure out what to do there, but eventually it dawned on me. This is the beginning one of the best jumping and climbing puzzles I can remember. I won't spoil you with details (PM me if you want to know), but below is the location you finally arrive at, a long distance away:

http://home.comcast.net/~smithpd1/thief/bad_debts_climb.jpg

To reach this point, one climbs up from the ground level. A big loot stash is waiting for all your effort. Later I found a note that gave me a subtle clue about this area, which I think is called Keywell. Too late. I might not have understood the note if I had not already done it.

At some point I found a letter in the lender's house that triggers a sequence of a new objectives. First I had to go find a double crosser, then an armorer, and finally Garrett's landlord's key. At some point in this sequence, the number of AI increase significantly, so some places that were easy before become impassible. This is where the ghosting fun begins. This rather ingenious mission design allows you to become familiar with the basic map and then figure it out again under more adverse circumstances.

If one is alert, one might remember reading where the landlord was to be found, so one could snag his key. I wasn't alert, having just had an unmentionable examination that required sedation :eek:. So off I went to TTLG, where I got the basic location but not the ghosting method. The landlord was in the Coronet Tavern, a place that I had already explored. But now, with the new AI, it became for me the hardest ghosting problem in the mission.

I tried for a long time to get inside the tavern from the front door. There are two innocents there, the landlord with his key and another guy with a purse. One or both of them always raised a fuss when I rounded the corner into the main room, although the guards were no problem at all. Previously, before the AI count increased, I had found a few routes out of the tavern but only one route in (the front door), which was now foreclosed. I next decided to try to make it in from the tower next door, the one with pipes and metal structures, which I had previously used as an exit from the tavern. I could not find a way up to the top of the metal tower from anywhere but inside the tavern, so that was out.

After a lot of hunting, a light came on in my addled head, and I saw another way. There is an overhanging roof not far from the tavern (the tower is nowhere in sight) that has wood on the bottom of the eave that will accept a rope arrow. This is the kind of roof with a sharp edge you can hardly ever get over, so I had previously ignored it. Sure enough, this seemed impossible at first, as I just fell back down the rope after each mantle attempt. I finally stepped back a way so the arrow would land in the wood more horizontally (also making for a narrow target), and that gave me the purchase I needed to mantle above the sharp edge. Then I was surprised I could climb the steep roof beyond the edge, and finally, I was surprised that I could mantle up over a rampart at the top of the steep roof. This clever design is typical of this mission. Routes that look difficult turn out to be possible, as opposed to the more common approach of making a route that is obvious after you see it.

Once I got on the high ramparts, I went to the other side and dropped down onto a brick bridge that connected me through a window to a stone building next to the tavern. The stone building has holes in the wood floors or ceilings, depending on which way you are going. I had previously roped up to this point from within the tavern, but I did not attempt to get up onto the ramparts, because it looked impossible. Turns out it was not impossible. Anyway I roped down through the holes and entered the tavern the back way. But that was not the end of it. The landlord tended to spot me whenever I entered the main tavern room from that side. Many busts and reloads later, I figured out that the landlord goes on patrol but sometimes he pauses for a long time between patrols, and I was beating my brains out during one of those long pauses. After a while, the landlord decided to go on patrol, which allowed me to dash across the room to a shadow while his back was turned. Then on his second patrol I nabbed the key. Whew! :)

Another AI in the tavern was wearing a purse that I think was impossible to get in ghost mode. He was in bright light, and either he or the landlord would always see me if I went for the purse. I could be wrong, because (I found later) Dafydd tested the mission, and he usually suggests corrections to issues like this.

It was no problem getting back out. I took the easy route out by crawling pipes to the metal tower and dropping down to a door frame.

Having snatched the landlord's key, the use for it became readily apparent. It was that steel door I had tried exploding several hours previously! So I went in there, got the landlord's loot, and came out to find glowing glyphs near my suite of rooms. Frobbing these glyphs presented a clue on how to complete my last objective, to exit the area. The clue made absolutely no sense to me, and it turns out to be irrelevant.

So it was off to TTLG again, to learn that there are two ways to exit in Expert. One involves a key, stolen by a cat, and using said key to open a gate. This route was reported to be impossible in ghost mode. I found that key just to test this assertion. The key was very hard to find, but it was a fun challenge nevertheless. And the assertion was correct. The gate was swarming with AI, and what’s more, they shot arrows at me. :eek: :)

The ghostable exit was reported to be the back door of a thief's place. Even that spoiler was not very helpful, because there are three thief places in the town, none of them are marked on the map, and there was no way for me to know, unless I missed something obvious, where to look. To make a long story (two hours of hunting) short, as I think it should be, the correct exit is located near the Hammerite Seminary. Lots of people were confused about this. It was not my drugged state.

Speaking of Hammerite Seminary, another very nice ghosting opportunity is to pick-pocket a gold hammer worn by a priest in the seminary's back yard. This was a tricky move that involved running on the edge of a wall and timing it just right to get back to shadow.

Apart from that purse in the tavern, I have no idea where the missing 670 loot are. I think I will go back for a BJ run to find out.

In spite of a few issues with the exit, the mission was great fun. Thanks, Melan. :)

EDIT: I went back and found all the loot in BJ mode. Got all but 150 by extensive hunting (around 15 hours), and needed help at TTLG to find the last 150. At least three items cannot be obtained without a ghost bust.

Klatremus
26th Jan 2008, 22:04
FM: The Seven Sisters - Prologue & Night One

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Failed (by the closest margin imaginable)
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 3:11:09
Loot - 2999/2999 (Supreme: 2729)
Pockets Picked - 3/8
Locks Picked 17
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 5/5
Consumables - 5 Holy Water Vials & 7 Water Arrows

I know Hexameron just ghosted this mission, but figured it was ok since I went for Supreme.


Comments:

After finishing my Thief Gold Supreme Ghost run, I decided to turn the tables and try a fresh fan mission pack. And what a pick I made! The Seven Sisters is right up there among the very best. Any fan creation good enough to be compared with the likes of Calendra’s Legacy and The Seventh Crystal certainly deserves praise. That comparison in itself is an achievement. I entered this mission pack with blank sheets, as I had not yet played Lady Rowena’s first creation: ‘Rowena’s Curse’, but you can probably guess what my next adventure will be...
I’d played the entire pack through before starting the Ghost run. Mostly to make proper loot lists in an attempt to perfect my ghosting. I got help for a few pieces of hard loot, but far from what I would call using a walkthrough. Since the first two missions are city-missions, a quick runthrough would also familiarize me with essential shortcuts and potential pitfalls. I had a feeling plain Ghost wouldn’t be the hardest, but as I also strive to accomplish Supreme Ghost, I knew I was in for a challenge. I went through the loot list and made a route in my head first. My initial thoughts went to the objective about curing all the plagued citizens. For Supreme Ghost, even this optional objective was required. That meant I had to pick up at least 7 water arrows and enough holy water vials to cure them all. Some can be cured in twos, but I figured at least 5 vials would be necessary. I generally like it when one or more of the objectives conflict with the rules. It makes for a more diverse way of playing, not just the usual sneak-and-loot approach. Supreme doesn’t say anything about secrets or pickpockets, so those numbers were irrelevant. Sometimes I go for maximum pickups also (meaning bringing along everything I can find), but since Supreme specifies staying away from unnecessary pickups, I decided against it this time. Moreover, the challenges for Supreme were no 1st alerts, no moss arrows and no removing of light sources (torches, candles, lamps). Personally, I think light switches should be allowed, as they can be turned back on without leaving a trace. An additional challenge was to relock all doors (if possible) and close all gates.

I have no experience with Dromed, but I suspect the sound to travel further or stronger than usual. Especially when opening and picking doors or using rope arrows I noticed this. I had to listen through most doors to time the patrols on the other side. Sometimes I also had to lighten the string tension on the bow, to soften the impact of the rope arrow.


Heading for Knox’s

The prologue was easy enough, just grabbed the note and the key off the table and headed upstairs. Night One started there. Oddly, a lantern was in my inventory. I left the blackjack in my room and brought the rest. Basso’s shop key cannot be dropped back so I was stuck with it.

There was a clash between the outside guards and a zombie in the streets outside Basso’s. This made them edgy, so I replayed the scenario until only 4 was alerted. The most I experienced was 6. That zombie did not count against my objective to cure all the plagued victims. There is no holy vial anywhere near so that would have been an early bust.
The thieves at Market Square did fake alerts as part of their patrols. No bust of course, but made me jump on occasion. Did the loot by the fruit stands behind the locked double-doors first. Had to approach from the east, as the area between the ramp to the thieves’ hideout and judge Fowley’s main entrance was too bright. I couldn’t pick the lock without going yellow either, and that caused serious problems considering I had 4 thieves to dodge. Good thing the doors were easy to pick. The patrollers could hear me pick the money box also. It was a sweaty few minutes, but I got out in the end.
The dairy store was easy. Didn’t close the door entirely while looting the place, to better monitor the patrollers outside. I took the donut also, as it was needed to obtain loot later. The rope arrow through the portcullis in the southeast is also very much a necessary pickup. I did the thieves’ hideout next. Maneuvered in between the empty food stands at the market and reached the dark wall east of Oldgate Close. Realized I could stay on the ramp while the thief walked up, but not as he came down again. The best time to enter was when he did his fake search and the stationary thief was turned west. The guy inside had a short patrol and stopped for a few seconds in each room. Found the best way of moving was creep-crouch-running, a pace I rarely use. It proved to be fast yet silent. Again the money box gave me trouble. The man downstairs heard my tools if he was in the western room, so I had to unlock it in two rounds. I followed the thief outside when returning to the streets.
I entered Fowley’s by rope arrowing up the wooden block above the portcullis. The female thief caught me once or twice there. Fowley’s cellar key is necessary to proceed, although it should be dropped back into his room before ending the mission. I cleaned the middle floor and the wine cellar and returned the key immediately. I left the sewer door locked but open so that I wouldn’t need the key later. I like to get things done quickly, otherwise I always forget. Sent the elevator back to the top also.

Initially, I had planned on bringing the 4 water arrows from Conor’s, but he alerted to me picking his door. I brought the arrow from the sewer pour out instead. Most of the canal was dark at the bottom, and ended up being a great way to move about. The problem was finding quiet places to jump in. Surprisingly, I could loot the bakery without trouble. The owner didn’t seem to mind the lockpicks. I ascended the police station through the west window. That way I could stay close enough to make sure nobody heard the arrow impact. There was a tiny portion of shade in the window where I could stay completely hidden (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SS1-2_files/image001.jpg). From the roof I entered sewer maintenance 1 and opened the canal gate (behind the zombie’s back). I also unlocked the door to Minerva’s Place and the lower sewer door with the key from the table. The key couldn’t be dropped back. Is the sewer maintenance 1 key an unnecessary pickup? Well, from the objectives I had to cure the zombie (later), and the only way to do that is to pick the door lock. Following Supreme rules that door has to be relocked, hence it is a required pickup.
I climbed back up the ladder and crossed the roof to the monkey. The top of the gate wall was good for traversing. The cash box key was a necessary pickup and disappeared upon use. Neither this loot nor the guard’s purse were hard to obtain. The coins from the prison cell were tricky though. Sneaking in and out I followed the guard. If he opened and closed the prison door, nobody said a word. If I did, the prisoners gave a comment. So I stuck close enough not to block the door. Dodging his turn at the end of the cell hall was easy. The prisoners didn’t react to me walking or jumping right in front of them, but one (I think the circus performer) alerted to me opening the door to the cell with the coins. I am in doubt whether this is a bust as they are not supposed to react to me, but I ruled against myself and ended up skipping the loot for Supreme. I left the police grounds via the wall by the monkey.

The police station roof archer spotted me once before I managed to enter Knox’s safely. Couldn’t pick the safe in Knox’s underground lab, the female zombie gave a grunt. Would have to come back later and see if I could figure something out. Could mean I would have to do with 6 vials total. Cleaned Malthus’ store and entered Cathedral St. through the back door. I couldn’t pass the guards here without alerts. Realized I had to come through Stonebridge and East End to reach the cathedral. I thus headed back through Malthus’ and entered the canal at East End. Swam west to fetch the 3 water arrows east of Stonebridge and the secret wine bottle on the roof plateau. Dropped into the canal again on the south side, after the patrolling swordsman had gone east. Swam back to sewer maintenance 1 and entered Minerva’s Place from there.


The Hammers

The party by Stonebridge didn’t alert to me as long as I stayed out of their turf. The bridge fence covered me for the archer also. I passed East End behind the three guards. One of them turned randomly, while the other two had predictable angles. Had an honest attempt at reaching Printing Works within Supreme rules, but failed inevitably. I managed to reach the door by creep-crouch-strafing as the patroller went north and the stationary guard was turned east. He has two angles, east and south, but he ended up busting me. If I made it to the door unseen, picking the lock set him off. Only a comment though (given he continued to face east), so plain Ghost was still intact. Had to skip this loot for Supreme. I could only skip 699 total to stay above the requirement. I still had 429 to go on, but it worried me nevertheless.

The hammer cathedral posed few problems. The cathedral key was necessary and couldn’t be dropped back, same with the crypt key, except it disappeared upon use. Took a little time to drop from the bell tower without taking damage. Needed to frob the ladder back in the fall. The objectives are a little vague regarding the whole hammer/Martino ordeal, but I assume obtaining the crypt key is implied. The objective was neither failed nor checked off, it just disappeared from the list as Brother Martino went to rest. Both the hammer and the key were nonetheless necessary to finish the mission. Torches were lit in the main chapel as I placed the holy hammer, but this doesn’t go against any specific rule. Rule #6 only speaks of removing light sources, with the assumed intention of lowering the difficulty.

The crypt was much easier than anticipated. All the caskets had dark alcoves beside them, and the patrols were predictable. To start the elevators in the hammerite complex I had to turn on the engines by flipping the switch. This is not a bust in itself, but it had to be turned off also. I solved this problem by standing on the elevator hitting the top button, then quickly leaned in to shut off the engines before riding to the top. It seemed the engines only ran the basement buttons, as the buttons on the top two floors still worked.
The hammer apparitions were difficult to Ghost. Not because there were many tough spots, but because they didn’t seem to have defined 1st alerts. Especially in the upper floor hallway, picking the lock to the bedroom with the holy vial, I had a hard time telling whether the apparitions heard me or not. Same with the double doors downstairs. Although I cannot give a guarantee I supremed the complex, it was done as close to perfect as possible. I won’t call it a bust if I cannot tell the alerts, but I can assure everyone I was more careful than normal. Whenever I passed a bright area and a hammer was walking with his side or front towards me, I reloaded. The secret door behind the bookshelf couldn’t be closed fully. I had to block it by running into it or putting a vial on the floor (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SS1-2_files/image002.jpg). I could not backtrack and exit through the crypt caves. And I had to finish the mission in my room at Basso’s, so I could not let the Thelesius objective be the last and close the passage from the inside. It has been discussed in the Ghost forum to call it a bust when in doubt, to avoid dilution of the rules, and I agree with that statement. The bookshelf must be left open, if only ajar, and that is a bust. Sad but true.

People react differently to a bust. Some say ‘screw it’ and go nuts for the remainder of the mission, while others accept it and try to finish the mission clean, as if they never experienced the bust in the first place. I am most definitely of the latter kind.


A Little Curing

I had to cc (creep-crawl) out the doorway entering Westgate Wharf from the cathedral grounds. The bright lights and patrollers busted the slightest of speed enhancement. I dropped into the canal alert-free and cleaned the sewage room by Nils’ body. Took one of the water arrows floating by the west gate also. That made 7 total. Then cured the bum below the streets. He went from patrolling to stationary when cured. He didn’t alert to me after the fact, except for when I opened the secret grate leading to the lucky coins. This was too much commotion so he gave a comment. To avoid this I shot him on the north end of his patrol instead. The streets between Westgate Wharf and Oak Square were far too crowded, so I backtracked through Cathedral St. and East End. Looted the party at Stonebridge easily.

Before heading toward the southwestern part of town I decided to cure Jenivere. I thus went back through Fowley’s basement, opening Basso’s sewer door on the way. Strangely, this didn’t alert Jenivere. Entered the streets from the roof near the dairy store. Took the hidden bag of spice from the window in the alley here also. Muffled the drop with a vial retrieving the arrow, as there was a fair amount of guards around.
Since the vial from Knox’s basement seemed hopeless, I needed to cure at least two zombies using only 1 vial. I figured the guy in the bedroom and Jenivere could be possible, in that order. I opened all the doors at Basso’s and flung a rope arrow into the adjacent house. The rope had to be far enough out from the concrete wall to catch dropping from the top, and so close that I could grab the arrow and fall onto the tiny ledge of Basso’s building, and avoid making any sound. Looted the chest inside before standing on the windowsill flinging the healing arrow. The man stopped patrolling but remained highly alert to my presence. Quickly shut the blinds, descended and grabbed the rope, flew down the stairs and cured Jenivere. Think I had around 5 seconds left of the potion. Locked up the shop and left through the sewer. Left the basement door and gate open for Basso’s return.

The two pieces of loot at Maxim’s were a little tricky, only because the patrolling lady could see me through the secret panel to the adjacent apartment (with the caged spider). So I couldn’t eavesdrop to hear when she left the bedroom. Had to time the patrol by listening from a distance, but that was hard because the swordsman outside made much noise. The lady commented on me opening the panel also, so she had to leave and close the door before I could enter. Also, she didn’t always close the door going into the bedroom with her sleeping husband. Then she would alert to me opening the hallway door. Finally I got into the hallway safely, and could frob the doors as she passed.
I entered Olivier’s Clocks striking a rope arrow from outside the inn. Oak Square and southward was just too crowded to risk traversing. I decided to attempt a double cure with Olivier and the guard at Oldgate Close. That meant I could do with only 5 vials total (also skipping the one through the grate at St. Tennor Square), although it necessitated grabbing the shop key from the basement. It disappeared upon use. I did that first and unlocked the front door. That way I could monitor the outside guard and time it with using the vial. Olivier could be cured from the top floor, leaning out by the ladder. That saved valuable seconds. He became stationary and alerted if seeing me. I rushed to the door and creep-crouch-strafed to the left. Anything faster would set off the guard walking north-south. I didn’t have to enter Oldgate Close, but could shoot the swordsman zombie through the tunnel (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SS1-2_files/image003.jpg). He resumed his patrol like a normal swordsman. The objective ticked off as that was 4 people cured besides Jenivere.


The Mechanists

Tried reaching sewer maintenance 2 by passing the mayor’s front doors, but that was too hard without dousing the torches. Instead I reentered the canal through Olivier’s window and climbed the ladder north on Archway Walk. I followed one of the thieves south to St. Tennor Square and hugged the walls to the west to reach the sewer door. The foot of the big monument helped block the view to one of the patrollers.
Opened the doors and gates leading to Basso’s basement first, to help him escape later. Looted the entire mechanist building (dining hall, chapel, upstairs bedrooms) alert-free. Rufus had a small patrol in his chamber, from the desk to the bookshelf. He had to be stationed by the shelves when I opened the door, otherwise he uttered an annoyance. Maya’s key couldn’t be taken unless reading the book first. Luckily, the key couldn’t be dropped back. Rufus didn’t mind me picking the chest. Neither Rufus nor Murdock left their rooms upon sounding the acolyte bell. That was a problem because the security room key had to be returned to Murdock’s closet. The clunk woke him up so I dropped it on the carpet instead (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SS1-2_files/image004.jpg). Tried putting it on top of the healing potion, but to no avail. Supreme bust? I must admit I’m in doubt on this one. The key was returned no more than an inch away from where it lay. But remember, there are no small or big busts when Ghosting. Either you bust or you don’t. So I guess this is another bust. Sent everybody to the chapel and quickly freed Basso. The lockbox key disappeared. Closed the cell gate as he left and ran upstairs to open the front doors. I didn’t have to turn off the watcher, as this would also have busted Supreme. The first guard emerged from the chapel no less than 5 seconds after Basso escaped. I reset the bell and headed for Maya’s.

This was the toughest place to ghost in the mission. Not only were there few places to hide, but Maya and the guard had opposing routes. When Maya left her bedroom the guard would enter 10 seconds later, and vice versa. I could easily snag her heart and the vase downstairs, but the bedroom was frustrating. The west corner of the doorway in the hall was the only safe spot to wait for an opportunity. I stood on the small table at the end of the hall as Maya left the bedroom. I had only a second or two to work with before the guard would appear from the stairs and spot me. I also couldn’t let her close the door fully, as she commented on the noises. I inched down from the table as she came out and frobbed the door just in time, then rushed inside. Naturally, the hall was tile and the doorway marble, as if it wasn’t hard enough already. Hid in the greenhouse doorway as the guard did his round. Leaving the bedroom was the toughest by far. No shadows whatsoever. I started improvising with the double doors and eventually found a solution. I stood inside by the southern door, not hugging it, but positioned an inch or two away. As Maya came, I blocked the door, and Maya would pass undetected through the other (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SS1-2_files/image005.jpg). She would soon come to a halt and turn, so I had to sneak out before that. Creep-crouch-running was the most efficient speed. From outside, I could close the door fully.


Wrap-up

Pulled the acolyte bell one final time and left through the sewers. The Basso objective ticked off as I neared his apartment. Entered Knox’s lab via the canal and cured his patient. She became unresponsive to me, so I could finally pick Knox’s safe and take the final healing vial. Ironically, I didn’t need it anymore. Closed both the secret doors and the outer gate. Headed back to the hammerite complex through Minerva’s Place and East End. Destroyed Maya’s heart and returned via the same route. Finally cured the man in sewer maintenance 1. He became stationary and very alert. Closed all gates on the way back to Basso’s and ended the mission in my room.


Summary

- Skipped the lucky coins in the prison cell for Supreme. One of the prisoners gave a comment when opening the cell door.
- Also skipped the loot at Printing Works for Supreme. The nearby guard gave a comment when picking the locks, and another one when leaving.
- Couldn’t close the secret bookshelf door exiting the hammerite complex. Had to obstruct it as it swung shut and leave it ajar. Busts Supreme.
- The security room key couldn’t be returned to Murdock’s closet. The metallic clunk woke him up. Laid it on the carpet instead. Another Supreme bust.

Peter_Smith
27th Jan 2008, 02:27
Hi Klatremus. :) Welcome back to the ghosting fold. Good to hear from you. The Seven Sisters is certainly a good series for ghosting. Have fun with the other two.

BTW, I personally think it is more fun to ghost from scratch the first time rather than with a planned route and (heaven forbid) a loot list. To each his own, though, and I don't begrudge you that. :)

Klatremus
27th Jan 2008, 10:38
Hi Peter :)

What can I say? I am an obsessive perfectionist. :o I cannot bear the thought of failing Ghost when I know it is achievable. I absolutely cannot let a mission go until I've found all the loot. And under no circumstance can I start a Supreme run without knowing the various routes, keys and necessary pickups. It sounds tedious I know, and would probably be tiresome to most, but that is honestly the way I like it.

It should also be said that I follow and honor the rules very humbly, in respect for the modes and the people who made them.

Hehe, it sounds like I am trying to justify my style of play rather than explaining it.

I really am a nice guy, I promise...:D

goldsla
28th Jan 2008, 17:40
FM: Three Crowns (Version 1) [Three_Crowns.zip]

Ghost - Failed
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 05:26:18
Loot - 10566/11581
Pockets Picked - 11/16
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0 Bodies Discovered by Enemies - 1
Secrets Found - 2/5

Comments:
This is a huge, elaborate mission. It is such a pity that it is not ghostable. I did this mission over 8 weeks, while writing ghosting walkthroughs for the Love Story series. Needless to say, since I decided not to take notes for this one (my bad), I may have some of the details wrong. With that caveat, the mission plot is to retrieve three magical crowns and give them to the Keepers. The crowns are all supposed to be in a warehouse, but by the time you get there, they are no longer there, having already been stolen by a bad Hammerite who is plotting naughtiness. So you have to go the cathedral to retrieve them, but by the time you do that, they have been stolen again!

So far this has been a fairly standard city-type mission. Lots of patrolling guards, some interesting climbing, but that's about it. But after the cathedral, the plot twists, and you have to make your way through an underground warren of ape-beasts, rat-men, praying mantid beasts, and claymen. Oh did I fail to mention spiders? Big hairy ones, with fangs and poisonous drool. Ugh! In any event, the mission takes on a very different ambiance. There is a bit of a key hunt and lots of climbing. At the end of the mission I had 12 (twelve!!) rope arrows, and I had to abandon one, so there are 13 to be collected.

In any event, the mission is eminently ghostable, up to a point. That point is the key hunt. You need to get inside the "pool room" and the only way in is by opening four unpickable locks. Three of the keys are not too bad. If I recall correctly there are two copies of one of them, both of which can be pick pocketed. Another one can be pick pocketed. The third has to be found. As does the fourth. The problem is with one of the ones that have to be found. It is guarded by a series of fire elementals. While I was able to make it by the first set without them alerting (I had to take some damage to do it jumping from where no sane person would jump), I was unable to penetrate the second set. In the end I had to take them out with water arrows.

But let's assume that you are good enough to navigate this hazard successfully. You collect one crown from the boys in the rat suits, another from the chimps with blow guns, and then you find out that the third and last crown is guarded by some more fire elementals in a brightly lit area of a room. I'm afraid to say that the water arrows had to come out again.

After getting the last crown, you return to where the mission started, but you have the opportunity to re-explore everything looking for more loot and secrets. I was five and a half hours into the mission, and just did not have the energy to go on looking. So I just handed over the crowns.

Besides the two areas with the fire elementals mentioned above, there is another potential ghosting problem. In getting the 2nd crown, you trigger a trap of purple magic pellets. No big deal since traps are only an issue for Supreme, but the trap may alert a fire elemental and then kill it. I only know this because the first time through this area a fire elemental came out and looked around. I reloaded, was much quieter, but still triggered the trap. By the time I navigated to the area where the elemental had appeared from, it was not there. I have to presume that the purple magic pellets from the trap nailed it as it tried to enter the throne room. But I never saw nor heard it.

I highly recommend this mission, just not for ghosting. I may go back and play this with my BJ in hand and see if I can find all the loot. This one is tricky and fun! My only use of consumables was water arrows for the elementals, and I ended up with forty-three broadheads, twenty-five water arrows, sixteen moss arrows, three gas arrows, and twelve rope arrows.

goldsla
31st Jan 2008, 03:51
FM: The Time That Has Passed [thetimethathaspassed.zip]

Ghost - Failed
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 04:48:20
Loot - 3150/3150
Pockets Picked - 19/20
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 77
Damage dealt - 77 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0 Bodies Discovered by Enemies - 0
Secrets Found - 8/8

Comments:
This is the sequel to Two Fathers. Unfortunately, unlike Two Fathers, it cannot be ghosted. Trust me. I gave it my all. It was designed to be reasonably challenging for the non-ghoster, and has several elements that make ghosting impossible.

The first problem is with the objective to retrieve a clock. The clock is located in a building that you have to access via a balcony in plain sight of a stationary guard on another balcony. To make matters worse, the only way to get to either balcony is through climbing a rope arrow in plain sight of a second stationary guard on the street. Oh well.

There is another stationary guard, in a protected and well lit alcove, who prevents further traffic down a necessary street. And, I think another stationary guard or three at other non-ghostable key locations. To make matters worse, new AIs keep spawning as you progressed through the mission, so much so, that if ghosting, you might have been blocked by too much traffic! :eek: Seriously, ultimately there were over 60 guards in this mission.

After hitting the 2nd or 3rd roadblock, I decided that discretion may be the better part of valor, but this was not a mission for the discrete, and I pulled out my blackjack.

So instead of ghosting I ended up trying for KOs on all the AIs and attaining all the loot. I believe that in this I succeeded. Perfect thief would not have been possible even if ghosting had been. Some of the loot is in a boarded up alley. Property damage was necessary to gain access.

In all, this is a good mission with some satisfying puzzles and challenges, but not one for ghosters.:(

Klatremus
2nd Feb 2008, 22:06
FM: The Seven Sisters - Night Two

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Failed (6 first alerts & 3 light switches flipped)
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 3:45:18
Loot - 6009 out of 6009 (Supreme: 4524)
Pockets Picked - 4/20
Locks Picked 36 :eek:
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 1
Secrets Found - 3/3
Consumables - 6 Holy Water Vials & 8 Water Arrows


Comments:

Night two started similar to the first. Even though I didn’t pick up the blackjack the night before, it was in my inventory now. So were 2 water arrows, 4 moss arrows and 2 rope arrows. There were a total of 9 zombies in need of healing. I had a hope of only requiring 6 vials, plus the additional 7 water arrows. The key ring couldn’t be taken until having read Basso’s note. It was also stuck to my inventory.


East

Grabbed the secret purse on the dead guy in the sewer and went for the mech lab. The patrollers were easy to dodge, but the iron beast commented on opening the access grate. Thus skipped the nugget in there for Supreme. Exited to Marked Square and healed the dairy store owner in the streets. She stopped patrolling but didn’t alert to me. If I came close though, she ran into her store and closed the door, still without alerting. If I opened the door now to loot the place, she commented, so I took the money before curing her. The guy on the balcony (Robert) saw me a couple of times, but all in all the streets were empty compared to the night before.
Had to loot Basil’s from the sewer, as the door here was unlocked. Dodged Basil in the tunnel as he did his route. Brought 4 water arrows from Conor’s. This night he didn’t mind me. The streets south of the police station were completely empty. An officer sat sleeping by a table on the east side. I could thus grab the candlestick on the hanging roof with a rope arrow. The zombie baker alerted to me picking his door. This busts Supreme, as it cannot be skipped due to the optional objective. He started patrolling the streets after that. I opened the canal gate in the maintenance room and fetched the holy vial from the underground alley. Managed to heal the station roof archer, the baker and the guy locked in the upper library with the same vial. They were all easily accessible from the roof up the ladder from sewer maintenance 1. The archer resumed his normal patrol. The baker acted similarly to the dairy store owner; he stopped, but ran home as I came close. The man in the library became stationary and highly alert.
The police station moreover wasn’t hard. Used the small dark spot in the northwest corner by the gambling table to grab the coins and the cell key. The latter disappeared upon use. Opened the front doors for Keef (the prisoner), otherwise he would get killed by the patrolling guard. East End was very crowded, so I dropped into the canal from the top floor window and headed for Minerva’s Place.

Next up was Mrs. Peacock’s through the inn. Nothing much to report, except for the lady furthest down the hall gave a comment when opening the door. Had to skip the 200 loot there for Supreme.
Entered the canal afterwards and ascended at north end of Archway’s Walk. Roped onto its roof from just inside the gates to Manor Street. It was hard to mantle without thumping my boots and alerting the archer in the nearest guard tower. He turned 180 with random intervals. Looted both apartments accessible from the overhang. Dropped into the streets and headed for St. Tenor Square.


Mayor’s

Snuck along the western walls of St. Tenor Square and mantled the pipe in the corner. The three guards had to be timed to avoid alerts. I encountered a huge problem inside the mayor’s house. Zoraide and the zombie (Angelica) didn’t react to one another, but after I cured the girl, Zoraide ended up killing her, and that failed the ‘do not let innocents die’-objective. I could cure her in the dark, but then she ended up seeing Zoraide and went looking, again getting killed. This was a tough nut to crack. I noticed the area around the double doors exiting the living room was quite dark. I had a theory that if I cured the zombie right before it entered the living room, Angelica would be positioned just outside the doors, in the dark. Then when Zoraide came along, she would pass her and close the doors, thus not letting Angelica see her. Well, I managed to cure the zombie outside by shooting a holy arrow as it opened the door. Patrolling enemies stop for half a second when opening doors, so there was a short window of opportunity. I shot her from the western side of the living room, as the other end is too bright to pass unnoticed. The shot didn’t have to be spot on, as the splash healed a small radius around the impact area. The doors remained open though, but that didn’t matter. The rules don’t make you close doors someone else opens. When Zoraide came from behind though, she got blocked by Angelica standing in the doorway. There she was, totally oblivious, just bumping into her (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SS3_files/image001.jpg). The problem now was that she would nudge Angelica forward until she entered the lights, and I was back at square one. This nudging took a few minutes, so I decided to leave the zombie uncured and return later. Perhaps I could do it as the last objective and finish the mission quickly.
The rest of the house was looted first. The safe with the stone key was tough to pick. It took two changes of lockpicks. Zoraide had the bedroom as part of her patrol and there were no shadows whatsoever (for Supreme you cannot turn off lights). I had to stop picking halfway through and hide in the dark nook outside her door. On the second picking round I got the key. Both enemies alerted easily to doors opening and closing, making the process more tedious.


Sir Giles Deville

I continued through sewer maintenance 2 to Deville’s manor. Had to lighten the string tension on the bow when ascending the well, to avoid alerting the guards in the yard. Striking the arrow with full force upset them. I also had to mantle the floating barrel to shoot the rope; it could not be done from the water. And the barrel slowly sank, so I had to shoot quickly.
There were 4 patrollers and 1 stationary guard in the yard. The stationary one was the toughest by far. He only had two angles; south and east. To reach Deville’s bedroom balcony I roped up the northern rafter (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SS3_files/image002.jpg). I had to time the archer and the swordsman on the walkway, and the stationary guard had to face south. I crept up, but didn’t jump off the rope. Instead I swung around and grabbed the arrow, thus quietly landing on the fence. Creep-crouch-walked onto the balcony floor alert-free. The drop down to the grass was too high, so I had to go for the walkway on the south side instead. Fastened a rope into the rafter from the inside. Hopping or mantling onto the fence was too alerting, climbing the rope kept me more hidden. Could not prevent a comment from the stationary guard leaping for the walkway. I managed to avoid the gazes of all the others, and am quite proud of that, but the guard could not be fooled. Why couldn’t I climb down the same side as I ascended? Well, I could, but I couldn’t retrieve my arrow at the same time. Plus, I could only reach the arrow from above the fence line, and then the torch lit me up so much that people saw me fall (in addition to taking damage). If you are ok with leaving an arrow behind though, I suggest doing that. I prefer a 1st alert. Of course, plain Ghost mode allows either.

The next task was to get the basement key. Luckily, it couldn’t be dropped back, so I only needed one trip to the bedroom. But that trip was a hard one! The fence of the lower walkway had shadows just behind the last pillar before the doorway. I stood there and awaited my chance. I studied the woman and the swordsman for a long time, probably 10 rounds. The woman walked faster, and caught up with the swordsman about every 3rd-4th round. The perfect time to follow was when the swordsman was 10-12 feet in front of the woman, and they were both entering the doorway. I had to hug the woman’s back until I entered the stationary guard’s view. The pillar hid me until about 3 tile lengths away from the doorway. From there on I had to creep-crouch-strafe. The doorway eventually blocked his view and I could stand up and continue. If timing it correctly, the woman had now almost reached the end of the hall and had caught up with the swordsman. They still had their back turned for a few more seconds until they would turn around and head back. I needed to get into the dark cranny to the right (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SS3_files/image003.jpg) before either of them turned. I couldn’t run; that would set them off with comments. The fastest way to move undetected was by running and tapping the crouch key. Upon reaching the cranny, I crouched and let them pass. This was a safe spot as long as I crouched. Fetched the key and used the same method out again. The swordsman this time had to reach the doorway right before the woman, so that she had to pass him outside. This time it took me only 3 tries to reach the yard shadows without alerts.

In order to save Ophelia, I had to open both the side- and the front gates. They had operating levers in the side yard and the east guard tower, respectively. It was a little troublesome passing the bright area between the statues to get to the side gate. The problem was again the stationary guard. He had to be turned south for the entire move. Creep-crouch-strafing was again the fastest way. The front yard contained two guards. One was stationed, randomly facing east and north. The other mostly patrolled, although he stopped at one point. The stationary guard had to face north while I slowly followed the patroller east. I could just sneak around the right corner before he turned and headed west. Used the same method back. The guards in the basement were the most wary I have ever seen. I could barely crouch-run anywhere without getting a remark, even from the drunk. There were lots of shadows though, and ghosting is all about patience, so I reached Ophelia in the end. As I cured and approached her, she ran back to the brothel. Nobody alerted to her, so I was clean. Made it upstairs and closed the front gates like before.
I could not drop down the well without alerting every guard in the yard, so I had to figure something else out. Whether I landed with a crack on the barrel or a splash in the water, I could hear Deville’s grumpy people looking for me. I turned my attention to the guard towers instead. Both archers turned 180 degrees randomly, plus the windows were big enough to enter. However, the archers always swung to the east, so I had to enter either window on their west side. There wasn’t enough room to squeeze past the archer in the east tower; I would have to nudge, and that is not allowed (only as a last resort in Ghost), so I had to leave through the west guard tower. Unfortunately, the stationary swordsman commented on me opening the door. An inevitable 1st alert. When guards alert to picking locks or opening/closing doors, they take a long time to settle from it, as much as 3-4 minutes. Therefore, if I closed this door right after the guard gave a comment, he wouldn’t give an additional remark. However, if I waited for him to settle, then closed the door, he would comment again. So I guess there were 2 first alerts here. I could watch the archer from the ladder without getting spotted. I crept up on the west side and waited for him to turn, then snuck into the window (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SS3_files/image004.jpg). Had to fling a rope arrow into the opposite wall in order to reach the streets safely. Muffled the drop with a vial as I grabbed the arrow.
This archer acted very weird though, there’s gotta be something wrong with his visual alert settings. He could spot me even though I was completely dark either on the rope, in the streets or in the dark doorway leading to the yard. Good thing he turned occasionally, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to leave Deville’s proper with normal Ghost intact.


The Brothel

Could traverse Manor Street northwards below the torch, given the archer and the swordsman were turned away. Cleaned the secret apartment easy enough. There was a swordsman with a lantern patrolling here, together with a normal swordsman and an archer. They all patrolled from Deville’s to the brothel, so there was plenty of time to move. Grabbed both holy vials in the area (they made the last ones needed) and headed for the parlor house.

Had to time the patrolling thief when opening the door to the bar/gambling area. He patrolled north-south, and I could eavesdrop through the door for his footsteps. When he was far south, it was clear to open. Strange thing is if he alerted to the door, the other guests seemed to trigger to his comment and follow up with remarks. Had to switch off all three lights to reach the butcher’s key. Big Supreme busts. The purse in the small draft lobby could only be gotten by opening the southern door. The thief this time had to be on the far north part of his patrol not to comment. Same when closing. The other door would set him off regardless.
Getting upstairs took a little timing in terms of the patrolling sister. She had a stop in her patrol staring straight at the elevator shaft. I had to avoid that. I also had the two strolling thieves to worry about. Luckily, none were bothered considerably by the elevator gates. Most of it was straight forward, except for that I had to enter the two southernmost rooms via the balconies. Scarlett & Violet’s hallway door alerted them. Ophelia’s hallway door was very tough to pick, and hers was the only doorway where the thief caught me hiding. Thus it was necessary to come from outside. I picked it from the inside though. Couldn’t avoid a comment from Violet picking her safe. It contained her stone key so it couldn’t be skipped either. She didn’t mind the other safe. The biggest problem leaping for the balconies was the patroller on the top floor. He heard the smallest clunk of my boots. Had to make use of the “silent edges”. Was very careful with possible alerts though. Sometimes I heard guards settling when I didn’t even know they had given a remark in the first place, so double-checking was a necessity.
The top floor had no guards to worry about. I left the brothel entirely and entered the two sets of double doors leading to Oak Square.


Looting

Traversed Oak Square north. There were several key spots excellent for hiding. Westgate Wharf had one turning swordsman to worry about. I creep-crouch-strafed around the corner to the butcher’s gate when he faced north.
Rope arrowed up to the balcony with loot. Dropped down on the southwest corner. This is the only way to reach the butcher’s door without 1st alerts. There is a small ledge that softens the fall, enough to avoid getting hurt. If landing in the dark spot (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SS3_files/image005.jpg), it can be done without getting seen also. The door was reached by inching from top of the ramp. Had to time the patrolling guard when picking the lock. The butcher’s money box had to be picked in two rounds. While waiting for the butcher and the pagan to patrol conveniently, the butcher gave a settling remark, indicating he had alerted earlier. I got this two times, while on the third attempt, I was clean. It could have been from picking the money box, but I can’t remember hearing any comment. Supremers should be aware of this. Anyway, if they met on the steps, that was good news. As the butcher turned for his shop counter, I could sneak out the back door before the pagan closed it. Then had to sneak very quietly to the right not to alert the stationary burrick. Opened the gate and went to pick the barn door. Whichever side I picked from, the stationary burrick gave a grunt, so I skipped that loot for Supreme. Pinky found the way home by herself (she even opened the butcher’s gate). Could fairly easily traverse the pen to Argan’s back entrance.

Cleaned the thieves’ den first. Had to follow the thief inside without blocking any of the doors. If I opened or closed them, the bartender or the drunk lady would comment. I also had to lighten my footsteps hugging the thief’s back. Running while tapping the crouch key was a good method of keeping quiet while still moving reasonably fast. In the basement the stationary thief alerted to me opening the hidden grate. The den beyond had 835 loot. Skipping it meant a total of 4524 loot for Supreme, 24 above the required amount. Ghosting the treasure rooms took a bit of extra patience, but nothing more than normal sneaking. Three of the corners in the first room had shadows, plus the hallway beyond. The hardest thing was getting past the stationary thief’s back. He had to turn conveniently while the others were gone.
Leaving Hobb’s Fine Wines was tough without spawning any more comments. There was an unarmed thief doing a short patrol across from the pub’s main entrance. He was gone for 13 seconds. In that time I had to follow the thief without blocking the door or making any sounds, and dodge him as he turned to head back. Although somewhat random, he usually swung to his right.
Went back to Argan’s and looted his museum without trouble. Left through the side entrance to Clocktower Walk.


