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Thread: FMs - Ghost/Perfect Thief Results (Part 7)

FMs - Ghost/Perfect Thief Results (Part 7)

  1. #76
    FM: Curse of the Carnival
    File: carnival.zip

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

    Causes of Failure:

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

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

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

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

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



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



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

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

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


  2. #77
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    FM: Greenbay
    File: Greenbay.zip

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  3. #78
    Nice work Peter. I love that mission too but never did find all the loot. Finally gave up. Glad you stuck with it.

  4. #79

    The Dark Mod

    TDM FM: The Chalice of Kings

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

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

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

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



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



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

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



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

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

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

  5. #80

    The Dark Mod

    TDM FM: The Crown of Penitence

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

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

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

    To illustrate what happens:

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



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



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


  6. #81

    The Dark Mod

    TDM FM: The Outpost

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

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

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




  7. #82
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    The Dark Mod

    TDM FM: The Chalice of Kings

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  8. #83
    Originally Posted by Peter Smith
    Well, I have no idea how Hexameron played this in 51:05.
    I played it through once before my official ghost run.

    Hexameron's report is unclear about one thing. If there was a second alert at the crown, then how can the ghost be successful?... I found that if you leave the stand vacant long enough, say 10-20 seconds, the AI get all excited about the missing crown. So, you need to be quick about replacing it. Then they never alert.
    Peter, are you saying that you replaced the real crown with the fake one and the patrolling guard didn't go to second alert? For me, it wasn't the two idle guards around the pedestal but the patrolling one that notices the missing crown. I painstakingly dropped my fake crown on the pedestal not three seconds after looting the real crown, and when the patrolling guard made his round, he went on second alert. You didn't have this trouble?

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

  9. #84
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    I didn't have that trouble. The only trouble I had was being clumsy initially, dropping the crown in the wrong place, and being caught in the act. But when I correctly placed the fake crown on the cloth part of the stand, about in the center, nobody ever noticed. I exchanged the picture in my report so you can see where I placed it. That is a picture of the fake crown. Maybe it matters where you are standing when you place it. You can see my point of view. I just slid it into the slot using my mouse wheel.

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

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

  10. #85
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    TDM FM: The Crown of Penitence

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

    Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  11. #86
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    TDM FM: The Outpost

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

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

  12. #87
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    TDM FM: Patently Dangerous

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

    Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

  13. #88
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    Hi, this is Fidcal aka YeeHar. Only just found this thread. Some good reports here and I'm pleased to read the FMs are being played how I think they ought to be played - slow and stealthy!

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

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

  14. #89
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    In my next Dark Mod FM I've realized I can set up an optional no alerts objective. What this means is if you cause an alert then a message shows 'Failed Objective' or similar and the objectives screen now shows that objective marked with an X. The mission continues however so it's not irritating to non-ghosters or semi-ghosters.

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

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

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

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

    Need to word that better.

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

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

  15. #90
    My opinion only: Any searching activity is a bust. Muttering with casual scan, is a bust. All creatures which can attack or communicate an alert to someone who can attack should be included. Traditionally, rats are the only critters, I believe, which are not included in ghost busts. You should read the offical ghosting rules.
    LarryG (aka goldsla)

  16. #91
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    Yes, since posting the above I already reduced the low alert to 2.

  17. #92
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    T2 FM: Eclipsed

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

    Comments

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

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

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

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

    One of the nicer transporters is shown below.



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

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

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

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

  18. #93
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    T2 FM: Quelle Galere (What a Drag!)

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

    Comments

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

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


    the pool

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

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

    Optimal route

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

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


    False starts

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

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


    electric fence at start of security hallway

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

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

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

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

    Ghosting

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

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

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


    urn lift room

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

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


    drill bit room

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

    /ghosting

    Ending

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

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

    Loot

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

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


    loot room

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

  19. #94
    Wow, Peter. I applaud you for that epic ghost report of "What a Drag!" Of course, I agree that your ghost and PT successes are justified. Seeing that screenshot of the fountain with the pink fish jogged my memory that I have played this FM before. I probably played the French version and never finished it owing to all the secret switches.

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

  20. #95
    FM: The Builder's Hammer
    File: thehammer.zip

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

    Cause of Failure

    -Cannot sneak by any of the apebeasts in the cave

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



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

    I needed a game plan!



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



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

  21. #96
    FM: The Ring
    File: ring.zip

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

    Causes of Failure:

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

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



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



    Unfortunately, this female servant ended my success streak:



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

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


  22. #97
    FM: Mr. J's Ring
    File: mrjrng.zip

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

    Cause of Failure

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

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

    -I did well for the first two guards: the one in front of the gate and the female cop outside of the rich house. I nudged them both forward, but they would have to be alerted and killed eventually. Other guards nearby were just impossible to deal with.
    -The sound propagation was so bad that AI on the other side of the mission heard noises happening seemingly a mile away.
    -Hallways were cramped and the lighting was awkward with strong contrasts of bright and pitch black. Essentially, if I wanted to do anything in this mission, I needed to slaughter everyone.
    -The pub contained over 500 loot worth of wine bottles and 1000 loot is required, so I had to kill everyone inside.
    -I had to find a key to open a small box back at the mission start; taking the key inside the locked box is an objective, but it was never checked off.
    -There's no way to sneak by any of the zombies in the crypt. At least I had holywater and water arrows.
    -I looted what appeared to be Mr. J's ring (obj) lying on a sarcophagus. Frobbing the ring put it in my loot inventory, but no objective was checked off.
    -I checked one of the few TTLG threads on this FM and it appears no one has ever completed all of the objectives, so I had to abort.

  23. #98
    Thanks for the reports Peter and Hexameron. I enjoyed reading them. That's a lot of frustration, Hexameron, one after another.
    Really nice job on Quelle Galere, Peter.

  24. #99
    FM: The Wickerman
    File: wickerman.zip

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

    Causes of Failure:

    1. Cannot sneak by green spider in cave

    2. Cannot exit cave without slashing a spider web

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

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



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

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


  25. #100
    FM: Cragscright Prison
    File: paweuek.zip

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

    Causes of Failure:

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

    2. Cannot sneak by female cop guarding special prisoners

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

    4. Cannot sneak by mechanists in small chapel

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

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



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

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

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