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Thread: FMs - Ghost/Perfect Thief Results (Part 6)

FMs - Ghost/Perfect Thief Results (Part 6)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Posts
    2,704

    FMs - Ghost/Perfect Thief Results (Part 6)

    This is the sixth thread in the series of Ghost/Perfect Thief results for FM's. The prior threads have been archived at: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...ts_Part1_1.htm
    Part 2: http://forums.eidosgames.com/old-ubb...ts_Part2_1.htm
    Part 3: http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthr...&threadid=1178
    Part 4: http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthr...&threadid=6112
    Part 5: http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthr...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.

    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.

  2. #2
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    Feb 2000
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    2,704

    CoSaS - Gathering at the Inn

    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!

  3. #3
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    Skeletons in the Closet

    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 and daffyd 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.

  4. #4

    The Clean Out

    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

  5. #5

    The Clean Out

    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 !

    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

  6. #6

    Thumbs Up

    Thanks, dafydd. Another well written Ghost report. Love it! Have been enjoying Deadly Simplicities, 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. :-)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Posts
    2,704

    A Night in Rocksbourg - A New Beginning

    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! 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!

    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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Posts
    2,704

    A Night in Rocksbourg - Discovery

    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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Posts
    2,704

    Saturio Returns Home

    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 and then by Daffyd. 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. 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?

  10. #10

    The Burrick's Head Inn V2.0, Vintage Edition

    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 . . .

  11. #11

    Equilibrium

    FM: Equilibrium
    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Success
    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?

    My brain hurts!

  12. #12

    Keyhunt

    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.

  13. #13

    L'Arsene

    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!

  14. #14

    Ominous Bequest

    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 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

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Posts
    2,704
    Welcome to the ghosting community, goldsla. 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.

    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?

  16. #16
    Originally Posted by Peter Smith
    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.
    Originally Posted by Peter Smith
    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.

  17. #17
    It's really nice to see fresh reports in this thread, and I for one am glad to see it, so please post more!

  18. #18
    Originally Posted by Yandros
    ...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 . . .

  19. #19
    Originally Posted by goldsla
    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" which is superb.

  20. #20

    Emilie Victor - Failed

    Originally Posted by ffox

    The sequel is "The Den" 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.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Posts
    2,704
    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.

  22. #22

    The Den - Success

    Originally Posted by Peter Smith
    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 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." [italics mine] 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.

    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 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? 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!

    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.

  23. #23

    The Night Watch: Mission 1 - Infiltration

    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.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Posts
    2,704
    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.

  25. #25
    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 (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. 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!

    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.

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