Neutralization

Entered Oak Square again and fetched my reward at Mrs. Dowson’s for plain Ghost. Also picked her key and looted the bedroom. Stonebridge manor was surprisingly easy to Supreme ghost. Had to time the patrolling swordsman when picking the gate lock. The party host continued her patrols after being cured, and alerted like a normal guard. Was a little tricky not to get seen when shooting the holy arrow, but nothing worth reporting. Snuck eastward and cleaned the library. Passed East End and dodged the stationary archer on Cathedral Street.
The two zombies by the cathedral occasionally patrol so close they can be cured with one arrow. If so, the mission can be finished with the use of only 8 water arrows. Happily that was the case this time (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SS3_files/image006.jpg), but I have seen them on opposite sides of the cathedral as well. I didn’t know this was possible, so unfortunately I picked up an unnecessary water arrow ahead of time. They both became stationary and alert, so I cured them out of sight of any of the three entrances. Then headed down to neutralize the sisters.
Went west to pick up the key from Basso at Westgate Wharf. This triggered the access of more loot back at the brothel, so I had to make one final trip around the city.

Got the necklace from Fowley’s cellar using the wheel peg from Ophelia’s bedroom. Ascended the canal ladder at Archway’s Walk and entered the brothel like before. Brunhilde now patrolled the hallway, but the thief was gone. Both previous customers were gone as well. Scarlett and Violet lay dead on the floor (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SS3_files/image007.jpg), probably from me destroying their hearts. This made Brunhilde very jumpy, and she occasionally remarked when seeing Scarlett’s body. This is not a bust in any mode, as it is an unavoidable consequence of the objective (classic comparison is the alarm in ‘Undercover’) and perfectly follows the intended storyline. I guess you can be lucky and destroy the heart while Scarlett is in her room, but that would be hard to estimate. I imagine you could save while in the holy pit and destroy one heart at a time. In between each heart you could run to the brothel and check, then adjust it accordingly. I suppose this means you can get Violet’s stone key alert-free also. Took Brunhilde’s loot easy enough. Left the brothel in its original state (elevator, switches, doors, etc).

This gave me hope for Zoraide though. If she was dead, it meant my whole Angelica-problem would go away. I went down there a.s.a.p. And there she was, dead as a doornail! Conveniently lying in the dark doorway to her bedroom. I thus cured Angelica and headed back to Basso.
I could mantle up the street and grab the final piece of loot. I could not, however, enter the maintenance door without a grumble from the stationary swordsman. I guess you could mantle the roof using stackables, but I wasn’t in the mood. If Supreme had been at stake, I definitely would have tried. I managed to close both gates and finish the mission.


Summary

- Had to skip the silver nugget (50) in the mech safe in the southeast. The iron beast made a comment when opening the grate.
- The zombie baker commented on me picking his lock. A requirement to finish the optional objective. Supreme busted early.
- Skipped the necklace (200) on the nightstand of lady’s room at Mrs. Peacock’s for Supreme. She grumbled when I opened the door.
- Couldn’t avoid a 1st alert from the stationary swordsman in Deville’s yard when leaving the balcony. It’s either this or leaving a rope arrow stuck in the rafter. Both violate Supreme.
- Got two more comments from the stationary archer in the front yard when opening and closing the nearby door to the guard tower.
- Had to turn off the 3 light switches on the brothel bottom floor to reach the butcher’s key behind the bar counter. Supreme busts.
- Alerted Violet with an utterance picking her safe at the brothel. Supreme bust. (Can be avoided if destroying her heart first)
- Had to skip releasing Pinky and hence not getting the 400 loot available for Supreme. The nearby stationary burrick grunted from the lockpicks.
- Had to skip the 835 loot in the thieves’ den below Hobb’s Fine Wines for Supreme. The stationary thief alerted when opening (and closing) the grate.
- Had an unnecessary water arrow pickup, as I didn’t know the two zombies by the cathedral could be cured in one shot. Supreme violation.
- Got a comment from the nearby guard going for the sewer maintenance 3 door. Last Supreme breach.
- The body discovered has got to be Brunhilde finding Scarlett in the brothel hallway. An inescapable result of the objective, so no bust.

goldsla
3rd Feb 2008, 10:40
FM: Forgotten Forest, part 1 [forgottenforest1.zip]

1st Run Through
Ghost - Success :)
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 02:39:16
Loot - 4880/5150
Pockets Picked - 4/5
Backstabs - 137 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 1368 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0 Bodies Discovered by Enemies - 0
Secrets Found - 1/1

2nd Run Through
Ghost - Success :)
Perfect Thief - Success :D
Time - 01:15:43
Loot - 5150/5150
Pockets Picked - 4/5
Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 16 Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0 Kills - 1 Bodies Discovered by Enemies - 0
Secrets Found - 1/1

Comments:
The mission starts with a nasty, little white spider blocking your path. No amount of creeping or crawling, hopping, jumping, walking or running works to get by; the spider always alerts. Fortunately, the mission designer, Timon, provided three movable boulders. Slowly, very slowly, I built a wall with those boulders, between the spider and where I needed to go. Then, once I was safely in shadows and out of range, I rearranged the wall to keep the spider from view of my next destination. It took me well over a half an hour to get it right so that I could keep that spider from alerting as I looked around. Only to find that both doors there were locked with unpickable locks.

The immediate area, where you start the mission, is a forest outpost with out-buildings. And most of those buildings are locked with unpickable locks. So the first phase of the mission is a key hunt. And keys are hidden everywhere: under rocks, under mattresses, in graves, … you get the idea. Oh, I forgot to mention that you start the mission with your sword and blackjack, five broadhead arrows, your lock picks, and your compass. That’s it. No water arrows, no rope arrows, nothing else. Guards are all about the torch-lit enclave, both patrolling and stationary.

As you progress through the mission you gain objectives. By the end, there were 13 objectives (12 not counting the usual one for Expert: Don’t kill anyone). Halfway through the mission, the scene shifts from the forest outpost to an underground Hammer-ghost-filled maze of an abandoned monastery and crypt. Here you needed to find hidden switches (and one well hidden key) which allow continued progress through the maze.

It was down there that I got the objective that allowed me to rack up all those backstabs. You have an objective to put a candle on the grave of someone (Constance) who had transgressed against the order. When you do so, Constance’s “ghost” appears (more like a zombie than a ghost, but this was a mission written in Polish, and the translator made some odd word choices. In another case the word “lumberjack” was used when it probably would have more correct to have used the phase “wood cutter.”). In any event, you get a wonderfully clear new objective: “The hell with the b**ch!!! Kill the ghost of Constance.”

Finally a FM designer who makes it very clear what is wanted!

So, I thought since she looked like a zombie, maybe I could killer like one by backstabbing her to the ground and the continuing until she exploded. The first part of my theory worked. As soon as she materialized, I snuck up behind her. She never knew that there was anyone around, let alone that she was in a fight and had already lost. She went down like a ton of … well dead meat. But she did not die or explode. So I kept hitting her on the ground. I got lots of red fluid leakage, but I could not kill her.

Now I may not be the brightest bulb in the box, but after over 135 strikes, even I began so suspect that another approach might be in order. I backed away and watched her while I thought. All that came to mind was holy water. Up to that point I had not found a single bottle of the stuff, nor had I found any water arrows. So I left her lying there and went on a search.

Eventually I found a stash of both water arrows and 2 bottles of holy water. So I returned to dear Constance, who was dead on her feet (she had somewhat recovered from my earlier abuse and was standing up again, but still, not hunting). I let her have a little holy water between the shoulder blades, and she exploded in a most satisfactory manner.

A rather nice Easter egg is also to be found down here near Constance’s grave: a portrait gallery of all the contributors to the mission, from the author, Timon, all the way down to the lowliest beta tester. Very nice.

The toughest bit to ghost in the whole mission was that one, inconveniently placed spider at the beginning. There was a sewer tunnel setup with seven little white spiders in it, but that was a piece of cake compared to the opening act. The guards and the lady of the house, while sensitive, did not react unreasonably. I think that a better looter could attain Perfect Thief. The loot is just well hidden. I was quite surprised to find out just how much I had missed when I ended the mission. I may have to go back and look some more.

In all, this is a reasonably challenging mission to ghost. It is not obnoxiously difficult, nor is it a piece of cake. And there a bit of grave-side humor exhibited on the plaques placed on the sarcophagi. Some may have suffer in translation, but most made the journey from Poland intact.

2nd Run Through Note
I'm not certain which loot I missed the 1st time through. The second time I just played by memory, and miraculously found it all. I wonder whether there was a reload somewhere in the first run after I had found loot which I forgot to go back for. The 2nd run I did without any reloads. Whatever. Perfect Thief is very possible 'cause I just did it.:cool:

Peter_Smith
3rd Feb 2008, 19:20
FM: The Seven Sisters - Night Two
- The body discovered has got to be Brunhilde finding Scarlett in the brothel hallway. An inescapable result of the objective, so no bust.
Having a body discovered is not, per se, against the rules. There could be many reasons for that, beyond the player's control. The creation of the body could be against the rules, but not in this case, obviously. If you wanted to avoid the discovery of the body to create a super-clean ghost, I think it could be done. Scarlett spends about 25% of the time in her room. Just keep repeating the heart destruction with various time delays from a save, then going back there to check it, until the body is in the shadows in her room. You might have to do Violet's heart first and check to see that Scarlett did not see Violet's body. Not that I would play it that way. ;)

Peter_Smith
3rd Feb 2008, 19:45
FM: Dance with the Dead (DwtD_v12.zip)

Duke Nukem definately cannot be ghosted by me. So my call is that the FM cannot be ghosted since it canot be ghosted at its hardest level. One can still get through other levels without alerts, but not Duke Nukem.
I would be tempted to relax the rules in this case. Duke Nukem is not intended to be the hardest skill. It is one of three completely different game play styles, each of which has three skills to chose from. Duke Nukem is a game play style that is intended to involve combat. I'd say that if you took the expert skill at any one of the other two game-play options you could claim a ghost of that portion of the matrix, still admitting that Duke Nukem failed.

Klatremus
3rd Feb 2008, 19:56
Having a body discovered is not, per se, against the rules. There could be many reasons for that, beyond the player's control. The creation of the body could be against the rules, but not in this case, obviously.

Yeah I agree, and I never considered this a bust. Just felt a discovered body should be reported still. I also theorized on how this could be avoided, for purists and extreme ghosters. Dunno if you read it, but it was very similar to your suggestion (2nd paragraph under 'Neutralization' in the report). :)

I am actually enough of a perfectionist to try this, had a mode been at stake. I might go back later to attempt this "super-clean ghost". That makes me think of another thing though. Why wasn't a body registered as discovered on Night One? :confused: The guard in Maya's house had the same patrol as her, and should technically have seen her dead. Or perhaps that doesn't register until you get closer? Will check it out and report back when I find the time.

Peter_Smith
3rd Feb 2008, 20:10
That makes me think of another thing though. Why wasn't a body registered as discovered on Night One? :confused: The guard in Maya's house had the same patrol as her, and should technically have seen her dead. Or perhaps that doesn't register until you get closer? Will check it out and report back when I find the time.
I had thought of that, too, but didn't want to muddy the waters, since is was not an issue. There are some dark spots in the stairwell and the hallway. If you BJ Maya in the middle of the hallway, I think she is not seen. Not sure about Maya's path in her own room.

goldsla
6th Feb 2008, 00:36
I would be tempted to relax the rules in this case. Duke Nukem is not intended to be the hardest skill. It is one of three completely different game play styles, each of which has three skills to chose from. Duke Nukem is a game play style that is intended to involve combat. I'd say that if you took the expert skill at any one of the other two game-play options you could claim a ghost of that portion of the matrix, still admitting that Duke Nukem failed.

While I did ghost Suicidal and Nighmare (Expert equivalent), as a bit of a purist, I don't think I should claim success when there is a combination that is not ghostable. To my mind, by definition, if you cannot ghost one of the three combinations with Nightmare, then that combination is the hardest to ghost, and a ghost success should not be claimed. I think that makes sense, doesn't it?

In the author's reply to my posting he says

I think Duke Nukem mode at any difficulty will not be ghostable. After you take the Icon, new AI are teleported in, some of which are placed such that I don't think it's possible to get back to the entrance without alerting them - but you're welcome to try. The best ghosting experience on this mission is probably Garrett, where some new AI are added but not placed such that escaping is impossible.

In a subsequent PM exchange with the author he said
I totally understand your interpretation, and I have no problem if my mission isn't ghostable.

So I guess I can reciprocate: I totally understand how someone could consider ghosting Suicidal and Nighmare a ghosting success, and will have no issues if they want to claim it. I just don't want to claim it for myself.

Besides this mission is lots more fun if you stop ghosting, break the placards, and go after the optional objectives!

Klatremus
7th Feb 2008, 00:06
FM: The Seven Sisters - Night Three

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Failed (no 1st alerts though)
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 2:25:58
Loot - 4010 out of 4010
Pockets Picked - 0/6
Locks Picked 10
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 3
Secrets Found - 5/5
Consumables - 3 Moss Arrows


Comments:

Started with 1 water arrow and 1 rope arrow. Nobody to cure, only the last three sisters to neutralize, plus loot (and the optional objective revealed later). I’m also instructed to kill the black sister somehow. Hoped for Supreme going in, but having busted the first two, I knew these missions weren’t designed with that mode in mind.


Thieves’ Hideout

The courtyard had two thieves. Nothing big, just normal stealth work. The rope ladder was dark. Cleaned the mill right away, not much to report there either. Did the upstairs bedrooms next. The stationary thief was very edgy, easily alerting to creaks in the wooden stairs. There were no shadows in the upstairs hallway itself, so I had to enter the side rooms for cover. There was a pickable chest in the first bedroom on the right. The wary thief heard the noises, so I had to close the door. The gate key was stuck to my inventory. Took the secret bag of spice by use of a rope arrow when the patroller had her stop. The rest was straight forward.

Downstairs was a little trickier, but still doable. The biggest problem was dodging Rodrigo. He alerted to his door opening or closing, so I had to follow him without blocking the door or making noise. The female thief also overlooked the door at one point. Rodrigo came to a halt just inside the door. Sometimes he took a step forward before heading out again; this was not good. Other times he would start walking again straight for the door, not noticing me. I could pick the chest while he was gone. The wine cask’s key disappeared upon use. Dodged Rodrigo the same way out again, waiting in the small dark nook for him to leave (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SS4_files/image001.jpg). Had to guess when grabbing the fine wine from the open crate in the hall. Sometimes I picked up a worthless bottle instead, so I just reloaded. Think the fine bottle was the backmost one. Entered the caves using the grey key.

The first cavern was easy to traverse, just used the cave slopes to the right. The cliff cave with the bridge was harder. The female archer looked north and south. The patrolling thief crossed the bridge and stopped at both ends of his route. I found a dark portion on the bridge itself, by the north railing. With a little luck, I could reach it by creep-crouch-strafing (it proved to be a very useful speed in this mission pack). The thief would alert with a comment going by, so I had to get onto the outer rim of the railing itself (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SS4_files/image003.jpg). Now he kept quiet. To get to the secret treasure cache, I waited for the thief to head west again, then mantled the rock and leapt across the gap. The path’s steepness gave me trouble, as it was very hard to maintain a steady pace. The area up to the shrubbery was visible from the male thief’s stationary position east of the bridge, so I had to pass that portion before he returned. The middle part wasn’t covered by either of the thieves. The lower section was in the visible range of the archer, thus I had to wait for her to turn south. The cave entrance was dark and the gold was mine (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SS4_files/image004.jpg). Going back was a little easier. Uphill the speed doesn’t bust you as often.

The inner cave had only one pickup: Serafina’s heart. However, her patrol was in the middle of the room, in bright lights. The other thief luckily turned away from time to time. The two support pillars to the south blocked the light from the chandelier, and their shadows got me a little closer to Serafina. I tried lurking in behind her to grab the heart as she turned, but couldn’t make it without a grumble. Even the hay on the floor was too loud for her. It was almost by accident I discovered the small shadow beside the northeastern pillar. It wasn’t as dark as the others, but dark enough to snag the heart as Serafina passed (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SS4_files/image005.jpg). She gave a comment at the end of her patrol even though I was pitch black, so I had to lean right (north) each time she came around, to make the pillar block her view. Although it technically isn’t a bust, the stationary thief gave a comment from seeing Serafina’s corpse. I managed to get rid of this by making her fall behind the pillar (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SS4_files/image006.jpg). This was not required by any mode, but fun to accomplish nonetheless.

I used exactly the same methods to return to the starting pool.


Pagan Caves

The burrick caves had a few glowing mushrooms, but nothing dangerous. Took my time and collected all the nuggets. Alerts are a little hard to determine from burricks, so I always reload rather than being in doubt.

The following cave was a smidgen harder, but again nothing to worry about. There were plenty of tree trunks to hide behind, and enough shadows. Only a few torched areas where I had to watch out. Climbed the northwestern walkway with a rope arrow and cleaned the inside huts. The outside patrollers could hear me clunk my boots getting off the rope arrows, so I treaded lightly.
The inner pagan cave caused only a few problems. The loot was easily accessible, only dodging the stationary tree-beast. I approached the eastern doorway from the shadows to the left. The pagans didn’t alert too much, but the patrolling tree-beast was quite wary and ended up being my greatest concern. It patrolled north-south and gave a distinct growl as a 1st alert. Both Heather and the patrolling archer stopped occasionally, always facing away from the doorway. I waited just inside the hut, by the left hand side. When the moment presented itself, I lurked out and snagged her heart (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SS4_files/image007.jpg). The stone key was totally unprotected. Snuck out again when I had the chance. I couldn’t destroy the heart right away, as this alerted at least one archer and getting out then was much harder. It wasn’t needed either. Had to rope arrow up the big rock to the north to get out safely.


Chaos Caves

Getting to the portal was no problem. The floating spirit lit me up, but apparently couldn’t see. At least I stood in its view as it passed, but nothing happened. The ghosts alerted with a loud breath, similar to haunts. Grabbed the final pieces of loot and unlocked the portal with my keys.

Stuck to the dark corners in the mermaid cave. Entered through the small tunnel to the left and circulated the cave northward. I couldn’t make out 1st alerts of any of the creatures in here. Maybe they don’t have any, or perhaps their sensitivity is configured differently. Nevertheless, I could grab the black diamond without any commotion.
Shooting the whirlwinds was another one of those tricky Ghost calls. No damage or kills showed up in the stats. No traces were left except the moss. The stone keys were imperative to continue the mission and obviously an intended part of the puzzle plot. The only possible rule broken is Supreme rule #6 which says: “...no moss arrow use is allowed.” Literally it is a bust, so I’m gonna go ahead and call it that. However, interpreting the context of the rule, I would say its intended purpose is to prevent using moss arrows in the traditional sense, that is, to easier traverse loud surfaces. Whether that extends onto other uses as well I won’t comment. Here, it constitutes part of a mandatory puzzle. Regardless, I cannot allow myself to bend the rules “just because”. Some missions aren’t Supremable and never intended to be. I guess this is one of those.
The bush-beasts neither had any 1st alerts, at least that I could detect. In any case, I ghosted them quite easily. Traversed this mossy cave northward along the walls, grabbing the black diamond on the way. The two other tunnel exits both lead to the same place, but the northern one had the next stone key. I backtracked and took the southern tunnel to continue; if not, I went against the flow of traffic (craymen and insect-beasts).
The sulfur cave could be ghosted without getting involved with any of the smoke shadows. There was a ledge running below the top cliff that I could drop onto. From there, I ascended the slope and leaped down to the secret cave with the next black diamond (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SS4_files/image002.jpg). That made four. Exiting this cave I emerged in the catacombs.

Reaching Malvina’s lair was easy. I opened the gate to the lava cave first. Then roped up the ledge toward the spider cages. I had to jump the rafters to reach the grate with the next diamond. The nearby spider saw me a time or two before I got it. Opening the gates let out all 15 spiders in full alert. It was not from seeing me, but from a script triggered upon releasing the spiders. They headed straight for Malvina. If they saw me along the way, I was as good as dead. I opened only one of the cages though, as traversing the caves afterwards was harder the more spiders there were. As they attacked Malvina, I closed both the cage and the gate. Three yellow spiders died in the battle. This kill follows directly from the objective, and the spiders are the only ones who can do it (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SS4_files/image008.jpg), so definitely no bust. I took the heart off her corpse afterwards, and headed back through the catacombs.

As I started my descent toward the lava cave, something odd happened to one of the smoke shadows by the main entrance (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SS4_files/image010.jpg). It didn’t stop me from passing undetected. The bottom cave was darkest on the left hand side upon entry. In fact, I could sneak along the wall all the way to the lava without getting spotted (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SS4_files/image011.jpg). The enemies in here weren’t on high alert in any case. Another black diamond lay in shadows on the opposite side. I left through the other tunnel and closed both gates.

The portal was now open so I went through. The final black diamond could be taken without lifting the boulder above. Mission pack complete!


Summary:

- Had to moss the three whirlwinds in the chaos caves. This goes against Supreme rule #6.
- The three bodies discovered are Heather, and probably two of the spiders fighting Malvina. No busts though.

Peter_Smith
7th Feb 2008, 01:50
FM: The Seven Sisters - Night Three
- Had to moss the three whirlwinds in the chaos caves. This goes against Supreme rule #6. Or does it?
I thought it busted the ordinary ghost, per basic rule #2. You are kind of killing the winds. But it doesn't count as a kill in the stats, does it? Is this a programming error in the script, or a lucky break? I think it is quite like a gas arrow that doesn't count as a KO. But you definitely have on your side the fact that there is no body, no corpus delicti.

So, one can go back and forth on this. Regardless, I am happy to agree that this is a reasonable exception and that you ghosted it. It is certainly not a big deal to me, either way.

I was a tester on this mission and ghosted it more than once. I realized that this area would be a problem, but I did not propose changing it because that would have meant major design changes, which, at the time, were not being entertained. I kind of liked having to figure that out. And I was waiting to see how you would interpret it. ;)

You can argue that Supreme is busted by rule number 6, but the situation is different.

Klatremus
7th Feb 2008, 04:10
I think it is quite like a gas arrow that doesn't count as a KO. But you definitely have on your side the fact that there is no body, no corpus delicti.

You can argue that Supreme is busted by rule number 6, but the situation is different.
Originally, I thought it might be considered property damage, as the whirlwinds were "objects" rather than living creatures (no damage/kills). But reading the 'Commentary and Interpretation of Ghost Rules' I realized it only applies if there is visible damage or the condition of an object has noticeably changed, which is not the case here. :)

As for Supreme rule #6, if you mean it is different because the arrow isn't used for its intended purpose and that's the only reason for the rule being composed in the first place, then I can tend to agree. But I won't ok it unless one of the mode's creators agrees, or there exists an agreement by the consensus of the ghosting community.

Klatremus
11th Feb 2008, 04:21
Mission 1 - Unexpected Shelter

Ghost - Failed
Perfect Thief - N/A
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - N/A
Time - 28:09
Loot - None
Pockets Picked - None
Locks Picked None
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 1/1
Consumables - None

Decided to post the results of my T2X ghost run from a while back. They've been at my site (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/hn.htm) since then, but putting them in their proper thread also.


Comments:

There isn’t much to say about the introductory mission other than it sets up the story nicely. It took place even before Zaya became a thief and not even the light gem was functional, which I think was a good touch. The mission contained no loot, so Perfect Thief and Perfect Supreme weren’t available.

Unfortunately, Ghost was busted when the thugs saw me. Originally I thought this was a scripted proximity trigger. I guess it is too, but the thugs attacked Kedar first, then came looking for me, and since Zaya's gem was non-functional they caught me quite fast. Looking back, I agree with Peter Smith (see post below) that this is a definite bust. Two other places where one might stumble. First, running from the thugs without getting hurt could be a challenge. Dodging the archer’s arrows was the worst. I leaped sideways while sprinting, that did the trick. Inside the haunted mansion all I did was pick up the basement key and unlock the door to the wine cellar. The key disappeared so no need to place it back.

Second, the traps were a problem. I had to flip a red lever to stop some vertical arrows from puncturing me. It couldn’t be flipped back. One could traverse across the spears by using crates, but these would have to be put back, so that was a bust anyway. Also, three statues flung blades at me as I ventured further down the hallways. Yes I know the Supreme rules refer to traps set off by Garrett, but I figured this applies to Zaya as well. The rest was a piece of cake. Sadly, this means the first mission is unghostable.


Summary:
- The thugs saw and attacked me in the ambush by the gate. Ghost bust.
- Unable to flip back the red lever in the secret area below the basement. Busts Supreme.
- 3 statues tried to kill me as I traveled through the lower hallways. More busts.


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


Mission 2 - The Trials That Shape Us

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Supreme Ghost - Success
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 53:32
Loot - 1489/1490
Pockets Picked - 4/5
Locks Picked - 5
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 3/3
Consumables - None


Comments:

Entered the museum through the roof chute. Dropping down through the broken window was possible by the use of a vine arrow, but left me more exposed. Picking the balcony door required relocking and an unnecessary museum key grab. Everybody will see me as picky there, but I chose the chute anyways, more thief-like. Left the door open to get back out the same way later. The 2nd floor posed few problems. Just sneaking around timing patrols. Some areas had guards on lower floors able to spot me.

Entered the 1st floor in the city fathers area. The guard there seemed more suspicious than others, and took some very slow movement to pass, but in the end nothing too tricky. Moved through the room behind him grabbing the urn on the way. I had to skip 1 gold worth of loot from the text/documents section; breaking the glass frame obviously counts as property damage. The roaming man here even gave a comment upon inspection. Used the secret passage beside the staircase down to the basement. The Supreme rules prevented me from turning off watchers or security systems, so opening the gates to grab the tome was strictly speaking a bust. However, these are just physical barriers that open and close, they’re not electrical systems or sensory mechanisms that I believe the rules are referring to. This is even more obvious when the rules also mention watchers, as these are sensory machines counting as an AI. I mean, if the plaque by the lever had said ‘Foyer Gates’, nobody would have argued this to be a bust. An example of a clear bust following the rules’ purpose would be turning off the sound alarm system at the museum in Calendra’s Legacy in order to grab the Baerulian Diamond. I dunno...people might disagree with me here, but I consider Supreme still intact.

The hardest part on the 1st floor was the guard just beyond the commons office area. He guarded the staircase, a piece of loot and the key to the upstairs office. He was stationary, but turned randomly to face either towards or away from the stairs. Whenever he turned away I started to move. Realized quickly that normal walking is the fastest way without alerting him. Lifted the key and the jar on my way past and hid in the corner after the second stair portion. The pillars were no good for hiding, as the guard could see me through them. The key disappeared upon usage, which made the trip back a lot easier, not having to drop it by his feet. I dropped down from the stairs beside the small table and walked out like before. This whole sequence relies on the guard staying in the captured position while you’re on the move. Sometimes he shifted after 5 seconds and at other times he went half a minute without turning.

The rest was a charm, just cleaning up the first floor.


Summary:

- Breaking the window to grab the last 1 loot in the display area is not allowed, so I skipped it.
- Had to turn off the “security system” to grab the tome. Supreme bust?…I don’t think so.


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


Mission 3 - While the City Sleeps

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Success
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 1:24:18
Loot - 1738/1738 (Supreme: 1703)
Pockets Picked - 3/4
Locks Picked - 9
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 1
Secrets Found - 5/5
Consumables - None


Comments:

Three ways existed into Market District. I could sneak through the main gates when the guards were off looking for coffee. This left the gates open however. The sewers were another alternative. The key was obtainable from the house above the canal in the north. Two manholes led to the district. From the closest I emerged nearby the gates; this was a practical option. If you do this, be sure not to have triggered the events outside the main gate, as this gives you one more guard to deal with, and will bust Supreme emerging from the sewer. The second manhole can only be reached using a water arrow creating an ice floe, and busts Supreme. However, utilizing the sewers require picking the key and placing it back, so it’s not the most Supreme way. I rather left the house through the window (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_3_files/image001.jpg) and dropped down onto the pipes to the south.

I simply loved this place. A perfect city mission! Lots of houses to enter and alternate routes to move around by, and heaps of hidden objects waiting to be discovered. Took the nugget from the chest across the canal by doing a running jump from the wooden roof. Had to vine arrow up to the top roof to obtain the golden goblet (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_3_files/image003.jpg). The archer was out of sight for some time and I could easily ascend the line while he was gone. From here I jumped east to the adjacent balcony. Landing in a mantle was the best way to avoid damage and alerts. I followed the ledge around the corner to the small opening into Fine Dining’s attic. From the balcony on the other side I could (with a couple of sneaky hops, see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_3_files/image005.jpg)) sneak my way into Anvil of Crom. This building was connected to Fine Dining’s second floor and upstairs Grindall’s Arms and Armor. I was able to loot these establishments completely undisturbed. I waited with the secret entrance to Anvil of Crom until cleaning out Ralkavian’s Family Jewels across the street. I was able to jump both ways between the window and the ledge without alerting guards below. The area was much more tense after the thieves robbing Anvil of Crom had been killed, thus it was to my preference to get this part of town done with before looting the shop.

South past the main gate I vine arrowed up to the loft window. Grabbed the loot from the attics and balconies up here, and cleaned out the hammerite craft without much trouble. Didn’t need to create the lever in the smelting area; the gate to Kedar’s shop can be opened without it. Picked up more loot going south. The key was at the locksmith’s and turning off the lights inside to fool the watcher was against Supreme rules. I hid in the doorway darkness and switched off the light through the opened door. Could easily grab what I needed, didn’t even have to pull the security lever. Cleaned the winery and the fishmonger’s thereafter.

I entered the Market Square by frobbing the inside lever. This wasn’t too hard; I just leaned in towards the gate. Emptied the entire market quick enough, and grabbed the scroll at Kedar’s. The rug at Rathran’s was the last piece of loot. Made my way out of Market District afterwards.


Summary:

- Had to skip the locksmith’s for Supreme. The watcher alerted and switching off the light isn’t allowed.
- The body discovered is one of the swordsmen killed by the thieves that robbed the Anvil of Crom. Had nothing to do with me.

Peter_Smith
11th Feb 2008, 06:26
Their triggered alert and resulting attacks were in-game scripts and not a bust

That was not my impression. Their alert may have been triggered by a boundary, but they were definitely chasing me. In spades. This is not at all like Life of the Party. In LotP you trigger a fight between two guards (potentially violating the rule not to start a melee) by crossing a line. But they never see you or hear you, and you do not interact with them in any way, so it can be argued that you couldn't have started it. It is like a random event with you just passing through. That is the precedent.

If you count T2X Mission 1 as a success, then any time a guard is alerted by your being in a particular location, even if they see you, must be counted as a success. I draw the line at their noticing you. If they do notice you, regardless of the cause, I think you are busted.

Continuing in the trigger theme, I say it is not a bust if you are completely hidden and a guard goes into a brief search at one point on a patrol. You watch him. He does the same thing at the same place every time. He never sees you. That is obviously a programmed alert, not an alert caused by you. Not a bust.

In the case of T2X, if you could lie in hiding and let the programmed alert pass, then sneak in without being noticed, that would be a success. I don't think you can do that. So I say T2X M1 is a definite bust.

I think you can be clean in the rest of the series, as I recall.

Klatremus
11th Feb 2008, 16:42
I agree with you Peter, and thank you for that input. :)

In my defense, I was fairly new to the ghosting community back when T2X was released. I haven't checked the reports since then, but I agree that this was an overlooked bust. I seriously doubt I would have made the same mistake today. At least I hope not :o

I have edited the previous post. Thanks again!

Klatremus
12th Feb 2008, 00:27
Mission 4 - Shadowing the Enemy

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed (but possible)
Supreme Ghost - Success (with a little help)
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 46:04
Loot - 794/894 (Supreme: 694)
Pockets Picked - 5/7
Locks Picked - 5
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 1/1
Consumables - None


Comments:

Found a secret before even entering the station; turned out it was the only one. Vine arrowed up to a wooden ledge from the stone wall in the sewer/waterway section (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_4_files/image001.jpg). The area lay just south of the main entrance. There was some loot on the desk in the bedroom here, and a hatch in the floor led me back down to the station.

Thanks to LarryG I realized you can grab all the counter tickets sneaking along the wall from the left. I had only attempted it from the right. I had to make sure to stay out of the mechanist’s view though. He could be kind of tricky, as he walked back and forth conversing with the nearby ladies. There was also a secret entrance to the train area through a tiny passage behind some crates in the security control rooms. However, the watcher here went yellow too easy; I couldn’t reach the tunnel before it alerted to my presence. The piece of loot in the main control room had to be skipped because of the watcher as well. LarryG also said he found a way to get this piece of loot for Ghost. Taking turns following the robot, steal three of the crates up the small staircase and bring them back to the hallway one by one. Place them across the hall where the robot makes his loop. This will block his patrol and render him harmless. Then sneak into the control room as far as possible without getting spotted. As the watcher swings left, rush straight for the area underneath it and come to a halt. LarryG made this move several times without turning the watcher yellow; I have not yet been able to. Apparently there is a critical sweet spot exactly when you should start the run. The same method works going back.

When I showed the ticket to the station guard, this archer by the train took a step forward to grant access (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_4_files/image004.jpg). She didn’t alert anymore either, so the ramp was safe to walk on and the food cart ok to enter.

I moved my way forward to the gambling car once the train started moving. Cleaned the loot in here and continued. The sleeping car for the nobles was more difficult. Had to skip grabbing the loot off the guard in the second left sleeping chamber. He made a grumble entering from either side. The rest was pretty straight forward. I reached the storage area below by frobbing the carpet in the last small sleeping chamber on the left. I then found the smugglers in the front and headed back to my room.

Once the train stopped, I followed the smugglers through the city streets. A couple of stationary guards caused some problems, especially the archer towards the end of the smugglers’ patrol, but I passed safely by crawling in the snow behind his back. The last elusive piece of loot was hidden on the roof ledge of a ruined building just before the mission ends (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_4_files/image003.jpg). You can see the small statue from the ground. I mantled up from the broken wall section. That’s all!


Summary:

- Had to skip the piece of loot in the main security control room. It was too hard to obtain without alerting the watcher.
- Had to skip lifting the purse off the guard in the noblemen’s sleeping car for Supreme. He made a comment opening either of the sleeping chamber’s doors.


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


Mission 5 - The Redistribution Game

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Success
Perfect Supreme - Success :)
Time - 34:37
Loot - 1394/1394
Pockets Picked - 2/2
Locks Picked - 7
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 1/1
Consumables - None


Comments:

Overheard the thugs, got my new objective, and picked the lock on the main gate. This area was heavily covered and hard to move around in without getting comments. I went up the stairs to pilfer the purse off the mumbling guard. Realized I couldn’t enter the barracks from here without alerting him, so I had to go back down to the main entry and use a rope arrow to ascend the balcony. The patrolling thug had a good view of most of the hallways, and he was a pain to dodge efficiently. The guard I pilfered earlier had to turn away for me to enter the barracks. Now I could clean both the bedroom without any disturbances.

Snuck down the hall north and looted the kitchen ahead. No worries here except the two bags of spice that I found hard to spot. Left through the western exit and continued across the hall to the dining room. This stationed guard seemed easier to fool than the others. Took all of value here and snuck past the guard from the engine room further north. Looted the secret under the stairs and put the crates back as I found them. I then headed up the staircase.

Quickly lurked down to Grissam’s hideout and cleaned the place. He’s the second in command after Neeson. Back out and approached the great hall. Only one swordsman and an archer in this area, so no big problems lay ahead. Had to fetch the flat-toothed lockpick from the tower to enter Neeson’s office. Once there, all my objectives were accomplished and I left the hideout via the ledges and rock plateaus to the north of the docks. The rest was painless, grabbing the valuable stones off the ledges here, and lifting the purse off the guard. Also grabbed the loot from the chest further west before heading back to the cave entrance.


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


Mission 6 - A Question of Knowledge

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 1:12:16
Loot - 1986/1986
Pockets Picked - 4/4
Locks Picked - 11
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - None
Consumables - None


Comments:

Had to enter through the small apartment in the west. Using the doors requires unnecessary key pickups. Lurked myself through the side window, looted the place, and crossed the metal pipes to the damaged sanctuary roof. The hole took me to the 2nd floor. A couple of loot items here were easy to obtain, two plates and a statue to be exact. Dodging the archer on the walkway wasn’t a problem at all. To reach the golden hammer near the bell tower, I needed the inner chapel key, either from the mentioned archer or the patrolling hammer downstairs. The key is also used to reach deeper into the hammer complex, and since needed to be dropped back on the guard’s patrol route, the key from the downstairs is better. I headed down the stairs on the west side and waited by the door. Soon the guard strolled close enough for me to pick his pocket. I fetched the bell tower loot, relocked the door and went downstairs again. I held on to the key a while longer though. The urn from the altar in the room just north was one out of two pieces of loot in the sanctuary itself. From this room I went back south and crossed the chapel hall behind both guards’ backs. The locked door in the room with the artifact statue took me to the inner chapel area. Using the famous lock-‘n-block tactic, the door could be relocked while still dropping the key along the patrol route.

I slipped west and grabbed the urn from the office, then followed the patrolling hammer east, past the side entrance, to the kitchen. I hid in the doorway, observing the various patrol patterns. After finishing his convo, the chef walks back and forth between the kitchen and the pantry, halting at regular intervals. Once he entered the pantry, I slipped out the northeast doorway. Listening for the chef making comments, I cleaned the mess hall empty. Headed out east and picked the lock to the chef’s bedroom door. Grabbed the loot and went back to the mess hall. Left the mess hall via the north door. Robbed the small library just north, and snatched the two artifacts from the atrium. Two guards had a triggered convo in the foyer; I made sure not to trigger this until absolutely necessary, to avoid more patrolling people. Cleaned the barracks next. No fuzz. Then picked the last piece of loot from the small library northeast of the foyer, after the chatters had left. Used the foyer elevator to ascend to the second floor.

I remained dark on the elevator going upstairs. The stationary archer here couldn’t see me on the south side. I leaned over and grabbed the urn and both goblets from the shelves. Then snuck over to the door in the northeast when the guard wasn’t looking. Looted this room also and walked around the entire complex to appear on the archer’s west side. From here I could pick the high priest’s chamber door. I made sure to read the door plaque to check the objective box. Grabbed the loot, the key and read the book to get new objectives. Looted my way back through the museum and the cozy living room, to appear in the noisy/carpeted hallways further east. Ran through the greenhouse and plundered the sitting room just south. Left through the other door leading to the hallways again. Looted the observatory accessible from this hallway. Next up was Onam’s office. From here I could reach the stone halls to the east and loot all the connected rooms; remembered the vase on the hallway table also. Only one archer patrolled in this area, he was no hassle. One of the smaller studies had a valuable ring, while the last pieces of loot were in the larger room at the end of the western hall. I left through the southern window here, sneaking along the noisy roof. Crossed the courtyard, entered the double doors and continued through the hallways west, only to appear with clear sight of the library door. Crawling across the snowfield, I was able to enter without detection.

The library depended on the hammer’s patrol route and fast movement. Three pieces of loot were spread around. No big deal in here, but success took time mostly. Had to frob the button on the desk through the office window to open the door. Unfortunately Supreme got busted as I had to turn off the lights to retrieve the map. Left the same way I got in.

Put the library key back on Cavador’s desk afterwards. Stayed on the 2nd floor and entered the upper sanctuary level through the lever controlled door in the southwest. I departed through the damaged roof onto the metal pipes.


Summary:

- Had to turn off the lights in the library office to obtain the Mausoleum Map. Busted Supreme Ghost.

goldsla
12th Feb 2008, 05:40
FM: Bad Debts (Bad_Debts.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 5:57:11
Loot - 3407/3682 (ghosting) 3582/3682 (with 2? alerts)
Pockets Picked - 10/19
Locks Picked - 7
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - None
Consumables - 2 water arrows, 1 moss arrow

Comments:

I saw Peter's report a month ago, so I downloaded this mission and promptly forgot about it and Peter's report. Then four days ago, I was looking for a mission in GarrettLoader, and this was the first in the list that I had not yet tried. Needless to say, almost six hours of mission time later I was done with it. I was just too exhausted to go looking for the last 100 in loot. In reality, it was more like 12 hours playing time, what with the restarts, backtracking, figuring out how the map related to what I was seeing, etc.. This was another mission that I decided merited a full LootList. So a lot of my time was spent flipping back and forth to Excel to note what and where I found things. So there I am all ready to report on this mission, and just to see what's what, I do a search and rediscover Peter's report. Once I saw it I remembered it. I'm surprised the mission did not bring the memory back, must be my "oldtimer's" acting up. Anyhow, since Peter already did a full report, I'll just share a couple of things about this mission that he did not mention.

1) While there are no "official" secrets in the mission, there are no end of tricky bits. One is a 100g ring that is hidden on a rooftop such that to get to it you literally have to run off into space and make a last minute grab. You can't jump because you are already so high up that you hit the sky if you try. But that isn't the bad part. The bad part is that as soon as you grab the ring a haunt appears and, if it sees you, immediately attacks. My approach was to stand in the spot where the haunt appears, lean, grab, and jump away. When I looked back, the haunt was dead. I guess I scared him. I did not claim this loot in my stats since I had watched the haunt from a dark corner after grabbing the loot earlier, and every time I came close to the exit he alerted. So even though I did not see him alert that last time, I have to assume that he did so before dieing. Restart.

