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Thread: General Fan Mission Review And Discussion Megathread

  1. #2101
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: UK
    Another review of a recently released mission;

    Upside Down - Review

  2. #2102
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: ON THE ROOF U SAYIN GERMAN

    Ruins of originia 1: Mines of Margroth

    I've always wanted to give a review of my favourite fan mission, and it appears to be the only one not in this thread yet – so I’ll do the honours
    Now I have to say by now that Ruins of Originia, by Ycatx, is only one among a handful of FM’s that take my #1 spot (Ominous bequest, Broken Triad, Calendra’s legacy, and Ink and Dust being a few others). It’s an incredible campaign consisting of 4 huge missions: Mines of Margroth, Guilded Rivalry, Fire and Ice, Ashes to Ashes – it was originally meant to be a 13 mission campaign, but the other missions never got completed (last I read on the forums, Ycatx’s hard drive containing the other mission files crashed and all the files got lost. Also, his wife died not long ago as well I heard ) But we do have 4 complete, magnificent missions, the first one, Mines of Margroth, being one of the largest single missions ever created (if not the largest). A version of it also exists for Thief 1, but it's much smaller. I love everything about this campaign - even the briefing videos are worth it. A masterpiece overall.
    I’ll start off with Mines of Margroth, post some screenshots, and then do the other 3. I’ll give a loose overview, without giving too much away. I'll do my best - reviewing isn't my strong point.

    Plot - watch the briefing here

    In Mines of Margroth, you start off in search of a renegade Hammerite mage-priest, named Bantar. The latter escaped into a huge mine complex, having stolen an amulet and a Pagan book, with the Hammers and City watch after him. You start off in a busy mining town near the entrance to the mines – there’s a bar, inn, armoury (very well stocked), Hammerite temple, barracks, and living quarters. There are a gang of thieves who work for Bantar in the inn, upstairs, plotting an attack strategy, and at one point they lead an assault on the mining town, unleashing a huge killing spree – I usually hide as the battle rages on, wait for the thieves and guards to kill each other, then knock out anyone remaining, and case the place. Then proceed to the Hammerite quarters, take care of the Hammers and guards, and loot the place, grabbing also a magical gem that illuminates everything around it (the effect is astounding, and really well done). Off to the mines then, where you discover a passage leading to an underground Necropolis, full of undead. In that Necropolis you’ll discover a passage leading further down into a strange complex, with a huge water tank, Craymen, bugbeasts, and other creatures, and a few puzzles – eventually leading to a face to face encounter with….you’ll see… After this, you return to the mines, go up, and you’ll find a strange surreal maze, full of the Trickster’s minions, wherein you’ll solve some new puzzles, and find a way to teleport to another area. Then on to the next mission.

    Overall, the mission keeps you hooked all the way. If you’re into huge quests (like me), you’ll love this mission. I’ve never seen so much variety and different worlds, creatures, puzzles, and areas crammed into one mission – while at the same time very well built and coherent. It is a very complex campaign overall, and the first time I played it I had to consult a walkthrough, and it took me over 3 hours to finish. I’ve played it over 30 times now, and I still can’t get enough of it. For Mines of Margroth alone, if you’re starting out, gameplay time should take at least 2, probably 3 hours (yes, it’s that huge) – time well spent
    Thank you Ycatx, you're a genius

    Download links:
    http://keepofmetalandgold.com/missio...ofOriginia.zip
    http://www.thiefmissions.com/info.cg...ns_Originia_v1
    http://www.ttlg.de/de/download/downl...riginia_v1.zip


    Entrance to the mining town


    The thieves planning their assault


    The Gem of Oldorf


    Hammerite chapel



    Leaving the Necropolis up to the mines


    Hammer zombies


    Warrior haunts in the Necropolis


    The Trickster's area in the mines


    Under the Necropolis


    Tank of the Deep ones, under the Necropolis



    Last edited by Azaran; 13th May 2012 at 17:39. Reason: Fixing link

  3. #2103
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: Sioux Falls, SD
    You know, much as I've tried, I haven't been able to get into Ruins of Originia. It looks like an innovative set of missions, but something about it makes me bounce off it.