2) There is a dead Hammer sorcerer named Scarmengades (I kid you not), who has a gold hammer on his person. Unfortunately the only way to get it is to wake him up. I shot a broadhead arrow at his head through a grating, and he obligingly appeared nearby, looking cross. This was clearly a bust. So the 75g hammer is not ghostable. Restart.

3) The key to the gate to end the mission has been stolen by a cat. I eventually found it. It was on the ledge of a window that you can only reach as you are falling by. There is no way to jump to it from below. You have to be jumping someplace else and notice it as you fly by. I don't know how many times I made that jump before I thought I saw something odd on the ledge. Dozens at least. Reload. Rejump. Frob in the air. And there was the key. So I trundle over to the gate, expecting to end the game, and there are now two archers overlooking the gate who were not there before. The square is illuminated with two or three lampposts. So ending the game that way was not for ghosting. There is another gate, not as well guarded and not as well lit, so I go off looking for another key. Eventually, I go through a door that I had been through (and looted) earlier in the mission, and the mission ends. I'm still not certain what happened. Looking at Peter's report now, it appears that he had similar problems finding an exit. I don't know if there is another key that I missed which would have let me out the other gate. I found a total of 12 keys (one I bought at the start of the game).

4) There are a couple of places where thieves have placed mines to "discourage" snooping. One of them is at a narrow juncture as you climb over crates filled with metal. After picking pieces of myself off the wall, I reloaded, and tried to edge up to the mines to disarm them. There were three in a tight grouping, slightly below where I was crawling. I could not find a way to get close enough to disarm them or pass them by, and in the end had to lob a bottle on them. Kaboom! Does blowing up land mines constitute property damage? The mines themselves were clearly altered after the bottle hit them. If so, then a lot of loot (250g or so) and one of the better jumping puzzles in the game is not ghostable since you have to pass the mines to get to it. A tossed crate sets them off as well, but gets destroyed in the process. So I used a bottle since it does not get harmed at all by the mines.

If you like climbing and jumping, this mission is for you. It is not hard to ghost (except for certain loot items that are not possible to ghost), especially if you miss the primary objective until after you have looted most of the mission. For some reason I did not find the entry into the Usurer's residence until very late in the mission. This resulted in my being able to wander unmolested through most of the mission, as it is only after you read a note there that the guards start taking an interest in you.

If you want a clearly understandable story, map, and set of mission goals, this is probably not for you. I had a great time wandering and exploring, but after about several hours of not finding the "Letter of Debt" I began to think that I didn't have a clue as to what I was supposed to be doing. Fortunately I kept finding loot, and that kept me going.

I believe this was the first FM by Melan (Gabor Lux). In the FM notes it states "Build Time: 10 months from initial concept and starting to learn Dromed." If I read that right, it is one heck of a first effort!

Oh! For Peter: I was able to get the Landlord's Key via the front entrance. There is a bit of shadow in the entryway. The patrolling guard does not see you there. If you wait until the Landlord comes as close as he ever gets, you can dash out, snag the key when he turns away, and dash back to the shadows before the patrolling guard returns from outside. The stationary guard next to the lamppost is zonked on something and never alerts. I accidentaly jumped on him from above one time and he didn't bat an eye!

Klatremus
12th Feb 2008, 16:17
Mission 7 - Down Among Dead Men

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 1:05:02
Loot - 1835/1835
Pockets Picked - None
Locks Picked - 6
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 4/4
Consumables - 1 Moss Arrow & 1 Water Arrow (Crypt of the Forgotten King)


Comments:

This was a tough mission to Ghost as things had to be done in a certain order, with a lot of back and forth. The biggest problem I realized way towards the end, which made me have to replay it all. When entering the top floor of the Mausoleum, Mausoleus’ apparition appears and flings three skulls at you. This alerts both of the haunts downstairs, and not just to a grunt but to a second level search mode. I went down to look several times and they were both waving their swords looking (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_7_files/image001.jpg). This meant I either had to grab the Orb coming through the window or I had to kill all the undeads by burning Mausoleus’ corpse. Coming through the window meant I would need the Ward for protection against the Orb’s flame balls. Killing the haunts required Mausoleus’ head from the top floor anyway, so I was stuck with the same solution. However, obtaining the Ward to get to the Orb busts Supreme instantly, as it requires the use of a moss arrow. Either way, that mode was a goner. I focused on plain Ghost instead.

Supreme rule #2 states that all objectives must be completed, referring to optional ones as well. Such a commandment is not found among the official Ghost rules, meaning Mausoleus’ body does NOT have to be burned in order to successfully Ghost this mission. This was very good news, as both fire elementals in the big lava pit got alerted to second level when all the zombies exploded (probably from the sleeping zombie outside the Crypt of the Forgotten King). The eradication of the zombies itself does not break any rule, but alerting other AIs in the process does. So one can NOT take the easy way out and rid oneself of every opponent and then ghost through the mission home free.

Ok, so the first task was to get hold of the Ward. Before that however, I cleaned the surface for goodies, the burrick caves, the Deadman’s Gully and the graveyard. The cemetery required a bit of sneaking but no hassle. Entered the tombs through the church, arriving in the torture chamber. There was a hammer in one of the boxes there I found hard to spot. A green diamond was constantly teleporting itself between three different locations, and set off a skull noise trap when taken, so I had to make sure no zombies were around at the time of grabbing. The northwest wing on the lower levels had two patrolling zombies and a sleeping one. Cleaning that area took some time, but relied mostly on dark patches and timed enemy patrols. A small statue easily missed sat on a coffin ledge outside the Forgotten King’s crypt.

The spiders beyond the Mausoleum gate caused no trouble either. Snuck in and out of their cave, keeping in mind the butt-vision. A fairly clever put pair of lucky coins rested in a broken coffin on my way to Basmus’ tomb (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_7_files/image002.jpg). They almost slipped my eyes going past. Another well-hidden piece of loot was situated on top of Basmus’ overhang. I had to drop down from a rope arrow onto the standing torch to avoid falling damage.

Inside the Mausoleum grabbing all the loot was worse. The third floor was by far the hardest since there was a stationary haunt guarding all the pieces. I lurked in to the right and timed his turning and the other haunt’s patrols to travel the coffins around the room. Same tactic back.

Now for the Orb itself. Had to backtrack to the torture chamber and bring along the three crates from the storeroom. Brought them to the Mausoleum courtyard and mantled up the first ledge. The zombie nearby caused no trouble at all. I used the healing potion to elevate one of the crates, at least enough to grab it while standing on the other two (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_7_files/image003.jpg). I then used a rope arrow to grab the floating objective. This way I never even triggered the skull-throwing incident and thus not alerting the haunts. Put the crates back after use just to be tidy.


Summary:

- Supreme was skipped totally, as burning Mausoleus’ remains alerts the fire elementals. Obtaining the right arm requires setting off a trap too, further complicating things.
- The optional objective of ridding the world of Mausoleus’ undeads is not required for normal Ghost mode, so fortunately no bust.


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


Mission 8 - The Art of Deception

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Success
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 1:37:11
Loot - 1000/1000 (Supreme: 960)
Pockets Picked - 1/2
Locks Picked - 16
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 2/2
Consumables - None


Comments:

The district around the inn, the market and the cathedral streets posed no Ghost challenges whatsoever. Only a few hammers in this entire area even reacted to my presence. The only problem was scouring closely to find all the loot. Big Willy’s abandoned apartment also held a secret, a safe behind a shelf unit.

I arrived at the smugglers’ store from the bedroom balcony just west. Leaped onto the wooden roof from here and slid down on the south side walkway. I picked the lock on the door to the shop and grabbed the loot from the box under the counter. I could keep in the dark while doing all of this, dodging both guards’ patrols. Entered the side-door next and headed downstairs. Placed my Orb and picked the loot. A very well-hidden rug behind the paintings here has probably slipped many a keen eye (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_8_files/image004.jpg). The streets in the back got far more crowded after this, as the members of the convo now had started patrolling. The archer patrolled faster, so he kinda screwed up my runs a time or two. I tried with several ropes to reach the roof again, as one can’t even enter the yard in front of the shop without getting alerted. Finally settled on the wooden supporting block of the western building (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_8_files/image005.jpg). The big problem from here was to reach the train station area without alerting ANY of the 4 smugglers protecting its entrance. I quickly realized my only solution was the roofs. Luckily the designers have placed a tiny wooden rafter underneath the eave to the east of the shop, probably to help reach the open window here. However, one can also use it to mantle onto the roof of the east building (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_8_files/image006.jpg). I was more worried about how to get back without being alerted though, so I started planning my return before even dropping down to street level. There is one window frame very close to the smuggler shop that can serve the purpose. As far as I know, it’s the only place where you can get back onto the roofs from the station side. But to keep Supreme intact I had to be able to retrieve my arrow. Thus fastening the rope from higher grounds and making the arrow tilt upwards was imperative (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_8_files/image007.jpg). Every ledge has an invisible outer shelf; a very thin area seemingly existing in mid-air. It can be very useful for quiet sneaking, and in this case for reaching hard-to-get arrows. Perfect Supreme still intact!

Found Big Willy’s purse in a closed-off section of the sewers. Was one more tricky piece of loot down here, in a power room protected by hammers. The stationary guard wasn’t troublesome, but the patrolling archer needed to be dealt with. Plus there was a stationary iron beast close to the entry door. The beast can be fooled by creep-crouching. I lurked forward as soon as the archer left, all the way in and grabbed the coins, then back out. I had plenty of time before she returned.

Inside the cathedral, the only thing worth mentioning is getting upstairs. Without a single first alert it was almost impossible; however, doable. The trick was to reach the point in the lowest flight of stairs where Zaya is in total darkness (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_8_files/image009.jpg). From there I waited for the perfect moment and ran to the lounge in the northwest. The moment of running is different every time, and it depends on all five guards not looking. The bright light made it difficult. Once upstairs, spots by the walls on the pillared walkways made it easier to maneuver discretely. Brother Davis busted Perfect Supreme in the end, protecting his bag of goods too well. He made comments traversing the room and picking the lock. Simply skipped it for Supreme.

I could drop down on the west side of the balcony without alerts or damage. I noticed the secret entrance had been closed, probably an in-game script to boost the challenge. At one time I actually thought this would bust Supreme, as there was no way of closing the portcullis outside and still leave unnoticed. I scratched my head for long, and then almost got embarrassed when I realized the simple truth. Merely leave through the manhole in the courtyard and enter the cathedral once again through the bookcase door. Lower the gate and leave via the living room. Simple!


Summary:

- Received two first alerts from Brother Davis when going for the bag of goods under his desk. One from traversing the room and one from picking the lock. Skipped this loot for Supreme.


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


Mission 9 - Into the Fray

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Success
Perfect Supreme - Success :)
Time - 1:05:12
Loot - 2250/2250
Pockets Picked - None
Locks Picked - 2
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 4
Secrets Found - None
Consumables - None


Comments:

This mission was slightly different, as I had to dodge guards already involved in fights. This meant most AIs jumped directly to alert level 2, which is search mode. Fight scenarios could turn out differently every time, so my report might not fit other mission endeavors. The first problem occurred at the waterfall. The hammer here had fire arrows and always ended up killing the smuggler. After a heavy battle like this, I usually waited it out a couple of minutes, to let the ones involved get back to 1st alert mode and resume their patrols/stations. I crossed the river downstream and cleared the bank at the other side. The purse beside the floating corpse was possible to reach moving slow and sticking to the shadows. As the archer patrolled with his back turned, I snuck under the gush and across to the opposing mountainside; the single piece of loot on the deck was now within reach. Headed back the same way.

Went inside the hideout from the stone walkway above the dock entrance. The hammers that blew up the gate fell dead to the 3 smugglers inside. The two doors in the north lead to another fight between a hammer and a smuggler. Strangely, when opening the closest entry, the hammer always won and started patrolling up and down the hallway, making it very tough to clean the area. Entering through the east door however, normally made the smuggler flee down to the others, and occasionally forcing the hammer to fight them all. This massive brawl can have various results, but one time the hammer won and resumed his patrols downstairs, totally out of my concern. The secret treasure room was located out the broken window close to Neeson’s office. I could mantle back up without any trouble.

Another fight in the dining room further south. To loot the room I needed both individuals to leave. Played the fight over until one of them fled the room and the other followed. A huge brawl took place in the hallway afterwards involving two more participants. One hammer guard survived and started patrolling the flooded corridors. Moving slowly I robbed the kitchen and lurked upstairs. Had problems spotting the bottle in the window also. I triggered another huge clash in the main lobby, attracting the hammer mentioned earlier. It didn’t really matter who won. Emptied the barracks and entered the hallway again through the side door for the last fight. A piece of crystal lay in the broken floor here so it was preferable if both partakers ran away. When done, I snuck back through the entire complex.

Entered the docks through the hole above the locked portcullis. Didn’t even need the key. Neeson Feredoc was fighting a hammer at the pier, and my objective ticket off as he died. I jumped in the water to the left and cleaned the large ship from the port side ladder. Swam along the bottom to arrive at the small mining boat. As the hammer looked away I could mantle up and grab the nugget. Used a rope arrow on the starboard of my own ship to end the mission.


Summary:

- The bodies discovered obviously result from the fights between the smugglers and the hammers.

goldsla
12th Feb 2008, 20:38
FM: The Book of Prophecy - Part 1 (BookofProphecy,The_pt1_DeadLetterBox.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 0:43:47
Loot - 180/310
Pockets Picked - 2/2
Locks Picked - 8
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 6
Secrets Found - 0/0
Consumables - 1 moss arrow

Comments:
This mission is as entirely unlike Bad Debts as it is possible to get. Where Bad Debts was extremely multi-dimensional, Book of Prophecy is as linear as Half-Life. In fact it seemed to resemble Half-Life more than it resembled a Thief mission, despite the fact that it is set in the Mechanist universe. The mission is to meet your contact at a specific location. During the mission, Mechanists go bonkers and attack every non-mechanist they see. The non-mechanists are your allies, and do not alert to you. So your goal is to get from point A to point B. Not bad. The ghosting isn't that hard, but at three or four spots along the route you have to take (and there is only one route), a script causes Mechanists to appear and start slaughtering everyone they see. These are clearly triggered by just your presence at these locations, and not by your alerting anyone who was in the area. One of the trigger spots I was able to avoid by jumping a wall instead of walking around it. In general, the only way to ghost these spots is to know of them in advance and run through the area to the next safe location. The Mechanists are so busy attacking the townsfolk and Hammers that there is absolutely no way to know if anyone alerts to you specifically, unless you dawdle. If you dawdle, you rapidly become a pin cushion.

In all this was an interesting bit of froth, but not a fully fleshed mission. It played like the intro to a much larger mission (perhaps the "Part 1" bit is intended to indicate this). If so, I have not yet seen that mission.

Klatremus
13th Feb 2008, 05:13
Mission 10 - ...of Ill Repute

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Success
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 1:27:12
Loot - 2464/2464 (Supreme: 2394)
Pockets Picked - 2/2
Locks Picked - 8
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 4/4
Consumables - 1 Ice Arrow to cross sewage river (plain Ghost only)


Comments:

Decided to clean the whole outside area first. There was a secret room accessible from the sewers. It involved the watchman’s key found on the sleeping guard in the northwest, used to access the closed-off section of town. The double gates accessing the area couldn’t be relocked due to the key’s disappearance upon use, so I thought of a different way. The merchant inside the northwest entrance to the brothel also had access to these gates. Once he finished his convo with the lady, he exited the building and headed towards the gates. I followed him, creep-crawling past the front door guards, and stopping the gates from locking up. I made sure to leave them wide open, since the merchant returned here later on, and I didn’t want to be stuck in there. Crossing the sewage river required an ice arrow, busting Perfect Supreme already. Thus the candlestick worth 50 gold had to be skipped, meaning this entire section of town is irrelevant for strict supremers. However, I always want to be as Supreme as possible playing even normal Ghost. During my stay in the sewers, the merchant on the surface headed back to the brothel and positioned himself outside the bar, close to where I appeared leaving the sewers the intended way. I was unable to sneak past the guards like this without comments, so I backtracked to my entry route to avoid the attention.

The key for the Arch Store also vanished; hence I was unable to relock the door. There was a piece of loot inside a partly opened window in the south. Used a vine arrow on the sloped roof and mantled onto the metal pipe (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_10_files/image001.jpg). Could lean in and grab the auger from there.

Entered the backyards and cleaned the security room beyond the burrick pits. Found the smelly gambling safe key in the beast’s droppings (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_10_files/image003.jpg), yuck! Broke into the brothel by the side door to the west. The basement and 1st floor didn’t cause any Ghosting problems. Just dodging guards and picking up loot mostly. Found a secret switch in the boiler room that opened a panel by the back entry. Flipped the switch again to close it. Both keys (safe- and office key) disappeared after use. Some easy to miss coins lay in the windowsill by a sleeping prostitute (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_10_files/image006.jpg).

The 2nd floor posed a few problems. Found a secret hatch in the ceiling in the northwest. It led to a dirty library with some lucky coins. Some servant dressed in an ape costume was stationed in the north. I had to crawl quietly to grab the nugget from the plant, but managed to take it without any alerts. Close to this area were two other bedrooms with prostitutes. The closest I had to traverse across the bed to steal the earrings from the closet. Needed classy stealth to hop onto the bed again unseen, but it was possible. The next room had a girl staring straight at me. Could lean over to take the urn, but not without a comment. Had to skip this piece of loot for Supreme. Entered Truart’s room from the rafters above. Found an entryway via a ladder in the next door closet. Sweeping the stuff here was easy enough; all it took was a bit of patience.

PS: With 3 crates and a well-placed vine arrow, one can enter Trixie’s room to the west of the brothel’s front doors. It contains a broken bow upgrade (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_10_files/image008.jpg)!


Summary:

- Had to skip the first secret (50 gold) for Supreme. Need an ice arrow to cross the sewer.
- A lady gave a first alert reaching for the urn in the 2nd floor bedroom. Had to skip this piece of loot for Supreme.


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


Mission 11 - The Grand Hotel

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success :D
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 3:30:59
Loot - 3244/3244 (Supreme: 2984)
Pockets Picked - 8/16 :scratch:
Locks Picked - 18
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 1
Damage dealt - 1, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 6/6
Consumables - None


Comments:

Before Entry
This mission had so many ghostly challenges I don’t know where to begin. Guess it comes natural to explain them chronologically. I started outside the main gates with nowhere to go but towards the swinging watcher. The pickable locker turned off the lights right inside the gates, but that busts Supreme. There was a black patch behind the right part of the gates, but this meant running through a very bright spot. I opened the gates easily and timed the watcher. As it turned left I ran out, closed the gates blocking the left part, and ran back inside. A small chirp from the camera is a first alert, so I had to do this quick. Now I stood well-hidden inside the gates, with only the left door open. This gave me time to slide right as the watcher turned east, swiftly crouching into the corner (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_11_files/image001.jpg). I then closed the gates fully. Around this time, the guards came by. I waited them out to avoid further obstacles. Next up was crossing the main path. Again as the viewer curved eastwards, I moved speedily in behind the west pillar. I could position myself right underneath the camera without getting detected at all. The front doors were pickable and led to the main foyer. Beyond was the lobby area, totally covered in cameras and people, absolutely Supreme impenetrable. The jar on the lobby table thus had to be skipped (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_11_files/image003.jpg). To bring the artifact statue from the foyer I needed to relock the front doors, requiring the entrance key. Two guards outside the hotel were in possession of such a key, both quite possible to snag. I’d say the patrolling guard further east was the easiest. The other was stationed outside the double doors closer to the gardens, and he occasionally gave a comment. Fortunately, no keys in this mission could be dropped back. I slipped into the entrance by the restaurant too (Roland’s dining) to grab the golden plates, but traversing the room was impossible so I had to go back outside. I finally entered the hotel building via the east side door, dodging the big iron beast.

1st Floor
Soon inside, the Ghost trials started again. Some hard to see lucky coins sat on a roulette table to the north. The real troublesome loot however was located inside the bar to the east. A bottle of fine wine on the counter (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_11_files/image005.jpg) and a nobleman carrying a purse. Two female servants had a conversation; one of them took off and started patrolling in a clockwise pattern around the gambling rooms. I noticed the stationary woman turned away from the wine bottle during the talk. That gave me the idea of snatching it in their chat, as there was no chance of obtaining the loot with the woman staring straight at me. I could sneak up to the second bookcase and wait for her to turn. I quietly crept over and picked it, then headed back. By now the younger girl had started walking. The nobleman was up next. I had to wait by the doorway for the girl to come by, as I had little time before she returned. Creep-crouched as daringly fast as possible without setting off the woman by the counter. The nobleman himself seemed to be lost on another planet, never uttering a word. I found a comfortable area where I wasn’t too bright from the fire. Snuck back to the hallway swiftly.

Passed suite 1 easy enough, just took a lot of sneaking. [The suite 1 bedroom had an inaccessible ring worth 100 gold in version 1.0. The patch fixes this, so in version 1.1 it’s there on the nightstand.] The executive suite was mostly the same, but I eventually had to accept skipping the woman’s purse for Supreme. She gives comments rounding the corner both back and forth. Perfect Supreme was already busted from the lobby jar anyway, so no big loss. The lucky coins in the bedroom were hard to spot as well. The suite doors could only be relocked with the key from the lobby counter, so I left them unlocked for now. [If you want to keep strictly to the Supreme rules (like me), you shouldn’t unlock the door to suite 3 on the 2nd floor yet, as this will make the key from the lobby vanish. Relock the suites downstairs first, then clean the upper one. Challenge: There is actually a way to Supreme suite 3 entirely, without ever using the front door.] Couldn’t move further west than suite 2 because of the iron beast outside the main office; had to traverse counterclockwise around the floor.

I had genuine hopes of reaching the flute on the ballroom scene, but the two guests in the northeast corner just wouldn’t let me pass. The merchant blocked the west side. I tried using several vine arrows in the ceiling, leaping from shadow to shadow, but the nobleman noticed me every time. Another piece of loot then had to be skipped for Supreme. Turned off the lights for normal Ghost, as this is the least shameful approach.

The living room in the northwest was supremable too. The small robots only alerted to sound and physical contact. I could therefore position myself underneath the watcher and grab the jar as it swung south. The merchant was hidden behind the pillar during these events and hence no worries.

2nd Floor (brief):
Quickly slipped upstairs and fetched the security door key from Cassagrande. He patrolled outside the storage room in the northwest. Also headed towards the accounting office. To enter the door I either had to pick the lock or pilfer the key (right image). Guess the lockpicking tactic is the most Supreme, as it evades an unnecessary pickup. However, both picking the door and closing it alerted the guard and busted Supreme L. Using the key removed one first alert, but closing the door still spawned a comment. Needed the blackmail note for downstairs. Learned the security code for the mech cameras also.

1st Floor Wrap-Up:
Ok. There were two different ways of handling the lobby situation, depending on the mode of play:

- For Supreme, the three keys were the only objects of interest. The loot was out of reach. The office key was needed to continue the mission, and the hotel room keys were required to relock the respective doors. There were two long hallways to the east and west of the lobby, respectively. I was incapable of traversing the eastern one to the end without spawning a 1st alert from the patrolling guard. Consequently, the loot in the security office got passed. My only alternatives were approaching from the secret corridor or from the west doorway; both options produced one alert. I chose the former, as it is also the easiest. The key for rooms 6-10 and the master suite key were obtained by reaching from the west side of the counter, neither setting off the watchers nor the clerk. The office key was a different story. It had to be picked from the box on the small ledge inside the lobby counter. Dodging the clerk was the least of my problems, as he only alerted to the lockpicking, not to spotting me. The watchers were difficult. The one on the east side detected me if I was too close to the box and standing up, while the other could see me if I crouched. This called for very quick movement back and forth in between the closest watcher’s movements (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_11_files/image010.jpg). As he turned away, I walked towards the box and started picking; after a few seconds I headed back and crouched. Did this three times; then had to leave for the dark corner inside the doorway to avoid the patrolling guard (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_11_files/image012.jpg). Once he left, the next picking session opened the box. Crawled back out through the hidden corridor. Phew!

- For Ghost, the two pieces of loot also had to be considered. The one in front of the iron beast was well within reach, although causing a mechanical comment from the robot. To get the other one, the cameras had to be switched off. This caused the clerk to leave his post and head for the security office to turn them back on. The first time I saw this, he just kept bumping into the door, as I always close/lock them after use. I guess it is a glitch from the designers not giving this guy total access to the security room, but it gains to my advantage nevertheless. As he was permanently gone from the lobby, I entered through the secret corridor and wiped it clean. Went back to let the clerk in and eventually back to the counter, just to be tidy.

Relocked the suite doors and went for the safe room. Ran in as the watcher turned away and cleaned the room quietly. Could sneak into Finkle’s office without alerting the iron beast. The office key disappeared upon use. Got basement access and the location of Kedar.

2nd Floor Again:
The upper floor was a piece of cake except for room 11. Picking the lock alerted the nobleman, so I had to use the key. Grandma in there turned every which way very frequently. I was throwing awfully nasty lines to my computer at one point. There was also a guard patrolling outside and a slave through a doorway, in addition to the hag; not a pleasant situation. But in the end I got the coins from the trunk and went on with my pilfering business. The two mirrored rooms in the southeast and southwest were also a bit tricky. However, I could crouch in at either end in both rooms without getting caught. The rest of this floor was no boggle.

Basement:
The basement was even easier, posing no difficulties whatsoever. Had to knock out Kedar to bring him along, no bust. Dodged the spider in the wine cellar by slipping into the barrel holes. Found the secret at the end and ran out. What a mission!! :)


Summary:

- Had to skip the purse in suite 2 for Supreme. The woman gave 1st alerts rounding the corner.
- Also needed to skip the flute in the ball room for Supreme. The room is too bright to traverse along the walls approaching the scene.
- Got an alert from the guard outside the accounting office on the 2nd floor. He comments on closing the door. Supreme bust.
- Had to skip the piece of loot in the lobby. Turning off the security cameras is forbidden in Supreme mode.
- Alerted the clerk when picking the lock on the box behind the lobby counter for Supreme. Small Supreme bust.
- Skipped the jar in the room south of the lobby also. The iron beast saw me reaching for the table. Could bring it for normal Ghost though.
- Entering and exiting the lobby through the secret corridor spawned 1st alerts from the iron beast. Bust Supreme.
- Skipped the stack of coins in the security room for Supreme. Couldn’t traverse the hallway without getting seen.
- The damage dealt is Kedar’s blow to the head. Necessary to bring him along and follows the objective, so no bust.

Klatremus
13th Feb 2008, 19:47
Mission 12 - The Cure

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Success
Perfect Supreme - Success :)
Time - 1:21:17
Loot - 1574/1574
Pockets Picked - None
Locks Picked - 3
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 2/1 :confused:
Consumables - None


Comments:

I had no real problems outside the hospital. The hammerite apparitions attacking the main gates alerted the ghost in the wall hallway unless timed correctly. This was an alert not caused by Zaya, so I don’t know whether it would count as a bust. It was avoided nonetheless. I entered the hospital compound by climbing a rope arrow to the east side roof (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_12_files/image001.jpg). The eave underside was wood. Turning the wheel to the main entrance illuminated the torches and spawned more AIs. The arrow needed a perfect hit and was hard to retrieve. I had to drop onto the outer edge of the eave to reach it. Hopped onto the balcony and further onto the ground. Fires are lit all around the building upon entering. Originally I saw this as a bust, but looking back I guess it is not. Supreme rule #6 only refers to the removal of light sources, the essence being you shouldn’t darken an area to make it easier.

An apparition in the west awoke the sleeping zombie nearby. The beast went right into chase mode so I considered this a bust. I simply avoided the area, as it was not needed to enter the bedroom for any reason. I could reach the book on the sill and climb to the top without setting off the trigger. Brought the statue from the pool in the lower staircase also. A hidden lever operated the safe in the east garden. Quite nifty little secret that unfortunately didn’t count as one. The diamond inside the safe is one of the stones mentioned in the objectives. The other stone was in the priestess’ tower. Here was also the last part of Alinya’s diary (optional objective).

The rest of the mission was straight forward; mostly a lot of sneaking. A couple of hidden loot items though. A golden goblet in a ruined building to the northeast, and a statue behind one of the bookshelves in the west main hallway. Grabbing the Scales of Amaris let out two patrolling haunts. This doesn’t really conflict with any rule. It can be compared to the alarm situation in ‘Undercover’ and occurs directly from taking an objective. I was not seen at any point during this. Escaping the temple wasn’t that hard once I figured out the haunts’ patrol routes. Leaving the hospital compound was harder. In the end I had to rope arrow onto the roof, then with a well-timed jump mantle onto the entrance gate structure. From there it was easy...


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


Mission 13 - Betrayal

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - N/A
Perfect Supreme - N/A
Time - 33:03
Loot - 1689/1689
Pockets Picked - None
Locks Picked - None
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - None
Consumables - 3 Water Arrows


Comments:

I only went for normal Ghost in this one. Supreme Thief is impossible to detect with all the noisy waterfalls; most probably it’s unachievable too.

Had to inch along the fence of Truart’s mansion to avoid detection from the guards below. The female swordsman was already on the lookout, but not from detecting me. Her comments signified she hadn’t been alerted at all. I could drop down onto the sloping staircase fundament without taking damage. Then dodged the searching woman and the stationary archer and snuck out the main exit. She eventually headed up the stairs to investigate; that was the best time to escape. There were some hard to spot lucky coins in the well across the bridge. The water seemed to have low visibility all through the mission, thus the loot was tough to locate.

Through the glade and the caves the only real problem occurred in the cave with the waterfall and the stationary ratman. I tried following the patrolling one and sneak past him as he turned, but one of them always caught me. Had to douse the torch in the corner in the end. Either that or using a concealment potion, whichever you choose. However, the potion has to be bought before ‘the Cure’ and brought along to this mission, plus the stats then call it ‘Chemical Ghost’; not so honorable. The last piece of loot lay in a small cave in an area with another waterfall and a lava pit (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/T2X_13_files/image002.jpg). The hatch entrance to Malak’s final lair could be unlocked with the key from his house.

Had to douse the two torches outside the cave with the scales also. Once the fight started, they were too bright to keep me hidden. I dropped down from the nearby ledge and pilfered the scales from there. Waited until the beastie had killed everyone and threw the scales in the lava. Had to give it a running boost to fling it across the field without the beast’s detection.


Summary:

- Skipped Supreme entirely. The waterfall noises made it impossible to detect 1st alerts.
- Used one water arrow to pass the cave with the stationary ratman and the waterfall. Doused the torch in the corner and waited for the patrolling rat to pass by.
- Also used two arrows to put out the torches outside the cave with the scales. Once the fight starts, the torches are too bright to avoid being detected.

Peter_Smith
14th Feb 2008, 03:00
FM: Bad Debts

Oh! For Peter: I was able to get the Landlord's Key via the front entrance. There is a bit of shadow in the entryway. The patrolling guard does not see you there. If you wait until the Landlord comes as close as he ever gets, you can dash out, snag the key when he turns away, and dash back to the shadows before the patrolling guard returns from outside. The stationary guard next to the lamppost is zonked on something and never alerts. I accidentaly jumped on him from above one time and he didn't bat an eye!

I agree that the guard at the entrance to the inn was no problem. The shadow is sufficient. The landlord himself is no problem because he changes direction. But in my case the main ghosting problem was a guy with a purse standing in the far corner of the main floor, next to a table, facing directly at the front door. You did not mention him. He always alerted when he saw me enter the room from the front door. It was also impossible to get his purse from the back wall, on his side - not enough time between guard and landlord patrols. Maybe in my case he was stuck in the corner, but he freed himself easily and ran out when alerted. Maybe in your case he went on patrol and caused no difficulty. Another possibility is that you could have alerted him unknowingly, because on alert he runs for the door and ends up in the courtyard, as I recall. In any case, if he was not there for you, then you missed out on some ghosting fun. :) I'd be curious to know how you handled that purse guy.

I did not describe the route to the Keywell (past the mines in the box) in detail because I didn't want to spoil it. I think that was a great route finding puzzle. A good way to get past the mines is to put a drop crate on them and then run over the crate. The mines do not not blow up, and the crate keeps you above them. Then remove the crate and disarm the mines from the room. No question about property damage interpretation that way. ;)

Your method of not killing the haunt (or taking damage) was interesting. I believe that happens if you are standing directly at the spawn point of an AI. I agree that it is a bust no matter what.

As for the ghostable exit, that is the thieves' warehouse, near the entrance to the seminary, in a small square with the large statue. I think there is a note somewhere about that being a way out. If not, it is posted at TTLG, which I used as a crutch to find that place again, after visiting it once on my own. Anyway, the msssion ends when you go down the passage to the back door of the warehouse, which takes you out of the city. But you can never get there - the back door is locked.

I didn't find the exit gate key that you have to snag on the way down in a jump, the sorceror, or the haunt, plus several other things, until after I completed the mission in ghost mode, so I did not put them in my report. In my BJ-kill-loot-hunt, phase, I extended my game time to 15 hours, and I got all of the loot, needing hints for two items, including the haunt's haunt. I have a good list that states where things are, if you are interested. The author's list, contained in the mission zip file, is hard to follow.

I enjoyed reading your report and comparing experiences.

goldsla
15th Feb 2008, 00:02
But in my case the main ghosting problem was a guy with a purse standing in the far corner of the main floor, next to a table, facing directly at the front door. You did not mention him. He always alerted when he saw me enter the room from the front door. It was also impossible to get his purse from the back wall, on his side - not enough time between guard and landlord patrols. Maybe in my case he was stuck in the corner, but he freed himself easily and ran out when alerted. Maybe in your case he went on patrol and caused no difficulty. Another possibility is that you could have alerted him unknowingly, because on alert he runs for the door and ends up in the courtyard, as I recall. In any case, if he was not there for you, then you missed out on some ghosting fun. :) I'd be curious to know how you handled that purse guy. He wasn't a problem for me. I hit the Coronet Pub early on in the game, and so he did not alert when I walked up behind him. I then waited for him to forget I was there and I lifted his purse. When I came back to get the Landlord's key, he was still there, but did not alert when I dashed in and picked the Landlord's pocket and dashed back out to the shadows. Hmmm.

UPDATE >>>>> I went back to the pub and did it again. No problems. Here is a shot just after dashing back to the shadows after lifting the Landlord's key. You can see both of the pub patrons are not on alert.
http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh121/goldsla/BadDebtsCoronetPub.jpg
<<<<<<END UPDATE


A good way to get past the mines is to put a drop crate on them and then run over the crate. The mines do not not blow up, and the crate keeps you above them. Then remove the crate and disarm the mines from the room. No question about property damage interpretation that way. ;) Every time I put a crate over them they exploded. Maybe I was too rough. I'll reload and try that and let you know.

UPDATE>>>>> Yep that was it. I was too rough. Now that you tell me it's possible, I can do it. But it did take me 20 or so reloads to get the technique. Not only do you need to place the crate carefully, but you need to stand up and run over it to the corner. I found that if I walked or crouched and ran, the mines exploded anyhow. Thanks for the tip!
<<<<<<END UPDATE


Your method of not killing the haunt (or taking damage) was interesting. I believe that happens if you are standing directly at the spawn point of an AI. I agree that it is a bust no matter what. It was weird, I'll tell you that! I was hoping I could make it out and see it standing there not on alert. To find it dead was a bit of a shock!


I didn't find the exit gate key that you have to snag on the way down in a jump, the sorceror, or the haunt, plus several other things, until after I completed the mission in ghost mode, so I did not put them in my report. In my BJ-kill-loot-hunt, phase, I extended my game time to 15 hours, and I got all of the loot, needing hints for two items, including the haunt's haunt. I have a good list that states where things are, if you are interested. The author's list, contained in the mission zip file, is hard to follow. Here is my list. It's 100 short.

If you could tell me where that last 100 is, I would appreciate it. ---Never mind, the author, Gabor Lux (aka Melan) tipped me to where it is. Loot list updated---

This was all found while ghosting, though I did save before and reload after waking the sorceror.

Loot & Collectables Value Running Total Notes
1 Powerstation Note 0 Pick / Powerstation Key 1st door on right after start; note outside guards and pedestrians do not alert to your presence; inside guards do sometimes
2 6 flares 0
3 0 NOTE: LOCKED DOOR on way to Stoll Court is a shortcut to Lower locks; Opens with Powerstation key
4 1 Purse 50 50 Stoll Court guard overlook / barracks; in chest
5 5 Broadhead arrows 50 in chest in guard tower
6 1 Flash bomb 50 in chest in guard tower
7 2 5g coins 10 60 under small table in guard quarters
8 Guard note 60 on small table in guard quarters; take all crates to square to make more accessable
9 1 bread loaf 60 unlocked apartment
10 2 cheese wedges 60 NOTE: LOCKED DOOR in apt bldg to Landlord's appt
11 1 Gold goblet 25 85 On 2nd roof ledge of house opposite starting point; use crate to get up there
12 1 Purse 100 185 In the Coronet Pub
13 1 Gold bottle 50 235
14 2 moss arrows 235 In Coronet Pub sub-basement
15 1 Vase 50 285 Through broken floor from sub-basement
16 Bow upgrade placard 285 Through 2nd broken floor and out through west window; use box to climb to next door building / tower
17 1 Gas arrow 285 In chimney
18 1 ring @ 100g 100 385 Run to next red brick from N end of tower w/ gas arrow; mantle up; Hammer Haunt appears when you take ring; bring crate for fast exit. Not for ghosting
19 1 necklace 200 585 Use 7 crates to get to ledge from ladder
20 1 Pub Key 585 Pickpocket guard through west-most north-facing window
21 2 Gold goblets @ 25g 50 635 SW corner pub rafters
22 1 Gold plate 50 685
23 1 Mine 685 Access through NE pub rafters; in chest
24 2 Gold candlesticks @ 50g 100 785 Move giant crate & rope down 2 flights
25 1 Gold plate 50 835
26 1 Rope arrow 835 On barrel 1 flight down from giant crate
27 1 Gold hammer @ 75g 75 910 On Hammer sorceror Scarmengades after disturbing with a broadhead arrow beside the head; not for ghosting
28 1 Ring 100 1010 Defenestrate above the small marketplace and run down 1 ledge; ring on window ledge; jump mantle back and refenestrate.
29 1 Gold Bottle 50 1060 Beside drunken guard (Blunt)
30 3 Double gold coins @ 5g 15 1075 Jump onto ladder west of drunken guard; pick lock on gate; in small fountain on wall below Blunt
31 Highgate Note 1075 In guard station east of fountain
32 1 Gold bottle 50 1125 Next to potted pink; climb large crate to ladder & then rope up
33 Moriarty's Journal 1125 Cross bridge; enter 1st power station door; take ladder up;
34 8 flares 1125 In Moriarty's toolbox
35 Public Works Key 1125 On Moriarty's east windowsill (open window)
36 1 Purse 40 1165 In Moriarty's chest
37 1 Blue crystal 25 1190 Return to ground floor; west; south; climb between 2 southmost turbines & open vent & go through; climb to work room; open tool box
38 1 Flash bomb 1190 Sneak past 2 white spiders; climb 3 ladders to top; jump counter clockwise to next statue (turn to face edge to mantle while in air); open secret door to Blunt; jump counterclockwise to next statue; down ladder; proceed to end; in chest
39 Keywell Note 1190 Head W then N up crates; dismantle mines (if you can; Peter Smith suggests placing a crate on top of them & running over) or detonate with bottle (not crate - crate gets destoyed); ledge to red roof to tower to place rope in center beam to ladder to jump to rope to jump to ledge with loot & note
40 1 Jeweled dagger 25 1215
41 1 gold necklace 200 1415
42 1 jeweled crown 125 1540
43 1 gold sphynx urn 75 1615
44 2 copper stacks @ 5g 10 1625
45 2 silver stacks @ 12g 24 1649
46 1 gold stack 25 1674 Retrace; abandoning rope
47 3 Broadhead arrows 1674 jump counterclockwise to next statue; down ladder; up ladder to black spider; past passage on R (S); return all the way to bridge, R (S), climb ladder & pickpocket bowman
48 1 Goblet 25 1699 L (E) at Downlock Seminary; up on statue base to barrel to ledge & around to windowsill
49 1 Collectable plate 10 1709 rope to balcony; over door
50 1 Vase 50 1759 On red drop-leaf table
51 1 Silver bracelet 100 1859 Behind painting in secret room; open door with switch at bottom of armoire in nearby room (thanks Melan!)
52 1 Usurer's Key 1859 in wall niche next to dead usurer
53 1 Pawnshop Key 1859 S end of desk, near desk chair legs
54 3 Broadhead arrows 1859 On archer on balcony
55 1 Usurer's Key 1859 on small table in guard quarters
56 1 Sliver stack 10 1869
57 2 Copper stacks @ 5g 10 1879
58 2 Gold candlesticks @ 50g 100 1979 In pawnshop
59 1 Tapestry 150 2129
60 1 Silver coin stack 12 2141 On window ledge S of Downlock Seminary; east side of street; rope arrow up
61 1 Copper coin stack 5 2146
62 1 Quiver or 10 broadhead arrows 2146 Ladder to High voltage metal walkway; mantle up; jump to ledge; mantle up to stone walkway
63 1 Deer leg 2146
64 1 Mine 2146 Hop over to next ledge, open vent & go through; rope down above counter door; go part way down; open door; drop onto door edge; mine on counter
65 2 Moss arrows 2146 Do NOT pick open door!
66 1 Rope arrow 2146
67 5 Broadhead arrows 2146
68 1 Flash bomb 2146 Under counter
69 1 Speed potion 2146
70 1 Cheese 2146
71 1 Carrot 2146
72 2 Cucumbers 2146
73 2146
74 1 Purse 20 2166 On sleeping guard in bed
75 1 Vase 100 2266 On 2nd floor checkered table
76 1 Armourer's Key 2266
77 1 Silver nugget 25 2291 On top of stairwell beams
78 1 Gold nugget 50 2341
79 1 Armourer's Key 2341 On inside window ledge top floor
80 The Book of Smesh 2341 In locked crate
81 1 Pointy thing 40 2381 enter "W" building coal cellar door; wind way to thieve's hideout; in wooden crate
82 3 Silver coin stacks @ 12g 36 2417
83 2 Gold coin stacks @ 25g 50 2467
84 1 Thieves' Key 2467 On table with coins
85 1 Letter 2467
86 1 Speed potion 2467 On table with letter
87 1 Diamond 100 2567 Rope down to alter cavern; next to broken chest
88 1 Rope arrow 2567 Next to diamond
89 1 Fire arrow 2567 In fire
90 4 Red apples 2567 Return up rope; use crate to enter coal chimney & climb ladder
91 1 Golden bottle 25 2592
92 1 Collectable plate 10 2602
93 1 Bridge Note 2602 Out window; jump to gargoyle to ledge to bridge; drop crates; Take note
94 2 Double gold coins @ 5g 10 2612 Drop onto lamp post; W to statue in wall; in bowl
95 3 Double gold coins @ 5g 15 2627 Back to "W" building; climb ladder in niche NW of coal cellar door
96 3 Moss arrows 2627 SE to mossy steps; pick gate to garden; in plant
97 1 diamond 75 2702 In NE corner
98 1 Gold candlestick 50 2752 Return to Usurer balcony area; Open door to the S with Thieve's Key
99 1 Healing potion 2752
100 2 Gold hammers @ 75g 150 2902
101 2 Holy water 2902
102 1 Timms's Key 2902 Return to Usurer balcony area; rope up; return to dead usurer; read note; trail guard downstairs; exit from pawnshop door; take route above Seeing Square via large black spider; jump twice clockwise to exit near drunk; take ladder down to Timms back door; key is now on the stoop!!
103 1 Mine 2902 Disarm mine near bottom step
104 1 Mine 2902 Disarm mine 4th from top step
105 7 Decorative plates @ 10g 70 2972
106 2 Gold candlesticks @ 50g 100 3072
107 4 goblets @ 15g 60 3132
108 4 Water arrows 3132 in Timms' closet
109 1 Purse 20 3152 On patrolling guard in Seeing Square
110 1 Purse 20 3172 On archer at Almgate
111 1 Gold hammer @ 75g 75 3247 Drop book of Smesh in hammerite drop box at seminary; pickpocket priest
112 1 Hightown Key 3247 Return to Timms' courtyard; Return to area above square with giant crate; jump at high window in SW corner and frob Hightown key; continue past Mage tower & reurn to the Coronet Pub
113 1 Landlord's Key 3247 On Landlord
114 2 Water arrows 3247 In Powerstation near the Coronet Pub
115 1 Gold bottle 50 3297 in Landlord's apt shrine room
116 1 Goblet 15 3312
117 1 Firepoker 200 3512
118 1 Vase 20 3532 on fireplace mantle
119 1 Tapestry 150 3682 in bedroom chest

Ghosting Penalty 175 3507 Available while ghosting


Gabor Lux has an interesting argument about the two pieces of loot that I called as "not for ghosting"


You flagged two pieces of loot as 'not for ghosting'. I had a philosophical argument with Dafydd (the ghost-tester) on this issue, but I am on the opinion that these may be viewed as non-busts. First, the ring and the haunt: you can "exorcise" the bones with holy water. In this case, the haunt will be dead when it appears! Dafydd argued that this counts as a slain AI; my opinion was that it was a preventive action and didn't actually kill an opponent from Garrett's perspective. Take this as you will. In the second scase (that of the sorceror Scarmengades), merely hurling a flash bomb into the underfoot chamber will awaken the zombified maestro. If you stand at a correct angle, it will fail to spot you, and you can swiftly dart back to the entrance chamber of the tower without being seen! Afterwards, removing the holy symbol from its belt is easy money. Dafydd didn't count this instance as breaking ghosting.

For me both are still ghost busts. In the first case, I agree with Dafydd. A slain AI is a slain AI. In the second case, everytime I "woke" the sorceror, he appeared and was in search mode, peering about and clearly looking. I tend to be a bit of a ghosting literalist. So when the rules state: “No second level alerts, that is recognition or hunting alerts, of human or non-humans AI are allowed.” I call it a bust if I cause a hunting behavior. After a bit of not finding me, he starts a normal patrol. But he starts by hunting. If he had appeared and just began patrolling, I would agree with Gabor and Dafydd, but he didn't, so I call it a bust.

goldsla
15th Feb 2008, 00:36
FM: Elizabeth Bathory - Chapter I (bathory_part1_v2final.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 3:1:37
Loot - 2500/2500
Pockets Picked - 8/16
Locks Picked - 10
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 0/0
Consumables - None


Comments:
This is a lovely gothic romp. It is very linear in nature. The only tricky bits are recognizing which wood you can plunk an arrow into and which will eat them. Fortunately you are given 15 (!!) rope arrows throughout the mission. I was expecting LOTS of climbing when I frobbed on what I thought was one rope arrow and saw 10 of the things show up! No such luck. If you don't abandon your ropes, only one is really necessary.

The mission starts with the scripted killing of your local "guide" by the guards outside the town. The town itself is locked down with no one permitted in or out until a couple of murders are solved. Your task is to meet with an actress who has information about the inheritance of the estate of a Polish/Transylvanian noblewoman who was rumored to be a vampyre.

Ghosting the mission wasn't hard at all. Serious nudging was required to get one guard away from an alley entrance. (I took him kitty-cornered across the street and tucked him in a corner where he would not trouble me.) It took maybe 10 or 15 minutes of patient nudging. Nothing else I tried let me past him.

Oh. Most of the doors are unpickable. You either need the right key (which disappears after use) or you need the special "lock breaking" crowbar (I kid you not!) to open these doors. I'm not certain why the crowbar was introduced, except to prevent you from opening those doors too soon. That was one way that the author enforced linearity. If we had been allowed to pick the doors, I don't think there would have been any harm. There didn't seem to be any reason to keep you from doing so except to enforce the linear script that the author had in mind.

Most of the loot was out in the open or in obvious places. Just walking about and trying all the normal things resulted in finding all the loot.

The only mission troubles I had were two: the wood at the base of an antenna which you have to rope arrow is really hard to see. I had to be standing at the right spot to think "Is that wood?" and try it. In the secret tunnels below the castle, finding just the right spots to mantle up on a series of walls was annoying. The heights all along the walls seem to be the same, but if you don't pick the right spots to try, you can't mantle up. I wouldn't be surprised if a bunch of folk think they are trapped down there when all they have to do is mantle at the right spots.

I would place this between Bad Debts and The Book of Prophecy - Part 1 in terms of complexity and linearity. It was fun, but not particularly challenging. The atmosphere was great. I just wish that it had not been so linear. I would have enjoyed exploring the area more.

Klatremus
15th Feb 2008, 04:51
This report has been updated for NewDark, and with a much better Supreme run at that! Below is the old and inferior report. Read the new and updated report HERE (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL1.htm).

FM: Calendra's Legacy - Act 1: A Meeting With Basso

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Success
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 1:07:03
Loot - 1605/1605 (Supreme: 270)
Pockets Picked - 6/16
Locks Picked - 10
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - None
Consumables - 1 Fire Arrow to open Arkhyn’s Tomb (plain Ghost only)


Comments:

Decided to take this mission pack for a Ghost/Supreme run. Played it through a couple of times in the past, but that was before being bitten by the Ghost bug. The story is top shelf and the design is nothing but spectacular. Some of the best fan missions to date.
I made a pickup list some years back so most of it the loot was known to me. While there was no requirement for valuables, I wanted to get my hands on as much riches as possible, staying within the rules of course. The purchase screen contained a very tempting invisibility potion, but I managed to resist. If needed, moss- and water arrows would be readily available throughout the mission. The free word-on-the-street was useless.

Loren’s flat was locked. The key was reachable through the open window and disappeared upon use. Inside I found readables with background story on Arkhyn’s tomb and clues for evading its traps. Normal Ghost rules don’t require putting anything back, and Arkhyn’s traps aren’t busts, so I brought along the tome for that mode. Skipped the entire place for Supreme. Picked the loot off the drunk at the pier and snatched the garden gate key from the patrolling noblewoman. Used this to enter the garden by the main gate and grabbed the goblet. The AIs around the district were weird. They didn’t react to my presence, but sometimes gave settling remarks indicating 1st alerts. When passing through an area with guards, I thus waited out of sight for a while to hear if they made comments. If I was at all in doubt, I reloaded. Fortunately, only an archer and a swordswoman were patrolling. I reached the ring on the stony plateau by an angled running jump from top of the rock by the staircase. The rock extended farther out than it seemed, so that helped. Must’ve been the highest mantle I’ve ever done.


Arkhyn’s Tomb

The fire arrow in the corner was necessary if wanting to open the tomb entrance. Contrary to what I first assumed, this is not a bust toward Supreme. The rules only refer to the removal of light sources. The lantern on the ground below the torch got destroyed unless I aimed high and lightened the string tension on the blow. This was imperative to prevent, and a clear example of property damage and violation of the rules. The entrance could not be shut by dousing the torch. In fact, the only way to close it was by stepping on a pressure plate in the tomb’s first hallway. Lowering the plate triggered the mechanism to keep it open (which it already was), but when it rose back to normal, the boulder closed and trapped me inside. I had to leave a brick on there to make it stay open once triggered, but then I might as well leap over it entirely. So the entrance was closeable per se, but not without springing a trap, moving a brick or using a speed potion, further busting Supreme. Therefore, Arkhyn’s Tomb was skipped for that mode. Normal Ghost rules consequently apply for the next section.

I could leap across both plates before the color puzzle. Followed the tome’s instructions and pushed yellow-red-blue-blue to make the mist fade. Didn’t have to enter the arch, but teleported automatically to the room with four doors. Could fetch the silver key through the north door without using a zombie part or the speed potion. Just ran off the pedestal and hopped up the ledges to lurk under the wall before it closed. This was repeated several times, so it’s more than possible. Remember to strafe-run! Turned the bone on my way to the web-trap room. Frobbed the fake crown and quickly jerked back to avoid the webs. Took the practically worthless loot from the crypt and closed the secret entrance.

Stayed on the side to avoid shooting flames in the next hall. Followed the tome and chose the truth-telling archway. Had to use the silver key (which disappeared) up the stairs and open the wooden door to spawn the spider before backtracking. This spider was just like the rest, with eyes on its butt. Too bad for him he had none in the front. I could thus pass him on the southwestern side. He still covered the west part of the lit-up archway leading back to the former truth-or-false room. Exited on the east side to avoid his looks. The opposite archway no longer led to death, but to a room with three chests. The right held a ring and the leftmost my golden key. Ignored the middle. Had to crossed the spider’s path going back, but fooled him with a quick run past the archway. Lowering the time of AI exposure can be a nifty trick. The golden key also disappeared.

Rain was dripping down the hole in the inner tomb, gotta love those details. The skull functioned as an AI, rising in the air if disturbed. He definitely had a proximity trigger a certain distance from the casket, and in the southeast corner with the frobbable rock. I could grab all the valuables by inching closer and closer until they highlighted. The hardest was the diamond in its left eye. There was an infinitesimal fine line between stealing it and getting caught. I held crouch+creep and tapped the walk-key, every time leaning for the grab. This only worked coming directly from the north. Got it all in the end (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL1_files/image011.jpg). The blue gem on the backside was easy to forget. The left red diamond had its own loot count of 200, weird. Got bounced back to the desktop if caught after stealing the eyes. That’s a common problem. Just took the eyes last and immediately backtracked to the Lampfire exit.

Met with Basso by the gate and checked my objectives. Took a quick trip up the vines onto the gate walls to grab the nugget in the stairway chest. The swordsman from outside came looking, but I think this was an in-game script. I was in total darkness and he didn’t utter any remarks. Remembered to drop back the garden gate key also.


Flat 2A

Next up was Mercedes’ house and the coins behind the closet. Picked the nobleman in this district and went for flat 2A. The guard downstairs commented on the lockpicks, and there is no key for this door. Unfortunately this meant more skipped loot for Supreme. Good thing it wasn’t a requirement. He made a small patrol upon entering, did a fake hunt maneuver, and then remained in a stationary position. A few minutes later he settled from the 1st alert. I believe this walk was another in-game script impossible to avoid and not resulting from bad thieving. If I closed the outside door now, he made another comment. Snagged his key and went upstairs (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL1_files/image004.jpg). Took the stack of coins by the sleeping dude and entered the flat.

Good idea to lean towards the door and listen for the guard inside. He made a turn just past the carpet and halted in the doorway going back. That’s when I made my move. The key disappeared upon use. I discovered by accident the swordsman downstairs detected me jumping onto the windowsill; the marble makes too much noise for him, although the black guard in here couldn’t care less. Two ways: drop onto the sill from the desk, or drop a quiet object onto the ground and jump through the window from there. The latter was the best option. I used the paper scrap in the alley outside the flat entrance. It had sufficient height and didn’t make a sound. My route was then as follows: listen for guard, open door, grab plate, stack paper, through window, across ledge, through second window, get coins, back through second window (and close it), through first window and drop onto the paper. This was all doable while the black guard made his stand. I could have left for Murkbell through the attic, but this called for a key pick from the guard down the tiny hallway. There are other ways into Murkbell that don’t require any snatching. Besides, Supreme needed another way in. [Oh, if anyone ever wondered where the mission’s last pickpocket is, check out this image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL1_files/image024.jpg). His arrows can be obtained but it leaves you trapped. Designer’s glitch I guess.]

Next challenge was the ring on the balcony fence. Pretty easy, although the random lightning busted me on several occasions. I waited behind the guard and followed him to the end. I kept close to his back left and slipped past when he made his turn. Then took the ring and dropped down onto the barrel below. Flat 2A done!

Used the sewers to enter Murkbell. I emerged behind some barrels close to the main gate. A guard instantly came looking (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL1_files/image013.jpg); another one of those scripts I believe. He turned and left without comments. Picked the noblewoman in this district and fetched the loot from the nearby barn. Two stationary swordsmen guarded the entrance to the cemetery with Arkhyn’s grave and the silver nugget. They functioned like the guards west of the gate, not reacting to me, but settling from alerts here and there. I decided to try and stand in their faces for a while then move off and wait. And wouldn’t you believe, after a couple of minutes they both said something like “guess it was nothing” or “all quiet now”. So even though they’re not supposed to alert, they still do. Hence, the nugget couldn’t be gotten for Supreme and lowered the final amount an additional 50. I could still approach the fort without alerts, but the lightning spawned settling remarks a time or two.


The Fort

Entered through the eastern door. The lucky coin in one of the cells had to be skipped for Supreme. I needed the key-chain from the sleeping guard, and putting it back woke him. Only 1 gold so not a big deal. Grabbed the fort key from the chair on my way up; needed this for later. Turned left at the top and fetched the coins in the attic. Went back to the stairs and approached the bedroom from the south. Tried to time it so that the guard would turn off the lights while I snuck through, much easier this way. Snatched the loot from the chest here and unlocked the office door. The archer in the adjacent room started his patrols just about now. I hid behind the statue and waited for him to leave. The safe contained loot and a scroll that I put back. Figured on top of the safe was the nearest logical place. The safe key disappeared upon use. Snuck out behind the archer’s back when he made his second patrol; this way grabbing the nugget from the storeroom chest was a piece of cake. The rest relied on luck and tricky sneaking. Needed the coins from the box on the ledge and from the chest in the dining area. Then moved down the stairs. Locked the main door and frobbed it open, still locked though. Placed back the key onto the chair and left.

Made sure to place back the room key also before finishing the mission.


Summary:

- Used a fire arrow to open Arkhyn’s Tomb for plain Ghost. Did not alert anyone in the process, so no bust.
- Skipped Arkhyn’s Tomb for Supreme. Impossible to obtain loot or close the entrance without springing a trap, which is against rule #9.
- Had to skip flat 2A for Supreme also. The guard inside gave a first alert when attempting to pick the basement door.
- Also skipped the nugget below Arkhyn’s grave for Supreme. The guards gave settling comments indicating 1st alerts, even though they’re not supposed to.
- Skipped the lucky coin in the fort cell for Supreme. The key chain required had to be put back by the sleeping guard’s feet. This alerted him.

Klatremus
21st Feb 2008, 08:29
FM: The Order of the Vine (T1)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success :)
Supreme Ghost - Failed substantially
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 2:24:25
Loot - 2089/2089 (Supreme: 1719)
Pockets Picked - 4/5
Locks Picked - 10
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets: N/A
Consumables - 1 Moss Arrow (to enter the treasury)


Comments:

The objectives told me to enter the order compound, grab the seal from the treasury, find some other rare item in the east wing, fetch 1,700 in loot, and get out. No more than 8 knockouts were allowed; fairly irrelevant, since I went for Ghost. I noticed the new sand arrows in the purchase screen. Although they looked tempting, my arsenal was big enough.

I started in the canal. Nothing to do but follow the strong current. The sides were too high to mantle at any point. I noticed a boarded up hole on the right quite early in the ride. Could that be a way out for later? By the bridge stationary archers watched the above gardens, easily alerting to my swimming. Had to duck and dive along the bottom to avoid the splashes. The current and the canal stopped by the power wheel in the northwest. Nowhere else to go but inside.

1st floor
The power room. A stationary swordsman and an unarmed operator. Both enemies faced away, so I slowly crept up the metal ramp and entered the hallway. Lurked along the west wall and approached the swordsmen guarding the double doors. Garrett suggested sticking to the walls. A servant seemed to have a looping convo with the swordsmen, don’t think I’ve seen that before. Something about sleeping on duty. Could filch the guard’s treasury key from here, but I worried about having to put it back. The concrete floor would surely alert them both. Perhaps there would be another key elsewhere. Doubtful, but worth a try. Thus I waited and snuck east. Ccc past the torches to avoid comments. Snagged a scepter from a desk in the north records room. The writer instantly noticed it was gone, but no body movements or settling remarks indicated a proper alert.

Went northwest from here and got the fire-poker from the theatre stage. Entered the library through the main hall, as the archer covered the western hall too well. Had to skip the candlesticks in there for Supreme. Snuffing them went against rule #6. The hall west of here had plenty of shadows. Found the secret portal in the basement. If the library book was right, I would need Ciollfir’s head (or hand) to activate it, plus two keys it seemed. Back up. Crossed the carpet to the garden. A white noble gave me a little trouble exiting the double-doors. He was quite wary but turned west occasionally. Stole his ring from the table and left.

Crossed the hallway again, southeast this time. This big living room had more loot. The wall cabinets were cool, first time I’ve seen those. Their transparency flickered on and off though. From wide angles they turned opaque, which looked rather odd. The lavatories northeast of here had a hidden entrance to the sewers. From here I found the boarded exit I saw running down the canal in the beginning. In the same spot was the first portal key made of bronze. Also from the sewers I could enter the bar area, but it left me too exposed, so I backtracked to the north hallway and approached it from there.
One customer was more than a little tipsy and had recurring visits to the toilet. I could enter without alerts as he went (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/OrderOfTheVine_files/image001.jpg). A servant and a swordsman kept bumping into closed doors on either side of the bar counter. This wasn’t just a one time error; neither of these could open any doors on their routes. Strange that this wasn’t fixed during playtesting. I let the swordsman through to get the loot on the south side. Two more candlesticks here were skipped for Supreme. I could enter the area between the bar counters, but the back room was too bright. One of the drunks always saw me. An elevator shaft seemed to emerge from the basement though, and if I could find the lower enrance, I might get my hands on the loot in there after all.

The entire kitchen/dining area to the north only had a single piece of loot. Found the basement entrance in the storage room to the east. Two drunken guards randomly limped around the room. Patiently, I snatched the loot in here and ascended the shaft in the corner. Now I could steal the quality wines here undetected.

The armoury was easy if using the key, but that required dropping it back also. As this alerted both guards in the area, I wanted to enter through the unlocked door. It was well-protected by a swordsman circling a dummy, but sliding along the west wall I could enter unseen. I took the battlements key, not knowing whether it was necessary or not. Figured I could put it back alert-free later anyway. I left the armoury eastward to the gambling area, again dodging the practicing guard. I had to creep the last part, not to alert the shooting archer. The silver coins I stole from behind the sitting guard. Had to circle the table along the wall to grab the other stack (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/OrderOfTheVine_files/image002.jpg). Left southward and headed upstairs.

2nd floor
Found loot and a key in the first bedroom. Figured I would need it, so brought it along. Dodged the spinning archer in the next hallway and headed north. He turned regularly, but never faced south. Snuck along the western wall as it was darker. Had to skip the coins in the left barracks for Supreme, as picking the chest alerted the sleeping blokes. The last three rooms were easy enough.

I backtracked and passed the stationary archer westward. Found my way to the master bedroom and unlocked the doors. Took the ancient key from the safe and left. Found the dining hall in the center of the 2nd floor. I noticed an Arabic shape on one of the displayed items there. When I tried my recently found ancient key on it, Ciollfir’s head popped out. That had to be the way to access the portal. Cleaned the guest rooms in the northwest afterwards. No trouble, besides having to skip another candle for Supreme.

There were two guards protecting alarm buttons in the servants’ quarters and guards’ quarters; together they sealed off the southern part of the second floor. I could not get past them from the north without dousing torches. This area was thus only accessible from the southwest staircase on the 1st floor or the main hall walkway (which was very well protected). Using the southwest stairs forced me to deal with a very inconveniently placed swordsman, so I chose the latter option. The walkway was easily ascended by placing a rope arrow into the top part of the southwestern support pillar (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/OrderOfTheVine_files/image004.jpg). I had to land on the railing to retrieve the arrow afterwards.

Reached the southeastern guest rooms via the battlements area. Guess my key from the armoury came to use after all. Found a note about a lost ring in the theatre. Couldn’t remember having seen one down there, so I would be sure to check that later. One of the rooms was locked, and the door didn’t respond to any key or lockpick. Found the entryway across a tiny ledge from the neighboring room’s balcony. Had to skip the candlesticks in both rooms for Supreme. This lowered the total amount to below 1,700, which was the objective requirement. This wouldn’t be the only bust for that mode it’d turn out, so no tragedy. The rare item also caused a bust, as picking the blue chest alerted the sleeping noble.

The last area yet to be explored on the 2nd floor was the servants’ quarters in the southwest. The first three bedrooms were easy. One of the female servants was a light sleeper, so I had to skip more loot for Supreme. The problems came when approaching Giblen’s double doors. A stationary swordsman at the end of the hall randomly faced east and south. I could not enter Giblen’s lair without spawning a comment. I managed to leave once without a grumble, but this was not repeated. Giblen himself had turned into some bug-magnetized beastie. He protected the final ancient key located behind him. Two vines from the mossy ceiling hinted on how to traverse the room unseen. I shot one arrow into the soft part just after the transition from brick to moss. The other I placed into the northern part of the upside-down table (see image).

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/OrderOfTheVine_files/image005.jpg

Especially the leap from the first to the second vine was troublesome. I had to get over the pointy wood structure growing from the corner. Traversing the lines in the opposite direction was easier. I had to grab the last arrow from top of the double doors (not the doorframe, but the door itself), then slide down to ground level from there. This was all done without any comments from Giblen. Quite a challenge!

Getting down to business
Found the ring worth 30 on one of the seats in the theatre. Then set up the portal in the basement and went through. The spider in the opening cave was a little tricky to figure out. Spiders in general have a hard time maintaining proper body angles it seems. This one was stationary but far from normal acting. It seemed to be walking, but was still frozen in place. Occasionally, it would turn 180 and continue its walking behavior. What it really dud was spinning. For example, when it turned to face the portal, then that was its real angle. As it kept moving its legs, its vision spun counterclockwise away from the portal, while the body angle stayed the same. When it turned 180 again to face the tunnel opposite the portal, only then had the body angle “caught up” with the vision. If this made any sense at all, I could actually read which way the spider was facing at any point, and circle it accordingly, totally alert-free.

From here I made my way through the tunnels to the bottom pit. Found the last two pieces of loot on the way. The four beasts circling the seal seemed oblivious to most of my actions. Only the wandering mage alerted normally. The others would jump straight to hunt mode, but only in plain view and bright light. An additional objective to bring Horten back to his bedroom triggered upon entering. I took turns hiding beside the big pillars, coming out to grab the objectives as I saw it fit. Got a couple of comments from the mage now and then, but nothing I couldn’t avoid. I gotta say Garrett truly is an athlete, and a brave one at that. I would like to see any mortal man carry a grown man on his back, fling from vine to vine 200 feet aboveground and not utter a single complaint.

Back in the manor I still needed to break into the treasury, despite having obtained the seal. During my escapades throughout the manor, the guard with the key had shifted position, now facing the door. So I had to use a moss arrow to enter safely (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/OrderOfTheVine_files/image007.jpg). The key couldn’t be dropped back anywhere close without alerting the guards, so I held on to it instead.

The archer in the training grounds had slid around as well, now facing the practice dummy. The battlements key therefore also couldn’t be replaced.

I took two of the library candles to fulfill the loot requirement. I considered this a smaller bust than 1st alerts.

Brought Horten to his room and replaced the master bedroom key and Giblen’s key.

Exited the compound through the main gates from the main hall walkway. Could inch over and lower the bridge without alerts, then leap across the canal in the dark and mantle the other side. Snuck unseen to right below the archer with the fire arrows. If fast, I could run around the corner before anyone went into hunt mode. Think all 4 guards gave comments though. Naturally, I couldn’t lower the gate or raise the bridge for Supreme.


Summary:

- Three candlesticks in the library were skipped for Supreme. Dousing them is not allowed. (I ended up taking two of them to fulfill the loot objective)
- Two more candlesticks were also skipped in the southern bar area, for the same reason as above.
- The copper coins in the guards’ quarters on the 2nd floor were skipped for Supreme. Picking the chest alerted the sleepers.
- The northwest guest pool on the 2nd floor had another candlestick that was skipped for Supreme.
- Two more burning candlesticks had to be skipped in the guest rooms to the southwest. Unfortunately, this meant fulfilling the loot requirement was impossible without busting Supreme.
- Stealing the rare item spawned a 1st alert from the sleeping noble. Inevitable, but another Supreme bust.
- A necklace in the southwest servants’ quarters was skipped for Supreme. Picking the chest alerted the lady sleeping nearby.
- Two 1st alerts couldn’t be avoided entering and leaving Giblen’s lair. Supreme busts. The lair itself was cleaned without further alerts.
- Due to the treasury guard’s shifting of position, I had to use a moss arrow to enter the double doors. Supreme bust.
- Couldn’t drop back the treasury key without alerting the guards, so I kept it. Supreme bust.
- The battlements key was necessary to leave, but couldn’t be dropped back because the practicing archer had changed facing angle. Supreme bust.
- Got comments from all guards by the main entrance when leaving. 1st alerts.
- Couldn’t lower the bridge and close the main gate for Supreme.

Klatremus
29th Feb 2008, 05:20
This report has been updated for NewDark, and with a successful Ghost run at that! Below is the old and inferior report. Read the new and updated report HERE (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CC.htm).


FM: Calendra's Cistern (T1)

Ghost - Failed :(
Perfect Thief - Failed
Supreme Ghost - Failed (but without a single 1st alert)
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 3:09:37
Loot - 4592/4897 (Supreme: 4330)
Pockets Picked - 6/9
Locks Picked - 8
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 1 (should be 2)
Damage dealt - 2, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 3
Secrets: N/A
Consumables - 1 Dried Frog (Adrius) & 1 Gas Arrow (Tommyrot)


Streets

I was meeting an old acquaintance, Mercedes, in the wine cellar of the Weeping Angel tavern by midnight. She sent me a letter regarding an ancient relic that sounded interesting. A secondary objective was to steal a rare vase from the art collector Lord Alharzad. I also needed to deposit Ragnor, captain of the city watch, inside Alharzad’s mansion. The mandatory loot requirement was 2,000 gold. I could feel this night would get busy, so I got to it.

Started with 3 ropes and 1 water arrow. There was no normal purchase screen. Instead I could buy necessary equipment at Farkus’ Outfitters. A credit of 500 was given upon entry. He even had an invisibility potion! It was too expensive as of now, but I could return at any point during the night and purchase more. Only gold though, no goods or gems were accepted. The clerk, Dibbler, didn’t alert to my presence. An old beggar to the east didn’t alert either, he just wanted alms.

Decided to clean the art collecor’s first. The front door guard told me to leave the property if I entered the staircase. After that he would attack. I never even bothered him. The back door was pickable. Alharzad was stationed in his bedroom upstairs; one false move and he would hear. Took my time and stole the loot. Found a key in a tiny alcove behind a banner upstairs, which opened both the chest in the corner and the chest behind the secret panel downstairs. Dropping it back alerted Alharzad, so I skipped that 112 loot for Supreme. For Ghost I fell onto the bed edge without alerts. From here I could reach the chest. The safe upstairs was hard. The lock reset after a limited number of attempts, and each time the combination changed. The five lights in the middle signified right or wrong digits. Mine was 2-2-4-4-5, and that only required two changes from the initial numbers. Lucky break I guess. I reset the digits afterwards. The gate to the southwest of the mansion had a switch on the opposite side, but it wasn’t reachable from here.

The map said Lord Wimple’s had been hit twice in the last six months. The only way to enter his place was to break the window, which made him faint. I tried getting through by keyholing and using a rope arrow, but to no avail. I didn’t find signs of a backdoor or a secret entrance either, and climbing the roof didn’t lead me anywhere. It was only a stack of gold coins, so no major deal. Still, Perfect Thief got an early exit.

Found a well-hidden bottle on a tower ledge in northwest River District (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CC_files/image003.jpg). Another bottle sat on a windowsill just east of this (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CC_files/image004.jpg).

The gate by Lord Wimple’s could only be opened from the south. This meant I had to pass through the old abbey south of the River District. Picking the door on the River District side alerted the guard inside. You can’t eavesdrop through doors in T1, but turning up the volume I could clearly hear his comment. His utterances traveled through the open window by the stairs (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CC_files/image005.jpg). To avoid this Supreme bust, I looked to the southeastern roofs (study this image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CC_files/image006.jpg). I tried climbing the south wall directly, with a rope arrow into the eave underside of the southeast corner, but the swordsman spotted any mantle or leap. For the record, he faced north, east and south randomly. So I followed the path in the screen capture instead. Needed a rope arrow to reach the roof with the hidden gas arrow (2). There was a stretch of shadow along the top rim of the eastern roof (4). I slowly traversed it, clasping the map’s border. For some reason, the abbey guard was oblivious to most sounds. Finally, I could squeeze between the spire and the brick wall (5).


Tavern

Met Mercedes in the tavern cellar without further trouble. Had to move a wine barrel to reach a hidden piece of loot above the party area. The barrel couldn’t be pushed back to its original location. A little rope gymnastics was necessary to pick the chest on the ledge above the party entrance also, but nothing too hard.

The party itself was pure terror. I couldn’t move west further than to sign the guest book. In order to have any chance on Supreme, I would have to assemble Adrius’ body and let him kill most/all of the guests. I wasn’t sure how that would affect the objective of keeping Lady Calendra alive until having gotten the shrine key, because I absolutely could not obtain that or the cylix before letting Adrius do his deed. If he killed her and it counted against my objective, I was screwed. Nevertheless, it was a chance I had to take. I knew the killings were definitely not a bust on my part, in reference to Supreme rule #12. Adrius is set loose as a direct consequence of completing a mandatory objective. Nobody alerts to Garrett and no damage shows up in the stats. The entire tavern, with the exception of a goblet worth 15 in the northeast, can be plain Ghosted without Adrius’ help, so if you feel this approach is too “messy”, go ahead and skip it. For Supreme however, rule #2 enforces it.

Many of the guests stopped randomly and engaged in dull one-liners with fellow customers. Some of them reminded me of alerts, but they were easily distinguishable. One of the guests (Lord Whitman) even started whacking his sword in the middle of conversations, to imitate the hammers. Once he hit one of the cathedral benches and alerted everyone, even himself! I guess times like that remind you Thief is still only a game. Two of the patrollers rang a bell to enter the portcullis in the northeast. I followed them in and hid in the shadows to the left. A swordsman here controlled the lever. He occasionally went to inspect the area by the gate, so I could safely enter the doorway to the left. The stationary swordsman in this next great hall covered the grounds well, so I had to rope up the rafters in the southeast. Figured it would be most natural to fetch the summoner’s stone right away then. I think the one spider outside the observatory gate is supposed to patrol alongside the other. Its legs were moving, but the body remained locked it place. If it saw me and gave up, it started to patrol. It could be a Dromed issue. I entered using the intended route, mantling the metallic structures and headed through the tunnel. I was worried picking the chest would set off the outside spider, but it didn’t.

I exited through the cathedral attic and overheard Lady Calendra and the thief’s conversation from the stairs. Could easily pilfer her key. I reached the cathedral ground floor through the basement factory. Adrius’ head gave a loud howl when taken. This alerted Ragnor and the hammer couple upstairs. Ragnor could be knocked out following the objectives. I tried various maneuvers dropping the head into the hatch, but with no luck. I even tried frobbing the chest through the hatch from the underside; not possible. Then I got the idea to open the chest as the hatch was shutting (see image below).
http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CC_files/image010.jpg
The screen capture is taken as the hatch is on its way down, at the last moment where the chest still lights up. Timing it correctly, I managed to prevent the scream from travelling anywhere. It also helped to drop the head immediately. I double-checked conditions by instantly roping up the second floor benches; both hammers remained still.

Only two places in the mission I could get dried frog: Farkus’ shop or Calendra’s basement. The latter was not an option for Supreme, so it had to be the shop. This meant 125 less gold. Supreme rule #5 prohibits purchases from the loadout screen only, so I argued this deal to be ok. Besides, the incentive for the rule is so not to risk getting seen. Well, Farkus knows me, he even left a note! So I headed back to get the dried frog and Adrius’ body parts. I brought Ragnor with me to drop off at Alharzad’s. Neither the beggar nor the guard at the art collector’s minded me carrying an unconscious body around. The most hidden body part lay among some rubble in the far northeast. Found another piece of loot on my way back. A stack of coins inside a semi-shut window just north of the beggar (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CC_files/image011.jpg).

Time to let loose the ghost of Adrius. One of his parts (I think the arm) made more sound and alerted the spiders. Had to muffle it with the head to avoid problems. Oh and now both spiders was stationed outside the gates in the same spot, legs moving yet frozen. Definitely an engine bug. The haunt ended up killing everything, except Lady Calendra and the swordsman down the sewage tunnel. Perfect! I collected all the loot (including a new hard-to-find ring in the attic) and headed for Calendra’s house.


Calendra’s

I knew about the infamous frog screwing up Ghost runs in the past. There were two ways to Calendra’s mission, but the flooded pipe room was a one-way ticket, which forces you past the frog in the room with the glowing ‘shrooms...or does it? I wasn’t so sure from the start to be honest. The chute into the water was metal yes, but the area beneath and the ledge on top were both dirt, hence rope attachable. The first rope would have to be shot from the top (the reason for planning ahead). I inched out as far as humanly possible, leaned out, turned, and flung an arrow into the grassy edge (see image below).
http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CC_files/image013jpg
The rope fell into the dirt below, but I had hope of reaching it from underneath with another arrow down there. It could be shot from the small pipe you jump onto from the ladder. Both ropes were easily ascended like this, so I could safely head for Calendra’s.

Not much to report from her house. Two ways in, either could be used without busting any mode. The patrolling guard sounded the alarm if I left the bedroom door open. He didn’t notice any of the loot gone though. The loot in the tomb set off a jumping skull. If taking two pieces the torch went out and a zombie spawned in search mode. I figured the skull as a trap, so I guess the tall vase worth 100 should be taken for normal Ghost. Supreme prohibits traps altogether, so I skipped all the loot for that mode. Circumstances like these are open for interpretation, so whether you take any loot or not I guess is up to you. Met with Mercedes a second time and headed back for the shrine.

Brimstone and Calendra’s fight attracted the haunt’s attention. He ended up fighting the zombie in a never-ending battle. The zombie turned and headed my way if alerted, so I snuck past when he had his back turned. The boulder-trap in the catacombs ended up being a Supreme bust. Managed to leap past it going down, but after grabbing the cylix I couldn’t make it back up without springing it. Somewhat anticlimactic after all the work preventing busts so far. Had to accept it and move on. The haunt and the zombie were fighting their way up to the party area when I returned. I snuck past them easily up there. Returned the shrine key at Calendra’s. Found another tiny ring in a floor crack in the tomb area beneath her house (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CC_files/image017.jpg). It was so small I had a hard time spotting it even when I knew where it was.


Mercedes’

The gate to Feegrim’s Court was now open, so I met with Mercedes there and followed her. The old witch’s house nearby had a piece of loot in it. Unfortunately, the frog outside heard the lockpicks, so I skipped it for Supreme.

The final challenge was the ambush by Tommyrot and Wormwood. There were no specific objective directing to hurt or kill them, but something had to be done. The only argument imaginable is the objective that says “keep Marcedes alive and well”, but this is far too vague to justify knockouts and/or damage. Without my involvement Tommyrot died from Mercedes’ blasts, but the archer killed her eventually and the mission failed. She waited at the top of the stairs before heading into the fray, and I could drop down on the left without triggering anything. Wormwood could not be gassed period. Immunity? If I knocked him out, Mercedes wouldn’t come down until I had taken care of Tommyrot as well. I also couldn’t pass Tommyrot in the alley with an invisibility potion. There wasn’t enough room and he alerted when I touched his front. That wouldn’t have done any good anyhow as Mercedes needs to enter the apartment for the mission to finish. After the attack started Wormwood needed 5-10 blows to the head before going down, so they’d have to be dealt with on beforehand. I ended up knocking Wormwood from the shadows to the left, and gassing Tommyrot with the arrow from the roof by the abbey. This meant even plain Ghost was busted.

Regardless of failure, this mission was a blast to Ghost. The entire mission can be completed without a single first alert, and I recommend every ghoster to give it a shot.


Summary:

- Couldn’t enter Lord Wimple’s to steal his gold. Breaking the window is the only way in.
- Skipped the loot from the two locked chests at Alharzad’s for Supreme. Dropping the key back alerts him.
- Had to buy dried frog worth 125g from Farkus’ Outfitters in order to complete the Adrius-objective. Supreme rule #5 only prohibits purchases at the loadout screen, not from in-game shops. This can be avoided for plain Ghost, instead getting the dried frog from Calendra’s basement. That method was not applied here though (since Perfect Thief was already busted).
- Had to skip all the loot in Calendra’s basement for Supreme. Taking any piece sets off the jumping skull. Taking a second piece spawns an alerted zombie. For normal Ghost only the vase worth 100 was taken.
- Couldn’t avoid setting off the boulder trap in the shrine catacombs. This is against Supreme rules and busts that mode.
- Alerted the frog outside the old witch’s house when picking the door lock. Skipped the jar worth 50 in there for Supreme.
- Had to knock out Wormwood and gas Tommyrot to keep Mercedes alive. This is against all modes and doesn’t follow any objective. The damage on Wormwood showed in the stats, but not his knockout.
- The last 25 loot is confirmed unobtainable, hence the final amount has been reduced.
- The 3 bodies discovered are from the fights between Adrius’ haunt and the party guests. Not a bust.

Klatremus
29th Feb 2008, 19:38
FM: All For a Night's Sleep v1.0 (T2)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Success
Perfect Supreme - Success :D
Time - 30:13
Loot - 1022/1022
Pockets Picked - 4/6 (classic T2 bug)
Locks Picked - 7
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets: 2/2
Consumables - None


Comments:

Decided to take this little gem for a Supreme spin. The objectives were clear; kill the chime and get 800 in loot. I started with nothing but my compass. Skipped everything in my room except the lockpicks behind the shelf, they are always needed.

Since I didn’t bring any ropes, I needed two crates to reach the wooden attic window. Used the two crates by the large box at the bottom of the stairs to my apartment. The woman in the bath house heard me picking the lock when walking through the main office. She had a stop on her patrol though, so I had plenty of time in between her loops. A secret ring lay in one of the tubs (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/AllForANightsSleep_files/image001.jpg). Entered the inn from the patio. Neither the drunk nor the wandering nobleman alerted to my presence. The lady barkeeper also didn’t mind me. Dodged the basement guard by hiding in the corner study. The shiny key worked on one of the rooms downstairs. Returned the red key afterwards. Figured on top of the money box was the nearest logical place.