  4. #2104
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: ON THE ROOF U SAYIN GERMAN
    Quote Originally Posted by Mechs Delight View Post
    You know, much as I've tried, I haven't been able to get into Ruins of Originia. It looks like an innovative set of missions, but something about it makes me bounce off it.
    It's got a lot of non human creatures, and undead, which might turn off a lot of people, but I think it's got something for everyone. It's not a campaign you can just go and play on your lunch break though - you might need a whole weekend to finish it

  5. #2105
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: ON THE ROOF U SAYIN GERMAN

    T2 Ruins of Originia review part 2: Guilded Rivalry

    In Guilded Rivalry (briefing) you continue the quest to find Bantar. You start off in an underground complex of ruins, not unlike the Lost City, full of passages, and sealed doors. The place is inhabited by Thieves who set up their guild in an upper part of the complex. After finding your way into the Guild (where you’ll find an insane amount of loot and tools) you’ll come across a sealed passage protected by elemental wards. You then have to go back down to the ruins and acquire the Talismans somehow (I won’t get into details). Having found the talismans and opened the passage, you’ll also open the dozen or so sealed rooms in the ruins, where you’ll find a host of relics that you’ll use to proceed further. Then go back into the guild, up the passage sealed by the talismans, use the relics, and you’ll open a passage to the surface, which leads to Bantar’s lab…and the showdown .

    Again, this is a huge mission, with many areas to explore, and lots of puzzles again, with the talismans, sealed doors, etc. Really well done again, with a great soundtrack, tons of different enemies and creatures, and lots to explore. Superb overall









    Guildmaster Zilfin










    Entering Bantar's lab...


    Some of Bantar's minions
    Last edited by Azaran; 11th May 2012 at 00:02.

  6. #2106
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2007
    Location: Germany
    This mission looks weird

  7. #2107
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: ON THE ROOF U SAYIN GERMAN
    It's surreal...psychedelic at times. Very unique

  8. #2108
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    The entire Originia series has that "whoa, what?! " feel. Trippy visuals, non-standard gameplay that's in between Thief, Ultima Underworld and an adventure game, and a very high level of difficulty.

  9. #2109
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2007
    Location: Germany
    Somehow I can't get used to such missions. I never really enjoyed some of the T1 OMs like The Sword or Escape! for the same reason.

  10. #2110
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: ON THE ROOF U SAYIN GERMAN
    Quote Originally Posted by intruder View Post
    Somehow I can't get used to such missions. I never really enjoyed some of the T1 OMs like The Sword or Escape! for the same reason.
    It's definitely got a lot in common with those 2

    Among the other missions from this campaign that got lost, there were a couple from which we still have the briefing or cutscene videos:

    Mission 23: Fair Game (supposed to be the 1st of the series)

    Mission 24: Hook line and sinker (incomplete cutscene)
    Last edited by Azaran; 27th May 2011 at 05:19.

  11. #2111
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: ON THE ROOF U SAYIN GERMAN

    T2 Ruins of Originia review part 3: Fire and Ice

    The 3rd mission, Fire and Ice (briefing), the simplest one of all, has you transition into an underground complex of caves and tunnels, in search of a way out through an eastern passage. You start off in a maze of frozen tunnels, then end up in a ruined area with a series of cells (apparently some kind of dungeon), and then move onto a cave complex with lava lakes. The frozen area is inhabited by ice burricks, while the other by fire burricks (the latter are extremely dangerous, but can be killed with water arrows – they don’t actually die per se, but turn to stone…). The mission is pretty simple and straightforward, but you risk getting lost in the maze of burrick tunnels, especially in the second area. Although less detailed than the others, it’s still a neat mission. Reminds me of the Bonehoard and the Maw in many ways.












    Fire burricks




    The way out
    Last edited by Azaran; 11th May 2012 at 00:04.

  12. #2112
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2001
    Location: Moscow
    This campaign is absurdly awesome. Weird at its best.

  13. #2113
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass
    I never made it past MoM, it was just too damn hard for me (at least at the time... probably, 2004).

  14. #2114
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2001
    Location: Moscow
    Quote Originally Posted by Yandros View Post
    I never made it past MoM, it was just too damn hard for me (at least at the time... probably, 2004).
    You've got to reach Guilded Rivalry, it's a mission with exemplary atmosphere and seriously grand setting. The fourth mission (I can't recall it's name right away) is awesome too, especially the ambient in the halls.

    Of all FMs I played for Thief, Ruins of Originia campaign was definitely the weirdest in a good sense. I enjoyed craziness of The Sword and Into the Maw of Chaos in TDP, and I was delighted to see this mood recaptured in Ruins. A master class of Thief FM design.