The streets surrounding the river and the bridge were the only tough area to ghost. I leapt across the canal on the south side, landing in a mantle. Both sides were dark there so it was a convenient spot. Cleaned the building with the elevator and hopped to the windchime balcony. The owner had a hidden purse on a rafter (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/AllForANightsSleep_files/image002.jpg) that spawned a bonus objective. I dropped the chime in the river by the water wheel. The last two posters in the northwest were a little tricky, mostly because of a wary female archer in the north, but no more than normal stealth work was needed. Forgot to lower the elevator in the southwest, so I had to go back once more. Dropped the shiny key on the nobleman’s route and returned to my room.

Home sweet home!

Yandros
3rd Mar 2008, 01:54
Since I didn’t bring any ropes, I needed two crates to reach the wooden attic window.
The crates are not needed for the attic window - if you stand in the right spot on the wall, you can actually mantle up onto the ledge, and thankfully the shutters open inwards.

I also ghosted this one, but missed the purse on the rafter so didn't perfect it.

Klatremus
3rd Mar 2008, 02:43
The crates are not needed for the attic window - if you stand in the right spot on the wall, you can actually mantle up onto the ledge

I must not have found that sweet spot then. Tried it at least 10 times cause it looked doable, but gave up and went for the boxes.

Yeah I found all the loot the first time through, which rarely happens. :o

Klatremus
6th Mar 2008, 20:15
This report has been updated for NewDark, and with a much better Supreme run at that! Below is the old and inferior report. Read the new and updated report HERE (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL2.htm).

FM: Calendra's Legacy - Act 2: Midnight In Murkbell

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success :D
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 2:32:53
Loot - 5130/5230 (the last 100 is unobtainable)
Pockets Picked - 7/27
Locks Picked - 7
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 4
Secrets Found - None
Consumables - 2 Water Arrows (Vilrath’s Garden, retrieved; Murkbell Police Station, retrieved)


This mission is probably my all time favorite. Purah has created something I thought I’d never see from a fan mission. There are practically no flaws except for minor details. Any Ghost mode is a challenge for such a huge and diverse mission, but I was up for it. I will mention the hardest pieces of loot, but for general valuables or equipment please consult the loot list.
My schedule for the night involved stealing two priced items from the local museum; the Baerulian Diamond and a painting called the Red Arrow. Selling the cylix was the night’s main purpose, but still wasn’t listed as a separate objective. Again no loot requirement was specified, which is quite unusual for back-to-back missions. My starting arsenal was stripped for everything except a couple of rope arrows. The loadout screen contained a black lotus potion with continuous healing, prized in at 3,000 gold. Even with full loot from the previous night (plus the 100 extra for tonight) it was too expensive. Moss arrows were noticeably absent. No trip to the shop for Supreme meant no tip and no objective of stealing Kharras Drahg. It was still available in the mission though, so plain Ghosters could easily save the 100 loot for something else. In fact, that magic sword ended up being a savior for Supreme, as explained in a bit.

St. Trinett’s
I started at the Black Die pub, about to sell the cylix to one ugly duchess. The objectives soon changed to instead delivering the cylix to Cardinal Alcandor at St. Trinett’s within 10 minutes. I was released from captivity at game time of 1:43. I attempted a pure Supreme run about a year ago, but stopped when failing to pass a stationary priest after delivering the cylix. Subsequently Kharras Drahg (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL2_files/image001.jpg) had entered my mind as a possible solution. Among the sword’s magic powers is the ability to make you darker. If I could manage to fetch it before visiting the cathedral, I might be able to pass the priest without busting Supreme. Several arguments favored this approach. First, the streets were practically empty prior to the delivery. Second, the few existing guards didn’t alert yet, which would make the detour quite fast. I took the route through the canal from the pub’s balcony, opening the gate at the water pump. I mantled up at Peabody Street and headed for Falstaff. There was only one wizard on the upper walkway. I took his loot and frobbed the torch in the side room. The gate to the sword disappeared, which made it impossible to close. I quickly left and went for Lara Croft’s loft. Grabbed the loot around the cathedral and entered through the side window. Time equaled 5:31, over 6 minutes till deadline.

The candlesticks on either side of the downstairs foyer were protected by noisy tiles and regular patrols. The most efficient way of moving was crouching while tapping the run-key. This was fast and quiet, but could generate sudden clunks. I used the method of taking 4 or 5 steps forward, then quicksaving. There was a small, dark portion beside one of the fonts where I stood watching the guards and timed my runs (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL2_files/image003.jpg). Naturally, I had Kharras drawn at all times. Both candlesticks were possible to obtain this way. From here I moved into the cardinal’s bedroom, took the loot there and dropped the cylix. Clocked in at 8:45, plenty of time! Outside guards heard the drop a few times so I had to wait for them to move off. I frobbed the cup and quickly jumped outside before the secret passage closed. Some of the guards outside were running around, seemingly alerted. However, they didn’t react to my presence more readily than normal. Guess this was a timed event triggered when the alarm went off. Those are allowed. The priest in the right picture was the one I couldn’t pass without a comment last time. Now, equipped with the sword, I could inch past the mosaic window undetected. YES!! That is one good piece of Ghosting if I may say so! The capture below is taken from the brightest spot. The exit door was just beyond this priest.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL2_files/image004.jpg

The Streets of Murkbell
Assembling the complete Zjilich amulet is not required or even remotely necessary for any mode of Ghosting. Other write-ups have reported tedious maneuvers trying to obtain the various parts, six altogether. I gladly skipped them. Thus, the canal gate key in the cathedral was not needed (to get the unfinished amulet from the grotto). As a result, I was forced eastward upon exiting the cathedral grounds. Brought along a water arrow from the canal bottom, to get into Vilrath’s garden. When I opened the gate from afar however, something very odd happened. The water arrow got stuck in the button! The end was sticking out just like a broadhead! I could even pick it up as if nothing had happened. I know the crystal splashed because I remember being worried whether the lantern guy had heard it. I was so confused I forgot about taking a screenshot, and I was unable to repeat it. Still it would save me from getting another one later. Only a 5 gold purse in return but every penny counts. The gate couldn’t be closed up.

Meepwood bridge seemed to be designed with Ghosting in mind. The guard with the key turned away now and then. It disappeared upon use; I just love that! Found the tiniest ring on the wagon by the cemetery gates (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL2_files/image017.jpg). I knew I probably would have to come back here later, but wanted to get this done in case anything out of the ordinary should happen. Once the undeads were loose, the bridge key could end up just about anywhere. Better safe than sorry! That was far from the worst piece of loot to find though. Usually, valuables are located in places you are somewhat likely (or perhaps expected) to look. Well, not in Murkbell! A pair of lucky coins lay in the canal just southwest of the bridge between the psychic and Hollows Lane (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL2_files/image006.jpg). I guess it can be argued some kid dropped his weekly savings while balancing on the bridge fence. Or perhaps the psychic threw them in for good luck, who knows?

There was another pair of hard-to-see lucky coins on the ground at the market, northeast corner. To reach Dr. Provost’s balcony I needed to think of something clever. The intended route involved picking a locked gate, but the tools alerted a nearby female archer. I could have waited to see if the zombies cleared the road, but I saw another option. East of his balcony was a sloped street, ending with the canal to the north. With one crate I was able to mantle the southern part of the marbled fence (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL2_files/image008.jpg). I used the crate from outside Falstaff; put it right back afterwards. The invitation was only helpful for plain Ghost mode; it was useless for Supreme. All three guards inside the museum still did 1st alerts even though they weren’t supposed to, just like the street guards in act 1. They didn’t have alerting comments like “did I just see something?” or “that better not be the sergeant checking up on me” but settling remarks like “I need a nap” or “probably one of them grubbers again” were still present.

The Museum
So I skipped the invitation (unnecessary pickup) and ended up hard ghosting the museum, which wasn’t a pleasant experience. Tiles, random patrols and a wandering lantern drained my quota of curse words for a whole year. The front door guard luckily didn’t react, with or without the invitation. Downstairs I used the carpets and the display cases to move around, hopping from box to box grabbing loot along the way. Managed to steal the vault key around one of the pillars. Also used the staircase railing, basically anything I could find that wasn’t tile or marble. Crept behind the archer on the 4th floor as slowly as possible. The key disappeared upon use, and the gate was unclosable. I had taken the ultraviolet lens before entrance, so I could dodge the beams. The second beam had an invisible hole on the left, discovered by Nightwalker. It meant the vault could be ghosted without mossing the floor. I left through the side window of the 3rd floor, skipping the Baerulian Diamond. Turning off the security system busted Supreme, and I wanted to see if there would be a solution after the undeads roamed the streets. I am wondering though, is raising the alarm a bust? It has been deemed allowed in ‘Undercover’, why not here? It is the same circumstance; the alarm goes off from taking an objective, not from getting seen or heard. The only difference is you have a chance to turn off the alarm in advance. But had there been a button to turn off the alarm in ‘Undercover’ would that suddenly have illegalized tripping it? I always follow the rules and bust when in doubt, so I had a feeling this would be it for Supreme. I hoped my feelings were wrong though. Returned the lens afterwards. The front door guard was now on high alert.

Found more lucky coins in a shed near Gallan Bridge, and a goblet on a balcony fence closer to Cloaca Court. In sum, there were only three pieces of loot I left until after triggering the undead scenario; the coins at the fishmonger’s woke up the owner when picking the box, the glasses at the police station I would get later, and the area around the windmill was just too crowded with guards to attempt getting the rare coin at this point.

Night of the Living Dead
To complete all objectives I had to pick Mercedes’ pocket and read her diary. I was to leave it at the police station. How convenient my room was at Whore Court btw... Dropped into the canal in the far northeast. When I reached the police station bridge, all the guards protecting the forge had been killed. This was great news, as it meant I could destroy the cylix undetected later! YES!! I remember it always made too much noise throwing it into the cauldron. Both guards inside would be in hunt mode as the mission ended successfully. It could be done alert-free with the use of a moss arrow, but that isn’t allowed in Supreme mode.

Now I could fetch the coin in the mill without trouble. The purse on the vampire at the market was worse. The invisible beast from ‘Calendra’s Cistern’ found me now and then. I don’t know if Kharras Drahg attracted it or what. Most haunts and zombies in the area were on high alert from all the killings, so I stood in the dark waiting in between each move.

Back at the Black Die the killings continued. The stationary guard just north of this heard commotion and ended up getting killed at the fishmonger’s. I think a zombie had spawned in there and he heard the thief’s whacking from a distance. Two noblewomen came along and got killed also, the two patrolling zombies made sure of that. Fish and corpses lay scattered; it was not a pretty sight (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL2_files/image011.jpg). One of the zombies even had a fish (?!) on its “belt”. It only got weirder, as another one carried a cat! This turned out to be Bob Grenadine's lost pet, and if returned would yield the reward of a holy vial. The zombie that usually patrolled the fish store was sleeping, probably from the thief’s swordplay, but it didn’t react to me picking the box. I even stayed there for 5 minutes to see if it gave a settling remark (indicating a 1st alert), which they sometimes do from the lockpicks. No growl came; I was off the hook.

Alcandor and His Pets
Entered the cathedral again through the loft and continued to the side window. The place was full of zombies now, but they were a lot easier to dodge than the priests. Found a very cleverly hidden basement key under the desk in the study (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL2_files/image012.jpg). It must have spawned along with the zombies. I loved how the entire city changed when the undead scenario triggered; almost like playing two different missions. The catacomb hallways had 4 enemies. The first skeleton was very unreliable. I never saw it turn, but every time it was positioned differently. Regardless, with Kharras drawn I could pass it despite the flickering torch. Passed the wandering mage by hiding in the power station. Reached Alcandor’s lair up the slope and could easily snatch the cylix (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL2_files/image013.jpg). Nice!

Initially, I had thought of approaching the caretaker’s manor via Meepwood Bridge, but I decided to attempt a shorter route; by ascending through the hole in the ceiling. There was a wooden rafter I tried shooting a rope into from behind the pillar with the throne, but the pace of the arrow was too high and it ended up alerting the mummies. Equipped with Kharras Drahg I could traverse the room clockwise. The southern end was impossible to pass as the torches were too close. From the east side I could lower the pace of the arrow significantly, enough to avoid any alerts. I know I probably could have entered the manor through the secret door up the ramp, but sneaking through the cemetery was not my preference. Plus I actually found the hole to be easier. After fetching the statue in the side room I waited for the perfect moment when all the mummies would be away or at least patrolling with their backs turned. Then I ran out from behind the northern pillar (see screenshot below), leapt for the rope and mantled up. I did it twice just to be sure I got it right. I seem to remember Alcandor facing differently last time I played, more toward the center of the room. In that case, I would definitely have used the secret side entrance and passed the cemetery. The situation being as it was however, I used the aforementioned method.

The caretaker’s manor was so dark I didn’t even have to draw the sword. Most was tiled though, so slow movement was necessary. Some hard loot in here: lucky coins by the harp on the ground floor (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL2_files/image015.jpg), and not to mention a minuscule ring in the baby’s room upstairs (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL2_files/image016.jpg). Afterwards I could drop back into Alcandor’s lair and enter the cemetery frobbing the secret skull. Had to drop from the rafter not to get hurt. The last piece of loot in the area was another ring by a stone in the center of the graveyard (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL2_files/image014.jpg). I got scared for a second thinking I couldn’t unlock the main gates from inside, but the mechanism was reachable through the bars. I guess purists who strive to pick up only what is absolutely necessary, the bridge key isn’t really needed. I didn’t know that at the time, and it disappeared upon use, so obviously no bust.

Wrapping It Up
Stole the purse off the vampire at Hollows Lane and went for the police station. Had to approach from the western side, dodging the partially patrolling swordsman. Opened the gate with a water arrow. The same bug appeared here as in Vilrath’s garden where the arrow got stuck in the button. The rest of the station was a piece of cake.

The museum was harder than I thought with the mummies around, even if the lights were dimmed compared to last time. The invisible beast was also poking around, making life much harder. I reached the 3rd floor eventually. I have experienced the archer on the top floor dying, but not this time. I think she sometimes alerts to the commotion downstairs, then ends up walking into the vault beams. I found her in there once at least. I don’t see any other way she could die, unless mummies suddenly learned how to use elevators. I ended up having to turn off the security system, but I finished it the other way as well, by triggering the alarm. Just in case one of them is deemed legal for Supreme, nobody can say I haven’t Ghosted it.

Returned to Peabody’s forge and destroyed the cylix. As mentioned before, nobody was there to hear the clunk. Mission accomplished! All the loot gotten without a single 1st alert!!

After finishing my ghost-run I stand by my initial opinion: The Best Mission Ever !


Summary:

- Used one water arrow to enter Vilrath’s Garden. Oddly, the arrow got stuck in the button and was retrievable.
- Had to use another water arrow (or the same one it turned out) to open the gate at Murkbell Police Station. This too got stuck in the button and was thus retrieved.
- Had to turn off the security system to get the Baerulian Diamond. I completed the mission by triggering the alarm also, in case this is legal. I think it should be allowed, comparing to the similar situation in ‘Undercover’, but I followed the rules and treated it as a bust still.
- The 4 bodies discovered are from the fights around the city. I am surprised this count wasn’t higher.

Klatremus
8th Mar 2008, 16:17
FM: UnMasked

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 31:51
Loot - 1800/1800
Pockets Picked - 1/2
Locks Picked - 4
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 2/2
Consumables - None


Comments:

Needed to steal all 8 antique masks and 1,600 in loot. The highest difficulty was called ‘ghost’, whatever that is... Oh yeah I remember, that’s the mode losers play, while winners go for Supreme. Haha, just kidding! ;)

Found a locked toolbox in a secret room at the weaponsmith’s (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/UnMasked_files/image002.jpg). It was unpickable, so I assumed I would find the key later. The gates outside were also locked and unpickable.
The entire residence was no problem to Ghost. Only the foyer was tiled, but the guard there was sleeping. Two small rings in the bathroom, the one on the tub was hardest to spot. Three pairs of lucky coins worth 6 gold in the living room with the sleeping bloke upstairs. Two were on the floor by the table and hard to see (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/UnMasked_files/image001.jpg). Found the toolbox key here also, brought it back afterwards. Had to put it onto the book corner not to wake Brian, but figured this was close enough.

Found the safe in a secret room at the top of the stairs. The switch was just above the doorframe (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/UnMasked_files/image004.jpg). Took the house key from the sleeping couple’s bedroom and left through the side gate. I could have picked the front door but would have had to relock it with a key anyways, due to Supreme rules. Had to put the house key back onto the carpet, so that is a Supreme bust I guess. Putting it on the nightstand made a clunk and woke the couple. Unavoidable as you have to leave to the western streets. The sleeping guard also had a house key, but dropping it made just as much noise, and there were no carpet around either.

Found the Easter egg in the alley just east of the starting point. Rope arrowed up the wooden wall and leapt for the mantle (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/UnMasked_files/image003.jpg). It added 100 to the loot count.

The author Nielsen74 directed me to the final piece of loot, a grey canister in the kitchen next to the dining room door. It looks like junk, which is probably why I missed it. Thanks!


Summary:

- Couldn’t put the house key back onto the nightstand of the old couple; left it on the carpet instead. Busted Supreme.

Klatremus
14th Mar 2008, 03:44
FM: Bad Debts

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 1:58:29
Loot - 3582/3682 (Supreme: 3507)
Pockets Picked - 7/19
Locks Picked - 11
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - None
Consumables - 1 Water Arrow (to wake Scarmengades)


Comments:

Normal Ghost reports for this mission have already been posted by Peter Smith and goldsla, so I will not duplicate their work. I will point out areas where my approach differed from theirs, and where Supreme posed additional challenges. Bringing crates and keys back to their original locations added an extra dimension to the gameplay.

Calm Wanderings
The streets of Downlock automatically returned me to the Thief 1 frame of mind. Not so much texture detail but vertical exploration and hidden loot en mass. The story is perhaps a bit thin, but then again we have been spoiled with amazing creations lately. This is also a first time effort from Melan, so my criticism really is unprecedented. 2,400 in loot were required on expert, plus the letter of debt.

Again I had done a blackjack-run prior to Ghosting, to locate loot and equipment. I know some players don’t like that approach, but that is my way of playing. Sometimes it is even necessary to have a plan in order to Supreme. Anyways, I wanted to clean as much as possible before the change of objectives. Street guards were unwary prior to this point, which made Ghosting a walk in the park.

First challenge was in the guards’ quarters at Stoll Court. Two stationary swordsmen guarded a pickable chest with a purse upstairs. I couldn’t get to it without passing both their views. In the end I found a line in the middle of the path where I was concealed from all light sources (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BadDebts_files/image001.jpg). It didn’t seem to exist, but either guard kept quiet all the way through. I snatched my loot and left.

As mentioned in other reports, the ring in the tower west of the Coronet had to be skipped. A haunt appeared and it could not be evaded. It can be killed by preventatively drenching the skeleton with holy water, but that is considered a kill even though it doesn’t show up in the stats.

I don’t regard waking Scarmengades as a bust. It could be done from darkness and without him ever entering hunt mode. He gave a growl as he appeared, but that was not from seeing or hearing me. I assume it is a script triggered upon awakening and could debatably be called a 1st alert, so I skipped the whole scenario for Supreme.

Getting the loot and the thieves’ key from their hideout was a little tricky, but nothing more than standard Ghosting. Unfortunately I couldn’t return the key to the desk, had to put it on the carpet. Even tried to muffle the drop with a speed potion, but the clunk was still too loud. The book didn’t help either; the key fell through it and made just as much noise. Anywhere on the desk would be ok I assume, but that wasn’t possible, so it was a Supreme bust.

Entered Tolminson’s through the upper grate. Dropped to the banner and further onto the counter to avoid health loss. Left through the side door and replaced the armourer’s key on the table. Easy.

To reach Keywell I entered the power tunnels by the usurer’s. The entrance there had to be relocked with the power works key from Moriarty’s place. I bypassed the smaller spiders by mantling up the broken staircase with a crate. The larger green spider was easy to dodge. Some people passed the armed mines with a crate; I used a rope arrow into the corner of the large box (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BadDebts_files/image002.jpg). I simply swung around and hopped off toward the opposite corner. The rope had to be accurately placed, but other than that no big deal.

Sudden Changes
After the double-cross, I was forced back through the power tunnels. Since I didn’t have a crate available this time, I had to pass the small spiders after all. It wasn’t that hard. Emerged at Timms’ and cleaned his place. Used the dark back room to time the trips inside. He kept quiet through it all.

Over by the Coronet the landlord was the only one alerting, except for the 3 patrollers outside, but they all had fairly long routes. He generally stopped at three fixed spots. When he was at the spot nearest the stairs I got ready. As he turned and headed back I rushed in and stole his key. His place was no problem to Ghost. Dropped his key back in the same manner.

I had to approach the hammer seminary from the south, meaning I was forced to pass the wary archer at Almsgate. With a bit of fiddling I managed to snatch his purse alert-free. At the right side of the top incline was a dark portion where he couldn’t spot me (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/BadDebts_files/image003.jpg). He noticed the smallest flickers in the light gem though, so it certainly took time to find the right path. The alley going north toward the seminary was too bright though. He saw me from a distance rounding the corner. At first I thought I was clear, but cranking up the volume revealed the comment. The light was the decisive factor, the speed didn’t matter, so it was an inevitable Supreme bust.

The priest by the seminary doors was no problem. Crouching against the north side of the door kept me hidden, and with a few steps out I could grab the hammer. The guard by the lower door seemed drugged and hardly reacted to anything, so I could exit peacefully. I had previously locked the thieves’ door in an open state, so I didn’t need any key at this point.


Summary:

- Skipped the ring in the tower west of the Coronet. The haunt that appeared could not be evaded.
- Scarmengades gave a growl when awoken, so I skipped his hammer for Supreme.
- Had to leave the thieves’ key on the carpet instead of the desk. Supreme bust.
- Could not avoid a 1st alert from the archer at Almsgate when exiting Downlock. Another Supreme bust.

Klatremus
2nd Apr 2008, 20:49
FM: We Miss You, Bob!

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Success
Perfect Supreme - Success :)
Time - 14:54
Loot - 8610/8610
Pockets Picked - 0/2
Locks Picked - None
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - None
Consumables - None


Comments:

Decided to take this little gem for a Ghost run. Monastiri’s first attempt, and I hope there will be more. Bob, Lady Agutt’s baby son, has fallen into the hands of Lord Marboby. My goal was to find him and bring him back. I could keep the ransom money of 8,000 gold as a reward, if I could find it. Had to make it back outside also.

The starting yard had two swordsmen patrolling the main path. To start with, they were synchronized so that one would always spot me as I went for the manhole. After a few loops however, the archer down the path had bumped into them enough to leave a few seconds where they both had their backs turned. I could thus enter the basement safely.

The only tough spot inside was traversing the main hallway, but in return it was very tough. All guards alerted easily to sound and vision, so it was not pleasant. A new guard spawned when taking the blue key from the dungeon, and when grabbing Bob. Therefore, I finished as much as I could before going to the dungeon. This included looting the hallway closet and returning the red key to the servants’ bedroom. This left only the loot in the office, and Bob, for later, plus returning the blue key and closing the dungeon door. There were just enough dark spots so that moving around was hard but not hopeless; kudos to the author there! A thing I noticed was that the female archer that spawned when taking the blue key reset her patrol when dropping it back onto the torture table (perhaps she respawned outside, I don’t know). This lowered the hallway traffic somewhat when emerging from the dungeon, which was nice. One clever move I made was returning the office key before taking the baby, meaning I left Marboby’s office door open but locked (I’m sure most of you are familiar with that technique). Then I could return the key and lock up the dungeon (flipping back the master bedroom lever) before spawning the helmeted swordsman. This way I only had to pass all 4 patrollers once, when leaving. The worst part was the last stretch from the dining hall to the kitchen. I exploited a window of opportunity of a few seconds where everybody had their backs turned.

Outside the guards had shifted, now patrolling only a few steps apart. I could easily end the mission unseen.

Klatremus
15th Apr 2008, 16:05
FM: Calendra's Legacy - Act 3: A Winter's Eve

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 1:38:28
Loot - 6563/6658 (Supreme: 5912)
Pockets Picked - 16/35
Locks Picked - 1
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0 (should be 1)
Damage dealt - 14, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 1, Bodies Discovered - 3
Secrets Found - None
Consumables - 2 Gas Arrows (to kill Gaston without alerts; and to douse the fireplace in the sanctuary parlor [plain Ghost only])


Comments:

I like how all three missions in this pack each has their distinct feel, while still keeping to the main story. Act 3 is perhaps the most out-of-place mission, but I love it regardless. The first mission I ever played with snow, and every snowy mission since has sort of been compared, most of them failing short. The ropeable icy ledges provide an additional element to gameplay. I also installed the object-, texture- and sound enhancement packs. Interesting to see whether the effects would be noticeable.

My initial objectives were 5,500 in loot, rob Dayport Bank and kill Gaston the Red. I suspected meeting Mercedes at the bridge would yield additional directions. Again a note in the purchase screen spawned a new objective in-game, this time stealing a diamond called The Night Jewel. As in act 2 I skipped the shop altogether. The skeleton key could be handy, but not necessary to finish the game. My inventory included Kharras Drahg plus the assembled Zjilich Amulet. I assume Mercedes worked on putting it together over the last couple of months. She used all the charges experimenting on her own. My beloved rope arrows were also present, so I was set to go.

Slick City Brawls
The huge clash in the beginning could have different outcomes. It all depended on whether the thieves left their hiding spots before the fight started. If they didn’t, they usually won. I played it over several times to see the various consequences. I never intended to orchestrate the outcome, so when the following scenario occurred, I stayed with it. Two thieves survived the clash. They spotted a hammer mage in the upper streets and flew up to fight. They killed him and continued east, where one got killed from a second mage. The last thief kept killing eastward, slaying the hammer utside the seminary entrance. Having cleaned the streets utterly, the final thief returned to the gutters below. This result was very convenient, as I could freely roam the streets from now on. Both thieves with purses were killed and I could grab their loot unnoticed (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL3_files/image001.jpg).

Two of the killed hammers in the upper streets also had loot. The decorative hammers above the seminary door were up for grabs as well, oddly valued at 51 gold each. Out of nothing a thief appeared from the alley east of the seminary. I think he is supposed to steal the loot off the hammer and run away. Since the guard was dead he just ran past. He ended up by the two fellow thieves in the far west. Linked with this event was another patrolling hammer emerging from the ground floor of a warehouse. He followed the thief’s tracks and picked a fight with them in the alley. I have seen him kill them all, in which he resumes a patrol back and forth from the warehouse. This time he managed to down two before dropping. The thieves luckily doused the bonfire, so I could steal their wine unalerted. The remaining thief stood his ground in the snow (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL3_files/image002.jpg). I had stopped the warehouse door from locking up earlier (as the hammer appeared) so I could freely take the coins at the top of the stairs.

Without the skeleton key, the only way to enter the pawnshop was by stealing the front door key through the attic window. A couple of nicely placed ropes took me up there. The candlestick on the desk doused when opening the window, which was a nice little touch. Though highlighting the candle without opening the window would also put it out. Fortunately I could grab the key through the glass as well, although it had to be done without extinguishing the light. Supreme rules prohibit extinguishing light sources. Retrieved the arrow while suspended and dropped to street level unharmed. The shop itself was free of enemies. The pawnshop key disappeared upon use. Had to skip another candlestick by the upstairs bed for Supreme. It was of the same kind as the latter; extinguished when highlighted. Mantled the stair fence to avoid the spitfire trap. Noticed the locking mechanism and the elevator behind the statue. Knew there was an alternate way to enter the shop from last time playing, but also remembered it was near impossible to reach for Ghost. I would have to check that out later.

I could reach the top floor of the warehouse west of the seminary via a metal walkway and ladder system. The peaked roof at the bottom could be mantled with a rope arrow. Stole the coins from the chest in there and left through the broken window. Was a little tricky getting onto the rafters, but a rope arrow from the large crate did the trick, and the hammer didn’t say a peep. This escape route was the only way for Supreme, as unlocking the door with the guard’s key spawned a comment. The warehouse to the north of this had to be skipped. It contained 95 loot and the ultimate Easter egg, but breaking the side window was the only means of entrance. Perfect Thief was therefore unachievable, but I knew that from before.

De Zabrus Textiles
Decided to finish off Gaston next. The order of things didn’t really matter, but to avoid backtracking, it came natural. Entered via the secret entrance. Entering the upper door included spawning more AIs in the streets, which was highly unwanted. This way I also didn’t need to worry about the tripwire in the stairs. Five thieves down there, two archers and three swordsmen, one of which was Gaston. The archers took me for just another thief and didn’t alert. If I went for their arrows, they turned around and started shooting though. Kept my sword drawn at all times. This made a significant difference as many places were dark but not black, which often spawned comments.

Two of the patrollers (not Gaston) had the same route. They did a round over by the treasure table, then headed east either to the archer or down the hall to the secret exit. I don’t think they were random patrols, so I learned their timing quite easily. Gaston had frequent visits to his chamber, either doing a quick pivot or stopping to examine the safe. Two out of three times he just turned and left. The blackjack didn’t work on him; well it worked but he didn’t go down. I could have kept on hitting him with the club until he dropped, but I don’t think this is allowed. Objectives prevail unless you break any other rule, which includes alerts, as well as the person being clubbed. I could whack him with the sword, but this alerted people outside. Sneak (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=9288#4) reported using a broadhead unalerted, and kudos to him, but alas I was not able to. I whacked/shot Gaston as he finished inspecting the safe and immediately leaned against the door to check. Even though I managed to avoid the patrollers’ attention, the nearby archer always came looking. Since he was stationary I figured there was no way to fool him like this. Gas then became the final option. Both a gas mine and two gas arrows were easily accessible in the pawnshop, the latter sounding far more controllable. I reloaded, fetched an arrow from the secret compartment under the bed, and headed for Gaston’s guild once more. Shot the arrow from the door, so I could time the outsiders concurrently (yes you can eavesdrop on a door while facing the opposite direction). This picture (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL3_files/image003.jpg) was taken from the corner for illustrative reasons. Undetected I sent Red to dreamland, but he’d be crossing the river Styx soon enough. I had to target the floor not to douse the candle on the nightstand. Then moved Gaston to the bed and clubbed him to death there, fourteen blows total. Dropped him in the corner by the footlocker. Grabbed the loot, including the hidden stash behind the grate, and left.

The rest was fairly straight forward and certainly much easier now that Red was gone. The archers still didn’t alert so I only had to watch the two swordsmen. Picking the big safe yielded a golden nugget, but alerted the thieves a few times before I got it right. Most of the loot was in chests or on the table. One commonly missed pair of lucky coins lay in a corner behind some barrels (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL3_files/image004.jpg). I’ve seen time and time again people missing 20 or 40 gold short of full loot; this pair and the one in the warehouse earlier are easy to overlook.

Grindle & Boggs
Went to meet Mercedes under the bridge. She cursed the weather and told me to get her into the factory, then toasted one of the hammers downriver. The objectives now disregarded the bank. I entered through the cracked window above Mercedes. One rope arrow into the snow pile there was enough. I have heard many stories about the spiders inside, but in truth, I have always seen them in the same spots. Occasionally, the brawls outside have alerted them, but they have always returned to their resting positions. I presume if you save while they are looking they might get screwed up on a reload, but then you are already busted so go figure. Undoubtedly they were red and extremely swift, but not more alert than normal. For sake of clarity I will describe their positions. The closest, Powdy, was placed by the powder keg in the sloping tunnel facing south. The other, Disty, past the corner to the north also facing south. I assume most of you know stationary spiders see with their butts.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL3_files/image005.jpg

This was my approach. Watch the image above carefully. I could pass Powdy’s north side up to the corner. Disty covered the east hallway with her keen eyes, so I needed to figure something out. The light source was a partly covered bulb directly above. The metal covering formed a cross-shaped shadow in the tunnel, as seen in the screen capture. As seen on the south wall of the ramped tunnel, the light only covered the bottom foot of the tunnel. My immediate thought went to the keg and whether I could get on it. I tried using the regular crate from the pawnshop at one point, but the angled floor and low ceiling made it impossible to get fully onto. Then I tried leaping directly for the powder keg. I noticed that if I landed exactly on the northern tip of the barrel, Powdy didn’t mind. I was also dark here, and I was outside Disty’s field of vision. The next step was to inch clockwise along the rim of the keg until at the east side. If this didn’t work, I either roused Powdy’s temper, fell into Disty’s wrath, or simply got stuck in the frame of the barrel. After some tries and foul words, it all came together. I had to be in a crouching position to quietly land on the floor again from the east side. Sometimes this isn’t possible from the edge of an object, so I had to climb onto the keg fully for the crouch-function to respond.

I let Mercedes in and she opened the floor panel. Had to skip the loot from Hannibal in the cellar for Supreme. I didn’t have the skeleton key and opening the vat gate spawned a comment. Could take it for plain Ghost and simply pick his key to leave.

The Sanctuary
After descending the stairs I snuck around grabbing all patrollers’ daggers, just so I wouldn’t forget. Think there were 4 total. Also took the interpreter’s key. One goblet stood on a reading desk by the ramp down to the pool area. The study room had lots of loot and was easy to Ghost. Nothing to report there. There was a hallway with several railed lookout points down to the study area. The entrance was located close to the stairs heading for the parlor. Two keepers protected the halls in there. Both had daggers. The first couldn’t be passed without a little nudge, so I skipped the furthest for Supreme. Only 2 loot so it didn’t risk failing the objective in any way. The nudge was a last resort option so Ghost was good.

Next was the dining area, which ended up being much easier than foreseen. The closest keeper had another dagger; simple enough. The three plates in the fireplace were the real problem. The keeper and the woman faced opposite directions, which was kinda good cause I could approach them directly from the side without getting spotted. I never heard any comments from them; they seemed to go straight into hunt (and furthermore invisible) mode. But this didn’t really matter. The rules refer to comments as alerts. If they didn’t move I was clean. If they didn’t make noise I was also clean. Fair and square. The first two plates were reachable with a lean-in from the keeper’s back. I made sure not to stand too close as a nudge would’ve been a bust. To get the last plate I inched towards the lady and leaned forward for every new step. Sword drawn (dunno if that really mattered). It was a very close call but it could be taken without any commotion from the two (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL3_files/image006.jpg).

On to the parlor. The most intimidating room ever designed? Might be, but oh so tempting. One sentry, three guests, loads of tile, two lamps, a lit fireplace and a glowing chandelier. Oh and let’s not forget, ten pieces of loot. Another important piece of information is that the loot in here can be knocked around. Yes, that’s right, arrows and objects will make them fly across the room. Landing on them with enough force will even break them. It is the only place in Thief history where I have seen this kind of loot behavior.

The only thing I could do in here for Supreme was stealing the female sentry’s weapon. To me there is more humor than realism in being able to steal a woman’s long sword right out of her hand. I know Garrett has special abilities, but seriously. Had it been sheathed I guess I could have accepted it. No other loot was accessible for Supreme. I couldn’t even enter the room without getting a comment from the sitting acolyte. Normal guards have one set of comments for idle chatter and a completely different set for first alerts. The sanctuary acolytes however used both sets for first alerts, meaning upon entering the parlor the acolyte could say: “Always those hammers banging away up there, using their heads as anvils”, a comment also used as idle chatter, or he could say: “That was weird”, a comment only used as a first alert. Sneak (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=9288#4) reported being able to creep past the guard, ascend the ladder and enter the attic without anyone noticing, but that I have a hard time understanding. Crouching, Kharras drawn, creep-walking with the sentry facing away still spawned a comment the instant the light from the right lamp hit me. I am not saying Sneak was lying, but I don’t see how our experiences could have been that different. I was moving in absolutely the most concealed way allowed by the Thief engine, and still there was no doubt he saw me. I wish with all my heart I could say otherwise, but I would get busted for not fulfilling the loot requirement. Skipping the rest of the parlor and the purse worth 1,000 in the attic would put me at max 4,912 for Supreme, a good 688 away from the required objective. If I had access to crates I might have been able to enter the attic from the library side, but the Grindle & Boggs grate locked up after entering the sanctuary, leaving no way to return them. Ironically, the only crates available in the sanctuary are located in the attic. In fact, the only stackable items down here were 10 holy water vials in the grotto, but they didn’t get me high enough. So accepting the acolyte’s alert to bump the loot count past 5,500 was unfortunately necessary.

Turned attach ladders to ‘touch’ in the options menu first. Had to enter while the lady was turned west. More often than not she swung north when turning, which was good. As she faced the main entrance I started climbing. Passing the halfway line the acolyte finally settled from his alert state. “Well maybe it’s just these old foundations settling.” From the top I could reach and flip the book to open the secret attic entrance. Then waited for the female guard to turn west again. I assume there are several ways to reach the painting ledge. I couldn’t jump straight from the ladder; the speed and light made the acolyte comment again (and I still wanted to limit the number of alerts). I used the bookshelf ridge as an intermediate spot. It was reachable from the ladder quite easily. From there the next jump was more hidden, spawning no comments. To enter the secret passage I had to take a step back and do a small hop into the tunnel. Flipped the book again and entered the attic space.

The 1,000 gold from the grey chest completed the loot objective for plain Ghost. I also brought the gas arrow from the footlocker for that mode. I tried various ways of getting to the walkway by the interpreter’s tower. The lowest fall was onto the metal railing, but I lost health and the nearby sentry came hunting. There were boxes in the attic space but they would have to be returned somehow and then I was back to square one. Then I spotted the massive ladder on the south side of the walkway extending from the library beneath (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL3_files/image008.jpg). Standing on the railing of the southmost window I lurked out so I fell onto the outer edge. Garrett’s boots create a loud clunk kicking off metal, so this was not to alert the guard directly below. I won’t repeat Sneak’s imaginative description (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=9288#4) of the ride through the air. Let’s just say it was a rush. I caught on to the ladder’s side well below the walkway. Dark enough not to get seen by the library patrollers.

Does this mean I would have to skip the walkway sentry’s dagger for Supreme? I knew the hallway to his front was too bright, even for creep-crouching with Kharras drawn. Instead I noticed two ledges protruding from the walkway to either wall. Wide enough to traverse? Could well be. Leaping from the steps got me nowhere close. Ladders normally aren’t good for those kinds of maneuvers. Rope arrows wouldn’t attach to the southern wall, they just disappeared, but they worked fine on the northern wall. I wonder if this was intentional or a glitch. Anyhow, I had to clean the ground floor first. This basically involved waiting for the two keepers to head west. With a little luck they would stay behind the large blocks long enough for me to snatch the bottle and the goblet off the end table. Coming from the ladder I could leap across the gap between the carpets and stay quiet. I turned after getting the loot and rounded the corner northeast into darkness. From here I could start placing my ropes. I needed three to reach the floor level. A nice trick when creating a series of ropes is making them overlap so they seemingly melt into one long rope. That way when you’re at the top of the lowest rope simply grab the arrow from the wall and you will drop down an inch or two but automatically catch hold of the next. No fuzz. The topmost I retrieved from the ledge itself. I stole the dagger worth an amazing 2 gold, and dropped onto the tall ladder again from the walkway railing. Waited for the librarians to head west again and left up the stairs.

Back to the parlor. Lowering the difficulty to plain Ghost mode I saw a couple of opportunities. I could grab two more items without dousing the fireplace or flipping the light switch. The two end tables closest to the sentry held a vase and a goblet; both could be snatched from the ladder area unseen. The gas arrow took care of the fireplace. Sometimes the guests heard and started searching, but more often than not they didn’t mind. With the flames out I could reach as far as in this image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL3_files/image007.jpg). From there I could frob the light switch and go to work. Old Man (http://thiefmissions.com/walkthroughs/Calendras_Legacy_v1a/CalendrasLegacy3.html) proposed use of the basketball from the pawnshop to bounce the vases off the upper ledge. That was possible but very hard. Gas- and water arrows were also possible. I suggest a different method however. I realized that for every time I flipped the switch the sorceress ended up a step or two closer to the southern wall. That meant traversing past the ladder got harder. After about three flips it was near impossible. But I had an idea on how to grab the upper vases while the room was still dark, thereby cleaning the entire parlor in two flips only. It was possible to save when she kept looking around then reload and she would start it over, but that to me was an engine exploit. Instead, as soon as hitting the lights I crouched to the carpet, went between the couch and Loren, turned right and lurked toward the ladder. From a crouching position I could make a silent jump onto the lower steps and fly up to the ledge by the painting. Had to find the perfect height on the ladder from where to jump, otherwise I clunked and alerted the sentry. Furthermore I could hop onto the next ledge silently and take the vases. Back the same way just in time for the lights to turn on (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL3_files/image009.jpg).

Five items remained. I closed the secret passage and dropped back onto the tiles. Last trip past the sentry and toward the light switch again. Exactly the same maneuver but this time I took a left after passing Loren and drew Kharras. The sorceress got exceedingly wary as I entered the northern part of the carpet. She was already looking from turning off the lights and the windows on the furthest wall slightly increased my gem. It was hard to notice cause she never said a word and turned invisible in real hunt mode. The biggest problem was getting between her and the acolyte. Found the perfect path in the end crouch-running with Kharras drawn. Managed to grab the remaining loot and even head back to the top of the ladder without getting spotted (see image) (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/CL/CL3_files/image011.jpg). Altogether I got a few comments from the acolyte but that is allowed in Ghost. Pretty happy with that turnout, not needing to reenter the pawnshop. I’m no good at basketball anyways.

The south grotto was standard sneaking but with no real challenges. Took some determination to get Thumper’s masks in the cave, but all in all quite straight forward. The grotto key disappeared when used. Relocked the double doors with the amulet once inside. Took the last loot and ended the mission.

I would like to thank Purah one final time for making this mission pack. It stands out for me as perhaps the best gaming experience ever. Considering the unpaid effort and amount of work behind, it simply is a crowning achievement.


Summary:

- Had to skip the two candlesticks worth 50 each in the pawnshop for Supreme. They both get extinguished when highlighted, and this is not allowed.
- An artifact statue and a pair of lucky coins (95 total) in the warehouse northwest of the seminary had to be skipped for all modes. Breaking the window to enter is considered property damage.
- The gas arrow used (from the pawnshop) and the 14 damage dealt is from killing Gaston. This is the only way to kill him while also avoiding alerts from the other thieves. Objective prevails here so no bust.
- Had to skip another burning candlestick worth 50 in Gaston’s bedroom for Supreme.
- Had to skip 2 more gold for Supreme in Grindle & Boggs’ basement. I didn’t have the skeleton key and Hannibal commented on opening the vat gate.
- Also skipped the dagger worth 2 gold on a keeper by the study room lookouts in the sanctuary. The keeper further up the hall couldn’t be passed without a nudge, and that is not allowed in Supreme mode.
- Got an inevitable comment from the acolyte upon entrance to the sanctuary parlor. He settled when reaching the top part of the ladder. Could not be avoided in order to reach the loot requirement, so Supreme got busted.
- A total of 497 worth of loot had to be skipped in the sanctuary parlor for Supreme. These items included: a dagger (2), a wine bottle (50), four vases (400), two goblets (30) and a statue (15).
- The three bodies discovered are from the street brawls in the beginning and has nothing to do with me.

Peter_Smith
21st Apr 2008, 05:26
FM: Five Tigers: Eye of the Tiger

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Time - 08:38:34
Loot - 3812/4094
Pockets Picked - 5/7
Locks Picked 24
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0
Secrets Found - 3/10 (!!)
Consumables used - none

Comments

I know Klatremus is about to post a report on this mission. I'm not intending to take the wind out of his sails. I was ghosting it anyway. I'll keep it brief and let Klatremus fill in the details.

This is a large and somewhat confusing mission. Large in two ways: there are many passages and areas, including a network of not-so-secret tunnels and attic routes. You can go almost everywhere without using the tunnels, but there are a few places such as at the end where tunnel travel is essential. It is also large in the sense that the main building is really huge, with large rooms. All in all, this mission is fun to explore, and the story is pretty decent, too.

I ghosted it the first time through and played most of it without using a map. Later I got into the map because of a hassle with switches. You have to flip eight switches in correct order to get to the area with the eye. I played for more than 6 hours before I found the clue about the need for an order. It was right in plain sight, but bear in mind that exploring the place in ghost mode takes time, and it just so happens that I did things in the wrong order to find the clue early. So then I had to go back and flip them in order. The clues for the order were not straightforward, so I had to seek help for a couple of them -- mainly because by that time I just wanted to finish it.

I found only two places where the ghosting was really interesting. The rest was a walk in the park. One was the cell area, where (like a dolt) I lock-picked every door, in the wrong order, even though I later realized I had a cell key. That took some timing with the combat bots who were patrolling.

The second place was the haunts with the eye. That was not difficult at all, but there may be a question of interpretation. You sneak in and grab the eye. That part is easy. The issue is, there is a silent, scripted alarm where the act of taking the eye alerts two of the haunts. But they did not see me. This is exactly the same principle as taking the eye in Return to the Cathedral. The haunts alert, but they do not see you. That RTC event has been ruled a success and is justified by the scripted event rule.

It was interesting that the haunts went searching with swords raised but did not see me. Quite soon after the silent alarm, they became frozen in place with swords raised, although the third haunt, who wasn't alerted, was shifting in place as usual. I made a quick save at that point and took a screen shot. Then, when I reloaded the quick save later, the haunts appeared unalerted and were just standing there as if nothing had happened. The pictures are shown below.

Haunts frozen in alert position before quick save
http://home.comcast.net/~smithpd1/thief/eye_of_the_tiger_end.jpg

Haunts stationary after load from quick save
http://home.comcast.net/~smithpd1/thief/eye_of_the_tiger_end_2.jpg

As for the loot, it could be contained in the secrets I missed. As for the secrets, I am not about to spend another 8 hours ghosting to find them. Maybe a little BJ run later. I like to do the BJ run after the ghost run to see what I missed. Starting from a fairly well stripped mission at the end of the ghost run, I can see where I have been, I know where the problems are, and I can move fast.

Right now, I have a mission to test.

Yandros
24th Apr 2008, 01:53
Right now, I have a mission to test.
Actually, two! :o Check the other forum you're testing in... I think you missed the start of testing because the author didn't send an email.

Klatremus
7th May 2008, 02:50
I know Klatremus is about to post a report on this mission. I'm not intending to take the wind out of his sails. I was ghosting it anyway. I'll keep it brief and let Klatremus fill in the details.

Not exactly, Peter. I did play it, but decided against Ghosting. As you already know I like to do blackjack runs first, but the quality wasn't high enough for me to play it over. I have to prioritize if I am ever to get through all the amazing missions I've missed; such as Gäetane's campaign and all the old classics. Honestly, I have only ever played 30-40 FMs, if you can believe that!

Your report surely covered everything regardless. Nice job!

Klatremus
14th May 2008, 02:13
FM: Sir William's Keep

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 47:55
Loot - 2600/2600 (Supreme: 2500)
Pockets Picked - 4/11
Locks Picked - 4
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 2/2
Consumables - None


Comments:

Next up was a new mansion mission by Wille. Although rather small, the mission design is innovative and level of detail exquisite, along the lines of recent releases such as ‘All for a Night’s Sleep’ and ‘We Miss You, Bob!’ Definite Ghosting material! For the first time I was running 1440x900 using Timeslip’s ddfix, as well as 512x512 textures, high-res objects and enhanced sound effects. Gaming just cannot get better!

Simple snatch and grab objectives; steal the Golden Book of Stone from Sir William and gather 2,300 in loot. Needed to exit through the sewers also.

As always I had done a blackjack run first, so I knew my way around. Looted the workshop to the east and brought the sewer key from the rack downstairs. The owners on the top floor whistled their merry tunes as I stole their coins (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SirWilliamsKeep_files/image001.jpg)). Lots of doors in this mission responded to both lockpicks and keys. They still all needed to be relocked for Supreme. Entered the sewers through the courtyard door. Found the workshop owner’s ring in the water below the well (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SirWilliamsKeep_files/image002.jpg)). Approaching the tower from here triggered a conversation between two guards, one of which ended up patrolling the staircases. I avoided it altogether and headed west toward the keep basement instead.

Unlocked the old sewer entrance right away. It would serve as my final exit later. Returned the sewer key to the workshop immediately. Left the two corresponding doors locked but ajar, just in case, although I didn’t plan on returning to the courtyard at all. Entered the keep through the basement barracks. Getting the spice from the kitchen was the only issue worth noting. A servant circled the room clockwise, but I had no trouble cleaning the room unseen. A patch of shadow near the fireplace served as a nice hiding spot.

Continued up the stairs to the main floor. Tiled flooring with sporadic carpeting. Could hide in the doorway incline in the south hallway and watch the patrolling guard pass me by. Snatched his key from this location. As he left I unlocked the door here, which opened up towards the main gate lookout. The archer there was angled so that I could steal the stack of coins from the table. Re-entered the keep and locked the door. Three doors led to the chapel. The priest inside wore the only key needed to later obtain the main objective. Unfortunately, it couldn’t be taken without busting Supreme. I had to accept a comment opening either of the side doors. AIs alerting from doors opening or closing for some reason take longer to settle, so I waited in the doorway a couple of minutes for the mage to calm down. “It was only rats, in truth.” Got another comment as crept into the corner by his side. Took the golden hammer from the altar and his key, then left the same way, spawning yet another grumble. Didn’t close the door entirely, as I needed to return to drop the key back later.

One floor up I found an exit to a walkway connecting the keep with the eastern tower. Realized this was the only way to enter the tower Supreme-style. A stationary guard protected the entrance from the courtyard and the basement, and I could have passed him dousing the torch nearby, but that is not allowed for Supreme. The walkway was covered by a patrolling archer. I could easily snatch his tower key from the dark doorway (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SirWilliamsKeep_files/image003.jpg)). Watching for the patroller walking this floor of the keep, I followed the archer across the roof and evaded his looks as he turned. Then quickly unlocked the tower and went inside.

The study room one floor down contained quite a bit of loot, some of which was hidden behind a painting. Frobbing one of the books in the shelf revealed the secret alcove (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SirWilliamsKeep_files/image004.jpg)). The door in here took me to the mentioned sentry. I loved the variety of ways in which you could approach the different buildings. Despite being a small mission, it still contained the elements to provide a fun Ghosting experience. I turned my back on the stationed guard and looted my way upwards. Not much to report other than I mistook the reading guard on the top floor for sleeping. Discovered a minute later the snoring came from a hammer in the nearby bedroom. I had to ccc past the fireplace not to get caught. The safe on the wall was a little tricky to spot as it blended in with the texture and the lighting (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SirWilliamsKeep_files/image005.jpg)). The attic contained nothing of interest so I made my way back down and crossed the walkway to the keep like before. Locked both doors behind me and dropped the tower key onto the archer’s route. Nice!

The next two floors (3rd and 4th) had one patrolling guard. His route was rather lengthy, which gave me plenty of time to loot the various rooms. I stood in the hallway with the floor cabinet and grabbed his purse as he passed, then headed upstairs. Sir William was asleep in his bedroom up here, or at least I think it was him. The chest in the corner could be picked, but this created too much noise and woke the Sir. It was only a first alert so plain Ghost was still intact. However, the red key on the dresser also unlocked the chest, with no sound. I chose this method in the end, but had to skip the chest entirely for Supreme. Dropping the key back was even louder than picking the lock. Tried muffling the sound with a potion, to no avail. Supreme was already failed so no tragedy.

The top floor was free of enemies. The last piece of loot was a hard-to-see ring on the nightstand (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SirWilliamsKeep_files/image006.jpg)). The Golden Book of Stone was in a safe in the bathroom, of all places. It could be frobbed through the banner, so no property damage was necessary. Locked it up and headed back downstairs. Placed Kendrick’s key back by his feet in the chapel. There was a convenient piece of carpet sticking out from underneath the altar which quieted the drop (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/SirWilliamsKeep_files/image007.jpg)). Spawned a couple of more comments coming and leaving, but that was inevitable.

Finally dropped the keep key along the guard’s patrol route and descended to the basement. Remembered to close both the courtyard door and the sewer gate before exiting the mission by the old hatch. Thanks Wille for a very enjoyable mission!


Summary:

- Spawned a total of six comments stealing and returning Kendrick’s key in the keep chapel. Supreme violations.
- Skipped the ring in William’s bedroom for Supreme. Both picking the lock and dropping the key back onto the dresser woke him up.

goldsla
18th Jul 2008, 02:50
FM: Broken Triad, Part 1: Arkford (BrokenTriadv1_0.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 3:30:54
Loot - 2010/2010
Pockets Picked - 4/4
Locks Picked - 26
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 1
Secrets Found - 8 of 8
Consumables - 1 water arrow, 1 moss arrow

Comments:
This was a mission that I was supposed to beta test. Unfortunately my PC decided to have a brain tumor and heart attack at the same moment. So I was out of action for the crucial testing months.

Now that I am back up and running, rather than try and resume where I left off with ghosting walkthroughs, I thought I would try this new mission. It continues the story line of Ominous Bequest in the City of Arkford, where Garrett is contemplating a museum heist.

Ghosting this mission, was not too bad. There were a couple of tricky spots, and finding all the loot was exceptionally challenging, at least for me.

I got slightly over halfway through the mission when a bad load of the FM locked me out from interacting with some of the loot, books, and switches. In retrospect, this was a good thing, as it allowed me to restart the mission with a better understanding of what I was doing and that allowed me to discover 4 secret areas that I had previously missed, including one that had some rather nifty puzzles to solve. I rather doubt I would have discovered the Riddler's Tomb without having to re-explore that catacombs. This is a mission where it really pays dividends to look at everything, up, down, and sideways, and on my first partial run through, I was more than a little sloppy!

As I said, most of the ghosting was routine, with only a couple of tricky spots.

Looting the casino, for me, was hard. There were very few dark areas, and no way to dim or eliminate the lights. While the casino cashier was reasonably oblivious, the croupier and gamblers were exceptionally sensitive. Looting the slot machines took careful leaning while lock picking to make sure that no one alerted. (I was fortunate in that I noticed a slot machine's slot was frobable, otherwise I might never have thought to pick them. When I looted this area before my first load when belly up, I missed that entirely.)

But the casino paled in comparison to the crematorium. This is towards the end of the mission. Garret has been dumped in a furnace, escapes, only to discover insubstantial zombie-like creatures wandering about. They appear to be composed of cremated remains, and are quite alert and nasty. Getting by the first two is not too bad. The first one materializes from an urn behind you, and if you pick the lock on a door quickly enough it never notices that you were there. The next one is wandering a hallway. If you pick the right shadows to hide in, it passes you by. (If you pick the wrong shadow and it bumps into you, it tears out your throat.) But the third one is standing on a ramp, facing down, blocking you from getting by. If you try to creep past, it nails you. Fortunately, there is an elevator with a gurney on it at the top of the ramp. A water arrow (for silence) to the down button, and a perfectly timed rush to the shadows by the elevator (hard to time because it is hard to determine where this guy is looking, being insubstantial and all), up onto the gurney, press the button, ... and did I mention another of these ashen zombies is upstairs wandering the halls? You need to time your appearance upstairs so that he does not see you. Then hiding in the shadows at the top of the ramp, you tail the last fellow through a door and to another elevator. If you stay on the zombie's right hand, he will not see you as he turns left for a return circuit.

The moss arrow went to a good cause in silencing a noisy floor patrolled by a giant spider. His pattern seemed almost random. Fortunately, there were a few giveaways as to when to make the run for a gate switch and back. But I could not run on that surface without alerting the spider. Not for lack of trying. Finally I remembered that I had some moss arrows, and that using one was not a sin. After that realization the spider was easy to deal with.

Near the end of the mission, a demon has run amok, killing nearly everyone in town. You are clearly supposed to take a specific action to end the mission, but I decided that as long as everyone was dead and out of the way, I would see if I could find any more loot. One item was behind a previously impassible door, the key to which I discovered in the crematorium.

But that is not what intrigues me. What intrigues me is that everyone is dead, whether or not a door was open to allow the demon access, except for the folk at the casino. They continue, merrily gambling on, oblivious to the havoc outside the casino doors. Weird. Was that intentional or an oversight?

While this is not the tightest mission that Eshaktaar has created, it is a good one, clearly designed to allow ghosting, but not a complete ghosting giveaway either. There are a couple of spots where you have to be careful to succeed.

The real challenge in this mission was not ghosting, however, it was in finding all those bloody secrets! I literally had to just be looking just right while evading a guard or three to see the triggers. I would like to think that the secrets are easier to find on a blackjack run. There you would not be under time pressures while looking about. But ghosting ... I was just very lucky to find them all. It was definitely not any special skill on my part, just old fashioned luck.

Klatremus
18th Jul 2008, 12:07
Great to see you back in action Larry! :) Your reports are entertaining to read as always. I am attempting to Supreme BT in a few weeks time; excited to see how that goes.

Klatremus
18th Jul 2008, 12:23
FM: A Night In Rocksbourg - A New Beginning (part 1)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 1:50:59
Loot - 2968/3068 (Supreme: 2306)
Pockets Picked - 4/11
Locks Picked - 17
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 2/2
Consumables - 2 Water Arrows (in Namez' courtyard)

Over two months since my last report, but here it is! :)

Comments:

After all the fuzz around DrK’s newest mission in his Rocksbourg-series, I decided to check out this campaign for real. I got way more than I bargained for...

After a while spent in the city of Rocksbourg, it was time to leave. My main goal was to make it past the city walls toward the hammer cathedral. Along the way I needed to find a sample of the mechanists’ newly extracted metal ore, as well as Lord Namez’ prized statuette, plus 2,000 in loot. I had already finished the campaign looking for all the loot, so I knew I was up for a real challenge.

To the North
Brought my tools from the bedroom and a rope arrow from the stash in the armory. Read the keepers’ note and Geribald’s letter for closer instructions; dropped them back after use. Also returned the hideout key and locked the door when leaving. In case I needed to return I knew about the secret entrance through the attic crawlspace. An early easy-to-miss stack of coins rested on a desk in the neighboring apartment (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg1_files/image001.jpg)). I descended to the streets, stole the purse off Andrew and planned my travels from there.

Neither the drunk nor Walley the guard alerted to my presence, so I could walk the streets surrounding the hideout quite freely. Looted the narrow hallway below the hideout first. It included a locked study with coin stacks, and a very hard-to-see purse in the corner behind some crates (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg1_files/image002.jpg)). I appreciate a proper amount of hard loot if they are placed logically, and this mission provided just that (as opposed to the sequel, which I will come to in a later report). Other FMs scatter loot in seemingly random locations leading to nothing but frustration for the player; but I digress. Overheard the important conversation between the guards at the northeastern gate. My objectives changed to include finding the source of Namez’ insanity, plus locating the cellar with the strangely behaving statues. Note that these statues are totally separate from the statuette in the initial objective. From this location I also heard a female guard settling from an alert. Later realized it was the dark-skinned woman in the unreachable alley east of the gate. [Actually, she is reachable through some acrobatic rope arrow maneuvers; thanks to Aspirin and DrK] She can be seen from the basement workshop, a continuation of the aforementioned hallway system. She also alerted to the pickable chest there. I thus had to skip this artifact and the coins from the study for Supreme, totaling 92 gold.

The situation by the northeast gate got a little tricky. To reach Roebuck’s apartment I had to cross the courtyard somehow. Quickly realized Supreme was in for another skip. I only had 1,068 gold to work with, and figured it would be tight in the end for that mode. Biggs’ purse I easily grabbed from the shade. To cross the street I found a path so that the torch got blocked by the pillar closest to the wagon. Experimenting, I managed to avoid any comments from the sentry Flint. I quickly jumped onto the wagon and backpedaled into the dark doorway; still no alerts. I could not reach the tunnel to the west of here without him grumbling though. I accepted the bust and skipped the remainder of this section for Supreme, another 340 gold. For Ghost I entered the basement unbothered. Also reached through the bars and stole the bum’s purse. Entered Roebuck’s room by roping up by the wooden fence (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg1_files/image003.jpg)); that way I didn’t have to deal too much with the restless archer outside. Had to dodge him crossing the rafters to the south though. Waited for him to turn east and went for it. Flint grumbled some but all within the rules. Stole the goblet leaning across the fence. Had to wait on the rafters for the perfect moment to drop down, when Biggs headed down the tunnel and the archer had his back turned. Flint gave another unsettling remark as I exited to the west.

Heading Southwest
Three paths existed into the south and western part of the city. One was through a mechanist basement in the southeast, a road leading past the entrance doors of Namez’ main courtyard. A civilian here always commented on me passing the street corner, so this route was quickly discarded. The second path utilized the sewer watchman’s apartment in the center of the map. Another civilian guarding the opposite side made this route equally impossible. The third route through the sewer canal therefore became the only viable option. It involved several obstacles, in particular a female archer on a bridge to the north and the canal patrolman carrying a lantern. Before worrying too much about them though, I had to grab the vital library key behind the sewer grate (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg1_files/image005.jpg)) and attempt to steal the only piece of loot in this part of the map. It was located west of the bridge, in a rundown area by one of the entrances into the Farglow district. I dropped over the metal fence north of the bridge, as the archer looked elsewhere. She had two general angles but shifted quite unpredictably, so it was a case of much saving and reloading. After stealing the key I hid in the doorway at the top for the lantern guy to pass. There was an additional patroller in the streets occasionally stopping by the lady to have a chat. They didn’t actually say anything, but gesticulated now and then to simulate a conversation. I timed him and the lady’s angle in order to enter the alley by the homeless girl Tramp. She was sleeping very lightly, and the smallest noise gave me away. The doorway entering the streets from the side alley was metal and I had to go real slow to keep her from waking. Each of the pillars by her “bed” had dark spots protecting me from the streetlights, and I used these to reach the crowded area further west. Once there, obtaining Sinth’s purse was relatively effortless (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg1_files/image006.jpg)).

After returning to the canal the problem was how and where to pass the watchman. His lantern eliminated all benefits of shade, so I had to find a physical barrier instead. Realized I could use the wooden foundation of the building south of the bridge as attachment for a rope arrow. AIs have limited vertical eyesight so I figured climbing a fair ways up while letting the guard pass could let me off the hook. It certainly did (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg1_files/image007.jpg)). I turned around and retrieved my arrow without a peep from the lady on the bridge. Had to sprint-tap through the water to the opposite end before the watchman’s return. There was another pair starting a convo on the deck above, but I managed to lurk my way up the stairs and around the corner undetected.

Scouring Around
The nobleman from the previous conversation had a route around the streets afterwards. He periodically stopped outside a woman’s balcony in the west. As he left I managed to steal the loot from her patio table. There was a sleeping archer on a ledge to the north of this, only reachable from the woman’s balcony railing. A flaming torch made me clearly visible, but a nearby pillar blocked part of her view. It made me able to mantle the staircase railing unseen. Problem was, the railing surface was metal and the woman was facing my way. There was a large enough gap in the metallic fence above to reach the roof, but my clunky boots didn’t make the job easy. In the end I had to drop onto the balcony’s “sweet edge” and make the mantling jump from there. The balcony’s archway then obstructed her line of sight and my boots kept still. The guard didn’t mind me passing, though his neck will definitely feel it after that nap! Robbed his bedroom, including the well-hidden purse beside the shelving unit (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg1_files/image008.jpg)).

Returning to the said balcony was harder. First I had to time the nobleman and the swordsman’s patrol routes. Second I had to use the sweet edge of the top ledge to hop onto the sweet edge of the lower fence (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg1_files/image004.jpg)). It was tough to find the right angle and speed to make the landing silent, plus it had to be at the spot where I was covered by the pillar to the right. Lastly I had to get fully onto the railing in order to drop onto the stairs quietly. This scenario had a lot of nifty moves that required knowledge on a few taffy tricks, all manageable within Supreme rules though.

Another thing, there was a rather funny quarrel by the gate in the southwest. An archer ended up running away scared, finally positioning himself by the crates beside the woman’s balcony. There he stood looking rather pissed, fidgeting around. I imagine the area to be much harder to Ghost with him there, so I would make sure not to trigger that conversation too early.

Had to skip some loot in a basement close to the southern gate. Two black spiders inside alerted to my lockpicks, no chance for Supreme. The valuables were easy to obtain for normal Ghost. Cleaned the rest of the southwest without trouble. Had to skip a purse on a civilian at the southwestern gate. DrK definitely didn’t have Perfect Thief in mind when inserting that one. No extinguishable lights around and no less than seven AIs overlooking the courtyard. An invisibility potion would’ve been nice, to at least get a chemical success. In fact, that would have been brilliant!

An Easter egg ring lay in the streets on the metal bridge in the south (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg1_files/image009.jpg)). I had to come via the door above the bum to avoid alerts. Another secret was just east of this, a jewelry box in a barrel (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg1_files/image010.jpg)). I barely avoided the looks of the civilian through the double doors. Had to watch the patrolling mechanists also.

Getting Down to Business
Entered the ventilation system through the grate above the homeless guy. The air ducts were noisy but not worse than usual. Had a little trouble retrieving the ore from the mechanist study; both patrollers outside the window could hear the lockpicks working. Got it in the end, along with the rest of the loot from the office and the attic apartment across the street. Ended up by the door to Namez’ courtyard.

Initially I had great problems picking the door without alerting the man outside to full alarm. The woman always commented, so Supreme was busted right there, but I couldn’t see how a lockpick would bust plain old Ghost. I honestly thought this mission was unghostable, until he suddenly didn’t give a peep and the door was unlocked. I haven’t found a pattern which determines his alert level; it seems highly random to me. The lady now patrolling the metal bridge (the one involved in the conversation in the southwest earlier) also heard the picking occasionally, so I listened for her footsteps and timed it accordingly. To traverse the courtyard I realized I needed to douse the two torches. The sorceress was extremely wary and detected the tiniest flickers in the light gem. Ultimately I had to reload and bring two arrows from the water trough southwest of the metal bridge. The thief there was one of those that doesn’t alert per se, but gives settling comments like “I’m getting too jumpy!” Don’t know how the Supreme rules affect those alert states, but I try to avoid them altogether. Inching down the incline to his right and leaning forward I managed to steal the water arrows without any comments. The sorceress in Namez’ courtyard gave another comment (two total) when I doused the torch right outside the door. Another inevitable Supreme bust, in addition to putting out the flames of course, which isn’t allowed in that mode. She kept quiet putting out the torch in the far corner though. I could now traverse the yard to the opposite side at will (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg1_files/image011.jpg)).

There was more trouble inside. I couldn’t enter the kitchen for Supreme; the servant heard the sound of the swinging gate. I could, however, reach four pieces of loot through the barred window on the bedroom side. I could almost reach the fourth goblet through the main door, but, alas, my fingers were too short. A well-hidden purse lay behind the servant’s bed also (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg1_files/image012.jpg)). Cleaned the kitchen for plain Ghost. The two people in the yard also commented on closing the tower door, further busting Supreme. Somehow this made more sound than opening it.

There was quite a surprise in store when finding the cellar key in the burnt mansion. Got transported to an insane torture chamber, with a giant zombie coming to get me. The zombie stopped at a certain location on its way to the cage (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg1_files/image013.jpg)). I assume the purpose from DrK was for the zombie to catch you and chase you around the chamber until the portcullis got high enough. However, the southeast corner of the cage was a little darker than the rest, allowing the zombie to enter the cage without having spotted you. It then crossed the chamber, made a pivot turn and usually caught me heading back out. Normally it turned right, so I managed to sprint to the southwest corner (luckily the grated walkway here was silent) and evade its looks as it left (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg1_files/image014.jpg)). I could even follow it and explore the rest of the tunnels, without much reward I’m afraid. Exiting to the west took me back to Namez’ mansion. The cellar key was stuck to the inventory and impossible to put back.

Returned all keys except the library key, and left the mansion doors open but locked. The tower key couldn’t be put back to the library corner; it alerted the mechanist in the kitchen downstairs. Instead I had to put it on one of the sheets of paper on the floor.

I could now return to the north part of the city unbothered, as a new way had opened up through Namez’ mansion. I collected the remaining loot, including a secret money cache in the ceiling of the sewer watchman’s apartment (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg1_files/image015.jpg)). This completed the loot objective for all modes.

Last thing to do was to return the library key. I took the same method as before, plunging into the water above the right ledge. Quickly dropped the key and headed up the stairs to the doorway before the lantern guard appeared. Realized I couldn’t follow the guy through the sewer like before; the noble at the opposite end was now facing the waterway (after the convo) and would catch me instantly. I noticed, however, that the female archer on the bridge always swung to her right when turning from east to west. So I waited by the lamppost corner for the perfect moment (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg1_files/image016.jpg)). As the swordsman walked by I snuck out and headed for the bridge. With a little luck the lady would turn as I stood by her side so I could sneak into the tunnel and beyond. I got caught by the returning swordsman about 5-6 times before she finally turned at the right moment.

I headed back through Namez’ mansion and entered the air ducts. Emerged at the homeless guy’s place and from there the road to the cellar was easy.

Great mission! :D


Summary:
- Had to skip three coin stacks in the small study below the hideout, and an artifact in the workshop further below for Supreme (92 gold). The dark-skinned woman in the “unreachable” side street heard the commotion.
- Had to skip more loot (340 gold) in Roebuck’s apartment to the northeast, a purse from the bum in the gutter, and a goblet on the balcony across the street for Supreme. Couldn’t avoid a comment from Flint the guard entering the tunnel.
- The next loot skipped was in the spider basement to the south; a hammer and two statues (105 gold). The critters alerted to me picking the window.
- A purse worth 100 gold by the southwestern gate had to be skipped for all modes. Its owner couldn’t be reached without detection. Busts Perfect Thief.
- Had to use two water arrows to pass Namez’ back courtyard. Also got two comments from the sorceress; one from picking the door and one from dousing the closest torch.
- Had to skip a goblet and three plates (125 gold) from Namez’ kitchen for Supreme. Opening the entry gate alerted the servant.
- The man and the woman in Namez’ courtyard also commented on closing the tower door. More Supreme busts.
- Couldn’t return the tower key to its original position, the guard downstairs heard the racket. Put it on the sheet of paper instead. Supreme bust.

goldsla
19th Jul 2008, 02:57
FM: Broken Triad, Part 2: Tempest Isle(BrokenTriadv1_0.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 4:13:04
Loot - 1460/2010
Pockets Picked - 0/0
Locks Picked - 4
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 1
Secrets Found - 8 of 8
Consumables - 1 "Spirit Fire" arrow

Comments:
This mission is more of what I have come to expect of Eshkataar from prior missions: great scenery, opportunities for climbing and exploring, a reasonably complex plot, and a few tricky puzzles. The only dissappointment was that the ghosting was rather pedestrian, and there was one rather buggy bit that should have been cleaned up during beta testing.

Thinking over the mission, there really were no difficult spots to ghost that I recall. If you pay attention to the sounds around you there really is no reason to have difficulty ghosting this mission.

Again, with this mission I had some graphics problems. This time at the very end. There is an optional objective to discover and loot the palace treasury. Discovery of the treasury, I think, counts as one of the secrets, and involves interpreting a series of clues to a special lock. I got the lock open, recieved credit for the secret, and headed down the passageway, but there was no loot that I could find. The passage just dead ended. And when I tried to return my graphics display went kablooie and locked up. After restoring from a save file, I tried it again and again and again, and each time it locked up my game.

One more minor item, there is a special ritual that you can perform to "open your eyes to the unssen." Unfortunately, I did not see anything that looked remotely unseen throughout the entire mission, despite completing the ritual and getting a message that tells me I will now see unseen stuff. Oh well.

In all this was a resonable good romp.

goldsla
19th Jul 2008, 03:00
Great to see you back in action Larry! :) Your reports are entertaining to read as always. I am attempting to Supreme BT in a few weeks time; excited to see how that goes.
Thinking over the two missions, I can't think of anything that would prevent supreme. I look forward to your report. Your reports are always exceptionally complete and great reading!

Yandros
19th Jul 2008, 11:05
Goldsla, your two issues are related. The root seems to be that the "seeing unseen" part didn't work. Once you stand under the waterfall and get the message, you should start seeing phantom scarabs in some places, who mostly direct you to secrets and things of that nature. One place they help you is guiding you through the trick hallway which leads to the treasury - had you been able to see the scarabs in that "dead end" you'd have realized it isn't one, and would have found the treasury. As to why you didn't see the scarabs, I don't know - but we didn't have that problem in beta testing.

goldsla
19th Jul 2008, 12:54
Goldsla, your two issues are related. The root seems to be that the "seeing unseen" part didn't work. Once you stand under the waterfall and get the message, you should start seeing phantom scarabs in some places, who mostly direct you to secrets and things of that nature. One place they help you is guiding you through the trick hallway which leads to the treasury - had you been able to see the scarabs in that "dead end" you'd have realized it isn't one, and would have found the treasury. As to why you didn't see the scarabs, I don't know - but we didn't have that problem in beta testing.

Ah. I just went back and restarted the mission, went through the "seeing unseen" part again, and went back to the hall, with the same problem after I go to the end and turn around and come back halfway my screen looks like this:
http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/5752/screenshot1wj1.png
Interesting, but not very useful!

Did I mention that GarrettLoader cannot convert the mission's ogg files into WAV files on my machine? I don't know what that is about. I would try and see if I have similar problems running under DarkLoader, but I can't get DarkLoader to work on my new, multi-core, 64-bit Vista machine just yet.

Any thought on how to get DarkLoader working would be welcome.

Oh, and that "should have been cleaned up in Beta testing" crack, was not a criticism of the great volunteer work that the Beta testers did. It was a dig at myself for not having my PC up and running during Beta testing, and thus not finding this problem then.

Yandros
19th Jul 2008, 14:30
So you don't see any scarab beetles after bathing in the waterfall? If not, I'd say GL may have messed up more than just the OGG files. You should keep trying to get DL working... :D

Peter_Smith
19th Jul 2008, 15:36
You can blame this flaky behavior on Vista. Beta testers probably did not have Vista. Even if they had, my guess is that there would probably have been no way to fix it. Maybe you should have dual boot. This bug discussion really belongs in a separate thread. Sorry for adding to the clutter. :)

Klatremus
20th Jul 2008, 20:07
Consumables - 1 "Spirit Fire" arrow

Just curious Larry, where and why did you use your spirit arrow?

goldsla
21st Jul 2008, 02:58
Just curious Larry, where and why did you use your spirit arrow?The sprit fire arrow is necessary to destroy the keeper medallion.

Klatremus
21st Jul 2008, 07:59
The sprit fire arrow is necessary to destroy the keeper medallion.

Lol of course, I am getting old. Played it a couple of weeks ago but still forgot. :nut:

goldsla
23rd Jul 2008, 18:47
FM: The Legend of the Four Elements (LegendofFourElements,The_LDVE-v11-DeEn.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 3:09:50
Loot - 2545/2660
Pockets Picked - 2/3
Locks Picked - 5
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 1 of 1
Consumables - 6 water arrows

Comments:
I planned on reporting this on Sunday, and even started the write-up, but then my brand new, high-powered PC crashed during my editing of the write-up. Seems my CPUs are running too hot ... oh well.

Anyhow, This is a fairly easy but still interesting mission. Your job is to find the four elemental tokens and use them to steal a special plate. On the way you traverse a rather odd mansion. There is a tavern in one room, and indoor archery range in another, and nothing is quite what you would expect it to be.

The ghosting is relatively simple except for a couple of areas.

The first is the aforementioned tavern room. Inside opposite the entrance is a bar with barmaid. She is behind the bar, but facing the wall behind the bar. At the bar is one guard looking at the barmaid's ... ahem ..., apparently enjoying himself. Behind and to one side of him is an archer and behind to the other is a drunk. The archer and the drunk can both see each other and both can see the guard. The guard can see behind the bar. There are various loot items about, some of which can be tricky to retieve, and no way to dim the lights at all, any, none. You need to get behind the bar to steal the decorative plates that the barmaid is admiring, but to reach them you have to stand up. But if you stand up, the guard sees you ... unless ... you wedge yourself under the bar, creep behind the barmaid, nudge her a bit, then stand up in the only bit of shadow along the bar. Then you need to crouch down again, nudge her some more to pass behind her, and creep to the very end of the bar. On the other side of the bar are a stash of water arrows in a rack which you will need in just a bit, so you stand up and lean out and grab them.

The second ghosting challenge is with a hammerite who is guarding a special gem and a chest. This time the lighting can be put out with water arrows, but it'll take four, and you don't know how many more places need to be dimmed later on. My approach was to nudge the Hammerite across the room, so that he is standing just in front of the chest. For some reason he does not notice me picking its lock from behind him, nor looting the rest of the room.

http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh121/goldsla/screenshot3-1.jpg

The third ghosting challenge was a guard in the hall, off of which is the hammerite room. He is standing smack-dab in the middle of the hallway. My solution: nudge him into an empty storage room. Here are a series of shots as I move him out of my way.
http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh121/goldsla/screenshot4-1.jpghttp://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh121/goldsla/screenshot5-1.jpghttp://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh121/goldsla/screenshot8-1.jpg

Somewhere along the line I missed a pickpocket, which is probibly 100 of the missing loot, and there must be something else for the final 15. I looked around for a while, but did not see it.

I suppose all that nudging was gratuitious, but I enjoyed it, and at the time, I wanted to husband my water arrows. I tend to do that.

goldsla
25th Jul 2008, 00:19
FM: The Monastery of St Fera (Monastery of St Fera,The.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 1:33:56
Loot - 1629/1629
Pockets Picked - 4/4
Locks Picked - 9
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 0 of 0
Consumables - 3 water arrows, 3 moss arrows

Comments:
I have decided to try some of the earlier FMs that I missed by finding the community late. This one is from 1999.

The mission starts with Garrett outside the monastery of St. Fera. Sneaking in is no big deal. A key to pick from a patrolling monk, a stationary guard to get by. No problem. Inside, there are several buildings: a workshop, a chapel, a cloister, living quarters, and a dining room. And what seems like hundreds of patrolling monks, inside an out.

OK. There are probably no more than 15 or so throughout the mission, but they move about like squirrels. (No they don't climb trees or chew nuts, but they do go from place to place, chattering to themselves every once in a while.)

Anyhow, the three key objective are
1. to find a spiffy glowing jewel called the "Morning Stone"
2. to find out about another cool stone
3. to get St. Fera's sacred rosary

To accomplish this you need to do a lot of lurking and scurrying.

I cleaned out all of the above ground loot in all the buildings, including four loaves of bread, two cheeses, and a haunch of venison, before I ducked down one of several ladders and explored the nether regions of the monastery. The ghosting above ground was pretty easy. I just had to pay attention to the sounds and sights of patrolling monks and remember to go slow and quiet.

The ladder I decided to duck down had a Hammerite monk standing facing it. Fortunately he was nearsighted, and I was able to sneak out with him none the wiser. There is a whole underground complex below the monastery grounds, but eventually I found my way to the tomb of St. Fera.

The good news was that her remains (and rosary) were only guarded by two patrolling monks and one rotating priest. The bad news was that they were very sharp of hearing, and her casket was surrounded by a moat, with no silent way to enter the water and wade to it. It took me a bit of head scratching before I settled on my approach. First I mossed the casket pedestal on the inside of the moat, and then I mossed the outside of the moat at the spot to which I would want to return. Leaning over the moat I sank a rope arrow into the ceiling. Then I ran to the rope (jumping was not on because of some low archways surrounding the moat), grabbed, and jumped to the mossy casket to retrieve the rosary (objective #3 accomplished). A jump back to the rope and then a low jump to the mossed section under an arch, and I was home free. Fortunately, I had placed the rope arrow such that I could retrieve it by jumping up on the outside of an arch and frobbing at the top of the jump, landing back on the moss.

The next tricky bit was getting down a stone staircase to an open area with a big red spider and three little white ones. The stairs went all the way around the inside wall of the open area, with the lowest step quite a fall from the uppermost landing. I tried sneaking down the stairs, but at one spot, no matter what I did, one or more of the white spiders would spot/hear me, and start questing. Bust! So I decide to try jumping from the top landing to a shady spot beneath, skipping the stairs entirely. Unfortunately, as I suspected, I took quite a bit of damage. But also, as I had hoped, the spiders did not alert. So I restored to before the jump, and pulled out my trusty food stuffs (bread, cheeses, and venison). I tossed them over the edge to where I planned to land, took a deep breath, and stepped off. It worked. I landed silently on some stale bread. I retrieved the bread, cheeses, and venison, before continuing on my way.

The next problem was how to steal the glowing Morning Stone. You see, it was guarded by three patrolling fire elementals, and they bring their own candles.
http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh121/goldsla/screenshot2-1.jpg
This is the spot where I finally decided that using a couple of water arrows wasn't a bad idea. I took out the torches, dashed to the alter when the fire elements were heading away from it and snagged the jewel. I then hung about in the shadows to make sure I had not been spotted. So far so good. One of the torches was relit by an elemental, but I had already been down that side, and it didn't matter.

The next bit which required a little finesse involved a tunnel guarded by two stationary Craymen and two more patrolling Craymen.
http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh121/goldsla/screenshot3-2.jpg
For some reason, the Craymen had very acute hearing. I could not put out that torch from a distance without them hearing the arrow strike. So I had to sneak up as close as I could, half draw the bow, and let fly. That was quiet enough to let me proceed. After that, jumping the molten lava that came next was a piece of cheesecake.

But now I had to brave the spiders again. Landing on veggies worked again to avoid alerting them at the bottom of the stairs. But the same spot I had trouble with coming down the stairs gave me troubles going up. My ultimate solution was to moss the area, then run-jump over it.

I needed moss on the run part and on the landing, and I needed to time the run such that the visible spiders were all looking elsewhere. But that worked. (Just to find out, I tried to reverse this and use the moss going downhill. No workee. The spiders were on to that trick.)

From there, it was all "home again, home again, jiggity-jig" to end the mission. On the way back, I went on a climbing expedition. There is a wooden roof that you can rope arrow onto, and then explore the outside of the mission. Not much to see, but you can roof hop all the way around.

A pretty good mission, with some trick bits for ghosters. Oh. There were two loot items behind a Hammerite banner. Fortunately you can reach through the banner and snag them.

goldsla
25th Jul 2008, 20:27
FM: The Library (Library,The.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 1:05:22
Loot - 875/925
Pockets Picked - 6/6
Locks Picked - 4
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 0 of 0
Consumables - 3 water arrows, 2 rope arrows

Comments:
This is a nice little T1 mission from 1999. Your job is to steal a book from a ridiculously complex Hammerite library (or maybe that is a rediculous Hammerite library complex ... no, I was right the first time, the Hammerite library complex is ridiculously complex). In any event, you need to steal a book and a minimum of 800g. You also need to pick up a chisel (why? who knows!). And while you are there pick up the gold skull of St. Bentano.