  15. #2115
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: ON THE ROOF U SAYIN GERMAN

    T2 Ruins of Originia review part 4: Ashes to Ashes

    In part 4 of the campaign you find yourself on the edge of a volcanic chasm. After going down you find a passage leading to a small shrine, from which you teleport into the Museum of the Ancients.
    The museum itself is a huge maze dotted with exhibits, most of which are portals leading to other dimensions - although you can return to the museum fairly easily. The exhibits are accessed by using coloured spheres as keys you acquired in Mission 2 from Bantar's lab, but you only have a handful of them and they can't be retrieved after usage - so your first objective is to find a clear sphere that can access all exhibits and can be used an unlimited number of times - you'll find it in the "Power Cells" exhibit, which you can access directly without a sphere. You’ll need to check your map often, otherwise you’ll undoubtedly get lost. Throughout you’ll have the museum’s caretaker guiding you and explaining each exhibit. You’ll have a series of objectives to complete, and some that will get triggered along the way. You’ll often have an objective in one exhibit which requires items from other exhibits, so visiting all the exhibits is crucial.
    Again, like the others, this is a huge, multifaceted, and very challenging mission. The museum, and all the different worlds packed into a single mission are amazing. Another masterpiece


    The volcano


    Entrance to the Museum


    Inside the Museum's psychedelic halls...


    One of several magical gems you need to steal



    First Temple exhibit (a Mayan pyramid)


    Rainbow Rose exhibit


    Royal tomb exhibit




    Crown Jewels exhibit


    The Fountain of Lamneth
    Last edited by Azaran; 11th May 2012 at 00:08.

  16. #2116
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: ON THE ROOF U SAYIN GERMAN

    Mechanist workshop in the Mines of Montserrat


    Mines of Montserrat


    Mechanist vault



    Here's the map:




    So there it is. If you haven't played it, now's the time
    Last edited by Azaran; 11th May 2012 at 00:10.

  17. #2117

  18. #2118
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2008
    This thread has been inactive for a little, but it seems it's still open for submissions, so I thought I'd do some. I haven't played Thief maps for a while and now I've started for a bit I thought I'd post some reviews for stuff (between all the Thief games/mods) I play, although I don't know how many I'll be doing as I'm currently on a playing surge and will probably slow down a lot sometime soon (although I'll continue to review what I play as long this thread remains alive in some way). Most will be already-reviewed maps as I'm playing stuff that interests me from this thread.

    I'll try not to outright reveal vital (non-readme) story stuff, but some things could still be considered spoilers, so beware if you care about that.

    The Inverted Manse

    The Inverted Manse might have been the first Thief mod I ever played, and I felt like replaying it.

    The story is a sequel to another level, Cult of the Resurrection; in that level Garret found the Spirit Stone. The premise for this level is that Garret is curious about the origins of the Stone, and finds it was unearthed from an ancient Pagan Manse the Hammers uncovered while building a power station; the place was subsequently overrun by the Undead. Garret is not discouraged by this at all and heads there to see what he can find.

    It's well known that Sledge, the author of this map, went on to work on Thief 3, including the famous Cradle. As this is also a "horror" map It's interesting to see the seeds of some of the concepts for that level forming in this one, such as the "breathing" lights, that are an periodic atmospheric touch in this one but were made an omnipresent element in the Cradle.

    The other unique aspect of this level is that each difficulty significantly changes the level, and certain parts play almost entirely different (or aren't present) between settings. The basics remain relatively similar though; despite being a horror level there's actually quite an action slant, with a bunch of new, super-powered arrows available in the shop and an Undead slaying (including Zombie exploding) sword provided at the start, and an even better weapon acquired later (it's position depending on the setting). The first playthrough was frequently creepy at times (and excursions into some of the new areas on the other modes), but after I got used to things it turned into a murder-fest. It perhaps undermines the horror a bit, but after being used to changing my pants every second at the mere hint a Haunt is around in "standard" maps I actually found frequently taking them down head-on quite cathartic.

    Of the three settings, "Catpurse" is arguably the smallest, with no unique starting area, and a Church area that isn't as large or complex as the Pagan area in the others, plus there's a lengthy backtracking section at one point as you must leave the power station and return to the Church (then go all the way back) at one point. "Rogue" has the most areas, with both the whole Pagan area and a lot of the Church being accessible, and the later sections are the most puzzle-oriented of the three. Despite what it's title suggests, "Warrior" is probably the most narrative heavy of the three, with a new character introduced at one point (both they and Garret have some great voice-acting), and, while there is a combat area, it's actually quite cerebral and just swinging away won't work. I probably liked Rogue most, with the larger area to explore and the puzzles towards the end. Warrior comes a close second, and it has a Zombie riding a Dinosaur, so it has that going for it too. Catpurse was still enjoyable, but I think it was overall a weaker experience than the other two.

    The visuals aren't amazing in any particular area, but the way every element comes together does a great job of making the entire level exude menace. It also has some rarely-done presentation aspects, such as intro and outro story-sequences along with voice-acting for Garret that's extremely faithful to his original voice. The storyline mostly doesn't build on the basic back-story present, but it does a good job with the various messages of distress and similar you find around the power station and it's surrounding area, along with various visual elements that help tell a story in themselves. The three difficulties also have story elements unique to themselves, and you only really get the full story of the place by going through all three modes (which seem to be each presented as a kind of alternative reality).

    If there's one thing I'm not so sure on it's that the main section of the power station changes very little between settings; there's a couple of scares that change, but things mostly stay quite similar, and it's the one part that gets slightly repetitive to do three times in a row. I think a little more variation between settings would have been a good thing there.

    Overall this is an excellent map that contains some new content and interesting ideas. The end suggests a sequel was planned, but apparently Sledge got hired before that was made.

    Now for screenshots (hopefully the brightness is alright):



    One cool detail I don't think I noticed before is that you get a view of civilisation at the start of the Warrior setting, although this is the closest you ever get.





    A few shots showing the general mood of the map.

    I guess this might count as a bit of a help request, but does anyone know the way you are "supposed" to kill the transparent Haunt and Burrick Rider on Warrior? I ended up just giving up and using the ballistic missiles on them I couldn't seem to find anything on this from some searching.

    I was going to do more reviews tonight, but it's a little late and I want to finish another map I'm playing, so I'll just leave this review until tommorow

  19. #2119
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    Thank you for the review, Mman! It has been quiet around here lately, so good to see someone pick up the torch. Interestingly, I recall Inverted Manse as being graphically better... huh. I haven't played it for a long time it seems.

  20. #2120
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: ON THE ROOF U SAYIN GERMAN
    Inverted Manse is brilliant. That 3 level difficulty system was genius.

    About the Haunt and Burrick rider, if I recall I also just used the missiles on them, but it's been a couple of years since I played it.

    I think I'll go play it again now

  21. #2121
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2009
    Location: Situation's changed, Tom.
    I think you were supposed to beat him to death with the gauntlet that you find there somewhere.

  22. #2122
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: ON THE ROOF U SAYIN GERMAN
    Quote Originally Posted by PotatoGuy View Post
    I think you were supposed to beat him to death with the gauntlet that you find there somewhere.
    THat's what the gauntlet is for? I always thought it was kind of a pointless weapon, seeing as the sword has exactly the same undead-killing power. There's no difference between the 2...

  23. #2123
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by Azaran View Post
    There's no difference between the 2...
    The Gauntlet is quite a lot better in some ways; as well as not revealing you in the dark, it does more damage (for instance, Haunts go down in two "charged" hits rather than three in a head-on fight). The only weakness is it seems to have slightly shorter range, but maybe I'm imagining that.

    I tried everything I had on those two guardians and nothing seemed to do anything (they literally didn't even notice when I backstabbed them with melee weapons), it's almost like you need explosives, but to be fair killing the guardians is an optional objective.

  24. #2124
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Quote Originally Posted by Azaran View Post
    PS: I wanted to post a screenshot of the map, but I can't take one for some reason Not even with Fraps...
    A program called FastStone can take screenshots of menu items,maps, readables, etc.
    HyperCam can, but it leaves a splash.
    There's another called somethingCapture or started with a "C", but I can't remember the name.

    Look up the thread on "Run Thief Run speed runs" where people were posting Stats screenshots of their times and there's a list of programs that can take screenshots of menu items there.

    Edit: Also if you update to the newest ddfix then I know Fraps will be able to video capture the menu, objectives, maps, readables, etc... So it stands to reason Fraps could screencapture those things too if you do that.

  25. #2125
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: ON THE ROOF U SAYIN GERMAN
    Quote Originally Posted by Mman View Post
    The Gauntlet is quite a lot better in some ways; as well as not revealing you in the dark, it does more damage (for instance, Haunts go down in two "charged" hits rather than three in a head-on fight). The only weakness is it seems to have slightly shorter range, but maybe I'm imagining that.
    I'll go try them out and compare

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