So, what do we have to contend with? The first challenge is to get past three Hammerites whose patrol paths overlap. If you want to be a wuss, you can put out all the torches, but you really don't need to. There is one hallway where, if you don't put out a torch, however, you don't have enough time to pick two door locks. So I used up one water arrow. That netted me some loot (a diamond behind a hidden door panel and a tiarra left in plain sight) and a golden key. There is another Hammerite in a dormatory, guarding the chisel (why?). I found it easier to go back outside and use one of the keys I pickpocked to get by him from an outside door, than to get by from the inside.

The next stop was the Hammerite chapel, to take a long look at the golden skull. It was up on a pedistal, under a bright light. A priest stood nearby, facing the entrance, and two Hammerites patroling among the pews. Phew-ee. A frontal assault was definately not on. A little roaming about took me to a broom closet with a ladder going up. This in turn lead to a narrow ledge above the chapel. Unfortunately, I could not move very far along the ledge without someone alerting. It was about then that I remembered the 12 (!) rope arrows I was lugging about.

[The mission starts you with 10, and I had bought two more (as well as some moss arrows that I never needed). You see, the mission briefing (written) said "... Warren mentioned something about catacombs in the tower and great heights but I'm not sure what he meant by this. I'd better bring a few extra rope arrows just in case ..." so I decided to by a couple more to add to the 10 I was given. You never know.]

Anyhoo, I noticed there were three main roof beams running from the back of the chapel to the front and the left one went right over the golden skull. Whadayaknow? I decided to shoot a series of 10 arrows along the center beam (more shadows since it was higher up) and one in the left beam, just above the golden skull. Shooting them evenly spaced was not easy since I could not get too far along the ledge without being spotted. My intent was to make it such that when I was done, I could retrieve them all for reuse. Unfortunately, I spaced a couple of them too far apart from the others, and had to leave them behind. But I was able to get the skull without setting foot into the chapel.

Next it was a trip upstairs to the library. Again there were Hammerite guards, four patrolling and one stationary. While I could have avoided using any water arrows, I decided that I had them to use, and it would make my life easier, so I doused two torches on either side of the stationary guard. He stood in front of the locked entrance to the library tower. (Used the golden key to get in)

Sheesh! This was an amazing maze of wooden ramps, passages, rooms, stairs, up, down, left, right, and, yes, patrolling Hammerites. Not too many Hammerites. But enough to keep me honest as I proweled about looking for loot and the book.

I'm pretty sure that perfect thief is possible for someone more dedicated to walking that maze of rooms. But once I had passed the loot objective and found the book, I was grateful to find may way back out again, let alone hunt for the final 50g. Just my luck, and it would be in the chapel, and not in the libarry at all. Nah. I had enough of the the mission, so I cut out. :rasp:

In all, I think this is a pretty good mission to ghost. Not terribly difficult, but it had its moments.

goldsla
25th Jul 2008, 23:35
FM: Poor Lord Bafford (PoorLordBafford.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 0:28:16
Loot - 3860/3870
Pockets Picked - 2/2
Locks Picked - 1
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 0 of 0
Consumables - 3 water arrows, 2 moss arrows

Comments:
This is another nice little T1 mission from 1999. Your job is to break into Lord Bafford's country house and steal everything. Simple.

Outside are two patrolling guards, one of which has the key to the front door. But don't be so hasty. Let's try around back first. Whadayaknow, the back door is open! A much stealthier approach, and lo, you find out that there are two guards standing facing the front door, just waiting to get a piece of anyone opening it who shouldn't have oughta had done that.

It's all normal ghosting, sneak, sneak, crouch, crouch, until you get to the back area where most of the loot is kept. There you will find a patrolling guard who walks a hall and enters two rooms, one at each end of the hall.

The hall is mostly marble with a two runners up the middle. Two runners? Yep, there is a pillar in the middle of the hall, so you are forced onto the marble no matter what. The trick was to only get on the marble for the few seconds that the guard was in one of the rooms at the end with the door closed. There are four doors on the hall, no, I lie, there are five, five doors on the hallway. Four on one wall and one acrooss from the others, at the left end. Two of the doors are locked. I did not have a compass, so I can only say that by ducking into the 2nd room on the right from that end, you can wait out the guard until he is at the other end, and then get into the room at the very end. Your reward? A loaf of bread! Back to the 2nd room on the end. The next room over is locked, but one of the keys you lifted from guards opens it. So be swift. That room is a barracks, and has three chests. A flash bomb and a land mine are your reward. The next room over is a metal door. Fortunately you found a special key in a special chest earlier. Open and in. Duck behind the open metal door. There is a patrolling archer inside who wants a little archery practice. He'll see you if you don't put something solid between you and he. There is lots of light and no way to douse it. When you hear the patrolling guard in the hallway exit the final hall room that you have not been to, sneak over and grab a hammerite document (an objective) and two gold vases. If you are quick and quiet, you can make it back behind the open metal door before anyone is the wiser.

Now to find the treasure room. Tail the archer into an open area with a strange set of ramps. Get to the top, then down two ladders. Here you play sneak, sneak, crouch, crouch some more. 5 water arrows are thoughtfully provided in a chest just before you reach a stone stairway with a guard directly in front. I guess the thought was that you would have used all 20 arrows you started with by now, and might need 5 more to finish the mission. To this point I had not needed any.

In any event, disdaining the water arrows, you sneak behind the guard and up the stairs to a room with two moss arrows (you now have five) and a closed door. Opening the door you see two guards facing each other over a pile of loot. There is one torch in that room, and above the loot is an electric light. There are two torches in the room you are standing in, one near and one far. Now is the time to use two water arrows. One for the near torch and the other for the one in the room with the guards. Then a moss arrow. The floor in that room is marble, and those guards have their hearing aids turned up almost to the point of feedback. So moss is appropriate. If you place your arrow well, you can reach all the loot if you lean about.

When the lights were on I noticed some more loot in one corner. So another moss arrow. You might be able to skip using this 2nd arrow. It seems the guards are mainly focused on the entrance to the room. Just to be sure there was no more loot in the room, I slithered all around it without setting them off.

So all that is left is to get home. I got lazy and used one more water arrow outside to save lurking time.

The only thing that kept this from a perfect thief was 10g in a chest in the servant's quarters. There is a servant in there facing the entrance. And the entrance is lit with an electric light. No way to sneak in without him alerting.

One more thing. There is a banner in the servant's quarters which if you slash reveals a secret passage to the hallway with the five doors. There is another banner to slash on the other end of that passage. Ghosting, the passage is impossible to use, what with slashing being a no-no. If slashing were allowed, it might offer a way to get at the last 10g without clobbering the servant . . .

I thought this was another nice, light romp. Not too easy, but not too hard.

* * * * * *
U P D A T E
* * * * * *
I just checked Hexameron's FM's List - Ghost/Perfect Thief Status (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=74580), and this mission was listed as a failure (Poor Lord Bafford (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showpost.php?p=79715&postcount=28)). Apparantly Vanguard kept alerting the guards in the treasury room when trying to put out the far torch. All I can say is that I put out the near torch in the room I was in. After I did that, I was able to sneak up to the doorway and douse the far torch in the room with the guards, and then moss the floor. It is possible also that Vanguard had made enough noise before he opened the door, that the guards were a little hyper. Not alerted yet, but thinking about it. I don't know. But Poor Lord Bafford has definately been ghosted now!

Oh, Vanguard also said
Pretty straight forward ghosting. Can't douse any torch in the front foyer room or any in the next hallway since that alerts the guards in there, so the 100 loot for the gold vase had to be skipped. I did not have any trouble sneaking behind the guard on the right, next to the vase, and lifting it without anyone altering.

goldsla
1st Aug 2008, 03:48
FM: The Abominable Flying Machines of Dr.Zeppelinger, Mission 2(FlyingAgev1_18.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 1:35:19
Loot - 2200/2200
Pockets Picked - 1/1
Locks Picked - 4
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 10, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 1, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 8 of 8
Consumables - 1 water arrow

Comments:
This was, for me, a real challenge to ghost. Finding all the loot was not so bad, but navigating the Duke's mansion with all those guards, noisy floors, lights ... that was a challenge. Sterlino has a real winner with this one. I can't imagine that the remaining missions in the pack are as good, because from my standpoint this mission was spectacular. The only downside to the mission for me was having to copy down strange hieroglyphics. I'm sorry, but I am not an artist, and making my copies look enough like the clues to be useful in solving a puzzle is not my strong suit. I much prefer it when the symbols I have to manipulate are recognizable as numeral and letters. Keep it alpha-numeric for me please!

In any event, Mission 1 is either unghostable (by design) or trivial to ghost, depending on your perspective. Personally, I would rather not have wasted the bytes on Mission 1. Allegedly you are to stow yourself away aboard a zeppelin, but the door is gimmicked so that you get captured.

Mission 2 starts with you in jail. Your sole resources are a bit of cheese and a well trained rat. You give the cheese to the rat, the rat gets the cell door key, and off you go. Eventually you end up in the mansion of Duke Von Braum, a colleague of Dr. Zeppelinger. The Duke has had a tragedy in his life with the loss of his family. You get to unravel that mystery as you loot the place and find a way to escape back to the zeppelin to complete the objective from Mission 1 (I think).

The mansion is teaming with guards so you really have to be careful. Most of the looting is straightforward sneakity-sneak-sneak. But some is just plain diabolic for a ghoster. The dining room is one such place. A guard enters at one end, circles through the room, and exits at the other end. Now that doesn't sound tough, does it? Just wait until he exits, rush in and loot, right? Wrong. The floor is marble, and guards in adjacent areas hear you and alert to the sound of any footsteps. Plus there is no way to reduce illumination in the room, and no place to hide inside the room. Then top make matters worse, if you unlock the 3rd door to the room, additional guards and a servant will start cycling through the room as well. My solution? 1) unlock the side door, enter to the alcove prior to the room, and lock the door behind. 2) dash and loot one item at a time. There were seven items in the room, five plates and two candlesticks, I believe. 3) use a run-one-step pause-a-breath run-another-step pause-a-breath type motion to travel quickly and silently while the guard was gone. 4) After 7 forays you get rather good at the sort of slithery rum motion! Which is good, 'cause you need it elsewhere.

The next tough spot is the main entry hall to the mansion. There is a large chandelier overhead and several wall sconces. I located the switch for the chandelier, and during a relatively guard-free moment, switched it off. That made it possible to get to the other side of the entry (needed for looting), and up the central staircase (thankfully carpeted!).

Upstairs the entry to the master bedroom is guarded by a stationary and alert guard. Fortunately, there is a light switch here too. Unfortunately, it is not enough. This was where I used the water arrow, putting out a wall sconce. Even then, you have to approach the guard from the correct side to keep him from alerting when you open the doors to the bedroom. I had to nudge him out of the way of the opening doors before unlocking them, otherwise he alerted as I tried to enter the room.

Inside the bedroom is the lady of the house, snoring away. She awakens and stands up beside the bed when you pick the lock of her jewelry box. But she does not alert. If this bothers you, you can skip the jewels. If I recall correctly, that's only 200g. The trick here, however is to discover the secret on the bedpost before you awaken her. Otherwise she is likely to alert when you discover it after she is up off the bed. I did not get the clue to the presence of a secret in that room until later, realized that I had not searched as thoroughly as I thought I had, and had to restart from a save to search better before getting her out of bed. That was a pain!

In all, I think I had to shuttle back and forth between the upstairs and the down about five times. I got rather good at it by the end, knowing what to look for, what patterns to avoid, and when to make my moves.

There are several nifty missions-within-a-mission in this one. Which really kept my interest. The kill was the result of one such. That objective, thankfully, was pretty explicit. "The servant is the killer, stop him at any costs! (Find a way to kill him.)" Had I known earlier that triggering that objective would have loosed a killer on the mansion, wiping out most of the guards, I would not have sweated over some of the ghosting. I could have just waited for him to kill them all, and done my looting after. But that would not have been half as challenging, fun, or in the true spirit of ghosting. So it is just as well that I did not know.

It was rather spooky stalking a killer in the now-silent mansion. Fortunately for me, when I did find him, he was busily engaged in killing some plants, so I was able to sneak up and fell him with a single overhand blow. He never knew he was dead.

One more really cute bit in this mission: you can steal a sword from any of the guard's sword belts. I've never seen that in any mission before, but always thought you should be able to do so. It just happened that I was tailing a guard rather closely and noticed that the sword on his belt illuminated as though it were frobbable. And it was! Cool. Most missions have the guards with sword in hand, but this one puts it on their belts, and it makes a really cool noise when they draw the sword (or you steal it).

A tough mission to ghost, but a fun one! Thank you Sterlino.

goldsla
3rd Aug 2008, 02:19
FM: The Abominable Flying Machines of Dr.Zeppelinger, Mission 3 (FlyingAgev1_18.zip)

Ghost - Failed :(
Perfect Thief - Failed (but I got all the loot ...):(
Time - 0:31:25
Loot - 1000/1000
Pockets Picked - 4/4
Locks Picked - 0
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 1 of 1
Consumables - none

Comments:
This, the third mission in the campaign, starts with you aboard a biplane. You have a few seconds to decide if you should fly right, left, or straight ahead in order to dock the plane on the Zeta One zeppelin. There really are no clues, so pick one. If you pick wrong, you die and have to restart the mission. Hardly seems fair. Either through luck or persistence you pick correctly. Then, when the controls freeze up, the plane self-docks to the zeppelin. If you hurry you can get out before the plane detaches and falls to the ground.

Now you have to figure out how to get inside without falling to your death or alerting the guards (apparently crashing a biplane into the zeppelin is an every day occurance, since no one aboard seems bothered by this. Hmm.

Eventually you hit upon the secret to extending a walkway around the tail of the zep. (Doesn't every zep have a secret switch for this disguised as an anchor?) (Is my suspension of disbelief showing frayed sleeves from over use?)

Next you have to remember a long lever-type switch that you saw in mission one from the ground, and lean over to frob it. In Mission 1 it was deactivated, as was the next switch that you throw to open an air grate and enter the gondola (if that is what it is called). From here there is a rather mundane ghosting around the gondola, up an elevator and more ghosting in the gas bag area.

Really, all is pretty easy until it falls apart. The plot of the mission has you enter a code into a locked contol box. But when you do, an alarm sounds and a speaker blares forth with a recorded message for you, threating bodily harm. Needless to say any guards aboard the zep should be alerted by this. But at the time that you key in the code to locked control box and the alarm is sounded, you are also locked inside the room you are in, and cannot go outside to check on alerts. I did not hear any, but I am certain that they took place unless the designer specifically made the room soundproofed so that the alarm inside and speaker could not be heard.

In any event, you now have a new task: "The plan has been thwarted, your priority now is to escape using the parachute." In addition, a readable has provided information that there is a weak pipe, that, if broken, will stop a piston which is preventing your escape from the room. Clearly the intent is that you break the pipe, escape, and jump off the zep using a parachute.

So, is this mission ghostable? Forget about the "if an AI is alerted in a forest but no one is there to witness it, was it alerted?" philosophical debates. Rule 6 is pretty clear "No property damage is allowed. No banners cut, no doors bashed in, no things burnt or destroyed, and no broken glass." Rule 11 states "Any mission objective that explicitly requires that one of the above rules be broken, such as 'Kill the Haunts,' is OK to complete and does not bust the ghost so long as no AI are alerted in the process." But there is no explicit objective to break the pipe, just a clear intent.

My position: This mission is not ghostable within the rules.

Afterthought: I tried to stack boxes so that the sole guard on the level with Garrett when the alarm goes off falls to the next lower level. I succeed in this once, but every other attempt met with failure. My intention was to get the guard out of range for hearing of the alarm (assuming it was just local), then prop open the door with crates to prevent getting trapped inside. That way I could escape the zep by retracing my steps to the begining and jumping off from there. But I was foiled by not being able to get the guard out of the way. I plan to try it again, and will report how it goes, success or failure.

- - - - - several frustrating hours later - - - - -

Well, that failed too. The door was constructed such that it could not be propped open. I even went back down to the 2nd floor to get a huge ducting sort of a thing. Very heavy. Very large. Much more indestructable and immovable than crates. The door just ignores it and pushes it out of the way, regardless of how you position it. I was able to barricade the guard away from the source of the alarm without alerting (it took five crates, four of them stacked two high), but I was not able knock her down a level. That one time was a fluke.

So I could not find a way to complete the objectives without breaking the pipe, and without, at least theoretically, alerting the entire crew of the zep to my presence. Busted for sure.

goldsla
3rd Aug 2008, 18:44
FM: The Abominable Flying Machines of Dr.Zeppelinger, Mission 6(FlyingAgev1_18.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 0:54:06
Loot - 1000/1000
Pockets Picked - 0/0
Locks Picked - 13
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 3 of 3
Consumables - none

Comments:
In my last report, I had just escaped from the nefarious trap of the extremely wicked Dr. Zeppelinger by parachuting from the zeppelin. Since then I have built a couple of flying machines from spare parts (who knew I was so mechanically inclined?), crashed one of them, successfully flown the other, silently docked with another zeppelin, and snuck / sneaked (?) into a storage container destined for the Zeta One zeppelin, all without alerting any guards. (I did not bother reporting these actions in separate reports because modesty prevents me from mentioning such trivial endevours.) Ahem.

Now, in this, the last of the Abominable Flying Machine missions, I was presented with a connumdrum: one of the optional mission objectives is stated as "Extra Bonus: KO them' all." Clearly this is an anti-ghosting objective. But just as clearly it falls within the purvue of rule 11: "Any mission objective that explicitly requires that one of the above rules be broken, such as 'Kill the Haunts,' is OK to complete and does not bust the ghost so long as no AI are alerted in the process." So what to do? To claim ghosting credit where you KO all the opposition, even if you can do so without altering any AIs in the process, defeats the purpose ghosting the mission. What to do?

My solution was first to complete the mission without KOing anyone and without any alerts. That is what is reported above. Then going from a saved game, just before the point of no return and completing the mission, I went back and attempted the KOing as a ghost, i.e. no alerts. The following reflects my limited success.

Ghost - Success (sort of)
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 1:16:15
Loot - 1000/1000
Pockets Picked - 0/0
Locks Picked - 13
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 13
Damage dealt - 13, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 3 of 3
Consumables - none

In my initial ghosting of the mission, I was looking at the areas where there might be a problem of alerting an AI when KOing either it or another AI, and there really was only one spot, the conference room. This is a room which is lit by an overhead chandelier as well as wall sconces. I had taken care of the wall sconces earlier, but the chandelier cannot be turned off. Beneath the chandelier, slightly to the left and right are two AIs, one of which is facing the other. The 2nd is facing a desk and looking at a 3rd AI on the other side of the desk, who is looking at the other two.
http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh121/goldsla/screenshot23-1.jpg
As you can see, this is a bit of a problem. So I KO'd everyone outside of this room first, just to be sure I did not alert anyone when I tried to deal with this problem. I then returned to the room and looked it over.

A deep breath, and I took out the chappie on my left first. knocking him so that he fell behind the chappie on the right. Scooped him up as soon as I was able to, and took him out of sight, all before anyone noticed.

I then took out the chappie on the right. Same approach, KO him and grab as fast as possible, and the gent behind the desk does not notice.

Now comes the hard part. You can't approach the desk. Not from in front, not from either side, not without getting illuminated by the chandelier. And once illuminated, it is a scant second before the gent in the suit begins to get suspicious.

This next part I did fifteen or twenty times from each side of the room because I was never 100% satisfied with the results. My goal was to KO the last AI without it uttering a peep or making any kind of motion which could have been interpreted as an alert. In the latter, I suceeded many times, but in the former, I failed every time.

I know that this AI can make almost-alerted noises and then not alert. I tested that by stepping in and out of the light and watching its reactions. It was very clear that I could get it to say something like "Huh ..." and not have it alert afterwards. But if it said anything like "Who are you?" or "Is that a thief I see before me?" it always alerted afterwards.

My approach, from each side, was to sneak as close as I could to the desk without getting in the light, then, when the AI looked away, I would leap onto the desk and KO it in one motion.

No matter how I tried I never was able to do it such that the AI did not mutter something as I was in the air or landing on the desk. Many times it go no farther than "Huh ..." and would have said more had I not knocked it out, I am sure. Many times it got further, and while not physically alerting before getting knocked out, the words it uttered led me to believe that it had, in fact alerted.

I stake my tenuous claim to ghosting this mission with the KO objective on the times that all it managed was the "Huh ..."

I was able to accomlish that repeatedly. But I never managed to get it knocked out without it uttering a peep. :mad2:

I will leave this to your judgement. I clearly ghosted the mission without that objective. It was not hard to do. With the optional objective added in after the mission had been ghosted, it becomes a judgement call. :scratch:

On the positive side, with the KO objective, there are three loaves of bread, a carrot, and an apple which you can acquire from the kitchen. You could never get a snack in this mission without KOing the cook! :D

goldsla
5th Aug 2008, 21:58
FM: Saturio rentre au pays (SaturioRentreauPays_FR.zip)

Ghost - Success (better living through chemistry)
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 2:31:57
Loot - 1922/1922
Pockets Picked - 5/8 (??) What did I miss?? I swear I picked every pocket!
Locks Picked - 9
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 0 of 0
Consumables - 2 water arrows, 4 moss arrows

Comments:
Well, this one was a seriously difficult mission to ghost and get all the loot. To begin with, my French language skills are from three years of HS French that I got straight Cs in over 40 years ago. But between what I remembered and what Babblefish was able to turn into garbled English, I was able to figure out that the goal was to rescue this guy, Saturio, from a cell and place him beside his dying mother. This is apparently so that they can die together, as Saturio is in seriously ill and unconscious in his cell. There must be something Gallic about the plot that I don't understand. Dead is dead, no?

* * * * * *
Just to give you a taste of what I was working with as a translation, this is from the introduction. First the French, then my butchered translation.


Son nom est Saturio Machado. Il est revenu il y a tout juste une semaine apres avoir combattu pendant des mois, a la guerre dans les territoires des Hilldrim.


His name is Saturio Machado. He returned just a week ago after to have fought during months, at the war in the territories of Hilldrim.* * * * * *

Anyhow. The first part of the mission is routine—find out how to get into the chateau. There are your typical Chateau features to deal with, guards, graveyards, underground cisterns, haunts, zombies, and so on. Along the way you pick up some loot, moss arrows, and a key or two. Eventually you find yourself inside. My first stop after getting in turned out to be fortunate for me. It was the guard station with the shut-offs for the 1st floor watchers. I then looted the 1st floor, sneak-sneak-sneak. Then I went upstairs through the guard quarters, across an exterior balcony/patio and back inside. The second level was more sneakity-sneak-sneak, up until I found a safe that I could not open. I tried picking it and every key I had collected (and I had several by this time) but none of them worked. I chalked it up as a place to come back to later, and went across the hall. There were two doors to this room; I went in one and out the other. I then opened the door across the hallway, to the library.

Apparently I was too noisy, because when I opened the library door, a gent sitting down at a library desk, got up and faced me. This would not do! So I reloaded from an earlier save, and tried opening the door from the other room, across the hall, by leaning out. Whew. He stayed seated. I took a step to cross the hall, and he got up! I restored and tried it again, and again, and again. Eventually I realized that he had more patience for this game than I did, and that I was going to have to outsmart him.

So the first thing I did was put out the hallway torch. I have noticed that sometimes light makes AIs sharper of hearing. That may not be what is happening, but it seems that way to me. Anyhow, by putting out the light I was able to cross the hallway without getting the level one alert. This was important, not because of ghosting, a level one alert is OK, but because with him standing and facing me in a brightly lit library, there would be no way to check him out for pick pocketing.

The next thing I did was spread some moss around. I may have been able to baby-step my way to him without that, but I had had enough of his foolishness. Two moss arrows seemed right. It must have been, since I was then able to mince my way over and back. It was worth the effort. It turns out he has the key to the safe I couldn't open. And as this photo shows, he is on the verge of slipping out of his chair at any minute. Maybe that's why he is so alertable?
http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh121/goldsla/screenshot26-1.jpg
In any event, I opened the safe, continued looting the 2nd floor, and eventually found my way to another set of stairs (in the library, but only accessible from the back entrance due to old desk guy.) Up the stairs I go.

The third floor is mostly empty, except for the walkers, guards, and a watcher. It soon becomes clear that the intended route is to take a ladder up to an attic, break a window, and crawl along a ceiling beam to then do some roof climbing and get into the tower where Saturio is unconscious in his cell. Breaking a window was definitely out for the ghosting to succeed. But I could see how, with enough crates, I could get to the beam without having to break a window.

I had seen eleven crates in various locations about the joint. So I took about 45 minutes to collect them all and bring them up to where I needed them. On the way, I noticed that there was a window in a different tower (not the one with Saturio) which should be reachable now that I had all these crates handy. I took a few, went up and in, and found an engagement (? - "de fiancaille") ring in the otherwise empty cell up there. That ticked off an objective I had not begun to worry about yet.

Here is my crate stack to get up to the beam.
http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh121/goldsla/screenshot27-1.jpg
As you can see, I did not stint in the number of crates used. I figure I worked hard enough to get them there, why not use as many as would make the climbing easy?

The beam had areas of light and shadow. I crept as close as I could to the first area of light, and tried simply to run through it as fast as I could. I was on wood, and a good ways away, and I have found that there are times to go slow and times to go fast. But that did not work perfectly. The Walker below heard me, and that alerted the guards. Restore. This time I mossed the beam before I ran, and that worked. I was able to get all the way down the beam and outside without anyone even grumbling. From there, I walked over to the tower window, mantled in, carried Saturio to an elevator, traveled down a flight to an exterior window. And tried jumping out.

Death. Restore. Death. Restore. Death. Restore.

That got old. I emptied my pockets.


3 loaves of French bread
2 carrots
2 wedges of camembert
1 crumpled up note (something about Saturio being sick in his cell)
2 cucumbers
2 legs of venison
3 torches
2 grenades
1 holy water
1 note from the family lawyer
a bunch of keys
a bottle of wine
an engagement ring
lots of loot
a land mine
a healing potion
2 slowfall potions
3 spheres d'obsevation

Oh what to do, what to do?

I decided to jettison everything that might be soft to land on out the window. I aimed for the shrubbery below, and built up quite a stack of goodies down there.

Unfortunately, it was not enough. Jump. Die. Restore. etc.

Finally I gave up and chugged a slowfall, grabbed Saturio, and drifted down. From there it was a trivial hike to get him to his mama's bedside, and then make my way to the sewers to escape.

Ta da!

Thank you Robin G. for a great mission to ghost. It was a challenge. The mission may be old (30 December 2000), but like fine wine, it has aged well!

Klatremus
5th Aug 2008, 22:39
Never played this one, so I don't wanna spoil the fun by reading too much, but isn't this available in English? I checked and found it both at the Keep and thiefmissions.com as 'Saturio Returns Home'.

Wow I cannot keep up with your pace to say the least Larry! Just started a new job, so that naturally takes some time. And my wife deserves some priority as well, but I am getting a few minutes in here and there. I played the 'Flying Age'-campaign this spring, but never Ghosted it. I only saw mission 2 as a potentially good Ghosting mission anyhow, although I liked the campaign overall. Perhaps I will go back and give that mission a shot.

My next one is Ominous Bequest Gold; about halway done I'd say. Until then, have a good one! :)

goldsla
5th Aug 2008, 23:30
Never played this one, so I don't wanna spoil the fun by reading too much, but isn't this available in English? I checked and found it both at the Keep and thiefmissions.com as 'Saturio Returns Home'. Oh. I guess I'm just making things harder for myself. I picked it out because it was the oldest T2 FM on a set of FM CDs from Ben Ramsey-Komag. I didn't think that there would be an English translation, so I didn't look. It was definately different trying to figure out the readables. Sort of a bonus puzzle for the language impared.

Ominous Bequest is a good one. Enjoy.

By the by, I just checked the old Ghosting threads. I found two that indicate success ghosting 'Saturio Returns Home' but none that got all the loot (see Ghost1 (http://forums.eidosgames.com/old-ubb/FMs_Ghost_Perfect_Thief_Results_Part2_2.htm) and Ghost2 (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=13309&page=5)). So I may have that solitary distinction, at least until you give it a shot. It looks like I took a slightly different approach to getting up to Saturio's cell than the other two. I think they took a much more difficult route, at least it seems that way to me.

goldsla
6th Aug 2008, 21:55
FM: More Time To Foil Karrass (MoreTimeToFoilKarrass.zip)

Ghost - Failure
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 3:16:01
Loot - 2823/3113
Pockets Picked - 25/27
Locks Picked - 8
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 67
Damage dealt - 67, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 1
Secrets Found - 1 of 2
Consumables - lots

Comments:
Well, this was different.

I'm reporting on this mission just because Hexameron does not have it on his list of impossible to ghost missions. This mission was constructed with the intent of forcing mahem. Watchers are set up such that you cannot get by them. Rooms are set up with guards facing the door as it opens so that they will rush you. This mission was really not intended for the ghoster. That's the bottom line. I stuck with it out of bloody mindedness, but I would warn you away from it if you are a ghoster.

The architeture is crude. And the mission has the subtlty of a hammer. Plus there is a bug in one of the objectives such that it does not tick off after you complete it.

Give this one a pass.

goldsla
15th Aug 2008, 11:22
FM: Gathering at the Inn (Gati_Mission_HighRes.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 1:09:24
Loot - 1048/1048
Pockets Picked - 2/3
Locks Picked - 0
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 3 of 3
Consumables - 2 water arrows

Comments:
Cool movies! Cool mission! Getting perfect thief took some doing. The mission has lots of breakables, so I assume the intended path for most thieves was to break in to the Inn. But I took the path less traveled.

A note about the secrets: they are more difficult to find loot in "plain sight" than secret areas. Nuff said.

My approach was simple:

Step 1) loot the city outside of the Inn
Step 2) Loot the Inn
Step 3) Take care of loose ends
Step 4) Complete the mission

Looting outside is not so tough. No one is alarmed by your presence, so walk where you will. Unless you are seen doing something nefarious, you're OK. Just explore everywhere, remember where you can't get in, so that you can come back to it later with a key. (Note: this thief has no lock picks.) I had to do a little nudging of a townsman in order to loot his chest without alerting, or at least I think he should have alerted without it, I did not try without, but it was nothing major in any event.

I then took to the rooftops via a rain gutter. From there you can enter the Inn via a chimney with a ladder inside it. There is a veritable chimney highway in there! Every fireplace connects, so you can visit almost every guest room via their fireplace. Loot, loot, loot. I used one water arrow getting from one room to another which does not have a fireplace, and another to darken a hallway on my way to a difficult to access piece of loot in a closet. Be sure to explore everywhere in the Inn. There is stuff at every level, including the attic.

While there are hundreds of guards (well, maybe only seven or so, but only three are stationary, and the others truck right along!), there really is only one difficult spot to negitiate: the top of the stairs. Fortunately, a little experimentation with hiding spots revealed that if you stick to the banister at the top of the stairs, the guards that go down the stairs step around you most of the time (UNLESS A GUARD-GUARD COLLISION SENDS ONE OFF THE NORMAL TRACK - WATCH OUT FOR THAT) Just trail a guard downstairs to the kitchen where you are safe.

One more tricky bit is turning off all the electric lights in the Inn withhout having a guard go down to the generators and turn them back on. Judicious use of boxes at the top of the cellar stairs keeps him from getting down there to turn the generators back on. Just hide behind the door to make sure that he is stuck, then sneak back out to the kitchen.

It took me the longest time to figure out how to solve one of the goals. Ruining Lady Verrilli's Ice Sculpting business was not easy. But eventually I guessed right, and got it. A clue or two would have been nice. The numerous false steps I took doing that objective do not show up in the time stats, as at some point I reloaded to an earlier game once I figured out how to address the generator, but it seemed like hours to determine what the mission author had in mind for this.

After that objective was done, it was just a careful reading of the final objective to end the game.

Thank you Markus Mokkis Lappalainen & Totality for a great romp!

goldsla
23rd Aug 2008, 03:40
FM: What Lies Below (WC_WhatLiesBelow_v1.zip)

Ghost - Failure (but moral success)
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 1:45:31
Loot - 975/1085
Pockets Picked - 0
Locks Picked - 7
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 3 of 3
Consumables - none

Comments:
Let me cover the "moral success" claim up front. There is a place in the mission where you must fall down a waterfall into a large pool of water (reservoir). Standing near the reservoir, above and to your right as you enter the water, is a haunt facing a door. This haunt always goes on a low level alert when you fall into the water. I tried over 20 times, and no matter how I tried to control the fall, the haunt would put his hand to his eyes and peer forward. He would not move his feet, but he clearly heard something and reacted to it. This would last a few seconds, and then he would put his hand down and do nothing else. This was my only alert on the mission, and I don't see how I could do anything to quiet my fall into the water. So, while busted, the bust was "minor." Too bad that the FM designer couln't have made that one haunt less touchy.

Other than that spot, there are a couple of tough to ghost areas. The hardest, for me, was getting by the ghost of a Hammerite that the Keepers locked in a room to die of thirst / starvation (nice guys!). He is facing the door, slightly off to the left as you face the entry. There is a flickering light, which is irregular in nature. That is, the periods of light between the periods of darkness get longer and shorter, apparently without a discernable (by me) pattern. I just had to wait for when I thought the period of light between two periods of darkness would be just a flash, and make a run to get behind him before the light came back on. It took a good 10-15 tries before I hit the right timing. Getting back out of there was no problem, as a glyph on the wall, which I thought would lead to a secret room, instead put the ghost out of his misery. I suppose I could have reloaded and tried to sneak back out the same way I got in, but the ghosting had already been busted by the waterfall fall, and I regarded his death as a mercy killing, scripted by the author, and not a conscious action on my part.

The next hardest spot was a section where you have to activate "light poles" to get up into an area with a glyph puzzle. I ghosted past the area before I discovered the switch to activate the light poles, which entailed making it past three semi-invisible haunts, and then back again on a search for a way to get the light poles going. If I had figured out the activation earlier, the ghosting would have been much easier, but I didn't, and it wasn't. Oh well.

Shame about the reservoir haunt. Otherwise this was a great mission to ghost. Challenging from begining to end. I don't know who the author was. This was a contest mission, and the author is only identified as "anon." But the mission was very well crafted and fun. Whoever is responsible for "What Lies Below": Great Job.

PS After you complete the main objective of the mission, all the haunts and ghoulies disappear, and you can trapse back to the begining looking for loot. I did that, but quickly got tired of looking. I'm sure it is all there somewhere, and a better thief than I can go looking for it all. Had I managed to ghost it, I might of tried harder for perfect thief. But without being able to do that, it just did not seem worthwhile.

goldsla
24th Aug 2008, 19:54
FM: The Temple of the Tides (WC_TempleoftheTides,The)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 1:14:37
Loot - 1300/1500
Pockets Picked - 0/2 (??)
Locks Picked - 0
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 3 of 3
Consumables - none

Comments:

Despite having just 4 AIs, this was not trivial to ghost. Simple to ghost, perhaps, but not trivial. All of the AIs were elementals: 1 fire elemental and 3 water elementals (!!). The water elementals were tres cool! So, since it hard to tell where an elemental is facing, it was a bit hit or miss if the elemantal was standing still. But other than that, ghosting was no problem.

I don't know what the stat 0 of 2 pockets picked is all about. There was a purse on the dead archaeologist, but that is scored as a pocket pick, and besides, I found it. And you can't pick the pocket of an elemental, can you? Do they even have pockets? What would they put in a pocket?

I'm sure perfect thief is possible, I just didn't look hard enough.

This was a great mission to play, ghost or no. There are some really clever tricks employed by the author. I recommend it highly!

goldsla
27th Aug 2008, 00:39
FM: Pirates Ahoy: Cast Off! (piraten.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 3:12:59
Loot - 4352/5524
Pockets Picked - 9/13
Locks Picked - 0
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 1 of 2
Consumables - none

Comments:

For some reason I found this mission awfully boring and predictable. The ghosting was trivial, and while the city was artisticly done, it was also sloppily done. There were several spots where objects (textures?) were not lined up correctly, missing entirly, or transparent. Also, there were, apparently several (3?) optional quests which were supposed to get added to your objectives list, but for me only showed up after I had completed them.

For example when you find a specially named doll which goes in your inventory, read a journal about a kid who wants a doll for a present, and have a table which is frobble at that kid's house, it is pretty obvious that you should frob the table with the doll, despite not having an objective to do so. There three such tasks that I encountered without having any of them show on my to do list until I had done them. Not good.

The mission starts as a "find your gear" hunt with an objective for each missing item, sword, black jack, and lock picks. There are enough open doors and folk wandering about with keys to make this pretty simple, if time consuming. Then with the lock picks in hand, you loot the town, and correct injustices that you stumble across.

The only problem that I had was one door which did not open to my lock picks, nor could I find a key. From the number of missed pick pockets, I surmise that Sgt. Bill might have been wandering about with the key to his house, and I missed him, or perhaps the key is lying about on some surface and I over looked it. I suspect that the missing loot and secret are in that house. Oh well. I'm sorry but the mission did not interest me enough to take any more time with it.

There was one place where I had to nudge a thief a bit so that he would not alert as I went by, but nothing else was close to difficult. I suppose this might be a good mission for a new ghoster to use to hone their craft. But I suspect it is too easy even for that purpose.

I'm sorry. I'm sure that the authors, Christine Schneider and Greenhorn, are wonderful people. And they are clearly very talented. But this mission, for me, was not what I look for in a ghosting mission.

goldsla
28th Aug 2008, 00:25
FM: Pirates Ahoy: Pirate Island (piraten.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 0:59:32
Loot - 2502/2837
Pockets Picked - 5/7
Locks Picked - 3
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 1 of 1
Consumables - 2 water arrows

Comments:
Like mission one in this series, Pirate Island is trivial to ghost. The AIs are all either blind, or deaf, or blind and deaf, or blind, deaf and drunk.

The only things of interest to me in the mission were the giant dragonflies, which would sting you with flies if "alerted," and little red crabs, which would, I don't know, maybe pinch you if "alerted," the pyranahs and sharks which would bite you. None of them seemed to alert in the normal sense. Their behaviors did not change, nor did they make noise to indicate that they saw you. If you bumped into them, your health suffered, but that was it. The crabs were the sole exception. If a crab "saw" you, it would give slow motion chase. So you only knew that you had alerted one if it followed you a great distance. Otherwise, it might just be its normal wandering that made it look like it was after you. So for me, the crabs were the hardest to ghost since I was never really sure if one of them alerted. They were easy to avoid, and if you don't mind giving a miss to a bunch of loot, you can bypass them and still complete the mission.

goldsla
29th Aug 2008, 13:45
FM: Pirates Ahoy: Ghost Ship (piraten.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 8:48:18 (This reflects that I left the mission up while elsewhere, and not actual playing time)
Loot - 2020/2080
Pockets Picked - 0/0
Locks Picked - 2
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 0 of 0
Consumables - 2 water arrows

Comments:
Ghost ship was a bit more of a challenge than the first two in this campagn, primarily due to the nearly invisible snakes. The snakes are neatly camouflaged by their skin pattern, make no sounds audible until it is too late. And just to make things fun, you cannot approach them without taking damage, at which point they do alert and get really nasty. The mission has burricks and spiders and flaming headed pirate spooks as well, but they are no problem to ghost. The snakes, on the other hand, gave me a little trouble, especially the first two I encountered near the raft.

The caves are a maze and difficult to be sure that you have explored everywhere. Which is a little annoying. I dislike getting lost and having to backtrack, and this mission had a lot of that for me.

Other than the snakes, the rest of the AIs remained pretty much there for decoration, and no threat to a ghoster.

Klatremus
16th Sep 2008, 01:03
FM: Ominous Bequest Gold

Ghost - Failed :(
Perfect Thief - Failed
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 3:11:25
Loot - 8000/8000 (Supreme: 6865)
Pockets Picked - 2/7
Locks Picked - 15
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 1
Secrets Found - 8/8
Consumables - 3 Water Arrows (vault entrance, sponge & riddler’s tomb) & 2 Fire Arrow (vault entrance & riddler’s romb)

See the entire report with screenshots here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/hn.htm) (FMs).
Loot list here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/hn_OminousBequestGold.htm).


Comments:

This is perhaps my favorite single-mission FM release ever. I had played through the “regular” edition back in ’03, but never attempted Supreme Ghost. Well, the new and updated version was just the excuse I needed. Unfortunately, I knew the mission wasn’t ghostable in any mode because of two unavoidable scenarios (which I will mention later), but I still wanted to try and Supreme the rest. The reason I Ghost isn’t exclusively to be successful, but to have fun attempting. I have mentioned most of the hard loot, with some explanatory screenshots. For an entire list of pickups, see the link to the left above.

The art collector Grimworth had sent me on a quest to retrieve the lost will of Lord Farrington, and the items it mentioned; as well as information on a possible mages order below his manor. My blackjack was lost so I needed to find a replacement, plus 5,000 gold worth of loot. My night started on the south side of the front doors.


Into the Lion’s Den

I entered the manor through the coal chute. There was an alternate way in on the west side, but the gazebo strikers saw me climbing the vine. The guard by the chute gave a comment as I turned on the sprinklers, but I assume this to be a triggered script. He never paired it with a settling comment either, so I am quite sure I was clear.

Immediately grabbed the cold storage key from underneath the kitchen dumbwaiter. Wanted to finish the basement entirely before moving upstairs. Noticed early how guards were set up perfectly for Ghosting. Tough enough to challenge any player, but at just the right level not to be daunting. Melted the lump of ice in the furnace instead of using a fire arrow (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/OminousBequestGold_files/image001.jpg)). It made a lot of noise but didn’t seem to alert anyone. Found a hidden pair of lucky coins in the armory (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/OminousBequestGold_files/image002.jpg)). Brought a rope arrow along for the ride; knew I would need one later.

Went up through the kitchen again, returning the cold storage key and lowering the elevator. Got the skillet and the loot from in here as well. Used the secret passage in the hallway to enter the captain’s office. He had a patrol back and forth from his desk to the bedroom, stopping at either end for a few seconds. I had to wait in the bedroom corner and rush out to steal the contents of his safe as he had his stop. Needed to do it in three runs to get everything and lock up the safe afterwards. The contents were hard to get without accidentally closing the safe. Waited in the office corner when he returned each time (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/OminousBequestGold_files/image003.jpg)). Dropped the key on the bedroom floor before leaving. Found a tiny ring on a skeleton going back through the crawlspace dungeon (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/OminousBequestGold_files/image004.jpg)).

Left the captain’s letter in Benny’s locker to check off my new objective. Found a couple of coins among his donuts. A few of the donuts fell out also, so I put them back before leaving.


Making Choices

The centre courtyard on the first floor was a key spot for Ghosters. On a balcony above, a stationary swordsman had his nightshift, preventing all travel in the north-south direction. This only caused a problem as far as the vital greenhouse sponge was concerned. It meant I had to get it coming from either of the southern doors, the southwestern being the easiest. It was possible to crouch across the south wall in the courtyard unseen, but this was very difficult dodging both the archer and the roaming servant. I actually preferred traversing the main foyer to the south. An alternate path would be to enter the greenhouse from the outside using the house key, but as a Supreme perfectionist I try to avoid picking up what I don’t need, and I felt I could leave the house key alone and still finish the mission happy. I needed to loot the rest of the foyer anyway.

I utilized the two pillars in each display wing for cover as the patrolling archer passed (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/OminousBequestGold_files/image005.jpg)). As I crossed the ground by the front doors I noticed all footsteps from upstairs were gone. All the patrollers had long routes down the long narrow hallways, so these quiet moments occurred from time to time. I seized the moment and quickly stole all the loot from the railings. Even had time to grab the gems below the foyer floor panel; the switch was fortunately frobbable through the Farrington banner. Crossing the foyer again after grabbing the sponge was a harder, since I this time was moving against the archer’s flow of traffic. When I also realized I had forgotten about the nifty purse in the chandelier (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/OminousBequestGold_files/image006.jpg)), I decided to head upstairs and continue from there. Again most patrollers were away so I could steal the purse using a rope arrow and seek cover in the southeast dining hall.

The remainder of this floor was standard Ghosting procedure; basically moving from room to room dodging the hallway patrollers. I eavesdropped on all doors not to spawn first alert comments. The first major bust came from cutting the electrical forcefield wire in the northwest tower (see image below). There was no way to circumvent it, and property damage is strictly forbidden in all modes of Ghost. It allowed me to take the Horn of Dloren, which was a main objective. Some players have argued this bust to be waived due to the instructions in the objective. As an answer to that I simply refer to the official Ghost rules: “It is not acceptable [...] to incur a ghost bust that the player thinks is "necessary" to meet another objective. For example, it is not allowed to KO an AI or slash a banner simply because they stand in the way of meeting another objective, such as stealing something.” When intended by the author and part of the mission’s storyline, a bust is easier to accept; that was the case here. There was no way to turn the forcefield back on afterwards. Had to skip some loot in the southernmost guest room for Supreme. The chanting hammer alerted on both opening the door and when spotting his prized hammer was missing. The guest room next door had two more pieces of loot, including a tiny ring I almost overlooked (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/OminousBequestGold_files/image008.jpg)).

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/OminousBequestGold_files/image007.jpg

The stationary swordsman on the inner balcony seen from downstairs couldn’t be reached in normal fashion. His door was locked and unpickable. I could lure him out by shutting off the lights in the main office, but that was against Supreme rules. I had something else in mind for later however, so I shoved it to the back of my mind and continued with the rest.

To finish upstairs I needed the attic pole from the vault. Needed to use a water arrow and a fire arrow to open the secret entrance; neither of these is mentioned in the Supreme rules (except when dousing torches), so no bust. Got the default combination from the vault manual in the library. Cleaned out the valuables, not forgetting the lucky coins by the table (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/OminousBequestGold_files/image009.jpg)). The switches in the next room followed the description on the Hunting Dragon (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/OminousBequestGold_files/image010.jpg)). Had to take the ancient tome to reach the loot behind the concrete wall; it wasn’t replaceable. (As it would turn out later, the tome was a huge part of the story) As mentioned, the crooked pole here was needed to access the attic. Locked up all the doors as they were, except for the hatch to the vertical passage, which wasn’t closeable.

On my way to the second floor I brought the single water arrow from the burrick stables; I knew I would need one later in the mission. I don’t like cluttering the inventory with unnecessary weaponry for Supreme, so I wanted to avoid getting multiples. Also found a pair of lucky coins under the northwest spiral staircase (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/OminousBequestGold_files/image011.jpg)). Back on the second floor I found a hidden purse in Farrington’s bedroom. It was tucked away in the mouth of a giant vase (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/OminousBequestGold_files/image012.jpg)). Cleaned the rest of these rooms easily. When entering Elizabeth’s bedroom, the light got turned on as a part of the ghost effect. Supreme rules only prohibit to the removal of light sources though, so no additional bust. Wetted the sponge in the toilet before cooling Sunspark; saved another water arrow that way. This time the lights went out when taking the gemstone, but this was a direct result of the objective and that is allowed. Brought the key from the attic and headed for the library. The antiquary letter there couldn’t be dropped back, but fulfilled my objective regarding the mages order. Returned the safe key afterwards.

Found a quiet moment and entered the attic in the main foyer. There was a hidden diamond in a tiny niche just below the rafter above the entrance hatch. The guards below didn’t alert to the hatch staying open, but they could partly see me even though it was closed. Got the key for the attic windows and traveled to the opposite attic crawlspace. This area was impossible to reach from downstairs, due to a large shelving unit blocking the hatch. In here I found the last gemstone Bloodtear.

Up on the roof I suddenly heard the patrolling guards inside comment on something. Rushing down to check, it appeared one of the guards had accidentally opened the small closet to the northeast rounding the hallway corner. I bet two of them met in the hallway, pushing one too close to the door and it automatically opened. Every guard from then on commented, thinking something was up. This was way out of my control as I had never even touched that door; naturally it was no bust.

With the roof being done I now pointed my eyes to the inner balcony, located between two metal fences. The goblet and the golden plate on the table below looked tempting. I could drop onto either fence from the tiled roof without making noise. I could furthermore drop down on either side of the guard undetected and without losing health. Unfortunately, the guard was positioned too close to the wall so I couldn’t pass his back without accidentally nudging him forward, which isn’t allowed in Supreme and only as a last resort in plain Ghost. I tried dropping to the courtyard from the east side after having taken the loot, but he commented every time. If I could have leaned in and grabbed everything from the west side, then I could have left through the door, returned to the roof, and drop the key quietly onto the apple from above, but alas, only the plate and the apple were reachable. Without the key I was screwed from that side. And from the other side I couldn’t leave without a comment, so I ended up outright skipping it for Supreme. For plain Ghost I lured him out by switching off the light in Farrington’s office; he gave a comment but that was allowed for normal Ghost. Remembered to drop the windows key back onto the attic footlocker also.


Into the Depths

The main manor was done, so I moved on to the chapel below. Snuck counterclockwise along the metal to reach the door that led upstairs. Fetched the crypt key from Rieleg’s chamber. Had to go across his bed and flip the hammer from behind his back. Couldn’t pass him on the floor without nudging, so I dropped from the bed on his left. He didn’t notice the sounds from the secret door. Went down the stairs and slowly crept around the hall to the double doors. Didn’t return the key right away, as I knew there would be a better opportunity for that later.

The three hammers by the altar all turned quite frequently, but eventually they would have their backs to me and I could leave safely. The crypts provided a sudden change in pace; few AIs, but numerous puzzles and traps. I really loved this variety, which also gave a break from tough Ghosting. The only things to watch out for were traps and closing up all passages and hatches (where possible). Nothing to report until I returned after having switched on the holy water to the chapel fonts. Couldn’t reach the western font without getting spotted, so I circled the chapel to the opposite side. I hid behind the northeastern pillar and observed the two closest sentries. Took my chance and frobbed the font when no-one was looking, then swiftly snuck into the nearby barracks. The holy water arrow only lasted 30 seconds and I needed to drench the sponge within that time. The hammers heard the splash anywhere in the chapel, but the bedroom was safe. Made my way down to the crypt again afterwards.

The hallway leading to the family tomb held a secret treasure cache. The button was in the top corner of a nearby relief (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/OminousBequestGold_files/image013.jpg)). One of the skulls in the background also held a tiny gem.

Brother Sorven’s note gave me hints to the whereabouts of another secret. A loose brick on the wall in the upstairs hall (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/OminousBequestGold_files/image014.jpg)) revealed a button that lowered one of the coffins encircling the central tower. It eventually led me to the Tomb of the Nameless Riddler. I won’t give away spoilers on how to solve its puzzle, but it involved dousing a torch, which isn’t allowed for Supreme. Thus the 935 loot was skipped for that mode. This cave system also took me to Xedormicost, the famous artifact sword mentioned in one of the manor’s readables (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/OminousBequestGold_files/image015.jpg)). That book also mentioned it could be released using holy water, which is what I brought the sponge for. After grabbing the sword, a spirit appeared and started circling the elevated center. It always appeared on the west side and patrolled clockwise around the room. It was no hassle to avoid.

Back in the crypts I tried replacing the loose brick, but only managed to partly (right image above). Supreme rules say to put them back in the nearest logical spot, so I figured I was ok.

http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/OminousBequestGold_files/image016.jpg

Further down I found the trapped hallway leading to the talisman, my as of then final objective. The right image above shows the various tiles and how they triggered. Tile 1 sprung a boulder trap in the ceiling. The rock landed on tile 2 springing a spitfire trap behind me. The third sprung another spitfire to the front. There was no way to avoid springing all of these; the gap was too far of a leap. After all, I needed this and another boulder to open the gate beyond the turn. Sorven’s body was also needed as a sacrifice to open the talisman chamber, but his body turned haunt when I stole the artifact. He wasn’t that big of a deal to dodge, with plenty of shade around the room. I left through the secret passageway in the bedroom. After picking up the loot down there though, I returned to the talisman chamber and snuck out behind the haunt’s back. Being as Supreme as possible, I wanted to lower the gate and put the rubble pieces back to their original positions.

This finished all my objectives, so I went for the sewer exit, on the way switching the chapel pipe back to normal water.


Endgame

Unfortunately, Robert Farrington’s burrick trap required the use of the horn, alerting all the critters to hunt mode. Although bittersweet, I did it without them ever seeing me. I can understand people claiming the wire-cut in the manor shouldn’t be a bust, but this situation settles any dispute. ‘Ominous Bequest’ is unghostable and that’s it. His letter was actually droppable, so I put it back before blowing the horn.

Passing the crayman caves was easy enough, with the exception of the final worship chamber. The two dancing craymen were in a trance far beyond this world, but the sentry was on alert. I snuck around him to the left, but alas he gave a chirp as I opened the floor panel.

The tomb of Armion Drake had a little puzzle element to it, but nothing incomprehensible. Made sure to frob back the three skulls after having opened the inner chamber. The panel and rope in the final resting place couldn’t be closed up or pulled back in, so I left them like that. Finally, there was a skull-trap in the next narrow passageway. I think it must have had a proximity trigger, as I couldn’t notice any floor depressions.

The last task was to kill Kadar, by cutting the Book of Souls in half using Xedormicost. I emerged via the burrick stables of the manor and had to make my way back down to the chapel. I returned the (holy) sponge to the greenhouse first. Kadar was using Elizabeth Farrington’s body for some bizarre ritual, in the true spirit of occultism, no pun intended. I snuck upstairs and ascended the ceiling rafters on the south side. It took a few tries reaching the rope without alerting the spirit below, but in the end I got to the book unseen. Kadar didn’t look too good, before plummeting to the chapel floor lifeless.

I returned the crypt key, put Elizabeth to rest, closed the crypt ventilation hatch, and left through the streets in the east. And yes, I locked both double doors from the inside and left the key lying on the chapel carpet. Finally took the hammer from the pew and the ring from the street alley, before ending this glorious night!


Summary:

- Had to cut the wire to the electrical forcefield in order to obtain the Horn of Dloren. The property damage is considered a bust. Although the horn is an objective, cutting the wires is not.
- Had to skip a hammer worth 100 gold in the second floor guest room for Supreme. The stationary hammer alerted to opening the door (and to taking the loot).
- Had to skip another 100 loot on the inner balcony for Supreme. The door was locked from the inside, and dropping to the courtyard coming from the roof spawned a comment.
- Skipped 935 loot in the Nameless Riddler’s tomb for Supreme. Dousing the torch to get through the puzzle wasn’t allowed for that mode.
- More Supreme busts were necessary to reach the Talisman of Life. Two boulder traps and one spitfire trap were triggered on the way. Inevitable, I’m afraid.
- Escaping Robert Farrington’s burrick pit required blowing the Horn of Dloren. This alerted all burricks to second level hunt mode. Without a doubt a Ghost bust.
- The stationary crayman in the worship chamber alerted to me opening the escape hatch. Supreme bust.
- Leaving Armion Drake’s tomb triggered a skull-trap. Another inevitable Supreme bust.
- The body discovered could possibly be from cutting the Book of Souls and killing Kadar. He might have spotted one of the dead haunts before dying himself.

Klatremus
16th Sep 2008, 02:11
Browsing through some of the older reports I found goldsla's Ominous Bequest successfully ghosted, with Peter Smith confirming his success: here (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?p=532441&highlight=rocksbourg#14). As one of the mission's beta-testers and an ample ghoster, I assume Peter knows his game. Does this mean my judgement is wrong on the busts I had? For normal Ghost I mean, not Supreme.

Help! :confused:

goldsla
16th Sep 2008, 23:42
Browsing through some of the older reports I found goldsla's Ominous Bequest successfully ghosted, with Peter Smith confirming his success: here (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?p=532441&highlight=rocksbourg#14). As one of the mission's beta-testers and an ample ghoster, I assume Peter knows his game. Does this mean my judgement is wrong on the busts I had? For normal Ghost I mean, not Supreme.

Help! :confused:

Honestly, I don't remember the mission. In looking back on the report, I appear to have liked it, so, tell you what, I'll replay it and let you know what I think.

* * * * * * *
U P D A T E D Sept 17, 2008
* * * * * * *

OK. I have replayed Ominous Bequest. And I see that there are two problematic areas:
Cutting the wire to turn off the security system
Blowing the horn to open the trap door


I can't imagine what I was thinking to not consider both of these ghost busts. The 1st is a clear property damage, and the second clearly alerts the burricks. (You can get into the alcove without alerting them, but blowing the horn clearly busts the ghost when they alert.)

In looking at an earlier posting (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?p=245061#post245061) by Vanguard he says:
"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."
"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."


I have to agree. Busted. I'll edit my original posting (http://forums.eidosgames.com/showpost.php?p=680239&postcount=14) to indicate failure. I have no idea what I was thinking about when I wrote that posting. I don't remember any clever approaches to avoid those two busts. I'll have to plead old timers disease.

Maybe I was thinking that since those actions were needed to complete objectives, they were OK. But that is wrong thinking. From the ghosting rules "It is not acceptable, however, to incur a ghost bust that the player thinks is 'necessary' to meet another objective. For example, it is not allowed to KO an AI or slash a banner simply because they stand in the way of meeting another objective, such as stealing something." My Bad.

goldsla
17th Sep 2008, 00:09
FM: The Gambling Man (GamblingMan,The ENG.zip)

By Rayner the Bug_Cloud

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 01:46:46
Loot - 815/815
Pockets Picked - 10/11
Locks Picked - 0
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 1
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 1 of 1
Consumables - 2 water arrows

Comments:

This is a mission from 2001, originally released in French, and sort of translated into English. That is, the words used were English words, but often a near homonym was used instead of what I think was the intended word, making the readables ... interesting.

Let me deal with the one KO right off the bat. This objective is "Before leaving the mansion, make sure you bring Mr. Lazarius with you" which gets shortened to "Kidnap Mr. Lazarius." In prior discussions in this forum, it was deemed acceptable to interpret such objectives as license to KO, as there really is no other way to kidnap someone in this game. (I believe the mission discussion I am remembering was about L'ARSENE, but it could have been another by the same author.)

In all this mission is not difficult to ghost. The most difficult part of the mission is finding your way around the mansion without a map. It is a warren. The second most difficult part of the mission is identifying Mr. Lazarus. There are 5 or so people dressed like they could be Mr. Lazarus, and the only way I found to determine who was who was to KO someone and pick him up. If the objective ticked off, it was Lazarus. If not, I restored and went on my way. The real Mr. Lazarus was (by definition) the last one that I KO'd. That could have been thought out better.

Beyond that, getting Lazarus out of the mansion was a bit sticky while ghosting. He did not look particularly hefty, but he really slowed me down! Bluntly, he should go on a diet.

Other than that, this mission really did not have any difficult spots to ghost. There was nothing tricky to do.

Klatremus
5th Dec 2008, 06:52
FM: A Night In Rocksbourg: Discovery (mission 2)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 1:56:13
Loot - 5728 out of 5828 (Supreme: 4753)
Pockets Picked - 8/15
Locks Picked - 19
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 5/5
Consumables - None :)

See the entire report with screenshots here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/hn.htm) (FMs).
Loot list here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/hn_Rocksbourg2.htm).


Comments:

The second chapter in the Rocksbourg saga was next on my list. A brilliant campaign by the very talented French author DrK. I was really looking forward to ghosting this one.

After having been attacked in the underground tunnels, I woke up in the apartment of an unknown speechless individual. Rubbing away the stars from my eyes and disregarding the constant pain shooting through my body, I rose from the bed and started tonight’s quest. The mute’s name was Estobiaz, an acquaintance of Artemus, whose key was left here for me. Apparently, the city had recently gotten infested by zombies, putting a majority of the streets under quarantine. To make more sense of the situation and to retrieve my equipment, I was to head for Artemus’ room at the inn. My inventory was utterly stripped for now. 4,500 gold was my loot objective for the night.


The Night Is Still Young (Safe Zone)

I skipped the equipment in the footlocker for now. The rope arrow was highly needed, but I knew there were a couple of single arrows to be found later. I don’t like cluttering my inventory, especially not for Supreme. Estobiaz’ message was stuck to the inventory, but the key was not, so I planned to return with it later.

The streets were full of guards and civilians, none of which paid much attention to me. But they all gave settling remarks indicating first alerts. I have mentioned similar conditions in other reports, but will explain once more. All AIs have paired comments indicating their awareness to Garrett’s presence. These comments are different every time depending on type of AI, source of trigger (noise, vision, etc.) and alert level (first, second, third). In this case we are talking about first alerts only. Initial comments trigger when an AI initially reacts to something being out of sorts; “Did I see something?” or “What was that?” being common examples. If the enemy isn’t fueled with additional exposure, he will settle down fairly quickly and forget the incident, indicating this with the last part of the paired comment, such as “I’m getting too jumpy” or “Too much coffee this morning, I’m twitchy as hell!” Both types of comments are always given in circumstances where Garrett isn’t allowed to roam freely. In conditions where Garrett is just another citizen however, even though enemies aren’t supposed to alert, they might still give the last of the paired comments. This ultimately has to do with settings in Dromed, or so I’ve heard. I haven’t seen this discussed in terms of it being a potential Supreme rule violation, so I don’t know what the general consensus is. Being a strict ghoster, I generally rule against myself. Supreme didn’t make it anyway by a long shot. Plain Ghost was untouched, as first alerts are allowed across the board.

Sucking in the gorgeously dark atmosphere, I traveled the streets and brought along whatever loot I could find. Two pieces were fairly well-hidden; a ring behind a statue in the starting alley (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg2_files/image001.jpg)), and a hammer in an abandoned side street next to the inn (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg2_files/image002.jpg)).

I went for Artemus’ room to receive further instructions. His note had information pointing to the Soul Heart as the source of the city mayhem. I was to steal it and bring it back. I also needed to find two keeper brothers slain in battle, and drop them off at Artemus’ and Estobiaz’. Lastly, I had to find a sword. With the lockpicks I could enter two more rooms down Artemus’ hallway. The room at the end had two very well-hidden coin stacks in the corner (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg2_files/image003.jpg)). The necklace in the footlocker had to be skipped for Supreme though; the guest woke when I picked the lock. Despite facing the lit stairway, he couldn’t see me leave. He must have been blind, as I was right in his view. In addition to this loot, a footlocker in the barracks and a sleeping chamber downstairs were now accessible. I noticed the locked sewer entrance beneath the staircase also; my exit for later.


Security Zone

Two pickable gates accessed the security zone. I entered through the one leading to a stationary captain studying some scrolls. There was a pirate’s hideout with some loot in this area also (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg2_files/image004.jpg)). From the rooftops I passed an apartment with an assassinated tenant. Some coin stacks were hidden behind his bed. The toughest spot was an open court with lots of burning bodies and a robot. An additional archer was overlooking the area from a plateau nearby. I could enter the metal walkway above via an empty apartment in the southeast corner, but couldn’t pass the stony ledge without a comment from the archer. About halfway over, the bonfire below got too bright. Approaching from the opposite side took me across a very narrow banner frame; this time without any comments from either the bot or the archer. My goal was a hidden hammer study on the ledge directly above the canal. A tiny switch in the wall behind some pipes opened the entrance (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg2_files/image005.jpg)). Five pieces of loot inside made me 195 gold richer. The remaining loot in this area had to wait. Five lucky coin pairs in the well were impossible to reach in any mode. Making a splash was unavoidable and the well was too close to the aforementioned archer. Also, a ring in the canal probably needed to be skipped for Supreme, but I would return later after obtaining a rope arrow.

I entered the mechanist factory from the upper balcony. Dodging the crossbow lady wasn’t too hard. Grabbed the tunnel 21 key and brought whatever loot I could find. The last piece was downstairs on a beam in the entry area; quite hard to spot that one. The factory workers weren’t too threatening though; standard ghosting.


Danger Zone

The ‘tunnel 21’-key took me through the sewers to the most hazardous area of town. Along the way I found another pirate hideout with more loot (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg2_files/image006.jpg)). The switch for this entrance was located behind some pipes below the waterline. There were some whispering voices when approaching that section of the sewers. I couldn’t make out the words entirely, but think they mentioned something about a “secret lair”. In fact, they reminded me of similar voices heard by the burning court outside the mechanist factory. Anyhow, the streets surrounding the Red Quarter were heavily guarded, but the shadows were plentiful, and with patient timing getting around wasn’t that bad.

A stationary guard blocked the bridge leading southward. I knew the canal below held a hard-to-reach purse, and the intended entrance was via the underground tunnels directly below the sentry. However, plunging into the water from there alerted him to hunt mode, so I needed to figure out something else. I could creep-drop onto the grate in the western end of the canal from the garden above without alerts, but I lost some unavoidable health points in the process. This is allowed for plain Ghost, but frowned upon and far from my fancied outcome. The eastern end right above the purse had multiple pipe levels, seemingly inserted by the author for this exact purpose. I could reach that side of the canal with an angled mantle from the stairs leading down to the Black Market. The bridge guard didn’t notice me dropping, and I could finally reach the waterway alert-free and unscathed (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg2_files/image007.jpg)). Nice piece of ghosting if I may say so. Well, I guess I just did.

I now approached the Black Market opposite of the intended direction. The only place to obtain a sword was in the armor shop underground. Unfortunately, picking the lock on the door alerted both the storekeeper and the thief outside. They only commented, so plain Ghost was still good. I couldn’t avoid this bust for Supreme though. Some of the equipment could be taken through the display window without detection, but the footlocker with the sword was positioned too far back. Since I had to enter, I also brought along a rope arrow. The jewelry store nearby was skipped for Supreme only, lowering the total loot amount for that mode an additional 600 gold. Again, picking the door lock was too loud.

The streets to the east were blocked in the middle by a bot and a stationary mechanist. They stood in a dark alley, with the bot facing the bright area of the street. I could leap through the area quickly and only spawn comments, but those were additional busts for Supreme. I reached the east side from the underground tunnels. I found the wounded keeper Ramy in an abandoned apartment up above. Stole the purse off the patroller here also. To get to the opposite side of the bot I had to mantle up by the stairs just east of the Red Quarter; near the broken window with a spider and some loot. There was a hard-to-reach coin stack in a chest on a ledge in this area, as well as a hidden wizard’s study in the alley corner (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg2_files/image009.jpg)). This took me past the loot requirement for plain Ghost.


Wizards!

One of the few complaints I have of this mission is the entrance to the wizards’ compound. It was located on one of the walls in the underground tunnels, not far from the Black Market. It opened by frobbing a glyph on the wall a few feet away. I needed help from the forums to find it, and even then it wasn’t that obvious. The second time around I noticed the odd texture on the wall and the whispers as I approached the area, but for a first-time player, it was a tad too hard.

The souls in the compound all spoke French, which took a bit getting used too. For plain ghosters I imagine it doesn’t make that much difference, as you can still see them entering hunt mode if busted. But for Supreme, I needed to know which comments were alerts. Soul Tenethorm by the desk in the first room definitely alerted from opening the door. Most of the compound required standard sneaking. Two frobbable books in one of the libraries opened the cage to the Soul Heart and the gate to the dungeon downstairs, respectively. The wandering mage had a random patrol, which turned out to be a little annoying.

By far the toughest spot was on the lowest level. Two haunt-souls protected the main cage, patrolling back and forth from a nearby study. One of the souls in the study carried the archives key, highly needed to finish the mission. The other stationary soul in there watched the entrance. Both of the walking dudes had haunt-like alerts, thus easily recognizable. They did pivot turns a few feet inside the study, and I could rush in to the left before they headed back. The stationed soul saw me enough to comment, but that was acceptable considering the circumstances. I circled the room counterclockwise to reach Tahsel’s key. Grabbing the Soul Heart took the most amount of time. Both guards were quite jumpy and the wizard upstairs also spotted me on occasion. My path involved using the semi-dark corners and following the souls around the room. I used the left pillar by the opening to dodge the incoming patroller when leaning in for the snatch. In the end, I managed to avoid any comments from this room. Fetching keeper Lucien from the dungeon posed no real problems.

Hung on to the archives key when leaving the compound. Couldn’t enter the study again without further comments, and there were no good places to drop the key without causing noise. The tunnel 13 key was stuck to my inventory, so I wouldn’t have to return to the wizards later. Remembered to flip back the books to close the gates downstairs before exiting. Another comment spawned from the sitting soul up top when opening the sliding door.


Wrapping it up

Brought Lucien to Artemus’ room. Also fetched the secret bag of spice from the ledge west of Estobiaz’ (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg2_files/image010.jpg)). Firing the rope arrow had to be done from total darkness. The guards still alerted to hunt mode occasionally, but I managed to avoid any busts. Back in the danger zone I went for the last missing secret: a hidden apartment northeast of the Red Quarter (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg2_files/image011.jpg)). All it took was a rope arrow into the beam above, but it was unreachable for Supreme. There was a stationary mechanist in the upper streets nearby; he caught me going past the lamppost and the bonfires. Only a comment, so plain Ghost was good. Brought Ramy with me and left the danger zone for the last time. No big deal.

Dropped off Ramy and Artemus’ room key at Estobiaz’. Returned the tunnel 21 key to the mech factory and headed for the last hard piece of loot. It was a ring in the canal below the open court with burning bodies mentioned earlier (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg2_files/image012.jpg)). With an accurate jump from the banner frame above, I could reach the canal ladder without notice. I had to leap from the frame’s silent edge not to alert the patrolling mechanists inside the factory. To get back up I fired a rope into the sloped wooden overhang above the banner frame. The rope ended just above a steam vent in the streets below. To reach unseen I tried traversing the canal fence from the top of the ladder, but the archer caught me halfway through. A torch beyond the portcullis further west was the source of trouble. Instead I had to mantle the canal corner directly from below (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/Rocksbourg2_files/image013.jpg)). Angle-running from the waterline got me high enough to reach the edge of the fence above, but there wasn’t much in it. Sometimes the mantle took me straight into the light, causing the archer to throw a hizzy fit. Two times I managed to mantle up without hitting the light and keeping it within Supreme rules. The rope was ascended slowly, past the shiny window on the wall.

From there I returned to the inn and exited the mission through tunnel 13. The best map I’ve played in a long time!


Notes:

- It was impossible to move around the safe zone without spawning first alert settling remarks. Whether these are Supreme rule violations is a tricky question. I have ruled against myself, but am open for discussion.
- Had to skip a necklace (worth 200 gold) at the inn for Supreme. My lockpick woke the sleeping guest.
- Ignored five pairs of lucky coins (100 gold) in the well by the mechanist factory in the security zone. The female archer stood too close for the splash to remain unheard. Busted Perfect Thief.
- Couldn’t obtain the sword from the weapon’s store at the Black Market without alerting the store owner and the thief guard. They both commented on picking the door. Busted Supreme.
- Had to skip the 600 gold from the jewelry store at the Black Market for Supreme also. Again the door alerted the stationary thief.
- The soul in the first study commented on the door opening. Inevitable, but another Supreme bust. He also commented when I left.
- The stationary soul in the deepest study commented when entering and leaving to grab the archives key. I didn’t moss the floor, but was unable to avoid him noticing anything.
- Didn’t return the archives key as this involved more comments from the aforementioned soul. There wasn’t any silent place to drop it either, except for on a stack of books on a nearby desk.
- Had to skip more loot for Supreme (175 gold total) from the hidden apartment northeast of the Red Quarter. The stationary mechanist nearby couldn’t be passed without a comment.

Klatremus
7th May 2009, 00:07
FM: Mystic Gems I: Unlucky Soul

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 36:17
Loot - 2500 out of 2500
Pockets Picked - 7/8
Locks Picked - 6
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 2/2
Consumables - None

See the entire report with screenshots here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/hn.htm) (FMs).
Loot list here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/hn_MysticGems_L.htm).


Comments:

I beta-tested the sequel ‘Heart of Bohn’ a while back, and based on its quality I wanted to give the original a shot. Once again the Mystic Soul was on my list of to-dos, located in the mansion of Lord Gillian. In addition to the gemstone I needed 2,000 in loot. To reach the inner city of Bohn I had to finish the mission catching a ride in one of Gilbert & Son’s express crates. It’d been some time since my last Thief encounter, so I was up for anything.

I started in the Eastport warehouse, with one patrolling hammer covering the night shift. There was nothing to report here or in the sewers. Also passed Lord Gillian’s basement patroller without any trouble. Standard Ghosting was all. The subtle ambiance and high attention to detail made the trip around the ground floor enjoyable, despite posing few challenges. The kitchen floor was tile, but the maid took long enough breaks for me to steal the room unnoticed. There was even a spot on the counter where I was completely hidden (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/MysticGems_files/image001.jpg)). The spice bag on the mantelpiece was cleverly placed, and hard to spot. Had to approach from the eastern side-door to reach the front yard swordsman’s purse (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/MysticGems_files/image002.jpg)). The alley here was dark, plus he was stationed on the east side of the stairs.

With only one guard roaming the top floor, reaching the prized gemstone proved effortless. The guard had a rather lengthy route at that. Fiddled a bit with the keys back and forth; three of which was needed to get all the loot. I was certain replacing the safe key would wake Gillian and bust Supreme, but he must have had a fair bit of wine this night. His chest key unlocked the chest (surprise!) in the living room attic, containing the Mystic Soul. The opposite end of the crawlspace was available from the hallway hatch. The lost ring mentioned in one of the readables was placed here (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/MysticGems_files/image003.jpg)). Locked up all doors and left the bedroom key along the patroller’s path.

Supreme got busted on my way toward Gilbert & Son’s. First of all, I had to leave the sewer gate open after pulling the lever. Unsure whether that is a bust as it is impossible to close it and also complete the mission. Supreme was busted from not being able to return the control room key without waking the drunk anyway, so it didn’t matter much. There were no soft spots close by to dampen the noise of the key. After all these years of playing, I am still baffled as to how Garrett is completely unable to quietly lay a key (or any metallic object) onto a hard surface. Oddly, he seems compelled to drop it from waist height.

The warehouse almost had more guards than the rest of the mission combined, which says more about the rest of the mission. Gilbert & Son’s was the best area in terms of layout if you ask me (at least for Ghosting). An easy way for authors to up the challenge on higher difficulties is to give one or more guard a lantern. You don’t have to cramp a floor full of people to increase tension. Well-positioned AIs and awareness of light sources can serve the same purpose, with a better outcome in my opinion. The basement guard was a good example of where this came into effect. Giving him a purse also provided an optional challenge for purists. Excellent Wille!

Entered the upstairs office through the window. Found a hidden room with a purse frobbing one of the books (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/MysticGems_files/image004.jpg)). Could steal the stationary guard’s purse through the door, but I assumed this to be a glitch so I grabbed it coming up the stairs to his left instead. Stole the remaining objects from the crates and finished by hiding in the large shipping container. Nice mission!


Notes & Busts:

- Hung on to the control room key heading for Gilbert & Son’s. Couldn’t drop it by the drunk without reaching second level alert state. Supreme bust.

Klatremus
7th May 2009, 00:20
FM: Mystic Gems II: Heart of Bohn

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Failed :(
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 1:23:01
Loot - 3600 out of 3600
Pockets Picked - 5/8
Locks Picked - 12
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 5/5
Consumables - None

See the entire report with screenshots here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/hn.htm) (FMs).
Loot list here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/hn_MysticGems2_L.htm).

Be sure to check out the report for the first mission, posted directly above!


Comments:

My next stop was the Baronial Museum in Bohn, where I was picking up the Mystic Heart. I also needed to find some additional information on the gemstone twins, as well as 3,200 in loot. I had gotten my hands on a brochure with a crude map; at least it was better than nothing.

Nothing worth buying at the store, so I clicked my way through the loadout screen. I started in the streets close to the museum basement’s back doors. It was possible to enter that way, but it was far from the most discrete approach. I went for the sewers instead, after picking up the coins from the apartment above the canal. Skipped sergeant Willy’s armory key from the sewer basin support beam. I knew the armory didn’t contain any valuables except for a hint regarding the vault code, but I remembered that hint from beta-testing. It would save me a trip back to replace the key later. The sewer key was also unnecessary, as I could enter the museum without it, through a secret passage in the tunnels (see images here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/MysticGems2_files/image001.jpg) & here (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/MysticGems2_files/image002.jpg)). I emerged in the first floor library.


First Floor

Each floor was split into two main wings, separated by an astonishing central foyer (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/MysticGems2_files/image003.jpg)). I have included some extra screenshots simply to advertise, in my humble opinion, one of the best looking FMs to date. Coupled with a beautiful background score, this mission provides nothing more than perfect atmosphere. The layout is made so that traversing the rooms is exciting yet challenging; plenty of loot to keep you busy, but enough shade to help you along. The loot placement and guard patrols seem realistic as well, which is not the case for all indoor missions. Even though ‘Unlucky Soul’ was a solid first creation, ‘Heart of Bohn’ is a huge step up for a very talented author. I will play anything Wille comes up with in the future, I promise!

I made my way westward, cleaning the various display rooms. Nothing too challenging, and few situations worth noting. The exquisite precursor gallery to the southeast was tiled, and the patroller didn’t step out for long. One of the caskets had a convenient dark spot where I could time my runs properly (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/MysticGems2_files/image004.jpg)). One small piece of loot was found in the library, a coin by the foot of one of the tables (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/MysticGems2_files/image005.jpg)). I imagine it could get overlooked easily.


Second Floor

I ascended to the second floor in the far west and cleaned this floor eastward. The most notable test came north of the main foyer, where two masks hung on the hallway wall. Stationary guards covered both entry points, plus several patrollers had this hall as part of their route. I ended up coming from the east, dodging the female guard through a patch of shade by the potted plant. She had two facing angles, and timing her movements I was able to pass the lit area by the banner (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/MysticGems2_files/image006.jpg)). Got caught several times from downstairs patrollers, so this was a tricky spot indeed. Needed to return the same way, as the male sentry further west blocked that path entirely.

The next challenge lay to the southeast, above the precursor exhibit. There was a smaller gallery in the upstairs corner, well guarded by an outside swordsman. So well in fact, that it was impossible to get in that way. I improvised with a rope arrow outside the arched window and entered the display room by hopping from the metal railing (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/MysticGems2_files/image010.jpg)). Getting back was a bit fiddly though. I had to utilize a tiny ledge outside the window and reshoot the rope arrow closer to the walkway. There was also the patroller downstairs to worry about, but most of that part of the room was dark enough.


Third Floor

After clearing the rest of the second floor, I moved upstairs via the double stairway in the de Moren gallery. The rafters above the top flight of stairs held a blessed candle needed later (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/MysticGems2_files/image009.jpg)). Robbed the captain’s quarters and the private study, in that order. Found information on a golden rosary in the library, spawning an optional objective to retrieve it.

Geniality from the author to have two pickable doors accessing the curator’s quarters. He had a small walk between the two rooms and I could eavesdrop to track his movement. Had to make sure he didn’t hear the lockpicks, otherwise Supreme was busted. This was a tough task, as several patrolling swordsmen came by on a regular basis. Luckily, both doors were covered in darkness. Finally got inside and could sweep the premises within a couple of minutes (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/MysticGems2_files/image014.jpg)). A letter on the desk explained the workings of the abnormal holy water vial found in the spider-shaped jewelry box. I couldn’t remember the order of which to put out the torches, so I’d have to find the poem mentioned in the message. One of the coat hooks in the bedroom also opened a wall-safe with some loot. One of my favorite parts of the mission this.


Accessing the Shrine

The new objective ordered me to gain access to the shrine. This could only be done by extinguishing the four torches in a specific order. Unfortunately, three of them spawned comments from nearby patrollers (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/MysticGems2_files/image011.jpg)), thus busting Supreme. I remember discussing this situation with Wille during beta testing, and even though we both agreed it was a bust, it seemed too fiddly to fix. Besides, it’s only natural that guards would react to unlit torches that supposedly have been burning for centuries. While putting out the second torch in the basement, I also cleaned the vault. The code was de Moren’s birth date.

The fourth and final torch was the hardest by far. One can clean the yard by the main entrance in two sweeps; the west side coming through the door, and the east emerging from the basement window. I didn’t bother with such a long route, which meant I had to pass the lit part of the yard west to east, circumventing all three guards. But before that I had to get off the entrance patio without getting spotted by anyone, which was more than a pickle. Both doors were locked, and picking it from the inside meant eavesdropping for comments, while also dodging the inside patrollers. After successfully getting the door open, I could stand in the doorway’s dark patch to monitor the situation (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/MysticGems2_files/image012.jpg)). As the guard passed the door eastward, I slipped out and dropped past the western pillars to the bricks below (see image (http://home.online.no/~ajnilsen/hn/MysticGems2_files/image013.jpg)). This corner served as a breathing spot while timing the rest of my runs. The dry fountain to the southwest contained a few lucky coins, while the cemetery held the second of the blessed candles. Once lighting the last torch, my objectives changed to enter the shrine itself. It was surprisingly easy to reenter the museum coming from the east. Somewhat lucky I opened the door when nobody was around.

Grabbed the rosary by placing both candles in the holders in the old library to the southeast. The secret door couldn’t be closed, so no bust. Returned the book with the hidden objective, the vault key and the private study key (dropped it along Willy’s route), before plunging into the great unknown and ending the mission. What a ride!!


Notes & Busts:

- Got comments from patrolling guards after lighting three of the four magic torches. The procedure is necessary to finish the mission, without being explicitly articulated in the objectives. Supreme busts.

goldsla
7th May 2009, 02:49
After all these years of playing, I am still baffled as to how Garrett is completely unable to quietly lay a key (or any metallic object) onto a hard surface. Oddly, he seems compelled to drop it from waist height. Have you ever considered dropping a soft item first and the key on that, then picking back up the soft item? A fruit or a Dewdrop come to mind. I've used both to soften landing noises in touchy areas. I don't see why that wouldn't work for dropping a key. Worth a try, no? :scratch:

Klatremus
9th May 2009, 00:17
Just tried it, unsuccessfully. Muffled the drop all right, but once I remove the healing potion the key still makes the clunky noise and wakes the guard. For keys it doesn't seem to depend on the height at all, but rather the underlying surface.

No biggie, it was fun to ghost nonetheless.

goldsla
12th May 2009, 14:11
Oh well. I suppose leaving behind a healing potion with the key would bust the spirit even though the rules don't say you can't leave extra stuff behind, do they ...

Klatremus
13th May 2009, 01:57
Supreme rule #7:
"Put Everything back that can be put back: doors closed and re-locked if they are re-lockable, chests and gates closed if closable; keys returned, books/scrolls/letters returned to their original place."

This is the reason for me having to put back the key. This rule refers to every object taken that can be replaced, thus erasing any trace of my presence, in the true "spirit" of Supreme Ghosting. If I left the healing potion I might as well have skipped returning the key in the first place.

No big deal though, but thanks for the input. :)